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OS X Mountain Lion Review

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the you-got-your-mobile-OS-in-my-desktop-OS dept.

OS X 424

John Siracusa at Ars Technica has published a lengthy and detailed review of OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion. (Lengthy enough that the review garnered a review of its own.) Siracusa methodically goes through all of the changes in the new version, covering everything from the minor new features to the overarching goals. Quoting: "Despite the oft-cited prediction that Mac will eventually be subsumed by iOS, that's not what's happening here. Apple is determined to bring the benefits of iOS to the Mac, but it's equally determined to do so in a way that preserves the strengths of the Mac platform. Where we Mac nerds go wrong is in mistaking traditions for strengths. Loss aversion is alive and well in the Mac community; with each 'feature' removed and each decision point eliminated from our favorite OS, our tendency is to focus heavily on what's been lost, sometimes blinding ourselves to the gains. But the larger problem is that losses and gains are context-dependent. A person who never uses a feature will not miss it when it's gone. We all pay lip service to the idea that most users never change the default settings in software, but we rarely follow this through to its logical conclusion. The fact is, we are not the center of the market, and haven't been for a long time. Three decades ago, the personal computer industry was built on the backs of technology enthusiasts. Every product, every ad was created to please us. No longer. Technology must now work for everyone, not just 'computing enthusiasts.'" A somewhat briefer review is available at ComputerWorld, and there's a quick one from John Gruber.

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424 comments

Here we see the difference between Free and Slave (2, Insightful)

jmorris42 (1458) | about a year and a half ago | (#40766879)

This is why I left the commercial software behind so many years ago. Let us contrast OS X, Windows and Linux+GNOME. All have recently succumbed, or will soon, to tablet madness. By this I mean that they are all undergoing an almost total rewrite to target an audience almost exactly unlike the one that currently uses the product. Whether this will be 'successful' is still debatable but for my purpose, as a current or past user, almost beside the point.

If you are a Mac user, as a drinker of the Kool-Aid you have no choice. Whatever is coming out is insanely great, you simply must believe that because any other thought would lead to madness. Windows folk will simply bitterly cling to Windows 7 until it end of lifes and hope policy changes, as it often does. They are more like Star Trek fans, they admit there is a pattern to which releases suck and don't suck. But again, their choice is limited to picking one of the available supported versions. When you hitch yourself to a commercial entity you always subject yourself to their business needs, which are rarely in alignment with your own and you get little input into the decisions they make and few options when they change directions and abandon you.

Now lets see how I came out. Few would dispute the GNOMEs also became infected with tablet madness and were suffering from 'lets remove features until an idiot can't screw anything up" disorder long before that. Difference is that when it finally became too much, after installing Fedora 15 and looking at the steaming turd that was GNOME 3, I didn't have to develop a cognitive disonance and convince myself the turd was actually shiny, new and that I loved it after all. I didn't have to bitterly cling to Fedora 14 (along with my gun, bible, etc.) and pray either. There were a multitude of options at that time and because I was in the company of a multitude who had also been similarly abandoned even more new options quickly appeared. And none involved the pain of even distro switching, let alone switching OS and most applications just because one group decided to change focus. In the end, WE decide. I decide. Worst case I could fork the closest thing to what I like and work on it.

Free means never being at the mercy of someone else's business plan.

Re:Here we see the difference between Free and Sla (1, Funny)

binarylarry (1338699) | about a year and a half ago | (#40766951)

Few would dispute the GNOMEs also became infected with tablet madness and were suffering from 'lets remove features until an idiot can't screw anything up" disorder/quote?

I thought that was the GNOME mantra.

GNOME won't run until the users are dumb?

Difference between the Fluid and the Stationary (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40767769)

Part of the Mountain Lion review got me hard enough to pre-cum. Other parts made me throw up in my mouth, but just a little.

Re:Here we see the difference between Free and Sla (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40767001)

And yet my Windows 7 will have better gaming and application support than your Loonix desktop for the next decade well after mainstream support is dropped. Have fun with your distro that loses support anywhere from 6 months to 3 years later and has a dearth of application choice in comparison (no the 1000 different text editors and solitaire clones don't count).

Re:Here we see the difference between Free and Sla (2)

crypticedge (1335931) | about a year and a half ago | (#40767059)

It's a good thing there isn't a handy command like "apt-get dist-upgrade" on debian based systems or anything.

Re:Here we see the difference between Free and Sla (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40767129)

And yet I don't have to upgrade my OS at all. That's the point. My unsupported Windows version will have longer and better support from software developers than your 6 month old Loonix install will. Just look at how 12 years later that XP still gets the latest games and most of the latest versions of applications.

Re:Here we see the difference between Free and Sla (2, Insightful)

characterZer0 (138196) | about a year and a half ago | (#40767285)

And yet I don't have to upgrade my OS at all.

As long as you do not mind having a botnet zombie.

Re:Here we see the difference between Free and Sla (3, Interesting)

sarysa (1089739) | about a year and a half ago | (#40767545)

And yet I don't have to upgrade my OS at all.

As long as you do not mind having a botnet zombie.

Botnet malware doesn't just pop in out of nowhere. It's gets in when the user does something careless. It's gotten much easier to avoid issues without being excessively paranoid. If you like torrents or porn, quarantine them in a Linux VM. I believe Chrome (and maybe Firefox) now sandboxes websites as well. (of course, VM works here too) Change the moronic default settings to various programs so executables don't get launched without your direct action. (I blame software developers, including Microsoft, in the early 00's for this) There are other things to do as well, but you still get to enjoy your Windows gaming.

Re:Here we see the difference between Free and Sla (4, Informative)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year and a half ago | (#40767385)

No it won't.

Eventually 3rd parties will begin to ignore it.

XP is interesting here only because it's successor (Vista) was so bad that Microsoft was forced to continue supporting it against it's will.

Re:Here we see the difference between Free and Sla (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40767491)

I wasn't talking about from Microsoft. I was talking about 3rd party software. I can play all the latest games on XP and I can run the latest Firefox or Chrome without updating my OS.

