OSX Lion from Apple – Where’s The Beef?

Apple released OSX Lion, the latest version of their computer operating system today, and I was able to download and install it without incident to my aging MacBook, (circa mid 2007). So, what is all the fuss about? Actually, I suspect that it is mostly under the hood. The user interface changes in OSX Lion, notably the addition of the Launchpad, an iPhone-like full screen which shows all applications, and Mission Control, which combines aspects of the previous OS’s Dashboard, Expose and Spaces, seem relatively minor, and you can pretty much avoid them.

Mind-Manager 9 for the Mac
Doesn’t display the “full screen” arrows in the upper-right hand corner, but otherwise seems to work fine at first glance. There have been complaints on the MM user forums about Lion compatibility. Required the installation of a new Java Virtual Machine.

I’m still working with the trial version of this. An update included the full-screen icon.

Required an update. No icon for the full screen.

The current version is Build 12094. I upgraded to this. (Version 6.0.12094). Parallels is pretty worthless on my laptop these days, as I only have 2 megabytes of RAM, which turns out to be pretty tight when attempting to run Windows 7. On the laptop, I find myself using BootCamp.

OSX Lion Server
There were rumors that the Mac OSX server software would simply be included with the Lion update. This used to cost $499. However, it is now available as a $49.00 set of applications as an add-on. I was particularly interested in the PodCast Producer application, which I think is available only through buying OSX server. This is now available in a free download of “server tools”, which, presumably, can be downloaded and installed on a workstation to manage servers on a network. Just for grins, I downloaded these, and installed, but the PodCast Producer (now actually called Podcast Composer) crashed several times when I attempted to run it.

Mac Mail
There are minor changes to Mac Mail, in how it displays by default. The default configuration displays three columns, with the left column showing mailboxes and folders as before, then a column which displays the list of eMails. A third column displays the contents of each eMail. Since I don’t like to display contents by default, and I think it is major safety hazard as it opens each eMail, I reconfigured the pgoram to turn off the third pane. So, Mail now looks about the same as before.

There are several changes to the Calendar program, but most obviously it has a kind of faux leather “blotter” frame around the calendar days. I spent almost a half-hour searching on Google trying to figure out how to get rid of the damn thing, it looks really tacky, and worse, it doesn’t appear to be changeable.

Address Book
This now looks like a “paper” address book, with a sleazy leather “binding” which matches the calendar.

No change. OmmWriter works in full screen mode anyway. Seems to work fine in Lion.

More Updates
But wait….there’s more! Running the Mac update application will fetch updates for iWeb, iTunes, iWork, and some third-party things like printer drivers.

More than you want to know
At Cult of Mac, they’ve sketched out many of the changes. They might be a little breathlessly enthusiastic. Anyway, I’m glad I upgraded, and I’ll be interested to see how it goes on my iMac.

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