back to article Apple Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion review

So, here it is at last, the latest big cat in the Apple game reserve. There are plenty of new features, and numerous improvements but are they enough to tempt Mac users who felt bitten by the radical changes Lion to upgrade? Apple Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion Call of the wild: Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion talks up its …


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  1. Greg J Preece

    Little bit of gushing at the end there, but this does look like a far more worth upgrade than Lion was. iMessage is cool but useless unless you're already inside the walled garden. The text-to-speech looks pretty sweet though, as does the sharing integration. Might be tempted to shell out at some point, though to be honest my Mac runs Kubuntu 95% of the time.

    1. Lord Voldemortgage

      "iMessage is cool but useless unless you're already inside the walled garden"

      That's how it came across. Is it really just another IM service but one that is limited to Apple devices? I don't understand why that would be worth bigging up. Does it link in with any other IM services?

      1. teapot9999
        Thumb Up

        It is just iChat really

        and works with Google Talk, Yahoo, AIM and Jabber

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: It is just iChat really

          Personally, as an old fart with family + kids + (spare_geek_time * 0) , one of the things I like about Messaging and Facetime is the fact that I don't have an online presence. If people want to send me a message or call me, it's like using email or the phone. They don't know if I'm there, and I feel no guilt about not answering (especially if I'm happily enjoying a private moment in the jizznasium). What ever happened to privacy goddammit?!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: It is just iChat really

            At work, product like IBM's Sametime are useful because of their presence indication - you know you can pick up the phone and call someone in Dallas or India knowing they are at their desk.

            I'm 100% with at home. I dread new TV's with built in messaging - try watching a film on an XBOX that's logged into XBOX Live on a child's' account !

          2. Craigness

            Re: It is just iChat really

            You can set your status on Skype, Google Chat etc. The one you want is "Invisible". Now you can buy a PC and save yourself £600.

            1. Seanie Ryan

              Re: It is just iChat really

              even if you dont have an iphone or ipad, what wrong with using iMessage to communicate with all the people you know who DO have one??

              and can you not set your status in iMessage or simply ignore the cal if you dont want to be interrupted? no one knows if you are sitting at the desk.


            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: It is just iChat really

              Great idea. Also, hold off on buying that Omega watch; a Casio does more and costs far less (there's nothing wrong with plastic).

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward


              I'm guessing that most users of Skype and Google Chat won't call or message someone if they are "invisible", because they assume that person isn't there to respond? So effectively, you're adopting the somewhat anti-social stance of "don't call me, I'll call you". The fact that iMessaging (?) lacks an online presence feature, means that it is never a factor when deciding to make a call or send a message. I prefer this good old telephone style model.

              Perhaps also, you meant that one should manage one's online presence as and when needs demand? Personally, I've always found that to be a burden especially when signed in from multiple computers/devices.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Almost makes you want to buy into it, almost makes you want the new hardware that comes with it.

      I say almost because I still need a built in DVD drive.

      So, no sale for me.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Almost

        Use an external drive and get over it - you will find fewer and fewer laptops supporting 'legacy' things like DVD drives - I'm sure a few people still use them but the last time I needed to was perhaps a year or two ago. For me I welcome the increased battery size instead - now that most people will benefit from. The Apple USB DVD drive is only about the size of a CD case anyway for the times you do need it.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Perhaps this incremental upgrade may be a better way to update an operating system than Microsoft's 'wait 8 years and then replace everything' model. It would be even better if one could pick and choose which set of features you wanted or buy a bundle to have it all. Then Microsoft would see people are interested in the Windows 8 improvements, but not in Metro.

    1. Greg J Preece

      Re: Hmm

      But bear in mind that Mac OS X doesn't have the same level of long-term backwards compatibility and support that Microsoft do, which is one of the reasons businesses prefer MS gear. I do agree though that MS are so desperate to be seen as forward-thinking and progressive that they're trying to re-invent the wheel. They could have taken Windows 7 and fixed all the things that annoy people, rather than go overkill with Metro.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hmm

        In my experience businesses tend to buy a new machine plus OS rather than upgrade the OS on an existing machine. So the hardware backward compatibility doesn't really matter then.

