If you want to read a feature-by-feature rundown of Apple’s new OS X Mountain Lion, we suggest you read Macworld’s Mountain Lion review. If you have about an hour and a half to spare, you can opt for this 26,000-word magnum opus on Mountain Lion by Ars Technica’s John Siracusa.
If you just want straight answers to your upgrade questions, then read on.
Jason Yes, definitely. Even if it’s not radically different from Lion, OS X Mountain Lion has enough new features to qualify as a real upgrade. $20 is the least amount of money I’ve ever paid for an OS X upgrade, and to me it feels like the new features that matter most to me — iCloud document syncing, Notification Center, and Messages — are worth the price of the upgrade
Adel No-brainer upgrade. P850 for all this? Sign me up! Oh, wait, I already did.
Jason I downloaded it on our office network, after office hours. At an average speed of about 1Mbps, it took about just under two hours. If you’re on a slower network, best to just leave your machine on, downloading, overnight.
Adel Took me under an hour. That Personal Hotspot of my iPad, courtesy of Smart, is really something, isn’t it?
Jason Surprisingly, none. Even the apps that I have that kind of hack into the OS — AirServer, iStat menus — all work fine. I’ve had only one app crash on me (the App Store), once in the last few days.
Adel My Parallels Desktop crashed on me. Took my Windows 7 installation with it. Still waiting for an upgrade. Also, strange behavior from old software like iFreeMem, which pops up a window every time I switch desktops.
Jason As I’ve mentioned, iCloud syncing. It’s great to work on a document on my Mac and then pick up right where I left off while on the road, using my iPad or, in case of emergency, my iPhone. I also like the Notification Center, and the Safari tweaks (search from the URL box, tab view, etc.).
Adel iCloud syncing of files. Messages and Notifications. Most of all, I like that they brought back “Save As” (not exactly a new feature, but there you go).
Jason It’s not a new feature, but I still hate the faux leather look in Calendar and Contacts. In fact, the first thing I did was to hunt down a way to get rid of them. I found Mountain Tweaks, a free app (donations very welcome) that lets you clean up that “fauxtragis” look (as Gabe Mercado calls it). I was so happy with the result I made a donation to the developer.
Adel The sometimes-antsy syncing of iCloud, which occasionally takes a while to update and sync. Also Photo Stream, which is the same. I guess it’ll be a while before they all work properly.
Jason Depends on how “old” old is. My laptop is a mid-2009 MacBook Pro (upgraded with an SSD) and it works just fine. Apple has a note on minimum requirements for upgrading to Mountain Lion. Caveat emptor: even if your Mac can run Mountain LIon, it may not support all the features.
Adel You can start from scratch and install it clean, but if you want to restore your old setup, you gotta have at least Snow Leopard. You can’t get it from the App Store, because there is no App Store for Leopard and older versions.
Adel You have to borrow a Snow Leopard installer from someone, or purchase it outright from a store that still sells them as a DVD (good luck with that, though). Once you’ve upgraded to Snow Leopard, purchase the Mountain Lion installer, and take it from there.
If you have any other questions, just post them in the comments box!
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