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A Month with Lion

Some people might have been surprised at my not altogether positive reaction to Apple’s latest operating system, Lion, when I first installed it. I originally blogged about it about one month ago now and noted that there were a few “issues” – some of which were quite serious – and that I didn’t really recommend it for the average user.

A month later things have changed considerably. I’m not going to pretend that this is the perfect operating system or that there are no bugs at all, but things are certainly a lot better now and the remaining problems are probably no worse than those with older systems.

There have been three events which have lead to these improvements: first, Apple have released the first major update (Mac OS X 10.7.1); second, several publishers of other applications I use have released updates which have also improved the overall reliability of my system; and third, I have doubled the RAM in my machine to 8GB.

I am also now setting up computers for my clients which are running Lion (including a really nice new MacBook Air – those machines have really improved since the original models) so that will be a chance to see how a more “standard” user copes with the new system.

I am a real power user and I do have a lot of programs running constantly on my computer so I need more memory than a typical user. Most users could manage with 4GB which is the standard amount on most Macs sold today. Also, most users would not be using the same number of extra applications and utilities that I do so their experience with compatibility problems would be less.

I’m not necessarily recommending Lion just yet for everybody, because I haven’t had much feedback from non-experts, but at least it has got to the point now where I can safely let an average user try it. That’s a good thing of course because Lion is the default system being shipped on most new machines and is required for others, so it looks like I won’t have the choice for much longer!

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