Saturday, June 29, 2013

Upgrading from Snow Leopard to Mountain Lion: Not Bad

I upgraded my MacBook from Snow Leopard to Mountain Lion last night. So far there have only been a few minor hangups, which I've mostly been able to get around.
  • Fixing scrolling, hidden scrollbars etc in Mountain Lion
  •  Here's some other useful tips for Mountain Lion
  • X11 isn't supported, so if you run X11 / GTK apps like Mandelbulber use XQuartz
  • Quicksilver stopped working after the upgrade so I switched to Alfred (thanks to Ashe Dryden for the recommendation)
  • I used Spaces heavily on Snow Leopard (6 desktops, with apps assigned to workspaces for music, code, social media, graphics, sysadmin and writing), which became useless with 10.7 (one of the biggest reasons I didn't upgrade when 10.7 came out).  I'm using TotalSpaces to restore classic Spaces functionality.  I'll probably end up paying the $18 for the full version (almost as much as the OS upgrade itself) just because Spaces is so essential to how I work.
  • Getting the battery time remaining to show in the menu bar was a chore.  In Mountain Lion, you can no longer see the battery time next to the battery icon.  There are 2 apps that can fix this for you.  One is a simple one called "Battery Time" the other a more-advanced $1 app called "Battery Time Remaining".
  • Since 3rd-party menubar items cannot be re-arranged (come on already) I couldn't actually see the battery time remaining on my laptop since the icon was pushed all the way off to the side. There are a few apps that you can get to fix this for you.  "Bartender" at a pricey $15 or the more reasonably-priced "Menu Bar Rearranger" at $4.99.  But really, why do I have to pay to do something as basic as change the ordering of some icons on my menu?
So overall, it could have been much worse.  I didn't have to recompile all of my gems or rebuild virtual machines or re-install anything major to be productive again.  A little annoying though that the upgrade cost $20 (which is cheap for an upgrade) but then I had to pay another $20 or so to restore all of the things that Apple "innovated" between versions.

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