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Pick your personal favorite OS X feature...

1/1: Pick your personal favorite OS X feature...

Aqua interface 137 (4.70%)
Column-view Finder 82 (2.81%)
Dock 50 (1.72%)
Exposé 413 (14.17%)
Fast User Switching 45 (1.54%)
FileVault secure storage 10 (0.34%)
The new Finder 39 (1.34%)
iLife application suite 86 (2.95%)
Integrated PDF support 94 (3.22%)
Multi-tasking support 115 (3.95%)
OS 9 application support 22 (0.75%)
Protected memory/stability 468 (16.05%)
UNIX in the core! 1,262 (43.29%)
Windows networking compatibility 25 (0.86%)
XCode development environment 38 (1.30%)
Other? 29 (0.99%)
Other polls | 2,915 votes | 17 comments

Pick your personal favorite OS X feature... | 17 comments | Create New Account
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Authored by: mmulhern on Jun 22, '04 05:32:53PM

I come from a strong Wintel background, and having made the switch to Macs back in 2000, all I can really say about OSX is stability, stability, stability. Yes it there are some annoying niggles, but my Macs have reduced computers to tools for me. That is I turn it on, use it, save, turn it off.

With Windows, computers are toys. You play with the hardware, settings, pray, fiddle, swear, and occassionaly get the job done.

I've just bought my 4th Mac, a PowerBook1250, mainly for my wife to use. I'm happy with my QS2002 PowerMac, and PowerBook800 for video editing, and we both love our old iBook500 to much to sell or give away, so now it sits driving the scanner.

Just give us stability and ease of use with OSX any day.



PS, I still use Windows every day in the office. Every Mac user should use Windows every now and again, if just to remind you how good you've got it with your Mac(s).

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Authored by: viscaria on Jun 23, '04 06:09:11PM

Every Mac user should use Windows every now and again, if just to remind you how good you've got it with your Mac(s).

Crazy masochist.

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Authored by: lpangelrob on Jun 28, '04 12:29:41PM
Every Mac user should use Windows every now and again, if just to remind you how good you've got it with your Mac(s).

I do... (I have to for work)... and it's not so bad as Mac evangelists tend to make it out to be. Windows XP doesn't crash all that much, although there are some errors that occur when developing that are just a bear to work with. Part of why my Windows experience is better is because I use Mozilla to block popups, Cygwin to fake UNIX, and the corporate e-mail servers and anti-virus progs generally protect the laptop from problems.

But don't say anything that reminds me of Windows 98 or earlier (Windows Protection error... shudder...)

That said, Macs look better, are more stable, and require fewer reboots to get the job done. :-)

-Robert Guico

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FileVault?? ha
Authored by: davidnorton on Jun 22, '04 06:07:10PM

With the exception of FileVault, I don't think my computing would be the same without any of those features.

That said, I think it is a tie between protected memory, and multitasking for me. No application can tie up my entire computer.

I think everybody should use OS 9 now and then, so they will realize how much better OS X is.

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FileVault?? ha
Authored by: Han Solo on Jun 28, '04 01:17:49PM
I think everybody should use OS 9 now and then, so they will realize how much better OS X is.

Crazy masochist! ;)

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Impossible to choose
Authored by: Makosuke on Jun 22, '04 10:23:51PM

As another commenter said, it's almost impossible to choose, since at least a half dozen of those are integral to my everyday satisfaction with OSX, and most of the rest I appreciate as well.

I personally had to go with Multitasking, since for me the difference between OS9's "one main task plus a low-resource background task or two" and OSX's "run as much as I want" paradigm is the difference between a functional computer and a computer that works exactly the way I've always wanted to work--with every spare moment something spends processing used to do something else, and with at least a couple of things going on at all times.

The UNIX core, stability, and fast user switching were all computing-life-changing experiences for me as well, so they all count as close runner-ups.

And where's the complete integration of multiple languages on that list! I use Japanese every day!

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apples and oranges
Authored by: rgray on Jun 23, '04 10:19:02AM

This list compares oranges and apples... Protected memory, stability and multitasking are direct consequences of the UNIX core. The scores for those should be added to the UNIX score which would make the UNIX score overwelming. Which is as it should be. The other items are 'features' (all of which have homologues in the GNU/UNIX world) - without UNIX it'd pretty much be OS9..

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apples and oranges
Authored by: robg on Jun 23, '04 10:36:43PM

My wording probably wasn't the best -- Unix core was meant to mean "the ability to install and use Unix programs alongside the GUI," versus the other things which (I agree) are definitely related to having Unix at the heart of the OS...


