Upgrading from OSX Snow Leopard to OSX Lion has so far been somewhat of a disappointment, especially when compared to previous upgrades. Actually I’m glad it only cost $29, as any more and i would have probably returned it. The upgrade process itself was fairly smooth and seamless (apart from one complete hang/lockup requiring a reboot). It’s the post upgrade, i.e.: adoption, that’s caused the most, or be they “slight” frustrations.
A quick summary of the upgrade.
1. Upgraded Macbook 5.1 (first uni-body aluminum macbook released) from 4GB to 8GB ram.
2. Installed new Crucial M4 256GB Solid State Drive.
3. Performed Clean Install of Lion (via USB stick) – takes about 1 hr (probably would have been less if it didn’t hang half way through)
4. Install everything and migrate from old 256DB SATA drive to new install.
Elements of Frustration.
1. Random Mouse Pointer Jumping / Acceleration.
It seems OSX Lion is plagued with these problems. Don’t underestimate how annoying these are. Seriously, your Mouse Pointer will simply disappear and randomly jump around the screen real-estate. If you have multiple screens you’ll have to look to find it!
So far there are no fixes. If tried everything I’ve found. (this is on a regular Mighty Mouse).
2. Performance is Poor.
Out of the box it’s remarkably slow. Well, it appears to be remarkably slow. While there are some beautiful GUI transitions between windows, applications loading, spaces etc, these chew a lot of CPU. Basically add one second at a minimum to all window opening/application loading interactions (on my machine anyway). Luckily there are some solutions.
Open a terminal and execute these commands:
defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSAutomaticWindowAnimationsEnabled -bool NO
defaults write com.apple.Mail DisableReplyAnimations -bool YES
These will disable the animations for windows (which use to be an option in Snow Leopard, but is now gone).
3. Auto Repeat (when holding down a key) Doesn’t Work.
Yup. Amazing, but here’s how to turn it on (again using a terminal)
defaults write -g ApplePressAndHoldEnabled -bool false
4. Eclipse Margin Warnings Aren’t Displayed
There is a defect in Eclipse (all versions I can tell) that prevents the compiler error/warnings some being displayed in the right-hand scroll-bar area. This is fixed by turning on the “hide scroll bar” option.
Apple > System Preferences > General > Show Scroll Bars: Select "When Scrolling" Option.
Any other option seems to break Eclipse. Trust me, without this fix you’ll be searching for compiler errors by scrolling through each document by hand (or having to click through the Errors Panel).
5. Adium crashes intermittently
Not a biggy, but Adium randomly seems to crash if you change networks. Have you upgrade to the “beta” as all other versions are not supported on Lion. Funny, seems like is a “beta” too :(
Bottom line: Unless you’re willing to invest some time ironing these things out, I avoid the upgrade. I’m certainly not upgrading my other Mac’s. If I had time I’d probably roll back, but I’m determined to move forward.
On the Positive Side: There are some very nice features, like the new Mail.app which I’ve become addicted to pretty quickly.