Mac miscellany

I want to say a couple of things about recent Apple/Mac goings-on, but I don’t have enough to say about either of them to warrant a decent post. So I’ll just throw everything together into this one.

First, there’s Mountain Lion. I haven’t upgraded either of my computers, but it isn’t because I’m afraid of “.0” releases.

The 2006 iMac at work, despite being 64 bit, doesn’t qualify for the upgrade. That model was, oddly enough, the example John Siracusa gave in the latest Hypercritical of a machine that one would think should be upgradable but isn’t. I’m not complaining. My biggest regret with that computer is upgrading it to Lion. It was perfectly fine running Snow Leopard but has performed terribly under Lion. As I said a few weeks ago, Lion just doesn’t work well within the old iMac’s 3 GB confines. It’s the first time a Mac of mine has gotten slower with a newer OS.

On the plus side, I’ve learned how to use the purge command.

My 2010 MacBook Air, on the other hand, can be upgraded to Mountain Lion, and I expect to do so before the 10.8.1 release. But I’m lying back this time, waiting for others to figure out things like getting Apache running again and reinstalling all my Python modules in site-packages after Apple blows them away. For the latter, I suspect I’ll have to do basically the same things I learned the hard way after installing Lion. I’m also waiting for a few more of the apps I use regularly to either upgrade or announce that they work fine under 10.8. I’m not in a big hurry, especially since my work machine is stuck on Lion.

By the way, now that Mountain Lion is out, it’s time for Apple to cough up a new iMac. If I’d known it was going to take this long for the next model to be released, I would have bought a new one back at the beginning of the year. I held off only because I figured a new one was due in spring. I won’t be offended if the display isn’t Retina, just give me the new Intel chipset and USB 3.


About the new Apple ads: Like most of you, I first saw the new ads Friday night during the opening ceremony of the Olympics. I thought the one set on a plane was OK, but found the other two dull.

There’s been much Twittering about the ads. Many find them disappointing, but there are defenders. The defenders say the ads aren’t pitched to Mac enthusiasts, they’re meant to appeal to the great unwashed who’ve never used a Mac.

Well, that’s true, but that’s been true of all of Apple’s commercials. Apple fans may like them, but they’re not the intended audience. No, the problem with the ads isn’t who they’re aimed at. Dan Benjamin hit the nail on the head with this tweet:

The Apple Genius ads could have been made by any random company trying to convince us they’re friendly. They lack that Apple spark & magic.
  — Dan Benjamin (@danbenjamin) Sun Jul 29 2012 9:04 AM CDT

Apple ads are known for being distinctive. Whether it was the Crazy Ones, the Hodgman/Longs, the Dancing Silhouettes, or even the Celebrities Using Siri, Apple’s commercials had a look and a sound that drew your attention. Even if you thought they missed the mark—and many of them did—you couldn’t ignore them. The Genius ads are immanently ignorable.

Fortunately, I don’t look to commercials for entertainment or for advice on what computer to buy.


One Response to “Mac miscellany”

  1. Carl says:

    I upgraded to Mountain Lion, but it’s an eminently boring release, so there’s not much to talk about.

    • They broke Exchange in Mail.app, but you can get around it by diddling with /etc/hosts.

    • Now I have to turn on apache using the terminal instead of the GUI, I guess. Not a big deal.

    • The thing were you can pinch to “zoom out” in Safari into Tab-expose mode is neat. Was it back ported to Safari on Lion?

    • The Address Book/Contacts is less awful now, I suppose. They should never have changed it in the first place though.

    • I’m probably the only person in the world with a computer science degree who uses Launch Center, but I appreciate that it now has a built in searcher. I stopped using QuickSilver once Spotlight got fast enough to launch applications without me tearing my hair out, and I mostly quit using Spotlight once Launch Center came out. This new search mode combines the two, so I like it.

    • Notification Center is useless to me because I only get a handful of emails every day, and I never set calendar alarms. I wish I could put the Spotlight icon back in the far right corner for aesthetic reasons.

    Hmm, I guess I had more to say than I thought, but none of it is very earth shattering.