Re:Here we see the difference between Free and Sla (4, Insightful)

crypticedge (1335931) | about a year and a half ago | (#40767661)

For now, I know firefox was talking at one point of dropping XP support and we aren't far from the rest of the current software developers doing the same. A 12 year old Linux system is still just as usable, but you would be a fool to think any 12 year old system with no updates is in any way secure. As Microsoft is soon to phase out all updates for XP, you'll find that your 12 year old OS is no longer really usable.

You'll also find that your not getting the performance if your running that 12 year old OS on newer hardware since you have a lack of 64 bit support, lower memory allowances, and worse video performance capabilities.

You'll also find you still have to reboot on a frequent basis, a Linux system can go years without a reboot (and our Linux based phone systems do go 2+ years without frequently)

Re:Here we see the difference between Free and Sla (0)

countach74 (2484150) | about a year and a half ago | (#40767405)

Interestingly, it's also just as easy for a Linux user to never upgrade their system and still run self-contained binary packages. That doesn't change that it's absolutely retarded to do so. Grats on never upgrading your shitty OS: that strategy is a real winner.

Re:Here we see the difference between Free and Sla (1)

BanHammor (2587175) | about a year and a half ago | (#40767417)

XP is being phased out.
Also, Linux is written as Linux.
Also, almost every problem that Linux has can be attributed to lack of people's demand. Especially better support.
Also, of all things, I can still run an app up to a decade old (RTCW/Enemy Territory) and have it run just fine, aside from occasional hijinks with audio.

People on Linux prefer to live on a constant 6-month-to-3-years upgrade schedule. Software reflects it.

Re:Here we see the difference between Free and Sla (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40767161)

"emerge --update world"

Re:Here we see the difference between Free and Sla (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#40767203)

Looks like they still don't have a working spell check though.

Re:Here we see the difference between Free and Sla (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about a year and a half ago | (#40767561)

And yet my Windows 7 will have better gaming and application support than your Loonix desktop for the next decade well after mainstream support is dropped

Windows definitely has much better support for new games, but for older games I've found that WINE often works better. I have a number of games designed for Windows 9x that work fine in WINE on OS X (which is very much a tier 2 platform for WINE), yet won't even run on Windows 2000 or XP, let alone anything newer.

Re:Here we see the difference between Free and Sla (3, Insightful)

kenorland (2691677) | about a year and a half ago | (#40767609)

Ah, the old astroturfing: a "dearth of applications for Linux" and "great backwards support for Windows". Give it up, man, you'll never hype your stock up again.

Re:Here we see the difference between Free and Sla (5, Funny)

Moblaster (521614) | about a year and a half ago | (#40767013)

Look. All I want is a computer with two keys. A 1 and a 0. Preferably really, really big keys. No software. No firmware. Just me and the machine. No way to screw things up. It will do what I tell it, and no more. That way, I can keep banging away until I get either Turing's syndrome, or Tourette's.

Re:Here we see the difference between Free and Sla (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40767083)

Maybe, just maybe, the desktop experience was flawed to start with. Now that people have the equivalent of Tricorders, they want real Star Trek computers. You don't need a Start button or a mouse to operate the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701).

Re:Here we see the difference between Free and Sla (1)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | about a year and a half ago | (#40767413)

One thing I never really agreed with in terms of the Star Trek's depiction of computers was that the alphanumeric keyboard was a goner.

How Scotty manages to rock the QWERTY in Star Trek IV, I don't know. Dictation is not a natural fit for everyone ; I can probably type far more efficiently than I can orate.

And while there are some nods to a "tactile interface" - presumably produced by forcefields in the control panels - the TNG / Okuda panels must be murderous for anyone who wants to be productive.

Enterprise and Voyager both acknowledged this to a degree by bringing back the analogue joystick for the helmsman.

There's some madness here, for sure (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40767095)

This is why I left the commercial software behind so many years ago. Let us contrast OS X, Windows and Linux+GNOME. All have recently succumbed, or will soon, to tablet madness.

I'd buy that in the case of Win8, and maybe Gnome 3, but not OS X. Apple already owns the most successful tablet OS in the business. OS X has borrowed a few iOS touches, mostly aesthetic [eg superficial and easily ignored] ones, but has not succumbed to "tablet madness" the way Microsoft did. Probably because Apple was the only OS vendor that didn't have an "Oh-shit-we-need-our-own-iPad-thing" reaction.

OS X still has a Desktop metaphor.
Still has a user-accessible filesystem.
Still has windows and a menu bar.
Doesn't even have native touch-screen support at all

And these are not accidents, or features that Apple forgot to cover up or replace with tablet-like equivalents. They're there because Apple was smart enough to understand the differences between tablets and traditional PCs, and had enough foresight to come up with a separate OS for the former five years ago.

Re:There's some madness here, for sure (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40767557)

For all the arguing we do about Apple, there are a few things I think we can agree on with regard to their last decade:

They plan ahead.

Everything they do is for a reason consistent with that plan.

So they're all shiny and finished on the outside, like every little product just pops out effortlessly, but that place is like a well oiled machine on the inside. You don't hear a lot about half-hearted tinkering at Apple. That's not to say they don't have flops, but still, they're on-mission every. single. day. And it's working for them.

Re:There's some madness here, for sure (0)

harperska (1376103) | about a year and a half ago | (#40767751)

I'm not sure why this got modded down, other than because it said something vaguely positive about Apple which goes against the Apple hating /. hive mind. Everything AC said is true.

Re:Here we see the difference between Free and Sla (5, Insightful)

ashpool7 (18172) | about a year and a half ago | (#40767159)

>Free means never being at the mercy of someone else's business plan.

It just means being at the mercy of a bunch of random developers instead.

Nobody has enough time to maintain forks of everything they use, never mind the people who don't even have the knowhow.

Re:Here we see the difference between Free and Sla (3, Informative)

jmorris42 (1458) | about a year and a half ago | (#40767305)

> Nobody has enough time to maintain forks of everything they use, never mind the people who don't even have the knowhow.

