Monday, April 04, 2005

Itching to be switching

More thoughts on the PC-to-Mac changeover experience: Brian Tiemann helpfully pointed out that the easiest solution to my search for an ACDSee-alike would be to (D'oh) turn on Icon Preview, and scroll the icon size all the way up to 128x128. In hindsight, that's embarassingly, blatantly obvious. (Hey, I'm new to the OS. I think I'm doing pretty good, here; the only thing that really keeps throwing me off so far is the difference in location of Ctrl and Command, which makes cutting and pasting less of an autopilot response than previously. I'm sure it'll become a reflex before too long, though.) Other than that, most of my remaining switch-wishlist is with Firefox. I've been using Opera for about a year and a half, now; though it's fairly ugly with any skin, I liked having multiple search fields for different engines, and highly responsive mouse gestures. (See, for example, a screenshot of my old setup here.) Adding the extra searches, such as the IMDB and Wikipedia, admittedly required a blunt third-part hack in the form of Opsed, but once added I could have as many as I wanted on-screen. Sadly, Opsed isn't available for the Mac version of Opera, so my next choice was (of course) Firefox. (I'll take expandability over the slick native interface of Safari any day.) It makes adding new search engines simple, but (and, again, I may just not be looking hard enough) I haven't found a way to add more than one search field. Ideally, I'd like five: Find in Page (the popup at the bottom with Command-F is kind of a kludgy solution), Google, Google News, IMDB, Amazon, and Wikipedia. I don't like having to manually switch which one in the single search field, when I have so much free screen real estate just begging to be used. Annoying, too, is the tendency to launch new pages as new pages, rather than as new tabs, even when the option is set to open "outside" links in precisely the latter fashion. If it breaks the mouse gesture extension to cycle through active tabs, what's the point? I should note, nonetheless, that the gestalt is still marvelous. Hitting the KVM switch to return to Windows on the Defiant is more than a bit depressing, now...


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