The top five most annoying parts of using a Mac and how to fix them

“In my opinion Macs are almost perfect,” Alex Spencer writes for Tuts+. “They have very low failure rates and their operating system is second to none. Rarely, if ever, do users see a blue/gray screen of death. For lack of a better phrase, they just work.”

“They aren’t totally perfect though,” Spencer writes. “In this tutorial I’ll identify the top five most annoying things about Macs and, more importantly, how to fix them.

I’ll show you how to:
• Remove the quacks/clicking sounds whilst adjusting the volume
• Combat notification overload
• Add a secondary click to your mouse or trackpad
• Lock your mac if you need to step away for a bit
• Adjust the scroll to a more natural feel

Read more in the full article here.

25 Comments

    1. I think that is due to the Windows legacy.

      With a Mac, I poke around the system, knowing that in most cases, it is easy to restore things if I make a mistake. It encourages exploration.

      With Windows, the enthusiasts may be able to customize the system (after a lot of training), but one wrong move will trash the OS in non-obvious ways. It discourages exploration, in favor of stopping once things are barely good enough.

  1. I agree with the quacking, secondary click and perhaps even notifications, but arguing against natural scrolling immediately disqualifies the writer and his authority.

    For almost 30 years, we have been conditioned to move our mouse down in order to see the content of the window move up. This counter-intuitive motion (originated by dragging the scroll bars in the direction that seemed more intuitive at the time) has stubbornly persisted into the days of the scroll wheels and trackpads. And it would have probably remained for who knows how long, had there not been someone at Apple who realised how counter-intuitive this was.

    When touchscreen devices became mainstream, it became very obvious how counter-intuitive scrolling direction was. You could easily become very aware of it when switching to a desktop computer after using an iPad for some time. You would intuitively push that trackpad (or scroll that mouse wheel) up go move the window content upwards, but it would go down instead.

    Natural scrolling is a great idea and it takes all of 20 minutes to unlearn 30 years of conditioning to the unnatural kind and get used to it. The switch would be nowhere as easy, if it weren’t so much more intuitive and, well, natural.

    1. There is, of course, another side to consider.

      First, offer a choice as Apple does.
      Second, realize that because of what some people find ‘normal’ doesn’t necessarily define ‘conditioning’.

      As you read, your eyes naturally scroll downward. This is from HUNDREDS of years of ‘conditioning’. Maybe the natural inclination for some is to mimic this direction with their finger rather than the ‘counterintuitive’ motion of pushing ‘up’ as you expect to go ‘down’.

      I agree with the odd differences, but I immediately move a touch pad the direction I want and switch back to a Magic Mouse with ‘natural’ scrolling defeated (after using it for quite a while). Same with a track-pad to control my Mini media server.

      To each his own (as America says).

    2. Natural scroling makes perfect sense with my magic trackpad. And it feels totally wrong the moment I reach for a mouse. Apple should let us set this up on a per-device basis (yes, I’ve heard there are 3rd party utilities that do this).

    1. You may be very unique. Most people adjust volume once they press ‘Play’ and realise it is too loud / too soft. This is beside the point anyway.

      When adjusting volume on a Mac, every time you press Vol Up or Vol Down button, the Mac will make a quacking sound. If you need to increase / decrease volume a lot, you get to hear “quack, quack, quack, quack, quack…”, which may be somewhat charming if it is your first Mac ever (and first time adjusting volume), but it gets old very, very fast, and after a few weeks, it becomes downright annoying. Most people have no idea how to turn it off permanently. Apparently, neither does the author of the article, who suggests only a temporary (and a bit cumbersome) two-finger solution…

    2. So you are STILL making the quacking duck sound, except in your case it’s before you hit play. Most of us don’t want to hear the quacking duck sound at all, regardless of when we adjust volume.

      1. Ah. I thought it was just that you didn’t want to hear the clicks over what you were listening to.

        Still, they work for me personally. I have speakers with their own volume control on them, which is also the on/off switch. I usually leave them off unless I’m playing music or video. So when I turn on the speakers, I like to fire off one “quack” to let me know that I’ve got the volume okay before I start.

        So, I guess this is one of those cases where something works personally because of my specific preferences.

        ——RM

  2. • Remove the quacks/clicking sounds whilst adjusting the volume

    Why? The audible feedback indicated volume level! the meter isn’t good enough to indicate your preference. Hence the audible feedback!!!!!

    • Combat notification overload

    I dunno…I never had a problem

    • Add a secondary click to your mouse or trackpad

    Ok.. First thing I do when I install a new OSX… But my mom wouldn’t know what to do with a “right click”. Telling her to hold down the option button is hard enough.

    • Lock your mac if you need to step away for a bit

    Hehe… Ok

    • Adjust the scroll to a more natural feel

    It is natural. When I go work on a windows box it feels do unnatural. I now try to find ways to reverse the scrolling on windows to make it right.

    If this is all he could find to complain about, then indeed there is absolutely nothing wrong with a Mac.

    1. My thoughts exactly. This is nothing more than preference settings…not “fixing” anything. Once more, a fresh can of stupid has been opening this morning.

      Thanks, Spencer. /s

  3. Giving the user an option to change to unnatural scrolling should be removed from the next release of OSX. Plain and simple. That way of thinking is like trying to leave a floppy drive in a netbook.

  4. I would have been more receptive to this article if the headline had read, “5 Tweeks You May Want to Try on Your New Mac,” or “What I Learned (or forgot) Going Through my Mac’s System Preference Panes.” NOT the asinine headline that was employed here.

    Right from the beginning, the author raised my ire. Surely, the so-called “Quacking” is annoying to some, but I would have rather seen references as per Kessler’s article at http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13727_7-57560250-263/how-to-tame-annoying-alert-sounds-in-os-x/

    Another Tweek: Hold down the Shift + Option key while changing volume to make micro adjustments.

  5. Or for a secondary click, since Apple has such a nice trackpad, you could click with too fingers. I get annoyed with the audible clicking and so I turned on “tap-to-click” in Trackpad preferences. I’m more used to that from my last laptop (a netbook) and you can right-click with two fingers on the Apple trackpad. Agreed with the password immediately after screensaver or sleep. Used hot corners for years. But one thing I’ve found with the MBA, if you press the power button, it goes to sleep. Computer secured.

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