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Mac OS X Lion: Coming In July For $29 (techcrunch.com)
207 points by sandipc on June 6, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 200 comments

Hallelujah! "OS X Lion [Terminal] includes editable ANSI colors in preferences and support for 256 colors and BCE (background color erase). The default TERM value is xterm-256color."

Cite: http://www.apple.com/macosx/whats-new/features.html#unix

Full-screen terminal is [sadly] the only feature I really want in this update.

In the meantime, I've been using the SIMBL plugin MegaZoomer: http://ianhenderson.org/megazoomer.html

It works quite well with Terminal.

No love for command+tab number? That alone made me move to iTerm 2.

The one feature that made me move to iTerm 2 is separate settings for left/right alt keys (resp. meta/system alt). Essential on a French keyboard, where '|' is alt+shift+L and '~' is alt+N, while keeping meta alive.

This is the reason I've always used iTerm, and then moved to iTerm2 a while back.

Yeah, like it's such a hustle to support shortcuts! Love iTerm too!

Does iTerm2 not work for you?

The update is going to include full-screen terminal.

Full screen terminals with space persistence: Vim/Emacs in space one, automatically launched and fullscreen on login.

Well that only took a decade..

This App Store-only distribution has me concerned about small business upgrades.

Let's say I have an office with 10 workstations. How do I upgrade? Do I have to create an iTunes account for each computer, and enter a company credit card number on each one? Can multiple iTunes accounts even share the same credit card number?

Perhaps I could get by with two accounts, since iTunes allows sharing on up to five Macs. But that's still far from an elegant solution, and it doesn't scale any better. And what about users who already have their workstations activated with their home iTunes accounts?

Agree. I use Mac's at exhibitions all over the world. Anything without physical media of some sort (USB/DVD/CD/HDD) is as good as useless to me as often I don't have an internet connection or it's painfully slow.

Same situation. Not sure how that’s going to work for us as we’re a Mac shop with the exception of the sysadmin’s box and the internal servers (Ubuntu throughout). We don’t have a company App Store account - not sure such a thing even exists - and we don’t have any OSX servers. Maybe it’s time to consolidate some of our elderly rackmount equipment onto virtualised systems on a MacMini server or two? Hmm.

Historically you could use OSX Server as a local update/patch server, and have other Mac's on the LAN use it instead of downloading the same stuff again.

They say they're making Lion Server free and easily configured, and I'm hoping that they're integrating the App store components as well.

Unless I missed something in the presentation, Lion Server isn't free. It's a separate app that costs $50


Ahhh... I was just going by what was reported by someone at the keynote. Still, it's priced way cheaper than the previous versions, and I'd gladly pay the $50 for the convenience of a local patch/app server. (I have 5 macs in the house).

My biggest peeve is the download-only for the OS, as I have rather crappy internet access, and dread the thought of downloading a multi-GB update.

Perhaps the fact that they've recently discovered delta updates would make the download process a lot easier.

From my understanding of it the delta updates are only for the y part of x.y versioning, not whole point upgrades, and only for iOS. OS X already uses delta updaters and has done so for years.

You can "burn" the DMG to a USB key or DVD-ROM.

But first he has to figure out how to pay for N copies.

Apparently, there will be some sort of netboot option. Although that in itself will require you to have server for the role...

The download only distribution will be a nuisance for 64G SSD MacBook Airs like my wife's laptop. She often only has 5 or 10 GB of free disk space.

Maybe they will be offering something which will free up space on her machine to cloud storage.

For the DP releases the downloaded package simply contains a DMG which can be restored to a USB drive or DVD easily or you could do a network install from another Mac using disk sharing.

The download is 4 gb.

Surely it will have to unpack itself a bit.

They said that the update is done in-place and apparently without a reboot.

> Adobe Acrobat, Skype updates and the like.

More often than not the installers and updaters decide unilaterally that a reboot is required and force the user to perform one when it's not needed.

The unix style of file locking sure is showing it's advantage over Windows. Not that rebooting for an OS upgrade is too onerous, but using Windows one has to reboot for the most trivial things - Adobe Acrobat, Skype updates and the like.

This has been said many times before but on OSX you actually need to reboot after updating Safari. I'm not 100% sure about iTunes but I believe it still needs a reboot after updating.

Hopefully that will get fixed. Generally the reason why the reboot is required is because WebKit gets updated and that is a library that is loaded into various different applications the best way to restart all of them is to reboot, with the new state keeping that Lion is doing that will become simpler.

I got a 4mb font update a couple weeks ago that required a reboot. My dusty PC was looking good to me that day.

Potentially this uses more space that a "true" overwrite.

It is in-place with a reboot.

