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Over the weekend I decided to give Lion a try on my iMac (3.06 GHz Core 2 Duo). Once all of my "business" work was done, I turned off Time Machine and my other automatic backups, reformatted one of my extra drives, launched SuperDuper and proceeded to clone my main drive. When the backup was finished, I restarted from the clone, checked a few things to be sure that it was a good copy, plugged in my Lion installer flash drive and started the upgrade. The upgrade was smooth and fairly fast.

Once again, Spotlight started indexing, so I launched Lion Cache Cleaner to toggle it off. Sorry, I don't use it. Never have. I started testing the things I use the most, and the important things worked. A few gave notice that there was an update available. Standard stuff. 

Kindle for Mac needed to be trashed and redownloaded. The problem is apparently with one of the prefs files. Rather than try to find the bad file, it was easier to use AppZapper to delete the entire thing and download a clean copy. A few of the books showing on the home page had to be deleted and downloaded again, but it was no big deal. My printers worked the same as always. My little Pinnacle TV tuner & EyeTV work, and if anything, EyeTV seems to launch faster.

I don't have a trackpad with my iMac — yet — but I do have a Magic Mouse, so some of the multi-touch gestures do work with it. Double-tap with 2 fingers to bring up Mission Control. Double-tap with one finger to zoom in or out. Want to move back a page in your browser? A horizontal swipe is all it takes. Can you tell I like multi-touch gestures? I'm planning a trip to buy an Apple Magic Trackpad later this week. 

What don't I like? What's the nitpicky stuff? My biggest gripe so far is that they've done away with Bounce in Mail 5.0. It's not often that I resort to bouncing garbage email, but on occasion, it does satisfy my evil twin. It probably doesn't do anything more than marking it Junk and trashing it, but it somehow feels better. I'm not super fond of the new layout in Mail, but there is a setting to bring back the old classic look. Then there's the hidden user Library folder. I know Apple wants us to keep our sticky fingers out of things that can cause problems, however there are times when you need to dig into that Library folder. If you know how to play nicely with Terminal, you can reset the flag to visible, but you don't have to go that far. In the Finder, click on the Go menu, then click on the Option key. Like magic, it will appear about halfway down the list. Now, if I can just remember that the next time I need to dig in there…

Things like Quicken Essentials, Pages, Word, Excel all seem to work a bit faster. My ever faithful Spell Catcher still works, although I did have to break down and install an update that has been available for a few months. It fixed one very minor thing that Lion broke. I cannot live without Spell Catcher, not because I need the spelling check, but because it holds many years of boilerplate text and client addresses. It has been my shorthand expander of choice since the days of my MacClassic and OS 7.

I'm sure the rest of our writers will put their own spin on how they're dealing with Lion. I think it's safe to say that if the next few days are as smooth and trouble-free as the last couple, I'll migrate Lion to my main drive. This drive will go back to being my mirror clone.

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  • Nina Cleven

    I’ve been using Lion for quite a while now with no problems. Like the new multi-touch gestures on my macbook and once I got used to the new mail layout I even like that. All-in-all a nice upgrade.

  • Patrick

    Lion is designed to used via the Magic Touchpad. I’ve been using a mouse since my first Mac (1986), but switched to the touchpad for Lion. It’s a different way of interfacing with the computer.

  • Randy

    I’ve been using lion for the past few months and so far I love it. I love the new mail layout it finally caused me to switch over from Thunderbird. I’m having a slight problem with gestures and it might just be that my Mac doesn’t support it. I have a 2008 13 inch macbook, the black one, and the scrolling through your history on safari doesn’t work. If anybody has any information on that I would appreciate it.

    • Phyllis Evans

      I have the same MacBook, and gestures are very limited with that trackpad. That was the last model with the old style trackpad. Guess we have to either live with it or use the external Magic Trackpad.