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Sunday, January 04, 2009

iMac Frustration Causes Singapore Man To Go Out For Beer.

My iMac.

Fuck. I shake my head. Really. It is for superficial people, designed by people who were only concerned about the appearance of its features, not their functions, not thinking through about what people would want them to do.

(I am talking about the default programs here, not those brought in by smart, cafe-latte drinking, socially concerned, Moleskine scribbling, third-party people.)

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OK, I have found a way to put Dashboard widgets onto the main screen so that my clock, calendar, iTunes control, local weather report, and address book are all there, all the time. (Well the trick works OK in one direction, not so much in the other.) Like the Google Desktop Sidebar, like the Microsoft Sidebar for Windows. I don't have to click or press a key - the large clock is always there, ticking away. How hard can be it be?

So I look at the large date ticker on the iCal widget, click on it. Out slides a monthly calendar with today's date highlighted. I click again and out slides a list of today's appointments, if any. What about tomorrow? Nope, it won't highlight any other date than today. I can't check whether my schedule is busy on any other days. So I need to open iCal itself. Can I do that from the iCal widget? No.

They never thought of that when then spent hours getting the shiny black surface looking just right. I have to go to my Dock thingummy and find iCal to open it! How useless is that iCal widget except as a piece of eye-candy? Fuckers!

The default iTunes widget. If iTunes is off, will it turn iTune on? No. I click on the invisible Info button and the widget does a cool flip around to show a "Select Playlist" function. Does it actually allow me to select my playlists? No. They don't exist according the iTunes widget. I have to start iTunes and find my playlists from the Dock and from iTunes itself. Can I *start* iTunes from the iTunes widget? Are you kidding, No-ho! Of course NOT! That might actually be useful! All the widget does is allow me to pause, change volume, repeat and shuffle and select next and previous in the current playlist. I have to have iTunes running first, at the same time, if I want to do anything like change who I want to listen to.

The bland grey Address Book widget needs me to type an initial letter before it does anything, which is to drop down the list of all my contacts. Are they arranged by the first letter I typed? No. The letter has to be somewhere in the person's file, is all. The last contact I selected used remains selected even if it doesn't have the letter in the name I typed, which is really confusing. Why? Like I said, because maybe that letter is somewhere in that person's address or their email. Type another letter and it narrows the field, but not in a way you'd expect. Typing "t o" brings up a blogger mate who is filled under "Spike" for example, because his email is "hongkieTOwn@###.com"... Weird. When you do have a contact selected, you can click through all other contacts. Well let's face it, the parent Address Book is a boring and dull application anyway.

The Clock widget. Why not iClock? You can set regional times, but you can't set an alarm from the widget. OK the default clock on Windows Sidebar is pretty lame as well, so I won't get into that aspect of it all. But I want a reminder/alarm function. I can only do it by going to iCal (manually of course) and setting up an appointment, not through the clock function! How shitty is that? WTF?

I have downloaded a third party calendar application from the dudes at iSlayer that works OK, but still doesn't have an alarm. There are quite a few REALLY neat one for Windows, but the list of clocks for iMac is pathetic. To get an alarm, I have to download another clock widget.

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Also my Mighty Mouse will not scroll unless the sidebar is at the bottom of a page. It will then only scroll up, but when the idnicator is at the top, it will not scroll down. I kid you not.

Tofo!

Fuck it, I'm going out for a beer...

E@L

(As I am typing this, the beast, like the id monster in Forbidden Planet, seems to sense I am writing about it, and the keyboard locks up for no reason...)

[Addendum - after five beers, three white wines and a Knob Creek and three episodes of Battlescar Tallactica, came home and re-checked this post. My, I had a big visit from the Typo Fairy there didn't I? That's because I composed that post in Google Docs, which like 99.99% of everything in this non-BG universe is a piece of shit. Most of the day I spent trying to link my OneNote files automatically to GoogleSites. Not gonna work. Think I'll need to get a pirate of MS Sharepoint somewhere. Fucking Windows.]

