The newest Mac OS, Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, was released last week. See John Siracusa’s review for a extremely detailed look at the new features in Lion. AstroBetter posted some thoughts on Mac OS X 10.7 Lion along with a comment thread from users about how it has affected specific astronomy packages.
My thoughts from using Lion for a few days on my home computer (I haven’t upgraded work computers yet):
- IDL seems to work fine, though I haven’t done much on my home computer besides a few sanity tests.
- Lion is the first Mac OS X update I have thought felt slower than its predecessor. I think it is mostly due to the new window creation animation. The extremely useful Secrets website says that the following should turn off the animation: “
defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSAutomaticWindowAnimationsEnabled -bool NO”.
- Spaces have been changed a bit to work with the new Mission Control feature. I had a 2 x 3 grid of spaces previously, but Lion only supports a 1-dimensional array of spaces, so now I have a single row of six spaces. This is what I’m missing the most so far, since my 2-dimensional mental model of the purposes of the spaces allowed quick switching between tasks.
- Scrolling is, by default, backwards from the current direction, but there is a preference value to change it back to the Snow Leopard way. I suppose if I had a Magic Trackpad I would give the new way a try, but I use a regular mouse with a scroll wheel, so I stuck to the old way.
- Most people are reporting an easy installation from the Mac App Store, but I had some difficulty. After Lion was downloaded, my Mac rebooted and the installer hung. It reported that it had 33 minutes to go for several hours. I tried again and it appeared to hang again, but I left it going all day as I was at work. When I come back, it had installed. Not sure how long it took, but it was definitely way longer than 33 minutes.
- Rosetta support is gone, luckily all my applications are native now.
- The UI is generally more muted and fading into the background, which I really like. On the other hand, iCal and Address Book got the skeuomorphic treatment, which I really don’t like.
- For a few months, the new version of XCode cost $5. The new Lion version is free again.