Siracusa pens longform review of OS X 10.9 Mavericks
October 22, 2013 7:14 PM   Subscribe

 
Safari has FAR fewer hang-ups. It's wonderful.
posted by Rory Marinich at 7:17 PM on October 22, 2013


The eternal question, whether to upgrade from 10.6.8. Siracusa's reviews are in some sense too detailed really to answer this question, but I enjoy reading them; they form a kind of microgenre unto themselves.
posted by escabeche at 7:25 PM on October 22, 2013 [10 favorites]


My Mac is so old (still running 10.5.8) I can't even get the free upgrade. :(
posted by maryr at 7:31 PM on October 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


I was reading that review, which is good, and trying to decide whether to install. I thought, screw it, I can't be bothered reading all this, I'll just do it.

Then, within seconds, it was pointed out on Twitter that Mavericks breaks Qt which is used by RStudio, making it painfully unresponsive, meaning if I'd upgraded I wouldn't have been able to get any work done.

So I guess I'll just wait.
posted by Jimbob at 7:33 PM on October 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


So I guess I'll just wait.

Pretty much gospel for anyone that uses their computer for work.
posted by phaedon at 7:39 PM on October 22, 2013 [20 favorites]


running Mavericks now. The new dual/multiple display features are nice, and the new dock is ugly. My main gripe is that they should've named it OSX Tabby.
posted by localhuman at 7:43 PM on October 22, 2013 [10 favorites]


I am excited and dreading it at the same time. Since I know I'm not even trying to install until late tonight and maybe tomorrow, I'm going to take the time to read the Siracusa review first. (The iOS updates were a breeze, if slow to download.)
posted by immlass at 7:44 PM on October 22, 2013


10.6.8 + FCP 7 and QT 7 for life.
posted by nathancaswell at 7:47 PM on October 22, 2013 [17 favorites]


I have reached that point in life that my mantra is "if it ain't broke, don't fix it"...

Every single mac in this house works just fine, WHY IN THE FUCK WOULD I MESS WITH THAT!?!?!....

...just sayin'
posted by HuronBob at 7:48 PM on October 22, 2013 [9 favorites]


I love how the Finder page of Siracusa's reviews becomes less and less (rightly) strident, and more and more (also rightly) despondent, about the death of the spatial Finder with each new version of OS X. Come OS X 10.12 or so I expect it to be a full page that just says "FTFF yet? Nope."
posted by RogerB at 7:50 PM on October 22, 2013 [7 favorites]


Ah Siracusa. The nerding man's nerd.
posted by device55 at 7:50 PM on October 22, 2013 [10 favorites]


Anybody know why they moved away from cats? There's certainly plenty of big cat species left.
posted by kmz at 7:51 PM on October 22, 2013


That was a really excellent 10 page review, plus another 14 pages worth of text scattered around.
posted by AndrewStephens at 7:51 PM on October 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


I thought this review was significantly less detailed and less insightful than previous reviews. Even the most techy, detailed section (on energy saving) was full of hand-wavy BS.

And for the record:

It's too early to tell if this change will restore Safari's stability, but I can report that I have not seen a single Safari crash or "webpages are not responding" dialog in all my Mavericks testing.

I see the Not Responding message constantly. It appears that fewer tabs are forced to reload than in Safari 6 which reloaded every window and every tab. This is a slight improvement, but this is still the major problem with Safari.
posted by charlie don't surf at 7:54 PM on October 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Nobody wants to talk about it or even admit it, but the internet reached peak cat about 2 years ago.
posted by device55 at 7:54 PM on October 22, 2013 [9 favorites]


I can't upgrade until I have affirmation that Live, Max, and various Native Instruments synths are all good to go, but otherwise all my work happens in the shell so I'm not too worried. Compressing memory pages sounds really cool, although not an entirely new idea.
posted by invitapriore at 7:55 PM on October 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


The battery life improvements are enough reason for me to install once the rush dies down a bit. I doubt I'll get as much of an improvement as he saw on the Macbook Air, but even an hour of extra battery life is well worth the time and trouble of an OS update.
posted by yasaman at 7:58 PM on October 22, 2013


I'm using a 2006 Mac Pro. I can't run this, right?
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:58 PM on October 22, 2013


Will it make my ~2008 MBPro (currently on 10.6.8) run less lap-blisteringly hot, without trying to convince me it ought to be a touch-screen device? If so, I'll consider upgrading; otherwise, meh.

Correspondingly, I wish I could have avoided having Win8 pre-installed on my most recent Wintel laptop. 8.0/8.1 might make a decent touch-screen OS (debatable), but it does absolutely nothing better than Win7 on non-tablet/non-phone devices.
posted by Greg_Ace at 7:58 PM on October 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm not sure why I should upgrade and risk breaking something in Adobe's creative suite
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:01 PM on October 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


non-tablet/non-phone devices

Of which, like I should have to point out, there are still a LOT in circulation.

posted by Greg_Ace at 8:01 PM on October 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


2006 Mac Pros sort of cap out at 10.7, though you can get higher with shenanigans if you're really into it.
posted by squinty at 8:05 PM on October 22, 2013


Ahhh it's not a real OS X upgrade till we get this review. Excellent.
posted by edheil at 8:05 PM on October 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Anybody know why they moved away from cats? There's certainly plenty of big cat species left.

New era. Big cats a Jobs legacy thing. And they wanted to change to "places in California that inspire us."
posted by Celsius1414 at 8:06 PM on October 22, 2013


Will it make my ~2008 MBPro (currently on 10.6.8) run less lap-blisteringly hot, without trying to convince me it ought to be a touch-screen device? If so, I'll consider upgrading; otherwise, meh.

The interface isn't any more touch-screeny, but a lot of the efficiency improvements are inspired by the way iOS does things. Like, applications that aren't in use can be shut down automatically, and sometimes an application that gets quit actually sticks around. And the less power things use the cooler they are, so probably yes.

The big thing for me is memory compression. You can go a lot further before swapping to disk.
posted by vogon_poet at 8:14 PM on October 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


It's almost worth blindly upgrading to get rid of the "linen" alone; but just in case, I've spent the better part of tonight pruning useless shit off my laptop and I'm now making a bootable clone so I can install this and test if FCP7 and Logic9 will still work. If not, it's back to Mountain Lion.
posted by chococat at 8:17 PM on October 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Anybody know why they moved away from cats? There's certainly plenty of big cat species left.

Really? I thought they had run out. What others are there?
posted by rodii at 8:18 PM on October 22, 2013


Adobe has a FAQ about Mavericks compatibility.

I can't find the link now but somewhere in Apple's discussion boards (I believe is where I saw it) no major OS X release has had compatibility issues with CS 2 or later.

My apologies if I just fed the troll.
posted by mistersquid at 8:19 PM on October 22, 2013


Oh yeah, Photoshop. I'm still on CS3 so that would be awesome if it's still compatible, too.
posted by chococat at 8:22 PM on October 22, 2013


Wikipedia's list of big cats is tiger, lion, jaguar, and leopard, plus a "more expansive" definition which includes cougar, cheetah, snow leopard, and clouded leopard (which I had never heard of). So they're stretching it already with puma, panther and mountain lion, since as far as I know puma, cougars, mountain lions and (some) panthers are all more or less the same species.
posted by rodii at 8:26 PM on October 22, 2013


Mavericks managed to give me back about 15GB after installing so that's good.
posted by Memo at 8:29 PM on October 22, 2013 [1 favorite]




So Apple is replacing cats with Top Gun callsigns?
posted by Dr. Zira at 8:36 PM on October 22, 2013 [9 favorites]


WARNING - ADVANCED BITTERNESS INCOMING

Well, that would be all lovely and such, had not Apple abandoned PowerPC, leading developers to abandon PowerPC, like a red headed stepchild, leaving me with a Mac, yes, an old Mac, I am completely afraid to use online due to the complete lack of security updates and a list of licensed software that is out of date and will apparently never be updated.

So, in conclusion, FUCK APPLE IN THEIR WORMY CORE!
posted by Samizdata at 8:39 PM on October 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


I am installing Mavericks on my test box here at work right now. About a minute left.

I have Adobe CS 5.5, Final Cut Pro 7 (Suite 2, 2009), Final Cut X (with Motion 5 and Compressor).

I will report back any problems.
I already started the install on my 2008 MBP 17" at home before I left to come in to work today (I'm not even supposed to be here).

I am hoping when I get home that my Native Instruments stuff still works (it should, accordng to a couple of birds in different trees I've talked to).

Ableton is my main worry, but meh, I have 2 music laptops, and I can get by with my Windows 8 machine for a while if I need to.
posted by daq at 8:39 PM on October 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Samizdata,
Yellow Dog Linux. You can also run a lot of the newer GUI's with all the bells and whistles. Though, finding video cards for those things is a bitch.