18 comments:

dh said...

I got a few useless Christmas presents too. I will keep them and give them to other people next year.

savannah said...

wow, you really are having problems with your mac, sugar! why do you want the dashboard widgets on your desktop? i use the dashboard for time & temps in a few different places and a few other simple widgets. my ical is sitting on the dock. when i need it, it's a click away. i guess it's all easier for me since i've always been mac based and not trying to use pc tricks/shortcuts on my mac. good luck, darlin! xoxo

(or did i miss something...again?)

Skippy-san said...

Another MAC Cripple is born.........

Be careful about Sharepoint. Everyone I have talked to about using it says that it is not without its tricks and traps...........

expat@large said...

DH: the iMac was a self-inflicted birthday present in June. I have been travelling muchly so not using it unless marooned in Singapore.

Sav: it only hurts when I use it.

Skip: its only to share my blog draft between work and home - OneNote is just so vastly superior to anything I have found on the Mac.

expat@large said...

GMail is still taking about 1 minute to open an email. Am I being monitored by the Ghamen? I doubt this is Mac issue.

Voodoo-pad gives a hyperlinked notpad interface - you click on a link to go to somewhere else in the doc, but I want Tabs for these sub-pages.

Journler is date-based, for a genuine journal not for random notes.

Notepad3 is closest, in that you can write anywhere on the page (sometimes) in a 'cell', and can drag links across from the web, but it still pales in comparison to the flexibility and features of OneNote.

A quick Google of "onenote for mac" will show that I am not alone in my supplications...

Indiana said...

Did you add your voice to the weight for One-Note for Mac?

expat@large said...

As my voice is the least weighty part of me, what would be the point of that? I should put my belly to the grindstone and nose to the trigger, pull my socks down and my trousers up, put my shoulder behind the pulse, and my ear in my cheek!! Or my tongue, or...

HKMacs said...

Try MenuCalendarClock for iCal. Works a treat!

expat@large said...

Thanks Vince but it's on the menu, not a Dashboard widget, so it's a bit too small. I was more interested in just a large clock on the desktop with an alarm. The iCal complaint was not really a crie de coeur like the OnrNote thing is...

Then I got carried away with the other weak Dashboard stuff while I was in the whingeing mood. I'm pretty much vented now. Till next time... - fuck, now the navigation toolbar has vanished from Firefox and clicking on View-Toolbars-NavigationToolbar doesn't bring it back... WTF?

I'm going to bed...

savannah said...

perhaps you just aren't a MAC person, sugarpie! xoxox

expat@large said...

Sav: hmmm, ya think?

HKMacs said...

Try deleting ~/Library/Preferences/org.mozilla.firefox.plist where "~" is the name of your account i.e. "expat" or whatever. Restart Firefox and then reset your Preferenes for Firefox. Good luck!

expat@large said...

HKMacs: posting a seditious anti-Singapore vent, turning the computer off, going to bed, getting up, going shopping for a new Schopenhauer biography; a collection of essays by Isaiah Berlin; a junkie novel by Alexander Trocchi, then turning the computer on seems to have worked just as well.

dibabear said...

E@L: check out World Clock Deluxe. I have it sitting on the desktop showing me the time in Calif, NYC, London, the Fatherland, Banga-f'in-lore, Manila and Sydney. It's configurable. But it doesn't tie in iCal.

And yeah, I've been on Macs for four years and still think the Dashboard and widgets are pretty lame.

J.

expat@large said...

J: no alarm function!?

HKMacs said...

Use your iPhone!

expat@large said...

HKM: Why don't I use my clock/radio? My digital watch? Get my maid to knock on the door?

The clock/alarm function the iPhone does work well, indeed. Why doesn't the clock on Dashboard work half as well?

HKMacs said...

Apple put the best programmers to work on the iPhone when they split the OS X team.

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