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July 23, 2011

Mac OS 10.7 Lion – What Software Works and Doesn’t Work

I know I shouldn’t have done it but I did anyway.  I’ve been a beta tester years ago for PC Tools and even Windows 95 (It wasn’t my fault…).  Being on the bleeding edge is fun and upgrading to the latest and greatest software is always exciting, until stuff starts not working.

Rewind to last week when Apple rolled out their newest Mac operating system 10.7 or Lion.  The OS only costs $29.99 so the price is attractive enough to click the Buy button in the App store.  The upgrade was through the App Store.  Pretty simple to download the installation file and get started.

The previous upgrades I went through with Apple I had no issues whatsoever.  Not so this time.

This is a major update

Apple really wants to move the OS towards the portable devices with gestures.  I suppose a lot has to change under the hood for this to happen.  Many things have changed in Lion.  Overall I’m happy with it.  I have a lot of software installed on my iMac and nearly all of it is unaffected.  The only programs I have that have hiccuped are:

  • Telestream Episode 5 and Episode 6 (they are releasing an update in August so I can run Episode again)
  • Briksoftware’s Camouflage which hides your desktop icons
  • Intego’s VirusBarrier X6  ( )  They say Lion compatible on their website so I might be able to get this to work.  Not sure yet.
  • Disk Inventory X ( )
  • VMWare Fusion 3.1.2 (for running a virtual Windows OS.  At caused a Kernal Panic during the update to 3.1.3 and I had to reboot.  3.1.3 did NOT install.
Ok.. What’s working?

Overall most of my software is working.  I can use Handbrake and Compressor while I wait for Episode 6 to get updated.  VirusBarrier probably isn’t as critical on a Mac due to FreeBSD’s enhanced security anyway.  I have a Windows computer next to my iMac so VM Ware Fusion rarely gets run.  The main thing that annoyed me was Camouflage.  I REALLY got used to a very clean desktop.   I did find a way to take care of this problem:

How to hide your Mac OS desktop icons

This is from a post in 2009 but it still works
  1. Go to “Applications” and find the “Utilities” folder, then the “Terminal” application
  2. Enter the following in Terminal:
    defaults write CreateDesktop -bool false
  3. Enter the following in Terminal to kill Finder and have the changes take effect:
    killall Finder
  4.  You’re done!
To show your icons again:
  1. Open “Terminal” again
  2. Enter the following in Terminal:
    defaults write CreateDesktop -bool true 
  3. Enter the following in Terminal to kill Finder and have the changes take effect:
    killall Finder
  4. You’re done!
I guess I don’t really need Camouflage, but it’s so easy to use!
Overall Lion is the same but different than Snow Leopard.  There are some interesting changes and I’m sure I’ll grow to like over time.  I’ll write more about it as I kick the tires.
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Tom Nunamaker

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Max - July 24, 2011 Reply

Camouflage: you have to upgrade to version 2.0.1 (it’s the full version, the free version is non longer supported). I’ve bought it in the Mac App Store and it works like a charm.

    Tom Nunamaker - July 24, 2011 Reply

    Hi Max,

    Thanks for the heads up! I went to their website and didn’t see that the latest version works with Lion. I’m torn now though as I have that super easy Terminal code to switch my icons on/off. Since I don’t switch it on/off much (I leave it off), I think I might pass on camouflage if I have to pay for it. Does the paid version have any other features to make it worth paying for it?

Gabriel U. - July 28, 2011 Reply

Terminal doesn’t save/remember when you change the default theme. I can’t get it to open with the “Pro” (black window).

Mark Storm - August 1, 2011 Reply

Hi Tom,

MM9 for Mac isn’t running smoothly at all. It’s constantly crashing and quite a lot of functionalities don’t work at all. Mindjet is aware of this and will release a service pack on August 16th.

Regards, Mark

    Tom Nunamaker - August 1, 2011 Reply

    Hi Mark,

    I hardly use Mindjet MindManager 9. Thanks for the heads up!

Ashley Karyl - August 1, 2011 Reply

I’ve been hit by Episode Pro’s lack of compatibility with Lion as well, which is how I found your site while looking for a solution. In my case I have version 5.3.2 and for the amount I use Episode it isn’t worth upgrading but I may just install 10.6 on a spare drive with Episode for when it’s needed. I certainly wouldn’t want to be without it bearing in mind what it cost me and how useful it is when you need to do a batch of video conversions. I am surprised really that it is so badly affected bearing in mind the lack of problems with most other apps.

    Tom Nunamaker - August 1, 2011 Reply

    Hi Ashley!

    Episode (both version 5 and 6) close almost immediately for me when I open them so something is REALLY not happy with Lion. I’m looking forward to the update. Telestream told me “Episode 6.2 will work with Lion. It will be released in August.”

    It’s August.

    We’re waiting 🙂

    Thankfully Handbrake works for now, but I miss Episode….

