Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Just upgraded to Mac OSX 10.9 (Mavericks)!

Hello to my dear readers who are also Apple computer users!

I have just upgraded our shared Macbook Pro to Mavericks from Snow Leopard, and thought I might share my experience with a minor hiccup which cropped up during installation. Google is our friend as always, but the first few hits appear to be targeted at users who are upgrading from newer versions of OSX such as Lion or Mountain Lion.

I am not attempting to convince anyone to upgrade. In fact, I don't believe that there is a real need to upgrade at all. But since Mavericks is FREE, why not? Apple charged for upgrades to both Lion and Mountain Lion, and I've paid something like $40 for a Snow Leopard upgrade for my former iMac, so this seems like a fantastic deal in comparison.

It seems that if you have a decent system with ample RAM (I have maxed out at 8GB for this 2010 MBP, additional system specs below), Mavericks will work well enough. A friend with an older iMac told me that his system seems laggier after the upgrade, which is why I wouldn't advocate that anyone upgrade to Mavericks.

My experience

I am using an M1 200mbps fibre connection. Speedtest benchmarked at 36mbps while I was also downloading Mavericks, which sounds a little on the slow side, actually. Nevertheless, this connection worked well enough while downloading shows stuff so I figured that the connection wasn't an issue, even if it wasn't benchmarking as advertised.

The thing is, the Mavericks download progress bar is a bit misleading. It ran fairly quickly (in about 15 minutes or so) to about 90%, then 'hung' there for another 15. The progress bar was on the Mavericks download icon in the dock, so it wasn't huge.

Of course, Apple could have made the download info and ETC (estimated time of completion) display in an application window, but there was none. Just a piddly download bar on the dock icon.

So I Googled for answers, and the closest relevant information was this:

"If you suspect that there’s something wrong with your Mavericks download, you can check on it’s progress by opening Launchpad. From there, locate the Mavericks icon. If you do indeed have a problem with the download, it could be that it was mysteriously paused somehow, which is what happened in our case.
From there, all we had to do to resume the download was click on it. Why simply hitting the download button in the App Store wasn’t doing the trick is beyond us, but at least we found a workaround."

Read more: http://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/how-to-fix-a-broken-os-x-mavericks-download/#ixzz2j72ReLcT 
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Problem is, there is no "Launchpad" for Snow Leopard. So how?

The simple solution I discovered by accident is to right-click on the Mavericks download icon in the dock. From there, you can check whether the installation has paused or not. Even if you have a fast connection, budget at least 45 minutes for the download, before resorting to such measures as restarting the computer. In fact, I'd just give an hour to be safe, though my download took about 40 minutes.

The installation took around 30-40 minutes after that. Not much to do after that, just set up iCloud and resume using the computer as per normal.

Do back up your computer before attempting any form of OS upgrade!!! I use Superduper to clone two separate external drives, but I am kiasu that way.

Other than this perceived hiccup I faced, everything ran smoothly as one might expect from an Apple OS upgrade. It's way too early to rave about Mavericks but I have no complaints in the two hours that I have been running it and I'd expect Apple to come out with 10.9.1 shortly, to iron out any kinks in this relatively early release.

Hope this helps! As usual, do feel free to leave your comments and any useful tips for our fellow readers!

System Specs

2010 Macbook Pro running (formerly) OSX 10.6.8
2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo

- S (obviously!!)

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