Fighting the Lion: Apple will have to pry Snow Leopard out of my cold, outdated hands

Fighting the Lion: Apple will have to pry Snow Leopard out of my cold, outdated hands

Summary: Apple wants to change the way you use your Mac. And if you are like me, you sort of resent them for it.

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TOPICS: CXO, Apple, IT Employment
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Writing about technology for a living, you tend to develop a penchant for vaunting the Next Best Thing. It's sort of in the job description, not verbatim, but holistically: Writing about technology is all about writing about new technology. And talking about how cool it is.

Which is why my first impulse with the latest version of OS X has been to applaud it. Surely by updating OSX Apple has made it better? Were this Snow Leopard, I'd say yes, but with Lion the answer may depend on how long you've been using OS X.

For Apple, Lion is apparently all about creating a convergence between OS X and iOS, making the former seem more and more like the latter. Ostensibly, this is done so that the novice user can approach OS X with the same neophytic finesse that they do with the iPad and iPhone. I have no qualms with this approach - at least on a basic level. But the more I look at Lion, the more it seems as if Apple and I have hit a philosophical impasse.

Consider, for example, Lion's use of "natural" scrolling, wherein scrolling up on the touchpad makes pages move upwards (and vice versa). If that sounds familiar, it's because thats exactly how scrolling works on the iPad and iPhone. Of course, Apple has graciously allowed users to change all of these settings back, a move that should - but somehow doesn't - soothe the disquiet of Lion's early detractors.

It's not that the change isn't jarring (it is), but rather that it flies in the face of the way people have interacted with their computers for years. I don't get the sense that people are averse the change simply because it was made. Rather, I think OS X users have cottoned onto to the clear reality that the notebook and the tablet are not the same thing. The way we interact with the two devices is very different, a fact that natural scrolling doesn't reflect.

And how about those new touch pad gestures?  Three fingers. A thumbed pinch. Apple wants things to be simple and intuitive, but sometimes learning how to be simple is a complex task in its own right. This probably explains much of the outcry over some of the larger changes. It's not only that people are naturally resistant to change. They also resent it when those changes require behavioristic tweaks.

All of that, I think, is understandable. Why ruin a good thing? If one's computer set up is tailored perfectly to one's workflow, optimized so that the OS does its job and stays out of the way, what's the point in upgrading? This, after all, is why Windows XP still remains so popular, even after the release of Vista and Windows 7. People go with what works.

None of that, of course, is in itself justification of any sort of knee-jerk luddite reaction to change. It's about caution, about taking a look at a new technology (or feature) and determining to what degree a novel development actually improves one's life or workflow. For me, Lion doesn't do that - at least not yet.

Launchpad is a good example of why that's the case. Lion's fancy application launcher meant to simplify the process of finding and accessing installed apps. Considering that I already use Quicksilver to launch any and all applications I would need to launch, Launchpad is essentially worthless to me. Not that it's a bad feature. It's just not the greatest boon to my productivity. I understand this.

How about all the changes Lion makes to document saving? Meant to save users from document loss-induced heartache, Lion's document handing is evidence that what the world really needs is system-level autosave. It's a nice gesture, and certainly a helpful one. But do you know how many times I've lost progress on some article I was working on? Essentially none, thanks to ?S.

And then there is the inevitable issue over whether my most-used programs are compatible with Lion. This is probably the most important factor for anyone upgrading so soon after Lion's release, and the one that should give potential upgraders the most pause. Why rush to upgrade if your favorite applications aren't ready to join you?

Here's what I know: I am perfectly fine and productive in my current Snow Leopard environment. The upgrade to Lion, while cheap and tempting, is non-compulsory, and so far, not even remotely essential. While it is likely that I'll get around to upgrading at some point, that point isn't now.

Topics: CXO, Apple, IT Employment

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53 comments
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  • I like Win7 lots more than WinXP and Win95.

    Though each was good in its time (OK, Win95 was questionable).
    Bruizer
    • RE: Fighting the Lion: Apple will have to pry Snow Leopard out of my cold, outdated hands

      @Bruizer 95B is when that OS started to become stable.
      slickjim
      • RE: Fighting the Lion: Apple will have to pry Snow Leopard out of my cold, outdated hands

        "It?s not only that people are naturally resistant to change. They also resent it when those changes require behavioristic tweaks...."

        How can you improve something if you don't change it? If Apple (or any other company for that matter) don't move forward, just because the existing model worked, we would still be stuck with OS 9 and Windows 3.0. At least Apple have given us the option to, for example, keep with the traditional direction of scrolling if we want to.
        pianoman1962
      • RE: Fighting the Lion: Apple will have to pry Snow Leopard out of my cold, outdated hands

        @Peter Perry Get used to the scrolling, you'll like it after a couple of hours. I'm not turning back. I had second though<a href="http://www.tran33m.com/vb/">t</a>s and co<a href="http://vb.maas1.com/">m</a>plained at first too. Run apps in full screen and try out the swiping. You'll then realize why you have Launchpad.
        alasiri
    • Things move on

      Stick with what works, or adapt to changing times.

