Lion

Jul. 25th, 2011 06:34 pm
[personal profile] abortrephrase
I've been running Lion on my 2010 Macbook Pro since release day. Yeah, I'm a sucker for the new shiny. I know.

Anyway. There are plenty of good reviews online. I recommend the ArsTechnica review as it's every bit as thorough as their full OS reviews usually are.

The install was of course very easy. The App Store placed an installer in the Dock, I went in to the package and snarfed the disk image before starting, then ran it. It did its thing, and a while later I had a Lion system up and running.

I did however make one big mistake: I fired off the full-disk encryption on the boot volume, then started deleting lots of stuff in an effort to clean up cruft. This seems to have confused matters in some way, as I wound up with it insisting there was only 80GB free no matter how much stuff I deleted. Rebooting into the shiny new recovery partition and letting it do a filesystem repair (there were some errors) seemed to fix things, but then it was back to the same once I rebooted into the OS again.

So, as I have Time Machine backing everything up, and wanted to reclaim the space I'd allocated to Boot Camp anyway, I decided to do a clean install.

Trying to do this from the recovery partition was a non-starter as Disk Utility can't repartition the disk it's booted from. But it can burn an image to DVD, so I did that and booted from the DVD instead. That worked Just Fine and I got a nice clean Lion install.

The Migration Assistant noticed the Time Machine disk and kindly offered to restore from it. I opted to let it restore settings and my home directory but not applications, and that worked Just Fine as well.

However. Trying to restore applications piecemeal from Time Machine didn't go as smoothly. The disk names were different (I renamed the boot volume while I was at it) so the browser wouldn't show the old content. Easy enough to work around by poking through the backup volume with Finder and copying what I wanted out of there.

Compatibility with my apps has so far been great, but I don't have any really old legacy PPC applications I care about. I'd expected VMware Fusion to give trouble, but it didn't. Can't recall if I'd installed an update any time in the last six months…

Spaces is no longer a sort of second-class afterthought kind of deal, it's a key part of the workflow enabling the full screen apps and providing access to the widgets. So I've embraced that -- where I used to ignore it in favour of just using Expose and a single desktop -- by running VMware full-screen in one desktop, Chrome with just my GMail account full-screen in another. Control-left/right to flip between these is very convenient, though Spaces is still weirdly inconsistent when returning to a space with a pile of windows. It really needs to get a clue about this: if you switch back with control-whatsit then you should go back to exactly the state it was in last time, if you go back by alt-tabbing to an app in that space, then that app should have foreground.

Full-disk encryption is neat. My primary machine is a laptop which I use as a desktop most of the time -- external display, keyboard, mouse -- but hey, might as well. The GUI understands the need to unlock volumes when accessed for the first time pretty much everywhere it matters, so I've got my Time Machine and scratch volumes encrypted too.

Autocorrect in text edit widgets is nice but taking a little getting used-to.

I notice that Crossover Games isn't too happy with Lion. Not a huge loss, I don't use it much anyway.

The Emacs build I had from Snow Leopard was fine, but when I wiped-and-reinstalled of course I needed to redo that. I use homebrew for my OS X open sauce packaging. The recipe there needed a few tweaks (compiler and linker options, it wants -fno-pie for both) to make it build, but 23.3 doesn't like Lion -- you get no titllebar and an inconveniently-located window.

Building from HEAD fixes that. Some nice new tweaks in Gnus too, which is cool.

Hm. What else? Lots of tweaks, iTunes is 64-bit and a Cocoa re-write. Chrome was a bit crash-y at first but seems to have settled down (touch wood), it may have done a silent upgrade in the last day or so. I'm using Safari as my primary browser for a while, just to see how it goes -- and because I suspect that once iOS 5 drops I'll want to use the Reading List function a lot. So far so good on that score too.

Switched to iChat as primary IM client for now. My main problem with previous versions was the "one 'buddy list' per service" model and they've fixed that now. I have a shiny new webcam so I may as well use a client that'll work with it.

The new Mail looks awesome but GMail is a crappy IMAP service so I'm not using it right now. Once iCloud drops I'll be giving that a serious look and maybe trialling it for my mail/calendar needs -- Apple has plenty of flaws, but it does at least have a customer service department, unlike Google. And I'm seriously thinking about moving back to the iPhone when the next version hits, depending on a bunch of things. But more on that can of worms later in some other post, eh?

Anyway. Lion, pretty good.
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