PEBKAC: Moving, and Moving On

This column originally appeared in the August issue of About This Particular Macintosh.

The past few weeks in our home have encapsulated the Great Room Reshuffle of 2011. My wife and I are in the process of adopting our third child (Boy2 is also adopted), and this is requiring some shuffling of resources. Our guest room will be no more so each boy may have his own room. New bedroom furniture has been ordered, and will be in place by the time, you, dear reader, are seeing these words.

Boy1 is remaining in the same room he’s been in since we got the original furniture, which is now in Boy2’s room. Boy1 is getting the aforementioned new furniture, including a desk, useful for doing homework and LEGO building. The new full bed ensures Boy2 or Boy3 can bunk with him when my parents come for a visit. (See above: guest room going away.) Boy3 will, at some point in the future, once we actually have Boy3, get new furniture, but for now his room remains semi-complete.

So now we’re at the third paragraph, you know way more about my home life than you ever wanted to, and you’re wondering what the heck this has to do with Macs, aren’t you?

Mac OS X Lion released a couple of weeks ago, and for a subset of users, shuffling installations was a concern. Just as we’re rearranging rooms, some found themselves moving to a clean drive partition to put the new operating system on. Most simply did an update install, which shuffles off the old Snow Leopard bits and moves the new Lion furniture in to the former’s place.

As of this writing, I’ve only installed Lion on one of our four Macs, my 11-inch MacBook Air. As more than one commentator has stated, Lion and the Air seem like a match made in heaven. Or Cupertino, as the case may be. I utilized the method most who upgraded to Lion have, the update-in-place. Snow Leopard is packed up, moved off the drive, and Lion is moved in and unpacked, everything put in its place.

It was time-consuming, but otherwise uneventful, much like the Great Room Reshuffle, which saw lots of sweating and grunting by yours truly as dressers and chests and beds were carried and slid about (yay for carpeting!), but no dented furniture, busted walls, or broken bones. Likewise, my moving on to Lion has only seen one hiccup, and that was the need for Java for Mac OS X 10.7 to be installed afterward so CrashPlan would work properly. Just a little sweating over my off-site, online backup, but no grunting this time.

Seasoned Mac veterans may take their time upgrading to Lion, and users of Quicken will most especially want to wait. (Though honestly, given Intuit’s lack of motivation thus far to update Quicken’s code, Quicken users may be better off looking for alternatives from committed developers.) Like many long-time Mac users, I’m not sure I’ll use the new Launchpad or Mission Control features, but I’m otherwise enjoying the many subtle changes Apple has made to OS X’s face. And as with previous Mac OS X updates on previous Macs, this latest operating system just feels faster on the same hardware.

Just as I’m glad we’re doing the Great Room Reshuffle of 2011, I’m happy so far with the Great Lion Upgrade of 2011. If you’ve been on the fence, and don’t have any application-compatibility issues, I encourage you to make the move to Mac OS X Lion. It’s the best Mac OS yet.

Knocking down the Towers is something the terrorists did to us, but leaving that hole in the ground for ten years is something we did to ourselves.

Mark Steyn