The Things I Like About Mountain Lion

I downloaded Mountain Lion the day it came out and have been working with it since. I also read a great eBook on my iPad, OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion and OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion Server Review by Wayne Dixon, that has helped me get up to speed on our latest OS.

I was also fortunate enough to be present for a Skype presentation by Mr. Dixon that was very helpful. The ebook is only US$2.99 downloaded from Apple's iBooks. I feel like I am ahead of the game and ready to share the things I like best about our newest operating system.

Save As

All together now, join me in a rousing chorus of “Oh Happy Day.” Save As is back for Apple's O X apps. You have to know the secret code to get to it, but nevertheless, it is back. To access it, just hold down the Option key at the same time you choose File from the Menu. The Duplicate option will change to Save As. 

Save As feature

How Save As works varies with the applications you are using. In Pages it seems your only option is to save as a Microsoft Word document copy using the Save As option. On the other hand, it works great if you want to save your existing document to a new location, such as a folder. 

In Text Edit you will have several choices, depending on what apps you have on your computer, but your original document will no longer exist in its original format. You won’t get an original rtf and a duplicate, just the new document in the new format.

You have more options with images. If you start with an image saved in .png format and Save As in .jpg format, you will end up with two distinct images, one a png and one a jpg. With images you also have several formats from which to choose. 

These are your options for the Save As feature. Some readers, like me, will find it a perfect solution while others may still not have what they want. I would encourage you to experiment with different apps and see what you get.

Installing Mountain Lion

Installing Mountain Lion, the latest operating system for the Mac, was the easiest installation so far. There were no problems during the installation or after it. The steps I followed were:

  • I backed up my hard drive as a precaution.
  • I opened Disk Utility, selected the First Aid tab, clicked on my hard drive, and clicked the Repair Disk Permissions button. I let it run it course and when I got the message “Permissions repair complete”, I closed Disk Utility. The quickest way to get to Disk Utility is to enter Disk Utility in the Spotlight field.

Disk Utility window

  • Then I downloaded Mountain Lion. It appeared as an icon on my desktop. (Before I did anything else, I copied it to an external hard drive because I can legally use that same copy on any other Macs in my possession. Once I install Mountain Lion on my computer, the opportunity to save the installation icon is gone.)
  • To install Mountain Lion I moved that installation icon from my desktop to the Applications folder and clicked it to begin the installation process.
  • I sat back and waited. It takes a while. Don’t get impatient.
  • When the installation finished, I opened Disk Utility and ran Repair Disk Permissions again.


In my opinion the very best part of Notifications is that every time I get an email or message from Message, or a scheduled event from iCal comes due, I get a small banner that slides onto my desktop at the top right of my desktop. The banner only stays a few seconds, but it tells me who the message is from and several words of the content. This lets me decide if I need to stop working and answer immediately or let it wait until I have more time. And, it does not send me notices for anything that goes in my junk folder.

There will also be a new icon on your menu that will let you view all your notifications at once should you wish.

Notifications icon

Click on this icon and your desktop screen will move to the left and any items you have not already reviewed will be listed for you in the Notifications Center. Since it is not possible to do a screen capture of this I took the following photo to try and demonstrate how it works.

Image of notification window

The preferences for Notifications are found in the System Preferences folder. As can be seen in the following image preferences can be set for several applications. I don’t use FaceTime or Game Center, so I marked None for them. For all the rest I marked Banners and I am all set. For those who do participate in Internet gaming push notifications originate from a remote server to Mountain Lion and can alert to to such things as updates on a game.


Notifications preference window

If you have an application that has notifications enabled, it will automatically add itself to the list of Notification-enabled applications.


Last, but not least, is Messages, which is a more sophisticated version of iChat. All of the old iChat features are still there, and you still have access to your Buddies list, but it does a lot more for you now. There is a typing indicator that lets you know that someone is typing. As mentioned above, you will be notified when you receive a Message.

You can use Message to chat with Google Chat or Yahoo users. The thing I like best is that I can use Message on my Mac to send a message to my daughter on her iPad or her iPhone and we can switch back and forth in the middle of conversations from one piece of equipment to another.

I urge you to try Mountain Lion if your computer will handle the new OS. There is a lot of new stuff to make your computing experience even more enjoyable.