(Yes, I have a museum of older G3 and G4 Macs, and I still tinker with them when I'm avoiding doing anything useful).
posted by daq at 8:40 PM on October 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


(Also, fuck them for driving people to have to purchase incremental hardware upgrades on platforms that are completely unmodifiable.)
posted by Samizdata at 8:41 PM on October 22, 2013


I have no problem with switching from cats to California names, but if you're going to do that, why not bump the major version number up to 11, or at least skip over 10.9 to get to an even 10.10? It's not like they're using it to distinguish major and minor releases, and I don't think anyone really thinks of the "X" as the number 10 anymore.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:41 PM on October 22, 2013


So Apple is replacing cats with Top Gun callsigns?

Mavericks
posted by sideshow at 8:42 PM on October 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


daq: "Samizdata,
Yellow Dog Linux. You can also run a lot of the newer GUI's with all the bells and whistles. Though, finding video cards for those things is a bitch.

(Yes, I have a museum of older G3 and G4 Macs, and I still tinker with them when I'm avoiding doing anything useful).
"

Tried it before but had no luck. I will have to try it again. It's sad, as I bought that Mac as a sort of living testament to my deceased stepfather, a huge Apple fan, who got me into computing when I was just a wee lad.
posted by Samizdata at 8:42 PM on October 22, 2013


Well, that would be all lovely and such, had not Apple abandoned PowerPC, leading developers to abandon PowerPC, like a red headed stepchild, leaving me with a Mac, yes, an old Mac, I am completely afraid to use online due to the complete lack of security updates and a list of licensed software that is out of date and will apparently never be updated.

I'm as against incremental hardware creep as the next geek, but the last Power PC was released 7 years ago.
posted by Celsius1414 at 8:43 PM on October 22, 2013 [31 favorites]


Mavericks.
posted by rodii at 8:48 PM on October 22, 2013


I'm pulling at least an extra hour on this old 2009 MBP. Because I'm hitting 5 hours now even using "high performance" graphics (i.e. the 9600M instead of the 9400M).
posted by Talez at 8:50 PM on October 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


but the last Power PC was released 7 years ago

And I have it!
Absolutely no complaints from me; I drove that 12" Powerbook into the ground. Still editing video and recording all my music with it until last summer, when my wife surprised me with a new Macbook Pro. That thing was a fucking workhorse for me; it's still sitting here beside me if I need it.
And I also have a museum of G3's and G4's. Can't seem to get rid of them.
posted by chococat at 8:53 PM on October 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


Mavericks.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 8:57 PM on October 22, 2013


10.10 - GILROY GARLIC, BABY!
posted by GuyZero at 9:00 PM on October 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


Well that's pretty silly, throwing a potty-mouthed tantrum at a company for no longer supporting 7-year old computing device. Why don't you put the poor thing up for sale and out of your misery?

I presently run a PowerMac G5 as a mail/web/file server and I'm quite satisfied with its operation, wormy core notwithstanding.

On a related note, I'd like to inveigh mightily against Nokia for no longer providing firmware upgrades for my 5200.
posted by mistersquid at 9:01 PM on October 22, 2013 [12 favorites]


had not Apple abandoned PowerPC

HAD COMMODORE NOT ABANDONED THE 6502
posted by GuyZero at 9:01 PM on October 22, 2013 [34 favorites]


I drove that 12" Powerbook into the ground.

The 12" G4 Powerbook was about as close to as perfect a laptop as I've ever used. Mine still works, too. Unfortunately my experiences with wife's 2008 Macbook and OS X post 10.4 have put me off buying another.
posted by junco at 9:04 PM on October 22, 2013 [7 favorites]


68040 for life.
posted by schwa at 9:07 PM on October 22, 2013 [9 favorites]


6502 also ran the Atari 400/800, and knowing this now makes me a wee bit geekier than before.
posted by davejay at 9:13 PM on October 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


my biggest question is, have they fixed iTunes? after getting stuck with crapfest that is iTunes 11.3 i vowed never to update my operating system because i'm sure whatever comes next will be even worse.
posted by Conrad-Casserole at 9:16 PM on October 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


68040 for life.

The 40 stands for 40MHz processor, bitch. You just reminded me that I shelled out $5,500 for a Quadra 840AV. 500MB of disk space but that's what I had the Jaz drive fo' holllllla
posted by phaedon at 9:18 PM on October 22, 2013 [9 favorites]


I agree with Siracusa that Snow Leopard was the one that felt like OS X at its peak. 10.6 was the master of all it surveyed, not that the versions that came after didn't see it fit to survey more. It was so fast and fully-realized. And internally, GCD seemed like a fantastic gift to developers, especially if you've messed with concurrency on Windows.

I installed Mavericks this evening. Seems fine, nothing has jumped out at me yet.
posted by ignignokt at 9:18 PM on October 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


Not sure about the new Mac version of iTunes released today, but here's my experience with the PC version.

The new iTunes sounded like crap until I realized they turn on the Equalizer by default. Turn off the Equalizer, trust me.

It feels a lot faster. As in, it doesn't feel dog slow anymore.
posted by Yowser at 9:22 PM on October 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


my biggest question is, have they fixed iTunes? after getting stuck with crapfest that is iTunes 11.3 i vowed never to update my operating system...

You'll be pleased to discover that there is now a checkbox to disable crapfest mode.

What problem(s) are you having with iTunes?
posted by good in a vacuum at 9:22 PM on October 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


good in a vacuum: You can't be serious. iTunes and the way it (fails to/kind of sort of/wtf is it doing?) syncs with iDevices is, all around, a disaster.
posted by Yowser at 9:24 PM on October 22, 2013


after getting stuck with crapfest that is iTunes 11.3

iTunes is only at 11.1.2. It was in the software update today, but outside of Mavericks.
posted by birdherder at 9:24 PM on October 22, 2013


I haven't synced my iPhone with my MacBook since iTunes Match came out two years ago, so I may have missed out on any syncing difficulties that others have experienced.

My intention was to provide anecdotal experience on the new version of iTunes (since I upgraded to Mavericks this morning), and was looking for more details on the concerns people have about iTunes.
posted by good in a vacuum at 9:28 PM on October 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


The 40 stands for 40MHz processor, bitch.

No it doesn't. It followed the 68000, 68010, etc. series of 32-bit processors, so the 040 really means "5th generation". It means as much as the 4 in 80486.

The fastest 68040 did have a 40 MHz clock.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 9:35 PM on October 22, 2013 [7 favorites]


junco: "The 12" G4 Powerbook was about as close to as perfect a laptop as I've ever used. "

I still have mine too. I'm not sold on Apple's reputation for building quality hardware (I've seen plenty of models/revisions that were flaky), but the final-generation of the 12" Powerbook was a damned-near perfect machine. Perfect form factor, built like a tank, and basically just as powerful and full-featured as its larger cousins. I used mine as my primary machine for more than 5 years.

Coincidentally, OS X updates started becoming less compelling once PPC support was dropped, and especially when Apple started aggressively ending support for older machines. My G4 tower from 1999 was supported by OS updates for nearly 10 years, and pretty much got faster with each consecutive update. Somewhere along the way, Apple stopped building new OSes with features that gracefully degraded on old hardware, and started adding new features that made the general desktop environment slower. I like to refer to this trend as the Vista-ization of OS X.
posted by schmod at 9:38 PM on October 22, 2013 [5 favorites]


good in a vacuum:

-Podcasts you download on your iDevice will be sucked into iTunes, and taken off your iDevice.

-Go ahead and delete a playlist on your iDevice. *poof* playlist gone from iTunes. No warning message. (this may be PBKAC but it's still inconsistent UI design)

-Voice Memo sync is a total disaster. Memos are left on the iPhone and never sync to iTunes (I had to use a third party app for this).

-iTunes/iCloud syncing is COMPLETELY mental. Totally idiotic. Syncing with Safari/Internet Explorer, Outlook, etc is a great way to delete your Safari tabs, your contact list, et al.

-Wifi syncing works about 20% of the time.

-"Remote" App to play songs on iTunes from an iDevice works about 2% of the time.

-A billion other agonies I can't think of right now.
posted by Yowser at 9:38 PM on October 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


PSA: If you're using a CAC on your Mac and Thursby's software as the enabler, Thursby sent out an email today saying that PKard is not Mavericks compatible. MilitaryCAC.com says they've had success with it on the Mavericks beta, so YMMV.
posted by Runes at 9:41 PM on October 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Apple II Forever.
making life better and better
Apple II forever and ever
bringing the rainbow to you
Apple II!
Forever.
posted by charlie don't surf at 9:46 PM on October 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


I'm sticking with the Performa. Comes with a free trial for eWorld!
posted by chococat at 9:47 PM on October 22, 2013 [14 favorites]


So Apple is replacing cats with Top Gun callsigns?

