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Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 7:20 pm 
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(full disclosure - all of my productive systems run OSX, and I converted entirely (switched...) from FreeBSD because I think OSX is the best choice for overall functionality...)

(I've got a mini, an air, and a big octo mac pro)

So ... has anyone done serious multi-head work with OSX ? I find it to be amazingly broken.

For instance ... if you fire up a full screen video in a browser in one physical screen, and then _do anything at all_ in another physical screen, the video reverts to non-full-screen. I know this is the case in Safari (for things like youtube, etc.) and I believe it is also the case in quicktime and DVD Player, etc. I guess the decree is, no productivity while watching ... in full screen.

Further, window destruction and creation is completely laughable when working multi-head ... let's say you have a safari window in center display, and another safari window in left display - command-t and command-n for new tabs and windows will be all over the place, and sometimes in screens where NO ACTUAL SAFARI windows are open. I have triple head on the desk and another big screen across the room, and I sometimes get a new safari window that is thousands of pixels, and several physical screens away from where I have mouse focus.

Anyone else running into this horrific behavior ?


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Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 11:44 pm 
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Don't you know that you're not supposed to use multi-head. You should just buy the biggest cinema display and be happy. :roll:

I have the same complaint, too. In my case, I couldn't play Hulu in full-screen out of a Safari window on one screen while working in the other. As soon as I started doing anything in the working screen, Hulu would de-maximize.

And I have several Macs, too. In my case I migrated from Linux about 6 years ago because I wanted to do video editing, and because I was tired of having to futz around with the system every time I added a new device.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 12:26 am 
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jsloan wrote:
For instance ... if you fire up a full screen video in a browser in one physical screen, and then _do anything at all_ in another physical screen, the video reverts to non-full-screen. I know this is the case in Safari (for things like youtube, etc.) and I believe it is also the case in quicktime and DVD Player, etc. I guess the decree is, no productivity while watching ... in full screen

Isn't this a Flash limitation? I observe the same behavior on Windows (probably has to do with security - Flash has many limitations if used in full screen mode, for example you cant type and send any messages when a Flash app is in fullscreen mode, to prevent invisible keyloggers).

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Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 6:48 am 
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I have the same problem with youtube in IE8... VideoLan and Media Player do not have this problem. Have you tried VLC? It is mac-able and supports all sorts of formats.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 3:53 pm 
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jsloan wrote:
For instance ... if you fire up a full screen video in a browser in one physical screen, and then _do anything at all_ in another physical screen, the video reverts to non-full-screen. I know this is the case in Safari (for things like youtube, etc.) and I believe it is also the case in quicktime and DVD Player, etc. I guess the decree is, no productivity while watching ... in full screen.


That is because "full screen" does not mean what you want it to mean in this case. That is the expected behavior from Flash et all in almost all platforms: full screen means that the screen/keyboard focus is taken by the app requesting the "full screen" If you are typing on another app you are requesting the keyboard focus to be diverted from the "full screen" app. I believe Windows follows a similar focus window. You could simply maximize the app in one window and be done with it.

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Further, window destruction and creation is completely laughable when working multi-head ... let's say you have a safari window in center display, and another safari window in left display - command-t and command-n for new tabs and windows will be all over the place, and sometimes in screens where NO ACTUAL SAFARI windows are open. I have triple head on the desk and another big screen across the room, and I sometimes get a new safari window that is thousands of pixels, and several physical screens away from where I have mouse focus.

Anyone else running into this horrific behavior ?



I have no clue what you're expecting OSX to do in this case. Command-t does exactly what it is supposed to do: open a new tab in the window which has focus. Whenever a new window is opened, the window manager tries to place wherever in the real screen real state there is enough free space to display in it first. Else you end up with a massively cluttered environment if you open all your windows right where the mouse is located.

I don't know what is "horrific" about this behavior, it seems pretty standard.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 6:29 am 
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jsloan wrote:
So ... has anyone done serious multi-head work with OSX ? I find it to be amazingly broken.

For instance ... if you fire up a full screen video in a browser in one physical screen, and then _do anything at all_ in another physical screen, the video reverts to non-full-screen. I know this is the case in Safari (for things like youtube, etc.) and I believe it is also the case in quicktime and DVD Player, etc. I guess the decree is, no productivity while watching ... in full screen.


I haven't been watching a lot of videos on my computer lately, but I've been running my Power Mac dual-head for years, and I distinctly remember having QuickTime Player and DVD Player full-screened on one monitor while working in the other on a regular basis. I'll try it again when I get home tonight, but I'm pretty sure the issue you're talking about is specific to Flash videos on the web (moral of the story: online streaming video sucks).

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Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 9:09 am 
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ianj wrote:
I haven't been watching a lot of videos on my computer lately, but I've been running my Power Mac dual-head for years, and I distinctly remember having QuickTime Player and DVD Player full-screened on one monitor while working in the other on a regular basis. I'll try it again when I get home tonight, but I'm pretty sure the issue you're talking about is specific to Flash videos on the web (moral of the story: online streaming video sucks).

Was that under the classic MacOS? I was a dual head user for many years, straddling the Classic / OS X transition, and I remember a very strong sense that the old Classic OS was more robust than OS X when multiple monitors were used. Unfortunately, I've been in a single monitor situation for several years now, so I don't recall specific examples any more, but yours sounds very familiar.


