Friday, September 22, 2006
Learning to Love the Dock
I'm a dual-platform user though I started as a Mac user and still am fond of the Mac over Windows. However, when OS X arrived and started becoming more like Windows, I lost a lot of my fervor for the Mac because the line between which was better started to blur for me.
I know this is a huge point of contention for Mac users and I'm inviting argument by asserting Mac OS X has become more Windows-like but you can't deny that a lot of the changes on the Mac since OS 9 have been geared toward making it more Windows-user-friendly. For example, non-contiguous Mac selection used to be made with the shift key and now it requires the command key just as Windows requires thecontrol key. The Mac also now has the same infuriating shut down confirmation dialog box that Windows has...treating the user as if he or she were such a nitwit lacking in manual dexterity that he or she often selected "shutdown" by accident day-in and day-out.
Anyway, one of the biggest Windows rip-offs that I've disliked has been the dock. That is, I disliked it up until I connected my Mini to the T.V. All of a sudden, the dock looks a lot better than the taskbar.
On the computer screen, you can see everything clearly but, on the T.V. screen, it's pretty blurry, or at least it is on my old T.V. Since the dock can be made larger and provides a launching point for all applications, it makes things easier to see on television.
Additionally, one of the most annoying effects of the dock on a computer screen suddenly became useful on T.V. The bulging magnification effect helps a lot on the T.V. screen because you can follow the cursor's progress across the dock much more easily as well as drag files on top of an application's icon with greater ease.
I'm pretty sure Apple didn't have how the screen looked on television in mind when they designed the dock but I'm rather glad to finally find that the dock can beat the taskbar functionally in some cases.