Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Woes of the Great Switch

With my recent switch to Mac, I am reminded of how dependent on all of my shortcuts I can be.  I launch Pages write a few paragraph and I want to change to a new page and control-enter doesn't work.  I don't use word processor to often, so this isn't a huge concern, and I could always install Neo Office that would probably closely match Open Office for windows.  It took me a while to find the front delete key (fn +delete).  I'm fairly used to start deleting where I land and having to reposition myself was starting to annoy me a bit.  Fn + delete short cut will do just fine though.

My main problem right now is all the little short cut I use every 5 min that seems to be gone. Windows key + e for bringing up explorer, is now replaced by either using command + N or option + command + space if I wasn't clicking on the desktop first.  I haven't really found a way to check for processes running and their performance yet, except for using the terminal and running top.  I've used it a few time so far to close programs that hung(Mac program do hang after all!).  How about an easy way to lock your computer?  I was used to windows key + L, now the best way I've found was to move the mouse in the corner of my monitor to trigger the screen saver.  I hate using the mouse.  I already have my hands on my keyboard, so using the mouse for anything takes more time.  Plus if you move the mouse while it's in the corner and while its triggering the screen saver, it will cancel the screen saver.

It was worst within XCode, not because there's no short cuts, there's an abundance of short cuts and I have to confess that I'm already getting used to them, although I haven't found a way to comment out block of code automatically yet (Ctrl-k + Ctrl-c in visual studio).  Since XCode is what I use the most right now, I'm spending way too much time using the mouse which I normally rarely used during development.  After 3 days in the environment and being very deliberate about using short cuts (going through the menu with the mouse and then canceling out and using the short cut instead), I am getting somewhat comfortable about using them...maybe too comfortable.  I really like the Option+Command+ up array for switching between .h and .m file.  In Visual Studio 2003, I'm using a plug in for this and in 2005 they incorporated a "Go to header" functionality.

All in all, I am on my way to a full transition.  It's not going as fast as I'd like, but I have to be somewhat realistic about how quickly muscle memory will accept new key combination.  After all, I never think about pressing the key combination, it's really just a reflex.  With time, it will come though, now I'm interested in seeing if I can switch easily between Mac mode and Windows mode.  I can't forget my Windows background either since I still need to use it for work!

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