The point is that we usually don't have to. Unless you really are a unique snowflake, you aren't the only one being abandoned. In the case of GNOME going nuts there were lots of options and more directly on point a lot of pissed off former users creating offshoot replacement projects. Most of those will fail but it doesn't matter because it will be because a couple will succeed and attract in attracting the majority of the outcast former GNOME users. You don't HAVE to create everything yourself, from scratch. You can even take the last 'good' version of a software line that goes off the deep end and use that as a starting point.

If you don't like MIcrosoft or Apple's new direction you have fewer options. You can suck it up, switch operating systems or start a cleanroom cloning effort of the entire stack from scratch. And look at ReactOS or Wine to see how impractical that last option has proven to be.

Re:Here we see the difference between Free and Sla (2)

s73v3r (963317) | about a year and a half ago | (#40767495)

The point is that we usually don't have to

Thus putting yourself at the mercy of someone else.

Re:Here we see the difference between Free and Sla (2)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about a year and a half ago | (#40767617)

That depends on who you are. As an individual, sure. As a company with 10,000 employees, things look quite different. Companies like Red Hat or iX Systems will happily let you pay for a fork to be maintained on your behalf.

Re:Here we see the difference between Free and Sla (3, Informative)

DAldredge (2353) | about a year and a half ago | (#40767177)

Or the Windows 8 folks could simply click the Desktop tile or install Start8 to boot directly to the desktop.

Re:Here we see the difference between Free and Sla (5, Insightful)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about a year and a half ago | (#40767199)

I'm sure you're trying to make a point in there somewhere, but it's pretty evident that you haven't used OS X Lion or the new Mountain Lion. With a few tweaks, my desktop looks the same in Mountain Lion as it does on my older machine running Leopard. I just don't see what you are talking about. A single application named "Launchpad" doesn't mean that OS X has abandoned the desktop and gone tablet crazy.

Congrats on your effort to somehow include Gnome 3 and your free software slogan in your diatribe.

Is it really all life and death? (5, Insightful)

uptownguy (215934) | about a year and a half ago | (#40767239)

...um... And here I thought I was just upgrading to a newer release, not drinking Kool-Aid or proving I am a slave or whatever.

10.8 is a nice dot release. I am VERY happy to have AirPlay mirroring to my AppleTV. I travel and give presentations to small groups and in meetings, knowing that I just lost my tether and will be able to sit anywhere around the table instead of right next to wherever the monitor cable happened to be is kind of nice. I also appreciate the integration with my reminders app on my iPhone.

I dislike the fact that they removed Podcast Publisher. This means I am going to have to find a workaround for what (had been) an easy workflow for me. I'm sure I'll find other little annoyances over the coming days and weeks. And I'll adjust.

All things considered, I'm pleased. More than that, though, I guess I'm just really confused by the us-vs.-them mentality in the above post. I happen to use the OS I do because it seems to be the right tool for the job. I also run Windows 7 (via Parallels) so that I can run Visio and MS Project and a few other programs that I need. Sometimes my smartphone is the right tool (happens to be an iPhone but I've seen similar functionality on Android phones and Windows phones) sometimes my tablet... I don't feel "locked in" to any of it any more than I feel locked in by the choices a television network makes for their fall lineup or the choices my state has made for when and where road construction will occur. There are projects in life that are bigger than one person and choices are made we don't always agree with.

Jeepers. I had no idea I was drinking Kool Aid or stifling dissenting thoughts so as to stave off madness. I've been coming to Slashdot for over 14 years. I appreciate a low 4 digit UID. But really, does a content free screed about how open source is the only right path posted minutes after the article hits the front page really further the discussion about the OS X Mountain Lion review?

Re:Is it really all life and death? (5, Interesting)

DJRumpy (1345787) | about a year and a half ago | (#40767731)

If you are a Mac user, as a drinker of the Kool-Aid you have no choice. Whatever is coming out is insanely great, you simply must believe that because any other thought would lead to madness. Windows folk will simply bitterly cling to Windows 7 until it end of lifes and hope policy changes, as it often does. They are more like Star Trek fans, they admit there is a pattern to which releases suck and don't suck.

Perhaps you neglected to mention that you are as 'locked in" to your preconceptions about Apple, Microsoft, and even Linux to the point that you just assumes the 'competition' is doing something boneheaded, even though a read through the article in question would answer most of your preconceptions. The fact that it's marked insightful is pretty telling.

In what way has OS X "succumbed to tablet madness"?. When the your description of OS X is entirely counter to reality and shows that you have no clue as to what this version of OS X looks like, what the last version looked like, or the version before that, it speaks volumes. Slashdot is about anything that is anti-Apple, Anti-Microsoft, or pro-linux/android. It's no longer someplace to go for an adult discussion of new tech, new software, or new features. It's turned into an Android Thunderdome. I expect this post will be marked 'troll' or 'flamebait', or oddly enough 'Offtopic' even though the thread is an OS X thread because it speaks ill of the general bent of Slashdot these days. They've all put their blinders on and have turned into a Fox News of Technology unless the posts in question praise Google or Android regardless of the story.

OS X It looks nothing like a tablet OS and is nothing like Windows 8's push to tablefiy it's OS. It borrows some features that work well on a desktop or that are cloud centric, but that's about the extent of it (excluding Launchpad, which for the life of me I still can't figure out why they put it on the desktop). For most Mac users, it's just an OS Update. I'm betting a large number of Mac users can't even tell you the version of the OS, or the name for that matter, just as you would find on a Windows machine, or possibly a Linux machine if they are of the non-geek orientation.

Is wanting to upgrade to get some decent new features 'drinking the Kool-Aid'? I'm betting that for the majority of us, it's not a religious war. It's just a computer that fits our needs, and this is just an update that adds some decent features for $20 bucks.

Re:Here we see the difference between Free and Sla (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40767255)

What if. What if Linux and Windows ARE that "multitude of options" to OS X? You know you can install GNOME in OS X and use that, right? You can drop right to a command prompt too and to the lay person it doesn't look any different than any other BSD OS.

