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The Ultimate Guide for switching from a PC to a Mac
(Part 2 - coming soon)

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Disabling the Front Row shortcut!

There is one shortcut that I find annoying in Mac OS X and it is the Front Row shortcut. The reason why I hate it is because I often accidentally set it off and it makes my Mac feel unresponsive for a few seconds until Front Row appears. It is possible to disable the "Command - Esc" shortcut however. It is done by unchecking the "Hide and Show Front Row" shortcut in the Keyboards Shortcuts section of System Preferences. What is great is that even if you disable the shortcut, you can still load Front Row with the Apple Remote or by directly loading the application from the Applications folder (you can also add the Front Row icon to the Dock).

11 Comments:

Blogger Yellow Dog said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

April 30, 2008 at 12:53 AM  
Blogger Yellow Dog said...

Speaking of Front Row, is your mouse supposed to be disabled when Front Row is running? I just killed my mouse last night for what I am beginning to think was really a Front Row issue (which is not to make light of my complicity in the matter): I was using the Apple remote from my kitchen to watch a movie, when, as sometimes happens when watching movies from one's kitchen, I wanted to turn on the subtitles. Not a job for Front Row, I understand, so I turned to my wireless Mighty Mouse. Now, I have been having a lot of issues with my mouse lately (not the least of which is getting the tiny little ball/wheel to work properly---argh!), so I was already primed to hate when this incident occurred. Try as I might, I just could not get the mouse pointer to show up, leading me to believe that my mouse was once again being unresponsive. So, I pretty much lost it---my cool that is. It would have been much better had I simply lost my mouse or my lunch or my cherry; but no, I am sad to say, I lost my cool and found out the hard way that, unlike the cartoon Mighty Mouse, my mouse does not fly. (Well, okay, it flies; it just doesn't fly around objects so well. And it really sucks at landing.)

Anyway, I have since discovered that, unless my backup mouse is also unresponsive when in Front Row, I owe my Mighty Mouse a big apology ... and a bit of duct tape---though, neither, I regret to report, has helped bring my poor mouse back to me.

So my, admittedly off-topic, question is this: is there any good reason why Front Row should want or need to shut off my mouse while running? It is terribly annoying, especially since Front Row doesn't provide all of the functionality you would expect from such a program, such as toggling subtitles during a movie.

On a broader note, and at the risk of this becoming a rant, is anyone at all satisfied with Front Row? It has so much promise, but it is amazingly frustrating to use. I know much of my frustration is due to my lack of knowledge on how to use it, but that just begs the question: how difficult should the program be to use? It should be as simple to use as a remote control (puh dum pum), especially since most users won't have read the instructions, being only consumers of media, rather than serious computer users. Ironically, had all of this happened with my old PC, I would not have lost my cool because I would not have expected intuitiveness in the PC equivalent (if there even is such a thing). But intuitiveness is why I bought my iMac in the first place. Why should I read the instructions; that's just not very cool.

April 30, 2008 at 12:57 AM  
Blogger Jeff said...

Yea wow, sorry to hear about that. I never quite understood the good aspects of Front Row either. True, it is a super easy way to just pop in a dvd and go, full screen; or to watch your iMovies, or see a slideshow of your Paris trip with music to it, but unless your computer is hooked up to another monitor or TV, I also don't really see the use for it. And yes, as you now know, mice don't work when you are in Front Row. I think Apple did that to keep users on the remote instead of the mouse to show them the versatility of Apple programs and products. However, that's just my guess.

For a simple solution: just use DVD Player which has all the functionality of a real DVD Player and more. Plus you can use the mouse. Really though, this one mark on Apple's system shouldn't have made you blow your top. Think if you had Vista...that'd be a problem.

I was a hardcore PC user until Leopard came out. I thought PC's were the only way to go, but with so many features such as Quick Look, TIme Machine, Spotlight, and the fact that everything truly does just "work" when you put it in/plug it in; that gives Apple a definite lead. Sure they have a useless program - what about Media Center for Dell computers? I never used that either. My only guess is that both Media Center and Front Row were meant for elderly people who simply just wanted to play a DVD without having to know how to open a program and make it go full screen via a drop down menu. It's simple, it's easy, it works, and though it's useless for our generation, another could find it very beneficial.

April 30, 2008 at 1:07 AM  
Blogger Yellow Dog said...

Ah, now I see the problem: I always thought Front Row was simply an interface, like a service layer, between the user and the application the user needed to run. I didn't realize it was actually spinning the disk itself. So, in my mind, FR was disabling the mouse, preventing me from using the mouse to interact with the underlying "DVD Player" application. But, in fact, F.R. doesn't support mouse ops. What happens, I think, is F.R. just silently closes my application---how rude!---and starts its own version, picking up right where I left off before fatefully pressing the "Menu" button on my remote. Is that about right?

If so, I am going to relabel my apple remote "Menu" button to: "Circumvent my original intentions and do whatever Steve wanted instead" :) As whiny as I sound, I do love my iMac. In technology, as in life, it is easiest to pick on those whom we love the most. Don't even get me started on iPhone's inability to highlight, cut/copy, & paste....

Thanks for the insight, Jeff.

BTW, it was the little old lady for whom I presumed F.R. would have a subtitle toggle feature. Seems like an obvious feature for folks who are (1) more likely to need subtitles, (2) aren't inclined to go hunting on the DVD Player console for the right button to click and (3) aren't likely to know or care what all the options listed in the pop-up menu are for once they do find the subtitles button.

BTW2, for the record, I did not pop my top about Apple's OS X; I popped my top over my mouse's obvious disregard for my needs. ;) Cheers.

April 30, 2008 at 7:55 AM  
Blogger Jeff said...

Hahaha - ok. Glad we got that straightened out :)

So now you can go rename your remote, though it is very useful for Keynote/PowerPoint Presentations I must admit.

And yea, I totally agree that the subtitle toggle switch should be incorporated in F.R. for little old ladies.

April 30, 2008 at 9:59 AM  
Blogger Dominic P. Tremblay said...

Great tip. I find the Front Row shortcut SO ANNOYING! I disabled it immediately after reading your tip!

May 2, 2008 at 12:57 PM  
Blogger Sridhar Sarnobat said...

Thanks for sharing this. Yes it is/was extremely annoying.

December 17, 2010 at 1:33 PM  
Blogger Jonathan M├ętillon said...

Excellent, thanx!

January 7, 2011 at 10:31 AM  
Blogger mle said...

Thank you for posting what a real nerd might consider to be obvious info. When you (I) set that stupid thing off for the 6th time in a row, you're (I'm) too incensed to think of the solution on my own. A lifesaver.

February 1, 2011 at 8:31 PM  
Blogger anatoly said...

thank you. was soo anoying

July 15, 2011 at 4:53 PM  
Blogger Joshua Stewardson said...

That's always bothered me - today enough to Google for it! Thanks for the quick tip!

April 2, 2012 at 6:03 PM  

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