      2. Mark 65

        Re: Hmm

        I'm with Greg. For me the system is there to look like it's the better way, but really it helps the obsolescence along. I can't help but feel that they are speeding up the rate at which devices fall out of support. My 2008 Macbook may not be rapid compared to Ivy Bridge hardware but runs a W7 VM fine with its SSD upgrade. However I'm SOL with this update and would, in theory, have to part with the odd £1,000 to get access to the latest and greatest.

        I find that attitude disappointing to be honest - mainly because this OS came out 12 months after the last whereas previous gaps were around 2 years which means I only have 12 months (potentially) until I get nothing in the way of security updates. It is one area where I will never criticise MS, they do give you a long period of security updates. There also isn't too much issue with hardware - a memory update to a 2002 vintage P4 and it runs W7 fine.

        1. Mark 65

          Re: Hmm

          Downvoted. How utterly ridiculous of me to expect £1k+ hardware to be supported past 4 years. How even more ridiculous of me to have pointed out that such behaviour is disappointing. I mean, expressing a valid opinion, whatever next?

    2. Ian Yates

      Re: Hmm

      You've summed up my thoughts on why OSX (and IOS, and Android, etc.) bundle so much non-OS stuff as an OS upgrade.

      I'm sure there are upgraded OS features in here, but what's the technical limitation on not having all the Notes, etc., things available as individual software upgrades?

      Being such a minor incremental update, my point might not sound so relevant here.

  3. mafoo


    <protest placard>Bring back colour sidebar icons!</>

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Retina Macs

    Wondert if this fixes some of the issues people have been having with the Retina Macs.

    My new machine shipped yesterday. I'm entitled to a free upgrade but I wonder if the machine will have Snow Lion installed when it gets here?

    1. DJV Silver badge

      Snow Lion?

      No, it will have Mountain Leopard installed instead, just to confuse you!

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Word of warning.....

    A word of warning for anyone waiting for the version on USB stick. I got Lion on a USB stick to save a lengthy download and the blasted thing required another 0.75gb of "updates". So basically if you don't have fast net connection go and find one rather than pay through the nose for the USB version.

    1. Paul Webb

      Re: Word of warning.....

      There is no USB (or DVD) version - this is available as a download only.

      1. Slap

        Re: Word of warning.....

        Ok, it is download only, but having had a root around in the installer app there's again the "InstallESD" dmg with which you can create your own install media - USB stick or DVD. Just like Lion. I haven't tried it yet, but a quick check at Ars Technica has confirmed that it will produce install media in exactly the same way as it did with Lion.

        This can certainly help those with multiple Macs but with crap or capped downloads.

    2. JaimieV

      Re: Word of warning.....

      You can make your own USB stick out of the downloaded "Install OS X Mountain" (which autodeletes after it installs itself, so take a copy), search "InstallESD.dmg" for instructions.

  6. Ian Ferguson

    I don't see anything compelling, even for fourteen pounds. I think I'll give this upgrade a miss, as my iMac is noticeably slower with every upgrade.

    If only Apple built in some efficiency savings to their OSX and iOS upgrades for older hardware, and made the newer features optional, rather than building them as showcases for their latest shinies.

    1. Joseph Lord

      Word is it brings back some of Snow Leopard's speed

      Although I haven't tried it yet myself.

      At £14 I'll get it. The App Store is giving me an error when I try to download it at the moment though. "This item is temporarily unavailable."

    2. Bod


      "my iMac is noticeably slower with every upgrade"

      And that's the point. £14 doesn't cover the costs, hardware is where Apple makes the money and there's no point delivering upgrades to the latest OS that means your old hardware is as good as the new ones on sale.

      But people feel happy because it's just £14 and they can feel smug that their new OS is far cheaper than Windows. Some features won't work on their old hardware but that doesn't matter as they're planning on buying the new hardware soon enough, so the upgrade keeps them happy and loyal in the meantime.

    3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      No, and no news as to whether the long-standing Bluetooth bug has been fixed or changes in the POSIX libraries, which drivers have been broken, etc. I'm going to give this at least a three-month miss. Lion did at least bring standardisation on x86_64, this one sounds just like lipstick and nail polish.

      1. Snot Rot

        You can't put lipstick on a pig.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          "You can't put lipstick on a pig."

          Yes you can, it's called Metro.

          1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

            that's the pig. (Actually more like a retarded dodo.)

