Mountain Lion blues

Posted by: tacit

Mountain Lion blues - 04/05/13 12:41 PM

So yesterday I finally bit the bullet and upgraded my main development/production machine from Snow Leopard to Mountain Lion.

I'd had Mountain Lion on a separate partition, to be able to test software using it, but more and more tools aren't working with Snowy any more so I finally felt it was time to make the jump.

Now, before I get started, I've been using every version of Mac OS since System 1.1. I recognize that operating systems change. I jumped from OS 9 to Mac OS X 10.0 when it was first released (actually, before it was first released; I started using OS X with Developer Preview 3).

I get that things change. OS X is so little like System 1.1 that it's hard to imagine they share any common DNA at all.

And yet...

What is this I don't even. It's not fear of change or reluctance to try new things that make me say "What the fsck, Apple?" 10.8 is rapidly gaining ground on my List Of OS Versions I Can't Stand.

There's a part of me that wonders, somewhere deep down inside, if Apple didn't smart under accusations that the upgrade from 10.5 to 10.6 was nothing but a glorified service pack, and so decide to show the naysayers that they could release an OS update that was really, really different.

Jarringly different. As different as an elephant and an elephant seal.

I just can't figure out the rationale for a lot of the changes, except that they're change for change sake. They re-imagined Mail.app from a simple but serviceable way to read mail into this weird thing that tries to use space more efficiently and actually seems to have the effect of being more cumbersome to use. And the idea that user interface elements should more closely resemble the user interface of iOS, an operating system with an entirely different user interface paradigm, is...it's just...what the fsck, Apple?

Every now and then Apple hits one out of the park. System 6.0.8 was awesome. Mac OS 7.6 rocked; I used it for a long time. 8.6 also rocked. OS X 10.5 was good; 10.6 was fantastic.

And every now and then Apple does something...unfortunate. System 4.2 was dire. System 7.1.2, the first PowerPC release with its plague of "Error Type 11" dialogs, was a disaster of epic proportions. Mac OS 8.5...I don't know what happened there, but I bet Apple's engineers wish they could have a do-over. OS X 10.0 was so hopeless that Apple released 10.1 for free...and insisted everyone upgrade.

And now there's 10.8, an operating system that I like even less than System 7.1.2.

Ugh.
Posted by: artie505

Re: Mountain Lion blues - 04/05/13 12:56 PM

> ...change for change sake.

It's a plague!!! frown

The phrase "Leave well enough alone" has all but been expunged from the language.
Posted by: artie505

Re: Mountain Lion blues - 04/05/13 01:54 PM

By the way, how did your upgrade go?

The farther behind I fall (I'm still running Snowy.) the more apprehensive I get about the potential complexities of an upgrade.

Thanks.
Posted by: tacit

Re: Mountain Lion blues - 04/05/13 03:30 PM

The jump from Snow Leopard to Mountain Lion was, technically, quick and painless. The installer is an application that lives in the Applications folder; no need to boot from an installer DVD. Just run the Install Mountain Lion app, type your admin password, and walk away.

It was also quite quick, finishing in much less than the half an hour I expected.
Posted by: dkmarsh

Re: Mountain Lion blues - 04/05/13 04:04 PM


Having been able to run neither OS X 10.6 nor OS X 10.7 due to hardware constraints, I went directly from Leopard to Mountain Lion, and I have to say that for me, the improvements vastly outstrip the annoyances. Of course, I spent the first couple of hours that I was booted into 10.8 undoing many of the more controversial changes—making ~/Library visible, always showing scroll bars, and yes, returning Mail to its familiar interface (Mail -> Preferences -> Viewing -> Use classic layout checkbox).

For me, the most irritating Mountain Lion "feature" is the iCloud integration. I did use Terminal to permanently change the default Save dialog location to disk rather than to iCloud (defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSDocumentSaveNewDocumentsToCloud -bool false), but as one accustomed to frequently opening a new TextEdit document as a scratch pad, a temporary repository for random snippets of text or URLs, a way station for de-styling or reformatting copied text before pasting it elsewhere, or a means for constructing Spotlight queries without precipitating a premature search for every item beginning with the search term's first letter or two, I resent the extra click required to tell TextEdit that yes, I want to create a new document.
Posted by: tacit

Re: Mountain Lion blues - 04/05/13 04:27 PM

Most of the changes I've already undone, including the default Save to the Cloud (really, Apple? You think I'm going to save all my files on your servers? I bet if I actually took you up on that offer, you'd reconsider!). The ability to make Mail look like a reasonable application that can be used by human beings is something I'd missed, so thanks for that!
Posted by: artie505

Re: Mountain Lion blues - 04/05/13 04:32 PM

Thanks for your input; I've bookmarked it against the dreaded day.

