Saturday, July 30, 2011

OS X Lion

OS X Lion has been released for a week now, so I thought I'd try it out on one of my machines. A definitive review is here. I'll be too busy to really play with it for a while, or to do much programming, but I thought I should at least try. An additional motivation is that my laptop (an aluminum MacBook from about December 08), had developed an issue. It completely drains the battery (starting from full charge) in sleep mode, even when no apps are running. The battery hasn't been particularly stressed:

Health Information:
Cycle Count: 568
Condition: Normal
Battery Installed: Yes
Amperage (mA): 0
Voltage (mV): 12546

And, it doesn't drain when powered off. This problem appeared recently, and I am interested to see if installing Lion might fix it, but that hasn't been tested yet. I'll update when I have those results.

This post is just to document that I got Lion onto a USB flash drive and used it to do the install and it worked fine. Instructions from here. I did this because it's the only way to do a clean install. One odd thing: if the machine on which you are attempting to do the download can't run Lion, you won't be allowed to do the download at all! I had to bring my laptop to work (and get the IT guys to reauthorize it for our network).

Also, I have two Apple IDs---an old one and one that goes with my MobileMe account. When I set up Mail, the ID for the computer was automatically set to be the latter, but I originally did the Lion download with the former. We'll see if and when that causes a problem.

It seems clear that the Mac OS will (in time) become more iOS-like (locked down, user not allowed to risk hurting himself, even if he wants to) and less easy to hack around with. But for now, it's still a win over Linux, for me.

Python is 2.7:



> python
Python 2.7.1 (r271:86832, Jun 16 2011, 16:59:05)
[GCC 4.2.1 (Based on Apple Inc. build 5658) (LLVM build 2335.15.00)] on darwin
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.


The default scrolling is like that on the iPhone---as if you're moving the content, rather than a scrollbar. After 2 or 3 hours, I changed the setting back to the old method. Maybe I will try to retrain my brain at a later date.

I also downloaded Xcode 4. It quit in the middle for no reason, but completed on the second try. Weirdly, in the middle of the install I got this alert panel:



I say "weirdly" because iTunes is not running. Starting and quitting iTunes had no effect, either. Finally I went in Terminal and looked for an iTunes-related process:


  163 ??         0:00.03 /Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/MacOS/iTunesHelper.app/Contents/MacOS/iTunesHelper -psn_0_57358


after I killed it, the install finished fine. There is a mention in the big Ars Technica review that apps don't actually quit (or perhaps not always), and may not show the little dot for an active app, but there was no process for iTunes so I don't think so. It's weird that a bug like that should still be present at this stage of the game.

And I like the new looks in Terminal:



[ UPDATE: Yep, the battery does not drain on sleep anymore. (Well, 2% in 2 hr). That's the good news. The bad news is that the extension I had to help autofill passwords when forms contain autocomplete="off" doesn't work with Safari any more (post here, extension here). I sure hope Apple didn't do that on purpose. ]

UPDATE 2: I just needed to check to the right box in the Prefs.


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