My experience with the OS X 10.7 Lion upgrade…

So I decided to upgrade my Macs to Lion. Ever fearful of Murphy’s Law, I decided to use my MacBook Pro as the test subject–even though this is the one Mac upon which I most depend.

First things first, I create an up-to-the-minute bootable backup1 and verify that the backup is, in fact, bootable.

Second, the nagging question: upgrade or “clean install”. Well, let me first give you a little background information about my MacBook Pro and how I use it:

  • My MBP is >4 years old (yeah, yeah, I know… but, in my defense, a 2.33 GHz Core 2 Duo with 4 GB of RAM is–still–not exactly what you’d call a “slow” computer…) ,
  • The only “clean install” of any OS ever made on this MBP occurred when it was originally built and boxed,
  • The OS on this MBP has already been upgraded twice (from Tiger to Leopard, and from Leopard to Snow Leopard),
  • My MBP is absolutely my work horse computer. It is the computer that I “try things” on, from downloaded apps to custom settings to terminal hacks, etc. And, there have been hundreds and hundreds of apps that I’ve downloaded, installed and deleted over the years and not all have been deleted with the help of the excellent AppDelete by Reggie Ashworth.

Now, this is probably just an instance of me “thinking like a Windows user”2, but at this point I’m seriously considering doing a “clean install” of Lion. Honestly, though, the thought of reinstalling everything just makes me want to forget about Lion completely. So, I figure I’ll give the upgrade a try first–what the heck, I have my verified bootable backup, so what’s the risk?

So I download Lion from the App Store, the installer basically just asks me to authenticate (there are no installation options to speak of). Roughly 30 minutes later, I hear the Mac startup sound and BINGO–I’m running Lion.

Best of all, there are no incompatibilities reported. So, I download the Lion version of Xcode 4.2 Developer Preview 4, install it over the Snow Leopard version already installed, and I’m done.

My take on the whole experience is this: The Lion upgrade was the simplest and most trouble-free OS upgrade I’ve ever experienced on any platform.

yeah, in a minute…
1 Please don’t think that I make a backups–bootable or otherwise–only when upgrading my OS. I have a comprehensive backup strategy in place and you should too, but alas that topic is way beyond the scope of this post…
2 “Thinking like a Windows user” is one of unfortunate byproducts of being a multi-platform professional software developer…
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