When you are a writer or author and you have just created a new scene or a chapter. It was one of those sessions where you got into the zone and the words just flowed like rain on a British bank holiday Monday. What you don’t want to happen is for the computer program that you are using to suddenly be affected by something happening on the computer either internally or externally and losing all that you just did. OK as a writer you are always doing re-writes anyway but the special zone you were in, never can be replicated and brought back again. The vitality and the special life that you breathed into that chapter might never be created again. You may get close to it but it is unlikely to have the same emotion because it is now going to be tainted by having to do it again.
OSX Lion Will Save Your Bacon and Your Sanity
Apple is coming to the rescue with new features in OSX Lion that will leave it so that if the electric fails you will only ever lose five minutes work at the most. Just reboot up the computer when the electric company has it fixed and you will have Resume take you back to where you were with the apps all as you left them and also the document will be saved to a point that you will not be pulling your hair out for any reason whatsoever. Won’t that be nice. Autosave will have saved your bacon and your sanity. No more having to think to press Cmd-S every time you remember. Not just writers will love this by the way, whatever you could be working on will be able to benefit from this OSX Lion feature.
Those of us that use Scrivener will already be aware of how handy AutoSave is because when I am working on my writing in the best writers application out there, it saves for me as I go. I can stop writing and within a minute or two the document is saved and I don’t have to think about it. When you are writing you see the black dot in the red traffic light button in the top left corner of the window for Scrivener, stop writing and the dot disappears to indicate that it is saved.
Go Back In Time to the Future – Doc Doc !
Another part of the OSX Lion technology is that if you want to go back to a previous version, like when you opened the file the last time. There will be a drop down menu in the title bar in the middle at the top. Chose Revert to Last Opened and you are back where you started. In the same menu you can choose to Lock in order to prevent any more changes, or make a duplicate, or browse all versions.
Browsing All Versions is a bit like Time Machine
The current document is the main document and all of the changes you made up to that point get saved in a delta type of efficient manner. You can flick back and grab a complete document from the past. Or if you want to get just a small part that was there and you had taken away as you were working, grab what you need and put back into the current doc.
All of these new features that is in OSX Lion AutoSave – Versions – Resume will have a huge effect on users of the Mac and will be something else to make the Mac experience even better. I know how good it is going to be already, since I have been using Scrivener for all my writing and I love the AutoSave feature there.
But – One More thing
The advent of iCloud will bring one more feature, for applications that we have on more than one device, such as having Pages or Keynote on both iOS devices and a couple of Mac computers. When you create a document, iCloud can automagically keep your documents up to date by uploading the document to iCloud and pushing it down to your other iCloud enabled computers. To start with, it is in the Apple applications, but the third party Mac developers have been given the tools to be able to put it into their applications also.
We kind of have that already in the form of DropBox. So when I work in Scrivener everything is automatically being saved into DropBox which also pushes saved things to the DropBox server in the cloud and I can open the file on other machines with Scrivener installed. That won’t be on iOS devices though for some time to come, but I can still work on Scrivener files inside a text editor on the iPad. iCloud gives this capability to lots more applications as part of the operating system.