OS X Mountain Lion
Cupertino has finally released the long awaited OS X update 10.8, also known as Mountain Lion. The company boasts the new OS has over 200 new features and solidly cleans up where Lion left off. I decided to install the new OS X version as I do with all previous upgrades, by running the installer package from within Lion instead of a drive wipe and clean install. After I mounted the DMG installer file I ran through the initial setup steps and let 10.8 take over and run itself. One thing I did notice right away was the length of time the install took – just in over an hour and a half. I was a bit turned off by the longer wait than Lion (Lion took around 45 min using the same setup method).
After the install was complete I did a fresh reboot and also ran an “FSCK – FY” command line disk check pre-boot just to clean up any stray files or permissions. Once I was back on my desktop I verified the OS version by checking the “about this Mac” dialog. Everything seemed legit and ready to roll. I will say that most of the new features in OS X Mountain Lion are system level changes and not UI changes. There are some exceptions like the new notification center that is invoked by a two finger swiping motion from the right side of the track pad to the left. The Notification center is almost exactly like the one found on your iOS device minus the weather and stock tickers. Other than that most of the newer changes to the OS are application relevant or found within the System Preferences. I have noticed a slight performance gain on most everything across the board in OS X from the previous version.
UI animations seem to take greater advantage of the Core Animation framework as well as boot and sleep times. Granted I am running the new version on a mid-2010 17″ MBP with an Intel i5. Overall the installation was a bit longer than Lion but the performance gains and Kernel tweaks are well worth the wait. There is also great emphasis on iCloud integration across the board which is a great and powerful added feature. I do recommend setting a 2 hour block aside for the upgrade so you can figure everything out.
If you like to tweak your system like I do and have custom icons the new installation will overwrite your customization(s). For custom icons I use CandyBar and downloaded the latest version and within 10 minutes my customizations were back. The installation was fairly harmless =)
See more details on OS X Mountain Lion here.
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~ Edward Tufte