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MacBook Pro with Retina Display

Posted on June 29th, 2012

Dave!And so Apple has made me poor.

Again.

Except not really. Yes, their new MacBook Pro with Retina Display has put me in debt, but it's also replacing my aging and busted MacBook Pro which I use constantly for my work. And replacing it beautifully. It is without question the most remarkable laptop... most remarkable computer... I have ever seen or had the privilege to use...

Retina Mac Book Pro by Apple

And while the "Retina Display" alone would make this machine a quantum leap beyond any other portable, Apple didn't stop there. They have adopted many of the same features which make their beautiful MacBook Air line so revolutionary. It's the crossroads of power and portability, and hands-down the ultimate laptop for graphics work like I do every day.

Except it's gonna cost ya. The cutting edge always does.

I'm going to run through all the specific features in an extended entry, but the bottom line is that the minimum baseline configuration for this machine costs $2,199. For work like I do, you really need the next step up, which runs $2,799. But I felt I needed something stronger, so I customized a machine that has the faster 2.7/3.7GHz CPU (+$250) and a maxed-out 16GB of RAM (+$200), which totaled a whopping $3,249. I stuck with the 512GB Flash Storage (Solid State Drive) because it was enough for me (it's bigger than the 320GB hard drive in my old MacBook Pro!) and I couldn't justify the additional $500 to bump that up to 768GB.

Now, when I look at that $3,249 price tag, a part of me wants to start screaming. But this isn't a toy that I use to just read email and surf the web... it's a critical work tool which I use to make a living every day. For me at least, it's a bargain. And every time I sit down to use it, I know exactly where that money went. The MacBook Pro with Retina Display is a boon to my productivity and a pleasure to use. I love it passionately, and can't imagine going back to a "regular" laptop.

If you want to know why, all my notes are in an extended entry...

→ Click here to continue reading this entry...

   

Upgrades

Posted on June 11th, 2012

Dave!As I catapulted off the runway of San Francisco International Airport this morning, a kid in the row across from me shouted "WOW! THIS IS JUST LIKE ANGRY BIRDS!"

This was good for a laugh, which I desperately needed. Because as we were taking off at 10:10am, I knew that I'd be missing out on all the cool stuff happening back on the ground in San Francisco's Moscone Center. It was there that Tim Cook would be taking the stage to introduce some of the cool new stuff that Apple had been working on, and I was going to miss it.

After landing in Seattle, I drove 2-1/2 hours, went to work until 7:30pm, then (finally) made it home so I could plop in front of the television and watch the Apple WWDC Keynote stream from my iPad to my Apple TV box. What follows is the deranged ramblings of a Certified Apple Whore, so proceed at your own peril...

   
• WELCOME
The Siri intro was pretty darn funny. Tim Cook was suitably channeling his inner Steve Jobs. The crowd was enthusiastic and the energy in the room was high. Then Tim ran through the astounding numbers touting the unprecedented success of the company and its products. After that, it was time for one of those heartwarming videos that Apple does so well... informative and inspiring without being sappy or tacky. And then? Off to what people really want to see.

   
• MACBOOKS
I need a new laptop to replace my aging, banged-up MacBook Pro, so I was understandably excited when Phil Schiller took the stage. I wanted so badly to have a machine with the power and 15-inch screen-size of a MacBook Pro, but the thinner form, lower weight, and fantastic SOLID STATE HARD DRIVE from the MacBook Air. At first, I didn't think I was going to get it, because Phil just rambled off expected bumps in speed and features for the existing models. But then something happened...

ZOMFG! WHAT IS IT? I WANT IT AND I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT IT IS!!

Introducing the MacBook Pro with Retina Display... AND ALL THE STUFF I WANTED IN A NEW LAPTOP! Thinner? Lighter? Faster? Quieter? SOLID STATE HARD DRIVE?!? Yes please. I am now officially poor, as there was no way I could pass up on something that will save me a lot of time, money, and agony when trying to work while on the road...

   
• MAC OS X - MOUNTAIN LION
Call me jaded, but it seems as though innovation is coming a lot slower to Apple's desktop products than their mobile products. In fact, the features shown for OS X that interest me most were those that make it easier to go from my laptop to my iOS mobile devices. Where are the compelling new OS X features that are redefining the non-mobile user experience? I dunno. Instead we get tighter integration with Twitter and Facebook. Whee. Don't get me wrong, any improvements or new features are appreciated)... especially for a jaw-dropping $20 price tag... but come on. This was kinda lame. Especially when you take a look at what Microsoft is up to for their next OS.

