30 Days With a Mac Challenge

Instead of taking over the original Apple thread I decided to start anew one. Here is my original post:

Here is a summary of my current situation:

I am using a MacBook Pro 16 2.4 GHz i9 processor with 32 GB RAM, AMD Radeon Pro 5500M 8 GB and 2 TB HD. This is connected to an LG Ultrafine 5K Monitor that has a USBC-C docking port attached for USB 3 connections. I am also using a dasKeyboard brown key mechanical keyboard for Mac and a Touchpad. I gave up on trying to use a mouse with this setup after multiple failed attempts to replicate my PC experience with their mice. CleanMyMac X is the main utility program that I use, although I have used SmoothScroll and BetterTouchTool in the past.

I am heavily leveraged in Office365. I use Outlook, Word, Excel, Teams, and PowerPoint quite a bit. I generally use Excel to teach basic statistics to managers (Masters students) and that is about it. I purchased Fantastical but that seems to get in the way of Outlook enough that I will not be renewing next year. Chrome is my web browser of choice and I do not like Safari or FireFox. STATA, R, SAS, and SPSS are programs that I use to varying degrees. I either teach others how to use them (Masters and PhD) or I use them for analysis of my own research projects. I write journal articles and research proposals, so Word and Endnote are also heavily used.

In our new online teaching world, I use Teams, Zoom, and BlueJeans for video conferencing. Our Learning Management System is Blackboard, so I also use Collaborate as a video conferencing tool.

The main Windows-based programs that are completely missing in MacOS that I use are Microsoft Access and Visio. There are also some test bank question software programs that require Windows programs, but I use those very little.

I do not plan on using bootcamp or Parallels for anything. If I need to use a specific Windows program, I will use one of my Thinkpads. At work, I will have a fully functional Windows work area driven by a docked Thinkpad P53. My goal is to use MacOS for everything that I possibly can. I deleted my bootcamp partition and uninstalled Parallels.

Day 3 Observations:

My first annoyance/observation is that clicking on the program icon on my dock does not minimize the program window as it does in Windows 10. I was able to figure out how to get the program to minimize into the icon on the dock, but minimizing in MacOS is, well, different. I do like that Outlook for MacOS’ inbox shows all of your combined mail from all accounts. This helped me significantly reduce the emails in my accounts because I could quickly delete them one after the other. I also like that I can see when new email arrives from all accounts in one inbox.

I grew tired of just using the trackpad after a couple of days and switched to a mouse. Trackpad use made my wrist hurt more than just using a mouse. I am not sure why, but maybe all of the pinching and multi-finger clicking were causing the fatigue. I’m back to my Logitech Gaming mouse. I installed the Logitech G software so I can control the lighting on the mouse. Otherwise, I am using better touch to control the scrolling direction (touchpad and mouse are scrolling connected for some reason in MacOS) and SmoothScroll to improve scrolling, well, everywhere in MacOS.

Am following this thread! This is the sort of thing that I love to read.

There was a question in the other thread about why I disabled Bootcamp and Parallels. Essentially they were too much of an annoyance (to me) to keep up to date and configure and get the mouse to work correctly, etc. So I decided if I need something Windows-specific, I am just going to use a Windows computer. I might change my mind, but that is the current plan.

Command M. Or Command H to hide it. (I think, it’s always difficult to type what keys you use all the time.) You will have a much better time if you learn the keyboard commands. MacOS is made to be used with the keyboard.

Haha, how’d I never notice this. It’s so prominent in the Window menus.

I also use Logitech gaming mice on Mac (and PC - I have a 50x and two 903s so they can be everywhere.) I can’t say I have had to do much work to get the mouse control I want in Parallels but I have had to deal with Windows maintenance when I don’t open it enough, which is annoying.

Another keyboard command that isn’t obvious for Windows users. Command Tab will cycle through open apps (which is usually a lot on a Mac, since apps don’t really close). To reopen a minimized app as you command tab, hold down option as you get let go of command tab keys. Otherwise nothing happens.

Good luck!

Cool, didn’t know about the keyboard options and they work pretty nicely. Will need to see if I am happy using keyboard commands at the end of this!

I absolutely hate touchpads. Go MOUSE!

Even on a Mac? I love touch pads on Mac. use one full time on my iMac.

Never had a Mac. But I’m currently using a Lenovo laptop work saddled me with, and the trackpad is terrible. Plus the two buttons are in the wrong fucking place.

That explains it, Mac’s touchpad are much better than any PC I have used. I despise my PC laptops touch pad.

Lenovos have always had shitty trackpads. It’s always about their damn nipples.

Apple’s glass trackpads are the shiznit.

The only time I like using a trackpad is when I use my MacBook undocked. When using an external keyboard I need a mouse. I’ve even tried placing the trackpad at the bottom of my keyboard to see if it is that mental block. But, it’s not. I just need a mouse when sitting and using it in clamshell mode.

You anti-trackpadists are crazy!!

I love the trackpad on my MBP. I use it (and eliminate window clutter) by using multiple virtual desktops - if you swipe up in the trackpad with 3 fingers (I call it the three-finger salute in homage to Windows) you see your virtual desktops. On my programming machine I have one for my IDE, one for terminal windows, one for browsers, one for my source code control app. The laptop monitor is devoted to slack.

You can navigate between them by using ctl+left/right arrow, or ctl+up arrow as a replacement for the three-finger salute.

Also command-spacebar brings up the Spotlight search window where you can type just about anything and find it.

I agree that clicking on a dock icon should minimize it. I did a fair amount of research on this awhile back and there is absolutely no way to fix it. You can’t replace the dock either, apps like uBar add another dock.

My biggest MacOS annoyance is missing and inconsistent click-through. This is when you have one window focused and need to click on another one twice; once to focus it and once to actually do something in that application. And to make it even worse, some programs support click-through, like clicking links on a webpage, and others don’t. This drives me up the fucking wall and again-- there is no way to change it. Cannot be done.

Day 3 Observations (continued):

OK, annoyance number two. I also use the Adobe Creative Cloud (mainly Acrobat DC) and for some reason, Acrobat DC scrolls in the opposite direction of every single app in MacOS. I am not sure if one of my utilities is causing this, but documents in Acrobat scroll up when they should scroll down. I am going to comb through Acrobat preferences to see if there is some setting I need to change, but these types of things are where 99% of my frustrations with MacOS and its programs occur. Makes no sense to me.

To be clear, I love the trackpad on the MBP when I am traveling. I do not like using the Magic Trackpad 2 as my main input device. The mobile experience with my MBP 16 has been perfect with zero complaints, although I am not traveling so much at the moment (as in not at all).

This might help, maybe?