4GB isn't insignificant in countries with bandwidth caps.

The extra bandwidth cost seems like it would be covered in the severely discounted OS price.

Cost of the bandwidth is one issue. The amount of time it takes to download is another. I have a 4mbps connection but power cuts and fluctuations makes it difficult to do a 4gb download from Apple. Every upgrade of Xcode is a horror. The download stalls in the middle and then fails to re-continue because the session timed out. I have to end up doing some gymnastics by exporting cookies from the browser to a file and then coaxing wget to use that.

I hope they've got a decent pause/resume system on the Mac App Store downloads.

Speaking from Australia, I'll assume that at least iinet will have it on their cap-less servers to download. For example most major Steam games are and don't count against the cap.

And lets not forget linux mirrors which iinet also provide unmetered. I'm not sure if they will be able to mirror an update to Lion though, that would require some talks with Apple.

Interesting...in the case of Steam, does the ISP run that server, or do they just whitelist the Steam server IP?

As far as I know it's the ISP which has a cache of it, so I just download from the local server.

I know some UK ISPs have their own Steam servers.

Some also cache YouTube videos for this purpose, for example.

dsplittgerber seems to have a valid point, though one that is understood by anyone who has followed Apple for long. Still, unsure why the comment is [dead].


To respond, Apple has never had a problem re-implementing a 3rd party app and integrating it into the system, Dashboard is a classic example of this. It's a bit hostile towards 3rd party developers, but generally good for users (at least that's the argument).

Title is misleading, $29.99 to zero decimal places is $30 not $29.

That's how our whole consumer culture is tricked :)

Great news.

Now if only they just did away with the optical drives on MBP's. I have used mine about... twice in three years since owning my current laptop.

You can put another HD (or SSD) in your optical bay:


Cheap eBay brackets are ~$20 and accomplish the same thing.

There are a couple of caveats--here's everything you need to know: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2493938

I used the OWC disk-doubler to replace the optical drive in my MBP and love it. The only "gotcha" that I ran into was trying to install from the wrong OS X disk. Apparently MPB needs the version it came with or newer to function.

Great summary. Last year I did the same (MBP2010) and I outlined all the steps here:


How is the battery life?

Seems unchanged for me (I added an SSD, so the existing 7200 RPM HD became a rarely-used media drive).

I see ~5.5 hours real-world use on a 15" MBP, and my development environment includes a virtualized XP install.

I saw some improvement. No hard data though.

Absolutely, I'd gladly trade this optical drive, which I've used twice in a year, for two more USB ports. Hard to believe that my $2200 MBP has only two USB ports, which constrains me daily, and my $500 Toshiba has four.

If Airs can do without the drive, there's no reason MBPs can't as well. They're running the same OS after all.

Agree. I hear people on MacRumors saying the professional laptop should have the most features (thus, the optical drive) but for me, more USB ports and potentially a second HDD would do more for my day-to-day activities than an optical drive.

There's a complete list of new features here: http://www.apple.com/macosx/whats-new/features.html

To address the concerns of re-installation, they're including a partition with the system install disk on it (which can get to Time Machine or whatever else you need).

It's only available through the Mac App Store. So how can people upgrade from 10.5 without going the extra step to 10.6, which is required for the app store?

Presumably Apple thinks they should get Lion preinstalled on a new Mac, since 10.5 users are due for a hardware upgrade anyway (from Apple's point of view).

I'm sure that their sales team wants people to think that, regarding hardware ;)

On the other hand, regarding jumping from 10.5 to 10.7: would this require the purchase of a Snow Leopard DVD, so that 10.6 would be covered in-between? I'd be curious to know.

Can't you typically only upgrade to the next revision up? e.g. 10.5 to 10.6

No, some people used to skip versions to save money. But now that each update is only $30 they can afford to stay current.

Yeah but typically you can grab a disk and do a clean install from 10.0 to 10.5. He's saying that now you have to do a clean install from a disk to get to 10.5, and then MAS 10.5->10.6, which is more work.

I wonder how much of a wrench in the works that will be for Hackintosh people.

If you install a valid registered copy of the OS on the hardware, I imagine none. For the people that obtain the OS through not so legal means, then I imagine they'll still be able to get around it as most application on the appstore are obtainable through other means.

technically none of the copies of Mac OS X running on Hackintoshes are "valid" -- Apple's Leopard/Snow Leopard boxes are technically upgrades only, not full installs, even though they work perfectly fine as full installs.

I hope your right, but on most small releases 'tinkering' needs to be done to make it work. We will have to wait and see.

Hmm... so what happens if my hard drive crashes and I replace it myself?

From https://www.apple.com/macosx/whats-new/features.html#interne...

