So I just installed Lion

I know, I know. It’s pretty late  for Lion ain’t it? Well, yes it is, but I was actually going to wait till 10.7.4 (as some old timers do). I thought I’d explain that view, which is fully justifiable, and give a couple of initial thoughts about Lion.

Mountain Lion is right around the corner and I’m installing 10.7! That might seem crazy for some OSX users, especially iOS customers new to the platform. Some of which are so blatantly in love with Apple, go ahead and download/install developer previews on their only boot partition! We are always looking forward to what the Cupertino is up to, but they’re a software company like every other and bugs haunt them too. Albeit, you should never install a Beta OS on your main machine/boot partition. That should be run on a separate system… in a separate room… locked with an Abloyd lock… and eye scanner… in space… OK, maybe not the eye scanner 😛

What could justify this sort of odd behaviour?

  1. A working workflow and setup: If your using your computer to make money, you have a working setup, and probably a workflow. This is as simple as, upgrade your OS and lose money… Maybe because your not as efficient anymore (see: lost of exposé “all windows”) or some of your mission critical applications have new/different bugs (which you now have to re-adapt to), or they work differently (temporary loss of work speed). This doesn’t apply to me as much anymore because I’ve gone back to school, and am reorienting my career (effect: see blog title :)).
  2. Old machine run new code? As I’ve stated so many times before, I run an old MacBook Pro. How do you know if it will be as performing with the new update? Has Apple fully tested the hardware? They are definitly good at killing old hardware, so yours might be included. Again, if the new OS is slower, you not only loose overall speed, but will get deeply annyoed. Conclusion: I think Lion actually runs faster on my machine (after the initial HD indexing of course).
  3. Let em kill them bugs that are! Every software ships with bugs, it’s just about how much time they’ve had to crush them. In Adobe’s case, it’s just lousiness.
  4. Finally, going to buy new computer? With all the above, if you’re expecting to buy a new computer in the next 6-12 months, it might be a good thing to keep that older setup intact. Just saying.
Why the upgrade now?
  1. The need… of two new features (yep, you’ve read right, two). The first being cut and past in finder, which I have been dreaming of since Panther. Second, the new Spaces. My needs have evolved, and since I’m using more and more Virtual Machines simultaneously, with RDP thrown in the mix, I just couldn’t hold back on that one. It’s been astounding how the new Spaces have changed the way I interact with OSX, for the utmost best! It’s amazing. And there I was thinking fullscreen was just a gimmick, it isn’t. Just for the note, my setup currently consists of a main “web and stuff” desktop, a second desktop for Photoshop, a fullscreen VM for Linux, a fullscreen VM for my Bootcamp, a fullscreen RDP session with my old XP box, and more to come. This in less than a week’s use. Love it.
  2. Trusted sources: like… not the internet. Friends and family. In my case it was family. After my step-brother mentioned he stopped using his mouse completely since Lion, mimicking the gestures for his Spaces setup and all, I was intrigued. That is the type of guy I can trust. We’ve had countless discussions about technology, we know each others workflow (in Snow Leopard he was a Spaces lover and I was the Exposé all-windows junkie). An hour talk with him convinced me more than a year of browsing the net… WOW.
  3. What the hell, my Snow Leopard DVD is standing by.
That was it for me. I had seen too many conferences were the presenter would simply swipe to his VM, making the demos actually work smoothly, for me to just lay back and leave it out till .4.
So was it worth it? I’m happy I waited so long, becuase the shock was even bigger. YES! In all-caps screaming to all the prudent Snow Leopard users out there. Upgrade now. That’s all I can say. I am wrong sometimes. Just sometimes…
The main caveat: loss of expose all-windows. This is a main show stopper, and no Mission Control doesn’t replace it. There’s a little tip out there from OSXDaily though, and I would apply it before even trying mission control with the upper-right corner. In terminal, type:
defaults write expose-animation-duration -float 0.16
killall Dock
This will ease the pain a lot. I understand the thought behind removing such a thing. The new “app” focus, as in one-window-one-app etc. But to lose such a great feature is, at least to me, awkward. I’ll have to end this on a good note though, because Lion is really worth it. I am actually starting to believe Apple have learned a lot from optimizing their applications on iOS devices, working with low power and slower CPUs. It is tangible in Lion, and runs great[er] on my old laptop. Nope, it’s horrible and I’m definitely considering going back to Snow Leopard. Apple, we need a Snow Lion, or at least a Snow Mountain Lion… please?
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