   
• iOS 6
Uhhh... yeah... it all sounds great. BUT I HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL THIS FALL?!? I'm assuming that this release date will coincide with the release of a new iPhone, but sheesh.

In any event, the new features really do sound great. The new maps look fantastic (and apparently the data is served up by TomTom, so they're be functional too!). Siri just keeps getting better. FaceTime over cellular and Mail "pull-to-refresh" are long overdue. Passbook is going a long way towards helping people lighten their wallet. The new integration with Twitter and Facebook is nifty. And the Accessibility enhancements are GOLDEN when configuring iOS products for non-techies.

BUT WHAT ABOUT THE "PHONE" PART OF iPHONE?!?

I still think it is embarrassing (and fucking stupid) that there's no auto-redial on my iPhone. WHY?!? Why in the hell would such an obvious and useful feature keep getting the shaft at Apple? Insanity! But at least they are addressing my long-standing complaints regarding having some control over your incoming calls. They call it "Do Not Disturb"...

Do Not Disturb on iPhone!

FINALLY... AT LONG LAST... I will be able to block unimportant calls and mute non-essential notifications when I don't want to deal with the shit. LIKE WHEN I'M SLEEPING! And, from what I can see, it looks pretty smart. Apparently you can one-touch do not disturb AND have an automatic do not disturb schedule going... hopefully both at the same time.

   

And that's all she wrote. No new iPhone... yet. No new desktop Macs... yet. No new iToast... yet.

I guess there's always next year.

   

iMac

Posted on February 1st, 2012

Dave!ZOMG, YOU GUYS! PEE-WEE HERMAN WAS ON TOP CHEF TONIGHT!

I'm a huge fan, and he did not disappoint. Have to say though... Tom Colicchio saying "I've gotta agree with Pee-Wee..." is something I never thought I'd hear.

And speaking of things I never thought I'd hear (at least in this decade)... Washington State's Senate passed a Marriage Equality Bill tonight, which means we're one step closer to becoming the seventh state to allow same-sex marriage. That's a pretty big deal for a lot of Washingtonians being able to fulfill this country's promise of pursuing happ...i...ness...ss... and... HOLY CRAP THERE'S A SPIDER CRAWLING UP THE WALL!!!!!

GAH!

Poor spider. He probably came inside to get out of the cold and I had to catch him and throw him back outside. Probably not a lot of food for him out there. Wah! I wonder if it would have been less cruel to smoosh him than to let him starve to death. But I can't bring myself to kill anything if I can help it. Argh.

I hate it when stuff like this happens.

Anyway...

My new work computer arrived today (thank you for the speedy delivery, Apple!). I admit that when I ordered it I was a little worried about how an iMac would fare for professional use. But, now that I've had a chance to play with it for a while, I have to say that I am very happy with the machine...

Dave's iMac

For anybody who's interested, I've put my thoughts on the iMac in an extended entry...

→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
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Krave

Posted on January 28th, 2012

Dave!There's new products.

And then there's dangerously new products.

After I got home from work, I saw a commercial for "Krave," which kind of blew my mind...

Kelloggs has a new breakfast cereal called KRAVE. It's cereal filled with chocolate candy. Sweet Jesus I've never felt more proud to be an American.

Because, seriously... IT'S CEREAL FILLED WITH CHOCOLATE CANDY! Isn't it glorious?

KRAVE Cereal

Pour a shot of J├Ągermeister on top, and you've got a party.

Anyway...

My work Mac has been dying for a while now. It's been in near constant use for six years, so this isn't surprising. I'm just happy that it has worked so well for so long... and especially pleased that Apple supported it all this time. So far as I know, you can still run all the latest software on the latest version of MacOS X, which is pretty remarkable. Sure it runs slow, but not prohibitively so. If the video and hard drive controllers weren't flaking out, I probable could have gotten another year or two out of it. But, alas, the video gets jittery even when I replace the video card, and I keep losing files and having crashes, soooooo... I guess it's time.

