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Parallel Desktops

My favorite feature in OS X is…

Mac OS X 10.5 has some amazing features and as a recent switcher from Windows to Mac I’ve spent a lot of time using as many of them as I could so that I could really become proficient with my Mac. This morning I got to thinking: if I had to choose one single feature in OS X that I would have a difficult time without, what would it be?

 
For me that feature is Spaces.
 
My use of Spaces has become highly tuned now. On my dual screen Mac Pro I have 6 Spaces and keep certain types of application targeted in each of them. Here’s how I use them:
 
1) NetNewsWire 2) iTunes
3) Safari / Adium 4) Open work area
5) Rails development area 6) VMware Fusion / Windows XP
 
Which means that when activated it looks like this:
I have mouse button 6 on my Logitech mouse dedicated to Spaces so I can quickly navigate when I’m in "mouse mode", I have F5 dedicated to Spaces on the keyboard when I’m in touch type mode and I use either Control-Option-Arrow to move between spaces quickly or hit Control-Number to pop directly to a window. If I’m alternating between two applications quickly I’m hitting Command-Tab.
 
On my MacBook with its limited screen real estate Spaces is even more important.
 
What’s your favorite?
So there you have it – my most used and valued feature of OS X – the one I would have a really hard time without. Apple says there are over 300 new features in OS X – if you had to choose one single feature on your Mac (Finder doesn’t count!) that you couldn’t live without, what would it be?

By David Alison

I bought my first Mac almost 24 years ago when DOS ruled the world. I didn't keep it too long though. I was just kicking off my career as a software engineer and needed to go with PCs. I bought my 2nd Mac in February of 2008. I didn't expect that I would find myself using the machine as much as I have. It's not that I hate Windows (well, I pretty much hate Vista but XP is a fine OS), it's just that I find myself constantly playing with this machine.

I'll share with you here my experiences of making the move from Windows to Macintosh. I still have a foot in both worlds, hence the name of my section.