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I'm sorry, Linus. I promised you I wouldn't become a Mac nerd.
July 25, 2012 7:31 AM   Subscribe

For the past 13 years, with every new release of (Mac) OS X John Siracusa has written insanely detailed reviews of the newest version for Ars Technica. Apple OS X Mountain Lion came out today. This morning, John Siracusa's 25,935 word review was released to the public. Not sure if you want to read the review? Read Marco Arment of Instapaper's review of the review. If the epic detail of the review wasn't enough, Siracusa split out a separate blog post about the review on his personal blog.

See the evolution of the reviews:

Developer Preview 2 (1999)
Quartz and Aqua GUI (2000)
Developer Preview 3
Developer Preview 4
Public Beta - Kodiak (2000)
10.0 - Cheetah (2001)
10.1 - Puma (2001)
10.2 - Jaguar (2002)
10.3 - Panther (2003)
10.4 - Tiger (2005)
10.5 - Leopard (2007)
10.6 - Snow Leopard (2009)
10.7 - Lion (2011)

Decade Retrospective (2010)
posted by azarbayejani (182 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite

 
And imagine that your review deadline was "sometime in July" with the final date being revealed one day in advance.
posted by smackfu at 7:33 AM on July 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


The review of the review is wonderful.

My old yet servicable macbook can't run this shiny new OSX, alas.
posted by rmd1023 at 7:38 AM on July 25, 2012


I think Apple's probably going to stick to the release schedule of the day after their Q3 Earnings call from now on. Who knows, though.
posted by azarbayejani at 7:40 AM on July 25, 2012


I used to really look forward to Mac OS updates. Now I just wonder what old software is going to break.
posted by bhnyc at 7:48 AM on July 25, 2012 [25 favorites]


Can any Mac-ists summarize why 10.4 needed twice as many words to cover as 10.3?

I know the answer might be in the review itself, but I'm not about to click through 21 pages to find it.
posted by Egg Shen at 7:52 AM on July 25, 2012


ML is really snappy. And Lion was snappy to begin with.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:54 AM on July 25, 2012


Main reason is when he talks about internals, it's a lot more wordy since he explains from scratch.
posted by smackfu at 7:54 AM on July 25, 2012


I used to really look forward to Mac OS updates. Now I just wonder what old software is going to break.
posted by bhnyc


Yyyyep. I've just accepted that each release is like buying a scratch card with the possible payout of getting so annoyed that I finally jump ship.
posted by COBRA! at 7:55 AM on July 25, 2012


"Mountain Lion has no serial number, no product activation, and no DRM of any kind."

True, to a point. There is a kernel extension that does something if it thinks it has been pirated. I've never seen it do anything, though. Given Apple's pretty lax notions of "piracy" I'm not sure I would know how to get it to do anything.

Someone ought to debug or dump the symbols from that extension...
posted by clvrmnky at 7:57 AM on July 25, 2012


"This is not a quick read, so it’s a good opportunity to try a read-later method such as Safari’s Reading List, which Apple invented completely on their own."
posted by anotherpanacea at 7:59 AM on July 25, 2012 [14 favorites]


Can any Mac-ists summarize why 10.4 needed twice as many words to cover as 10.3?

It included a ton of extremely high-profile, complex new features that needed a lot of words to describe - Spotlight (systemwide mega-search), Dashboard, VoiceOver (huge accessibility improvement), Automator (script everything everywhere), plus huge under-the-covers, important-to-developer changes like the Core Data/Image/Video APIs.
posted by Tomorrowful at 8:01 AM on July 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


Hmmm...The "alteration" to the crappy "Duplicate" file-save system in Lion isn't really much of a fix (other than being able to turn-off auto-save...yay). I doubt it's going to make my wife's office happy. They've detested using Lion since day-1, and I can't see anything here that will make things any better for them.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:04 AM on July 25, 2012


It included a ton of extremely high-profile, complex new features that needed a lot of words to describe

Thanks.

I wouldn't have wanted to him skip this:

The first time I saw the new Mail toolbar, I filed a bug on it. (Radar 3968093: "Toolbar buttons in Mail 2.0 are hideously ugly.") It was immediately closed as a duplicate, so at least one other person agrees with me.
posted by Egg Shen at 8:05 AM on July 25, 2012 [5 favorites]


The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.
- Jefferson
posted by gwint at 8:06 AM on July 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


I used to really look forward to Mac OS updates. Now I just wonder what old software is going to break.

Sounds like you're getting old
posted by crayz at 8:06 AM on July 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


I wouldn't have wanted to him skip this:

The first time I saw the new Mail toolbar, I filed a bug on it. (Radar 3968093: "Toolbar buttons in Mail 2.0 are hideously ugly.") It was immediately closed as a duplicate, so at least one other person agrees with me.


Not saying it would have been a lie by omission.
posted by Talez at 8:09 AM on July 25, 2012


Sounds like you're getting old

This is true. But anyway there is no need to break old software. They do this partly because it's easier and also because it forces everyone to buy the latest hardware to run the latest software. They could have easily left Rosetta in and let people run their old ppc programs.

Windows doesn't break old programs with new releases. Mac doesn't have to do this.
posted by bhnyc at 8:16 AM on July 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Windows doesn't break old programs with new releases

Not true, by any stretch of the imagination. If it WAS true, there wouldn't be companies out there still running XP (or Windows 98! or even older!) because of legacy applications that won't work in newer versions of the OS.
posted by antifuse at 8:20 AM on July 25, 2012 [10 favorites]


Steam on Windows has made the "it breaks on newer versions" less of a problem. I can't run my old disc copy of Jedi Knight on my windows machines. Steam had it for $5, I downloaded it, and it ran... sort of. weird display issues, notwithstanding, it proved a couple of things:

1. I love Steam.
2. Not everything works on newer versions of Windows.

Not to mention try running Netscape 3 on Win7. Riiiight.
posted by Edison Carter at 8:26 AM on July 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'd rather have a more modern OS that breaks old software when it makes sense than an OS riddled with emulation modes and multiple APIs for the same thing in the name of backward compatibility. YMMV.
posted by enn at 8:28 AM on July 25, 2012 [8 favorites]


Windows doesn't break old programs with new releases.

Tell that to poor Raymond Chen who leads (or used to lead) the team at Microsoft tasked with helping third-party vendors make their software compatible with new OS releases. And realize some times third-party software breaks not because an interface changed for no good reason, but because the third-party software depended on a bug the new OS has fixed. And similar idiocy.
posted by yerfatma at 8:29 AM on July 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


I used to really look forward to Mac OS updates. Now I just wonder what old software is going to break.

Sounds like you're getting old


Yep. Old enough to remember when a software update's main purpose was to, you know, improve the software, and not to link in to another website to try to sell you more shit features.

I'm looking at you, iTunes.
posted by Killick at 8:29 AM on July 25, 2012 [24 favorites]


A more accurate statement would have been "Windows tries not to break old programs with new releases", where the OS X philosophy is "Old programs may break and will need updates."
posted by smackfu at 8:30 AM on July 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


Okay, okay, let's just agree nobody's perfect and get back to talking about the original topic.
posted by Edison Carter at 8:30 AM on July 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


Edison (can I call you Max?), you should check out GOG.com, formerly GoodOldGames.com. When you buy an old game from them, rather than getting the raw files, you get a package that runs the stuff in a customized DOSBOX launcher. I've got Fallout on Steam and GOG; Steam Fallout has all the issues that just installing from the disc would have, while GOG Fallout runs flawlessly. "Just download from us and 99/100 times it'll just work" is pretty much what they do.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:31 AM on July 25, 2012 [7 favorites]


Metafilter: let's just agree nobody's perfect and get back to talking about the original topic
posted by eustacescrubb at 8:31 AM on July 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


get back to talking about the original topic

Actually, can we derail to tell me if it's a good idea for me to upgrade from 10.6.8 to this on a MacBookPro3,1 (which is apparently just inside the cut-off for the release)? I don't have any major complaints about the machine, but I'm worried about falling too far behind. On the other hand, I develop on this machine and wouldn't like to see Python or similar break (not that it should, everything is bog standard and the work projects are in virtualenvs).
posted by yerfatma at 8:33 AM on July 25, 2012


Edison (can I call you Max?),

Shhhh! People aren't supposed to know!

you should check out GOG.com, formerly GoodOldGames.com. When you buy an old game from them, rather than getting the raw files, you get a package that runs the stuff in a customized DOSBOX launcher. I've got Fallout on Steam and GOG; Steam Fallout has all the issues that just installing from the disc would have, while GOG Fallout runs flawlessly. "Just download from us and 99/100 times it'll just work" is pretty much what they do.

I might have to. But everything I've gotten from Steam (except for a couple of *really* old games) has worked as expected. The ones that didn't quite: Jedi Knight (which has weird display nonsense; colors and such) and Wolfenstein 3D (it's 20 effin yrs old; not losing sleep over this).
posted by Edison Carter at 8:34 AM on July 25, 2012


yerfatma, it might be time. For $20, it might be worth a test. I have noticed on my MBP that it runs very nicely, snappier than Lion and the Snow Leopard it came with. On your machine, you might notice the same thing.
posted by Edison Carter at 8:36 AM on July 25, 2012


the firm stance on Lion's switch to a "natural" scroll direction shows that Apple hasn't lost its nerve

Or journalists who will write things like this instead of "the terrible change that users hated still hasn't been fixed".
posted by Egg Shen at 8:36 AM on July 25, 2012


Seems to me that Snow Leopard was the last OS X release that still had some semblance of focus on how the average owner uses their Mac. Lion, in addition to the start down the iOS-ification of the Mac, struck me as Apple turning-away from consideration of how users work to how Apple says you are to work now.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:37 AM on July 25, 2012 [10 favorites]


Windows doesn't break old programs with new releases. Mac doesn't have to do this.