… or Tom Cruise movie roles. Next up, "Mac OS X Vincent Lauria".
posted by i_have_a_computer at 9:55 PM on October 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


no 'issues' with iTunes beyond the loss of functionality that came with 11.3: expand minimize are now two separate buttons placed on opposite sides of the player; the fact that the 'shuffle' button stays on across all playlists as well as the main library (seriously, who wants shuffle on a playlist?); SEARCH!! the search results in 11.3 go to a separate window rather than just scrolling within the main library and it's hard to select a track within the results; it's hard to 'back out' of a search result i.e. if you play a track and then click back to the songs list iTunes will keep playing songs within the results list even if you've gone back to the main library. the artwork display rather than an alphabetical list.
posted by Conrad-Casserole at 10:01 PM on October 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


mistersquid: "Well that's pretty silly, throwing a potty-mouthed tantrum at a company for no longer supporting 7-year old computing device. Why don't you put the poor thing up for sale and out of your misery?

I presently run a PowerMac G5 as a mail/web/file server and I'm quite satisfied with its operation, wormy core notwithstanding.

On a related note, I'd like to inveigh mightily against Nokia for no longer providing firmware upgrades for my 5200.
"

Well, let me see... Even the much maligned Microsoft will continue basic security support for OSes past the 7 year mark. And, as I said, the machine is a testament and reminder of a loved one that is no longer with us, so I shan't sell it. (And, even if I decided to, Apple's removed anyone's interest in an older box like that.)
posted by Samizdata at 10:18 PM on October 22, 2013


Yowser: "good in a vacuum: You can't be serious. iTunes and the way it (fails to/kind of sort of/wtf is it doing?) syncs with iDevices is, all around, a disaster."

So, what you are saying is that there's no real reason to have iTunes installed any more? (Not counting the store function. There are other stores out there.)
posted by Samizdata at 10:20 PM on October 22, 2013


I too have a collection of G3s and G4s sitting in my spare room. My sister and I were discussing using one of them as a funeral urn for my ashes when I die. First, it was just for me, but then we decided we could both fit in one box. Now we'll have to decide between the cool turquoise G3 or a more subdued G4. But not a mirror door. Oh no.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 10:25 PM on October 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


Samiz: Some of us have huge media collections in the hundreds of megabytes, so no, we can't abandon iTunes.
posted by Yowser at 10:28 PM on October 22, 2013


FCP7 seems to work fine for me (though I haven't tried anything complex yet; believe it or not, I'm actually using FCP X as my primary editing program these days, but I do keep FCP 7 around just in case).
posted by primethyme at 10:32 PM on October 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


No it doesn't. It followed the 68000, 68010, etc. series of 32-bit processors, so the 040 really means "5th generation". It means as much as the 4 in 80486.

I fucking hate it when I get outnerded.
posted by phaedon at 10:34 PM on October 22, 2013 [13 favorites]


If Apple made a food processor it would only work when you plugged it into iTunes. It wouldn't let you chop the same thing twice without unplugging it and plugging it back in. Selecting a speed could initially be done only when the blender is first used; changing the speed would require you to uninstall and reinstall the blender. A later update would allow you to select a saved playlist of popular speeds. People with jail-broken blenders could change the speed themselves with the blender's "volume" control, but they would lose access to any food they prepared previously.
posted by Joe in Australia at 10:40 PM on October 22, 2013 [16 favorites]


seriously, who wants shuffle on a playlist?

I only shuffle playlists.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 10:41 PM on October 22, 2013 [21 favorites]


had not Apple abandoned PowerPC, leading developers to abandon PowerPC

I thought that was a Jobs-is-back Shut Them Down thing.
posted by user92371 at 10:56 PM on October 22, 2013


I'm not leaving my wingman.
posted by planetesimal at 10:58 PM on October 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


And curiously, much like the 80186, the 68010 was pretty much a non starter in the desktop world.
posted by wotsac at 11:01 PM on October 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yowser: "Samiz: Some of us have huge media collections in the hundreds of megabytes, so no, we can't abandon iTunes."

My pity and good wishes go out to you.
posted by Samizdata at 11:02 PM on October 22, 2013


The improvements to SMB. Oh my god. It's like a whole new Finder. The SMB improvements alone are worth the install.
posted by Talez at 11:02 PM on October 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Talez: "The improvements to SMB. Oh my god. It's like a whole new Finder. The SMB improvements alone are worth the install."

Now you are making me jealous again.
posted by Samizdata at 11:03 PM on October 22, 2013


I like iTunes. I really like iTunes 11. I never, ever sync any iDevices with it, though. I basically just use it as a medium for my quite large iTunes Match library.
posted by zsazsa at 11:09 PM on October 22, 2013


Collections of G3s and G4s?
Huh. I got Apple II+'s, ///'s, and Profiles in my basement. Plus a brand-new-in-box CP/M card for an Apple ///.

Any offers?
posted by drhydro at 11:21 PM on October 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Installed Mavericks on a couple machines. No real problems. More and useful features. Free. Good stuff for any Mac which supports it, seems like.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:27 PM on October 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


no dramatic changes that I can see so far. If improved battery life is as claimed, that would seem to be "worth" the upgrade (in quotes given that it is free).

The one disappointment is the much-touted multi-monitor support. I had hoped to be able to put the dock anywhere on my main monitor, but alas I still cannot. Due to cabling issues, my external monitor at work has to sit to the right of my macbook air, into which it is plugged. With this set up, telling the dock to go on the "bottom" will leave at bottom of the external monitor, telling it to sit on the right will place it on the right of the external monitor, but telling it to sit on the left will send it all the way over the left hand side of my laptop. What I want it to do is stay on the left of my external monitor, but that seems impossible unless I switch the virtual placement of the two displays, which would then completely mess up my ability to logically drag stuff between the two.
posted by modernnomad at 11:52 PM on October 22, 2013


had not Apple abandoned PowerPC, leading developers to abandon PowerPC

I thought that was a Jobs-is-back Shut Them Down thing.


I think you’re talking about the clones. I thought Apple dropped PPC because they couldn’t get their laptop chips to be competitive. And Macs were such a small part of Motorola’s business it was hard to get them to care.

I still haven’t moved beyond 10.6.8 on any of my Macs. It’s starting to suck now because I’ve run into "10.7 or later required". UGH.
posted by bongo_x at 11:59 PM on October 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


Just finished updating on my personal machine, and my work machine. Tested out the AirPlay extended monitor thing with my AppleTV on my 40" television. Works amazing. No noticeable lag really even. I'm quite impressed. It also sends the audio to my 5.1 surround that's hooked up to the AppleTV, which is quite awesome. I am possibly going to be doing really silly things with audio and video soon at work with this feature for our educational staff. I think they are going to shit themselves that they no longer have to be tethered to a podium that has to sit right next to the lovely 65" plasma displays they are presenting on.

Oh, and I can confirm that Traktor Scratch Pro 2 works fine on 10.9, as well as Massive. Ableton Live 9 Standard appears to be working fine and loading all my various VST's without a problem. In fact, Live is behaving better than it did on 10.8, which is surprising. A lot of that stuff mentioned in the article about responsiveness and everything else really do add up to a whole lot of improved performance.

Haven't tried out Final Cut 7 or X yet, but will be doing so on Thursday when I go back in the office. So far, this has been an excellent update. Free isn't bad either.
posted by daq at 12:00 AM on October 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


I’ve been 10.6.8-4-Lyfe all this time, and then two days ago I physically wrecked my laptop. Looks like I will have skipped both Lions.
posted by migurski at 12:01 AM on October 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Did previous versions have an accessibility option that let you make the mouse cursor enormous? Because I just found that setting, and it's a hoot!
posted by aubilenon at 12:41 AM on October 23, 2013


The new dual/multiple display features are nice, and the new dock is ugly.

I've barely used it so far, but this about sums it up for me. The fact that they finally fixed the totally braindead what-the-hell-were-they-thinking multiple-display handling of 10.7/8 makes it worth it for me.

It seems Apple is thoroughly dedicated to making the Dock uglier with every OSX version. By this point it's just a featureless flat slate-gray rectangle. 10.10 will probably give it a dazzle-camo background or something. Gross.

(Okay, I just checked the bottom dock and it still has the 3D effect -- but who the hell puts the dock at the bottom where it's taking up precious vertical real estate? The side dock is flat and bland and basically looks like it belongs in Windows 8. Inexplicable!)
posted by neckro23 at 12:47 AM on October 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Tested out the AirPlay extended monitor thing with my AppleTV on my 40" television. Works amazing. No noticeable lag really even. I'm quite impressed.

Worked really well with a four-year old MBP running 10.8 and AirServer hooked up to a projector and stereo — audio and video. No problems at all.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:16 AM on October 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


What sort of battery-life improvements are people seeing on, say 2011-era Macbook Airs?

And yeah, iTunes is a piece of shit. But I only ever use iTunes on Windows (I'm not going to devote my MBA's precious few gigabytes of SSD to my music collection), I don't think I've ever opened the Mac version. I'd always just assumed the Mac version was decent and it's just the Windows version that completely sucked...
posted by Jimbob at 1:45 AM on October 23, 2013


People with jail-broken blenders could change the speed themselves with the blender's "volume" control ...