          2. dougal83

            Re: @snotrot

            I don't see it being a pig. I actually prefer Metro to iOS. The Nokia Lumia > iPhone. Probably will prefer Metro to OSX as I still have nightmares from using an iMac G3 /w 1 button mouse. yucky!

    4. dougal83

      I thought all macs remained infinitely shiney. You could try Ubuntu, it's free and better than OSX. Old hardware seeming slower with newer OS's sounds just like some other major OS. Bare in mind though that over the years hardware does deteriorate (slow>fail) and there is nothing even a fruity programmer can overcome.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One Partition

    I've been using ML for a while, have contributed MANY 'early hiccups' to the mothership, who have really worked to solve all my problems and now I have enjoyed the GM for a week. It is a lot better than Lion!

    I'd just suggest for those installing on new or old hardware that you stick to a single HDD partition in ML.

    I tried at one early stage a 7 partition HDD with data/other OS/SL/encrypted/Bootcamp etc partitions..... this ground to a very sticky halt shortly after using, with a long repair needed. ML prefers a nice single disc, then it can create the absolutely essential "Emergency Repair Partition." Only then start soft-Bootcamping and I'd leave the other experimental OS's or partitions to flashdrives or USB rotational archives.

    Oh and only signed GoodWare/MalWare can run/install on ML, that's neat.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: One Partition

        If it is true, then Apple had better watch out: Microsoft will be suing them for violating Microsoft's patents on "method and apparatus for making an operating system totally incompatible with a computer having a multiplicity of operating systems installed already" and "method and apparatus for destroying other operating systems on a computer during installation" for which Microsoft can site prior art going all the way back to Win95.

        1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

          Re: One Partition

          for which Microsoft can site prior art going all the way back to Win95

          MS-DOS, actually :). Did you know it took until Windows Vista before EDLIN was removed? :)

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Single Partition

            My experience was that it's good to start an ML install on a single (user visible) partition, then later perform the desired expansion tricks. You should avoid the installation quirk where ML says "Due to this disc structure we are unable to install the Recovery Partition" (In my case it was because WINDOWS Bootcamp needs to be within the first 3 partitions or MS won't let it boot, allegedly) I have twice needed the Recovery Partition on newish Apples whilst trying exciting things...Without the Recovery Partition you are looking at a few dozen million wasted milliseconds of your life

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @David Hagood

            The singular of data is not anecdote, but: I had a Win7 machine, dual booting into Linux, so grub was installed on the linux /boot partition, which was the active partition so the *bog standard* MBR bootloader could find it.

            Win7 needed a service pack, which ABSOLUTELY INSISTED upon the Win7 partition being the active partition before it would install (nevermind that Win7 know which partition it was on, naturally). So, I set the active partition back to the Windows partition, figuring I could later just flip the active partition back to /boot and all would be well.

            Win7 proceeded to jump up and down upon both the MBR and its own partition with hob-nailed boots, such that even attempting to switch back to /boot as the active partition failed. I had to boot from a live CD, re-install the standard MBR, and reactivate /boot as the active partition.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: @David Hagood

              Did you install win7 as UEFI? When I first load win7 it was the standard load. It was not ti I read on the next that in order to take advantage of UEFI I had to use the boot options at start up(no in the bios). There I saw two instance of my DVD RW. One said ASUS the other said ASUS UEFI. It's when you select that that it uses UFEI and plays much nicer. Just make sure your Linux boot loaders are UEFI too. Oh bye the way on my MB you only see the UEFI option when you have a OS DVD that supports UEFI. and it's no were in the documentation.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: @David Hagood

                No UEFI - standard boot.

          3. Greg J Preece

            Re: @David Hagood

            Macs have proven far more difficult to multi-partition than any Windows machine, in my experience. Windows machines these days are a doddle to me compared to something running OSX. First you have to resize the partitions using an editor that takes your inputs as mere suggestions. Then you have to deal with their non-standard bootloader (constantly), plus the hybrid partition table that becomes irritatingly necessary despite the other two operating systems both supporting EFI, and then because of the hybrid table, you have to have your partitions in the right order or Windows is screwed. Get all that set up and make sure you remember to sync the partition tables, otherwise OSX will merrily destroy your other partitions without prompting you. Gah!

            Getting 3 operating systems on this 2011 MacBook Pro was....not fun. Not looking forward to a ML upgrade. Wouldn't be so bad, except my old 2007 MacBook was much easier!