What if. People actually like these improvements? What if you had actually liked GNOME3?

Dun Dun Dun.

Re:Here we see the difference between Free and Sla (1)

JBMcB (73720) | about a year and a half ago | (#40767309)

This is amusing, because most of the Linux users I know are *constantly* upgrading to the latest version of everything. I'm still using Windows XP at work, though I have 7 at home, and my Mac (and most of my friend's) is/are still on 10.6. If it works, why upgrade?

In any case, why would you *bitterly* cling to Fedora 14? Does 15 have something you *absolutely* must have? Why did you upgrade to begin with?

Re:Here we see the difference between Free and Sla (4, Insightful)

Cinder6 (894572) | about a year and a half ago | (#40767319)

I think you're blowing the "iOS-ness" of Mountain Lion out of proportion. I've been using the GM for a while and the DPs before that, and my core usage has remained unchanged since Lion. "Now wait," you say, "Lion also brought iOS features!" True. Of course, you don't have to use them. My Lion usage patterns are unchanged from Snow Leopard.

If you look at the main features [apple.com], you'll see two things. First, it's not a big update like Leopard or Tiger (hence the $20 price tag). Second, the most iOS-like feature is Notification Center, which is basically just a better version of Growl that Macs have had for years now. Reminders and Notes are apps that appear in iOS, yes, but that's all they are--apps. Use them or don't.

There are two major features of Mountain Lion. iCloud is the most obvious user-facing one, as it is much more tightly integrated with the OS than it was in Lion. The biggest feature is probably the one least talked about, and that is Gatekeeper. It's pseudo-iOS-like, because by default it only allows apps from "identified" developers to run on your system, but when you try to run an unsigned app it lets you know how to turn it off. It should be noted that "identified" does not mean App Store only, though obviously App Store developers are "identified".

Compare this to Windows 8, which is getting a near-complete UI change. Or GNOME or Unity and possibly other DEs I haven't used, which are also heavily influenced by tablets. Apple seems to be the only one that isn't trying to completely change my workflow. I wouldn't be sure I'd call this update insanely great or anything--frankly, the iCloud features should have been present in Lion--but it's a nice update and it's cheap.

Re:Here we see the difference between Free and Sla (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40767673)

Compare this to Windows 8, which is getting a near-complete UI change.

Except the old UI is still there. The argument for Windows 8 is the same as you just put forth for ML: "Now wait," you say, "Windows 8 also brought metro features!" True. Of course, you don't have to use them. My Windows 8 usage patterns are unchanged from Windows 7. I just boot into the desktop and use it as I always have.

Re:Here we see the difference between Free and Sla (3, Insightful)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about a year and a half ago | (#40767399)

I can dismantle your whole pro-Linux argument with one sentence:

- Show me how to run Microsoft Visio on Gnome, KDE, or any other distribution so I can open, edit, and then save *.vsd files on my company's network drive.

I don't use MS-Windows because I like it. Anymore than I drive through interstate jams for fun. I do it because it's the defacto standard that everyone uses. I avoid Microsoft as much as possible but using alternatives (LibreOffice, VLC Player, Winamp, Mozilla seaMonkey, etc). But at the end of the day I still need to use Windows as my base because that's where the office & engineering tools run.

Re:Here we see the difference between Free and Sla (2)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year and a half ago | (#40767605)

I can dismantle your whole pro-Linux argument with one sentence:

Wow, you're confident.

- Show me how to run Microsoft Visio on Gnome, KDE, or any other distribution so I can open, edit, and then save *.vsd files on my company's network drive.

And yet again, your confidence is misplaced...

I don't use MS-Windows because I like it.

So, basically, your argument about how free is better because you're not a slave to proprietary software is to show that you are a slave to proprietary software and how you dislike this.

Free and slave? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40767431)

Your views will fall flat on anyone with a life if you keep pressing this ridiculously dramatic nonsense. Using a computer or phone or operating system does not make you free or a slave. These are tools. At any time, someone can chose to stop using them. Using Linux will not make you free any more than using OS X will make you a slave.

Read a bit of history about what slavery means, and get real.

Re:Here we see the difference between Free and Sla (1)

tom17 (659054) | about a year and a half ago | (#40767515)

I came here to see a first post along the lines of "I heard you like reviews so I did a review of your review so you could review your review" or something.

I don't know if I was happy, or sad, to see an interesting FP instead.

Re:Here we see the difference between Free and Sla (1)

Kjella (173770) | about a year and a half ago | (#40767559)

If you are a Mac user, as a drinker of the Kool-Aid you have no choice. Whatever is coming out is insanely great, you simply must believe that because any other thought would lead to madness. Windows folk will simply bitterly cling to Windows 7 until it end of lifes and hope policy changes, as it often does. They are more like Star Trek fans, they admit there is a pattern to which releases suck and don't suck. But again, their choice is limited to picking one of the available supported versions. When you hitch yourself to a commercial entity you always subject yourself to their business needs, which are rarely in alignment with your own and you get little input into the decisions they make and few options when they change directions and abandon you.

Except distros pretty much demand that you're on the upgrade treadmill to get newer versions of software, backports are few and far between and library versions are often carelessly bumped so everything turns into a massive upgrade. For the most part you can install a brand new Windows application on an OS released in 2001 and it'll still work fine. I don't have to "bitterly cling" to Windows 7, it's not me losing out on that but Microsoft. Yes, maybe eventually after a string of horrible releases where I don't want to upgrade to any of them but that hasn't happened so far. I gladly skipped Vista as did many others I know, with no skin off our backs. I can stay on Windows 7 until 2020 and for the most part every new version of every application I want will run, without me manually compiling anything from source.