I, for one, would buy a blender with a volume control.
posted by iotic at 2:19 AM on October 23, 2013 [4 favorites]


Upgraded my work Mini (i7, barely old enough to not have USB3) yesterday and it took about 45 minutes to an hour even with a SSD and 16G of RAM. No major compatibility issues; I'd already upgraded VMWare Fusion to v6, and TotalSpaces had to be upgraded to v2.

I'm slightly dismayed at the lack of ability to change the dock to "2D only" when at the bottom of the screen, but I'll get over it. That was one of the first "Tweaks" I always do.
posted by mrbill at 2:23 AM on October 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Federico Viticci's list of Mavericks tips and tricks here.
posted by epo at 2:40 AM on October 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Although not perfect, Apple's done a spectacularly good job in migrating across processor families. And has had to do so; there's no reason to have more than one mainstream processor architecture across any industry niche and plenty of reasons why more than one is unsustainable in the long term. There's just not enough margin to justify parallel development, whether within one chip company (Intel has tried more than once to escape from x86, and failed... even though x86 isn't really what its chips run these days) or across differing companies.

If ARM hadn't found its own niche - famously, not the one it was initially designed for - and had been marketed as a desktop processor, it would have died. Which it nearly did, when it was being marketed primarily as a desktop processor, even back then when the environment was much more diverse. (I was in a company back then which nearly built a stand-alone DTP box based on ARM in conjunction with a pretty cool software outfit; depending on which way various architectural decisions had gone, I still think the platform we had on paper would have had a good chance of a long life as a general purpose 'better than Mac for much less money' designer's platform, but I guess everyone from that world back then has similar baggage.)

I have no doubt whatsoever that Apple did not and does not like being just another x86 customer. I do not know, but I most strongly suspect, that the 'let's build our own processor architecture' idea that was alive in quite a lot of 80s-era PC makers (which led to ARM within Acorn, of course) survived within Apple for a surprisingly long time, and indeed may still be around in some form.

As for Mavericks - anyone upgrading to any new OS on Day 1 is not so much a user as a test pilot. Good luck!
posted by Devonian at 3:05 AM on October 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


> I do not know, but I most strongly suspect, that the 'let's build our own processor architecture' idea that was alive in quite a lot of 80s-era PC makers (which led to ARM within Acorn, of course) survived within Apple for a surprisingly long time, and indeed may still be around in some form.

Indeed. Apple SoC exists in some form in all their fully-fledged iOS devices (iPhone, iPod Touch, Apple TV, iPad).
posted by ardgedee at 3:39 AM on October 23, 2013


The fact that they finally fixed the totally braindead what-the-hell-were-they-thinking multiple-display handling of 10.7/8 makes it worth it for me.


Am a bit disappointed that they've broken the ability to have a window span multiple displays while they were about it. Could we not have both?
posted by bonaldi at 4:09 AM on October 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


You can no longer open an alias of a folder you have on the desktop then drag and drop files from the desktop into that folder. You have to open the actual folder. This breaks my (admittedly simpleminded) filing system. Grrrrr. The rest of it seems to be running ok though.
posted by digitalprimate at 4:42 AM on October 23, 2013


The eternal question, whether to upgrade from 10.6.8.

Yeah, I'm in that quandary, too. My Mac can run 10.9. But, 10.6.8 is so stable, accessible, and free of all the iOS-ish bits that started dribbling-in with 10.7.

I'll probably download the installer eventually, but it'll probably sit there untouched for a good long time.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:49 AM on October 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think you’re talking about the clones. I thought Apple dropped PPC because they couldn’t get their laptop chips to be competitive. And Macs were such a small part of Motorola’s business it was hard to get them to care.

This is pretty much it. IBM had the resources to develop a next generation of Mac-friendly PPC chips, but they were being used by Microsoft to build silicon for the X-Box, as Microsoft had deeper pockets. Motorola decided it didn't really want to be a chipmaker anymore, as it was selling phones as fast as they could make them. Since IBM was only developing server-room firebreathers (at server-room prices) , Motorola's silicon division was being neglected to death and ARM wasn't ready to step in and take over, Apple had no choice, especially when Intel cut sweetheart deals and ponied up dev resources. I'm the biggest Intel hater alive, and I realize that the politics of the Valley in the early aughts meant the death of PPC, along with a ton of other very nice chip families. (Alpha was mergered to death, MIPS was sacrificed to the cargo cult of IA-64, as was PA-RISC, oh, gawd, I'm old and depressed.)
posted by Slap*Happy at 4:52 AM on October 23, 2013 [4 favorites]


> Am a bit disappointed that they've broken the ability to have a window span multiple displays while they were about it. Could we not have both?

Think of it this way... In 10.8, if you had four Spaces, each Space consisted of two displays. In 10.9, each Space consists of a single display, so you effectively have eight Spaces and can move from Space to Space on one display without changing what's shown in the other display.

So even though it doesn't look like it, having a window span multiple displays is as possible as having a window span multiple Spaces -- while monitors have a defined physical proximity to each other, Spaces don't. This is a little more blatant when you have monitors arranged vertically, because you get a phantom menu bar smack in the middle of your workspace that way.

You can get around this by going to System Preferences -> Mission Control and disabling the each-monitor-its-own-space setting (you'll have to log out and back in to make the setting stick). This reverts Spaces' behavior to how it worked in 10.8, including once again allowing a window to bridge monitors.
posted by ardgedee at 5:06 AM on October 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


I have a plugged-in Mac mini with one display, so it doesn't seem like the big features of this release do anything for me. At least it's free though.
posted by smackfu at 5:39 AM on October 23, 2013


Then, within seconds, it was pointed out on Twitter that Mavericks breaks Qt which is used by RStudio, making it painfully unresponsive, meaning if I'd upgraded I wouldn't have been able to get any work done.

RStudio feels kind of sluggish to me to begin with. I'm torn between the allure of the window-organisation of RStudio and the speed of just using R.app.
posted by hoyland at 5:44 AM on October 23, 2013


aww, and to think I knew him way back when. cheers, john!
posted by Dashy at 5:46 AM on October 23, 2013


Ardgedee, I was thinking more about processor architecture than chips with processors in. SoCs have processor cores that are just existing processor designs running established architectures (he said, generalising wildly and inaccurately) packaged on a single die with peripheral/memory/DSP/wotevah for performance and cost reasons.

The urge of which i wrote was to design a brand-new general purpose processor from the ground up with a unique instruction set. because it would have some great technical advantage and be yours to control. In mass consumer markets, this urge has been canonically wrong since around 1985 and was almost always wrong beforehand. In enterprise markets, this urge has been canonically wrong forever for any niche that already exists. In specialist markets, it is merely nearly always wrong.

This is why the machine you're reading this on has a base architecture rooted in either 1976 (x86) or - if you're part of the newest wave of most modern consumer IT, 1983 (ARM).

But it's such a lovely idea, so redolent of being a Real Computer Company doing Top-Notch Clever, that the urge to DIY your CPU will probably never truly die. With luck, someone will actually come up with something that'll blow the doors off all the multi-decade cruft and win big. Probably not.
posted by Devonian at 5:49 AM on October 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


SEARCH!! the search results in 11.3 go to a separate window rather than just scrolling within the main library and it's hard to select a track within the results;

Hit enter after you type your query and it'll approximate the old behavior of honing down on relevant items in the same window. It took me a little while to notice that the first option in the drop down says "find in library" or something like that in small text, but yeah.
posted by invitapriore at 6:09 AM on October 23, 2013


> But it's such a lovely idea, so redolent of being a Real Computer Company doing Top-Notch Clever, that the urge to DIY your CPU will probably never truly die. With luck, someone will actually come up with something that'll blow the doors off all the multi-decade cruft and win big. Probably not.

It's a fair point. I suspect Apple is canny enough to prefer to sit and wait and see what somebody else does, and then snap them up.

These days, though, if a startup produces something good out of left field Apple will be bidding against Microsoft and Google to acquire it -- and in the coming couple years probably Samsung and any number of Chinese companies. Apple might be the most blatant about wanting end-to-end control of their mobile device ecology -- or at least earliest to secure it -- but the other major players are, in their own ways, angling for the same thing. Google has Moto's handset division now, Microsoft has Nokia's. Samsung has the Bada and Tizen OSes and has been angling to customize Android sufficiently to turn it into their own thing, and similarly the Baidu fork of Android is big with the Chinese handset makers.
posted by ardgedee at 6:10 AM on October 23, 2013


Siracusa is awesome; he seems to be Andy Rooney and Marvin Minsky's love child.
My own decade-long frustration with Apple's refusal to cleanly separate the "browser" features of the Finder from the rest of its functionality may (still) seem academic and unimportant to most Mac users (though they are wrong).
posted by jenkinsEar at 6:16 AM on October 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


Good lord I got rambly there.

