The Lion mewls tonight

It was with great eagerness that I awaited Lion's release. I have a new, 2011, MacBook Pro on which I want a clean 10.7 installation. I'd been waiting months to take it out of the box and set it up, so I was giddy when I got the time to do that last Saturday.

I soon hit my first hurdle: Mac App Store-only delivery. Ugh. What a rotten way to deliver an operating system. Anyone who's downloaded anything from the MAS knows how slow it is (especially when compared to logging into one's Mac dev account and downloading from there). Solution: Patience. If I were patient, though, I wouldn't have a 50Mbps connection. Bah.

Then, the second hurdle: creating a bootable disc of the downloaded installation files, so that I could format the startup disk and install Lion. This was easy: there's a helpful article over on osxdaily.com. While burning, Disk Utility displayed some checksum validation errors and the burn failed. I tried again, this time just disabling the validation instead of troubleshooting.

Finally, I was ready. I took the laptop out of its box, plugged it in, booted from the Lion DVD, formatted the startup disk, and began the Lion installation. A little while later, the installation was just about done, when it popped up an error:

Can't download the additional components need to install Mac OS X

Well, crap. Googling the error resulted in mostly torrent and non-English sites, proving to me that this isn't a common problem. I'm just lucky that way, I guess. I thought maybe ignoring the checksum verification was a mistake and the disc was bad, so I went back and created a bootable USB flash drive with the help of another osxdaily.com article. No dice, same error.

Next, I thought I would make sure that there were no issues with my Internet connection. I clicked the link to check online help in the Lion installer and, when Safari launched, visited a random site. No problem, there. I've pretty much avoided learning anything about home networks over the past 25 or so years of computing, so at this point I looked to see if anyone was around on IM whom I could ask for help. My friend and colleague, Stu, suggested I use a wired connection instead of Wi-Fi. Okey-doke, so I tried that. That didn't help, either.

I grudgingly cried "uncle" and used the Snow Leopard disc to install the OS on the computer. After I'd run all the updates and saw that there were some firmware updates installed, I thought that maybe a clean installation would work now (why yes, I do revisit the fridge and expect its contents to change, so?). Anyway, it didn't, so I'm stuck with a Snow Leopard installation upgraded to Lion.

This means I'll be buying one of Apple's pre-loaded USB keys, when they're available, thereby paying twice for something that—as a member of the Mac developer programme—I should have gotten for free. (I bought it this first time before discovering that I could get it for free. Oops.) Y'know, I'm all for progress, but it really shouldn't be this difficult. This was the most frustrating OS installation experience I've had since Windows NT, or maybe one of the Linux flavours I tried 10-12 years ago.

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My name is Nik

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