      2. Captain Underpants

        Re: One Partition

        If it is, it nixes any notion of me going near it. My MBP runs Win7 most of the time (I've got no real objection to OS X, but I've got a bunch of Win-only software) and if an OS upgrade means I have to cock about with repartitioning it can smeg off.

      3. Franklin

        Re: One Partition

        "Wait, so a modern OS is seriously demanding on install that it fills the entire hard drive, which you can only then repartition? Meaning if I've got a Mac set up to double- or triple-boot, I have to clone my entire other partitions and then put them back on?"

        Nope. That's not actually the case; it's a little bit more complicated than that.

        If you don't use BootCamp, it doesn't matter. Partition to your heart's content. (I always banish a brand-new operating system to its own partition, so that I can fall back if I run into anything...unfortunate.)

        It only becomes an issue if you do have BootCamp, and then only if you have BootCamp together with other Mac partitions and BootCamp isn't the first non-Mac partition.

        The problem is that Mountain Lion, like Lion, wants to create a hidden recovery partition, and also wants to keep BootCamp's partition within the first three physical partitions on the partition map. So if you install Mountain Lion on the first Mac partition and your Boot Camp partition is your second partition, all is golden. If, however, you have any other partitions between your first partition and Boot Camp, well...

        I'm not entirely sure why Boot Camp has to be in the first three physical partitions. I'm sure that somewhere in the bowels of the partition tables or EFI or something something, it makes perfect sense because of reasons.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

      4. Richard Cartledge

        Re: One Partition

        You do need the hidden recovery partition to upgrade the OS, as the app copies the payload to this and boots from it into the installer. If you deleted this partition while mucking about, you will have to create a new one before you can upgrade.

        I think that if you create a bootable USB stick installer, the above doesn't apply.

    2. Steven Gray

      Re: One Partition

      I've not long installed ML on my 2008. pre-unibody MBP and it runs like a champ.

      I had forgotten about the Windows partition until I read your post.

  8. Dan 55 Silver badge

    OCD much

    Can't we leave the prettification of apps to iOS and just decide what the standard desktop look is for software on Mac OS and leave it like that?

    E.g. This window's yellow with squiggly writing (notepad), this window's brown with big bold sans-serif (reminders), this menu's black (notifications), this is an iLife application which looks different to an iWork application, this has a brushed metal background which means you can accidentally click and drag it off somewhere else, this is the QuickTime player which is black, and these are iBooks and iTunes which defy categorisation...

    There was a reason why X11 desktops were generally considered a disaster before Gnome and KDE came along. Unfortunately they went mental as well.

    1. Bakunin

      Re: OCD much

      "Can't we leave the prettification of apps to iOS and just decide what the standard desktop look is for software on Mac OS and leave it like that?"

      No they can't. Because the desktop and mobile versions of Apple's operating systems have been on a collision course for some time. I would speculate that you're[*] only a few years away from an identical interface on both.

      [*] That's they generic "you". I have no idea what you personally actually use.

      1. BobaFett

        Re: OCD much

        These are evidently in-house applications where the UI designers share strongly different opinions. To be honest, I'm surprised Jobs allowed this diversification of metaphors to promulgate as they did under his stewardship.

        And here's a personal gripe that bothers me day in day out, on and Google Calendar but not Outlook: what the fuck is up with paging your calendar by month?! A day is a day, and arbitrary month delimiters just make viewing last 2 weeks of one month with the first 2 weeks of the next painful! Woefully, unnecessarily painful! Time is a continuum, I don't need some arsehole to insert some stupid bloody paging mechanism at inappropriate moments. FFS, it's the 21st century, can someone please realise month (and year ends) are only of significance to pen-pusher money-pinching accountants!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: OCD much

        "Because the desktop and mobile versions of Apple's operating systems have been on a collision course for some time. I would speculate that you're[*] only a few years away from an identical interface on both"

        Just not like Metro?

        1. Steve I

          Re: OCD much

          "Because the desktop and mobile versions of Apple's operating systems have been on a collision course for some time. I would speculate that you're[*] only a few years away from an identical interface on both"

          Hmmm, 10" MacBook AIr, add a touchscreen and removeable keyboard; add an 'IOS' interface like Dashboard and it's widgets and you have a potentially nice dual purpose machine.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: OCD much

      While I do kind of agree, but there are too many apps on Mac OSX that look the same too..