Re:Here we see the difference between Free and Sla (2)

hahn (101816) | about a year and a half ago | (#40767635)

I'm a little tired of the analogies between software and physical freedom. The suggestion (in fact, the outright claim of this OP) is that using commercial software is the equivalent of slavery. RIDICULOUS. People making this claim are almost 100% tech geeks. For such people (and I include myself), open software is a great thing because *we know what to do with the options* and the consequences of making incorrect choices (and how to fix them). The vast majority of people (such as my parents and 99% of my friends) are NOT tech geeks. For them, open software ("freedom") presents choices to them that they do NOT want to make or simply do not know HOW to make. For them, a walled garden is a beautiful thing. Far better than the jungle out there where they may be eaten by lions and bears.

Re:Here we see the difference between Free and Sla (1)

gorrepati (866378) | about a year and a half ago | (#40767711)

Did you look at new ubuntu 12? I mean, seriously in this day and age, an OS that struggles to work with multiple monitors, puts task bars on both the desktops, has a windowing system that totally sucks(has a lot of bugs) and has a sluggish UI(because of driver issues).

And compare that to OS X. Works out of the box. Has a decent mail and messaging app. And I can still login to my linux box to work.

Linux box is relegated to where it belongs. It might be bright on the engineering side of things, but I have come to realize after a decade of tinkering with it that my time on this planet is limited, and I cannot waste my time on *already* solved problems and elegantly so(by OS X), by people who know better about those things.

I am all for open source computing. I, for the most part use emacs as my editor, and still run a home built linux box that I ssh to.

Talking about open source computing is not the only way to pay homage to it. May be if you and others put your money where your mouth is and offer a compelling reason for using it, by enhancing the productivity, may be more people would move to it. If that is not possible, this movement, like other idealistic movements in the history will end up where the belong, namely, in the intellectual trash can.

Waiting for user experiences... (0)

Neil_Brown (1568845) | about a year and a half ago | (#40766971)

Before I'm going to take the risk in upgrading, or even considering whether I want to upgrade, I'll be waiting to hear about other experiences — upgrading a machine on which you rely at the very first (public) opportunity sounds like a recipe for pain to me... Long reviews on tech. sites are all well and good, but there's nothing like finding out how others in the same position as you have fared before taking the jump.

Re:Waiting for user experiences... (1)

DurendalMac (736637) | about a year and a half ago | (#40767257)

I'll wait for 10.8.1. Let them iron out some of the inevitable .0 bugs.

Re:Waiting for user experiences... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year and a half ago | (#40767627)

I'll wait longer. I will not upgrade to 10.8.x until I have to. the upgrade to 10.7.x already caused problems with older apps that I used (try to install Garageband Track packs... oh sorry they dont work, re purchase them for the version that will work)

Re:Waiting for user experiences... (1)

mlts (1038732) | about a year and a half ago | (#40767535)

I'm definitely going to upgrade when I get home. Worst case, I reload a TM backup, or copy over my home directory sans the TM ACLs and go back to what I'm doing.

I do hope Apple makes a USB flash drive with the Lion install image on it eventually.

One thing I will say about OS X: Of all the operating systems I've used except some Linux distros [1], OS X is one of the few that can do a major version upgrade [2] without leaving too much cruft behind. Most operating systems (especially Windows), I just save off all data and an image, erase the drives, and install from scratch, so I don't get oddball issues later on due to obsolete config files or other items. So far, for a machine I hammer on daily, I've not had to reinstall my OS X box, while Windows ends up getting some issue like being unable to download fixes come Path Tuesday that can't be fixed in any other way than a reload or a new service pack install.

[1]: RedHat ones are essentially a pile of RPMs at a certain date, so an upgrade of RHEL, Fedora or CentOS can be just changing a version number in /etc/redhat-release, running yum upgrade, and rebooting when done.

[2]: Even though they are all 10.x, if it is a minor version number increment, I do consider it a major version change due to fundamentals in the OS being different, like inetd being killed for launchd, etc.

Re:Waiting for user experiences... (1)

DJRumpy (1345787) | about a year and a half ago | (#40767761)

I typically just create a second partition, and install it on that. It comes with a boot manager. It's a simple matter to choose which to boot into. I've been using it for a few months and overall I've had no problems once it was released as a beta.

If/When you are ready to make the switch, just restore your Mountain Lion on top of your old Lion or Snow Leopard partition via Disk Manager. Nothing lost and no reconfiguration needed.

Long Story Short (5, Funny)

Moblaster (521614) | about a year and a half ago | (#40766983)

It's a post about a review of a review of a review.

Re:Long Story Short (5, Funny)

Neil_Brown (1568845) | about a year and a half ago | (#40767049)

post about a review of a review of a review.

Whereas this is a response to a comment on a post about a review of a review of a review.

Comment review: (5, Informative)

adonoman (624929) | about a year and a half ago | (#40767363)

Neil_Brown recently came out with his new #40767049 comment response to Moblaster's comment. In a surpising move, it was available for immediate reading at the time of its announcement. While missing out on some of the features we've come to love about his line of comments, I find it a refreshing level of meta-commenting that hasn't been seen in a while. Whether it's worth refreshing the browser to read responses to his comment has yet to be seen. We'll have to give it some time out in the wild to really get a feel for its general reception, but its +5 funny moderation does suggest that it will be read by many.

Re:Long Story Short (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40767087)

... wrapped up in an enigma wearing a black turtleneck?

Apple still makes computers? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40766995)

I thought Apple was a toy company now. They still make PCs and operating systems?

Re:Apple still makes computers? (-1, Flamebait)

jmorris42 (1458) | about a year and a half ago | (#40767085)

> I thought Apple was a toy company now.

Not exactly. They are a marketing engine that sells consumer electronics at margins anyone else in that business would sacrifice their first born to get for just a single quarter. They used to be in the personal computer business and this article is about a product refresh over in that legacy business unit, one that would already have been phased out if they could figure out the paradox of how app developers could create iOS apps on iOS while maintaining the iron rule that "Thou Shalt Not Program an iDevice."

Re:Apple still makes computers? (2)

DurendalMac (736637) | about a year and a half ago | (#40767235)

Yeah, Apple is going to phase out Macs, because disposing of billions of dollars of profit every quarter makes perfect sense, right? Apple makes lots of money from Macs. That is only one of many reasons that they're in no danger of dying off.

