Muschamp Rd

Mac OS X Lion costs more than you think

July 20th, 2011
My recreation of the sad mac icon

I know Lion was coming.  I follow people on Twitter.  They tweeted about starting to download.  I decided I would upgrade and then see whether my mom and sister should upgrade.  I’ve been using OS X since the public beta.  I have a lot of experience using computers, upgrading computers, developing software, etc. etc.  The upgrade itself went relatively smoothly, but when apps I use everyday and were in my dock had big no good symbols drawn through the icon, well I told my sister and mother not to upgrade.

Turns out older apps denoted PowerPC which makes little sense as I have an Intel chip and so do my sister and mother, won’t work in Mac OS X Lion.  They relied on emulation and automatic translation between the instruction sets of the PowerPC and Intel chips.  I know all this but I’m not happy.  I use Microsoft Word everyday.  I spent uncountable hours trying to master Excel.  Now I just get an error message when I click on their icons. 

I stayed at Microsoft Office 2004 because I paid so much money for it, but also because I don’t like the changes Microsoft has made, particularly in removing VBA from Excel.  I wasn’t alone in thinking this was dumbass, as Microsoft added VBA support back to Office 2011 for Mac. I still didn’t think I should pay money to get features I already had, so I had no plans to upgrade to Microsoft 2011 for Mac, that was until I upgraded to Lion.

I didn’t need Lion. I certainly didn’t need to spend time and money upgrading to it.  My computer is about a year old, it could use a little more RAM perhaps, but I do a lot with it.  Discovering that dozens of apps I downloaded and in many cases paid for no longer worked was a shock.  You can say well you should have researched before upgrading, to which I say bullshit.  I did read Apple’s Mac OS X Lion webpage, it doesn’t say anything about Microsoft Office 2004 being broken by the install or Warcraft III or any number of other applications.  I discovered there is a whole website devoted to this.

I’ve been deleting many of the apps, downloading updates when I can, and writing support requests when I’m unsure what to do.  I believe as a legal license holder I deserve a free update in most cases, though I know for some old programs, they are no longer being supported.  Microsoft Office 2004 was updated in the last little while, so both Microsoft and Apple were well aware many people were still using these programs.  Yet they both seem to just expect people to just give them more money rather than demand ongoing support.

I’m tired. I’ve spent too much time upgrading my computer today instead of getting stuff done.  I took a break and did the laundry.  Some PHP decided to stop working on my homepage, a foreach statement making calls to SimplePie just like in the demo, WTF?  It has been a WTF day.  It has also resulted in many phone calls to my sister.  I already emailed her warning her not to update, but I need Microsoft Office still, everything but Excel I could do without.  Word is just a glorified text editor, but it helps for large documents with multiple authors, many applications can open Word documents and edit them, but Excel is a very powerful tool for business and was one of the original applications for the Macintosh computer.  That’s right, Microsoft Excel was a Mac app first.

The reverse scrolling is also for the birds.  Why break muscle memory?

This blog post is falling apart as I try to upgrade, talk on the phone, type, look for files, add tags, fight with UI changes…

I took a bunch of screen shots, but wait Snapz Pro X was one of many apps I updated today.  Here is a partial list of apps that were busted on my computer when I upgraded to Lion, these are the ones I care about:

  • Microsoft Office 2004
  • OmniGraffle
  • Carbon Copy Cloner
  • WordLookup
  • Disk Warrior
  • UnRarX
  • Flip4Mac
  • Stuffit Expander

I installed a lot of the latter ones in my “Utilities” directory.  This is apparently the non-standard thing to do, Apple wants all applications in the Application directory.  It is going to take me a while longer to get my computer working again so I can be productive.  Not sure what the final cost will be.  It certainly took time and effort. It also costs money to pay for upgrades or to find replacements in the case of WordLookup, that was a good program for people who have studied more than one foreign language.  I’m not sure what I’ll replace that with, probably several apps will be required…

The license for Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac is long and convoluted…  Yes me and my sister upgraded to Office 2011.  My mom is probably best staying where she is, as her old games she still plays, me I’m on a vacation from video games and the only one I’ve played this year on my Mac is Civilization V.

Office is making me shut down Opera in order to continue the update/install WTF libraries do those two programs share?

Damn it!  Now WordPress has gone and lost some of my post.  Today has been a shitty day, all because I decided to update to Mac OS X Lion.

I can’t remember what I typed exactly.  I’m getting more and more bitter about the whole upgrade experience, not to mention all the time and money it costs.  After downloading Microsoft Office 2011, I had to update it again which was another 300+ megs to download.  It appears I have a good Internet connection at home, as I certainly have downloaded a lot of stuff today.  Shaw probably thinks I’m pirating movies or downloading porn, but when they look at the sources, it is all legitimate domains and legally paid for software.

WordPress and more particularly how I use WordPress may need overhauling.  I’ve been guest blogging and my install looks more archaic and definitely non-standard.  I’m going to have to update my theme, though I’m running almost the latest WordPress version, it and a bunch of plugins want me to upgrade some more.  I’m sick of upgrading for features I don’t need or want, when bugs I find are not getting fix.  I use a lot of software loyally and lately it just doesn’t seem to be worth it…

I want the upgrades to end and I don’t want to be blogging anymore.  I’m hungry, it is 7:30 PM I have other things I’d rather be doing with my time.  Why won’t my blog preview? Why did Apple take away the little arrows in browsing windows, I used those little arrows!

One of the first things I noticed about Mac OS X Lion is it made the documents on my desktop bigger.  I looked in the system settings and couldn’t find one to reverse that.  The more I use Mac OS X 10.7 the more annoyed I become.  I haven’t even tried any of the gee whiz features, I’m still trying to get my computer so I can do the work I was doing yesterday…  Remember when computers were about doing work, rather than gee whiz UI features?

I’m publishing this post then getting away from my computer.  I’ll try to resume working on my Word and Excel documents tomorrow maybe…


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