Internet Restore and Utilities

* Built into Lion: OS X Lion includes a built-in restore partition, allowing you to repair or reinstall OS X without the need for discs.

* Browse the web with Safari: Recovery mode now includes the Safari web browser, so you can check your email or browse the Apple Support site.

* Reinstall OS X: OS X can be reinstalled on your Mac from recovery mode.

* Restore from a Time Machine backup: Use recovery mode to restore your Mac from a Time Machine backup.

That doesn't answer the question at all. A dead hard drive will have an inoperable restore partition.

This seems like it will be a total PITA. PC restore partitions I've worked with always had weird quirks (strange partition types, special MBR boot loader code) that make them hard to copy/move to a new drive successfully.

“You bring your Mac to the Apple Store!” is probably the answer Apple would give you.

There might also be a way for you to put the installer on some drive. (There currently is one with the Developers Preview. It works just like the dmgs of older OS X discs and you can find it inside the App bundle of the installer you download in the App Store.)

Restore with your current restore DVD/flash drive first then reinstall to Lion.

I assume new computers will still come with the restore DVD or flash drive in the case of the Air. Sounds like the starting point to me.

In my case that is a Snow Leopard disk (my MBP came with Leopard).

So I have to install Snow Leopard, download and update to 10.6.7(?), and then download Lion?

That's a pretty horrible user experience.

Or just restore your time machine backup. I've done that across several macs for hard drives/dead boards/etc, as well as just straight upgrades. I'm still running on my original Tiger install from 2005 or 2006 (whenever it came out). It's been upgraded along the way.

Pretty horrible experience for a tiny minority and a great experience for the majority. Sounds like Apple.

I'm sure Macs without floppy drives were a terrible experience for people that relied on floppies.

>Pretty horrible experience for a tiny minority and a great experience for the majority. Sounds like Apple.

How will having a shipped disk as an option ruin the experience of the majority? You analogy is flawed because floppy drives take up space and cost.

Sorta like "how will having a model with a floppy as an option ruin the experience of the majority?"

Nic Cage's hair is a bird, my analogy was flawed.

Maybe they will have a disk or other back up option, who knows but I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't.

Devils advocate, is it much more of a step then downloading all the other software updates that have been released since you acquired your disc?

It is an ugly step when you have to go through 3 or 4 updates in row that require reboots.

Have you actually updated an OS X install before, or are you just basing it on the crazy Windows update experience?

Apple distributes combo updates that will take you straight from a base 10.6 install to 10.6.7. You don't play the goofy multiple-version update game.

The occasional security release breaks that. I have had to install updates, and then it found more after a reboot. Though I haven't done that on a base 10.6 to current.

Restore the Lion DMG to a USB drive using Disk Utility.

Edit: I think App Store will download the DMG to a known location so people can create backups.

On another forum[1], I read that the download includes a disk image for an emergency boot disk.

[1] http://www.heise.de/mac-and-i/news/foren/S-Re-Mac-OSX-Lion-n...

Interesting question. If you could get the app-store on your computer, you could just redownload the OS (buy once, install on any number of computers). But how do you get the app store on your fresh hard drive? A time machine restore would work, but what if you had no time machine... I wonder if apple will let you burn a dvd with the os once you purchase it. I am worried they might force you to go to an apple store (which would suck if you weren't near one), but who knows. If they don't offer a reasonable solution right now, I suspect they will have to offer one in the near future by force of customer outrage.

AFAIK you can't boot from a TimeMachine backup... in order to restore from TimeMachine in the event of an HDD crash, you need OS media. :/

Oh yeah. You are correct. I forgot because I included a partition on my time machine disk that is an OSX dvd, and so have restored from nothing but my time machine drive.

Hmm.. it wouldn't be too hard for them to include a bootable set of disk utilities with your time machine back up. But did they?

I hate having to wait for answers.

Don’t throw out your Snow Leopard disc I guess…

You do what the developers have been doing, going into the install app and copy the dmg to a dvd or usb stick so you can install it on other systems.

Unless they are removing the disk image from the production release (unlikely).


I'd be surprised if part of the Lion install process didn't involve creating recovery media on a CD/DVD/flash drive.

It tied to your apple account . You can login into app store and install it without having to pay again just like how the current app store works with other apps.

Replacement harddrives tend to be empty.

I know not everybody has an external case, but many of those who replace own HDs do. They can (as I do):

Use Carbon Copy Cloner to backup / prepare for system upgrade.

Sure, that’s when you have a working and bootable backup. If you don’t (for example because you are using Time Machine) it’s not really clear what you do.

I think Apple has thought of some solution, we just don’t know it yet. It’s an interesting question.