      I have open:




      Apple Remote Desktop

      I have to study the window to see which is in focus as they all have the left column pane, header toolbar and same grey effects etc...

  9. Anonymous Coward

    That's me out then...

    ... My lappy is a late-07 model Macbook, apparently this doesn't run on there. C'est la vie.

    1. Law

      Re: That's me out then...

      I thought I was out of luck too (MacBook Pro late-2008 model)... then I checked Apples website and it turns out MacBook Pros can still be upgraded from mid-2007 models onwards.

      Full list is:

      iMac (Mid 2007 or newer)

      MacBook (Late 2008 Aluminum, or Early 2009 or newer)

      MacBook Pro (Mid/Late 2007 or newer)

      MacBook Air (Late 2008 or newer)

      Mac mini (Early 2009 or newer)

      Mac Pro (Early 2008 or newer)

      Xserve (Early 2009)

      1. Richard Cartledge

        Re: That's me out then...

        I think anything aluminium (not titanium nor plastic) will run ML.

      2. Anonymous Coward

        Re: That's me out then...

        You are not out of luck. I am. Reason: You run a Macbook Pro. I run the plain vanilla Macbook.

  10. Alan Bourke

    Ah, the Notes application ...

    still looks like a shareware app from 1998 I see.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ah, the Notes application ...

      The whole OS looks like 80's wall paper!

      So old hat.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ah, the Notes application ...


        Obviously! desperate to get noticed on an Apple thread again


      2. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. Toothpick

        Re: Ah, the Notes application ...

        Obviously is here again!!

        As a matter of interest, what OS do you use?

        It must be brilliant because every time Apple or iOS is mentioned in any article on here it magically posts shit.

  11. Stacy

    I was wondering whether to get it

    Until I saw that some features are artificially disabled for anything other than the expensive new models. (I mean really, why do you need an SSD for powernap?)

    Hmm... I know people love these machines but I just can't see why - after not quite a year of ownership I have come to loathe the damn thing...

    This kind of thing just add's to the list of reasons why... Shame really becuase it does look and feel much better than my day to day Vaio that I use constantly...

    1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Re: I was wondering whether to get it

      I think it won't be long before a PowerNap app will appear. All you need is to schedule some uptime in the Energy settings and run a script with whatever you want to execute and re-enable sleep once done.

    2. toadwarrior

      Re: I was wondering whether to get it

      I assume it's for SSDs only due to SSDs using much less power and there is now issue with doing a lot of small little jobs. If my MBP had an HD I definitely don't want the thing spinning up numerous times through out the night to do little tasks. That's not going to be good for the HD.

    3. Law

      Re: I was wondering whether to get it

      "Hmm... I know people love these machines but I just can't see why - after not quite a year of ownership I have come to loathe the damn thing..."

      Mines a late 2008 macbook pro and it was really just bought as the best spec'd laptop on the market at the time (was cheaper than a similarly spec'd Alienware at the time too at half the size).

      At that time, they were essentially a thinner nice looking "normal" laptop - no unibody, no odd Psion 3a styled keyboard keys, or oversized glass track pads, or glued in batteries. I'm sure for alot of people they'll be well worth the cost, but I won't be getting another one, even though I'm more than happy with my current one.

      1. Steven Gray

        Re: @Law

        Mine is also a late 2008 MPB - pre-unibody - and it was a refurb with a fair chunk knocked off the RRP..

        Best laptop ever.

        2.4GHz Core 2 duo, FW800/400, 2xUSB, ExpressCard/34 slot, DVI out, Audio in/out (both optical), 1440x900 matt display (LED backlit), wireless n, bluetooth, gigabit ethernet, backlit keyboard, mult-touch trackpad... the compromise was I guess the 256Mb graphics and relatively small 200Gb HDD... but it's all good and runs ML just fine, though I expect this to be the last major OS update for this unit.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @Law

          Similar spec to mine. I've had it about 4 years now and the Enter key is a little loose (partly broke it trying to get crumbs out of the keyboard) but with ML on it the performance seems to be back to how I remember it.

          I'm not really looking to upgrade any of my kit right now. I have a Mac Pro that has just missed the boat in terms of ML upgrade. Although it is still on Snow Leopard as being a productivity machine I don't want to mess about with it too much.

