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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

Snow Leopard VS. Lion


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kamerdoc23

 
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Hey all, new Mac user learning the ropes and having fun doing so.
Thanks so much for all the help this far, everyone has helped to make this transition a very smooth one.

I'm starting a thread curious about updating to Lion from my current Snow Leopard. What are everyone's thoughts on the updates? Should I do it? What are the main differences between the two? Will Snow Leopard soon loose support the way Microsoft phased out XP, etc.?
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ycl1688

 
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Go for the Lion by all means, it is the most advanced OS human beings ever invented. It is far superior than SL, in my opinion. It is a matter of buying from
apple store for $29 or so, it is worth it. Once you get the hang of Lion, you will never want to go back to older apple os.
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cwa107

 
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10.6 (Snow Leopard) will eventually lose support, but it probably won't be for another few years. Apple typically doesn't drop support until 2-3 major subsequent releases have come out.

In my opinion, Lion is a gimicky train wreck of an update that tries to shoehorn a bunch of iPad/iOS-inspired user interface elements where they don't necessarily fit well. Some of the new features actually break existing functionality that had worked very well (Exposé for one example). In addition, other features are dropped entirely (Rosetta for older, PPC-based apps and Front Row support).

Personally, if I could do it easily, I would just roll back to 10.6 and stay there until such a time when Apple releases a real update to OS X that actually improves things instead of adding a bunch of bloat and gimicky, grafted-on changes that make little sense.

I'm certain others will feel differently, but for me, Lion hasn't been an upgrade... I've spent more time finding work arounds and "undoing" things that Apple has changed than actually using my computer, which is something I'm not accustomed to doing with Apple products.

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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harryb2448

 
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If you are using a MacBook etc kamerdoc 23 and decide to go with Lion, purchase and download, however prior to installing burn a copy to a USB thumb drive. M<any reports a clean install works much better than the upgrade, and this has generally been the case for the last six years or so.


http://osxdaily.com/2011/07/08/make-...b-flash-drive/

Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!
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ycl1688

 
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All I can say is Apple new guards are following steve jobs mindset of forever reinventing computer technologies, putting best stuff in their products and never look back. For a newbie it is to learn the new ways and go forward.
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Discerptor

 
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Having used Lion and Snow Leopard side by side since a few weeks after Lion released, I can honestly say Lion is a step down from Snow Leopard in terms of reliability, usability, and resource efficiency. That said, you may not notice these shortcomings depending on how you use your Mac. I'll summarize the basic reasons for my assertions here for the sake of clarity:

Reliability
Every application that comes with Snow Leopard is stable and relatively bug-free. Lion, on the other hand, continues to plague a number of users with wireless connectivity issues and has the buggiest version of iCal that has ever been released. I have not personally experienced the wireless connectivity issue, but all the Macs at the office running Lion had to have BusyCal installed to be able to connect to our CalDAV server calendar, whereas the ones running Snow Leopard had no issue connecting via iCal.

Usability
Lion adds a lot of fluff, much of which is optional, and I am honestly fine with that - I'm not one of those blowhards that screams about Launchpad daring to exist even when I don't have to use it (and in fact I kind of like it). Mission Control, which replaces Exposé and Spaces, however, is an unmitigated disaster.

Have several windows open in a few applications and want to see them all at once (say, Photoshop and InDesign)? Sorry, you can't do that in Lion because Mission Control chooses to immediately obscure any window with other windows from the same application with its window-grouping mess. Apple even tried to soften the blow here by allowing you to use the four-finger-spread gesture to slightly spread out the windows - guess what, it still leaves parts of the windows obscured.

Want to drag that window from one space to another? Whereas you used to be able to very intuitively just click and drag while in Spaces view, now you have to first switch to the space where the window resides and then drag it to its destination.

Want to fullscreen a movie to your external monitor while you work on something light on your laptop display? Nope, Lion took that away because with Apple's fabulous new fullscreen implementation, all monitors you might be working on aside from the one with the content is grayed out.