Yes, windows in many ways tries to keep legacy crap around (dos?), mainly to appease the enterprise market. You seem to think that's a good thing. I don't. Onward.
posted by justgary at 8:39 AM on July 25, 2012


John Siracusa is a treasure and Hypercritical is one of my absolute favorite podcasts. The show length is a frequent joke, to the point that someone plotted out the attempts at short shows vs. actual length, but I'm in the camp that enjoys the two-hour episodes. His verbosity is part of his charm, because it's usually in the service of being thorough, rather than "wasted words."
posted by Kosh at 8:41 AM on July 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


I've been sitting here at my freelance gig in front of my iMac with Mountain Lion 10.8 for about 20 minutes now while it attempts to copy a 17 Meg file from one folder....

Another great review from Siracusa! Look forward to putting this on my MacBook Air (late 2010) tonight.
posted by porn in the woods at 8:48 AM on July 25, 2012


Or journalists who will write things like this instead of "the terrible change that users hated still hasn't been fixed".

I was a skeptic, but I love the new scrolling now. I have a laptop running an old version of os x, and the old scrolling honestly seems broken and stupid.
posted by OmieWise at 8:49 AM on July 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Thorzdad: Seems to me that Snow Leopard was the last OS X release that still had some semblance of focus on how the average owner uses their Mac. Lion, in addition to the start down the iOS-ification of the Mac, struck me as Apple turning-away from consideration of how users work to how Apple says you are to work now.

All of the major operating systems are doing that now, and it pisses me off. Look at Windows with Metro. Or Ubuntu with Unity.
posted by Mitrovarr at 8:51 AM on July 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Windows doesn't break old programs with new releases.

Once upon a time there was this browser called Internet Explorer...
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 8:51 AM on July 25, 2012


Seems to me that Snow Leopard was the last OS X release that still had some semblance of focus on how the average owner uses their Mac.

All of the major operating systems are doing that now, and it pisses me off. Look at Windows with Metro. Or Ubuntu with Unity.

Maybe you guys don't have as good a grasp on how the average user uses their machines as you might think. Aren't the supernerds supposed to use the CLI exclusively anyway?
posted by entropicamericana at 8:57 AM on July 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


justgary: "Yes, windows in many ways tries to keep legacy crap around (dos?), mainly to appease the enterprise market. You seem to think that's a good thing. I don't. Onward."

Yes, and this is effectively keeping Apple out of the business world, with only a few exceptions.

Corporations are often dinosaurs that are way too reluctant to move to new technologies (usually to their own detriment). This is nothing new, and I don't necessarily have a problem that Apple is discouraging it. Microsoft could learn a few lessons here, to be honest.

However, I do have a problem with the fact that, as of today, you won't be able to buy a Mac with Lion, and probably won't be allowed to downgrade. Installing Lion actually flipped a few bits in most Macs' firmware that prevents Snow Leopard from installing (there's a workaround, but still).

If you're a business, and you're running some ML-incompatible software, as of today, you can no longer buy any new computers. No grace period. No release date announced in advance. Beta versions are hard to obtain. What are you supposed to do if you're a small business running some niche software?

This is not exactly an uncommon or unreasonable scenario. If you're going to break backward-compatibility, you need to support the old stuff for at least a little while after you release the new version. A year or two isn't too much to ask.

Apple also doesn't have the sprawling mountain of proprietary technologies to maintain that Microsoft has. Supporting old versions should be a cakewalk for Apple, by comparison. To their credit, Apple seem to have handled the sunset of Carbon fairly well; although, in an ideal world, again, they would have provided a runtime that could be bundled with applications in the interim while everyone transitions to Cocoa.

Apple also screwed the pooch in the exact same way with Final Cut. They released a beta-quality new version, stopped selling/licensing/supporting the old version, and then started releasing OS updates that further broke the old versions. Video editors are switching away in droves. Losing this demographic should have been unfathomable to Apple, and yet here we are...

I used to be a pretty big Apple proponent, but they've been fucking up pretty hard over the past few years. Their business tactics are somehow making Microsoft feel warm and cuddly by comparison.
posted by schmod at 9:00 AM on July 25, 2012 [21 favorites]


entropicamericana: Maybe you guys don't have as good a grasp on how the average user uses their machines as you might think. Aren't the supernerds supposed to use the CLI exclusively anyway?

Isn't it also possible that if a huge portion of the user base hates the new interface, it might actually be bad? There is no good reason for a desktop computer to have an interface designed for a tablet.
posted by Mitrovarr at 9:01 AM on July 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yes, if Apple continues on this track, they might be broke sometime after the heat death of the universe.
posted by entropicamericana at 9:02 AM on July 25, 2012 [5 favorites]


Actually, Apple is doing it less than either Microsoft or Ubuntu, so they should be alright. But Ubuntu is rapidly losing relevance and popularity and could conceivably disappear, and I think there's an excellent chance that everyone will avoid Windows 8 like the plague, as they did with Windows Vista and ME.
posted by Mitrovarr at 9:07 AM on July 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm clinging to Snow Leopard for dear-life, and I only upgraded to that last year because I needed it to run something-or-other... I used OS X's built-in Apache and PHP (well, sometimes resorting to Marc Liyanage's PHP package) for doing native web dev from 10.2 - 10.4 and it was pretty stable. And super convenient to be able to work on web apps even without WiFi.

When I upgraded to Leopard there were a bunch of low-level, very fidgety things that changed and were either barely or not-at-all documented that broke my dev environment, and it happened again with the upgrade to Snow Leopard. It pissed me off enough to switch to a VirtualBox linux machine for development. Considerably less convenient, but at least it's not going to break mysteriously if/when I have to upgrade OS X.

I'm really not keen on the iOS/skeumorphic direction either, all of which has me seriously contemplating switching to Linux as a day-to-day OS for the first time in nearly 10 years. Apple still makes nice hardware but the OS feels increasingly fine-tuned to keep me from doing anything under the hood, which was what gave it such a strong supernerd following early on.
posted by usonian at 9:08 AM on July 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


There is no good reason for a desktop computer to have an interface designed for a tablet.

If that desktop Mac has an Apple trackpad, that might be a pretty decent reason for the OS to have some tablet interface support. The haptic gestures in Lion really set it apart from older versions of OS X. Having fingertips swipe, pinch and stretch across the trackpad allows me to work faster and easier. Going back to older workstations running Windows and Linux is awful, because the old ways on these operating systems are not only obsolete, but painfully clumsy.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:09 AM on July 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


Upgrading to Lion on my 2008 MBP has been a very mixed bag. Performance has been buggy/shitty compared to Snow Leopard, but I like the new stuff. Really terrified of moving on to ML.
posted by middleclasstool at 9:10 AM on July 25, 2012


Or journalists who will write things like this instead of "the terrible change that users hated still hasn't been fixed".

I didn't get it until I switched to the trackpad from the mouse, and used two-finger scrolling. I had an iPad a short while before the switch to the trackpad - I suspect if I had been using a MacBook the past few years instead of a desktop, the change would have driven me bonkers. Instead, I really understand the reason for the scroll direction flip: it's natural to switch between the iPad, my Droid and the Mac's trackpad.

When I go back to the mouse on my server in the basement, I get confused and disoriented when using the scrollwheel, and usually just use page-up/down to scroll.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:14 AM on July 25, 2012


Blazecock Pileon: If that desktop Mac has an Apple trackpad, that might be a pretty decent reason for the OS to have some tablet interface support. The haptic gestures in Lion really set it apart from older versions of OS X. Having fingertips swipe, pinch and stretch across the trackpad allows me to work faster and easier. Going back to older workstations running Windows and Linux is awful, because the old ways on these operating systems are not only obsolete, but painfully clumsy.

I'm not complaining about good touchpad support, which is fine and useful and everything (although as far as I'm considered, the Apple trackpad and the Magic Mouse both belong on the same rocket into the sun). The main problem is when operating systems start to think a 27" monitor should have the same screen-usage principles as a smartphone - see both Metro and Unity. I have no idea if Lion has that issue, because I can't upgrade the Mac I use to it (software I absolutely need is incompatible with it, and that software will never be updated, so that is that).
posted by Mitrovarr at 9:15 AM on July 25, 2012


I actually rather like Lion, and I'm interested in the performance improvements of Mountain Lion, but the idea of facebook integration on an os level is offputting. I'm also wary of signs that Apple is trying to corral its osx users and developers into the locked-down ios ecosystem (e.g., only app store apps can use the notification center, gatekeeper). "Natural" scrolling will be disabled, of course.

The haptic gestures in Lion really set it apart from older versions of OS X. [...] Going back to older workstations running Windows and Linux is awful, because the old ways on these operating systems are not only obsolete, but painfully clumsy.

The gestures are great on a laptop where you have limited space and a mouse would be impractical, but I don't find myself missing the trackpad when I'm at my (windows 7) desktop with a full-size mouse and keyboard.
posted by Pyry at 9:20 AM on July 25, 2012


The reason Apple is adopting iOS interface conventions in OS X is simple: there are more people out there with iOS devices than Macs. If/when they buy a Mac, Apple wants them to be able to start using it immediately with as little of a learning curve as possible.

Isn't it also possible that if a huge portion of the user base hates the new interface, it might actually be bad?