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Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 9:26 am 
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MY 1600SW is sitting next to my MacBook Pro, so I plugged it in as a second monitor and tested it. This was on Snow Leopard, 10.6.5.

Hulu (flash-based): entering full screen mode on the second monitor grabs focus, and hides the dock. Clicking anywhere on the first monitor drops it back to embedded-in-the-browser-window mode.

QuickTime Player 7: entering full screen mode on the second monitor does not hide the dock, but as soon as you click on something on the first monitor, it drops back to windowed mode.

QuickTime Player X: full screen mode continues on the second monitor even if you click on other things on the first monitor. :D

VLC: full screen mode blacks out the first monitor. You have to exit full screen mode in order to do anything on the first monitor.

In my opinion, only QuickTime Player X does what I'd expect it to do (or at least what I'd like).

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Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 10:03 am 
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@Black Cardinal - Thanks for doing that; useful info! I agree re. QuickTime X being the only one that works as a typical enduser would expect.


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Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 10:13 am 
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not that i expect to change anyone's mind; i've had to accommodate myself to so many different OS's, applications, and computers, at such a ridiculous rate (for my tastes) over the years, that i stopped bothering to create customer environments. in the long run, it has been a decision that has saved me a huge amount of porting of preferences from one account/instance to another in an attempt to force my arbitrary views upon an oft times uncooperative system. in return, i've been able to more rapidly accustom myself to the various vagarities of whatever system i've been shouldered with. in addition, being professionally accountable to make user experiences the best they can be for a high profile clientele as made me extremely critical of poor design choices foisted upon users by designers that do not have ease-of-use as a core design tenant (yeah, i've looking at you linux).

having said that, Apple has offered the best products in my experience. i replaced everything i used to use, for everyone in the family with Apple gear. OS X is simple to use, predictable, and literally zero maintenance. same goes for iPad, iPhone and iPod.

one thing to keep in mind; no matter what product you use, when you bend it too far, it's going to break. to expect otherwise is an exercise in disappointment. no system was meant to be everything to everybody.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 10:57 am 
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josehill wrote:
ianj wrote:
I haven't been watching a lot of videos on my computer lately, but I've been running my Power Mac dual-head for years, and I distinctly remember having QuickTime Player and DVD Player full-screened on one monitor while working in the other on a regular basis. I'll try it again when I get home tonight, but I'm pretty sure the issue you're talking about is specific to Flash videos on the web (moral of the story: online streaming video sucks).

Was that under the classic MacOS? I was a dual head user for many years, straddling the Classic / OS X transition, and I remember a very strong sense that the old Classic OS was more robust than OS X when multiple monitors were used. Unfortunately, I've been in a single monitor situation for several years now, so I don't recall specific examples any more, but yours sounds very familiar.


I mean in Mac OS X. I have a lot of complaints about areas where OS X diverged from the classic Mac OS, but I've never had issues with the way OS X handles multiple monitors.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 3:49 am 
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Black Cardinal wrote:
VLC: full screen mode blacks out the first monitor. You have to exit full screen mode in order to do anything on the first monitor.

Uncheck "Black screens in Fullscreen mode" in preferences (under Video) and it will work as you'd expect :)


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Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 5:13 pm 
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R-ten-K wrote:
jsloan wrote:
For instance ... if you fire up a full screen video in a browser in one physical screen, and then _do anything at all_ in another physical screen, the video reverts to non-full-screen. I know this is the case in Safari (for things like youtube, etc.) and I believe it is also the case in quicktime and DVD Player, etc. I guess the decree is, no productivity while watching ... in full screen.


That is because "full screen" does not mean what you want it to mean in this case. That is the expected behavior from Flash et all in almost all platforms: full screen means that the screen/keyboard focus is taken by the app requesting the "full screen" If you are typing on another app you are requesting the keyboard focus to be diverted from the "full screen" app. I believe Windows follows a similar focus window. You could simply maximize the app in one window and be done with it.

Quote:
Further, window destruction and creation is completely laughable when working multi-head ... let's say you have a safari window in center display, and another safari window in left display - command-t and command-n for new tabs and windows will be all over the place, and sometimes in screens where NO ACTUAL SAFARI windows are open. I have triple head on the desk and another big screen across the room, and I sometimes get a new safari window that is thousands of pixels, and several physical screens away from where I have mouse focus.



I have no clue what you're expecting OSX to do in this case. Command-t does exactly what it is supposed to do: open a new tab in the window which has focus. Whenever a new window is opened, the window manager tries to place wherever in the real screen real state there is enough free space to display in it first. Else you end up with a massively cluttered environment if you open all your windows right where the mouse is located.

I don't know what is "horrific" about this behavior, it seems pretty standard.


No, I'm saying the opposite - the window creation often happens in other physical screens than the one that has focus ...

I am building my new office in the next two weeks and will unpack my mac pro and attach the four screens... I will test this again and see if I am remembering it correctly ...


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Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 7:24 am 
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I would put up with almost any multihead flaw in an OS as long as it will let me run certain apps fullscreen on the SECONDARY monitor...

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Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 10:01 pm 
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I am close to having my mac pro (2009, octo) back up and running with six-head config, so I will catalog and document the behavior ...


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