Quarter Life Crisis

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« Bernadette La Hengst LiveMainKaiserschmarrn »

Lovely Detail

249 words on

Some details of Apple’s computers are just sweet. One of them is the selection of the startup volume. Recent generations of machines have quite a fancy startup volume selector built-in: When holding an option key at startup time (it seems that this needs to be the MacBook’s built-in option key in my setup - the external keyboard’s doesn’t seem to do the trick) you will get a list of bootable volumes to choose from:

Photo of the volume list that appears on screen

Note that this list is graphical, displays custom volume icons and provides default volume icons as appropriate for the connection of the volume in question. It takes into account the icons’ transparency and also displays each volume’s name. The text used for the first volume in the list will even look somewhat anti-aliased (while that for the remaining volumes strangely doesn’t). In addition newly attached volumes will be added smoothly to the list and the changing of the selecting – using the keyboard or the mouse – is equally smooth.

Keeping in mind that this list appears before any of Mac OS X is loaded, I imagine that none of the comfortable libraries of OS X that make such display standards seem normal are available at this moment. Which means that some people at Apple had to make a rather non-trivial effort to create this feature which only few people – people who could probably stand a little glitch – are going to see.

It gives me a good feeling every time I see it.

May 8, 2007, 0:53

Tagged as software.

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