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Lion - Day 2

July 22, 2011 - Dave Hecei

There's an iPad in my Mac!

It's the day after installing the new Mac OS X 10.7 Lion on my 15-inch MBP. I spent most of the evening loading it up with the basics. I have to say, my Mac feels a lot like my iPad. I used the Mac App Store to fill in the few things that I have purchased, or downloaded for free. This process really made loading up my Mac with the latest versions was so much simpler than having to either find all my backup discs or find each website and download them individually.

I also waded around in the Mac App Store and found a few more free gems that I had to download. I can really see myself getting into trouble with the Mac App Store. It really makes it so simple to find, buy, download, and ultimately keep Apps up-to-date.

I've had an original iPad for about eight months now and have racked up a few buck buying iPad Apps. Luckily, many of these Apps were either free or almost free. I've purchased a few high-priced professional iPad Apps, but the majority have been in the $0.99 to $2.99 range. Mac Apps are priced a bit higher than iPad Apps. This sort of makes sense, but then the bucks will add up a lot faster on the Mac App Store than my iPad Apps.

There are a few other pieces of the Lion puzzle that add to the iPad like experience. First is the LaunchPad. Seeing it in action during the couple of demos given by Steve Jobs I wasn't convinced that it would amount to an important new feature in Lion. So far I can say I'm convinced. Maybe if I haven't been using an iPad for a while I might feel a little different about LaunchPad, but I can see myself not using the Dock as I used to.

The other piece, and one that I had to turn off, is the new scrolling configuration. When you first boot up after installing Lion you are not greeted with the traditional little video, and catchy tune, with 'Welcome' flying by in several languages. You are greeted with a little video explaining the new scrolling system in Lion. In the new system up is down, and down is up.

It basically uses the iPad/iPhone method of scrolling with your fingers, not scrolling using the scroll bars on the right side of a window. When you are scrolling on an iPad you are simulating the act of moving a page around. In Mac OS, for the last 27 years, we've had a scroll bar on the right side of a window that you move a slider down to scroll down a page. Eventually we got scroll-wheel mice and gesture enabled track pads that allowed scrolling. Scrolling down made the page move up the screen. It became intuitive, but Apple wants to change and reverse that. Of course you don't have to do it this new way. A simple setting in the Track Pad control panel will set it back to the old way, which I did.

I did run into a problem with the loss of Rosetta, which was software in OS X that allowed older PowerPC code run on an Intel processor. I was kind of surprised to find that Office 2004 for Mac was not a Universal Binary program. It will not run in Lion. For the moment I have loaded up NeoOffice to use as my basic word processor. I also have iWork '09 that I purchased just to get Keynote. Pages is a decent word processor, but it also is a pretty good publishing program. Just don't expect it to replace something like Adobe InDesign or QuarkXpress, but it can do a nice brochure, menu, or newsletter.

So far I'm really liking Lion.The install was pretty simple. I don't have any proof, but I do think my Mac runs a little faster. I definitely think that the new Safari is faster. I still have a few more programs to reinstall and move my data over, but so far I give Lion two thumbs up.


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