5 Things I Miss About XP

OK, right off the bat, I do love my new Mac and I like Mac OS X. And don’t let Bill Gates hear me saying anything good about Microsoft. However, after having used it for over a month now, there are a few things that I miss from my days in Windows XP. Granted, some of it’s just because I’m not yet used to how OS X does things, but still…

1. Keyboard shortcuts – At first I just didn’t know whether OS X had many of the shortcuts that I was used to in XP. Eventually, I learned that they’re all there and then some, but I just haven’t been able to learn them yet. I found a very helpful page online (part of a site comparing Mac OS X to Windows XP on a number of criteria: http://www.xvsxp.com) which contained a table listing all the OS X keyboard shortcuts against the XP ones. In particular, I find myself missing F2 (when I want to rename a file) and it’s hard to use Return (which I have always associated with executing a file) instead. The command (apple) key vs. the control key in XP is giving me huge headaches (well, not huge, but) annoying me at work (where I still use XP) when I find myself hitting Alt instead because that’s where the command key would be on my Mac. I also miss Control+Enter for sending emails, and Alt-Tab for switching programs (which, I know, is just Command-Tab, but it’s not the same).

2. Windows Explorer – I really miss Windows Explorer. I like the tree structure and the left-pane/right-pane layout. The Finder window with the Column view is just not the same. The columns are too narrow most of the time. I know I can also expand folders in the regular Finder window but it’s just not the same. I like to keep things organized and I move files around a lot. It might not be as big a deal since OS X knows where everything is even after it’s been moved, and Spotlight is an awesome search tool (much better than anything in XP), but I just need to easily put things in their proper folders.

3. Delete to the Trash – I miss being able to hit the Delete key and send something to the Recycle Bin. I don’t like dragging stuff, especially not when I want to get rid of it. I don’t like having to right-click and choose Move to Trash. I want to press Delete, and say good-bye.

4. True Maximize – I’m used to the window control buttons being on the left hand corner now, but I’m not used to the green Maximize button not really making the window fill the entire screen. I don’t like the arbitrary nature of this button. Sometimes it makes the window bigger. Sometimes I have to stretch the window to work with it, and hitting the green button actually makes it smaller. How is that Maximized?

5. Quitting programs for real – I am a memory miser. I hate wasting precious RAM by leaving programs running in the background unused. It’s like having five books open at a time, or opening two or three tubs of ice cream when the first one isn’t finished. I just don’t do it. So I am still not used to the fact that when I click on the little red button to close a window, I’m not actually quitting the program. It’s stupid. Most programs cannot do anything without a window open anyway. I guess it helps to open a file quickly if the program that runs it is already open in the background, but come on. I miss that windows had an X button in the corner of the window to quit the application. I am getting tired of Command-Q for quit. I’m especially tired of that little black triangle below the Dock icon taunting me that the program that opened itself just so I could view a file days ago is still running even though that file has long been closed. Aargh!

Anyway, there are plenty of good things that I could say about Mac OS X, plenty of things I’d miss if I went back to Windows. (I definitely don’t miss the trepidation and fear that I felt from the possibility of malware and viruses at every turn). Nevertheless, Apple, if you’re reading this (ha ha!) those are a few things you might want to look into.

  1. #1 by Jim Tay on December 12, 2006 - 12:23 am

    I completely agree with you on the full maximize issue – nothing drives me battier than having to manually resize my browser to get to full screen.

    Well, I just found software that will allow full maximize!!! I highly recommend it; just bought it myself:


    Also, for deleting directly to trash, use command-delete. 🙂

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