A Few Tips for OS X 10.7 "Lion"

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As noted in my last post, I've made the jump to Lion. Overall, it's pretty good. I've already noticed that it's a bit zippier than it's predecessor (Snow Leopard). That said, there are a few quirks that require customizing back to what I consider a bit more sane. I'll try to update this list as I find other options since I've still not discovered how to fix a few things (noted later).

First up, before you install Lion, make sure you have an 8+ GB USB drive handy if you'd like to make a bootable USB installer (highly recommended!). Lion does not yet come with installation media, and given my negative experiences with Snow Leopard (various hardware failures, repairing disks, needing to do a system restore, etc.), I think it's still important to have it.

"Make a Bootable Mac OS X 10.7 Lion Installer from a USB Flash Drive"

Next up, a few tweaks...

The first thing I noticed was Spotlight doing a fresh indexing... I probably should have let it run, but overall I find Spotlight more annoying than useful. You can run Terminal and disable it by running: sudo mdutil -a -i off

Next up, you may immediately notice that scrolling on the trackpad or with a wheel mouse is "backwards" now. You can fix this by launching System Preferences, clicking Mouse, and de-selecting the checkbox for "Move content in the direction of finger movement when scrolling or navigating"

I use Apple's email client (Mail or Mail.app) for work email. There were a couple big changes that needed fixing. First, if your mailbox sidebar isn't visible, click on "Show" on the left side of the menu bar.

Next, to reduce the mailbox sidebar font size, go to System Preferences, click General and change "Sidebar icon size" to small

If you're like me and prefer the preview pane below your message list, then you can revert back to that setting. Within Mail.app, go to Preferences -> Viewing and check the box for "Use classic layout"

One really annoying behavior that I noticed was that you have to close each window before closing an application itself, otherwise when you launch that application it will automagically restore itself to your last known content or page. So, in Safari, if I Control-Q quit the application after watching a show on Netflix, then Safari would re-open in exactly that spot when I launched it again. This is ANNOYING. TextEdit and Word, for example, kept re-opening closed documents when what I really wanted was a new, blank document. Luckily, you can disable this behavior!

"Disable Mac OS X Lion Resume & App Window Restore Completely"

I had a moment of panic this morning when I got to work and found that TrueCrypt wouldn't/couldn't open my encrypted volumes containing work data that I needed. It turns out that MacFUSE isn't really up-to-date for Lion yet. There's rumored to be a new release in the offing called OSXFUSE, but no ETA on that. Luckily, there's an updated version of MacFUSE for download. More info at:
http://www.metalguitarist.org/forum/computers-electronics-gaming/35038-osx-lion-truecrypt-fix-7-0a.html

Here's a good list of tweaks, including how to disable flying window behaviors all over the place:
"Hackinations: 5 really good Lion tweaks"

lifehacker also has an informative post on tweaking Lion:
"How to De-iOS-ify Mac OS X Lion"

Unresolved:
- Netflix controls in Safari don't work on external display

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Turning on encryption for backup disks is non destructive, Time Machine will encrypt your existing backups.

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