I don't mean to be off topic, but I really feel, although this is an improvement on the price of Windows upgrade, I think that there is nothing in this release that would drive me off any Linux, particularly a rolling release distribution.

I know that for certain fields, such as multimedia, apple offers a lot, but with new offerings such as Gnome 3, a mature KDE 4, and Ubuntu's unity, for the standard desktop user or developer for that matter, I argue that Linux should enthrall and for one of the first times the difference in price tag isn't the only plus. Stability, Safety and polish are quickly becoming relevant keywords for Linux desktops.

Although the new Unity and Gnome Shell may lack the stability, you can always fall back on the watertight Gnome default desktop.

Would you say this is the year of Linux on the desktop?

No, please just ask and I will remove this comment, I am not here to try and cause agitation, I was just pointing out the changing landscape and how a release such as Lion, no longer has the impact that such a release would have had perhaps 4-5 years ago.

I am not here to declare that Linux on the desktop is beyond these offerings, I am far more realistic and believe more in the fact that its prevalence in other markets (embedded among others) is where the true potential is.


Sorry that you didn't find that relevant.

Will they offer a usb stick option for $29 ?

If Lion supports TRIM for all SSDs, I want to zap my Intel drive and do a fresh install so that there are no mystery regions on the drive.

I hope a normal DVD will be available on the quiet.

There is a TRIM Enabler for Snow Leopard: http://www.groths.org/?p=308

Thanks, but unofficial kext patching would knock me out of my I-can-trust-the-machine groove.

>Resize from any edge

You can now resize a window from any side or corner.

Interesting that they did finally do this. And without adding huge-ass borders to everything...

If they added borders to everything, how many pixels do the borders take up? I'll probably avoid the upgrade if there are borders I can't get rid of...

Other way around. It was a combination of "oh, that's nice, people have been requesting that for years" combined with a bit of snark at Window's ever-increasing border size - which people often defend by saying that you need the borders to resize / know where the edge of the application is. I cry foul, and now I have more ammo :)

Oh come on apple now we have to do everything through your stores?

This is not a total change in direction for Apple, just a fleshing out of what they've been wanting to do for a while. Expect more of this in the future, not less.

And seeing how I now first need to order physical disks to upgrade to Snow Leopard in order to get this latest release, I kinda reflect back and wish they had done this sooner :-)

After all the talk about delta updates in the keynote I had hoped that Time Machine would be doing file deltas now. A read through the Lion features page doesn't turn anything up. Anyone know?

Time Machine has always done deltas (unless I have no idea what you're talking about?)

No, it has hard links to already backed up files, but individual files are not stored as deltas. If you have a big file that changes often, say 4 GB virtual machine image, Time Machine will just copy it every time.

Curious for one of my favorite apps, can anyone comment on BetterTouchTool (http://www.boastr.de/) quality on the new build?

The first part of today's keynote had a strong emphasis on multitouch and gestures being integrated into the OS. As a BTT user myself I'm very curious to see if BTT has been obsoleted by Apple.

Has anyone seen references to how the server tools will be distributed? The rumor mill had indicated that there would be a mac app store version but I have not seen a confirmation on if these pieces are in the regular 10.7 upgrade or not.

The server edition of 10.6 was $500 and distinct from the $29 regular edition so I am expecting a separate paid download to be required...

It's an additional $50, as per http://www.apple.com/macosx/server/

The upgrade path for existing Server users is Snow Leopard Server to Lion, then Lion to Lion Server.

Really wish this was coming out sooner. I plan on getting the Samsung Chromebook on the 16th, which will be my primary "fun" computer. I'll keep my Macbook for development, but I'm not sure I'll use it in the way that these consumer features are meant for. If it was coming on now I'd go ahead and get it just to play around with. Now I don't know.

"Your Mac must have an Intel Core 2 Duo, Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, or Xeon processor to run Lion. Find out if your current Mac has one of these processors by clicking the Apple icon at the top left of your screen, then choosing About This Mac."

"Auto setup for Gmail and Yahoo! in Mail[.app]

When you first log in to your Google, Yahoo!, or AOL accounts in Safari, you’ll have the option to use them with Mail, iCal, Address Book, iChat, and other applications on your Mac."

Thats pretty smart to keep Mail.app relevant in the web age! (I hope it handles "guest" logins on the web gracefully though!)

It will be interesting to see how the OS installs over itself now that it is being distributed through the app store. I wonder if they will create a new partition with the installer and reboot into it.

According to [1], Phil Schiller said "no reboots". Any idea how that is accomplished, or was it a misstatement?

[1] http://www.engadget.com/2011/06/06/wwdc-2011-liveblog-steve-..., Ctrl+F for "reboots"

They probably mean no additional reboots; in many OSes first you boot the installer/upgrader, then you install, then you boot the installed OS.

