Today, like a kid in a candy store, I upgraded to the new Mac OSX Lion from the Mac App store.
It can’t go without noting that it has been a long time since I was excited about the prospect of a new release software download. Today gave me glimpses of the days long gone when Microsoft would release new and innovative software. Those days are “dust in the rear-view mirror”. True geek like I know… but hay! You are the one reading this!
So How Did it Go?
Generally it went exceptionally well.
- The download was way faster than I expected. I had imagined that the apple servers would be getting hammered all day, but that was not the case. The 4 GB package came down in around 30 min on a Telstra Australia cable connection.
- The initial install and reboot was fast. Around 1 minute and a MacBook Pro running an SSD hard disk.
- The setup and install of the operating system was reported by the software to be around 30 minutes, but took less than 20. Not bad for a new 4 GB operating system. The important thing was that there were no errors or stalls. At one stage the screen went to sleep or reset with a blank screen. Space Bar fixed that. So no problems there.
- After reboot, there was one small glitch. The OS detected that a new version of Java was required to be downloaded. The download window started and on first attempt stopped after about 50% download. It stalled and did not go further. I could not quit the program so decided to reboot. After which it prompted again and this time the download reached 100% 63.3 Meg from memory. However it stopped and did not appear to install.
Again I rebooted but wised up to this download. Rather than say, install. I quit the auto detected download prompt. Then went to the “Software Update” and asked it to check for updates. This time the updated worked, along with an iTunes update. All good.
More Findings – Mail
We noticed that the Mail application that was updated and previously linked with an Exchange connection to our Exchange server 2010 ended up with two accounts. Both with the same details and same settings, both of them as IMAP accounts, and not exchange accounts.
We deleted both accounts from Mail. Then added the exchange connected account again, and this worked. Holding the details as an Exchange account.
Not sure why this happened, but it did happen on 3 machines.
More about Microsoft Office for Mac on Lion
Over the weekend Microsoft published a knowledge base article that outlines some known issues with Office for Mac on OS X 10.7. Overall, if you have Office 2004 and rely on it, then do not upgrade to OS X Lion until you have an alternative Office version installed (2008 or preferably 2011). Office 2004 is PowerPC code, and as with Intuit's Quicken 2007 and earlier versions, if you install Lion then you will not be able to launch Office 2004.
Luckily there are options, including the ability to upgrade, or even install Snow Leopard in an alternative partition so you can still use Rosetta, but these may require you to either purchase new software licenses or set up a relatively cumbersome dual-boot situation.
In addition to the lack of support for Office 2004, there are a few situations in which Office 2008 and 2011 applications may crash. In Excel, a crash may occur when moving spread sheets between workbooks. PowerPoint may also crash when you use Command-Tab in presentation viewer mode. The only other known crash situations involve Communicator (only in Office 2011), which may shut down when initiating calls or messages.
If you regularly use any of these options or application functions, then you might consider waiting to upgrade to Lion until they are fixed.
Some Other Issues Especially in Xcode
The other interesting observation is that the scrolling is not only reversed (which we don’t essentially mind) but that in a few applications the scrolling is so bad it is virtually unusable. Xcode is a great example.
When using the new revered scrolling to browse simple lists of code, the stop start nature of the scrolling is so bad that it is almost unusable. It feels like your fingers may not have enough pressure when in actual fact they do!
All in all the update was exceptional. I cannot help but think back to MS updates that totally killed my system so often that I would NEVER consider a Windows Update, but would always start fresh with a new install. (What a pain). Never gain! Apple, your careful eye to easy end user experience has mean that as an advanced Windows Server Administrator I have never needed to “look under the hood” at your OS. Thanks for that!
That being said, clearly there are some bugs. Some of like the scrolling in Xcode make me wonder if updating is really necessary until they patch things like this.