Re:Apple still makes computers? (0)

geekoid (135745) | about a year and a half ago | (#40767355)

Just a heads up: Mac sales are flat.
the iPAD also take consumers from the mac line.

Re:Apple still makes computers? (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year and a half ago | (#40767597)

Yeah, they are flat in this booming economy!

Try telling the whole story.

Re:Apple still makes computers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40767663)

Just a heads up: you are dumb as a fucking post.

On that graph Mac sales aren't correlated to iPad sales, and the slope of their line has not changed significantly since the iPad was released.

Re:Apple still makes computers? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year and a half ago | (#40767449)

Tablets and phones outnumber Apple's computer sales by something like 10:1.

If Apple is making "billions of dollars of profit" every quarter, then it is not because of the PC business. If Apple were still just a PC company they would be either dead or terribly obscure by this point.

Re:Apple still makes computers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40767307)

... one that would already have been phased out if they could figure out the paradox of how app developers could create iOS apps on iOS while maintaining the iron rule that "Thou Shalt Not Program an iDevice."

I'm pretty sure Apple can figure out: "port X-code to iOS, but make the ability to compile, run, and upload apps to the app store each individual in app purchases".

No, they're still hanging onto the "computer" market because there's still money to squeeze out of it. Not because they can't think of a way to ditch it.

Re:Apple still makes computers? (0)

s73v3r (963317) | about a year and a half ago | (#40767579)

They are a marketing engine

You can always tell someone who has no idea what they're talking about, or has blindly drunk the Apple Hater Kool-aid (just as potent as the Apple Fan Kool-aid), when they talk about Apple being a "marketing company". If they were only marketing, then they wouldn't continue to be successful with each new iteration of the product. They might have one good run, but then people would decide they were crap, and not upgrade. The fact of the matter is, they make very good products, and many people believe they fit their needs better than the competition.

Any post like the parent's can be safely ignored, as it clearly has no rational basis and no actual content.

Gizmodo has a much more interesting article... (2, Interesting)

cpotoso (606303) | about a year and a half ago | (#40767151)

http://gizmodo.com/5928783/mountain-lion-review-os-x-needs-a-new-vision [gizmodo.com]

"It feels like Apple has run out of ideas. Or worse, that Apple is too afraid to implement new concepts, fearing it will kill the company's golden goose. "

Re:Gizmodo has a much more interesting article... (2)

DurendalMac (736637) | about a year and a half ago | (#40767217)

Eh, it's a double-edged sword. You can only play it safe for so long, but on the other hand, a radical shift can alienate the userbase. Just look at all the flak Metro is getting.

Re:Gizmodo has a much more interesting article... (3, Interesting)

Rytr23 (704409) | about a year and a half ago | (#40767435)

Come on.. Jesus D has had a hard on for Apple for a while now. He is as biased against Apple and Gruber is for Apple. I wouldn't consider either one of them a source to trust in this case. In aggregate the reviews are generally positive.

Welcome to the world of flashy gimmicks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40767155)

So silly round icons that bring up childish games and worthless apps on ubiquitous touchscreens with DRM everywhere.

Soon even the most die hard mac fanboys will realise they need to throw their iToy out the window and buy a real computer if they want to get some work done. Or at least install linux on their mac while it's still allowed

Re:Welcome to the world of flashy gimmicks (1)

erp_consultant (2614861) | about a year and a half ago | (#40767469)

You do know that Macs are built on UNIX, right? I have installed lots of Linux software on mine and it runs fine. I've also got a Linux VM to mess around with as well as a Windows VM for when I need that too. I'm no fan of the silly round icons either but it's a mistake to think that you can't get real work done on a Mac. I come from a Windows and UNIX background, having used both of them for many years. I use a Mac by choice, not because someone stuck it on my desk and said "deal with it". It's been a great laptop - reliable, fast and secure. Admittedly, Macs have poor support for gaming but I don't play games on it. I work on it. For me the selling point has always been that a Mac is the ONLY platform that you can run OSX, Windows and Linux all at the same time. Well, I've seen that you can build an OSX VM but that has mixed results and not everything works correctly. I can pick and choose the best tools for the task at hand. The only commercial Mac software I have on it is MS Office for Mac, because I need it for work. Everything else either came with it or I'm using an open source alternative.

Re:Welcome to the world of flashy gimmicks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40767767)

For me the selling point has always been that a Mac is the ONLY platform that you can run OSX, Windows and Linux all at the same time.

And that is ONLY because Apple has limited what hardware their OS can be installed on. Sure they are good machines, but the limitations man..
I hate having a highly recognizable and highly desired device to carry around, rather than some laptop with the same specs that I could run 2 of the OS' I need for a lot cheaper. But when work requires the use OSX, your stuck if you want stability.

Re:Welcome to the world of flashy gimmicks (1, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year and a half ago | (#40767567)

I do more with my "iToy" in a day than you have ever done in your entire life on your windows PC little kid. Come on back when you can do something more than edit a Myspace Page.

Conclusion (4, Funny)

doconnor (134648) | about a year and a half ago | (#40767169)

"We all pay lip service to the idea that most users never change the default settings in software, but we rarely follow this through to its logical conclusion."

That most users are ignorant?

Re:Conclusion (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40767719)

That most users don't want to produce anything?

They would prefer to passively consume.

When they buy a TV they want to watch it.
When they buy a car they want to drive it.
When they buy a chair they want to sit in it.

When they buy a computer they want to consume with it.

That leaves those who want to produce, tweak, break, rebuild things in a very small minority.
In the future, I predict production devices may not be at consumer prices.
Us geeks are fretting that we are slowly losing our requirements to mass consumption, and like a slow boiling frog we are!

My 2c

Are you kidding me? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40767197)

Spread over 24 pages, so they can get 24x the page views, or in my case fewer because I stopped at the first page.

Which is why I don't like Apple products (-1, Offtopic)

Angst Badger (8636) | about a year and a half ago | (#40767213)

Technology must now work for everyone, not just 'computing enthusiasts.