Don't let me make big picture comments in between the time I've had my morning caffeination and my first solid food of the day.
posted by ardgedee at 6:25 AM on October 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Although not perfect, Apple's done a spectacularly good job in migrating across processor families. And has had to do so; there's no reason to have more than one mainstream processor architecture across any industry niche and plenty of reasons why more than one is unsustainable in the long term. There's just not enough margin to justify parallel development, whether within one chip company (Intel has tried more than once to escape from x86, and failed... even though x86 isn't really what its chips run these days) or across differing companies.

Apple have also invested a lot in the development of LLVM, an intermediate virtual machine used in the compilation chain. A while ago, they moved from GCC to a modular compiler (Clang) based on LLVM for their OSX and iOS development.

When you compile some C/C++/Objective C for use on an Apple device, it gets converted into LLVM bytecode, optimised and then finally translated into the native code of the CPU it'll run on (Intel on OSX, ARMv7 or ARM64 on iOS, though Intel for the iOS Simulator). There are some differences in behaviour between the architectures, but they're fairly rare.

Of course, this gives Apple a lot of leeway to switch architectures. It's not unlikely that, deep within the secure perimeter of Cupertino, they're building ARM-based MacBook prototypes, and continuously building OSX and apps to run on them; partly to know how feasible ARM on the desktop is at the moment, and partly for negotiating clout with Intel. (Famously, they built OSX on Intel for some five years before the switch, with the decision having been made by Jobs on the morning of the announcement.) Conversely, they could also be building Intel-based iPhone prototypes for the same reason.

Of course, the bottleneck would be apps once they're distributed being bound to the architecture they're compiled for. However, it's not outlandish to suggest that, at some point in the future, Apple could push the final compilation step back, from the Xcode toolchain to the App Store app on the user's machine. Users would receive their apps in a LLVM-based format, and their machine (possessing enough surplus CPU cycles for the task) would translate them to native code on download. (Java-based platforms like Android with its Dalvik JIT system do something similar.) Then, notwithstanding a few edge cases like apps which ship native machine code for some reason, Apple would theoretically be able to turn on a dime and migrate to a new CPU architecture instantaneously.
posted by acb at 7:05 AM on October 23, 2013 [6 favorites]


MIPS was sacrificed to the cargo cult of IA-64

Didn't MIPS survive by virtue of its use in Sony's PlayStations (the original one being bootstrapped from DEC's DECStation architecture), and end up being owned by a company named Imagination (who also make GPUs), now being licensed for mobile devices?
posted by acb at 7:09 AM on October 23, 2013


I'm also running a Mac Pro tower at work with 10.6.8. Best OS Apple ever created. The hardware is first-rate, too. Stable, few issues -- and those problems that do exist are manageable. Have been happy to avoid the numerous problems I hear about from colleagues about Safari, iTunes and other Apple programs associated with Lion and above.

One of my co-workers upgraded her Macbook Air this morning and lost wifi capability. She's currently cursing a blue streak in the office next to mine. Showed up here five minutes ago with a USB stick, asking me to print something for her, because she can't connect to anything.

My Pro doesn't even have wifi. But it works. If it ain't broke....
posted by zarq at 7:16 AM on October 23, 2013


I love that now, in the Calendar application, you can do a search in the location box that will automatically add the address to the event. Something small that will be really useful for me.
posted by girlmightlive at 7:28 AM on October 23, 2013


In addition to Mavericks, Apple also updated iWork and iLife for both OS X and iOS, along with some other iOS apps like Find My Phone, Trailers, and Podcasts. (All flattened.)

Yet somehow, Find My Friends's limps along in all its stitched leather glory, skulking from shadow to shadow in the back alleys of Cupertino, still one step ahead of Jony Ives.
posted by entropicamericana at 7:43 AM on October 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Didn't MIPS survive...

Yes, indeed it did. It's a very good design that's still relevant. However, it's no longer a high-performance general processor since SGI decided they were going to put all of their eggs in the Intel/Microsoft basket, almost eradicating the company in the process... MIPS was spun off with the limitation that the high-end stuff would no longer be developed. It's done pretty well for itself in the meantime, and is now starting to build SOCs for the mobile and tablet market.

I kind of miss high end Unix workstations. They were pretty cool to work on.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:43 AM on October 23, 2013 [5 favorites]


I remember when I was taking CS courses in the late 90's, the faculty seemed to be very fond of MIPS.

I read that Mavericks was going to have built in speech-to-text. Does anyone know if that is true?
posted by thelonius at 7:49 AM on October 23, 2013


I think that was added in Mountain Lion. Double tap the function key at the bottom left corner. (I have no idea what key to use if you're using one of the old ginormous keyboards.)
posted by entropicamericana at 7:51 AM on October 23, 2013


I read that Mavericks was going to have built in speech-to-text.

It's true. By default it works like Siri on iOS, by communicating with Apple servers. Checking "Use Enhanced Dictation" initiates a 785MB download to let you do everything locally.
posted by mistersquid at 7:52 AM on October 23, 2013 [4 favorites]


My late '09 Mini is crying softly today, sadly Mavericks-free.
posted by GuyZero at 7:57 AM on October 23, 2013


I'm also running a Mac Pro tower at work with 10.6.8. Best OS Apple ever created.

In reading Siracusa's review and some of the comments here, I'm wondering if the 10.6.8 forever people are the new equivalent of the System 6 diehards (who must have thrown in the towel by now, but were still going strong during OS 9).
posted by hoyland at 8:07 AM on October 23, 2013 [4 favorites]


System 6 diehards (who must have thrown in the towel by now

You'll pry my 6.0.7 install floppies from my cold, dead hands you 6.0.8 heretic...

Actually, 7.0 was rough around the edges, and the UI and administrative changes caused open revolt, but 7.1 was pretty darn good. It was then followed by 7.5, a disaster, 8 almost killed the company, but 9 was actually very nice. I prefer the UI of 9 to OS X's, by a long sight, and it wasn't any less stable than contemporaneous Windows versions.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:14 AM on October 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


I just upgraded. Tabbed finder windows were enough of a draw.

So far generally pleased, or at least no major complaints. Well, one complaint. I would be very happy if Apple would stop adding junk bookmarks to Safari every single time I update anything. Last time (only a month ago!) it was only four bookmarks; this time they've added

Apple
iCloud
Facebook
Twitter
Wikipedia
Yahoo!
AllThingsD
BBC
CNN
ESPN
NPR
USA Today
Wall Street Journal
Amazon
Disney
eBay
Flickr
LinkedIn
Rotten Tomatoes
The Weather Channel
Yelp

which I mean jeez come on. What is this, AOL Netscape?

(Also if anyone can tell me how to remove the goddamn "featured playlists" from iTunes Radio, or at least they could use all that fancy match technology to make them be in some way related to the music that is already in my collection, instead of making it appear that they're going out of their way to make them as unappealing as possible I mean seriously Katy Perry and Pepsi® Pulse Pop? One of them is actually named "If You Like Drake" which NO I DO NOT THANK YOU VERY MUCH. Deleting bookmarks from Safari is a one-time annoyance or I guess a once-a-month annoyance, fine. Undeletable Katy Perry in iTunes is a daily infuriation in a program that I otherwise genuinely like.)
posted by ook at 8:16 AM on October 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


Samiz: Some of us have huge media collections in the hundreds of megabytes,

Hundreds of ... megabytes?
$ df -h
Filesystem      Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
[...]
tank/music      1.7T  484G  1.2T  29% /tank/music
posted by kenko at 8:32 AM on October 23, 2013 [4 favorites]


I read that to be either "hundreds of gigabytes" or "just the index exceeds 100MB."
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:41 AM on October 23, 2013


Forty-eight hundred hundreds is a number of hundreds.
posted by cortex at 8:42 AM on October 23, 2013 [4 favorites]


had not Apple abandoned PowerPC, leading developers to abandon PowerPC

Working with SGI and Sun boxes back in the day I was surprised to see how long Apple continued to use PowerPC in a major desktop OS.

The animators I worked with were switching to Windows in droves because Maya 1.0 ran so much quicker on NT systems that ran from 1/5 to 1/3 of the price of an SGI O2, depending on what model you were running.

When SGI hilariously released their own NT box it was way to expensive still and the company went down the toilet.

The people in our network division were also running Sun software on Windows, again, because of performance gains.

Marketing at the time had some of my Mac associates claiming that the G5, for example, was going to be apparently 10x faster than anything Intel had put out or was going to put out at the height of the Mhz/Ghz don't matter paradigm. Of course, this was utter nonsense, and since NeXT ran on Intel and PowerPC (and therefore Apple had already bought a codebase that was Intel based for their new OS after abandoning the Rhapsody strategy), the cost/performance ratio of Intel vs. PowerPC was, I thought, inevitably going to tip Intel's way as it had in the past for many of the reasons listed in this thread as well as what happened with SGI in particular.

I think Apple did an admirable job of extending the life of the PowerPC era Macs but they had to cut the cord sometime. Complete speculation but from what I gather, after the popularity of what was it, the iPod, Mac desktop sales grew significantly, which probably means there are far more Intel based Macs in the wild then PowerPC ones, but I could be wrong.
posted by juiceCake at 8:44 AM on October 23, 2013


I remember when I was taking CS courses in the late 90's, the faculty seemed to be very fond of MIPS.