He said that no reboot from optical disk will be needed to start the installation.

On Unix systems you can replace files on disk without issues because of the way it does reference counting to the underlying file system. Unlike Windows where this is not possible.

I am better there is still one single reboot to start up the new kernel and whatnot. Although I can't find any details on it.

The reason why you can replace executables on Unix is because unix loads the entire file before executing where as Windows does not need to do this, hence executables are opened with out FILE_SHARE_DELETE which would allow you to delete the file while it's open on Windows. If you create a file and open it with FILE_SHARE_DELETE you can delete it while it's in use.

This has absolutely nothing to do with the underlying file system format and everything to do file semantics as documented in the Win32 API.


There is no requirement for UNIX to "load the entire file before executing," nor does the deletion of files on disk have anything to do with whether or not a file is executable. Under UNIX, any file which has been opened will be accessible until it is closed, regardless of whether or not the file has been deleted (the number of hard links for the inode drops to zero, in UNIX parlance).

For a more technical explanation see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inode

Supposedly there are no reboots. No idea how they're managing that.

Maybe something Ksplice like?


Maybe something like this IS in the kernel right now.

Wouldn't that require it being in the kernel right now?

10.6.7 is supposed to be a "prepare for Lion" release

10.6.8 no? 10.6.7 is the current one.

While they are at it, I am surprised Apple didn’t integrate LaunchBar/QuickSilver/Alfred functionality into Lion (and take those guys out). It would go really well with the full screen apps.

any news on whether it is for 64-bit processors ONLY? my core-solo mac mini wants to know :-S

Lion is 64-bit only. Although the early minis have socketed CPUs, so you could theoretically replace it with a Core 2: http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/systems/mac_mini_core_2_duo_swaps...

oh! good to know!

According to Apple, your Mini isn't supported under Lion: "Your Mac must have an Intel Core 2 Duo, Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, or Xeon processor to run Lion."

I have a Core Duo-powered Mini and am in the same boat. That said, my Mini is at least five years old, and I don't think it's at all unreasonable for Apple to focus their limited resources on more modern machines. Besides, my Mini is running Tiger in a data center, so I'm not losing any sleep over not being to run full-screen apps on it. ;)

Incidentally, pretty much any Linux distribution will support your slightly-older Mac Mini as though it were brand new.

Yes, it is 64 bit only - Core 2 Duo or newer required.

Finally high res larger cursor that is crisp.

The other updates/features are looking solid too. Well worth the $29.99.

Not sure why below comment is dead. The account seems ok and not hell banned. Was it flagged to death? If so, anyone who flagged it,why?

dsplittgerber 24 minutes ago | link [dead]

Anyone else surprised by how many hugely popular apps Apple is going to kill with new Lion/iOS? Instapaper built-into Safari now, all kinds of messanger apps killed by iMessage, some of those photo apps going down the drain as well, Reminders app is a huge one as well. All targeting really popular app categories.

Sure, some people care about thing X being done supremely well and will still pay for some apps. But the huge majority will probably be really fine with Apples version.

This is par for the course with Apple. I remember back in the day there was this super popular shareware app called Aaron that gave System 7 users a System 8 looking theme. Keep in mind this was the dark ages of Apple.

Aaron evolved into Kaleidoscope. A general purpose shareware theme manager that was met with enthusiasm by the Mac community. Kaleidoscope was synonymous with themes on Mac OS.


By the time OS 8.5 rolled around Apple introduced Appearance Manager. Which was no more than a total rip off of Kaleidoscope. Apple engineers even wrote an internal utility that would convert Kaleidoscope themes into Appearance Manager themes.


The shareware author got zero credit. Zero money. He just got ripped off by Apple. In the end, though, Appearance Manager never took off. It was a combination of Kaleidoscope's momentum and the taint of Appearance Manager that kept theme authors from adopting it.

EDIT: I also add the story of Konfabulator, written later by some of the same people that did Kaleidoscope. Konfabulator was also ripped off by Apple in the form of Dashboard.


As a former registered user of Kaleidoscope, I have to say it destabilized your system because of the necessary system hacks. What you say about Apple stealing good designs is definitely true (http://www.panic.com/extras/audionstory/), but Kaleidoscope had other issues.

> http://www.panic.com/extras/audionstory/

That's not a case of Apple stealing good design though, that's a case of them buying an Audion competitor.

I'm sure Marco would have been far happier if Apple had bought instapaper. Or TapTapTap if Apple had bought Camera+.

Hell, that would have been rather cool, it could have given third-party developers an interesting incentive: build something Apple will want to integrate in their core OS, and they'll buy you wholesale.