At first I was looking into getting another Mac Pro. But then I noticed that Apple seems to be distancing themselves from their desktop computer line. It's rarely updated and no real innovations have been happening there for a while. Where the action is at is in the iMac line...

iMacs!

The top-of-the-line iMac is over twice as fast as my current computer. That's not as nice as a new mid-level Mac Pro, which would be four times faster, but an iMac is half the price, so there you have it. It's also pretty. So I ordered a tricked out a 27-inch iMac and we'll see how it goes.

Nothing quite like adding even more profit to Apple's bottom line to make you feel alive.

   

Material

Posted on December 15th, 2011

Dave!I'm not a very material guy. At least not anymore. I'd rather spend my money on traveling than on "things." As long as I have my MacBook Pro, my iPhone, and my camera, I'm pretty indifferent about any other stuff I've accumulated. So much so that for the past several months I've been getting rid of the clutter in my life by the box-full. About the only thing I want to buy is a new improved MacBook Pro, new improved iPhone, and new improved camera.

And then...

It's a frickin' onesie! It's baby pajamas for adults! How genius is that?

Even the name is genius... FOREVER LAZY!

Forever Lazy Jumper Commercial

Who doesn't want to be forever lazy? Sitting around the house eating junk food and watching television. And when that gets to be too much for you, you can just take a nap right there on the couch because you're wrapped in a blanket already. About the only effort you have to put out is when you poop. But wait... they even made that easy!

Forever Lazy Butt Flap!

So now I'm torn. If I want to eventually upgrade my MacBook Pro, my iPhone, and my camera, then this isn't an option. It's not like the money to do all that is going to fall from the sky once I stop working to be Forever Lazy.

I need to find a way to make money at being a lazy asshole that doesn't have to think or make sense and can sit around being stupid as a hell all day long...

Rush Limblaaaahhh

Hmmmm... wonder where I can find a sweet gig like that?

   

Worship

Posted on August 24th, 2011

Dave!Hero worship is a strange thing.

Mostly because people who don't have the same hero as you will never understand it. And believe me, I get it. I have a friend who worships the singer Adele. Can't get enough of her. Listens to her music constantly. Would sell their should to attend an Adele concert. Of course, I don't understand it at all. Sure Adele seems to have some talent, but I can't stand her music. Every time Rolling in the Deep is playing, I just roll my eyes because listening to it makes me want to stick my head deep into a microwave.

So when I tell people that I worship Steve Jobs and they roll their eyes at me, that's okay.

I've been getting the same reaction for 27 years...

Steve Jobs and the Mac 1984

Of course I knew of him before then. He (along with Steve Wozniak) was already famous in 1979 when I got my hands on an Apple ][ plus. But it was his legendary introduction of the Macintosh on January 24th, 1984 that make me such a big fan. This was a man who believed in changing the world but, unlike so many, he actually did stuff to make it happen.

And my hero worship of Mr. Jobs never abated. No matter where he ended up. Even his time away from Apple while heading up NeXT was an amazing era to be a Steve Jobs fan. And, naturally, things only got better from there...

Steve Jobs Intros the iPhone

Now that he's stepped down as CEO of Apple, my feelings haven't changed.

His legacy there will touch every product that comes out of the company... and untold other companies... for decades to come.

Speculation is that Steve Jobs left his position because of his continuing health problems. I can't imagine him leaving otherwise, so all I can do is reiterate my best wishes for his recovery. And be grateful that he'll still have a voice at Apple as Chairman of the Board for the company.

Because I am now, as I have been for most my life, an "Apple Whore to my Core."

   

Bullet Sunday 246

Posted on August 21st, 2011

Dave!It'll have to be a short Bullet Sunday today... I've got a big mess to clear up in my living room...

   
• Diiiiiiiieee! A new study shows that single people die younger than married people. The bottom-line being that I would live (on average, I guess) 8 to 17 years longer if I were to get hitched. I don't really know if I want to live 17 years longer on this sick sad world, but I suppose I should start investigating mail-order bride options just in case.

   
• Millionaires! Everybody's favorite drug-endorsing, alcohol-gorging, sex-addicted, party-obsessed melody-makers are back and asking for your help to finance their first album! That's right, Millionaires (one of those bands I hate to love) has opened up a project on Kickstarter to raise $10,000 in funding...

