Sunday, November 10, 2013

OS 10.9 Mavericks: a mixture of awesome and suck

First, I find it weird that Apple decided to name its newest operating system "Mavericks"—plural. Also, since the term maverick applies to horses, I assume this represents a quantum leap in nomenclature from the feline to the equine. I look forward to later OSes. Maybe we'll see names like

OS 11 Draft Horse
OS 11.1 Nag
OS 11.1.1 Mustang
OS 11.1.2 Widowmaker
OS 11.1.3 Palomino
OS 11.1.4 Mister Ed
OS 11.1.5 Silver
OS 11.1.6 Appaloosa
OS 11.1.7 Clydesdale
OS 11.2 Piss Like a Racehorse
OS 11.2.1 Hung Like a Horse
OS 11.3 Horse Around
OS 11.4 Horse Meat
OS 11.5 Horse Sense
OS 11.6 Two-bit Horse
OS 11.7 Horse's Ass
OS 11.8 Stud

[UPDATE: Reader Ronald Lee writes to tell me that the name "Mavericks" is based on a popular surfing beach in California. The Apple folks have decided to name their products after places in California that have inspired them. See here. Thanks, RL.]

A couple weeks ago, after my brother David (the family techie) told me that OS Mavericks was available from for a free download (thank you, Apple!), I decided to update my laptop first. I had bought the laptop this past spring, and it's been going strong, but it seemed best to keep the computer as up-to-date as possible. The upgrade went well.

When I initially tried to update my desktop, however, the download kept pausing, and I eventually gave up. My 2009 iMac is getting a bit long in the tooth; it's still a very good computer, but it's slower now, and rougher around the edges, despite the fact that I haven't used even a fraction of its enormous memory capacity. Downloading huge programs can be a pain these days. That update attempt occurred about two weeks ago, but tonight, when I tried again, the download worked. Success!

Alas, two problems surfaced immediately. First, I saw a warning screen that informed me that I would no longer be able to use my MS Office 2008 software: it was from the PowerPC era, and was no longer compatible with OS Mavericks. So for the moment, I'll have to rely on Open Office to create MS Word documents. That's not tragic.

Second, OS Mavericks wiped out my good old Airport utility. This means I no longer have Wi-Fi in my studio: David had shown me, over a month ago, how to make my iMac into a Wi-Fi access point (see here), and that had stood me in good stead: I could use my laptop while sitting on my bed, and my cell phone could suckle the Wi-Fi, thereby avoiding its regular LTE bandwidth consumption. I'm currently trying to figure out how to restore Airport to my iMac now that I've got Mavericks running.

The upgraded computer itself seems, in some respects, to be running faster that it had been. In other respects, it still seems like the old clunker it was before I installed OS 10.9. A mixture of awesome and suck, for sure.


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