I say a prayer for my deuced Mac(hina) every night.
Posted by: Kevin M. Dean

Re: Mountain Lion blues - 04/05/13 06:17 PM

If you want color icons back in the Finder sidebar and other features, you can try XtraFinder which I find works the best of the similar apps that I tried.
Posted by: joemikeb

Re: Mountain Lion blues - 04/06/13 05:15 AM

Originally Posted By: artie505
Thanks for your input; I've bookmarked it against the dreaded day.

I say a prayer for my deuced Mac(hina) every night.

And the longer you put it off the bigger and more daunting the change will be. I confess to being a chronic early adopter, but the upgrade from Lion to Mountain Lion was completely problem free. Yes there were changes and some things, as with every OS X upgrade, moved to a new home, but those were relatively minimal as I had kept up with the changes through the OS X generations. The longer you put it off, the more changes there will be and the steeper the learning curve you will have to climb.
Posted by: artie505

Re: Mountain Lion blues - 04/06/13 07:06 AM

> The longer you put it off, the more changes there will be and the steeper the learning curve you will have to climb.

I realize that you're 100% correct, and that's part of the dread. But it's at least partially mitigated by the info I'm picking up along the way and the great support I know I'll find here if (more likely when) I need it.
Posted by: alternaut

Re: Mountain Lion blues - 04/06/13 07:18 AM

Originally Posted By: joemikeb
... the upgrade from Lion to Mountain Lion was completely problem free.
The longer you put it off, the more changes there will be and the steeper the learning curve you will have to climb.

I believe that for both tacit and Artie the issue here was/is the upgrade from Snow Leopard rather than from Lion. Mac OS X' change to (a.o.) the iOS feature set started with Lion, and once you're used to that the move to Mountain Lion would be decidedly less jarring.

But you're right that the 'culture shock' of moving beyond Snowy will only increase in severity with each new version of Mac OS X. Apart from that I know that the actual upgrade process itself will be smooth for me (a notorious late adopter), because I'll get it pre-installed with the new Mac I'm (eventually) going to get. smirk
Posted by: artie505

Re: Mountain Lion blues - 04/06/13 07:41 AM

> I'll get it pre-installed with the new Mac I'm (eventually) going to get.

That's the flip-side (Wow, is that ever an archaic term!) of my dread...my deuced Mac(hina)'s eventual death, which will force me to upgrade past an OS (Edit: not to mention a Mac) with which I'm reeeally happy.

My intention remains to avoid the App Store for as long as I can, even if it means skipping a bunch of upgrades from each Mac to the next one.

My "how'd it go" to tacit was more directed towards post update complications than towards the Mounty installation itself, and there don't seem to have been any of those.
Posted by: dboh

Re: Mountain Lion blues - 04/06/13 03:11 PM

Quote:
And the longer you put it off the bigger and more daunting the change will be.


Tell me about it. I just jumped from 10.3.9 to 10.8.2. I couldn't believe I couldn't find my own Library folder, and there was nothing in Pogue about it.

So now I've got that fixed. If I'm not hooked up to iCloud, I don't need to worry about that default setting, right? Is there a long list of settings that should be "corrected"? I don't know what I don't know.
Posted by: artie505

Re: Mountain Lion blues - 04/06/13 04:07 PM

> I just jumped from 10.3.9 to 10.8.2.

Wow! That probably qualifies you for the Olympics. grin

> Is there a long list of settings that should be "corrected"? I don't know what I don't know.

Did you read dkmarsh's and Kevin M. Dean's posts in this thread?

I don't know whether they're all-encompassing, but they're helpful.

(I can't believe Pogue omitted mention of the hidden ~/Library folder.)
Posted by: tacit

Re: Mountain Lion blues - 04/07/13 12:26 AM

Post-update complications were pretty much nil. One place where I do have to give credit to Apple: they know how to make an operating system install go smoothly. I upgraded a Windows XP machine to Windows 7 earlier this year and the Windows 7 installer is the best one Microsoft has ever done, but it still looks incredibly crude compared to the Mountain Lion installer.

I reset a lot of system preferences (like scroll bars and scroll direction) post update, but credit where it's due--very little post-update tinkering was required.
Posted by: artie505

Re: Mountain Lion blues - 04/07/13 12:35 AM

Thanks; that's heartening, as is dboh's having jumped from OS X 10.3.9 to 10.8.2 without any apparent issues...yet.

As I said, I hope I never have to upgrade, but if I do, I'm at least somewhat prepared.
Posted by: artie505

Re: Mountain Lion blues - 04/07/13 01:27 AM

Y'know, after rereading dkmarsh's post I think you may need to change that default iCloud setting. (I'm still running Snowy and don't know for sure).
Posted by: dkmarsh

Re: Mountain Lion blues - 04/07/13 05:50 AM


Pogue does mention it—in a casual aside on page 75—but since the hidden ~/Library debuted in Lion, the lack of prominence is understandable. (Not saying I agree with that, but the hidden ~/Library folder was so widely discussed in the overall Mac internet literature, folks like me had internalized the fact long before actually upgrading.)