People can say what they like about the girls, but Millionaires know how to crank out addictive pop tunes that infest your brain unlike any other. There's just something inexplicably appealing about their unique blend of nasty-ass lyrics and thumping beats! Here's one of the least offensive songs from their last EP...

If you want to donate to the cause, visit their Kickstarter page! Thanks to Adam for the link.

   
• RIP HP Mobile! The big news in tech this week was Hewlett Packard killing off their "WebOS" products... namely their phones (like the Pre) and tablet (the "iPad killing" TouchPad).

Personally I don't give a crap. Nothing in these products was overwhelmingly more compelling than what you can get from an iPhone or iPad, so why bother? Why waste everybody's time? I want real competition for Apple so they are forced to keep innovating and moving forward... HP was obviously never serious about challenging iOS dominance, so good riddance.

Though it's kind of stupid to pay 1.2 BILLION DOLLARS for something you're going to piss away. And I feel really bad for the people at Palm who thought that getting bought out by HP was going to rescue all their hard work. I mean, hey... their commercials may have given me nightmares, but Palm was a decent company at one time. It's all a shame, but not surprising though. HP has a history of fucking things up.

   
• Comic Collector! At one time, Macintosh users who were comic book fans had a nifty solution for keeping track of their collection. It was called ComicBase, and made it a snap to catalog you comics. But then the people behind the program abandoned the Mac and went full-on Windows, which was pretty shitty to do to their fans, but I guess you go where the money is. For years, there hasn't been a really serious alternative if you're a Mac Whore. But all that changed with Colletorz.com decided to make their "Comic Collector" software available on the Mac...

Comic Collector for Mac OS X

I've had a few crashes from time to time... and adding a bar code scanner can cause a few problems... but, overall, I'm very happy with it. Finally Mac users have a serious comic book database utility which pulls from a vast repository of information and images. If you're a Mac or Windows user looking to keep track of your comics, you can download a free trial at their website.

   
And now? Time to throw away another couple bags of crap I've been collecting before bedtime. I feel my life getting less complicated already!

   

Fresh

Posted on August 4th, 2011

Dave!After a week, I can't say that I'm a big fan of Apple's new "Lion" OS.

At least not yet.

So far for me it's been a buggy, slow, crash-prone pile of crap. But so many people are raving about it that I'm sure it's just some legacy stuff from four years ago that's lurking on my hard drive and causing problems. Doing a clean install tomorrow should fix things right up.

At least it had better.

Because I am sick to death of having to reboot a minimum of twice a day... and if I get one more "Application Not Responding" freeze I'm going to go all homicidal...

APPLICATION NOT RESPONDING!!!

APPLICATION NOT RESPONDING!!!

APPLICATION NOT RESPONDING!!!

In the meanwhile I've got one last task left to do tonight before I wipe my hard drive. After that? Say good night, Gracie.

And now, if you'll excuse me, I have to get back to a Very Special Episode of...

...

...

... nah, that would be telling!

   
UPDATE! Wheee! In the 35 minutes it took me to complete my project, my MacBook froze twice, had to be rebooted once, and started sporting really odd behavior in the Finder with files popping up which could not be deleted unless I restarted it...

Shitty Lion Finder Crap
WHY THE #@$% NOT?!? IT'S NOT BEING USED... HELL, IT DOESN'T EVEN REALLY EXIST!!

I hope everything goes well tomorrow so I don't have to set my laptop on fire.

   

Roar

Posted on July 21st, 2011

Dave!I am writing my Thursday post on Friday morning.

Not because I wanted to or I ran out of time... but because I had to. After a full day-and-a-half with Apple's new "MacOS X Lion" installed, I started experiencing one catastrophic system failure after another. For no discernible reason, the program I was using would suddenly lock up, followed shortly thereafter by the entire system. I'd then have to do a complete power-down and reboot. Again and again. I have tried disabling every extra system extension I can find, but nothing I try does any good.

I have no clue what's going wrong. I think it had to do with the file system crashing at random and taking my entire computer with it. Most crashes happen when I am trying to load/save, but not always. This morning my MacBook crashed when I was adding an attachment to an email. I pulled up the file browser to select the files and... nothing...

Lion File System FAIL

After a few minutes of Mail going non-responsive, the program fails...

Lion File System FAIL

After a few more minutes, the Finder and everything else goes non-responsive. The system has died.

