Mar 23, 2010

Frustrated With This Wonderful Computer

Left 7:06 AM | Arrived 7:42 AM
mac-keyboard I was stupid and lazy last night and neglected to plug in my Asus Linux netbook, and so I'm on this vastly over-sized Apple laptop, which reduces my focus and - still, after almost a year of using it almost daily - feels like I'm typing with my thumbs tied to my wrist.

Let's be honest here, folks, Apple spaces their keyboard keys too far apart, and their text navigation hot-keys are insufficient for intense writing and revision. There's no question that their keyboards look good. The question is, why don't they type good? Why must I suffer?

My roommate has a new Apple laptop, and the keys are spaced so far apart that I can't rest my fingers comfortably on all the home-keys at once - and I have relatively longish fingers.

I have similar feelings about the operating system itself. I find it clumsy in many complicated multitasking situations, particular with any software that utilizes multiple windows. In particular, it is vastly over-reliant on the mouse. And please, don't smugly tell me to learn the hot-keys - I have, I know them, and I find them to be lacking.

On the other hand, I have experienced remarkable stability from the system. But, I don't know if it's been worth the straight-jacket I'm resigned to wear while visiting their ecosystem. Every time I want to perform a small task outside the software package assigned to me, I am inevitably frustrated. Everything of quality in the Apple software universe is profit-based and over-priced. PIC2003221745132143Then, when you download it, you learn that it's also feature-crippled; they've sacrificed customization and fine-grain functionality for simplicity and big, unwieldy visual-metaphor-oriented mouse interfaces. When I want to get something done, I want a drop-down full of fine-grain options, thank you, not a cute "tray" where I "drag" "clippings" and "turn" "knobs," or some similar too-cute physical-world metaphor.

And don't get me started on how sick I am of having the same window decorations after all this time. Let me customize the thing without having to pay out the nose or rely on hacking, please! Let me change the computer's appearance in substantial ways; I have to look at it every day, for hours at a time. I can't stand the shiny bubbles any any longer!

But, I am grateful that it works. I am grateful that it cost me nothing. I am grateful for new battery, which I bought at discount, which lasts almost three hours. And I am grateful that this frustration is one of my frustrations, rather than disease, war, and death. I am grateful to hate, hate, hate those shiny bubbles.