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Abandoned Parts of OS X?
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Salty
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Feb 18, 2010, 04:13 AM
 
OK, so we all know that Apple especially with Snow Leopard was all about not adding features to simply create bloat, but I figured we could talk about a few parts of OS X that seemed like good ideas when they were created but which have mostly been ignored by Apple and other developers?

Automator- I recently was making some new icons and I realized that Preview could save files as icons which was great cause it seems no utilities out there wanna make 512/512 icons without a hell of a lot of work. I figured that since Preview was part of OS X there should be an easy automator script that could be made to save me a bunch of keystrokes... no luck. Seems the only third party dev I've seen even create additional Automator actions is Pixelmator.

Dashboard- I guess one of the reasons there's no additional work going into it is that everyone who wanted to make useful gimicks got bored, and then moved onto making iPhone apps.

Sherlock- it makes sense that it was killed off mind you, but I remember Steve going on about how sherlock was going to change the way people used the computer... and then it... didn't.

iSync- Do they even still support iSync?

Anyone else able to think of some?
     
Spheric Harlot
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Feb 18, 2010, 05:17 AM
 
Dashboard is still alive, especially since Safari 4 supports users just cutting out pieces of webpages to create their own widgets. I rarely use it anymore, since I've got my iPhone. Realize that most people do not have iPhones, though.

Sherlock - well Spotlight HAS changed the way people use their computer to some extent.

iSync is the only way to sync devices other than the iPhone/iPod, and it's very much alive for anybody who doesn't have an iPhone (yes, these people are real). Nokia and others supply free plug-ins for most of their mobiles.
     
Doc HM
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Feb 18, 2010, 08:20 AM
 
Back to My Mac. Haven't heard a peep out of that for a while.
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Spheric Harlot
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Feb 18, 2010, 08:36 AM
 
Originally Posted by Doc HM View Post
Back to My Mac. Haven't heard a peep out of that for a while.
But does that qualify as "abandoned"?

I haven't heard much about the kernel lately, but it's still rather useful every day, as is the mouse pointer (though, I hear, Apple is actually abandoning the latter).
     
- - e r i k - -
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Feb 18, 2010, 09:39 AM
 
Has Back to My Mac worked reliably for anyone?

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nonhuman
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Feb 18, 2010, 09:41 AM
 
Originally Posted by - - e r i k - - View Post
Has Back to My Mac worked reliably for anyone?
Nope... Though I suspect it works fine if there's nothing but Apple networking gear between you and your home computer...
     
- - e r i k - -
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Feb 18, 2010, 09:42 AM
 
Originally Posted by nonhuman View Post
Nope... Though I suspect it works fine if there's nothing but Apple networking gear between you and your home computer...
I tried with two AirPort extremes between work and home. Still no dice :/

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nonhuman
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Feb 18, 2010, 09:56 AM
 
Originally Posted by - - e r i k - - View Post
I tried with two AirPort extremes between work and home. Still no dice :/
Wow, that sucks. This is why I just use SSH...
     
turtle777
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Feb 18, 2010, 10:09 AM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Dashboard is still alive, especially since Safari 4 supports users just cutting out pieces of webpages to create their own widgets.
Yes, the idea is great.
Performance, however, is horrible.

I created 4 web widgets, two showing exchange rates, two showing the latest data for two ETFs.

Refreshing those widgets takes anywhere from 20 to 40 seconds every time I go into Dashboard.
Often, I have to manually refresh (CMD + R) to get anything.
Same with weather widgets, got a bout 5, takes forever to refresh.

In total, when I go into Dashboard I gotta wait about 45-60 seconds before everything is refreshed. The long wait just makes it unusable.

BTW, I'm on a iMac 2.4G Core Due with 4GB RAM. Shouldn't Dashboard be a bit snappier™ ?

Overall: WTF, Apple.

-t
     
turtle777
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Feb 18, 2010, 10:10 AM
 
Originally Posted by - - e r i k - - View Post
Has Back to My Mac worked reliably for anyone?
Haha, can't believe Apple charges for that "feature" when you can get it free with LogMeIn.

-t
     
Spheric Harlot
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Feb 18, 2010, 10:46 AM
 
Originally Posted by - - e r i k - - View Post
Has Back to My Mac worked reliably for anyone?
Works fine here.