As for artie's concern that you may need to change the default save-to-iCloud setting despite your lack of connection to iCloud, I can't say, mostly because I did move to iCloud, and because the source I relied upon more than any other for gaining familiarity with Mountain Lion beforehand—John Siracusa's OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion: the Ars Technica review—assumes the user is iCloud-connected when he describes the various features and limitations of the integration of iCloud into the operating system. (See iCloud and you and iCloud vs. reality for the gory details.)

It should be easy enough to figure out, though: what happens when you go to save a new TextEdit document? (It should be pointed out that this is only an issue for apps written to take advantage of this Save-to-iCloud interface. Among Apple's bundled apps, these are limited, I think, to TextEdit and Preview; I believe the iWorks apps also fall into this category.Third-party adoption of the Save-to-iCloud approach has been somewhat problematic, but I don't have information on specific apps.)

If you find that you are plagued by this and other Mountain Lion "features," but don't feel like searching high and low to find solutions, or using Terminal to implement those which lack a GUI front end, you might check out Mountain Tweaks, which I haven't used, but which seems to include all the Usual Suspects I've encountered or read about.
Posted by: artie505

Re: Mountain Lion blues - 04/07/13 07:52 AM

Your biggest issue may be with PPC apps that no longer function in Mounty.

Check /Applications/Utilities/System Profiler.app > Software > Applications & Extensions, and look at the "Kind" column; anything identified as "PPC" will need to be upgraded...possibly, replaced.
Posted by: dboh

Re: Mountain Lion blues - 04/07/13 10:54 AM

Quote:
Pogue does mention it—in a casual aside on page 75


So he does. That'll teach me. This is the first time I didn't sit down and go through the book cover to cover before upgrading. I still think in an earlier edition, he'd have taken the time when describing how to move your fonts to your home folder to say, "Don't forget the Library folder's invisible."

Thanks also for your links. They're sure to help.
Posted by: dboh

Re: Mountain Lion blues - 04/07/13 10:56 AM

Oh, it'll all need to be replaced, I'm sure. I'm just happy -- at least for now -- to know I can start using all my fonts again.
Posted by: tacit

Re: Mountain Lion blues - 04/07/13 01:02 PM

The removal of PowerPC support from Lion was the reason I put off updating for so long.

I have one app--Adobe GoLive--that is PPC-only. Adobe buried GoLive when they bought Macromedia and took over Dreamweaver, a more popular but inferior Web site creation app. I have Dreamweaver, and will reluctantly have to start using it since GoLive is now thoroughly dead and gone.
Posted by: artie505

Re: Mountain Lion blues - 04/07/13 01:28 PM

Not worth maintaining a Snowy partition or, for that matter, machine to run it, or too complicated?

The end of PPC support won't be much of an issue for me...two, maybe three, useful, but non-critical, apps.

(I hated the end of Classic which cost me OED. [Sheepshaver just isn't worth the effort.] frown )
Posted by: Kevin M. Dean

Re: Mountain Lion blues - 04/07/13 06:48 PM

Thought it would be worth mentioning an easy way to see the hidden Library folder.

In the Finder, select the "Go" menu and then toggle the Option key and Library will appear in the menu.
Posted by: freelance

Re: Mountain Lion blues - 04/08/13 12:48 AM

Originally Posted By: tacit
I have one app--Adobe GoLive--that is PPC-only. I have Dreamweaver, and will reluctantly have to start using it since GoLive is now thoroughly dead and gone.

Exactly my position. I paid to upgrade to Office 2011, which is an improvement on 2008, and upgraded Suitcase - also an improvement. But GoLive is a perfectly functional application, and my main website is built/maintained with it.

I have ML on another hard drive, all up-to-date and ready to go, but no desire to use it. Snow Leopard is excellent.
Posted by: roger

Re: Mountain Lion blues - 04/08/13 04:38 AM

Originally Posted By: Kevin M. Dean
Thought it would be worth mentioning an easy way to see the hidden Library folder.

In the Finder, select the "Go" menu and then toggle the Option key and Library will appear in the menu.


Now that's handy! Thanks! All I have to do is remember it... wink
Posted by: artie505

Re: Mountain Lion blues - 04/08/13 09:03 AM

There's apparently a way to make ~/Library permanently visible; it's one of the options offered in dkmarsh's referenced Mountain Tweaks .
Posted by: dkmarsh

Re: Mountain Lion blues - 04/08/13 09:53 AM


Originally Posted By: artie505
There's apparently a way to make ~/Library permanently visible...