          Not sure I like how things are going in the desktop/laptop market and tablets are only okay for very casual use.

          Windows 8 looks like being a disaster, Apple aren't as "nice" as they were a few years back and Linux doesn't seem to ever achieve that level of quality that Windows and OSX have.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm not all that sure about the dictation feature :(

    From what I read in the specs it needs an Internet connection to work, which suggests it ships whatever you say off to some US servers like Siri does - and so the same objections apply.

    I have absolutely *zero* desire to provide anyone with a pristine, identifiable voiceprint so that means the Dragon Dictate guys will still get a sale if I decide I want that on my Mac. Neither do I have the desire to share whatever I do or whatever I work on with any 3rd party - I call that armchair espionage.

    Do I suspect Apple of such evil deeds? Not really. But I have no reason to trust them either, and what they don't have they cannot lose/give away/be forced to part with under force of law or warrant.

    Anon, obviously.

    1. Craigness

      Re: I'm not all that sure about the dictation feature :(

      If you've got a phone then anyone who you wouldn't want to have your voice map already has access to it.

      1. verity33

        Re: I'm not all that sure about the dictation feature :(


  13. Mondo the Magnificent


    ..but it will not tempt me to upgrade from 10.6.8 which still suits me just fine..

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Once "Tony" and his crew gets it working well, then I'll upgrade!

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    OS that’s powerful, attractive and even cool.

    The quickest way to dissuade? Use the word "cool".


    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      How about just looking at the features of the OS and making an informed decision instead of reading the marketing blurb.

      Oh, it's Obviously!, should've guessed it'd just be a lame anti-apple comment.

  16. Bailey


    According to "Tony", it's going to be the most hackintoshable to date, especially concerning GPU support.

  17. Steen Hive

    For me, Lion sucked donkey balls - is this any better?

    Lion came pre-installed on this late 2011 15" MBP - but I could never find a way to have the "Save open apps" shutdown checkbox unchecked by default. That and the ludicrous "local" time machine backups that choked my SSD within days before I found out how to switch them off, the not-fit-for-purpose bluetooth and the constant dropping of wi-fi connections.

    Result - slipstream 10.6.8 into a 10.6.3 install disk and wipe the reverse-mouse annoying bollox off my machine. Happiness.

    1. JaimieV

      Re: For me, Lion sucked donkey balls - is this any better?

      "Save open apps" is now fixed, remembers your setting. Local TM backups still exist, same fix as before to disable them. Bluetooth I don't know, never had an issue, but the stack has changed to include Bt4.0 support so perhaps. Wifi is reported to be pretty solid, but I never had trouble before...

      You can legitimately install ML into a VM (as long as it's hosted on a Mac) to trial it.

    2. Steven Raith

      Re: For me, Lion sucked donkey balls - is this any better?

      For reference, I had issues with my Macbook on my Draytek routers wifi - update of the firmware on the router sorted it out.

      Worth a pop.

      Steven R

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    So Apple now use swipe to ignore notifications? someone over there obviously has a liking for Android features.

  19. Jonathan White

    Up To Date

    The 'up to date' program (where if you buy a new Mac between the new OS being announced and being shipped you get it for free) has turned into a rolling fireball of a car crash almost immediately.

    Firstly, the page to access it went up too early. So people applied, got codes to download it from the app store and found they didn't work because the app wasn't available yet.

    Secondly, the process they use to give you the code is this : They send you an email, with an encrypted password protected PDF file attached to it. They send you the password to open the PDF file in another email. The encrypted PDF contains the code. I assume anyone reading El Reg can tell you how utterly useless and idiotic this is. To make it worse, a lot of email systems regard encrypted archives/pdfs as suspicious, since they can't look inside them to virus scan the contens.

    Thirdly, after the page went live too early, they reset the backend database. what they didn't do was mark all the codes they had previously sent out as 'already used' in the refreshed database, so the system is sending the codes out again. So a load of people are getting codes that when they put them into the app store redeem codes page, it says 'hard luck, that code has already been used' (I'm paraphrasing).

    This is utterly clueless work. It's the kind of thing someone on their first day in the job would be utterly ashamed of (and it would probably be their last day on the job to boot). For a company with the resources of Apple to screw this is this badly is just... well, frankly, it's mind-boggling. How hard can valid issuing codes to people be?