Not to single out Apple -- all of the major consumer tech vendors do the same thing to one degree or another -- but this is why I'm not terribly interested in their products. I am a technology enthusiast, and I do tweak settings and heavily customize my machines to suit me. As interfaces are dumbed down and the underlying feature sets are minimized, there's less and less use I have for the associated products. And to the extent that GNOME has followed suit, I find myself doing more and more at the command line because there's a real limit to what can be accomplished efficiently with a mouse or at all jabbing at a tablet with my fingers like a chimp in a lab.

But for the tendency of some major UI projects in the Open Source world to imitate corporate products, I wouldn't care. That tendency is frankly bizarre, since the average consumer doesn't care about any aspect of FOSS except free-as-in-beer, probably won't install any FOSS software anyway, and certainly won't ever crack open the hood. Meanwhile, skilled users who understand that a shallow learning curve also means a shallow power curve are increasingly out of luck.

One little loss (0)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | about a year and a half ago | (#40767243)

Well, one admittedly small loss is that my little shareware app that existed for over a decade will no longer work out of the box on OSX thanks to Gatekeeper.

No problem, though. If people complain, I'll just send them to Apple customer support.

Re:One little loss (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40767389)

Or you could give them the one sentence worth of instructions it takes to disable Gayekeeper; or better yet, the one sentence it would take to tell them how to right-click and exempt your app only, so they can continue getting the anti-malware benefits of Gatekeeper with other apps, at least.

Or best of all, you could take the hour or so to download a free signing certificate from Apple and recompile your app... But that would actually be useful to your loyal customers who want to take advantage of Gatekeeper, and you wouldn't want that because how then would you grind your axe?

Re:One little loss (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40767423)

or you know, just sign the damned thing.
it's not rocket science.

Are there any reviews by critical users? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40767253)

Anyone who hasn't noticed the slew of basic problems in 10.6-10.7 isn't worth reading about 10.8. There are so many non-debatable flaws, such as switching to an Apple application often taking longer than it takes to open it -- or often just plain locking up during the switch; or the way multi-threading still is a piece of shit, with the finder often freezing up while the CPU load is next to nothing; that if someone's writing how 10.7 was a great under the hood release, then they're just trying to sell something.

Change to Mac File System (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about a year and a half ago | (#40767275)

QUOTE: "The old way: go to the Finder, find the file you want, and open it. The new way: go to the app and open the document from within the app. Conceptually it works just like iOS â" your files arenâ(TM)t in the file system, but rather âoeinâ the app you used to create them. This is the future, but Apple isnâ(TM)t forcing it upon us. The feature is prominent, yes, because Apple wants us to use it. But it is far from mandatory. Donâ(TM)t want to use iCloud document storage? Then just keep on managing your files exactly as before. Appleâ(TM)s not dragging us to the future; theyâ(TM)re enticing us to walk there on our own."

I wish Microsoft was more like that.
I'm not sure if tying files to the program makes sense though. What if I decide I don't want my songs/videos tied to Apple's default player, and would rather use an Open program like VLC? Are the files removable from the Apple app to VLC app?

Re:Change to Mac File System (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year and a half ago | (#40767525)

Stuck in a PhoneOS mindset on the desktop?

I don't like being stuck in a PhoneOS mindset on a tablet.

The old school file hierarchy is not a bad thing. It allows you to organize things in ways that Apple products simply don't account for.

Having a great big pile of stuff to look through is not "usability".

Re:Change to Mac File System (1)

s73v3r (963317) | about a year and a half ago | (#40767655)

They're still on the filesystem, so you can still get to them just like before. You can also change the program the file is associated with.

Apple isn't helping things (2, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | about a year and a half ago | (#40767303)

Their handling of the retina display was a major screw up that sacrificed the very reason to call the MacBook Pro a professional device so that normal users (home and manager types, for example) could have an expensive and sexy fashion statement-laptop (instead of giving them a 17 inch retina display Air). Their unwillingness to maintain the Mac Pro is another reason why people get the impression that the iPhoneification of OS X is underway.

I think it's much simpler: Steve Jobs was the last executive who understood the need to keep Apple's feet in both the home market and the outskirts of the enterprise. Their current management may know the design approaches he liked and a host of other things that can let them keep going in the same pattern. Unfortunately, I don't think they "get" the different segments of Apple's products. Macs aren't supposed to just be toys for upper-middle class snobs (I say this as an owner of a 2008 MBP). They're supposed to be able to actually do work as well.

This is why I really think Apple's fans need to realize that this may be the start of Apple's decline (not into irrelevant, just to some place of North of Sony's current position in 10 years). A company Apple's size can afford to maintain both appliance-like devices and real workhorse computers. Apple is not even saying they won't keep going. They're just stumbling around.

Re:Apple isn't helping things (1)

geekoid (135745) | about a year and a half ago | (#40767407)

1 year was my call. 1 year after Jobs death, Apple will have lost noticeable momentum. You cna't replace one dynamic, smart driver with the ideal of make quality products, and the money will follow with a committee.

I'm not an Apple Fan boy, but I do hope I'm wrong. While they didn't really invent the mp3 player, tablet, or smart phone, they raised the bar for everyone else.

Re:Apple isn't helping things (0)

spagthorpe (111133) | about a year and a half ago | (#40767641)

I would +1 Insightful if I had points. This is probably the closest to how I feel about it right now. I'm sure Apple can make metric assloads of cash selling dumbed down laptops for college kids and yuppies, but they really should maintain the professional grade machines that are still the backbone of a lot of industries. They have some momentum onto the business desktop right now, and they should hold on to that. I fear you are correct though, and this is just another signpost of their slow decline.

Re:Apple isn't helping things (2)

s73v3r (963317) | about a year and a half ago | (#40767669)

Their handling of the retina display was a major screw up that sacrificed the very reason to call the MacBook Pro a professional device

Except they didn't do that in any sense of the word.

Not for me yet. (1)

damnbunni (1215350) | about a year and a half ago | (#40767375)

I'm still on Snow Leopard because I still have some old OSX PowerPC code I need to run.