      New Lion has introduced quite a few changes. None are a problem for me, changes to scrolling takes a few hours to adapt.
      Richard Flude
      • RE: Fighting the Lion: Apple will have to pry Snow Leopard out of my cold, outdated hands

        @Richard Flude
        Funny how many major software companies are dropping it from being supported on new software. like adobe(CS6), quicken to name a couple.
        rparker009
      • RE: Fighting the Lion: Apple will have to pry Snow Leopard out of my cold, outdated hands

        @rparker009 Adobe does sloppier code than Microsoft could ever dream of doing (which is why Flash is pretty much the zero-day attack champ) and Quicken for Macintosh is still running on PPC code. Also, Adobe uses Java within the CS5 suite more than they'd like to admit. Try again.
        Champ_Kind
      • RE: Fighting the Lion: Apple will have to pry Snow Leopard out of my cold, outdated hands

        @Richard Flude Precisely.

        It took me no more than 15 minutes, and I know and routinely use ALL the new gestures, including the +thumb expand-pinch to expose the desktop.

        I am moving around between running applications much more quickly and easily, and I expect this to increase productivity.
        lelandhendrix@...
      • RE: Fighting the Lion: Apple will have to pry Snow Leopard out of my cold, outdated hands

        @Richard Flude Precisely.

        It took me no more than 15 minutes, and I know and routinely use ALL the new gestures, including the +thumb expand-pinch to expose the desktop.

        I am moving around between running applications much more quickly and easily, and I expect this to increase productivity.

        These "issues" the author writes about don't really exist--when he can make two clicks to get to trackpad references, and click a simple checkbox to go back to the way he's accustomed to.

        And why write about launchpad when you don't intend to use it? It like complaining that Lion added a calculator, or a solitaire game. You don't have to use it!
        lelandhendrix@...
      • RE: Fighting the Lion: Apple will have to pry Snow Leopard out of my cold, outdated hands

        @rparker009 You have got to be pretty pathetic to use an almost 4 month old April fools prank to spread fud about a company you hate for whatever reason.
        non-biased
  • RE: Fighting the Lion: Apple will have to pry Snow Leopard out of my cold, outdated hands

    Launcher didn't go over well in OS 8.5, discontinued in 8.6 and now back in 10.7? What's next SCSI drives?
    Bob Forsberg
    • RE: Fighting the Lion: Apple will have to pry Snow Leopard out of my cold, outdated hands

      @Bob Forsberg
      I hope so! SAS is WAY faster than SATA. =)
      eak2000
    • RE: Fighting the Lion: Apple will have to pry Snow Leopard out of my cold, outdated hands

      @Bob Forsberg Parallel SCSI made a comeback in Apple System Profiler, so I wouldn't be surprised.
      Champ_Kind
  • security?

    do they issue security updates for snow leopard users? this alone would be worth keeping up with the jo(b)ses
    acltd
  • RE: Fighting the Lion: Apple will have to pry Snow Leopard out of my cold, outdated hands

    I might be wrong about this, but I think you are talking about configurable gestures.

    Had you told me about something more crucial a fork in the road, such as necessary applications that need Rosetta and which cannot be replaced except at high expense, then that justifies the resistance.
    DannyO_0x98
    • RE: Fighting the Lion: Apple will have to pry Snow Leopard out of my cold, outdated hands

      @DannyO_0x98 You mean like Quicken. The expense there may not be cash up front, but in re-entering or simply losing years of financial data.
      tribbleva
      • RE: Fighting the Lion: Apple will have to pry Snow Leopard out of my cold, outdated hands

        @tribbleva To be honest, thats really Intuit's fault for not keeping their software updated. I hope this episode will teach them not to ignore an entire sector of the market for four years without a major update. Now that Apple is selling a significant amount of hardware, the, "we cant develop for Macs because theyre too obscure" argument doesnt fly anymore. Making sure quicken works before Apple releases new OSs is the job of Intuit, not Apple. They were warned, and they dropped the ball.
        nickswift498
      • RE: Fighting the Lion: Apple will have to pry Snow Leopard out of my cold, outdated hands

        @tribbleva
        Intuit has already stated they are dropping mac support. For the new must be made in the apple cocca rules. As are alot of major software makes. no more photoshop, premiere etc for mac
        rparker009
      • RE: Fighting the Lion: Apple will have to pry Snow Leopard out of my cold, outdated hands

        @rparker009

        Funny, the MODERN version of Quicken works great on the Mac... just not the ancient one built for PowerPC. And Adobe works just fine.

        Your FUD would be a lot more believable if it had even a passing resemblance to the truth.

        Oh, how's Quicken for DOS working for ya on your Windows 7 computer? Oh, it doesn't work? Guess Quicken is DROPPING SUPPORT FOR WINDOWS! Oh the horror!

        Moron.
        eak2000
  • Grip of the luddite

    So, if we love Snow Leopard on our old Mac, and buy a new Mac from today forward, is there any way to get Snow Leopard (back) on to it?
    tribbleva