Marco has talked about this extensively in his "Build and Analyze" podcast. He sees Safari's new reading list as a potential net benefit for Instapaper. "Gateway drug", as he calls it. I agree with him.

"Oh, really? That's interesting, because honestly? I don't think you guys have a chance." - Steve Jobs, from the above Audion story. The parallels are striking.

The irony is, if Marco opt for acquiring some key patents. Apple most likely would extend an offer. There are ample precedents.

On the "build and analyze" podcast, Marco also noted that even if Apple completely ripped off his business, he would still see it as a great ecosystem. He would simply have to move on and create the next cool thing.

He lives by Apple's rule and Apple can take away his business at any time. However, he is making a good living of that system and is happy with that.

I remember Konfabulator and Watson (is that what it was called? The one that was ripped off as a new version of Sherlock back when that was still a thing), but I think you're mistaken about why Appearance Manager never took off. If I remember correctly, Apple just never provided external developers with theme authoring software or documentation for the theme format, because between the original DP period and the public release, they(/Steve) decided that they didn't particularly want to promote wildly different UI styles. They never even officially released the themes they had demoed, other than Platinum.

Indeed, for years there was an unexplained drop-down menu in the Appearance control panel labeled "Theme", with exactly one option available ("Platinum"). Third-party developers eventually figured out how to build their own themes (with some help when Apple's alternate themes - Hi-Tech, Gizmo, and Drawing Board - got leaked), but it was never officially supported.

Apple's alternate themes, as well as all the third-party ones, were visually distracting enough to be nearly unusable anyway. I really can't blame them for dropping the feature.


Antler Notes vs. Stickies (System 7.5):



Seems as relevant as in 2004. Choice quotes:

"What’s the argument that Apple has done something wrong? That if a third-party developer does something first, Apple should never step on that developer’s toes? Ever? No matter if Apple is already working on something similar but better? No matter if Apple can provide a significantly better implementation? No matter if it’s something that would be a natural fit as an official component of the OS?"

"I am not advocating that Apple mindlessly trample on independent Mac developers — what I’m saying is that Apple cannot be afraid to improve the Mac OS as best it can, even if that means going places where small indie developers have gone first."

Don't forget Readability, who's technology was leveraged in Safari but their iPhone app was killed by Apple because it couldn't cough up the 30% tithe on content purchases.

Anyone else surprised by how many hugely popular apps Apple is going to kill with new Lion/iOS?

I know, it'll be like the great Safari massacre all over again, where Apple singlehandedly drove Firefox and Chrome to stop releasing Mac versions. Not to mention the Day When Email Apps' Blood Ran Like Water In The Streets, when everyone stopped using Exchange and Gmail because Apple released Mail.app.

And don't even talk to me about what iChat did to Skype. I can't bear to think of it....

Cherrypick, much? :) It seems that all your examples are cases where interoperability with or working like the Windows version is the primary required feature. For years after iTunes, there was no reasonable (GUI) alternative for MP3 playing, at the same time that iTunes was awful if you had a large, diverse collection without ID3 tags.

If you have a large diverse collection without ID3 tags you are pretty much fucked anyway. folders is extremely limited in sorting music which leaves you what? playlists?

Well, I used folders and filenames for years, from 1998ish through June 2003. Worked fine; I mostly wanted to listen to entire albums, which mapped well to folders.

Then I got a Mac, and pointed iTunes at my music without backing it up first (because, after all iTunes was an MP3 player, and why would it write to my MP3 collection?!). Oops. Later I found that there was some import option I shouldn't have checked, and iTunes happily moved all my MP3s from their well-sorted folder structure into "Unknown Artist - Unknown Album - Unknown Title". Yay.

Even when I eventually got some software that would use a music database to figure out what tracks were, there were a distressing number of tracks that it couldn't identify (hundreds), and of the ones it could, it mostly did so in a very literal way, such that I have a lot of folders like "Movie Soundtrack - Artist Name" with a single track inside.

Could I fix all this? Of course. Eventually. Can you tell I'm still, eight years later, extremely angry at iTunes?

Now I just listen to Pandora. Screw it.

I agree the default option should be "DO NOT TOUCH"

And about the single track folders, tick "part of a compilation" in info box will do the trick.

Keep listen to Pandora while it last.

While it's lasts? Pandora going someplace?


I've got my entire music collection (100 Gigs) in folders (mostly genre/artist/album) and have never felt "fucked". Sure there are strange things I can't do (give me all music recorded in 1986, that isn't jazz and that I haven't listened to in more than 6 month), but I've honestly never felt a desire to do that. So while folders may be extremely limited in some sense I've never run into those limits and can't really think of any realistic limits I might run into.

