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Lion is… Different.

July 20, 2011
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Think different is the Apple motto and they sure made good on that with the release of Lion, the new iteration of OSX.

I installed it this morning when I woke up and I have to say that it’s much better than people were making out the developer previews to be.  It has it’s problems, but nothing that can’t be ironed out with patches.  For example, the new Expose thing, Mission Control, lags like crazy when launched with more than three programs.  This is on a brand new 2011 macbook pro 15″, so it can’t be the lack of video card.  In fact, if I had gotten that 13″ instead, I think I may have been pretty screwed with this update.  Either that or Lion is using the integrated graphics on the i7 for Mission Control rather than use the card.  I don’t know.  All I know is that it can easily be optimized later.

The big thing about Lion is that it isn’t like the release of Snow Leopard.  It is what Leopard was to Tiger.  A major overhaul of the OS which always causes problems at first.  Most of these problems are just optimization, though.  Everything else is just stuff to get used to.

The big one for me and I would guess many others has been the scrolling.  After all of these years of standard scrolling, it’s kind of just ingrained into our minds how scrolling should be and then all of a sudden, it’s not like that any more.  That might be why they didn’t have an intro video for this update but rather a scrolling tutorial.  Either way, it’s strange, but I know I’ll get used to it.  Otherwise, the desktop switching swipes become inverted and the scrolling doesn’t.  Catch 22.

The Launchpad has basically replaced the Applications folder from my dock giving me more space on the dock for running applications, but there’s one minor thing that bothers the hell out of me:  when you launch something, the iOS like folders don’t close, the bottom half of the opened folder is the wallpaper from when I launched Launchpad the first time while the top part is the new one.  It’s a small gripe, but something very un-Apple like.  They left something THAT aesthetically unappealing into their final release?  Wow.

I think of this like the first time I ran the beta of Windows 7.  It took a while to get used to some of the new stuff, mainly the “superbar”, but eventually it all became normal and now feels weird to use anything else.

If someone were to ask me if they should upgrade to Lion, I’d tell him yes, but remember to breathe and take things in stride.  It’ll just take a while to get used to.  Oh, and back up your hard drive.  The first time I booted after the install, the log in screen froze for a few minutes.  It hasn’t happened since, though.

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