In Terminal:

chflags nohidden ~/Library/
Posted by: tacit

Re: Mountain Lion blues - 04/08/13 01:41 PM

I created a Snow Leopard partition with GoLive on it, but the writing is on the wall. The computer I have now is the last one I will likely own that'll run Snow Leopard.
Posted by: artie505

Re: Mountain Lion blues - 04/08/13 02:13 PM

Every once in a while I think about maybe looking for a deadstock Mac that shipped with Snowy to stash in my closet against the day, but my needs aren't as pressing as yours, so...
Posted by: dkmarsh

Re: Mountain Lion blues - 04/08/13 03:47 PM


Small Dog Electronics has been flogging the 2010 17" MacBook Pros lately; they apparently got a large stock of factory refurbished units. The 2.53GHz i5 4GB/500GB model, complete with one-year Apple warranty and eligible for Apple Care, is selling for US $1100.

If the 17" is too ungainly, they've got a 15in 2.4GHz i5 4GB/320GB, same vintage, for a hundred bucks more. And if you really don't dig the refurbished route, they actually have, from the same time frame, new Mac mini Servers for $900.

The MacBook Pros ship with OS X 10.6.4, install discs included. The Mac mini server ships with Snow Leopard Server (no version info available).
Posted by: artie505

Re: Mountain Lion blues - 04/09/13 02:38 AM

Thanks for thinking of me...and ruining my day. wink

Actually, the machine that's reeeally got me salivating is the MacBook Pro 15in 2.66GHz i7 4GB/500GB, which is an enormous amount of Mac for only $1,260 (+ about $300 for AppleCare).

Were I in tacit's shoes I suppose I'd have bought it already, but I'm not, so lack of necessity (as opposed to desire) will combine with economic common sense (as opposed to reality) to relegate it to the category of wishful thinking. frown

On the other hand, though, I've got almost exactly that amount burning a hole in my piggy bank....and it looks like I can get in the range of $300-$350 for my deuced Mac(hina)...

Hmmm... I wonder if I can procrastinate long enough for it to go away?
Posted by: MacManiac

Re: Mountain Lion blues - 04/09/13 07:25 AM

...and for me, the Jones is for the MacBook Pro 15in 2.8Ghz i7 w/ antiglare screen.

Don't need it....current machine working just fine thank you.....must walk away from keyboard now....
Posted by: artie505

Re: Mountain Lion blues - 04/09/13 08:43 AM

Nice to hear from you! smile

I've been wondering about you for a while.

(My iBook had an anti-glare screen, and I was apprehensive about my MacBook's glossy screen when I ordered it, but I love it.)
Posted by: Virtual1

Re: Mountain Lion blues - 04/09/13 09:13 AM

Originally Posted By: dkmarsh

Originally Posted By: artie505
There's apparently a way to make ~/Library permanently visible...

In Terminal:

chflags nohidden ~/Library/


or setfile -a v ~/Library
to disable the V (inVisible) flag
Posted by: artie505

Re: Mountain Lion blues - 04/10/13 12:43 PM

Well, so much for economic common sense; I feel like I just bought an Aston Martin as a station car...like I'm ready for the Information Autobahn, but stuck on an information side-street.

I bought the i7, and parked at the station or stuck in traffic, I'll still have one hell of a vehicle! smile grin cool

Many thanks for pointing me towards Small Dog; I had actually done some cursory searching, but I didn't really know where to look or, for that matter, exactly what I was looking for, and it never even occurred to me that the "sorta deadstock" Macs they're selling existed. (I've shied away from Small Dog in the past because they didn't accept PayPal, but I'm pleased to report that they now do.)

(The new deuced Mac(hina) cost $1,160 + $5 shipping, and I busted my piggy bank last night and found $1,172!!! cool I still need to come up with $300 for AppleCare and a new printer [since I'll no longer be able to run a Leopard partition], but selling my old deuced Mac(hina) ought to cover that with maybe some change.)
Posted by: roger

Re: Mountain Lion blues - 04/10/13 01:14 PM

Grats!! Enjoy!!

You might be able to get a refurb Express and wireless up the printer?
Posted by: artie505

Re: Mountain Lion blues - 04/10/13 01:48 PM

Thanks, roger! smile

My printer sits about a foot away from my Express, so I'll likely work with the new printer wired into it and wireless out of it, same as the old one.
Posted by: RHV

Re: Mountain Lion blues - 04/21/13 01:59 PM

Pogue mentions the hidden ~Library folder in his book on Lion. I don't have his book on Mtn Lion.
Posted by: artie505

Re: Mountain Lion blues - 04/21/13 02:20 PM

It was critical in Lion, because it was new in Lion, but as has been previously mentioned, he probably treated it lightly in his Mt. Lion book on the assumption that people were already familiar with it.