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PoneyMac

From Snow Leopard to Lion: a leap towards the limbo

Again, I was a bit stuck with my Mac. SmoothMouse was helping with the mouse handling but not fully solving the issues with acceleration. Sometimes, the pointer was just going away. I cannot believe I loose it so often: it just disappears! I often have to bring the pointer to the top left corner two or three times per mouse action! Mouse wheel also moves super slowly, making it almost useless. I have to give it an hard swing for scrolling to begin. Besides this very frustrating mouse response, side buttons are just not working. Besides trying with all the proprietary solution, probably ending up purchasing each of them one after the other to figure out none of them will work correctly for me, there was another thing to try: Razer Synapse. But it was requiring Mac OS X 10.7, so named Lion.

Moreover, I tried on November 28th 2014 to synchronize my Google contacts with the builtin Address Book application, again without success. I took me almost fifteen minutes to figure out that the instructions I found to do it were inaccurate. They were referring to a sync menu item while the command to sync was an ICON in the top right area! The icons are too tiny so I don’t look at the area all the times in case of something that appears! The sync icon was there: i had to click on it and select the command to synchronize now. After all these efforts, I got no result, again, no sync.

I was also hoping that getting an updated Mac OS X version would give me better chances to import video files into Final Cut Express without transcoding everything to .mov files.  I read that Final Cut Express is using the QuickTime stack which is built into Mac OS X, so a newer Mac OS X implies a newer QuickTime stack.

Last weekend, I decided to try my luck with this upgrade and stop using that dumb machine if it fails or makes the system unusably slow. Easy, I though, just go the the Mac App Store, get Lion, buy and download. No, no more Lion app, just Mountain Lion! Grrrr, AGAIN! I searched on Google once more, and found that Lion can be purchased from the Apple Store. Again… Will I really have to wait for a new shipping?

No, not this time, have I found. The purchase of Lion gives you a content code to download the product. However, the code came only two days after the purchase. What? That means there is a manual process to get the content code? Quite bad design, once again. I also found on a forum people that waited for ten days to get the code without success. They had to phone Apple, not even email support, to get the email resent, the resent didn’t happen, they had to phone again, etc. I found some downloads of Lion on Kickass that I could try my luck on, but there were images for VMWare and VirtualBox, so I would have ended up downloading gigabytes of data for nothing until I find a correct Lion installation!

Fortunately, I got two emails about an Apple License Agreement from Apple Volume Licensing. Opening the first message was giving me a PDF attachment with indications that the password would come in a second email. The second email was providing the password. If I didn’t look at these emails in depth, I would have thought they only provided a somewhat useless license agreement, not the content code I really needed. I think some people did that mistake and just ignored or deleted the emails. This may explain why some people waited ten days for the content code, contacted Apple, got the email resent, waited, didn’t get anything, etc.

The content code WAS in the PDF file! I needed the first email with the PDF, second email with the password, open PDF, and then the code was there along with the agreement!

Back on my Mac, I plopped the code in the Redeem code part of the App store. That didn’t work, because I had to accept the new conditions for the App Store. I had to reenter the code, then that worked and finally started downloading Lion! Before letting the beast install, I made a backup copy of the installation application.

The installation took almost an hour, but at least it worked. This gave me the launch pad as was as iCloud integration. Synchronization of address book now works and I presume I will be able to installer Synapse now. However, the machine is significantly slower since I upgraded it.

I’m slowly loosing interest in exploring the Mac platform. It seems that Mac OS X is now behind Windows in term of maturity and responsiveness. Apple did the exact same mistake as Microsoft a few years ago: stacking more and more useless functionalities on top of a core, assuming more powerful CPU and higher memory will alone compensate lack of judgment from software designers and programmers. I’m quite annoyed to pay for that mistake once again. I know Microsoft fixed that since my Pentium D bought in 2006 started with Windows XP and evolved to Windows 7, while my Core i7 went from Windows 7 to Windows 8 without significant performance degradation (stability and compatibility are other stories…). Maybe this is fixed in Mac OS X 10.9 or 10.10, but the machine I have just cannot run these versions of Mac OS X, so I would have to revert back to my brittle Hackintosh to continue my exploration of the Mac world.