I try not to confuse popularity with quality and I think the people squawking about the "new" interface are a tiny-yet-vocal minority. I've been using computers for about thirty years now and I hope I never get so inelastic.
posted by entropicamericana at 9:20 AM on July 25, 2012 [5 favorites]


I read the review of the review and probably will read the review itself while I download ML.
posted by immlass at 9:24 AM on July 25, 2012


It takes a special kind if idiot-savant to write a 25,000 word review of an incremental OS update.
posted by gertzedek at 9:28 AM on July 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Siracusa has detailed the process in his separate explanatory blog post, because the review wasn’t long enough and he had more to say.

OH SNAP.
posted by ShawnStruck at 9:29 AM on July 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


If that desktop Mac has an Apple trackpad, that might be a pretty decent reason for the OS to have some tablet interface support. The haptic gestures in Lion really set it apart from older versions of OS X.

Absolutely true, and, for the most part, adding gestures to OS X has worked...more-or-less. Primarily, my grief with Apple has been with what they did to the traditional Save/Save As paradigm, that simply worked and worked well. Automatic saving and Duplicate (essentially bringing a type of versioning from the dev world to the home) was, imho, a huge step backward for OS X. At the very least, it should have been an option..."Do you want OS X to automatically save files? Yes. No." It's good that ML does, in fact, bring that option in. But the kludgy "fix" in ML to the Save As/Duplicate mess is silly.

I, too, love reading Siracusa, and subscribe to the podcast. But, he does tend to err on the side of "change is automatically good" rather than considering who that change is really good for.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:30 AM on July 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


I find this very hard to say, but unease about OS future compatibility with the long and involved UNIX-port tool chain I work with every day, means I'm actively looking at alternatives now. It's just me and I cannot devote much time to chasing downstream incompatibilities after I update, or getting stuck because the person who already knows how to compile a particular dynamic library against the new system is working on something else. I'll be using a little Air for writing and presentations, and I'll learn to live within the requirements, just like I did with iTunes, just because Keynote is so damn good.

But OSX is nearly dead as a technical environment for me now (and with it my two-yearly MacPro purchases, not that it matters), and much to my surprise the replacement seems likely to be Windows Server 2008.
posted by cromagnon at 9:34 AM on July 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


26,000 words later and I still don't know if 10.8 is good. :(
posted by mazola at 9:38 AM on July 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


About to restart into ML. If you don't hear from me in 2 hours, call for help.
posted by azarbayejani at 9:42 AM on July 25, 2012 [7 favorites]


You'll be fine, I'm sure. It's a pretty painless upgrade.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:43 AM on July 25, 2012


Like most Mac users, I have a laptop, and the best part of recent updates is reduction of clutter and more virtual desktop space. I haven't tried ML, but Expose was great, and then I was initially dismayed by Lion but soon found it better. I love full-screen apps, LaunchPad and the ability to add desktops and pin applications to them. Swiping between applications/desktops probably isn't easier or faster than cmd-tab, but I enjoy a lot of the multitouch gestures. I guess it sounds weird, but it feels like a more personal interaction with the machine.

Anyhow, a lot of the changes I don't care about and some things are bad, but I think overall the gestures and ease of having more desktop space I think are great.

I would also like the option to remove the Dock and just put the trash can in Launchpad or something.
posted by snofoam at 9:47 AM on July 25, 2012


Oh, and regarding the laptop reference, changing things that give you more screen space make a big difference on a laptop (compared to a desktop with a big monitor).
posted by snofoam at 9:49 AM on July 25, 2012


The main problem is when operating systems start to think a 27" monitor should have the same screen-usage principles as a smartphone - see both Metro and Unity.

I generally don't use full-screen mode when my rig is docked and I get a luxurious 27" Samsung display to work with - but when running a complex web app on the MacBook's 11" screen (most recently the administrative interface for an industrial-grade wireless networking controller), it makes a hell of a lot of sense. I use Spaces to have a desktop with the web interface, another with a couple of terminal windows, another with the product documentation open in Preview, and a fourth with my collection of notes in DevonNote. It's pretty zippy to move between everything using trackpad gestures.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:56 AM on July 25, 2012


It's a pretty painless upgrade.

Famous last words.
posted by smackfu at 9:58 AM on July 25, 2012 [5 favorites]


Thorzdad: "the traditional Save/Save As paradigm, that simply worked and worked well"

I agree, but... clearly you've never worked at a helpdesk. Even experienced users today are often clueless with files. Like, not even one iota of awareness.

Apple themselves can be partly to blame for this, since many apps no longer store their data in a recognizable file structure, leading users to understate the importance of files. Interactions within the filesystem have become increasingly rare (especially on the Mac, where I've never really liked the Finder as much as Windows Explorer, but I digress). The "All My Files" Finder tab, while smart, decreased most users' awareness of the filesystem hierarchy even further. iPhoto doesn't even expose the contents of its photo library to the Finder anymore!

Basically, what I'm saying is that people can't manage files. At all. Android's Intents, Windows' Contracts, and the (vendor-locked, grr) iOS/OSX Share button all point toward a further marginalization of "Files" as we know them. This has come at the expense of some interoperability, and Siracusa's comments on iCloud make it seem like we're continuing down that road. Computing is rapidly becoming a lot less 'open,' which is something that we should all be really, really concerned about (see also: no RSS in ML).

Back to files: Lion's new document model was interesting, and brought some much-needed rethinking to the concept, but was *definitely* awkward to use. I still find myself very confused about which document I'm actually working in, and my Ctrl-S reflex hasn't gone away. However, I think that ML's elaboration of the concept introduced in Lion actually makes the new document model usable for a lot more users. 'Save As' is still gone, but we have similar options such as 'Duplicate,' 'Rename,' and 'Move to...' within reach.

This largely clears up my long-standing lament of most applications' lack of a 'Save a Copy' option, and I think, will offer a better solution for file management that makes sense for both novice users and technical gurus, for however long we'll still be using the filesystem to manage day-to-day documents.

I still pine for a BeOS-style system, where everything is represented as a file, and can be copied, shared, exported, etc. without fuss. Sadly, it looks like we're rapidly moving away from that.
posted by schmod at 9:59 AM on July 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


PPC users represent. Tiger, tiger, burning bright!
posted by BeeDo at 9:59 AM on July 25, 2012 [10 favorites]


Yes, and this is effectively keeping Apple out of the business world, with only a few exceptions.

That's because Apple has learned that it doesn't make any money on the business world. Why should they compromise for the business world?

Nobody short of the top enterprise tier is making much, if any, money on the business world. Apple saw this, back when Michael Dell was telling the world that the best thing that Apple could do is to close and send the money to the shareholders. Dell bet the world on small-medium business and tried like hell to get into the enterprise market.

Now, by ignoring the business market and concentrating on the general user, Apple finds that it can buy Dell many times over -- not that Apple would ever do anything that stupid.

And if you don't think there's Apple hardware in the enterprise, you haven't had an exec demand you get his iPhone on the corporate network. This, obviously, is one of your "few exceptions." But when the "few exceptions" represent, oh, 70% of Apple's sales, I would argue that Apple Desktops are the exception to the massive corporate *acceptance* of Apple Hardware and Software.

As long as Apple continues to do the exact opposite of what John Dvorak and Michael Dell tell them to do, I expect them to continue to do very well indeed. Where I expect them to fail is if they decide that the model they have now will be fine for the next 25 years.

Because, quite simply, it will not be. The computing world is very different in 2012 than it was in 2007, or 2002, or certainly 1997. Assuming that things wouldn't change what is killing many tech companies.

Apple not only assumed they would, Apple did everything it could to become the company that was changing it. And you will not be that company if your major product line is to build $500 desktops that run MS apps in an MS enterprise environment.

Even MS itself is having trouble making money at that.

I try not to confuse popularity with quality and I think the people squawking about the "new" interface are a tiny-yet-vocal minority

Indeed. Everyone is screaming at how awful it is, and it's hardly out. I do dislike the lack of save-as, however, and the bass-ackwards scroll is dumb squared if you have a mouse with a scroll wheel, but I give Apple credit for not assuming that 25+ year old interface decisions are automatically correct given the computing environment we now live it.

Apple knowns that stagnation=death. It wasn't long ago that the mobile world was ruled by two things -- if you wanted email, you had a RIM device, if you didn't, you had a Nokia.

Hope you weren't holding that stock.
posted by eriko at 10:00 AM on July 25, 2012 [7 favorites]


26,000 words later and I still don't know if 10.8 is good. :(

Depends if you're using icloud and iOS. If you want to sync stuff via icloud from OSX to ipad and vice versa, then ML seems to have seen a lot of improvements in that area, and many native apps are now iOS look, feel and name to make switching back and forth easier, so it's probably worth it for better icloud synciness.

If you're running Snow Leopard (10.6) and can upgrade - i.e. your hardware isn't dropped - it's probably time to upgrade as Apple usually only do current and previous version support for security patches; as of today, snow leopard is two versions old and not likely to see much, if any, further support. Mountain lion (10.8) is cheaper than Lion (10.7) and you can do the upgrade from 10.6 to 10.8 direct this time, so you might as well jump to ML directly.

If you're running Lion, and not an ipad/iphone/ipod user... well, they've tweaked the scroll bars a bit. And autosave a bit. And the dock's prettier. And gatekeeper to push you more towards buying apps in the app store. Oh, and built in notifications for approved app store apps. *ponder* Safari is a bit quicker. You've got the new messaging app, and Notes and Reminders are separate apps now.

Downside wise, there's probably going to be some obscure bugs to iron out in the first few weeks, but there shouldn't be any huge changes on the backend for app support, so app breakage should be fairly limited for once, though everything must now be 64 bit kexts, so some old hardware (printers etc) may stop working.

Other than that? Erm. Anyone?
posted by ArkhanJG at 10:01 AM on July 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Famous last words.