      Ashley Karyl - August 1, 2011 Reply

      Episode will open for me but I am finding that it crashes with remarkable ease when I try to select any of the compression settings on the left hand side. I can just about use the H264 settings because that folder happened to be open already but if I attempt to open any other folder it crashes instantly. I am just wondering if this might be one of those cases where deleting preferences or even re-installing might just fix matters.

      The other app that seems to be slightly unhappy is Dragon Dictate 2.5. It still works but recognition accuracy seems to have decreased compared to snow leopard and it’s making a few fundamental errors suddenly like “Dragon Dictate 2 point 5”. There are a few other minor glitches that I am hoping will be resolved before too long.

      I noticed you are having problems with VMWare but Parallels 6 is working well for me running Windows 7.

        Tom Nunamaker - August 2, 2011 Reply

        I’m just leaving Episode alone until 6.2 is released.

        I don’t use VMWare Fusion often as I have a Windows 7 machine sitting next to my iMac (gasp!) I have a lot of trading applications that are windows only and it’s simpler for me to have a dedicated windows machine for when I have to run a windows program, even though, I have 12GB of Ram in my iMac and can give a virtual OS more Ram than my physical computer. Why burdened my poor old iMac? 🙂

Sean D'Souza - October 17, 2011 Reply

Most of my stuff is working. But admittedly it’s now mid-October 🙂

    Tom Nunamaker - October 17, 2011 Reply

    Hi Sean!

    Me too.. the one biggie that isn’t is Telestream Episode. They keep saying it’ll be ready “soon” but soon never comes. It reminds me of the gold vendors in Riyadh .. “this is free tomorrow, but today it costs _____”

Lyder - November 4, 2011 Reply

Lion has f…ud all my software, biggest regret since the first time i had sex.. i’m thinking about buying a PC and dropping these assholes, glad that guy died, sorry, i missed an important deadline ’cause of him, no pun intended.

    Tom Nunamaker - November 4, 2011 Reply

    I understand your frustration. I have a windows computer sitting next to my Mac. What software isn’t working that caused you to miss a deadline?

Lyder - November 4, 2011 Reply


Lyder - November 4, 2011 Reply

Hey a person! how are you dude? yeah i missed a deadline and I’m pissed out of my mind, silly me thinking i could record a song on a new OS on a software, not really

    Tom Nunamaker - November 4, 2011 Reply

    Hi Lyder,

    I’m fine.. I sent you and my son, Spencer, an email. Spencer is a senior at Berklee College of Music in Boston as a film scoring major. Spencer can probably help with Logic and a Mac. Spencer’s website is

Lyder - November 4, 2011 Reply

oh F…ing nevermind, Apple think they are sooooo almighty (i’ve worked with apple products since the 1996) but how can they be so blind if not on purpose? I take this as a big FU to their customers. Believe me, nobody has drivers for Lion

Lyder - November 4, 2011 Reply

Hey man good screenplay Tunes! Kuddos!

Daniel - November 10, 2011 Reply

to hide and unhide desktop icons i just use a simple script.. i use a spark script writer so i can make a simple hotkey to show or hide them in a second..

long story short.. download spark.
open spark and add a new AppleScript hotkey
name one “appear icons” and the other “hide icons”

appear script:
do shell script “defaults write CreateDesktop -bool true”
do shell script “killall Finder”

hide script:
do shell script “defaults write CreateDesktop -bool false”
do shell script “killall Finder”

make up whatever hotkey you would like

make sure you click the “start spark deamon” button before you quit spark… you never ever have to worry about it again.

GMC - November 27, 2011 Reply

Dear Lyder,

My recommendation would be to wait about 6 mo next time and before installing new software, confirm that what you really need to use is (by then) compatible. A new OS on any computer will likely have problems with old software. I’m still running snow leopard and just came across this blog researching compatibility of my programs. My wife’s computer is already running Lion, but she doesn’t have all the apps I have, so it’s no problem and she NEEDS the cloud…

    Tom Nunamaker - November 27, 2011 Reply

    That’s good advice. I’m a developer and can’t resist the shiny new OS… I was even one of the Windows 95 Beta testers (but don’t tell anyone…).

    I should have waited to upgrade. I didn’t get that many new benefits but more headaches. Unless there is something you NEED in an OS upgrade (unlikely), most folks are best off to wait six months (or more). When I was in the US Air Force, they NEVER let us install a new OS until it had gone through extensive testing. By the time the testing was done, there was usually a Service pack out already.

ChannelDerek - March 4, 2012 Reply

Ummmm.. My DAW is running fine on snow leo.
Why upgrade now??
Clients don’t care what OS you run.

    Tom Nunamaker - March 12, 2012 Reply

    I’m a glutton for punishment…always running on the bleeding edge. 🙂

Jeff Holton - March 15, 2012 Reply

I recognize this is an old post, but I just wanted to point out that there’s a Universal Beta of Disk Inventory X here:

Philip - May 24, 2012 Reply

Who are these new assholes at Apple who gave us Lion and throw out the best OS to date by ANYONE? It needed improvement. The toilet need tweaking too.

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