I think that most undergraduates in the '90s taking Hardware 101 used the Patterson and Hennessy book which used MIPS a lot in examples and exercises. We didn't have access to any live MIPS workstations so we had to use the SPIM simulator to do our homework on.
posted by octothorpe at 8:54 AM on October 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


Status update: Metafilter is compatible with Mavericks.
posted by odinsdream at 9:05 AM on October 23, 2013 [5 favorites]


I have a friend's Mac Mini here that's kind of quasi mine (they currently have no desire to have it back), that's not been turned on for a few months. Since I wasn't the one who actually bought it, I don't know exactly when it was purchased. I upgraded it to Lion, but I don't know if I should bother setting it up to see if it can run this. (I can run the App Store, but I didn't check if it could run Mountain Lion, I suspected it couldn't.)
posted by JHarris at 9:10 AM on October 23, 2013


The 40 stands for 40MHz processor, bitch.

I have a 68000 Macintosh SE. How many megahertz does the 00 stand for?
posted by Sys Rq at 9:28 AM on October 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


I think that most undergraduates in the '90s taking Hardware 101 used the Patterson and Hennessy book which used MIPS a lot in examples and exercises.

Yep. We used a different book by the same authors, Computer Architecture: A Quantitative Approach.

I think the faculty just had such distaste for x86 ASM, even though that would have been a lot more practical at the time.

(Neat, Hennessy is actually the president of Stanford now.)
posted by smackfu at 9:33 AM on October 23, 2013


> I have a 68000 Macintosh SE. How many megahertz does the 00 stand for?

License to kill.
posted by ardgedee at 9:48 AM on October 23, 2013 [7 favorites]


> I have a 68000 Macintosh SE. How many megahertz does the 00 stand for?

License to kill.


That's megaHURTZ.
posted by blue_beetle at 9:52 AM on October 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


Have they done anything about the missing arrows at the end of the scrollbars?
With any very long document or list moving the OS X scrollbar by even a tiny amount moves the page or list by a large amount.
Arrows at the top/bottom of the scrollbar allow you to move down a few lines at a time instead of a few pages at a time.
posted by Lanark at 10:35 AM on October 23, 2013


I think the balance has turned back towards using x86 in intro hardware classes. Mine used Computer Systems: A Programmer's Perspective. Now that we've got the relatively register-rich x64 (one of the few times the smarter option has won out on its own merits, rest in pieces IA-64) I don't think it's a bad choice as far as introductions to assembly programming go.
posted by invitapriore at 10:35 AM on October 23, 2013


Anyone ragequitting to another OS yet? What's best? Ubuntu would be out, because of the Unity desktop and Amazon search-spam plugin and also Canonical are kinda douchey. New versions of Windows are a bag of hurt in and of themselves. Perhaps some ex-Microsoft employees could somehow buy the XP source code and maintain it as an artisanal OS for those who want a Proper Vintage PC Experience. Or failing that, what's the name of the super-obscure ultra-free Stallman-approved GNU/Linux distro?
posted by acb at 10:48 AM on October 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


hoyland: " In reading Siracusa's review and some of the comments here, I'm wondering if the 10.6.8 forever people are the new equivalent of the System 6 diehards (who must have thrown in the towel by now, but were still going strong during OS 9)."

Honestly, it's a matter of what works on my hardware, along with an "if it ain't broke" mentality. To upgrade past 10.7.4 (I think?), I'd need to upgrade my graphics card -- a non-essential expense.

It works. It doesn't crash. I prefer reliable uptime to bells and whistles.
posted by zarq at 10:49 AM on October 23, 2013


Anyone ragequitting to another OS yet? What's best? Ubuntu would be out, because of the Unity desktop and Amazon search-spam plugin and also Canonical are kinda douchey.

Fedora's surged in popularity lately. Uses Gnome 3 though, which objectively isn't too different from Unity, although of course you can use KDE or something else instead.
posted by JHarris at 10:55 AM on October 23, 2013


I can't upgrade until I have affirmation that Live, Max, and various Native Instruments synths are all good to go, but otherwise all my work happens in the shell so I'm not too worried.

Confirmed that Live, Max and Jitter are working. I even seem to have gained a couple of points on the CPU meter. Can't speak for NI stuff. Access Virus TI audio driver is not working, although the TI plugin works fine. Access is aware of the issue.
posted by neuromodulator at 10:55 AM on October 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Is Adblock Plus not working for anyone else now?
posted by entropicamericana at 10:56 AM on October 23, 2013


System 6 diehards (who must have thrown in the towel by now

I come out of the bathroom every morning at around the same time, and it always gladdens my heart to see 6:07 or 6:08 on the clock.
posted by wenestvedt at 11:02 AM on October 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Anyone ragequitting to another OS yet? What's best?

Crunchbang seems to be popular with these kids today, although they're being DDoSed at the moment.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 11:02 AM on October 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think the balance has turned back towards using x86 in intro hardware classes.

Yeah, especially as the whole point of RISC was to make assembly annoyingly difficult for humans - have the compiler figure out all that low level crapola. Remember, the x86 instruction set is a sham. It's decoded into RISC operations on the fly, as it's way faster than trying to build a modern CISC processor unless you're IBM and into batch processing mainframes - RISC won the design war.

By the same token, maybe they should be teaching assembly on processors where you're still going to be working with the metal rather than a C or Java compiler - the embedded space is where most of the work with assembly happens these days.
posted by Slap*Happy at 11:06 AM on October 23, 2013


Anyone ragequitting to another OS yet? What's best? Ubuntu would be out, because of the Unity desktop and Amazon search-spam plugin and also Canonical are kinda douchey.

I still have this pointless habit of using Xubuntu in VMs and old hardware, even though it's sorta like buying a Ford Xexcursion, the variant with special lightweight tire valve caps.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:23 AM on October 23, 2013


Slap*Happy: "I think the balance has turned back towards using x86 in intro hardware classes.

Yeah, especially as the whole point of RISC was to make assembly annoyingly difficult for humans - have the compiler figure out all that low level crapola. Remember, the x86 instruction set is a sham. It's decoded into RISC operations on the fly, as it's way faster than trying to build a modern CISC processor unless you're IBM and into batch processing mainframes - RISC won the design war.

By the same token, maybe they should be teaching assembly on processors where you're still going to be working with the metal rather than a C or Java compiler - the embedded space is where most of the work with assembly happens these days.
"

Yeah...though a decent understanding of how and when an x86 processor might reorder instructions is a good thing to have if you want to build something like a lockless data structure where memory barriers are important. Though I guess instruction re-ordering is still happening at the interface level? I'm a little rusty on the details.
posted by invitapriore at 11:25 AM on October 23, 2013


Didn't MIPS survive...

Pretty much every consumer wireless router has a MIPS CPU in it. There are probably billions of MIPS devices running right now.
posted by zsazsa at 11:29 AM on October 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


I am here to report that all is well, except for my favorite screensaver. So you know, don't upgrade without saving a copy of that really colorful fullscreen spectrum one. I forget the name.

And actually if anyone still on mountain lion wants to send that to me I will reward you with praise
posted by danny the boy at 11:50 AM on October 23, 2013


Actually never mind, I found a backed up copy and it won't work on Mavericks anyway. Boo
posted by danny the boy at 11:54 AM on October 23, 2013


I can't upgrade anyway; it requires at least a Core 2 Duo processor and mine's only Core Duo. Oh well.
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:14 PM on October 23, 2013


Works great on my Core Trio, except the battery life and heat issues associated with Flash (and Silverlight) are still killing my hopes and dreams.
posted by blue_beetle at 12:23 PM on October 23, 2013


So far, it seems slightly slower to me. And for some reason, it won't open Finder from spotlight. I realize the icon is right there, but I'm used to the keyboard shortcut!
posted by headspace at 12:47 PM on October 23, 2013


What I want to know is have they fixed bluetooth audio yet? It works brilliantly on every iOS device I have including my original iPad 1 which you can't even get updates for anymore. It works like crap on every Mac right up through ML.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:49 PM on October 23, 2013


I have a 68000 Macintosh SE. How many megahertz does the 00 stand for?

I read this in the tone of, "I have nipples, Greg. Could you milk me?"
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 1:03 PM on October 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


Interesting overview here: How Apple makes the Mac Pro
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:28 PM on October 23, 2013 [4 favorites]


So far so good. Logic 9 works; can play and record. Final Cut Pro 7 seems to work; played a current LONG, ProRes project I'm working on and it played fine (did a glitchy thing when I scrolled left and right at the the top of the timeline when the vid was playing but not at the bottom...odd). CS3 worked after I installed a Java thing it prompted me to install. My discontinued Alesis Firewire audio interface still works, didn't have to get a new driver. Waiting for something bad to happen...

