Thursday, March 08, 2012


Again, Gawker commenters are the best thing on the Internet.
No, I don't even know what this animal is. He's thinking very hard though. He just can't remember about what exactly.*

The government reads what we write in duplicate, first with their wall-penetrating satellite millimeter wave radar, and also through the chips in our brains. The NSA processes all the information and turns it over to the aliens, who are compiling market research data because they're in charge of the WTO.

It's time to complain about the Mac operating system.
Why aren't the "open file" dialogs inside programs able to do anything the Finder can do? That's a huge advantage to the Windows OS. I frequently want to be able to cut and paste and delete stuff without having to go over to Finder/Windows Explorer -- when I go to save something and I want to move stuff around, I can just do it all there. In AfterEffects it really helps to be able to delete the file you want to render to instead of just trying to overwrite it (especially when that same file is open in Final Cut).
And don't get me started about how Finder won't cut-and-paste from another drive without you remembering some arcane command. I actually bought a program called "Move Addict" for the Mac to let me do that. Sheesh.
Also, and most dangerously for your data, in OSX's Finder when you copy a folder to another folder it won't just merge the contents. Instead it wipes out the previous contents and replaces them with the new contents -- even if the file names don't match. So good luck adding data to a complex folder structure when you don't know exactly what the new data is.
Now here's something that irks me with Windows Explorer that Finder does do right -- we should be able to search inside an "open" dialog box. When I'm working in Samplitude I want to be able to search for sound effects when I go to import a sound file. I don't know the names of all the files -- I just want to type "explosion" and see all my sound effects with that in the name.

So make all these changes now. And gimme.

*He's thinking about how he'd love it if thumbnails were available in different sizes in Finder.


Allan Mackey said...

While I can't unwind all your complaints, there are a couple I can help with:

1) Cut-and-pate. If you hold the Command button down when you drag files to a new drive, it will move them instead of copy.

2) Merging file folders. Yup. That's a bit irksome but Carbon Copy Cloner is free software that would do the trick most times.

3) Tell the little guy that thumbnails can be different sizes in Finder. If you go to icon view, there's a slider in the bottom right of the window that controls thumbnail size.

As for why the open file dialog doesn't do more, my guess is that it's part of Apple's policy to minimize confusion and complication for basic users. Their policy across all product lines is make things super easy for beginners, keep advanced things available for power users, and leave the folk in the middle to dangle. Microsoft on the other hand, leaves the beginners to fry and serves the middle group.

Really, it's a good policy. There are so many really basic computer users out there having so many troubles on Windows PCs that would be in heaven on Mac OS X.

Imagine how much tech support could be saved if bigger companies went over to OS X - where employees couldn't futz with things and break things as easily. (I'd guess the only reason many haven't is because of legacy issues.)

And unfortunately, Apple can't market their policy very well without it looking like they're calling people stupid.

Aric Blue said...

And maybe I'm misunderstanding you, but when you go to Open a file in Samplitude, type *explosion* and then Open, and it should reshow you only files with explosion in the name.

PS: Mac blows. :)

Andrew Bellware said...

Aric Blue -- if I'm not mistaken, the open dialog will only give you files which START with the word "explosion", not any files that have "explosion" in their name.
Allan Mackey -- Thanks for the info! Now, I'm not convinced these things are things which make it easier to use a Mac. I think that the Mac OS is just opposed to right-clicking! ;-) I hadn't thought of using CCC to merge big directories. That being said, the way Windows handles merging directories seems like they went to a lot of trouble to make it clear and intuitive.
I'm going to look for the file resizing thingy!

Aric Blue said...

Sorry, didn't see a response to this until today. No, if you type the actual asterisk on either side, it will locate any word with explosion in the middle of it. It uses the asterisk as a wild card symbol.

Andrew Bellware said...

Dude... that actually works. I can't believe how much time you've just saved me. Thanks!

Kangas said...

And you can use them anywhere in Windows. So if you can't remember where u put that wave file, you can Search for *.wav and it will show you every wave on your computer. *.jpg every jpeg!

Has saved me from losing so many files over the years...I'm pretty disorganized.