A Brief Lion Update

At this very moment I am backing up my MacBook in preparation for a Lion install. I want to be able to go back to 10.6.8 in a hurry if I have to, so what I’ve done is purchase a 500 GB internal hard drive* (same size as the drive in my MacBook), stick it into my NexStar Hard Drive Dock,* and using Super Duper make a complete clone of the MacBook’s internal drive. Once that’s done, I’ll take the old drive out, put the new drive in, and then (with the original drive safely stashed away) I will begin the Lion upgrade. If something goes terribly wrong I can take the Lionized hard drive out, put my 10.6.8 hard drive back in, and I’ll be back in business. Whether I have trouble or not I’ll make another post here relating my initial Lion experience, hopefully by midnight tonight.

In the meantime, if you’re looking for an excellent review of Lion, read John Siracusa’s lengthy Lion write-up. Yes, it’s long, but it’s worth it. Mr. Siracusa has written a detailed review of every Mac OS X version and they are always excellent reading. In fact, it’s Mr. Siracusa’s reviews that keep me from feeling the need to write one myself. Everything’s covered, and long as it is, it’s very readable. He even tells you which parts to skip.

If you don’t want to read John Siracusa’s 18 pages on Lion, try Robert Mohns’ Lion review over at Macintouch.com. This is also great stuff, just not as detailed and without Siracusa’s legendary deadpan humor. There are plenty of other reviews to be found but these two are the best.

If you’re looking for a master list of what works with Lion and what doesn’t, you’re just like me. There really isn’t an official list. There is a nice bit of collective work, relying on reader contributions, over at RoaringApps.com, but it is hardly complete and certainly not official. However, it’s the best there is as of this writing and a useful place to start. Note that some of the reports at RoaringApps were posted in the months leading up to Lion’s release so it’s possible that the final “shipping” version of Lion took care of some of the issues seen there. (How weird it feels to write about Lion “shipping,” when it comes to us over the internet, with no box or cellophane or truck or plane– or ship. We are living in a modern world.)

That’s it for now. Gotta wait for that backup to finish.

UPDATE: Lion is up and running on my MacBook. The backup took longer than I thought it would and so did the installation of Lion. And, with Spotlight re-indexing the drive (apparently it has to do this), the fan is going full-blast and the machine is sluggish. I expect the machine to feel speedy again when Spotlight is finished.

So far, I’ve done VERY brief tests of Microsoft Word (from both Office 2008 and 2011), and they both seem to work. The AutoUpdater worked in 2008– that piece of Office 2008 had itself been updated, and placed in a new location, leaving behind the older, PPC version of Microsoft AutoUpdate. The older one won’t work but it doesn’t matter– the new one will. And if you have kept your Office 2008 installation up to date, you will already have the new Microsoft AutoUpdate.

There are some neat new features in Lion and we’ll start covering those soon. The focus for now is on compatibility, so if you have a question about a particular app, let me know and I’ll see if I can test it for you.

UPDATE 2 (7-25-2011): Microsoft Office 2008’s main problem with Lion is in the Microsoft Setup Assistant. It will not run properly under Lion. So, if you already have Office 2008, you have a chance of it working in Lion, especially if you don’t use Entourage. If you try to install Office 2008 after you put Lion on, you’ll have problems. It just won’t work. Office 2011 is then your only hope (available via Amazon here*).


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