I've got a 2.53 GHz Core Duo MacBook with 4 GB RAM, so my machine is more than capable of upgrading to Lion. And yet... something is going wrong. Some hidden extension that I've got installed somewhere is not compatible. Or so I'm guessing. All I can say for certain is that I have lost an entire evening's work because of this crap.

Guess today I get to do a Clean Install.

My hope is that this will not only stop the crashing... but also solve the riddle of my slow-to-respond file system that I was bitching about yesterday.

I guess sometimes Apple doesn't "just work."

   

Lion

Posted on July 20th, 2011

Dave!And so Apple released the latest iteration of their Macintosh operating system, MacOS X 10.7 "Lion."

As a Certified Apple Whore, I am compelled to blog about it. But it's kind of a silly prospect, because other sites have done such a comprehensive job of going over the features. What I think I'll do is just go over some of the things I really like and really hate. Starting... NOW!

   
• Installer. In a move that harkens back to the day that Apple decided to abandon the floppy disk with the iMac... then abandon the CD drive with the MacBook Air... Apple has abandoned the media for distributing Lion at $29. No installation CDs or DVDs... you buy the upgrade directly from the Mac App Store (though apparently there's a USB thumb-drive version coming in August for $69). This gave me some pause, but I had TWO full backups, so I just rolled with it. Everything went flawlessly. There's even some wizardry in the background to give you a "magical" partition on your drive so you have an emergency backup available if something goes wrong since there's no DVD to boot from. Nice! Eventually I probably will burn a DVD and do a clean install just to clear out some junk I've accumulated over the years, but overall, things couldn't have gone better.
SIMPLICITY FACTOR? 9.9 (out of 10)

   
• Fuller. One idea that I've historically hated is the idea of an app taking over the entire screen. It just "feels" wrong to not be able to see and manipulate stuff in other windows while you're in the current window. But after playing with iPhone and iPad for a while, you just get used to it. And now I actually prefer it. Yes, it makes things like "drag-and-drop" impossible, but the tradeoff is that you get maximum screen real estate to work with. On a cramped laptop, that's gold! Lion provides developers the ability to make their apps go full-screen with the click of a button. As of now, only Apple seems to have the feature baked in, but hopefully other apps will be getting the ability to go full-boat soon. HOWEVER... there is one small, yet highly frustrating, problem. When you go full-screen, the menu bar disappears. To get it back, you put your cursor at the top of the screen... AND WAIT AND WAIT AND WAIT AND WAIT! Well, that's an exaggeration, kind-of, but if I need my fucking menu bar, I NEED IT NOW, dammit! I have no idea if this is because of some animation going on or what, but it completely sabotages the usefulness of going full-screen.

MacOS X Lion Full-Screen

It is absolutely ridiculous that you don't have an option to "Always Show Menu Bar" for full-screen apps! There's some useful shit up there... like a clock... and your battery level... and all kinds of stuff I want to be able to look at. But you can't until you shove your mouse up there and wait. And wait. And wait.
IDIOCY FACTOR? 10 (out of 10)

   
• Gestures. The "new school" way of providing computer input is "gestures," which is done by swiping, pinching, rotating, and performing other motions on a touch-screen or touch-pad or track-pad or touch-mouse. The iPhone and iPad have used stuff like this since day one. Want to shrink a photo? Pinch it! Want to enlarge a photo? Stretch it! I find such input to be natural, intuitive, and efficient. Apple obviously agrees, because they've expanded the use of gestures in a very big way. There's lots of them...

MacOS X Lion Gestures

And, let me tell you, once you get used to gestures, you will never want to go back. Just having the ability to swipe with two fingers to go backwards and forwards through browsing history without having to move the cursor up to a button you press... well, it's genius...

MacOS X Lion Swipe Gesture

I am adapting to the gestures very, very quickly. I love them. A lot. So much, that I will be buying a "Magic Track-Pad" for my desktop Mac.
AWESOME FACTOR? 9.9 (out of 10)

   
• Mission Control. Apple has done a really cool thing in combining "Spaces" (virtual desktops), "Dashboard" (widgets), full-screen apps, and open windows into a single interface called "Mission Control"...

