How do you use your Mac? That’s a different question than, “What do you use your Mac for?”
Most of us will use our Macs for email and web browsing and many other tasks. But “how” is your Mac used? Like religion and politics, everyone has a slightly different view.
Wil Gomez ranted on the Mac’s desktop photos and received a due thwacking from more than a few Mac360 readers. In essence, Will called desktop photos a waste of time and effort.
Reader thwacking can be painful, but also a useful learning experience. What we learned from the responses is that Mac users actually use their Macs in many different ways.
Don’t confuse that with what we use our Macs to accomplish. It’s different. Macs are used for email and browsing and writing, and spreadsheets, and web servers, and video production, and Photoshop and more. The Mac is used to store personal photos, movies, and all our music.
The “how” is a different perspective. Opinions vary. For example, do you use the Dock at the bottom or move it left or right on your Mac’s screen? Does it matter? To some Mac users it matters in a big way.
Screen real estate these days is more horizontal than vertical, so, for some, moving the Dock left or right gives more vertical screen space. Yes, the Dock can be hidden in any location, but back to the “how” question? Is your Dock hidden or visible?
Wil’s premise was that Mac Users Are Crazy To Use Desktop Photos because they’re hidden behind Finder windows and can barely be seen. It’s an arguable point. Not every Mac user bothers with “wallpaper” (for our new readers from the Windows world), and some consider it clutter.
Somehow that topic got twisted enough to include the Finder. Thankfully, the Mac’s Finder is due for a bit of an overhaul with Mac OS X Leopard, but even how we use the Finder varies from Mac user to user. Do you use the Finder’s so-called “spatial view”? Or, is List view better for your needs? How about Column view?
Does it matter? Based on the responses, it matters greatly to many Mac users.
My experience on the Mac dates back to the original 128k Mac in early 1984. I bought one four days after they hit the St. Louis Apple stores. The Mac didn’t do much in those days. We waited a year for MacDraw and the LaserWriter. But the Mac did what it did in style, and that hasn’t changed much in over two decades.
Rather than being stuck doing the same thing the same way, I’ve tried to learn new ways to make Mac using easier, more efficient, more productive, yet more friendly. As to the Mac’s Finder, I’ve dispensed with it altogether and use Path Finder instead. It’s similar, but offers many more options not available in the Mac’s default Finder. Tab view alone makes it worthy.
Among those options is Column view and List view. For those who open 47 different Finder windows and folders on their Macs while looking for files and applications, fine. That’s just too much effort for some of us who need to move through files faster. Column view is hard to beat for productivity.
Unless learning something new inhibits your current level of productivity. Reader “John” pointed out that he keeps his desktop cluttered and continues “to avoid column-mode like the plague.” I can’t imagine why, but then, there are religions with tens or hundreds of millions of members and I can’t figure out why, either.
And that’s the point of the Mac’s maturity. It’s, above all else, a “personal computer.” That means the Mac lets us do what we need to do in a way that allows for a measure of personal customization, not only for look and feel, but for the “how” of what we do.
For example, I grew tired of OS X Tiger’s multiple personalities. Plastic platinum windows here, brushed aluminum windows there, and something in between. I installed UNO and that actually makes the Mac look more like OS X Leopard, and it unifies the overall look of all windows on the Mac.
Remarkably, some people actually like brushed aluminum. After all, that’s the look on the MacPro and MacBook Pro, so why not? It’s personal. Reader Art said it was interesting to see how people “keep house” on their Macs. He was bewildered by how some Mac users organize their Macs—Finder fonts too small to read, Dock on the side, applications sitting on the desktop instead of in the application folder.
So, back to the original question. “How” do you use your Mac and why? Dock on the bottom, or side? Finder in Column, List, or ‘spatial mode?’ Do you park all your files in the Documents folder so leave them scattered here and there? Is your Dock full or hidden?