I'm running ML now and my old version of MacPorts no longer worked. I upgraded to Xcode 4.4 and installed MacPorts from SVN, which seems to have gotten things up and running again. I have to recompile a few things, but that seems to be the only serious work-related issue I've run into so far.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:04 AM on July 25, 2012


It's a pretty painless upgrade.
Famous last words.


Sigh: install failed. It's on me though, not Apple. It doesn't like my Bootcamp partition which I'm guessing was altered after creation by VMWare when I made it bootable as a VM.

To those complaining about OS upgrades breaking their development environments, I would (with no intention of sounding judgmental) suggest that's a code smell. It's a dependency you should try to eliminate or minimize as much as possible. No doubt there are any number of setups where this isn't possible, but if you're talking about something like web development, it is. Don't rely on the OS version of Python/ PHP/ Ruby etc if it can cause problems. Put things in silos, put executables you rely on in a separate folder and alias/ symlink as needed. As part of my "vacation" this week, I need to rebuild my Windows machine and the one thing I'm not worried about is getting development back up and running: the code all lives in version control somewhere else and all I need to do is reinstall the version of Python I want and rebuild my virtual environments (and each project, at least the more recent ones has a pip requirements file saying exactly what it needs).

Of course I've just jinxed that and condemned myself to a week of fighting Windows.
posted by yerfatma at 10:06 AM on July 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


I went for a walk to the convenience store and it was back at the login screen as if nothing happened by the time I came back. Little Snitch doesn't work. Oh well.
posted by azarbayejani at 10:06 AM on July 25, 2012


Little Snitch 2.5 is listed as Mountain Lion compatible; if that isn't working, there a 3.0 beta available.
posted by entropicamericana at 10:10 AM on July 25, 2012


Yes, and this is effectively keeping Apple out of the business world, with only a few exceptions.

Eventually businesses will move towards web-based versions of proprietary or niche apps. Then, the only thing keeping Apple out of that market will be the lack of decent profit margins in that market.
posted by snofoam at 10:11 AM on July 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh, one new 10.8 feature that I wished was in 10.7.

You can have more than one TM disk, and it will alternate between them. Given that my TM disk just died, I was planning on buying two and doing a RAID-1.

Matter of fact, I think I still will, because 10.8.0 is going *nowhere* near my machines. Call me at 10.8.2.

bitter sysadmin is bitter
posted by eriko at 10:12 AM on July 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm running an old version, I guess.
posted by azarbayejani at 10:13 AM on July 25, 2012


Little Snitch has a preview out with ML support.
posted by Wild_Eep at 10:13 AM on July 25, 2012


The change that totally sold me and will have me upgrading as soon as I get my lazy ass out of bed: Mission Control will stop sucking. I have learnt to live with the annoying way it piles all of one app's windows on top of each other on 10.7 but my reflexes are still "hit the Exposé button, squint at the edges of the six Illustrator windows piled up, snarl, hit Exposé again, apple-~ through windows". Now I can go back to just hitting the Exposé button and clicking.

I am also totally not gonna miss Safari's tendency to flush hidden tabs or reload them all. Yay for the ability to make a long, thoughtful comment over a period of time returning.

----

The big problem with the iOS/iCloud model of documents living in their creating app, to me, is... what do you do for projects that require multiple apps? How do you group them all together? I mean, the directory for my comic contains largely Illustrator files, but there's also a few InDesign files, some PDFs, a bunch of GIFs that usually get opened with Preview but also get uploaded via Safari, a CBZ or two, a .doc, a Toon Boom project... All of these things should be grouped together IMHO, as they are all part of the same thing. I don't think I'll be using iCloud until Apple figures out a way to let me group all of these disparate files together in one big conceptual lump: this is where I go to work on Rita. Some kind of... System. For my files.
posted by egypturnash at 10:16 AM on July 25, 2012 [5 favorites]


Thanks Wild_Eep.

I'm happy with Notification Center, although I think I've already run into a weird race condition with Sparrow that will likely never be fixed. GOD DAMMIT WHY SPARROW WHY.
posted by azarbayejani at 10:18 AM on July 25, 2012


Apple turning-away from consideration of how users work to how Apple says you are to work now

from page 12:
Instead of showing a new, empty document window, TextEdit displays a dialog explaining how existing documents can be moved to iCloud. There's also a "New Document" button which will create a new file in iCloud. ... the linen-bedecked iCloud dialog is actually the new, alternate face of the familiar open/save dialog box.

The iCloud mania doesn't stop there. Create a new document in TextEdit, save it, and gaze in utter lack of surprise at the default save location for new documents...

And what about new, "Untitled" documents that have never been saved anywhere? Can you guess where TextEdit in Mountain Lion chooses to autosave those? Ding ding! That's right, in iCloud. ...

Don't be fooled into thinking that iCloud document storage is Apple's version of Dropbox with deeper OS integration. The iCloud face of the open/save dialog box looks and works a lot more like SpringBoard in iOS than like Dropbox in OS X. Only one level of nesting is allowed...

There is no obvious, Mac-like way to create a new "folder" in the iCloud document storage area: no "New Folder" button or menu command, and right-clicking in the linen area does nothing. ...

Another obvious difference between iCloud document storage and any of the existing services that provide "a folder that syncs" or "a disk drive that lives in the cloud" is that iCloud document storage is nearly invisible in the Finder. There is no Finder sidebar item for iCloud, as there was for iDisk. iCloud's document storage area does not appear as a folder or mounted volume. Documents in iCloud do show up in the new-as-of-Lion "All My Files" collection. But run "Get Info" on the file and no file path is listed; the location is shown only as "iCloud." ...

The overall message from Apple is loud and clear: thou shalt save thy documents in the iCloud, and thou shalt interact with those documents primarily through the applications that created them.
Microsoft could only dream of being able to get away with this.
posted by Egg Shen at 10:22 AM on July 25, 2012 [6 favorites]


Eventually businesses will move towards web-based versions of proprietary or niche apps.

I respectfully disagree. Many, many, MANY large companies (and hell, even many small companies) rely heavily on ancient apps for their day to day business. Why do you think XP is still being supported by Microsoft? A large percentage of companies will wait till the absolute LAST minute to avoid having to udpate those old apps to web apps for any or all of these reasons:

1) Nobody knows exactly what the business logic is behind what the apps do (they were created internally, the person who created them is long gone, and there's no documentation)
2) The apps are old and quite possibly buggy, but people are used to them and know exactly how to deal with the quirks of the apps.
3) It will cost a tremendous amount of money to have somebody re-create said apps
4) Sometimes, a web based app just *isn't* the best solution.
5) The re-creation of said apps can introduce NEW bugs and quirks
6) Training and support of the new apps will be a tremendous amount of "lost" time and money.

I'm not saying these are VALID reasons, but from my experience in a handful of small-to-mid sized businesses (and one fairly large one), this is pretty common logic when it comes to executives thinking about spending money on IT.
posted by antifuse at 10:25 AM on July 25, 2012 [8 favorites]


I respectfully disagree. Many, many, MANY large companies (and hell, even many small companies) rely heavily on ancient apps for their day to day business.

I agree with your points, but I still think that it will happen eventually. One could also list factors that will favor updating old apps. Business processes change, efficiencies may be gained by being able to interface with customers/suppliers, the cost of programming may be offset by savings gained by web-based apps making it easier to offshore, etc.

I'm sure many companies will wait as long as they can, but eventually they will either choose to change or have to change.
posted by snofoam at 10:43 AM on July 25, 2012


I think the people squawking about the "new" interface are a tiny-yet-vocal minority. I've been using computers for about thirty years now and I hope I never get so inelastic.

I know the difference between preference and inelasticity. I'm not sure everyone does, but as long as Apple does too, I'll be fine.

Personally, I'm thinking of cautiously upgrading to Snow Leopard sometime this summer, and really only because of other software (e.g., the best web browser out there is no longer doing Leopard updates).
posted by weston at 10:56 AM on July 25, 2012


I'm interested in the performance improvements of Mountain Lion, but the idea of facebook integration on an os level is offputting.

It's awesome the way autocorrect in Apple products fixes the egregious typo "a weeping, festering sore of an idea and the person who had it should be violently killed", to the intended "offputting".
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:57 AM on July 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


I regret my move from Snow Leopard to Lion. Memory requirements seem to be higher so performance is often much worse on my Late 2008 Macbook. I think I can upgrade (will need to confirm) but I'm hesitant.

I got used to Natural Scrolling, but had to turn off the annoying auto-correct. I have no idea how anyone finds Launchpad useful.

Will I upgrade to Mountain Lion? Hmmm, we'll see. If there are efficiency improvements then yes. Better iCloud integration with my iPhone is a positive. But will Notification Centre work better than Growl? Will Dropbox, Quicksilver etc still work?

I've added the article to Instapaper so I'll find out in a while.
posted by milkb0at at 11:01 AM on July 25, 2012


I have to recompile a few things, but that seems to be the only serious work-related issue I've run into so far.

To be fair, if someone said that about a linux upgrade, everyone would be jumping down their throats about how it's not ready for the desktop.
posted by Jpfed at 11:11 AM on July 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Now, by ignoring the business market and concentrating on the general user becoming the internet version of Tower Records, Apple finds that it can buy Dell many times over -- not that Apple would ever do anything that stupid.

Don't get me wrong, Apple is doing for Apple what is good for Apple. But they aren't a computer company anymore and any company that uses computers for business computing is working within some serious constraints by choosing Apple.

For my part, I'm annoyed that some of the machines we bought just 2-3 years ago are now obsolete. 10.6 being deprecated and all.