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spell check
Authored by: ahbe on Jun 23, '04 10:57:48PM

The ability to right click and spell check a word just about everywhere you can type text is the single most wonderful feature of all time. I'll be honest here. I can't spell to save my life. When forced to use Windows at work, I have to keep a copy of Word open just so I can spell check words as I go. Surely I'm not the only one who loves this feature?

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Which part I like best.
Authored by: olwylee on Jun 24, '04 07:30:54AM

The ON switch......need I say more! ;=)

"There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life." Frank Zappa"

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Unix has it...
Authored by: macmath on Jun 24, '04 02:15:23PM

I, too, found it difficult to choose: Unix inside, multitasking (incredible) and protected memory (almost no application crashes and [for me] never one which has caused a restart) are truly astounding.

Fast User switching is nice to allow many users quick and real access to the same machine, and the column view was nice for easy navigation (double clicking in OS 7-9 to drill down into folders drove me to FinderPop (thanks Turly) for which I paid double the shareware fee). The native PDF is also sweet, but the others I don't notice that much [if I weren't a user of CTVirtualDesktop, I'd need Expose].

Warning!!! Will Robinson! Subjective Opinion coming!!! Every sentence should be preceded by "This author thinks that..."
The Multitasking and the stability brought by protected memory were necessary to keep Macintosh on the face of the earth. However, when it comes right down to it, if it weren't for the Unix inside, OS X would have just been a new Macintosh OS to deliver to the core Macintosh users (like myself). The fact the Macintosh (or XServe) is escaping its old boundaries and appearing in places like the Virginia Tech cluster, in the Human-Genome project, and the US Army, and the fact that the Macintosh is being taken seriously again in the media is because of Unix at the core.

Also, without the Unix core, this site and its forum would not likely exist (and I would not have 'met' a number of very kind and generous people as I have at the forums). Therefore, I had to vote for "Unix in the core."

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Cowboy Neal
Authored by: 5chm31din6 on Jun 24, '04 02:29:30PM

You forgot "Cowboy Neal" as an option. Oh wait. Wrong forum. :D

Seriously, the UNiX core, and specifically I think Terminal is my favorite new app.

Signature, schmignature.

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Cowboy Neal
Authored by: malfunction54 on Jun 25, '04 10:19:31PM

Seriously! Terminal Rules! Kterm, Gterm, xterm must all bow to the power of terminal. I use it every day for most of the day, and I must say, having the transparency is nice. I have it set so I can just see text behind the terminal while still seeing what's in the terminal. I know this is a cupholder feature, but I really love it. I guess using *BSD has already spoiled me to expect protected memory and nigh crashproof-ness, so it's the polish (pah-lish) that gets my attention here.

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Protected memory, no question!
Authored by: dzurn on Jun 24, '04 02:41:23PM

The best thing is the protected memory by far. As I do publishing/labeling for my job, I've got tons of apps open. It used to be that one would crash, frequently bringing down my other open docs (even opened read-only!) and causing lots of lost time, sometimes corrupting the other apps and their documents.

So now I tell my co-workers that they don't have to restart, they can just restart the application and continue working. So much nicer.

Luckily the only publishing app I use that still needs Classic is PageMaker 7, all my other Adobe apps work natively in OS X.

-- Signed, Busy and Happy

Madness takes its toll.
Please have exact change.

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It's the sidebar for me
Authored by: johnsawyercjs on Jun 26, '04 08:35:19PM

After the Unix core and all it brings with it, one of the best OS X features for me is sidebars in windows (Finder and Open/Save). I'm always opening favorite folders from the sidebar rather than from a Favorites pulldown as in older versions of Mac OS (and sidebars only appeared in OS 10.3).

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Authored by: MacAddict01 on Jun 26, '04 09:16:13PM

I'd have to say the that Expose takes the cake. Terribly functional, It's one of those apps that I feel like I couldn't live without. Amazing to me why it took so long for the idea to come to fruition. LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Authored by: sbryan on Jun 28, '04 01:55:18PM

Well, now that I voted for XCode I wish I had made FileVault my choice. I was thinking how impressive it is that Apple makes its professional level development tools available to anyone able to buy a Mac (thinking here of all the college students). But the number able to take them up on the offer seems to be rather small. It may be free but it costs more than a little effort.

I think FileVault is definitely under-appreciated. With other multiuser systems (specifically I have XP in mind) the idea that there is any privacy between users is a joke. Most, if not all, the other features can be obtained without great effort from other systems. But FileVault is unique in its professional level of performance with almost no effort on the part of the user.

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