I posted this information on macupdate a couple of days ago. To date, I haven't found any solutions to any of the problems listed below.
At the moment, the preferred solution involves a large hammer and small pieces of what was a MBP 13"...
Any insights, solutions and assistance welcomed!
Edited post follows:
The train smash that is Lion…
Here is an inventory of several days problems, frustrations and brick walls that I have encountered in what can only be described as a train smash, ie OS X Lion.
Before all the mac fan-boys flame me for daring to criticise Lion, these comments are provided constructively - if anyone has solutions to any/all of them, I am sure that others will be as grateful as I would be.
As a long time Mac user (since the mid 1980s), I have extensive experience and expertise with all flavours of Mac OS since the days of System 6. I have collated these notes (a) to identify common problems that many are encountering, and (b) in the vain hope that someone at Apple (and Microsoft) might actually read them and think about their user base. I installed Lion first on Mini (2010) and all went ok, so I installed on MBP 13" with 4gb RAM.
The major issues/problems/brick walls are:
1. Massive problems with my wireless connection. I have a 2nd generation Airport Extreme BS running wireless network. Under Snow Leopard, it was an 802.11n only network. Lion fails to see the network and I have had to alter the wireless settings to 802.11n (b/g compatible) before Lion would connect. This has seen a decrease in the transmit rate from 300 to 130 (at best), with a massive increase in transfer times for large (50 – 150mb) files on the network. Many people elsewhere here reporting similar loss of wireless connectivity. OS X Daily lists a number of solutions but none worked for me: http://osxdaily.com/2011/07/22/wifi-dropping-in-os-x-lion-fixes/
2. Dropouts on wireless common. When the network dropped in the middle of file transfers to drives mounted via the BS, it hangs the Finder. Comprehensively. A hard reboot required and the much-vaunted ‘restore’ feature didn’t. The setting for ‘restart when crash’ was merely a decoration as it had no effect on the behaviour of the mac.
There are so many problems with the Finder, it deserves its own category of destruction and mayhem. Two biggies, also reported elsewhere here but no solutions posted:
1. The Lion Finder List View of a folder has a minimum window size that is 11 lines (files/folders) deep. So if you have a folder with one file, in list view, you get 10 blank lines – a massive waste of space on any machine/screen, and especially so on a 13" Macbook. My default setting is to see file name, modify date and file size – in list view, this takes up approximately 10% of my screen real estate, even if there is only 1 file in the folder!
Score 1/10 because not everyone uses a 27” screen.
2. The finder fails to remember any settings for folders’ views. Some of my folders are set for list view, some for icons, depending on what I am working with. Finder throws away all my preferences and settings and decides all are to be viewed in a randomly-sized window in icon view that has absolutely no bearing or relation with what I had set. My settings are lost within a short period of time – I don’t need to sleep or shut down, Finder just decides that my settings were optional and discards them.
I NEED to have multiple folders in view simultaneously - the Finder-that-wants-to-be-an-iPad can't do what I need.
Fonts and Font Book
Between MS Office and Lion, there are almost 500 fonts on my computer. It may sound crazy, but I don’t need the hundreds of Asian fonts, I don’t go to the www.Swahili-Times.com and I don’t need the various flavours of chinese. I use around 40 fonts for my work.
Ok, so FontBook allows me to switch the fonts off I don’t use – except FontBook sits there for 2 minutes (timed) with the spinning beachball while does something, I know not what. I have a font collection of the 370+ fonts I disable. It takes 4 to 5 minutes to disable them. They show up as disabled then FontBook resumes spinning its ball. If I dare to click on another collection, another 2-3 minutes of spinning before the contents are displayed.
A recent behaviour I have now seen multiple times - when I click from one collection to another, all the font collections I have disappear from the list on the left hand side. I have to re-boot FontBook to see them again. This is repeatable.
I have stopped trying set my personal preferences for the system prefs – most don’t stick/survive through a sleep or restart. Sound settings, sleep settings, screen saver settings etc etc all random, irrespective of what I set. Amazing to watch preferences un-set themselves while watching pref panes open... Lion Finder/System has a mind of its own!!
An issue from the past has returned – I used to have problems with Spotlight CONSTANTLY re-indexing my HD under SL. As soon as it was finished, it would resume. Easy solution – disable Spotlight. I dared to think it might be improved under Lion. Alas, the re-indexing is continuous and I am sure I can cook eggs soon on my mac, its so hot - no longer a 'lap'-top.
Under Lion, Word’s behaviour seems to have worsened in a manner not mentioned on the MS web page listing known issues with Lion. MS Word loves to spawn swap files, even if there are no word files open. Just sitting there, Word spawns 128 or 256 megs of swap files within 3 to 4 minutes of being opened. If I should dare to open a file, the body count starts at 256 megs and advances rapidly. All this when Word is the ONLY app open and I have 4 gigs of RAM, with more than 2gigs of RAM FREE! My opinion of Word can only improve into the future because it can’t possibly get worse.
I am sure there is more fun to come as I delve further into Lion, but after 6 days of this, I am regretting installing Lion and I wouldn't wish this train smash on anyone.