RHEL here we come....
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 11:17 AM on July 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Please tell me there's a way to get the scrolling back to the direction God intended it to be.
posted by yerfatma at 11:19 AM on July 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


snofoam: "I'm sure many companies will wait as long as they can, but eventually they will either choose to change or have to change."

You're right. Companies will wait as long as they can. Like I said previously, I have no problem that Apple is pushing companies to actively maintain their code and update their own apps more frequently.

I do have a problem that Apple isn't giving them any time to do it. By dropping support on new hardware and sticking to a very fast update cycle, Apple isn't giving software vendors any time to react and retool their existing apps. Meanwhile, their customers can't buy new computers or install OS patches...

Businesses (justifiably) like predictability. Lately, Apple's been acting very erratic ("Oh, by the way... we're discontinuing our server line. Tomorrow.")

It's also not like businesses don't want to switch. If I had a dollar for every time somebody complained about the quality of HP's laptop hardware, or the fact that there are no enterprise smartphones that provide a satisfactory experience for both users and admins.... I sympathize with almost everything that eriko said above, but the simple fact remains that you cannot build an Apple-centric IT Plant today. Businesses need to be able to plan, react, and adapt and Apple isn't giving them much wiggle room to do that.

Trust me when I say that there are a lot of people (who have no vested interest in Apple's success) who want the company to expand their business offerings.

Apple doesn't need to compromise its products to be successful in the business space. They just need to communicate, and at least be mildly aware of their customers' needs.
posted by schmod at 11:19 AM on July 25, 2012


Buy a two-year-old computer?
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:19 AM on July 25, 2012


if someone said that about a linux upgrade, everyone would be jumping down their throats about how it's not ready for the desktop

How about this?

For most people, the problems Apple tried to address in Lion were real. The solutions, however, had some rough edges. ... Lion differed in both the nature and longevity of its bugs. Bugs in basic functionality like WiFi connectivity and Web browser stability bedeviled many Lion users, and it took Apple several releases over many long months to address the worst of them.

This sounds worse than anything early adopters of Vista suffered. And Vista is still being used as a club to beat Microsoft over the head with.

In Apple-land, it's merely "rough edges".
posted by Egg Shen at 11:27 AM on July 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


I love "natural" scrolling. Love love love it. Literally the day before they announced Lion I was scrolling around on my old MacBook (probably on Metafilter) and I thought to myself, "hmm, you know, swiping down to move the page up is actually backwards." Then Lion and natural scrolling came around and I was happy. I installed apps on my old Snow Leopard machine and Linux machine to reverse the scroll. Yay!

But... hidden scroll bars? Nope. Those get turned off immediately.
posted by zsazsa at 11:30 AM on July 25, 2012


People who like scrolling down to move the window position up: do you also invert your mouse in FPS games?
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:33 AM on July 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


I do have a problem that Apple isn't giving them any time to do it. By dropping support on new hardware and sticking to a very fast update cycle, Apple isn't giving software vendors any time to react and retool their existing apps.

I guess my main point is that as businesses move towards web interfaces for proprietary software and cloud-based SaaS, then client-side hardware/software changes don't really matter anymore regardless of platform.
posted by snofoam at 11:34 AM on July 25, 2012


People who like scrolling up to move the cursor down: same question.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:36 AM on July 25, 2012


hidden scroll bars? Nope. Those get turned off immediately.

Ready for overlapping scroll bars? [old version on the left; Mountain Lion version on the right]

Anyone want to take a swing at providing a justification for this other than "change for change's sake"?
posted by Egg Shen at 11:42 AM on July 25, 2012


I used to really look forward to Mac OS updates. Now I just wonder what old software is going to break.

This is true for me as well but I am not Mac user.

In fact is true for my entire life. Windows, linux, browsers, websites, relationships, knees and other joints, eyes, neurons, hair (oh god hair).

Change for change's sake sucks the life out of me almost as fast as time is doing it.

Windows 8, Unity, texting, and on and on. I am becoming Andy Rooney and I always hated that guy and his good old boy stuck in time routine.

Fuck fuck fuck. I really should have gotten a tattoo back when I was dumb enough to do it. And drugs. Oh the drugs I would take if I could go back in time.

I'm only 45 and my life is filled with regrets and my only hope is that those regrets are lost in the next upgrade of something in my life. Toaster 35.3 is incompatible with your installed Adobe Regrets. Continue with upgrade? YES!!!
posted by srboisvert at 11:45 AM on July 25, 2012 [8 favorites]


Anyone want to take a swing at providing a justification for this other than "change for change's sake"?

Apple is exploring using nerd rage as a renewable and clean energy resource. Early results are promising.
posted by entropicamericana at 11:45 AM on July 25, 2012 [7 favorites]


People who like scrolling down to move the window position up: do you also invert your mouse in FPS games?

Yes, it seems more natural for down to look up and up to look down. I chalk this up to my first computer experiences being with a joystick playing flight simulators. And it really isn't up and down anyway, but away from the body / towards the body.
posted by BeeDo at 11:46 AM on July 25, 2012


Anyone want to take a swing at providing a justification for this other than "change for change's sake"?

They don't care about what it looks like when you keep the scroll bars on all the time, and they don't care if you know they don't care.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:47 AM on July 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Maybe you guys don't have as good a grasp on how the average user uses their machines as you might think. Aren't the supernerds supposed to use the CLI exclusively anyway?

You know there were Mac supernerds (and Siracusa counts as one) too. The types who knew exactly what the computer was doing, understood it, and appreciated not having to go into the CLI to make it do those things.

Those are the people driven nuts by the idiotic back-porting of iOS conventions to OS X. Stuff like "Safari will empty out tabs you haven't used in a while (losing any text typed in them) to save memory just like it does on iPhone". Hey, that's great. Sure, I've got 16gb of memory going spare in this machine, but why not act like I've got 512Mb?

10.6 is increasingly looking like the high point of the old Mac way of doing things.

And, yes, this is again time to trot out how successful they are with iOS and how insignificant the traditional Mac users are. But that's like when Moe is selling Flaming Homers hand over fist and the sound of the cash register drowns out Homer complaining that he is shitting all over his old friend.
posted by fightorflight at 11:50 AM on July 25, 2012 [8 favorites]


Apple is exploring using nerd rage as a renewable and clean energy resource

If this actually worked George Lucas would have already solved the world's energy crisis.
posted by kmz at 11:55 AM on July 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think Notification Centre, while promising, needs an awful lot of polishing. For instance, it can hook into your twitter account, and display mentions or direct messages. But if you click on the notification, it can only take you to the twitter web service, rather than being able to hook into whatever twitter app you happen to use. If you go directly to your twitter app to read the message, you will end up with a pile of "unread" notifications (this same problem plagues the iOS notification centre too). It seems like there is not yet a set of solid open API's behind Notifications, nor evidence that there will ever be any -- apparently, to get access to NC, the app must be sold through the app store. So if you want a notification for your gmail, for instance, for now at least it appears you are out of luck, unless you use the mail.app to access it.
posted by modernnomad at 11:59 AM on July 25, 2012


Anyone want to take a swing at providing a justification for this other than "change for change's sake"?

I haven’t used this, but from the picture I would guess that it might be more obvious to some that they have scrolled all the way to the bottom/right side in the new version. The little gaps make it look like there is still room to scroll.
posted by bongo_x at 12:05 PM on July 25, 2012


I don’t have (actually I have but don’t use) any IOS devices, am not interested in iCloud, and love 10.6. Part of me is thrilled with the idea that I can now just have a locked down 10.6 system. Part of me is worried about getting too far behind the curve. I used 10.4 for many years, skipped 10.5, and plan on using 10.6 for the foreseeable future.

I’m tired of dealing with breaking things and upgrades. It happens when you get old.
posted by bongo_x at 12:09 PM on July 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is anyone repeatedly getting "Connection failed." when trying to authenticate with the App Store to download Mountain Lion?
posted by egypturnash at 12:17 PM on July 25, 2012


Sorry, egypturnash, it downloaded just fine for me. (And quickly, too.)
posted by Edison Carter at 12:31 PM on July 25, 2012


I imagine the official story is that they called it "Mountain Lion" instead the more succinct synonym "Cougar" to denote continuity with Lion, but I'm convinced they were really just preventing the blogosphere from instantly rechristening it "Mellencamp".
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:33 PM on July 25, 2012


The name is actually a funny thing because the name for OS X 10.2, Puma, is the same thing as a Mountain Lion.
posted by azarbayejani at 12:34 PM on July 25, 2012


Er... 10.1
posted by azarbayejani at 12:35 PM on July 25, 2012


I'm pretty sure that Puma is the genus of which Mountain Lion, or Cougar, is a species. Wikipedia agrees with me, for whatever that's worth.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:39 PM on July 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Here's a roundup of reviews for Mountain Lion (excerpts and links).

I've thrown caution to the wind; I'm downloading Mountain Lion and have turned on "Natural Scrolling" for the first time ever (it really hurts my brain).

A few of the bells and whistles are appealing (integrating more iOS features and apps like the notification center, notepad, and ToDo list), as well alleged speed improvements -- overall and to Safari specifically. And perhaps most importantly (though it does sound questionably idiosyncratic) better integration of documents with iCloud.
posted by Davenhill at 12:41 PM on July 25, 2012


I've thrown caution to the wind; I'm downloading Mountain Lion and have turned on "Natural Scrolling" for the first time ever (it really hurts my brain).

