Snow Leopard – an overprotective parent

Have you ever noticed that Mac OS seems to behave like an overprotective parent?

An excellent example is the problem of attempting to overwrite files. Let’s say I exported a file from FCP. Then I find out that I made a mistake, and I want to overwrite this file. No way! Even though I confirm my intent to overwrite, even though it is a data file, not a system file, and all users have permissions to manipulate it, even though it is not obviously open or present in any running application, I still get this annoying message, that “this file is used by another application”. How? Where? When? By whom?

The culprit is of course overprotective Mac OS X, that treats me like I was a kid who only wanted to mess the system up. The result is proliferation of files with strange names ending with numbers, dates and other stuff. Really, why do I have to make a mess in my directories, and waste time cleaning it up, only to satisfy the demands of overzealous software?

The workaround is to use other file name or close and open FCP again. But it’s a waste of time for such a simple operation. Fail! Unless I’m missing something obvious. But hey, I’m only a PC power-user that happens to work on Macs.

While we’re at it, let’s mention the fact, that Mac GUI for Unix called Snow Leopard does not let me change permissions recursively in subdirectories, and I have to resort to using manual chmod command from the terminal (chmod -R 777 dir_name), because the solution that Apple help gives me is… inactive. Annoying, time wasting oversight on the part of designers. What’s the reason for having a mouse then? And also – why do I have to change these permissions at all each time I create a file? Why can’t you just adopt permissions from the parent folder?

Or perhaps you want to see hidden system files? Oh, the GUI will not let you do it, no, you would certainly mess things up if you turned that option on, wouldn’t you? You have to edit config files manually to see these things. Like it was something that you were ashamed of… wait, perhaps you ARE ashamed of hidden files? Hmmm… an interesting thought.

I hate when the software designers treat me as a kid, and make me waste time to look for workarounds for the things that in Windows require only a single click… Sometimes I just have doubts that people who design software actually use it on a daily basis for serious work, or they fall prey to their own propaganda of greatness.

Enough ranting.


About Bart Walczak

I'm a video editor, and an aspiring colorist and VFX artist, with some experience in desktop publishing, web development and programming.
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2 Responses to Snow Leopard – an overprotective parent

  1. adam p says:

    Well, maybe there is a difference between 10.5 and 10.6 but I can see system files. Can’t remember what it took to do that, but I don’t think I needed anything special. M

    y Leo is about 2 years old since the reinstall (and it was reinstalled once, after I screwed up something with Xcode) and I have many nice features which I can’t recall where they came from. Starting with quicksilver – which I strongly recommend for a keyboard shortcuts’ guy like yourself, with nmap and mc in the middle for doing typical unix style staff and pixelmator (best photoshop alternative I have ever encountered) at the end. Most of them are freewares, pixelmator costs a fraction of what you have to shell out for PS.

    Having said that, back to SL being overprotective, well, maybe the authors of the system took this a little too seriously… So the file is not the f**** gone…

    • Bart Walczak says:

      Thanks for tips Adam, nice to see you around 🙂

      I hope not to rant too much on Macs, it’s not that Windows does not have its share of annoyances. I found workarounds for most of these things (they are in the text or in the links), it’s just that they don’t stop being annoying even once I know about them, especially if they constantly remind me of themselves 🙂

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