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Tracking the Lion

Tracking the Lion
by Gary Woods

Apple has been on quite a ride lately. The newest addition to their arsenal is Lion, OSX 10.7. Unlike my usual modus operandi, I upgraded on the first day of release. I upgraded 4 machines ranging from a 1st generation Intel MacBook with a Boot Camp partition running Windows XP to a 27" iMac with an i7 chip and didn't have a bit of trouble with any of them. Overall the roll out went very smoothly with some noticeable exceptions but for something this big the transition has been great.

There's a lot to get your head around with Lion from Launch Pad to Mission Control to updates for iCal, Address Book and Mail but the one thing that really jumps out at me is if you want to get the most out of this operating system you need to either be on a newer MacBook with a Trackpad or have a Magic Trackpad for your Desktop box. Your old mouse, no matter how cool it is won't unleash all the magic of Lion.

From the 3 finger drag or push, the 2 finger scroll, the 2 finger pinch zoom and the navigation swipe, the track pad is the way to go. Most of the gestures are intuitive but there are some that seem to have been constructed from whole cloth. One of the oddest things for me to get used to is in Lion if you pull down on a scroll bar you go to the top of the page which is what occurs in iOS. But the good news is if that makes you crazy you can go to System Preferences and reverse that little jewel.

These gestures obviously come out of iOS used on the iPad, iPhone and the iPad Touch so Mac users that started on those devices shouldn't have any trouble getting used to the new OS. For those of us who have been using Macs for a while it's a bit more or a learning curve however. So if you're going to take the leap into the Lion Jungle my recommendation is to go out and get a Magic Trackpad, you'll love it.

If you have any suggestions or questions for me please drop me a note at or see my column on the Internet at or call me at (805) 729-0910

Gary Woods is the Computer Trainer for the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. And he is a Broker/Associate at Home Realty & Investments, Inc