G4 Mac mini connected directly to the DSL modem.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Feb 18, 2010, 10:59 AM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Haha, can't believe Apple charges for that "feature" when you can get it free with LogMeIn.
Wait - you've never heard of MobileMe, have you? Or at least, never actually seen it discussed on these forums?

Or are you being sarcastic?
     
turtle777
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Feb 18, 2010, 11:09 AM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Wait - you've never heard of MobileMe, have you? Or at least, never actually seen it discussed on these forums?

Or are you being sarcastic?
I'm saying that Back To My Mac was a new feature for MobileMe that attracted new customers that otherwise would NOT have subscribed to MobileMe.

And don't ask me if I think MobileMe is worth the money.

-t
     
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Feb 18, 2010, 11:45 AM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Works fine here.

G4 Mac mini connected directly to the DSL modem.
Doesn't work with a Fritzbox if the router feature is turned on. Unfortunately I cannot turn it off since I have an Alice branded Fritzbox which is not configurable. Neither will I be able to upgrade the firmware should AVM decide to ever fix the issue.
     
imitchellg5
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Feb 18, 2010, 12:46 PM
 
Originally Posted by - - e r i k - - View Post
Has Back to My Mac worked reliably for anyone?
It sort of works with my Time Capsule and MacBook Pro.
     
Salty  (op)
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Feb 18, 2010, 01:03 PM
 
Who needs back to my Mac when you have remote tap on an iPhone!?
     
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Feb 18, 2010, 01:16 PM
 
How about fixing the long standing bugs and problems of OS X Mail?
     
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Feb 18, 2010, 01:35 PM
 
to be honest I haven't used any additions since Tiger, not even Expose
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Feb 18, 2010, 02:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by nonhuman View Post
Nope... Though I suspect it works fine if there's nothing but Apple networking gear between you and your home computer...
It started working for me in Snow Leopard, but I still have to stop and restart it once in a while. I use an SSH tunnel and screen sharing if I need to use anything more than, well, screen sharing.
     
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Feb 18, 2010, 02:28 PM
 
Originally Posted by PB2K View Post
to be honest I haven't used any additions since Tiger, not even Expose
Exposé came in Panther - for me it's the biggest UI improvement I've seen since drag and drop. The desktop key is indispensable for me.
     
analogue SPRINKLES
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Feb 18, 2010, 02:33 PM
 
Originally Posted by Salty View Post
Sherlock- it makes sense that it was killed off mind you, but I remember Steve going on about how sherlock was going to change the way people used the computer... and then it... didn't.
Spotlight and Google.

And I don't' know anyone who uses spotlight more than once a day max.
     
DrTacoMD
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Feb 18, 2010, 02:52 PM
 
Really? I use Spotlight all the time at work -- many times a day, as a matter of fact.
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Feb 18, 2010, 02:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by hayesk View Post
Exposé came in Panther - for me it's the biggest UI improvement I've seen since drag and drop. The desktop key is indispensable for me.
Yeah, Exposé has become totally ingrained in how I interact with the OS. I don't even think about it anymore.

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analogue SPRINKLES
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Feb 18, 2010, 03:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by DrTacoMD View Post
Really? I use Spotlight all the time at work -- many times a day, as a matter of fact.
I didn't say nobody does. I use it about 2-3 times a day.

On average though if I look at all the people that use a Mac to say even 20% of them use it once a month is pushing it.

Nothing wrong with it just people are most used to digging around for stuff.
     
Laminar
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Feb 18, 2010, 06:50 PM
 
I mostly use Spotlight as an app launcher. I used QuickSilver before Spotlight got fast.
     
Salty  (op)
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Feb 19, 2010, 12:13 AM
 
I never thought of it but I never use spotlight... partly cause I'm very organized.
     
kmkkid
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Feb 19, 2010, 08:04 AM
 
Originally Posted by Salty View Post
I recently was making some new icons and I realized that Preview could save files as icons which was great cause it seems no utilities out there wanna make 512/512 icons without a hell of a lot of work.
This app was just released and is awesome for making icons both for OS X and windows. All sizes available also. And free!

Just drag and drop images into the image wells and save. Also has an auto dock preview of the icon you're making.


Hobiconer - kodlian

     
voodoo
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Feb 19, 2010, 09:21 AM
 
I use Spotlight perhaps once a month. If that. Steve and co would save me and millions of other users so much time by FTFF, so we wouldn't have to stumble about the clunky browser interface instead of being told 'we use the computers wrong'.