Does anyone know a way to run PPC OSX code in Lion or Mountain Lion? I have the Sheepshaver emulator which runs PPC stuff, but only OS 9 / Classic, not OS X.

Is there a way to emulate, say, 10.4 in 10.7/10.8?

logical conclusion (0)

Njovich (553857) | about a year and a half ago | (#40767403)

We all pay lip service to the idea that most users never change the default settings in software, but we rarely follow this through to its logical conclusion.

Yes, but in many countries genocide of stupid users is illegal!

I wrote a brief review myself .... (1)

King_TJ (85913) | about a year and a half ago | (#40767437)

(Not yet published, but will probably go "live" on www.techcitement.com later today) I didn't really come here to promote my article though....

I was just going to comment that while it's probably true that Mac users often confuse tradition for the "best" way to accomplish something in their OS, it's also true that in the case of OS X Lion, an awful lot was removed..... In some cases, I think these deletions were unjustified and let people to a poor user experience, despite many benefits with the upgrade.

Examples that come to mind?

1. iCal losing its sidebar
2. Contacts losing the 3 column view
3. Loss of expose functionality to ungroup a selection

Combine that with some of the more justified but troublesome deletions, including removal of Rosetta for PPC application support, and Apple easily built a scenario where users happy with OS X 10.6 "Snow Leopard" considered "Lion" to be the Mac equivalent of Windows Vista ... an upgrade they'd rather skip.

To me, Mountain Lion looks like Apple's refining of Lion based on some of the user feedback, plus completion of "half baked" concepts it was clear were rushed to market the last time around. (I'm thinking of such things as storing notes inside the Mail application, vs. creating an independent app for them as they did now.)

First impressions (2)

CrackerJackz (152930) | about a year and a half ago | (#40767443)

Having jumped this morning on the download train, I think I've now got everything back up and running, Parallels v7 required a reinstall (it uses kernel extensions so I'm not surprised that it needed an over-the-top reinstall) The odd one was Firefox not allowing me to download anything (even with a control-click save-as) the solution to that one was to clear my download history (why that fixed it ... I have not idea)

Fink is proving to be a total pain in the ass to get working again, not to mention xcode apparently now requires a developer-enabled apple account to download and install the command line tools via the GUI (you can still download the tools via the developer website)

Ah the fun of running a new .0 release of software on the day it comes out :)

mostly rip-offs (1)

kenorland (2691677) | about a year and a half ago | (#40767507)

Almost all the features I saw in Apple's presentation and feature list are rip-offs of features from third party iOS developers, Android, Firefox, Chrome, Gnome, KDE, and other non-Apple developers and systems.

In principle, I don't see anything wrong with that, except that Apple then goes around suing others when they (supposedly) copy similarly trivial features from iPhone.

Big Difference though between..... (3, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year and a half ago | (#40767517)

the changes OSX is making and the dumb moves that ubuntu did.

Removal of scroll bars on OSX is not a big deal, Apple hardware had scrolling devices (magic mouse and multitouch pad) for a long time. so scrolling is not affected on that platform. Removal of scroll bars on Ubuntu was the stupidest move ever. I dont have a multitouch device to scroll with, so now I have to hit a 2 pixel bar on a window. WTF is that??!?!?! ROWARRGH!

Ubuntu needs to stop everything they are doing right now and support apple multitouch hardware and tell everyone to use X,Y or Z and suck it up. OR they need to stop chasing a UI that requires special hardware to make it useable.

Now the "single window" mode is retarded. on a 27" mac it is utterly stupid to do this. on a 11" macbook air? ok, I can see that. Dumbification of the UI needs to be optional. Let me have a "professional mode" to switch to a power users multiple window setup.

I'll wait to their first patch (0)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | about a year and a half ago | (#40767589)

After a disastrous attempt at installing Lion on its release, will will gladly wait for one maybe even two patches before I even attempt to touch Mountain Lion (including buying it). Also I hope that I can simply upgrade to Mountain Lion and not be forced to buy the Server package just because I previously had the server package installed (Lion Server added VERY little value BTW). I was charged twice by the Mac Store in addition to the Server update for something that didn't work out of the proverbial box (it bricked my Mac Mini Server). Lion was pretty much Apple's version of Vista, hopefully Mountain Lion their Windows 7.

Hmmm... (2, Insightful)

eno2001 (527078) | about a year and a half ago | (#40767749)

This is the most chilling thing I've read in a while: "Three decades ago, the personal computer industry was built on the backs of technology enthusiasts. Every product, every ad was created to please us. No longer. Technology must now work for everyone, not just 'computing enthusiasts'." Why is it chilling? Because I'm seeing it everywhere. Things that I consider to be killer features that MUST exist on a computing device are just disappearing. No OS is immune at this point. As a hardcore Linux fan since the early 90s, even I have to acknowledge that Linux is dying. Ubuntu is killing it. Windows isn't looking to sharp in version 8 either. It sounds like Mac OS X is headed down the same road.

Sounds like a better upgrade than Windows 8... (4, Interesting)

dell623 (2021586) | about a year and a half ago | (#40767755)

Mountain Lion might be the thing that tips me over. The retina Macbook Pro is becoming hard to resist and there is no comparable Windows laptop on the horizon. I like Windows 7, I am comfortable with it, but if I am going to relearn stuff from scratch, I would pick ML over the travesty that is Windows 8. I'll pick something that doesn't show me a blocky touch based interface on a goddamn laptop. I never wish to use a touch screen on a laptop or a desktop, it's the most uncomfortable thing ever, I don't know why Microsoft and everyone forgot about Gorilla Arm. OSX doesn't look like it's going to anything that crazy, some of the things copied over from iOS, like notifications, are actually worth copying over. At least for now, Mac OS still doesn't put restrictions on anyone who wants to do stuff from the command line or install unapproved apps. App support in Macs has improved with growing market share. The only thing I will miss about Windows is games, but for the few times I do play games, dual booting with Boot Camp will do.

I can't think of a reason why I shouldn't 'learn' ML rather than learning Windows 8.

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