MacOS X Lion Mission Control

And, thanks to gestures, it's always available! Just swipe up with three fingers and BLAM! there it is! In theory, I like it a lot. In practice? Not so much. Partly because its kind of a mess to take in all at once... but mostly because YOU CANNOT FUCKING REARRANGE YOUR "SPACES" VIRTUAL DESKTOPS! They're just stuck there. This sabotages the usefulness of another gesture I love... swiping right and left with three fingers to switch between your full-screen apps and your virtual desktops. Have ten Spaces open and want to arrange them so that you can swipe between them with the most efficiency? TOUGH SHIT! You can't! You have to swipe through nine fucking screens to get back and forth between two that you'd really like to have next to each other. Your only choices when configuring the arrangement of Spaces in preferences is whether you want them auto-arranged or not. NO option to manually arrange them.
DUMBASSERY FACTOR? 8.8 (out of 10)

   
• Save Me. The "Save File" dialog box is now hopelessly fucked for productivity. It used to be that you option-clicked on an existing filename in the dialog, and you would get that filename automatically populated in your filename save field. This is handy for overwriting a current file... but more useful as a way of modifying an exiting filename into a new filename (e.g. clicking on "BigFile_001.jpg" so you can save a file as "BigFile002.jpg". ANYWAY... now you just click on the filename instead of option-clicking, which is no big deal. But in MacOS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, the system highlighted the filename automatically (sans extension) so you could very quickly overwrite the name OR hit the right-arrow to add/change characters at the end to create the new filename. Now? Not so much. No text is automatically selected for you, so hitting the right-arrow key inexplicably sends you into whatever folder you're on. But even worse than all that? It takes FOREVER for your files to show up in the browser. (UPDATE! See below)
TIME-WASTING FACTOR? 9.2 (out of 10)

OSX Lion Save Dialog Box

   
• Lag. UPDATE: Apparently the horrible performance lag was due to two things... my Mac re-indexing the drive for Spotlight searches and the presence of MacFUSE on my system (which is supposedly not yet compatible with 64-bit Lion). In addition to the delays you find when waiting for the menu bar to appear in full-screen apps and the file browser to be populated in the save dialog box... there are several other areas. So many things just seem... slow. It used to be you'd press the space bar to preview with QuickLook and a window would appear instantly. Now? There's a huge delay. A delay so long that I'd argue it's probably faster to just double-click on the damn thing to open it in an app. It goes on and on (just try opening a Finder window so you can count the SECONDS it takes for the files to show up). Again, this may be due to the fancy animations going on, I don't know, but it is absolutely UNFORGIVABLE. Why the fuck would you make an operating system slower so people are waiting around all the time? It's a productivity killer on a massive scale because all those wasted seconds add up. This alone has me hesitating to recommend the Lion upgrade... if, like me, you YOU WANT TO GET SHIT DONE! This is so very, very frustrating.
STUPIDITY FACTOR? 38.6 (out of 10)

   
• Dock. Some freaky-ass stuff is going on with the way applications are run. Part of this has to do with the way Lion is taking control of your apps to better manage resources. If it's running low on memory, it can now tell an app you aren't using to quit itself. Then, when you need it again, Lion will reopen it exactly in the state it was in when it told the app to quit. I don't necessarily have a problem with this, but... it's not working right. You now have a choice whether the Dock displays a little light under running apps, but it's lighting up under apps which I've quit before a logout. Other times it refuses to light up apps I've just run. It's irritating. There's an option to turn off the indicator light, but I like to have it... when it works.
CONFUSION FACTOR? 5.7 (out of 10)

   
• Login. I have no fucking clue how Apple ended up with one of the ugliest login screens I have ever seen... and I'm including DOS-based logins from the 1980's. How the fuck can Apple, who is so sensitive to beauty in design, botch something so badly?

MacOS X Lion Login Screen
This is a crappy photograph of a crappy login, because I can't take a snapshot of it directly.