    (by the way - yes, I am one of the people who got a duff up to date code. But that doesn't make the work they've done any less amateurish).

    1. Dana W

      Re: Up To Date

      At least you GOT your code. I'm still waiting. I can download it faster than this. That's what I get for being honest.

  20. Wibble

    Full screen still broken

    Full screen mode hasn't been fixed. If you've multiple monitors -- normal for a laptop -- when you put an application into full screen it 'blanks' the other screen by displaying a rather naff canvas background. Apparently Apple thinks that full screen means "only one application can be seen". So sod you if you've got several monitors (easy with Thunderbolt).

    See the Apple website discussion "Dual monitors and fullscreen fiasco, is there a work around?"

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Still happily using a 24-inch, Late 2006 perspex iMac

    Which is still going strong, so no upgrade path for me...

    Will have to wait for a new shiny retina iMac.

  22. Herby Silver badge

    There ARE alternatives...

    My Mac might go to system 8 or so, as its a Quadra 840AV. While it is a bit underwhelming at this point, it is a pretty nice Mac, and with System 7.6.1 running on it, it does what I ask it to do (not much currently).

    A thought for Apple: Maybe have an option to install Libre Office/Open Office at the same time, free of charge. It is pretty much compatible and will up the user base of that product (might make the people in Redmond unhappy, but Apple already does that). It would be a great service for those who are using Macs for "real work".

    Just a thought!

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "it doesn’t take kindly to expletives"

    " doesn’t take kindly to expletives,..."

    So what fucking good is it, eh?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "it doesn’t take kindly to expletives"

      There's a good reason. Do you really want your kids to use it and say "duck" only for it to return the f word by mistake?

  24. Toothpick


    I updated last night and the only thing that appears to be bust is Parallels. All my other stuff (eg creative suite) is fine.

    I'll try a reload of Parallels as according to their website it is compatible with ML.

    1. chr0m4t1c

      Re: Parallels

      I've not tried Parallels yet, but I have had two emails from them inviting me to upgrade to the version I already have.

      I wouldn't mind, but I bought it directly from them as a download *and* registered it, so it's not like they have no way of knowing that I already own it.

      Thinking about it, I think there was a ML-compatability patch a couple of weeks ago, did you apply it?

      1. Toothpick

        Re: Parallels

        I must admit I've not used Parallels recently.

        Been back onto their website and there is a knowledgebase article posted today acknowledging the issue, along with a link to download the latest version. Fully working now.

        Beer icon? Cos I owe you one.

  25. Dinky Carter

    Skins / themes

    Is there any way to set a desktop theme? Or even just change the default app background colour from retina-burn #FFFFFF to something more civilized?

    I have an eye problem means I have use subtle colours on my desktop. The first thing I do when I work at new Windows machine is change the theme with a few mouse clicks.

    This seems to be completely impossible with OSX (seriously dodgy 3rd party hackware nothwithstanding) and so Macs remain useless to me.

    But I suppose fanbois would say that's my fault for having an eye problem.

    1. chr0m4t1c

      Re: Skins / themes

      OS X has high contrast and reverse video modes that you can turn on in the Accessibility area of the system preferences as well as things like a screen magnifier that can be turned on and off using keyboard shortcuts or gestures and voice over (a screen reader).

      Are none of those features any use to you, or are your requirements more subtle than that?

  26. DM2012
    Thumb Up


    I think this is the first time Australians have been on the other end of the Great Apple Tax (GAT). At $20.99 AUD (about 14 quid) we're actually getting something cheaper from the big A than our northern cousins. At that price I might even upgrade!

  27. Malvernite
    Thumb Up

    Very happy with OSx, nothing much major in this release but £14 isn't braking bank and a few features such as notifications I will use..

    Like the idea that iOS and OSx are using similar features, app launcher (which was in previous release) I like..

    have to duel boot due to Windows 7 for work (programming) and I find OSx more of a joy to use, very simple to navigate and use which is what I like for a OS.. Windows 7 I find the configuration such as network a pain in the butt compared to OSx, I find Mail and Safari meeting my expectations in OSx .. XP was nice and easy to navigate, I am really dreading what Windows 8 is going to be, why does a operating system have to reinvent itself every release?

    All in all thumbs up to Apple for creating a simple to use operating system with a very power under belly..

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