The JK Buzz 9.13.2011, in this edition...
OS X 10.7 Lion: Lion update news, JK recommendations for running Lion in Education, Another option for installing Lion, Lion’s lockfile preference feature explained, How to use Lion’s Versions feature
Mac OS X: Ending Memory Slot Utility alerts
OS X 10.7 Lion
Lion update news
Apple released a Mac OS X 10.7.1 update on 9/16/11, their first patch for Lion. This small update (17MB) includes a handful of bugs identified before Lion was released, including improved Airport reliability and updated video drivers.
The next major update to Lion, 10.7.2, is currently in beta testing. It is expected to fix dozens of major outstanding issues, in addition to introducing Apple’s new iCloud feature.
One expected fix in the forthcoming Mac OS X 10.7.2 update should be to address the major security loophole discovered with Macs running Lion bound to LDAP servers, where after the user logs in and then back out, subsequent logins can gain access to LDAP protected services by leaving the password blank or entering any username/password combo.
Another expected fixes should address glitchy application and Finder Windows, and the black screen of death (previously covered in the 8/10/11 JK Buzz).
JK recommendations for Lion in Education
I was asked recently what my recommendations were for schools who are thinking “Mac OS X 10.7 Lion – What do we do about this”. Below was my response (the majority could also be applied to creative/design agencies)…
If your school has recently purchased new Macs that shipped with Lion, you’ve got to make the best of it. Downgrading to Snow Leopard will void the warranty.
If your school doesn’t already have Macs running Lion, you should install it on at least one Mac and begin testing it with your school’s software, network, servers, printers, and peripherals. It is highly likely you will find incompatibilities/issues, and the sooner you know about them the sooner you can strategize a solution.
Upgrading in mass older compatible Macs to Lion should be avoided until at least several updates from Apple are released. Lion is currently at version 10.7.1. Previously it has taken Apple 3-4 updates to “get things right”. Snow Leopard wasn’t widely considered stable until 10.6.4, and Leopard has serious problems until 10.5.3 was released. Lion is no different, and I don’t see the any major benefit by rushing into it.
One benefit of upgrading in mass older compatible Macs to Lion is to get all the Macs running on the same operating system, so one base image can be created and deployed. This of course only makes since if you’ve purchased new Macs that shipped with Lion... and if you go down this path this early in the game, you are accepting the risks of being an early adaptor. It’s very possible your students/facility will experience down time while you troubleshooting undiscovered issues, which ultimately will be fixed by future updates from Apple or third-party vendors.
An education volume license of Lion costs $29.99 per seat, with a minimum order of 20 seats...
Another option for installing Lion
Apple is now selling an OS X Lion USB Thumb drive for $69, which allows you to install Lion without the requirement of purchasing/downloading it from the Mac App store. It is marketed to those “who do not have broadband internet access at home, school or work”.
This bootable USB based Lion installer legally requires that the Mac you are installing it on already is running Mac OS X 10.6.6 or later, but it has been reported that you can install Lion on supported Macs previously running Leopard if you reformat the Mac’s boot drive first.
Installing Lion using this USB Thumb drive will not create the Recovery Partition, which is a unique feature of the Lion download from the Mac App Store.
Lion’s lockfile preference feature explained
Lion has a new lockfile feature that prevents more than one application from simultaneously modifying the same preference .plist file, therefore preventing potential .plist file corruption. When this mechanism kicks in, you’ll find filed ending in plist.lockfile in the ~/Library/Preferences and /Library/Preferences folders.
How to use Lion’s Versions feature
You may have heard about Lion’s new Versions feature, which is currently supported by iWorks apps and Preview… but have you tried to use it yet? If you haven’t, chances are you won’t find it right away even if you look for it really hard. To use Versions, you must first open the document/file, click on its name in the title bar, then select “Browse All Versions”. This will take you into Apple’s Star Field interface (think Time Machine), where you browse the different versions of the document/file.
Mac OS X
Ending Memory Slot Utility alerts
If every time you boot your Mac, the Memory Slot Utility opens with an alert stating “Memory modules are installed in the recommended slots”, perform these steps to prevent this from reoccurring: Enable the root user (if not already enabled), log into OS X using the root user account, close the Memory Slot Utility when the alert comes up, then reboot. This issue has been reported with Mac OS X 10.5-10.7, and appears to be caused by the Memory Slot Utility (located in /System/Library/CoreServices) not having permissions to clear the message.
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