Mission Control is a horrible implementation of what I'm sure were well-intentioned ideas that ends up being objectively less functional than what it replaced - as far as I can recall, this is the first OS X release to actually take away features. If Steve Jobs were alive, I imagine he'd give the team behind it a speech similar to the infamous one he gave the MobileMe team. Lion took a huge step backwards in multitasking workflows and window management.

Resource Efficiency
I'll be blunt here: Google any Benchmark comparison between Lion and Snow Leopard, and you'll see that Lion is either identical or a minor downgrade. This is the first version of OS X to ever achieve this. But given that benchmarks often don't reflect real-life usage, let's focus on that.

Lion takes longer to both start up and shut down than Snow Leopard, thanks to the only mildly useful (and not very graceful unless you have an SSD) feature that restores your session upon startup.

Lion uses a ridiculous amount of RAM compared to Snow Leopard - my coworker only uses her Mac mini for office tasks (spreadsheet, word processor, calendar, email) and the base 2GB of RAM wasn't enough to keep it from lagging. Let this sink in. Lion is so inefficient with RAM that many of the machines Apple is shipping it with are incapable of running it smoothly even when doing the least intensive of computer tasks. Sure, many people have more than 2GB of RAM anyway, but consider where this places your machine now. Suddenly 4GB is the amount of RAM you need for light multitasking and 8 GB is a "good" amount of RAM. Your performance is going to get shot in the foot with this upgrade unless you have 8GB or more of RAM. And all for a few shiny new features that mostly add more flash than substance or actually make the user experience worse.

The one and only thing I can see someone upgrading to Lion for is the iCloud functionality that Apple refuses to put into Snow Leopard, assuming you own iOS devices.

All in all, I strongly recommend against upgrading to Lion. Apple doesn't need any more dollars encouraging them to go in this direction with the OS. I can only hope 10.8 brings back what Lion took away.
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dtravis7

 
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Just wait till you see 10.8. You might go to Windows 8 with that horrible cell phone interface!
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Discerptor

 
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Oh, don't even get me started on Windows 8. It's as if the entire OS market is trying to push me towards obscure Linux distros. >.>
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dtravis7

 
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Even some of the more popular Linux distros like Ubuntu are doing things I am not happy with.

Agreed on Windows 8. I tried to like it. I really did!
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robduckyworth

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtravis7 View Post
Even some of the more popular Linux distros like Ubuntu are doing things I am not happy with.

Agreed on Windows 8. I tried to like it. I really did!
i never did release my video review of Windows 8... haha.

I actually rather liked it. about time they changed it up a bit. though basically attaching a front end to Windows 7 probably wasnt the most tactile way they could have done it...

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kamerdoc23

 
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Thanks for all the information. I'm a pretty casual user and don't use much more than basics, so I think I'll hold off on the update for a little while. Everything is working so smoothly right now I don't think I want to take a chance of ruining a good start.

Much appreciated everyone...
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Ghost Rider

 
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I have started out with Lion. It came with my 2011 IMac.

No issues to speak of. First time my computer woke up from sleep it was all beachballs and I hard to do a restart and no issues since then.
I do like the logo better for Snow Leopard and that is my wallpaper
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I've been running Lion without any significant issues since day one, and in particular I **strongly** dispute discerptor's claim that it's slower than SL. Quite the opposite in my experience, particularly with Safari.
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vansmith

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robduckyworth View Post
i never did release my video review of Windows 8... haha.
Yes, we're still anticipating this video. The wait is killing me!

I agree with you Discerptor about the speed/efficiency. While SL was nice and nimble, some of the changes made in Lion have done little but slow down my machine. It's making my already aging MacBook look even older. While it's still very much usable, it's not as quick as it was with SL. However, I still think it was a worthy upgrade if only for the sake of future proofing a machine.

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chscag

 
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I have to agree with Van. I have also noticed the slow down on my 2008 MacBook after upgrading to Lion, however, the 2011 iMac seems just as fast. Van also makes a good point about future proofing.
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