Everything about it is off. The circular pictures with the high-gloss reflections are tacky as hell. The "linen" background is boring as fuck. The Apple logo is wandering and distracting. The buttons are diminutive and lost. Everything about this piece of shit design screams amateur hour, and I cannot believe that His Holiness Steve Jobs okayed this. I've come to expect shit like this from Microsoft. But I am both disgusted and deeply saddened to see it coming from Apple. And so THIS is what I have to look at every morning when I start my day at work now? Why? WHY, LORD, WHY?!?
UGLINESS FACTOR? 18.2 (out of 10)

   
• Backwards. In an effort to make window scrolling act more like an iPad, Apple has introduced "natural" scrolling in Lion. The idea is that you click and pull window content in the direction you want it to move... just as if your mouse pointer was your finger. It seems like a smart idea, but it doesn't work... at least not for me. On an iPad, my finger is moving the actual content. On a Mac, my finger is moving a pointer which, in turn, moves scroll bars. From this perspective, using "natural" scrolling is backwards from how it should be and is, in fact, not "natural" at all. I turned it off after only an hour because I could not see myself getting used to it, nor training my brain to make sense of it. If I ever get a touch-screen on my Mac, then sure. But now? No thanks.
BIZARRE FACTOR? 8.0 (out of 10)

   
• Dash. Apple's widget repository, which they call Dashboard, is a nice feature that I use all the time. My "Dashboard" is filled with widgets which do everything from give me the weather forecast to track packages to taking notes to dozens of other things that widgets let you do. But not is all wine and roses in WidgetLand. The first time you open Dashboard, you have to WAIT AND WAIT AND WAIT AND WAIT for the widgets to activate. Subsequent access is still slow, but not horribly so. It's always been like this but, for some reason, I really thought they would address it in Lion. I'm sure it's a memory thing (why waste resources if somebody isn't going to even use Dashboard?) but I am ALWAYS using Dashboard, and the waiting drives me insane. If that wasn't enough, Apple changed some of the widgets so they're uglier. The font in calculator doesn't even frickin' fit in the display properly.
BOREDOM FACTOR? 5.1 (out of 10)

MacOS X Lion Calc Widget

   
• Mail. If there's one program in OS X that I borderline hate, it's Apple Mail. It sucks on so many levels that I end up wanting to punch my computer at least once a day. It's slow. It's illogical. It's stupid (functionality-wise). It's unbearably frustrating for anybody who does more with email than just the basics. Well, Lion's new-and-improved Mail is, in fact, new-and-improved in many ways... but still kind of stupid in others. You get a new GMail-inspired "conversation view" but it ONLY displays your replies if they were written on the computer you're using! It doesn't matter if you have IMAP and store messages on a server for ALL your computers... Mail completely ignores anything you replied with when using other machines. This is almost laughable in just how fucking stupid it is. At first I thought it was my fault... I had stuff configured differently between them so Mail couldn't figure it out. But I use iSync, so that can't be the reason. So why? Did nobody TEST for this? Inexplicable bullshit like this drives me fucking crazy. Hopefully I'll eventually get it figured out, because right now "conversation view" is less than useless when it's incomplete. And yet... there are other things. Other cool things. I LOVE LOVE LOVE being able to flag mail with different colors. That's been a LONG time coming since I had this in every MacOS 9 mail app I ever used in the 80's and 90's! I still have a lot of exploring to do but, in the meanwhile, color me half-impressed.
INDECISIVE FACTOR? 5.0 (out of 10)

   
• Miscellany. I've only been using Lion for half-a-day, so this is going to be a really incomplete list. Some things I haven't experienced yet... like auto-file-versioning, AirDrop file sharing, and some of the security features. Other things I've run across have been cool, but not yet explored. Like the new three-finger-double-click to get a contextual dictionary...

MacOS X Lion Diction

And the hold-key character-picker...

MacOS X Lion Character Picker

And the three-finger-pinch Application Launcher "Launchpad" which is SO much nicer than digging through the Applications Folder...

MacOS X Lion Launcher

Still other things are just plain crazy... like the new-and-unimproved tiny-ass window control buttons...

MacOS X Lion Buttons

Annnd... there's a lot more... I really like the new "All My Files" view available in the Finder windows. The whole-disk encryption is a godsend for somebody who travels all the time like me. There's additions to iCal and Address Book that help them not to suck so terribly. There's tiny little improvements everywhere that are nice. For the most part. I just wish Apple had taken a little more time to get rid of those frustrating changes and omissions that can make the OS less than what it could be.

AND FOR FUCKS SAKE, GET RID OF ALL THE LAG-TIME THAT MAKES ME WANT TO PULL MY HAIR OUT EVERY TIME I OPEN A FUCKING WINDOW!

FINAL SCORE? 7.5 (out of 10)

   

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