There are quite common things which are impossible or rather clumsy to do with folders, for example produce a view by specific composers then a view by performers. Can not be done with folders unless suffer large amount of duplicates.

If you listen to your music in a rigid way where folders works fine then obviously iTunes and other music management software are of no use to you. But you are not typical.

> example produce a view by specific composers then a view by performers.

Is this really common? I might be out of touch, but I doubt anyone really uses this.

Maybe not that specific example, but the situation of listening to Indian film music is a classic case of folders being 100% inadequate.

Any given Indian movie corresponds to an 'album' of songs. However, each song can in the album have a different set of artistes associated with it. Hell, sometimes there are multiple composers within the same movie's soundtrack. And Indian movie soundtracks are more tightly coupled than "Western" movie OST albums, so you can't just treat them as an independent collection of songs either. (Indians typically identify songs first with the movies they appeared in, rather than the composer or performer)

Basically, a majority of Indian movies are musicals - and a simple folder structure is just not enough to deal with such a collection of music!

I don't understand... do you not typically want to listen to the soundtrack in the order it was in the movie (that is, exactly the case in which a single folder for the soundtrack excels)? If not, how?

Confusingly enough - no. From what I do [and what I've seen most people do], there's an equal split between listening to:

1) All songs from the movie

2) All songs by the composer(s) (or 'music director')

3) All songs by the singer(s)

...with other edge cases like a specific combination of composer and singer, the decade of movie release, genre or even by the movie director.

ID3 tags and smart playlists are a frickin boon to managing a large set of Indian film music!

In classical music listeners, yes.

If you are into pop music, there are easy examples as well. Sometimes I need all the dance music, other times I only want dance music that are retro, or dance music from certain group etc. Folders will never be as flexible.


Yeah, nobody would want to use those. They especially wouldn't want to build a playlist on the fly with their ipod.

iTunes is amazing at creating smart playlists, but it can get a bit complicated.

iOS devices all have to ability to create playlist on the fly to.

But building playlist without proper ID3 info can get tedious real quick and endless playlist building is not a solution to the problem of quickly populating a queue on a whim.

>iOS devices all have to ability to create playlist on the fly to.

The classics don't. It is the single feature that has me using a 3rd party firmware.

>endless playlist building is not a solution to the problem of quickly populating a queue on a whim

Of course it isn't, but browsing to a song/artist/album and being able to say "append to end of playlist" or "insert into queue next" are simple operations that are very friendly on a portable device, and once I had the ability to do so I couldn't go back.

I accidentally clicked twice and two identical comments were created. I deleted one. Alas, the other seems to have gone rougue as well.

This has happened to me before - I triple posted, then deleted two comments to find that the remaining one was marked dead. I think HN has duplicate detection and dupes get marked dead automatically, so one should keep this in mind when manually deleting duplicate posts. It's good to wait a few minutes and see whether it's already taken care of.

> I think HN has duplicate detection

Seems like a great time for that to kick in is just before posting the second comment.

I wonder if this is part of the reason there's a large number of [dead] comments that are perfectly reasonable. Either way, it seems like it would be a much better solution to simply delete the duplicate. If it can be detected to [dead] it, then it should be deletable, right?

Also has happened to me. It's why I have showdead on.

Yes ... I was surprised by this.

They fired a salvo at a lot of companies!

The music part of iCloud seems very similar to Google Music. I tried their Beta but was very unimpressed. Perhaps Apple will get it right. I'm not holding my breath though ... there is a lot of complexity (software and contactual) under the hood. I'll believe it when I see it.

The photo parts of iCloud are awesome! I can't wait to use it on my next vacation. If I damage my phone/camera or fill up my SD card, this might be s useful feature. Data roaming charges will likely make this less useful for International trips but oh well. It seems this would hurt dropbox.

The Twitter integration seems like an aggressive move against Facebook. Not sure how tight this integration will be for the average non-tech person.

Agreed. I bought QuickCal in the Appstore that lets me add iCal entries without a mouse. Seems like Apple has build there own "QuickCal" now, though they say "just click on +".

Personally, I don't care. At first, this is good for users. But I wonder why they are willing to hurt the ecosystem longterm with such actions. And that would be bad for users, too.

I find the general look of the new notifications much closer to MobileNotifier, whose lead dev (Peter Hajas) was just hired by Apple.

That's actually the fairest case by far, as they basically "bought" the project through its lead dev.

Something something pennies, something something steamroller...

That is sharecropping. If you play on another corporation's turf, expect this to happen and expect your income to be destroyed with zero days notice.

So you should create your own smartphone?

And your own distribution, payment processing (don't forget the ~$0.30 credit card transaction fee on your 99 cent sale), SDK, etc.

