During the school holidays Apple launched their latest operating system for the Mac: OSX 10.7 - "Lion". I have installed it on my Macbook Pro and I'm enjoying the benefits.
My feeling is that the process was pretty much pain-free - but I do understand that many people managing school IT will prefer to wait at least until the next minor upgrade. Generally speaking we can expect to see that within a few weeks of the launch.
I am always conscious though that just because it works fine for me does not mean it will be plain sailing for a school managing multiple Macs. We need to remember that a small problem that may be insignificant to me will be multiplied many times over in a school. So a few thoughts on issues that will affect us in school...
InstallationFirst thing to check is that your Mac will actually run Lion. If it's a Power PC processor (iBook, eMac, Powerbook) then forget it. If you have an early Macbook or Intel iMac you may be out of luck as well. If it just says Core Duo it won't work.
Make sure you have enough memory as well and that you are upgrading from at least 10.6.6. A full list of minimum specifications follows:
- Mac computer with an Intel Core 2 Duo, Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, or Xeon processor
- 2GB of memoryOS X v10.6.6 or later (v10.6.8 recommended)
- 7GB of available space
That's OK for your first install but you won't be upgrading a whole classroom like that! The good news is that you can create a restore disk that you can use on subsequent upgrades. I have created restore flash drive - easy and convenient.
You can create restore images just as you have with previous versions using the Disk Utility, Carbon Copy Cloner, or my personal favourite Deploy Studio.
IssuesWith any major upgrade there are bound to be some lingering issues that have not been resolved before launch. Hopefully they are few and far between, but the likely candidates are Peripherals and drivers, and any bespoke software that has not been fully tested with Lion. Don't upgrade the whole school's Macs without at least testing it with one first.
There are a few things in Lion that will take a bit of getting used to, but most things can be quickly overcome. Then there is natural scrolling! If you don't know what that is, you will find out very quickly. I'm told that some people love it, but I wasn't one of them. The good news is that your can revert back to the more familiar scrolling very easily in System Preferences.
My advice is proceed cautiously. Back up your computer, repair permissions and give it a go. Maybe on your own Mac before you roll it out to the entire school. And maybe wait till 10.7.1 for that.
It's worth the effort though. There are enough extras in this upgrade to make it a worthwhile experience.