Monday, December 19, 2011

Mac OSX Lion - Apple loses the story

I have been a fan of Apple for a long, long time. I have been running Mac OS X since March 24, 2001, in other words I installed it the day it was released. It ran slowly on my 400Mhz G3 (state of the art for the day) but it was worth it to be running the future, not the past. With every release, Mac OS X has gotten consistently better until 10.7. With Lion, Apple lost the story of what makes a successful OS.

Behind the hoopla there are some serious problems with Lion, and they have not been addressed and we are at version 10.7.2. The first I have written about before, and that's the ability to lose data on network volumes. It still exists. Don't believe me? Copy a photo onto a network volume. Open it with preview and crop it. Quit preview. Try to get back to the original. Note that you can't. It is lost, gone forever in the interest of making things "simpler" for new users. 

When you try to work on a document on your own system you often get a message about the document being "locked" and requiring you to either unlock it (and make permanent changes) or duplicate it. What if I don't want to duplicate it, I just want to rotate it and print? Mac OS X inserts itself in your workflow. You cannot choose to work on something and not save it. It must. be. saved. 

Ok, so what if you want to put confidential information in a temporary document and then destroy it after you are done with it. Well, it might be hidden in a version. How nice for you. 

Today I discovered that they removed "bounce" from mail. Why? Who cares! It's a feature that some people used, and they took it away. 

I didn't begrudge Apple removing Rosetta until I went on vacation and wanted to take a few old mac games with me. I have a soft spot for Starcraft, and I never did get around to finishing Warcraft III. Guess what, both of those are PowerPC apps. In fact, I don't have a single intel native game. So my laptop can no longer play games since I installed Lion.

So, I have lost the ability to work the way I want to, I've lost the ability to control when files are altered or not, I've lost the ability to bounce email, and I've lost the ability to run any games I own. 

What have I gained?

(1) A version of Address Book that was supposed to be better, but is actually worse than the one in Snow Leopard.

(2) FileVault that I don't use because what Apple calls "imperceptable" is an unacceptable performance penalty in the real world.

(3) Finder changes. I don't notice any of these.

(4) Mail. I lost bounce, haven't noticed anything better. 

(5) Mission Control - I like this, but it totally doesn't make up for what I've lost.

(6) Preview - Add your signature. Never used it. I fear preview because it permanently alters documents I don't want it to. It freaks when you run something from a CD because it can't change it. It is far worse than the old preview in almost every way.

(7) Launchpad - Pointless

In short, Lion is a complete pile of Vista.

I think I'm going to downgrade for the first time in my Apple using career, spanning all the way back to the 128k mac. Sad days, sad days indeed.


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