Nope. Unless it's an open platform.

Ask yourself if your business and interest would exist if the smartphones didn't exist. Then assume that it doesn't exist tomorrow because someone decided that a license is changed, decided that they didn't want to approve your app or decide to stamp on your turf. Your world will collapse.

Part of business is planning and resilience. It's something most Apple developers have not realised yet which is why so many of them are going to get canned by Apple over the next few years. This is purely down to being unrealistic, inexperienced and cash hungry.

The whole smartphone/cloud platform thing going on at the moment is a seriously harmful process both for business (in the long term) and computing as a whole. It seems to be based wholly on vendor profiteering and quick wins rather than genuine progress.

>This isn’t actually the first time Apple has offered an OS upgrade at a steep discount compared to its Windows rival (which typically runs over $100) — Snow Leopard made its debut at $29.

A pretty flawed apples to oranges comparison. OS X is more similar to bios updates... you buy the hardware, the vendor makes money off it and gives away the software. With Microsoft, you're paying the OEM money for the hardware(with razor thin margins usually but that's another story), so Microsoft doesn't make bank on expensive hardware and upgrades to RAM/HDD/CPU that Apple makes.

Edit: Not to mention that 10.5 to 10.7 is not upgradeable, you have to buy and install 10.6 first, install the App Store and then install 10.7. Windows 7 may not be upgradeable directly from XP without a format, but atleast you don't have to but and upgrade to Vista first!

I have 10.5 and held off on purchasing 10.6 because I was waiting for 10.7. It bums me out that now I'll need to purchase both 10.6 and 10.7, regardless of how much the Windows upgrades cost. Judging from some of the tweets & comments I'm seeing elsewhere, a lot of other consumers are bummed too.

if you can afford a mac, i guess you can afford saving 0.80 dollars a month for buying a $30 OS update every 2 years.

Admittedly, I'm cheap. I prized my $400 Dell Vostro for years and reluctantly switched to a Mac because I was ultimately convinced it was a better machine for software development. I ended up buying a used MBPro for ~$800.

You could wait until iTunes becomes incompatible with 10.5 and Apple will give you a free OS upgrade. (assuming they continue this policy in the no-PC required to activate iOS devices future)

Any money says 10.5 -> 10.7 will work (some how ;-)

Yes, in spite of claims to the contrary, 10.4 -> 10.6 worked for several people I know.

10.6 is fairly easily piratable, though.

>"Windows 7 may not be upgradeable directly from XP without a format"

So long as there is an available bootable partition/disk - you can install Windows 7 and leave the XP installation intact and create a dual boot system. It's not something Microsoft tries to explain to the average consumer, but it's pretty much painless.

True, but if Vista was $29 more people might have done it in the first place.

There was so much bad PR, noone would bother. They tried to give corporate customers (select agreement sized ones) free copies and they said no.

They didn't try with me. They didn't try with any of my friends. I think they're trying with the wrong crowd.

Interesting side thought here (at least to me). MS has traditionally done very well selling to the larger enterprise market. As the headcount in those orgs go down, will MS' influence drop? Newer people coming in will probably have come from smaller orgs where MS is less prevalent, and when there's overall fewer people at an org, there's fewer people to influence/market to.

I tell a lie. I had/have an Ultimate Vista that I won at a local user group raffle. I've installed it, but in virtual machines, which I've lost a couple times. Getting it re set up by going through the 'call up and get reactivated' is always a pain. :(

They probably are - I agree. They should make personal licenses cheap and ubiquitous therefore creating mindset.

Most smaller orgs just buy machines and live with what is on them these days and only tech-focused companies seem to care what they run. The entire NHS (UK's free health system) seems to run on Windows 2000 and XP quite happily still because that's what the machines came with at the time.

As long as you can upgrade the browser, OS probably doesn't matter for many organizations.

I'm sure plenty of end users would have taken the offer, thats just because they're corporate customers. They never want the brand new thing. Not only is the supporting an os upgrade a pain in the ass long process that will also involve a lot of waiting around for all your vendors to get off their asses about supporting the new thing, at the time the prevailing wisdom was to never use windows before the first service pack. XP didn't really get good until sp2.

If Windows 7 was $30 I'd update my wife's two computers tomorrow. As is I see no reason to shell out over $200 for one upgrade from XP and one from Vista.

I love the Apple hype cycle: an incremental OS update for $29, and it's one of the most-commented HN articles of the day.

I get an incremental OS update every day for free. It's called apt-get. After you've done it every day for nearly 15 years, it gets a little old...

What's next, a central Mac software repository? (Oh yeah, "the Mac app store". Innovation!)

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