A Mac User and His New iMac – Month Two

I kind of fell off the posting wagon with this series of Mac updates, so this one has notes that date back to January/February. Still, I wanted to share them. 🙂

  • I had a two week break from using my iMac over the Christmas holidays, and I honestly missed it. Not in a “throw my Windows laptop against the wall because I want to be using OS X” kind of way, but using the actual hardware – the amazing screen, the huge trackpad, the fast performance – the reasons why I still very much enjoy using desktop computers and could never be 100% laptop-only.
  • I ran into a strange issue: I’d installed a trial version of an app called LilyView – it’s a stripped down, fast photo viewer that allows me to use the keyboard arrow keys to move through images in a folder. Something, inexplicably, the OS X Preview tool does not do. I liked the tool, so I bought it from the Apple App store. I ended up with two copies installed – neither one indicated it was the trial version. So I deleted both, re-installed the commercial one from the App store. It would be nice if there was some sort of app intelligence here.
  • Setting global preferences inside an app is kind of crazy, but apparently that’s what you need to do to change email clients. I found the setting in Mail where you specify which email client to use for mailto links, I changed it to Outlook 2016, I verify the change, I exit Mail, I click on a mailto link in Chrome, and Mail opens up instead of Outlook! I’m baffled. So I did some more research, and when I tried it again maybe 30 minutes later, it all worked. WHAT? It’s worked fine since making this change.
  • OS X is really inferior with what details it offers on Get Info. From Windows, I’m used to seeing pertinent information about media files. Resolution, audio bit rate, video bit rate, EXIF data for images, meta tags for music, etc. In Finder, I have the Preview pane turned on, and I see duration, sample rate, and bits per sample (weird terms Apple is using), but they’re all blank. Maybe it’s a network share limitation? Not sure why; data is data. In order to examine the metadata on my MP3 files I had to use my Windows 10 laptop to access it, then MediaMonkey to change it.
  • And speaking of Get Info, I selected a bunch of files, then Get Info, and was immediately assaulted by the Get Info window for each and every file. Yikes! How do you select a group of files and get info about them, say the total size?
  • I connected my HTC One to the USB hub and it wouldn’t show up as a device. The phone knew it was connected to a computer – I had various options for file transfer, charge-only, etc. – but despite various modes I put the phone in I never saw it in Finder. Not sure what magic pixie dust I need here to have it show up as a storage device…hmm. Looks like I needed to install Android File Transfer. I’m genuinely surprised by that!


  • I recall Mac users over the years bragging about how easy it is to uninstall apps; I agree it’s nice to not have to kick off an uninstaller, but as the above screenshot shows, the default method of uninstalling leaves behind a good amount of refuse (64 MB is hefty for left-over-cruft). That must be why “drive cleaner” apps are so popular on OS X…
  • I find some of the behaviours of Finder odd. Like when I’m trying to drag and drop a file from my desktop to a folder on my NAS, it “bounces” back. What exactly am I supposed to intuit from that behaviour? Why isn’t there a message telling me what the actual problem is (write permissions?). I closed the Finder window and re-navigated to the NAS folder, re-did the drag and drop, and voila, it worked. But why not tell me the problem the first time and maybe suggest how I fix it? There’s a fine line between not confusing the user with technical jibber jabber and being so vague it’s useless. Sometimes OS X falls into the latter camp and it’s a bit frustrating.
  • My first attempt in weeks to purposefully open the command line was kind of amusing. I opened Spotlight and typed “cmd”. Then “bash”. Then “command”. Then “prompt”. Then I Googled it and realized it was “Terminal”. 🙂
  • I found a reasonably good (and free!) MP3 tag editor called Kid3. I don’t buy much music anymore (Google Music FTW!), so this is a lightweight tool that should do the job.
  • network-transfers-never-finish-but-do-OSXI’ve seen the above happen a few times: I’ll be transferring some large MKV files (20-35+ GB) to my Synology NAS and everything will seem to be going fine. The transfers would finish, but the icons I’d see in Finder (above) would seem to indicate they did not. Very odd. The files still played OK however, and the icons eventually changed to normal (hours/days later). Networking on Macs (at least as it relates to my Synology) seems a little wonky.

New to this series? Start the journey with day one, or go back further to why I wanted to buy a Mac in the first place. Here’s how month three went.