The ability to share a map or directions or a location right from the App and message it to someone's phone is WAY overdue.
posted by chococat at 4:21 PM on October 23, 2013


Interesting overview here: How Apple makes the Mac Pro

video! (via portland, or ;)
posted by kliuless at 5:14 PM on October 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


The dock in multiscreen seems a bit slower when appearing than I'd like. I increased the speed of the animation so maybe that's why I'm noticing it.
posted by Memo at 5:16 PM on October 23, 2013


I prefer reliable uptime to bells and whistles.

False dichotomy.
posted by mistersquid at 7:52 PM on October 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


John Siracusa can also be heard as one of the trio of co-hosts (along with Marco Arment and Casey Liss) on the Accidental Tech Podcast each week.
posted by blueberry at 8:04 PM on October 23, 2013


For any Haskellers reading, GHC compatibility appears to require some massaging.
posted by invitapriore at 8:17 PM on October 23, 2013


Holy moly, I thought I was the only 10.6.8 holdout. It's not that I'm in love with 10.6.8, so much as that it runs, and later versions iPad-ify the interface

and I don't have enough space for their installers, which is possibly the bigger reason
posted by zippy at 10:06 PM on October 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure it's wise to crow about Safari stabilities using the name of a surf break.
posted by salishsea at 10:34 PM on October 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


No, no. They named it after Top Gun.
posted by planetesimal at 10:48 PM on October 23, 2013


False dichotomy

I have been using Apple products since the Apple ][ and Macs since 1985. (Also, various flavors of PC's from other manufacturers.) Trust me, it's not. I have finally found a nice balance between my operating system: 10.6.8, and my hardware. The computer is reliably stable. Doesn't crash. Programs don't end without warning. And I have no downtime. In an office environment, that matters to me far more than a new snazzy-looking Finder interface, the latest version of any program or faster hardware. Because from experience I know that anything could throw the balance off. I'm running unsupported "legacy" hardware and software. Including older peripherals. Upgrades tend to break stuff. Why bother?
posted by zarq at 3:12 AM on October 24, 2013


Pretty much every consumer wireless router has a MIPS CPU in it.

Is this due to the legacy of the WRT54G and the OpenWRT/DD-WRT open firmwares?
posted by acb at 3:42 AM on October 24, 2013


No, just a very good chip design that sips power and is reasonably speedy while being super cheap to produce. It's kind of cool how the same instruction set can run $20 wireless routers and, at one time, firebreathing mainframe-class servers.
posted by Slap*Happy at 4:26 AM on October 24, 2013


I'm kinda irritated with this update. My newest mac is from 2009, to preface this.

In order of performance, it went snow leopard>>>mountain lion>>>>>>>>lion. Lion is probably the worst modern OS apple has made, and one of the worst things they've done since this mess.

Nevertheless, a glutton for punishment and wanting to run the newest version i kept upgrading my macbook pro. Hell, i said, it's got lots of ram and it was the up-spec model. It'll handle it, it's a champ! It's survived the road with my band, and my bandmates chainsmoking ex who abuses technology, and a crazy dog, and being dropped a lot, and constantly being maxed out with music software, photoshop, and premiere, etc.

And sure enough, it took it like a champ. I see about 1.5 hours more battery life upgrading from mountain lion to mavericks. Totally freaking sold. i'm seeing 3 hours and 45 minutes at 60% on a totally worn out battery. awesome.

No, my issue here is with my iMac. See, i have the 2007 iMac. I think this might actually be literally the oldest machine mavericks supports. Nontheless, it ran mountain lion awesome. I'm still in awe of the thing on a daily basis. Earlier i was running cpu-intensive inefficient data recovery software on a fucked up drive, transcoding 720p video, downloading a massive torrent, and doing some light gaming all at the same time and it was just rocking the fuck out. The chassis gets hot as the sun around the vents, but the internals stay balmy below 60c at all times.

So what bugs me is that the performance of the entire thing seems to have taken a pretty major hit with mavericks. I used to be able to load up a 1080p video on vimeo and just watch it. No problems, it would just play. Totally smooth. Now on mavericks? 10fps or worse slideshow. SD won't even play smoothly. Pretty much all web video is this way, but it's just a symptom of a larger problem. It seems like they completely hosed something up with the graphics drivers or maybe even some coreimage bit of the OS itself with this update. Because upon looking REALLY closely i noticed video isn't playing as smoothly on the macbook pro either.

I would chalk it up to it just being old if it wasn't such a stark before/after difference, and to make it even weirder the actual interface itself and general system usage seems faster. Apps launch a bit more quickly, scrolling is smooth as fuck, new tabs open and load faster in safari and chrome. Everything i've played around with just seems snappy.

Until i try and play some video online. mplayerX is fine with local files, but just... ugh.

I hope this is something that gets patched, or there's some hack i can implement here. I don't want to downgrade, but i will if i have to.
posted by emptythought at 4:38 AM on October 24, 2013


My takeaway from reading this on Tuesday night is: "With improvements in power management and attempts to iron out odd design choices in certain applications, OS X 10.x is the OS to watch to avoid putting your parents on Windows 8, but the incomplete attempt to restore UI consistency means you should wait another year/version and re-evaluate."
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 6:54 AM on October 24, 2013


zarq, I hear what you're saying about the potential for problems upon upgrading, but the dichotomy is still false.

It's true that if a stable system does not change new bugs are unlikely, but that doesn't mean upgrading will introduce new bugs.

Anecdata follows.

====== BEGIN ANECDATA =======

I did not upgrade from Snow Leopard to Lion until nearly 10 months had passed after Lion's release. The upgrade required the usual updates to utilities and rejiggering custom scripts. But for me, Lion was as stable as Snow Leopard.

I did not upgrade from Lion to Mountain Lion until 3 weeks, ago. For real. And to be honest, I am displeased with Mountain Lion because it has an unpatched (as of 10.8.5!) problem with missing icons.

That said, the upgrade from Lion to Mountain Lion did NOT require the usual get new versions of different apps, restore and modify custom scripts, reinstall command line utilities, and recompile open source tools from third parties. Most (all?) of my toolset from Lion to Mountain Lion remained intact.

Yeah, I was fairly surprised.

So I decided to experiment with a laptop. After backing up, I upgraded my laptop from Mountain Lion to Mavericks on Mavericks Day 1 (not Day 0). ImageMagick and pdftk continue to work. Photoshop from Adobe CS 5.5 launches in fewer than 10 seconds where it took over 30 seconds before. MySQL still there and ready to go. I had to move some of my config files for Apache but everything pretty much worked. I think one or two of my custom icons are missing, though.

For me, Mavericks' bugbear is that server-grade utilities like BIND have been stripped from Mavericks client and restoring such functionality (with vendor support) will cost some of us $19.99 (Apple is providing an Up-To-Date program for those who qualify, which I'm guessing are licensees of Mountain Lion Server).

But overall it looks like Apple reengineered the upgrade process for highly technically users and is funneling them to their technical product. Here's hoping that $20 entrance fee means Apple will continue to support and develop a better product for technical users.

====== END ANECDATA =======
posted by mistersquid at 7:48 AM on October 24, 2013


emptythought: " In order of performance, it went snow leopard>>>mountain lion>>>>>>>>lion. Lion is probably the worst modern OS apple has made, and one of the worst things they've done since this mess. "

I've often wondered if they would be better off simply patching/updating older OS's and only allowing their newest versions to be run on newly released hardware. Google tends to do that on many Android devices -- you can upgrade the OS on your phone to a point, but if you want to run their newest OS' you usually have to upgrade your hardware. This prevents people from trying to upgrade on a machine that flat out can't handle it and then being upset that their device can't do what it used to.
posted by zarq at 7:49 AM on October 24, 2013


Eh, that's less about what the device can handle and more about what the (non-Google) hardware manufacturers and carriers think it's worth their oh-so-precious time to write drivers for. Google's own hardware is generally good for a couple years of updates at least, viz. the 2010 Nexus S being updated as far as Jelly Bean, and CyanogenMod typically runs well on a whole host of "outdated" models.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:54 AM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


So I just stumbled over the "Internet Accounts" area in System Preferences, and I'm thinking that this has been way under-reported. This is a huge time saver and actually does something that to-date has been very annoying (or just impossible) to achieve: Synchronizing contacts and calendar items between Google and the Mac. This also means I can work on my Android phone and still have access to the same items as my desktop, which is just splendid.
posted by odinsdream at 8:44 AM on October 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


mistersquid: " It's true that if a stable system does not change new bugs are unlikely, but that doesn't mean upgrading will introduce new bugs."

So here's the thing... it literally took over 20 OS upgrades and patches, and a bunch of third-party software upgrades or replacements to get this machine to a point where it doesn't ever freeze, and programs also never freeze. Some Mac OS X versions were better than others. This one's perfect. it runs smoothly and programs don't lag. The hardware now communicates exactly the way it's supposed to with all attached peripherals and every other machine on our network and the Adobe and Microsoft and Apple and other software packages all play nicely with each other.