It should be intuitive to use a computer, and at one time I think Steve was all about that. Then he became too nerdy - NeXT never was very interesting from a UI perspective.

Dashboard I do use at least once a week, though I just keep things there that tell me about the day-to-day status of the computer and some random utilities.

MobileMe was... um let's just say that I valued my money more than that - so after two years of subscription, I ditched it never to look back. Free utilities cover all aspects of MobileMe anyway.

I have not used iSync for ages, but then I don't have many non-Apple gadgets to sync with. Though I did prefer iSync over iTunes as a syncing application.
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MrsLarry
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Feb 19, 2010, 02:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Haha, can't believe Apple charges for that "feature" when you can get it free with LogMeIn.

-t
Good Sir,

You have just blown my mind and I thank you.
Working from home has just gotten 90% easier.
     
Oisín
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Feb 19, 2010, 02:24 PM
 
I probably use Spotlight a few times a day, for various little things. I still use Quicksilver as an app launcher, I’ve never liked Spotlight for that.

I use Dashboard all the time, though. Probably once every ten minutes or so. The dictionary (for spelling, definitions, synonyms, thesaurus, IPA …), calculator, and weather widgets are in constant use here, and I use the conversion widget (temperatures, currencies, units of measurement) at least a few times a week, too. Dashboard is a more indispensable part of my computer usage than Exposé is, really, though I do use Exposé quite a bit, too (mostly the Show Desktop key).

Originally Posted by voodoo View Post
I have not used iSync for ages, but then I don't have many non-Apple gadgets to sync with. Though I did prefer iSync over iTunes as a syncing application.
Granted, I only ever used iSync with my old Sony Ericsson K700i phone … but I’ve definitely found the iTunes syncing experience far superior. The mere fact that the app doesn’t crash once a minute is a benefit. The fact that you don’t have to search through incomprehensible mobile phone file systems (where every folder has a binary name, whoop-de-doo!) to find simple things like photos is another.

Perhaps I’m being unfair on iSync here, and the blame is really more on Sony Ericsson’s plug-in or the phone’s driver or whatever. But the fact that the overall experience with iTunes syncing is so far above anything iSync ever managed to do for me still leads me to believe that the iTunes way of syncing is a lot more thought-through and user-friendly, despite its flaws.
     
abbaZaba
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Feb 19, 2010, 03:07 PM
 
I do use Dashboard in a way: I use Amnesty Widget Browser so that I can have the widgets (1 weather, itunes remote, big calendar) so I can pin them to my desktop and can always view them (I have them on a mini connected to a tv so I can always see the weather and the date) so in that sense I still use widgets, but I rarely ever go into the Dashboard on the mini or even on my macbook, which is my main working computer

and I use Spotlight all the time. it's faster to just type the name of something than dialing through a bunch of folders. I do wish it was easier to see the path of the file faster though
     
seanc
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Feb 19, 2010, 07:45 PM
 
Originally Posted by analogue SPRINKLES View Post
And I don't' know anyone who uses spotlight more than once a day max.
I use Spotlight all the time to launch apps and do quick calculations.
I get upset when hitting the windows key + R (run box), typing in a sum, pressing enter, gets me an error dialog
     
Oisín
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Feb 19, 2010, 07:48 PM
 
I did not know Spotlight did calculations.

Well, that’s one thing I could probably move out of Dashboard’s domain, then.
     
moonmonkey
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Feb 19, 2010, 09:26 PM
 
I mostly use spotlight for calculations too, its easy as its just there all the time.
     
Doc HM
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Feb 20, 2010, 04:25 AM
 
nice one. Bye bye dashboard calc, hello spotlight.
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Feb 20, 2010, 04:37 AM
 
I remember the expectation that CoreImage was gonna change the Mac. I suspect that today's GPUs are the absolute best choice for any such processing.

I doubt too many people use CoverFlow in either the Finder or iTunes. I'd use it as an image browser in the Finder if it was available full sscreen like iTunes.

FrontRow is pretty much abandonware.
     
macaddict0001
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Feb 20, 2010, 05:37 AM
 
Frontrow is maybe the best example yet.
     
Oisín
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Feb 20, 2010, 06:08 AM
 
Originally Posted by macaddict0001 View Post
Frontrow is maybe the best example yet.
Agreed.

