Sorry for not posting yesterday, I’m still getting use to this Mac. Because OSX is very different My plan is to document my progress as I learn more about how OSX does things. of learning an entirely new screen reader at the same time. Because of this, a lot of my findings are from the perspective of a blind MAC user therefore unfortunately may not be as interesting to the sighted readers of my blog. However, stick around, you might learn something… It’s a huge learning curve and it’s compounded by the necessity of learning an entirely new screen reader at the same time.
As I was saying before, I’m comfortable with some of the more administration type tasks required on the Mac such as joining them to Active Directory, configuring group policy for them, installing different AntiVirus etc but actually using it from an end-users perspective was completely new to me. Fortunately I’m not starting at square one though.
Right, lets get started. The first thing I do when getting comfortable with a new system is install the applications that I use the most for day to day life. That’s a calendar, notes, Email, Twitter and some kind of text editor. A few years ago in the Linux world, I recorded a lot of audio tutorials to assist users with these tasks but I’m delighted to say that I don’t have to this time. I’m coming to the Mac game later than others so a brilliant website is doing a much better job than I ever could. It’s AppleVis. Go over there and listen to some of their podcasts. I couldn’t recommend them highly enough
Now that I have my mail, calendar, notes, text editor and twitter applications set up I am much more inclined to use the Mac over my PC. That’s not to say I think the Mac is better than the PC, I’m not sure about that yet but it means that I force myself to use the Mac to give it a fair chance.
For mail, notes, calendar and text editing, I’m using applications that are shipped with OSX. Thanks to OSX 10.8 Mountain lion, integration with iCloud is stronger than ever so notes, reminders and even files are shared across devices almost instantly.
For Twitter, I’m using YoruFukurou. Is that the right spelling? Ah who knows! I’m too lazy to go look. What kind of a name is that anyway? Don’t get me wrong though, It’s a brilliant application. Probably one of the best twitter clients I’ve ever used. The only thing I would say, and this is try across all applications on the Mac, consistency of keyboard navigation could do with some attention by the Voiceover developers. Sometimes quick nag is perfect, sometimes it’s absolutely terrible and actually causes applications to behave very erratically. In fairness to YoruFukurou the reason why this is such a brilliant Twitter client is it supports dozens of keyboard shortcuts making it very easy to reach almost every Twitter related task.
One application I didn’t mention is for messaging. It’s called Atium. Overall, this application is very good but if comparing it to the usability and efficiency of using Windows Live Messenger, I have to say that it’s lacking a lot. For example, in Windows and Linux, when I get a new message I expect the screen reader to announce it automatically. On the Mac, everything is very manual. That would be fine but without some kind of feedback, messages can and will be missed.
I will definitely blog in more detail about my experience on the Mac but I don’t want to make the posts too long. Come back again tomorrow. Hopefully I’ll have had time to write some more thought’s down.