I guess I'm really not sure how else one could characterize the current situation than, "It strikes me as very likely that if I upgrade the OS again that will introduce another stupid headache." And yeah, as a result I think it would be risky to upgrade.

Is the risk guaranteed? No. Of course not. But man, considering past experience on this machine with previous operating system versions, why chance it?

I have had so many freakin' headaches over the years upgrading older computers to new operating systems. And lots and lots of downtime. Not just Macs. Linux and Windows distros, too. The issue (as you note,) isn't necessarily going to be a straight bug. It might be a speed issue. Or a 3rd party software crash. Or driver problems. Legacy devices/hardware (including internal cards!) / peripherals / software that are no longer supported, etc.
posted by zarq at 10:31 AM on October 24, 2013


Work Macs I upgrade right away. On my personal machine there are 4 or 5 things they have to do and if they are doing them I only upgrade software. Was on 10.5 forever till Chrome broke. Less and less curious about 10.x iOS occupies me now.
posted by judson at 11:01 AM on October 24, 2013


Interesting overview here: How Apple makes the Mac Pro

I was hoping to get just the trashcan element without all the computery stuff inside it.

The Mac Pro section of Apple's website is a prime of example of using all the "Flash" design ideals but using HTML 5 instead. It's horrible to navigate.
posted by juiceCake at 2:05 PM on October 24, 2013


Yay! My new Haswell 15" rMBP has arrived!
posted by Talez at 5:56 PM on October 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Well so far Mavericks seems OK-ish on my 2013 Retina 15inch MacBook Pro. The fonts on my Dell U2711 external monitor don't seem quite as nice, and the Thunderbolt Ethernet stops working when the machine sleeps (just needs unplugging and replugging in).

All the software works, I was wondering if I'd need to upgrade VMware Fusion but that seems fine at 5.0.3.

I expect we'll see a couple of updates shortly.
posted by hardcode at 1:52 AM on October 25, 2013


The Mac Pro section of Apple's website is a prime of example of using all the "Flash" design ideals but using HTML 5 instead. It's horrible to navigate.

Wow, this site is exceptionally terrible. You weren't kidding. It won't even load right in the latest version of chrome on windows 7. It of course, works fine in safari on my mac but :|

On chrome it keeps freezing at random intervals of that "computer pans in" part, and then once it gets far enough in that it says "coming in december" and you're at the overview page you just... can't do anything but load another page. Can't scroll down, etc.

Definitely right up there with the worst of the shovelware flash sites for sure.
posted by emptythought at 1:52 PM on October 25, 2013


To show the power of the new Mac Pro, they made a page that can only be viewed using it.

(Actually, I loaded up the page in Firefox just fine?)
posted by JHarris at 2:03 PM on October 25, 2013


It's not rendering well in Firefox 24.0 on my Mac, either. Scrolling motion down the "performance" page is jerky and the pictures move... oddly. It's okay as long as you're paging down, but using the scroll arrows turn the viewing experience into a bit of an awkward mess.

Isn't checking to see how your website is rendered by a variety of browsers and hardware Web Design 101? Especially for a company trying to sell people a superlative Mac User experience? Lots of people who see that page aren't going to be iOS owners using Safari on cutting edge hardware.
posted by zarq at 2:05 PM on October 25, 2013


So I just stumbled over the "Internet Accounts" area in System Preferences, and I'm thinking that this has been way under-reported. This is a huge time saver and actually does something that to-date has been very annoying (or just impossible) to achieve: Synchronizing contacts and calendar items between Google and the Mac. This also means I can work on my Android phone and still have access to the same items as my desktop, which is just splendid.

It doesn't seem like it lets you properly sync, unfortunately. Rather, it seems to let you manage your google calendars on your mac. You can't sync between a google calendar and a calendar located in icloud, for instance.
posted by modernnomad at 4:17 AM on October 26, 2013


The App Store's updater page has a little dropdown menu next to the "Update All" button, that lets you choose from "Install Now", "Try in an Hour", "Try Tonight", "Remind Me Tomorrow".

That's really nice: I can schedule the updates for when I won't be at the computer, rather than having to remember to hit the "Update" button just before I leave it. Since I'm about to unleash a flood of downloading to update iTunes, Xcode, iMovie, Keynote, Numbers, iPhoto, and Pages, that's a hell of a lot grinding that I'm perfectly happy to allow happen while I'm not around.
posted by ardgedee at 5:56 AM on October 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


You can't sync between a google calendar and a calendar located in icloud, for instance.

You're correct, though that's a puzzling use-case. When I think of Sync I think of getting the same calendar accessed from multiple devices, not literally taking two calendars and keeping them synchronized with each other. If you have an iCloud calendar that already syncs between your iPhone and your Mac. If you have a Google calendar, the missing thing was being able to sync it to a Mac without a bunch of headaches.

Now you can do that, and so you can respond to e-mailed calendar invites on your desktop Mail client, and the resulting calendar event can be placed on a Google Calendar. It might seem like a small thing but it's a big time saver for people who are constantly maintaining corporate schedules.
posted by odinsdream at 7:48 AM on October 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Definitely right up there with the worst of the shovelware flash sites for sure.

It even has a sort of pseudo intro animation and then a click to start type thing going on. It's quite a jump from the regular web site's interface to this one.
posted by juiceCake at 7:59 AM on October 26, 2013




You're correct, though that's a puzzling use-case. When I think of Sync I think of getting the same calendar accessed from multiple devices, not literally taking two calendars and keeping them synchronized with each other. If you have an iCloud calendar that already syncs between your iPhone and your Mac. If you have a Google calendar, the missing thing was being able to sync it to a Mac without a bunch of headaches.

My use-case:

I have a macbook air and an iphone, and iCloud is great for keeping my calendars and contacts in sync between the two. I also use a shared iCal calendar with my wife. However, I also like Google Now (the app), and find that its predictive behaviour is far, far superior to iOS 7's enhanced lock screen. But to get the most out of Google Now, it needs access to my calendars. Since for whatever reason it won't directly access the calendars on my phone, having my icloud calendars automatically sync with Google's would be very handy.
posted by modernnomad at 8:50 PM on October 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


modernnomad: "I have a macbook air and an iphone, and iCloud is great for keeping my calendars and contacts in sync between the two. I also use a shared iCal calendar with my wife. However, I also like Google Now (the app), and find that its predictive behaviour is far, far superior to iOS 7's enhanced lock screen. But to get the most out of Google Now, it needs access to my calendars. Since for whatever reason it won't directly access the calendars on my phone, having my icloud calendars automatically sync with Google's would be very handy."

Once upon a time there was a wonderful application called Spanning Sync that would sync between calendars and also contacts. Unfortunately it is now shut down. I've ranted on here in the past about the difference between syncing calendars and subscribing to calendars, I promise not to go there again.
posted by Runes at 8:04 PM on October 27, 2013


System 6 diehards (who must have thrown in the towel by now

I have a 1991 Powerbook Duo 230 that still runs System 6, and still boots up and runs like a champ. Toughest little thing I've ever seen. You can't kill it. Every year, at office cleaning time, I take it out, boot it up, do a few little tasks, just to check in with it. I always smile at the little happy faces icon on the startup screen.

I'm typing this on a brand new rMBP (and there are a good 20+ personal Macs that came between these two, few of which are still in one piece, let alone work) which went through the Mavericks update flawlessly 2 days ago, and in general I am much impressed with Mavericks in that bland way one expects to be impressed and bored with the quality of a new Toyota (however, the weak Mountain Lion multiple monitor support was a huge issue for me, so I am really glad about that).

But I will never love another computer as much as I loved, and still love, Della Street (yes, it's a Perry Mason reference to the woman who did all the real work and was the real brilliant legal mind on that show), my beloved Duo230. It cost like $2000, as I recall, in 1991 dollars. It traveled for its first few years to small towns across the southwest tucked into the back of a guitar amplifier in the back of band trucks and trailers. It's survived a dozen office-to-office moves, three major relocations around the country, and every manner of physical indignity (I bought it because it was the first subnotebook (ok, I missed on the 210 the year before), which for a road musician with a dissertation to write was a godsend) without so much as a busted (100MB, as I recall) hard drive. Every pixel on the screen still lights up. The rollerball style mouse thingy is still smooth and responsive. The keys all still work fine. The hinges are as tight as the day I bought it. It has never been in for any repair. And it still works fine 22 years later. Go fucking figure, but that was a monster of a machine.

Sigh. I stopped naming my computers around 1997.
posted by spitbull at 5:58 AM on October 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


Now you can do that, and so you can respond to e-mailed calendar invites on your desktop Mail client, and the resulting calendar event can be placed on a Google Calendar. It might seem like a small thing but it's a big time saver for people who are constantly maintaining corporate schedules.

This isn't new, you can do it on 10.8. It seems just as buggy and problematic on 10.9, too.
posted by bonaldi at 6:11 AM on October 30, 2013


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