I'm still on SL, since Lion had nothing to offer me but disruption, but I tried reversing the scroll direction in Linux and liked it, so installed a third party scroll reverser in OSX. It makes way, way more sense to my brain to scroll the contents than the viewport.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:54 PM on July 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


a roundup of reviews

Heh, I see that Gizmodo is still in full sulk mode:

Mountain Lion is conservative and boring—even gaudy at times. Meanwhile Microsoft is pushing the envelope and being innovative and elegant in its approach to user interface.
posted by Egg Shen at 12:57 PM on July 25, 2012


Because everyone knows that gaudy is an extreme case of conservative and boring.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:59 PM on July 25, 2012 [6 favorites]


Mountain Lion is conservative and boring—even gaudy at times

Boring AND gaudy? Conservative AND gaudy? Does nobody there know what the word "gaudy" actually means?
posted by Edison Carter at 12:59 PM on July 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


I've also noticed the syncing in iCloud is still wacky/broken (depending on your perspective).

Under keynote, you can now access your docs that are in the cloud, and even without cloud access it appears as though you can open them on the mac as well. But if you modify a document when you're not connected to the cloud (ie, no wifi, on a plane), then when things are reconnected, you will now have two versions of the document, both on the mac and in the cloud, and (at least on keynote for the iphone), there is no way to tell which is the new version without reading the entire document to look for the changes.

The concept of synching through the cloud is great, and I applaud Apple for going in that direction. But I think their implementation is still absolutely awful.
posted by modernnomad at 12:59 PM on July 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


George_Spiggott beat me to it.
posted by Edison Carter at 12:59 PM on July 25, 2012


I figured out how to get the App Store to quit with the unhelpful "Connection failed.", and seemed to have fixed some annoying behavior where Safari was constantly popping up security errors. Second post in this link.
posted by egypturnash at 1:00 PM on July 25, 2012


For those of you with multiple machines to upgrade. After you download the first installer and BEFORE YOU DO THE INSTALLATION ON THAT MACHINE copy the file to a flash drive. Then just copy that file from the flash drive to the next machine (I don't believe you can run the installer from the flash drive itself). It will save you waiting through additional downloads).

One iMac updated with no problems (but it did seem a bit laggy at first)... now upgrading one of the Airs.
posted by HuronBob at 1:07 PM on July 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


People who like scrolling up to move the cursor down: same question.

The scroll wheel doesn't move the cursor. It moves the position of the window relative to the document. The direction you scroll the wheel is the direction you pull the scrollbar.

"Natural" scrolling makes no sense at all unless you're trying to replicate a tablet interface on a desktop/laptop computer, which is apparently the future.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:10 PM on July 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


The scroll wheel doesn't move the cursor. It moves the position of the window relative to the document.

But it's not the window that moves, it's the document. It only seems intuitive now because you're used to it, but it's tied to the behavior of a scrollbar thumb (the thing the scrollwheel originally was intended to move). Once you stop thinking about a draggable thumb, the traditional directionality of scrolling makes no freakin' sense. You want to be controlling the thing that moves, and the thing that moves is the document.
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:14 PM on July 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Whenever I'm feeling down and out, particularly about my job, I just say to myself, "Cheer up, at least you're not a Gizmodo writer!"

Works every time.
posted by entropicamericana at 1:17 PM on July 25, 2012 [5 favorites]


Or the thing that moves is my view of the document. If I want to look farther down the page, I scroll down. Makes sense to me.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:18 PM on July 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


The Cat Behind the OS: Meet the Real Mountain Lion
posted by homunculus at 1:19 PM on July 25, 2012


Conservative AND gaudy?

Donald Trump?
posted by gyc at 1:19 PM on July 25, 2012 [8 favorites]


Metro UI really tweaks some nerds in just the right way, because it's shiny and flashy and coldly impersonal (note the skeuomorphism nerdfight). Most everyday users are confused or irritated - they're staying away from the new Windows Phones in droves.
posted by Slap*Happy at 1:22 PM on July 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Even MS itself is having trouble making money at that.

ORLY?
posted by Slothrup at 1:24 PM on July 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


After you download the first installer and BEFORE YOU DO THE INSTALLATION ON THAT MACHINE copy the file to a flash drive.

This. Here's a guide to making a bootable USB flash drive so you can upgrade other macs without having to download the 4.3 GB again (which after running for 3 hours on my 20Mb line is now down to 1 day, 22 hours remaining. Le sigh.)
posted by ArkhanJG at 1:25 PM on July 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have an iPhone and a Macbook Pro.

I always keep my iPhone on top of updates -- for the iOS and all my apps (and holy F, I have a lot of apps). I am always in shock when friends with iPhones haven't updated. My litmus test is when I text them and the messages don't turn blue when they should, and I realize they are back at like iOS 4...argh!

However.

I am still running Snow Leopard. I feared Lion when it came out. I went to the Apple Store a number of times, and kept trying to test it out. And I couldn't make the leap. My initial hesitation was losing the way Spaces was implemented. I have a grid of desktops that changed the way I work, and when I found that in Snow Leopard it was one of the biggest things that drew me to that OS.

But my biggest fear now is the packaging and disappearance of files, and automatic auto-saving, and iCloud. I am not that old. I see that there are a lot of ways to disable a lot of the things I don't like. And I have been on top of moving a lot of my files into systems that work for me, and avoid a lot of the things I don't like about iCloud (and I gave it plenty of chances).

I just want...no, I need to know where a lot of my files are exactly, and what version they are. Not because I am stubborn, but because the work I do requires that. I do a lot of portfolio and layout work, where I am placing images and constantly updating and swapping things in and out. Images tend to live with their respective projects, and might need to be changed or updated as a project moves on. I did everything I could to keep iPhoto's hands off any images. I just see a lot of the post-Snow Leopard movement away from this, and I get why they are doing that and that the majority of users would prefer a neat iPhoto or iTunes like packaging and holding of their files. However, I think for people that do the kind of work I do, that type of update isn't just some big scary new change, but something that just isn't working right now with that fairly established project-based type of workflow.
posted by This_Will_Be_Good at 1:30 PM on July 25, 2012 [7 favorites]


Most everyday users are confused or irritated - they're staying away from the new Windows Phones in droves.

Eh. That implies people are seriously examining Windows Phone and then rejecting it. I think it's more likely that cell phone sales guys get a good commission from Android phones and have no real reason to try to sell Windows Phone.
posted by smackfu at 1:40 PM on July 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


A lot of what T_W_B_G said. Apart from natural scrolling, much Lion+ movement is in a direction that, at best, doesn't suit me. I'll be hanging on to SL until some applications I can't do without deprecate it, and then I'll be a little screwed. I do much of my work in a Linux VM anyway, so I'll probably just bite the bullet and upgrade, but only use OSX as a host system and for the occasional indispensible commercial app that isn't viable in Linux.
posted by George_Spiggott at 2:08 PM on July 25, 2012


Why am I not surprised Dropbox isn't ready for Mountain Lion?
posted by entropicamericana at 2:28 PM on July 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wait, so you could shut off Natural Scrolling in 10.7 but not in 10.8? Surely there's still a command-line option? Or do I get to give myself a speech impediment because some machines in the house have a trackpad what works one way and some the exact opposite way because "Tablets and phones that's why!"
posted by yerfatma at 2:35 PM on July 25, 2012


No option other than the very fist checkbox in the Trackpad preference panel I've been staring at for hours. Duh.
posted by yerfatma at 2:36 PM on July 25, 2012


So, umm, in this latest OS version, can you now move files between volumes and not lose them all if the connection between the two volumes is lost for some reason? Or does John Siracusa not address that in his review?
posted by MartinWisse at 2:42 PM on July 25, 2012


…I used OS X's built-in Apache and PHP…

You will save yourself a lot of grief if you use MAMP or XAMPP or Zend Server Community Edition for your LAMP dev. All of these are free and run a self-contained current version of Apache, PHP, and MySQL (XAMPP includes perl).
posted by device55 at 3:52 PM on July 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Downloaded ML this morning. No problem. However, during installation it could not proceed indicating that my disk was damaged. Ran disk repair utility. No go. Problems with rebuilding catalog B-tree and a whole lot of other things. A visit at the Genius Bar earlier this afternoon. They're running diagnostics ... and will let me know what's going on. May involve wiping the drive and reinstalling a new image. It may require a new hard drive. I'm glad that this MacBook Pro is one-year old, under warranty and with Apple Care. Rather interesting coincidence. Yesterday they needed to replace my battery. Two days of concern and intensity.

With this span of poor luck, I pray that my RAID backup is okay and Time Machine will work okay.
posted by ericb at 3:58 PM on July 25, 2012


I'm really impressed that Homebrew still works great in OS X 10.8 after the upgrade. I was puzzled about where to go to get the Xcode command line tools, though, since the Preferences option to install them is now gone. Had to go here on Apple's developer site to get them.
posted by Space Coyote at 4:22 PM on July 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why am I not surprised Dropbox isn't ready for Mountain Lion?

Their current beta version is Gatekeeper-friendly. Dunno why they can't/didn't rush that particular change out the door as a revision to the current stable version.
posted by sparkletone at 4:22 PM on July 25, 2012


Had to go here on Apple's developer site to get them

Here's another place to go to get 4.4 CLI tools, to install after updating Xcode to 4.4.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:28 PM on July 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Space Coyote: Is Homebrew notably different and/or better than macports?
posted by pompomtom at 4:55 PM on July 25, 2012


pompomtom: It uses more of the built-in libraries than MacPorts, so no waiting for an hour while it compiles its own version of everything. It uses Git extensively to pull down updates which is quite slick. It also seems to be getting more updates to its packages than MacPorts lately so I'm pretty happy with it.
posted by Space Coyote at 5:34 PM on July 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Well, after mountain lion finally finished downloading, I've installed it fresh on my customac - no point tempting fate, and I wanted to clean out some cruft anyway rather than upgrade in place. Have to say, the hackintosh approach is getting much simpler these days; updated version of unibeast is already out, just point it at your app store download of Mountain Lion, install via usb stick, then patch in any missing drivers (network and audio in my case, and I already had a DSDT for my sandy bridge motherboard). Bish Bash Bosh, mountain lion boots, everything works. Barely takes longer than installing on a real mac - quicker, in fact, since I could install to my own vertex 3 SSD without paying a fortune for a mac with one included.

