Frustrations of a Platform Agnostic!

For anyone who RDP’s to Windows via a Mac will feel my pain!! (and you’re sending an email…!!!) if you know what I mean, there are much better posts than this, and you already know where this is going. If not – you will get a reason why sending an email this way if frustrating at best! I am going to geek out in this rant, you have been warned!

Imagine if you will, you are sitting at your computer, and the hardware and software don’t mix well, this is true when either boot camping on a Mac, or RDPing or even VMing within MacOS.

On a very simple level, the ‘@’ and the ” ‘ ” are the other way round. The ‘@’ is above the 2… (I’m looking at my keyboard whilst doing this!!). I have tried various different options here, 2 keyboards, one for when I’m exclusively using macOS and one for Windows, the problem was I kept having to go from to the other too quickly and got confused very easily! Even sticking with either one or the other brings different issues. (even writing this is making me cry!)

Imagine now you have grown accustomed to keyboard shortcuts, you are well versed in BOTH macOS and Windows, (one uses CTRL and the other CMD) now you are switching between your RDP session and MacOS, you are copying from one device to another – yup, your muscle memory goes awol because the keyboard says one thing, the OS says another, and because you’ve ‘CTRL X’ed ‘should’ mean that you CTRL V, but brain goes to mush because you need to CMD V… (I tried to CTRL Z (it’s CMD Z) at this point because the editing went a bit funny…and I’m on my Mac right now ARRGGHH!!!)

Now imagine, that because your setup is set in a way that you have manipulated the splash screen for Libreelec in your Windows RDP environment (Adobe only works slightly better in Windows!), now you need to SSH, instead of using the terminal in macOS (that would be too easy!) so you SSH via RDP on a Mac machine, yes, that’s right, the brain just goes into mush now, because black background with white text in Putty reminds too much that you are in the Windows CLI that you start typing in Windows commands, and wondering where you are getting no-where….fast. Or forgetting to sudo, because you have already typed your password, and that gives you unrestricted access, except you already know that this isn’t the case!

Lastly, imagine you have an Apple Trackpad, this is for those who use the trackpad on their MacBooks or their iMac, then use a friends Windows PC (again, you don’t need to read if you have already done this). The Apple trackpad is a wonderful device, it supports multiple fingers, you can press down to click, two fingers scrolls up or down,(oh yes, up is down and vice versa if you use have a standard USB mouse on your Apple device – for those that do…. YOU ARE MAD!!!) pinch out and in, zooms in and out, one finger click is a ‘left-click’ and a two-fingered click (that’s a thing) is a ‘secondary click’ or in Windows speak, ‘Right Click’ These are called gestures, very nice, very good, brilliant if you will, UNTIL you go on your friends £150 Windows laptop, open up a 3-page word document, scroll down and bugger all happens, yes that’s right, all these fancy gestures mean zip, and you look like an idiot because it looks like you don’t know how to trackpad. (I always use a mouse on a Win Laptop, so this NEVER happens now)

Or you have bootcamped your Mac and you are running Windows on your Mac, it’s great until you find that even though you are using an APPLE device using APPLE drivers, your £79 trackpad has the charm and social grace as a cheap Synaptics one from a WallMart sale…!

Also, explain gestures to your guests that want to show something on their website or Facebook post gives you a blank stare when you say ‘to right-click use two fingers’, grrrr!!!

All this happens to me on a weekly basis unfortunately because I have decided (badly) that Friday is the day to backup/checkpoint and update. A week using computers in various different OS environments means that at 7pm on a Friday I now just look at my keyboard……and weep, and wonder why I like computers!

Life was so much easier editing AutoExec.bat and config.sys files to get a CDROM driver to work in DOS 6.22 just to play SimCity 2000 – I miss those days!