OS X Lion

Hello All

So.. OS X Lion. It's not a new thing, but I decided to try it out. So I did. It's by no stretch of the imagination an expensive upgrade - only £20.99 on the Mac App Store and about $30 in the US. It is a very large download (nearly 4GB) - so it might not be a good idea to go download it at your local cafe - you'll probably be there for more than two hours and the managers will start to get suspicious. Once you have downloaded it, it's quite simple to install - just run the setup. (*All users except the user running the setup have to be logged out.) After that, it will take about 15 mins to install, shutdown, restart and then take a further 30 mins.

Anyway, on to the actual contents of this new OS. The things that might notice first of all are the GUI changes. For instance, the logon screen does not show the usual background - in fact it has been changed to a kind of texture and your user icons have been changed to circles (a glitch that I found is that they are slightly pixelated, so when upgrading Lion clearly hasn't bothered to replace those with higher resolution images).

Once you have logged on, you might notice several changes. Firstly, if you used an iPhoto album for your desktop background, it will have reset it to the new Andromeda Galaxy one. (I personally feel that with a little Photoshop work, this amazing photo could become even more spectacular. See my version here.) This can be fixed by simply going back into your system preferences and changing it back. Other minor changes are the scroll-bar has changed to a simple rectangle with rounded corners and in some cases it has disappeared entirely. This is because, like with the iOS, they only appear when you are actually scrolling. Something else about scrolling that you may have come across is that the scroll direction has been swapped to what, in my opinion, is in fact the more natural way to scroll: when you scroll up, the page moves up, allowing you to see further down the page. If you don't like this, you can change it by going here.

But there are much more profound changes - and because I can't be bothered to list all of them, you can see them here. The most notable is the full screen for any app, autosave meaning that you never have to bother saving ever again. Probably. But I wouldn't trust it to be honest. There's also Launchpad and Mission Control, but neither of these are particularly spectacular in my opinion. If anything, Mission Control is just making OS X more like iOS. But that's just my opinion. But hey you're reading this blog, which is all my opinion.

In conclusion, I definitely recommend OS X Lion purely for the great value. It also seems to manage the fairly average power of my iMac 21.5" from early 2011 better than Snow Leopard did: everything seems a tiny bit more responsive. This is what Windows should be doing. I'm running Windows 7 on the laptop I'm currently writing this on, and I've recently (and accidentally) upgraded to SP 1. There have been literally no noticeable differences, other than my display driver stopped working when it was updated with SP 1, so I just 'rolled back the changes' and now it's fine again. Windows should be making every upgrade as cheap as Mac, and making every upgrade better for the user, not just with tidier coding, which is (as far as I can tell) the only difference in SP 1 (and it fixes an issue with HDMI audio for some users running Professional). Groundbreaking stuff. If only Macs were cheaper, then everyone could enjoy computing as it should be without a hefty price tag. I also hate Office 2010, cos that crashes all the time. So, finally, Windows should be more like Apple, and Apple should be less like Windows.

That is all,

Alex

(ps prepare for the rant about Final Cut Pro X)