Hope the install on my proper 27" imac goes as smoothly!

First impressions - pretty much the same as Lion, to be honest. Few extra stock apps (messages, notes & reminders) which I'm unlikely to use being a Jelly Bean kinda guy. Safari 6 is nice - definitely snappier, and with my key extensions now available think I'm going to give it a try instead of chrome for a while - the pinch to zoom out to tabs on the magic trackpad is rather nice - a ML specific feature I think.

Will have to plough through my various apps from my backups and reinstall fresh; I already know my key stuff will work with a beta version or two so I'd be grabbing new versions anyway. Overall, so far, so good.
posted by ArkhanJG at 6:23 PM on July 25, 2012


Homebrew is notably different than ports in that it works. And doesn't create a folder structure no one has ever heard of. /opt/ports? What am I, a tourist?
posted by yerfatma at 6:41 PM on July 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Here's a good review of the new features in Mountain Lion written by Robert Mohns, from the always-excellent Macintouch.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:46 PM on July 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


LOL Demonoid
posted by charlie don't surf at 6:59 PM on July 25, 2012


Eh. That implies people are seriously examining Windows Phone and then rejecting it. I think it's more likely that cell phone sales guys get a good commission from Android phones and have no real reason to try to sell Windows Phone.

Oh. It's because Microsoft doesn't have deep enough pockets? Really?
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:58 PM on July 25, 2012


I'm really enjoying Siracusa's review! I'd never read his other reviews, so I'm glad I gave this one a try. His style is very smooth and readable--conversational might be a good term, especially as he mentioned he uses speech-to-text software to write long pieces like this. It's so nice to get a comprehensive look at the changes before I upgrade--would've saved a lot of aggravation and surprise had I known about his reviews before my past upgrades. I'm also loving the bits of very gentle snark:

The full-screen mode offers another surprise: the triumphant(?) return of stitched leather. There's also a wedge-shaped leather flap overlapping the lower-left corner of the notes list, presumably to ensure they don't slide off the screen and fall to the floor.
posted by Baethan at 8:25 PM on July 25, 2012


I just see a lot of the post-Snow Leopard movement away from this, and I get why they are doing that and that the majority of users would prefer a neat iPhoto or iTunes like packaging and holding of their files.

I get it too, having watched my Mom struggle with file management under OS X. I think she doesn't like investing a lot of time into the computer as a tool, so she doesn't spend a lot of time thinking how to organize files or even arguably paying attention to file/folder metaphor. She just saves things.

But I still think Apple's going about this the wrong way.

Part of this is that I think that pushing through the OS isn't the right way to go -- it should be easy for app devs to opt in and do things this way, but it should also be easy for app devs to make a different call. They probably know the audience they're developing for better than Apple does, and if they're wrong, this is one of those situations where the market could probably do a good job of letting them know.

The other things, though... takes us back to my Mom. The funny thing is that I don't recall her having the same kind of trouble managing files using a Mac Plus running System 6 and 7. Part of that could be chalked up to the fact that she was creating/managing a smaller number of files, or perhaps to her getting older, but I don't think that's all of it. I think a good chunk of it might actually be chalked up to the UI of the save dialog and the finder itself degrading in usability since the Classic days.

And the thing is, even my Mom needs files. Every so often she's given CDs or even an actual raw audio file to edit, what she needs to do is just a bit beyond the capability of garage band. At that point, the choice is either find an app that does every last thing she needs it to do -- and then still find a way to get the file in -- or it's do the work in pieces, one app per thing it's good at. That's not easy either, sometimes I have to help her through this, but if Apple keeps following its current road, it looks to me like I'll have to just do it for her on another platform. And that's to say nothing of how important files are to workflows for actual professionals.

I would love to see Apple try and solve the problem without giving up on files. In terms of raw talent and capital, I think they're more likely to be able to come up with a good solution than most. If their culture allows it.
posted by weston at 8:43 PM on July 25, 2012


FYI there are an awful lot of apps that don't use iCloud. Guessing the majority of people who need to know where their files are at all times will be using these more professional apps, and leaving stuff like Preview and iPhoto to those who don't need something like Illustrator and Lightroom. And there's a forum build of Dropbox that works.

What I want in a Mac OS still hasn't been addressed yet. I want a way to share my own content. Apple made it dead easy to share my purchased content with my wife - music, movies, apps all sync to her computer with no interventions on my part - but for pictures, content that I actually created, there is no Apple app that does this. If I snap a photo with my phone, it shows up on my iPad too. But it doesn't show up on her phone. And if I use iPhoto (I don't, primarily because of this syncing issue) I can sync with my own iPad and iPhone, but I can't pull in her content, and the pictures I shoot of our kid using our DSLR are not added to her library. Our photo libraries are synced using a synch app over the home network, and managed with Lightroom or Picasa, because Lightroom does the best job with raw images tha I have seen, and Picasa doesn't flip it's shit if I change or delete a photo outside of Picasa. And neither program tries to take MY OWN SELF-CREATED CONTENT and hide it inside an app folder, as if I can't be trusted with my own goddamn pictures.

iCloud is like Ping. Not a bad idea but has already been done better by someone else, and we all know what happened to Ping. They really need to improve iCloud in a lot of ways before I'd consider adopting it for anything other than syncing my notes and iOS photo stream. Calendars are already handled by Google, ditto for mail. And the silly partitioning of files is dumb; if I make a text file it should show up in the cloud for any app capable of opening that file type.
posted by caution live frogs at 9:15 PM on July 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


How do you get ML if you still have 10.5.8?
posted by ctmf at 9:30 PM on July 25, 2012


You have to install 10.6 or 10.7, first. And then you'll only want to do this if your computer has the chops.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:54 PM on July 25, 2012


The official - and simplest - method is to go via snow leopard. Upgrade via retail dvd, update to the latest patches (10.6.8 iirc). Then buy mountain lion via the app store, download and install.

Apple are still selling snow leopard discs for this purpose.

Lion and mountain lion wont upgrade a leopard mac; anything older than 10.6.6 will get blocked by the installer ,even if you download on another newer mac and create say a bootable usb drive version.

You can do it if you wipe the drive or fit a new one, and then restore userdata from backup, but its a bit fiddly and you need a snow leopard or better mac to create the usb thumb drive installer.

The same goes for installing lion, btw - you need to go via snow leopard or a clean drive.

As BP says, watch out that you meet the minimum spec; basically everything that didnt have a 64 bit cpu was dropped for lion, mountain lion killed off anything that met that but only had 32bit display drivers - primarily integrated intel graphics macs.
posted by ArkhanJG at 11:25 PM on July 25, 2012


Dictation new great thing here I decided to dictate this entire comment him first things first the dock is now a map color rather than shiny which is pretty minor him other than that everything is able to Sam the main differences notifications of like all about brights unfortunately notification Center is left on empty because there's Google for everything and apparently the dictation has a time which is pretty entertaining role I give it a C+ for effort also I just noticed that the dictation does not apparently believe in punctuation
posted by Pyry at 11:36 PM on July 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


Dictation new great thing here I decided to dictate this entire comment
Well now we're all just wondering what you meant to say
posted by revmitcz at 12:01 AM on July 26, 2012


I thought I'd try out the new dictation in OS X. it does seem to work when you want to put in punctuation you just have to say what you wanted; four example you can say.!?,:. The biggest problem is it doesn't seem to do the processing until you get the done button so you don't see any continuous progress with what you're doing. It's just constantly sitting there listening to your stream of consciousness until it eventually has a problem or hits the butler and in this case seems to have lost a little bit of what I've done.

(above dictated. Seems to work ok with my english accent, but I just want to clarify I would never abuse my poor butler)
posted by ArkhanJG at 12:14 AM on July 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


basically everything that didnt have a 64 bit cpu was dropped for lion, mountain lion killed off anything that met that but only had 32bit display drivers - primarily integrated intel graphics macs.

So, I have a 2007 Mac Pro, and last year I installed a new video card in order to use FCPX - the computer isn't officially supported for ML, but does the fact that it has a modern video card drag it into compatibility?

None of my computers will run ML, but they all work fine, and I'm not sure that I can drop that kind of money just to keep up with the OS. I suppose they'll just update the FCP and Logic so I can't use them any more, but it's a shame.

I think I'm drifting into middle-aged irrelevance. I may have to get a lawn to clear kids off.
posted by Grangousier at 12:31 AM on July 26, 2012


So, I have a 2007 Mac Pro, and last year I installed a new video card in order to use FCPX - the computer isn't officially supported for ML, but does the fact that it has a modern video card drag it into compatibility?

Kinda, with a but. There are also problems with the firmware - it's 32 bit only and not supported by the 64-bit only kernel in ML. Basically, you also need to install chameleon onto a separate partition or disk, which emulates the EFI firmware of newer macs - it's what hackintoshes use to pretend to be a mac for booting, ironically. You'll also need a ML supported graphics card, or you'll also need to do some kext hacking; the old nvidia 7300 is not supported, though the official 5770 upgrade is.

There's a lot more detail in general in this long thread, and a step-by-step guide is here.

