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This may come as a total shock to some, but I have no freakin' clue what the finder is for. I had no clue when I was in OS 9 and even less of a clue in OS X.

Am I missing something? I have not used it during the more than two years I have been using Macs and don't feel my experience has been lacking anything. Yet, I hear of people swearing that the Finder is the best thing in the bloody universe.

So...um...would someone please enlighten me as to what this Finder thing is supposed to "find" for me? I generally know where everything is in the first place.

 

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The analogy I use is that the Finder is like your desk.

A place to do your work, hold your current files, keep track of your folders and various items you have such as a radio, clock, telephone, etc.

desk:eek:ffice :: finder:Mac OS
 

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Hmmm the usual level of useful contribution from Havoc.


The finder is as Michael says the desktop work area and was and to some degree still is an issue for OSX.
It's way better than it was and X introduces a different - many would say better way of moving around.

Just think of it as your desk for your various items, drives, CDs, aliases.
One note in OS9, putting files and folders directly on the desktop instead of using aliases can lead to grief if you have a severe directory or drive crash. They often don't get recovered :(

Personally I like the finder in 9 and find the folder action in X annoying. -I do like the variable icon sizes on X.
My desktop is littered with images etc and things on the go.


Then again my physical desktop is even worse. ;)



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I have not used it during the more than two years I have been using Macs and don't feel my experience has been lacking anything.
Man, what have you been doing with your Mac!?!
You can't use your Mac without using the finder! Have you been using that Mac as a paperweight all these years?
 

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The finder is the 1st and last thing you use everytime you turn on your Mac.

Not knowing that is part of what makes the Mac so enjoyable.
An operating system that interfers with your work should not be called operating.... c:/documents/files/blah/blah/blah

The most impressive thing about the finder is that it just works.... no fanfair, no iCandy, unless you want it...
 

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I have to admit. I still don't get it. But as long as everything works and I don't have to use it then that's fine by me
lol

Maybe if you give a specific example of the best thing you've ever done with the finder that you thought was SO awesome...then maybe I'll understand better...


edit:
LOL! I thought that last emoticon was a yawn! turns out it's a scream! Nevermind. Note: If I ever use it it's a yawn.
 

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FINDER is just a name given to the interface in MacOS.
In windows they couldnt steal the name because it is copyrighted. If you check your system folder in OS 9 you find a FINDER file, in OS X the finder application is the viewer you use to deal with files.
The finder finds stuff, finds, disks, files etc. Its a desktop manager.
By the way my physical desktop is a mishmash of debris, my Mac desktop has only the harddisk and one folder. I hate clutter on my computer desltop, otherwise , i live in chaos in the physical world
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Man, what have you been doing with your Mac!?! You can't use your Mac without using the finder! Have you been using that Mac as a paperweight all these years?
No, I just have stuff on my desktop, in folders on my HD or in the Dock. I just go right to the source. I almost never click on the Finder icon in the Dock.

Does this make me "odd?"
 

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No, I just have stuff on my desktop, in folders on my HD or in the Dock. I just go right to the source. I almost never click on the Finder icon in the Dock.
The thing is, in that statement alone, without realizing it, you've said you've used the finder. The beauty is you don't have to click on the finder icon to use it, it's always on. Any time you do something in a window, or on the desktop, you're using the finder. When you look at the contents of a folder or hard drive, you're using the finder. When you drag something from folder to folder, or from folder to dock, or from folder to desktop, you're using the finder. You basically can't use the Mac without the finder, that's why it's always on. In OS 9 there were rare occasions where it wasn't on, this was basically when you're playing a game and it takes complete control of the Mac.

That's why it's so funny to someone who knows what the finder is. Hey, I didn't know what it was when I first used Macs.
 

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Another analogy might be the human heart. You are rarely aware you are using it, but if it stops......

other analogy; the human nervous system

not pure analogies, i realise, but to make the point of what the Finder is and how unaware one is that it is being used
 

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You're not alone Verti-G: I never use the Finder in my dock. I prefer to drill down via the desktop, but I suspect that's a behavioural carry-over from my Windows days. Either way you slice it, you get the Finder window, with the icons and the search window.

Speaking of the Finder, I've heard a lot of people complain how OS X's Finder is not as good what was offered in OS 9. I always thought that version...well...kinda sucked.
 

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Oh, and by the way, if I remember correctly, clicking on the finder icon does nothing. At least for MacOS 9. I can't remember if that's true for MacOS X. In MacOS X it may open a window (with the HDs), but I don't think so. Why? Because you're using it.
 

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Michael this might be a lost cause

Chalk one up for Apple's concept of it being transparently useful.

The Finder IS the desktop.

Want to find out what's like without?
Boot up in the command line in X so no icons or dock or folders etc are visible and you have to navigate entirely without visual reference.

The reason there is a Finder in the applications list is for sods like me with 20 apps and 30 windows open covering the entire screen who need to get back to the desktop to perhaps dismount a Firewire drive.

When you get to the desktop you are in the Finder ....most of us just click on some empty spot on the desktop to get back there but at times there isn't one.

The name has always been an issue and that's what is confusing people.
But if you view it from a command line perspective it makes sense as it makes it much easy to "navigate to" ie "find" the various discs and volumes.

It's a GUI. :D Got it now?



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The Finder is the interface between you, the user, and the underlying code of the OS. The name "Finder" dates back to the original System 1.0 when Apple was still determining the way a GUI computer would work.

When you:
Open a file
move a file
save a file
copy a file
navigate to a folder
create a folder
... and a whack of other things, you are using the finder.

Or, for an even better idea of how it works (don't do this willy-nilly, but once is OK) close all running applications, go to: Apple menu: Force Quit: and quit the Finder. Notice what doesn't display/work anymore? That's the Finder. You use it every time you turn on the Mac, and the whole time the computer is running.

Or, for a simpler idea, when you log into your Mac, the next thing that happens is the Finder starts up. Before it's running, all you see is a blank (patterned) screen with no title bar, no desktop icons, no nada. That's life without the finder.

Just don't read too much into the name Finder; it's just a traditional name dating back to when people weren't sure how a computer with a Graphical User Interface would work.
 

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David,
Maybe I should have used the analogy of "gravity"

"What is gravity for?"
"I keep hearing about 'gravity', but never use it."
"OK, sometimes some technical people talk about on a science show or when I watch a NASA briefing, but, like I mean, what does it do for me?"

 
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