I had a girl over last night [that sounded wrong …] who needed her Mac fixed. She said she’d accidentally been a little freaked out the other day when she’d hit the wrong button. She’d meant to force-quit an app via Cmd+Alt+Escape, but had accidentally not hit Alt, so suddenly her screen went black and then this kind of weird, rotating menu thing came up and she just pressed Escape as fast as she could, scared that she’d broken her computer.

Not really something people tend to use or even know about.
     
B Gallagher
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Feb 20, 2010, 06:51 AM
 
I use GraphicConverter's Automator plugins for processing all my photos. Can't believe I used to go through and do this by hand.

Front Row was good, but when it got updated and syncing with iTunes went away it pretty much became useless. If I just want my music running with a (IMO) nice looking GUI from far away, I would use it. But to have to pause what is playing in iTunes, open up Front Row, click & scroll several times, listen, then freeze it all if I have to go back to check something quickly online, makes no sense, and is a waste of time. I never understood why they got rid of the iTunes integration. I used to use it almost daily, now I'd use it maybe once a month.

And quick calculations is pretty much all I use Spotlight for.
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Salty  (op)
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Feb 21, 2010, 06:09 AM
 
I don't consider front row to be abandonware. Though to be honest I do wish they hadn't pulled the link with iTunes.
     
voodoo
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Feb 21, 2010, 11:33 AM
 
Originally Posted by macaddict0001 View Post
Frontrow is maybe the best example yet.
That one is also the only one where the 'upgrade' was actually a downgrade. Frontrow 1 was and is better than Frontrow 2.

It's not just abandonware, it's flipping-you-the-eagle-ware.
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B Gallagher
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Feb 22, 2010, 04:24 AM
 
Could not agree more. It's a shame there's no way to downgrade Front Row to version 1 on Snow Leopard...
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Art Vandelay
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Feb 22, 2010, 01:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by voodoo View Post
That one is also the only one where the 'upgrade' was actually a downgrade. Frontrow 1 was and is better than Frontrow 2.

It's not just abandonware, it's flipping-you-the-eagle-ware.
Seriously?

Front Row 2 natively plays VIDEO_TS folders, has a plug-in architecture allowing added functionality, and allows using remote libraries. I'd never go back to version 1.
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Spheric Harlot
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Feb 22, 2010, 01:45 PM
 
^ true.

However, it insists on quitting music playback as soon as you leave the music submenu - for example, to just briefly check out something on the net, or read an email. Since i'm then sitting at the machine, I can just start up iTunes again, but that completely negates the point if using Front Row in the first place.
     
voodoo
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Feb 22, 2010, 01:53 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
^ true.

However, it insists on quitting music playback as soon as you leave the music submenu - for example, to just briefly check out something on the net, or read an email. Since i'm then sitting at the machine, I can just start up iTunes again, but that completely negates the point if using Front Row in the first place.
Precisely
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Art Vandelay
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Feb 22, 2010, 02:07 PM
 
Why are you using Front Row if you're sitting at the Mac? It's not really designed for that use.
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turtle777
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Feb 22, 2010, 02:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by Art Vandelay View Post
Why are you using Front Row if you're sitting at the Mac? It's not really designed for that use.
Who are you to tell me how I should use my Mac.

[/sarcasm]

-t
     
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Feb 22, 2010, 02:41 PM
 
I think the nail in the already closed coffin came for front row when apple took the IR port and bundled remote away from the MacBook updates.
     
Art Vandelay
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Feb 22, 2010, 02:57 PM
 
Well, the bundled remote has been gone for a long time. However, I think that has nothing to do with the status of Front Row. Why bundle a remote with millions of computers if most people are never going to use it? I think it's a good thing to only have the people who want it add it as an add-on. Also, why go through the expense of designing an all new remote if you're trying to kill Front Row?
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Feb 22, 2010, 03:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by Art Vandelay View Post
Why are you using Front Row if you're sitting at the Mac? It's not really designed for that use.
Please read my post again for a description of why this implementation is boneheaded.

I'm not at the computer when I'm using Front Row.

But the second I *do* go to the computer, it forces me to quit music playback.

This used to be different.

Would you find it annoying if your CD player switched off every time you opened up a magazine or picked up a pizza delivery service menu or a photo catalog off the coffee table?

I do.
     
 
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