Obviously by using chameleon, you'll not be officially supported, and it's a bit of a hack job, but there's no reason you shouldn't be able to get it going with some twiddling.
posted by ArkhanJG at 12:47 AM on July 26, 2012


Thanks for the info, but ... does that mean that 32bit everything is broken (I'm sure it's in the Siracusa somewhere, but...)? How about 32bit plug-ins for Logic?
posted by Grangousier at 1:13 AM on July 26, 2012


You can still run 32-bit applications on mountain lion - that's basically the point of the x86-64 EMT64 extensions that intel re-used from AMD, you can run both 32 and 64 bit code on the same machine. However a given app generally can't run as both 32 and 64 bit code; it's one or the other.

Lion and snow leopard have a 32 bit kernel and a 64 bit kernel, with associated drivers - the kernel is the 'core' link between the operating system and the physical hardware.

Mountain Lion dropped the 32-bit kernel support, so anything that can't boot the 64-bit kernel - i.e. 32-bit only EFI, old hardware that doesn't have 64-bit drivers in the kernel - can't boot. You can hack the firmware with emulation, i.e. chameleon, but if there's no 64-bit driver for your graphics card - which there isn't for a bunch old old chips - it won't run.

Since the kernel is what works with the RAM, going to a 64-bit kernel solves one of the big problems of how you address memory above 4GB, which is the limit of a 32-bit address space. There are hacks and work arounds, but it's a lot simpler to just use a 64-bit kernel.

Windows and linux have both been doing the same thing - windows 64-bit versions have a 64-bit kernel, and need 64-bit drivers, but can run either 32-bit or 64-bit apps. Some built in apps are 64-bit, some are 32-bit, and sometimes you get a choice of both.

The main reason you need a 64-bit app is if it needs to use more than 4GB* memory at once, which is still relatively rare. (in practise, the usual limit is 2GB simultaneously, due to the way that space is shared between the operating system and the application space. There are workarounds, but they're nasty)
posted by ArkhanJG at 1:48 AM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Dropbox just released a new version that supports mountain lion.
posted by pixie at 4:25 AM on July 26, 2012


Dictation new great thing here I decided to dictate this entire comment

The first time I used it I had the radio on in the background, so every pause was filled with garbled snippets of the news. Interesting possibilities for generative poetry.

It really reminds me of filing copy for newspapers over the phone in the days before email on mobiles or WiFi everywhere, only without the disapproval from the old ladies when you misused a semi-colon or said something mean about someone they liked.

For what it's worth I dictated this entire comment except the quotation at the top, speaking slowly, and I only had to correct three words.

Seems to like my accent, in the same way the Newton likes my handwriting.

Either that or years of talking down the telephone including punctuation has given me the knack.
posted by jack_mo at 5:57 AM on July 26, 2012


Oh. It's because Microsoft doesn't have deep enough pockets? Really?

I think it's more a case of "Windows Phone Manufacturers that also manufacture Android phones (Samsung/HTC) are pushing their Android phones more heavily". Nokia is the only company that's *really* pushing Windows Phone. I haven't seen *any* advertising for the Samsung Focus 2 - I didn't even know there WAS one. But I've seen a hell of a lot of ads for the Galaxy S III and Note.
posted by antifuse at 6:45 AM on July 26, 2012


entropicamericana: "Why am I not surprised Dropbox isn't ready for Mountain Lion?"

Call me a conspiracy nut, but Dropbox has had one hell of a time getting releases pushed through Apple's App Stores ever since Apple started taking its own cloud storage offering seriously.
posted by schmod at 7:56 AM on July 26, 2012


Metafilter: I'm sure it's in the Siracusa somewhere.
posted by schmod at 7:57 AM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Call me a conspiracy nut, but Dropbox has had one hell of a time getting releases pushed through Apple's App Stores ever since Apple started taking its own cloud storage offering seriously.

Okay, I'll call you a conspiracy nut because Dropbox's OS X client has never gone through the Mac App Store, so it's not Apple's fault that Dropbox doesn't have an app ready. If this goes down anywhere like the SL update, we can expect one in 1-2 months.
posted by entropicamericana at 8:11 AM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


If this goes down anywhere like the SL update, we can expect one in 1-2 months.

Or a bit quicker than that?
posted by antifuse at 8:47 AM on July 26, 2012


Works on my machine.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 8:47 AM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've noticed that transmission speeds over my wireless local network (ie sending a file to my NAS) have significantly increased since I installed Mountain Lion.. almost double, in fact. Haven't found a use or noticed any other benefits for the other "improvements", but that file transfer speed alone was worth it to me.
posted by modernnomad at 9:04 AM on July 26, 2012


Or a bit quicker than that?

Well, I'm pleasantly surprised!
posted by entropicamericana at 9:05 AM on July 26, 2012


XKCD: The OS X Problem
posted by and for no one at 10:02 AM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


but for pictures, content that I actually created, there is no Apple app that does this.

Shared photo streams is supposed to be coming this fall in iOS6, and appears to be exactly what you want.
posted by sparkletone at 11:14 AM on July 26, 2012


(For photos, anyway.)
posted by sparkletone at 11:14 AM on July 26, 2012


I've read Siracusa's reviews of every Mac OS X release (and the pre-releases) and I can honestly say that I'm much more informed as a result. He never could write such a thorough thing for a print publication and I'm thankful for how the Internet makes room for all manner of writing.

I'm curious if anyone has the stamina or will to write such detailed release notes for Windows. To my knowledge there is no peer to Siracusa.
posted by dgran at 12:18 PM on July 26, 2012


Watch what Apple’s OS update did to one network’s traffic
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:37 PM on July 26, 2012


What's more interesting to me from that graph is that there appears to be a spike every day around 5am or so. Is that the time that OSX/iOS devices auto-check for updates or something?
posted by antifuse at 12:45 PM on July 26, 2012


FWIW: my initial impressions on a late 2008 MacBook Air with 2GB RAM.

System speed
OS X Mountain Lion seems to be running a bit snappier than Lion. Wake times have improved noticeably: instant-on and instant-usability seem to have returned to (near) Snow Leopard levels. Under Lion 5-10 seconds of spinning beach balls was commonplace. The return of instant wake is the best part of the upgrade for me.

Transitions between pages and apps seem faster and smoother.

Safari
Safari is running much more smoothly for me. It appears to be much less of a memory hog and YouTube videos now run smoothly for me (before they would typically grind Safari to a halt). The combination of the two factors made me abandon Safari for Firefox, which I always regretted given Safari's more elegant integration of gestures and handy Reading List feature. I'm happily back to using Safari. This is my second favorite part of the upgrade.

Combining Google and bookmark searches into the URL bar is a bigger plus than I expected (it's like Spotlight for your Safari). The "share" button is also a nice touch.

Apps
The iOS apps Notepad and ToDo have finally been integrated into OS X, along with the Notifications windows. (Messages is also included for those who have not already downloaded it a la carte already). If you have an iPhone, the upgrade may be worth it just for the bundle of these apps.

I didn't use my iPhone's ToDo and Notepad apps because they didn't integrate well with my MacBook; now that they do, I probably will. Time will tell.

iCloud
The integration of Pages, Keynote, and Numbers into the iCloud is welcome. Granted, I don't use these programs much now, but iCloud integration increases their appeal.

Voice Dictation
Kind'uv cool. From the few tests I've tried, it's been impressively accurate. But I'm not sure how often I'll find myself preferring to speak instead of type. We'll see.

Dropbox, Dock
Dropbox is working without a problem. And FWIW, the dock looks nicer (that's worth a couple of bucks right there).

Airplay, PowerNap
There are other features my hardware does not support that I wish I could use: Power Nap (updates/syncs while it sleeps) and better AirPlay integration.

RAM
It boots with about the same amount of "Free" RAM (this was a huge relief). "Active" memory seems to creep up a bit more than before, and "Inactive" memory seems to capture a much larger slice of formerly "Free" memory. However, this seems to have resulted in an overall improvement: the computer seems to be running a bit faster and more smoothly than before. This is in contrast to the upgrade from Snow Leopard to Lion, where performance took a noticeable hit. Schwew!

Conclusion
I'm much happier with the upgrade than I expected. The return of fast wake times and the improvements to Safari alone make the upgrade worthwhile for my older, low-RAM configuration. The addition of the iOS apps now makes those apps far more relevant, and more likely to be used.

(Here's hoping these initial, positive impressions are born out with sustained use).
posted by Davenhill at 1:07 PM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


And something else that I just noticed - it would appear that with the release of Safari 6, Apple is no longer supporting Safari for Windows. That's a shame, as it made my web development a bit easier when I could check Safari locally.
posted by antifuse at 1:22 PM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is there an official statement on that? Maybe their developers are busy with the ML release and Apple will put out Safari 6 for Windows at a later time, when it is ready.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:45 PM on July 26, 2012


The Easter Eggs Are Back in OS X—And This One Is Insanely Great
posted by homunculus at 3:41 PM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I haven't seen an official notice yet - but they've wiped all references to Safari for Windows off the Safari page entirely. And 5.1.7 is only available from a special support page now. Speculation about that here.
posted by antifuse at 3:48 PM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I just came here to post that very same easter egg link. Neat-o.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:51 PM on July 26, 2012


Separated at birth: Mountain Lion and Steve Jobs (warning: animated GIFs might cause seizures).
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:16 PM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm running 10.8 right now. The installer was very strange. It was disconcerting seeing 34 minutes remaining.. 1 minute remaining.. -1 minute remaining.. -2 minutes remaining... -5 minutes remaining.. 20 minutes remaining..."

And now, it runs fine but OH CRAP NO RSS IN SAFARI.

Daniel Jakult's Subscribe To Feed extension does not work for me. I hate feed reader apps, they are no substitute for native RSS.
posted by charlie don't surf at 8:46 PM on July 26, 2012


Interesting new UNIX commands/binaries in OS X Mountain Lion
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:30 PM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


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