OS X Lion

Last night I upgraded my MacBook Air to Lion. Here are a few observations that you might find helpful.

Installation: If you were previously on Snow Leopard, you can install the upgrade using the Mac App Store. The upgrade costs US$29.99. The download is several gigabytes, so prepare to walk away for a while after completing the purchase. Make sure your machine is plugged in and placed close to your wifi base station, for maximum network speed. You can check on download progress by clicking on the “Purchases” tab in the App Store.

When the download completes, the purchase line for “OS X Lion” will be marked “Installed” in the App Store. This does not mean that OS X Lion is installed, as you might expect. It means that the installer is downloaded and ready to run. I have read that the installer should auto-launch. This did not happen for me, maybe I didn’t wait long enough. Instead, there was an icon in the Dock labelled “Install OS X Lion” or similar. Click that and you’re off to the races.

Xcode: If you have the Snow Leopard version of Xcode installed, you will need to upgrade. This can also be done in the App Store. It is a free download.

Scroll direction: You’re not losing your mind — the two-finger scroll gesture switched direction in this version of the OS. If you like the old way, you can reverse it in System Preferences -> Trackpad -> Scroll Direction.

Dude, where’s my hard drive: The Finder window dropped the main hard drive from the sidebar. You can add it back under Finder -> Preferences -> Sidebar -> Hard disks. I keep this around for checking hard drive usage (command-i) and navigating to system resources outside my home directory.