July 30, 2007
Context Switching: Mac OS X and Vista
In some ways it offers a good exercise in compare and contrast.
For example, one thing that I initially found severely lacking with Macs was the absence of a second mouse button for all that context menu goodness. I was then shown that you could set a shortcut in System Preferences in OS X to simulate the Control-Click mechanism for access context menus. This settings allows me to simply use two fingers instead of one on the track pad so that when I click the button it's actually a Control-Click.
I found myself continually doing this two finger click while on my Vista laptop last night. It was now actually an inconvenience to have to distinguish between the two different buttons on the bottom of the track pad of my Dell E1505. I don't want to think about different buttons and where they are located. Simply using a second finger on the track pad is a much easier expression of intent than having to search for the right button.
The other thing was also with the track pad. Even more so than the Control- Click with two fingers on the track pad, was the ability to scroll both vertical and horizontally by just moving with two fingers on the track pad. Even though I knew the Vista laptop didn't support this multi-touch track pad and scrolling with the two finger gesture, I couldn't make myself quick attempting it. Who wants to drag there fingers along the very edge of the track pad (which for me only works some of the time, so much so that I typically resorted to just using the arrow keys).