Friday, September 11, 2015

Let's go full screen

Quite a few things changed this summer... I got a new job role in a new position, finally officially taking part in IBM Design. The folks who follow me know this had been a long time in the works. Now it just begins, I have so many new things to learn. On the technical and on the design side, there are tons of subjects I'd like to learn about and master. I feel like on a continuous learning mode currently. Lots of input, few output - for now. I expect this to pay off quite soon.

Until last week, I had been moving my work computer to a Mac. As expected, this is really a bliss to use. To transfer, that was quite more work, as my previous laptop, running Linux, was quite customised with many apps. Org-Mode, Node, Eclipse...

All that took quite some time to reinstall and configure. Now I'm done and I can start the fine tuning. It's not like I do not know Macs, I've had one at home for the last 5 years. But the Macbook Pro has some subtle differences, like in the keyboard layout.

What I notice, is that with the high number of applications I have open at work, and the fact that I navigate between the Macbook standalone and connected to the Thunderbolt Display, the management of the windows has gotten a mess. I was used at the Linux version that manages windows per virtual desktop. Very handy when you have like 5 different Firefox windows open... OK, maybe there lies the problem. And then, when using the 15" screen, the problem gets even more accurate.

So I started by reducing the number of windows open. What I noticed then, is that I was just better off having almost all set to full screen and then navigate through Ctrl+Tab between the windows.

I have done this for around a week, and it works really well actually. My screen is less cluttered, I spend less time navigating through windows. In the end, I can work more focused. So I'm keeping it that way for now.

On Sept. 30 (spoiler!), El Capitan is getting released. This is a very good news for me, especially on the performance aspect. But one cool feature I cannot wait for is the split screen mode. This feature is really cool, because it will just fix the problem of context when working full screen. Sometimes, just one window is not enough, and two would be preferable. If I really need more, I can still switch back to non-full-screen mode, but I think this will stay occasional. Being able to combine two apps that way will permit to have the needed context without the overall distraction, so I'm really looking forward that feature!

Let's see how long I'll stick to full screen...

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