We are almost three weeks into the era of Mountain Lion, so it is a good time to talk about the new cat and what changes it has brought about for us. Which of the 200+ features that Apple talked about are actually useful? What has been made easier? Or which software no longer works?
I have gone through the Lion to ML migration twice and am happy to report that there were no problems. I have also not had any problems with IDL, iObserve, IRAF, or any other astronomy package. In fact, I just restored from my Time Machine backup, and everything thing just worked! Really. The migration seems to have been flawless, as of now. So if you are waiting to see if there are any problems before upgrading (remember Leopard?), go ahead and take the plunge. Plus, it comes at the cheapest price ever – $19.99.
Here is a quick list of things that I love and hate about the three-week old Mountain Lion:
- There are two big additions to Time Machine: encrypted backups to a network drive and being able to backup to multiple hard disks on a rotating basis. Lion first introduced encrypted backups, (which had made me very happy), now ML extends that to networked drives. Gone are the days when a backup hard drive could be read by anybody. Now, ML also allows you to backup to multiple hard drives in case one fails (e.g., rotate your backups to different drives every hour). I suggest that the 10.9 version of Time Machine be able to create a bootable clone.
- XQuartz is X11 and fully incorporated into ML. You do not need to keep both versions anymore.
- Lion had problems with focussing on the right window when switching between Spaces; it has been fixed.
- The “Save As” button is back! I hated how it had been replaced by “Duplicate” in Lion. Now, if you hit the option key (⌥) while in the menubar, you get the “Save As”. I went ahead and changed ⌘⇧S to be”Save As”.
- However, Apple got rid of the ability to hit “delete (⇧delete)” to go back (forward) in Safari. If you want it back, change your settings. I do not know why they love tinkering with long-established shortcuts.
- Applications are much happier to automatically terminate now; try keeping TextEdit or Calendar open without a window. If you do not like it, fix it. X11, Mail, and Safari do not seem to be affected.
- Mail Downloads are now stored at ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.mail/Data/Library/Mail Downloads. This drove me nuts for a while.
- The new Notification Center means I no longer have to keep my Calendar open. Also, OS X and iOS are more compatible than ever, meaning I am less confused when switching between devices.
- Apple takes another crack at incorporating third-party software right into the OS and, hereby, making them obsolete. iCloud tries to replace DropBox, and Notes is EverNote without tags and with a prettier background.
Have you switched to ML yet? Please share any tips/tricks as well as bugs you might have found.