'Anyone here upgraded from OS X 10.6 to 10.9?

Okay, short and sweet, I’m a Mac Pro user, running OS X 10.6.8 “Snow Leopard.” And I’ve just learned that Apple’s offering a free update to OS X 10.9 “Mavericks.”

Awesome, right? Slightly opens up the range of software I can run. I’d probably need to upgrade it, eventually, anyway.

However, experience with how operating system upgrades have been going the last few years—Apple’s included—tells me I do have to ask: Has anyone else here had experience with this particular upgrade? Any common pitfalls or drawbacks I should expect? Any unpleasant surprises—did Apple pull out any features since 10.6 that I’d probably miss, or add anything stupid that I’d have to compensate for?

Any thoughts or input from those who’ve been there would be greatly appreciated—if I’m playing Russian Roulette with a major OS upgrade, I’d at least like to know how big the bullet is. :slight_smile:

One thing is the removal of support for old binaries, so any PowerPC software packages. There is a tool for determining if you have any that need upgrading. BTW this has been the case since Lion came out. OSX 10.7 dropped Rosetta support.

This is the big one.
For example CS2 won’t run.

I find the Mavericks is a small step above Mountain Lion. Snow Leopard was a very nice, stable OS, but there were quite a few small UI features added to Lion and Mountain Lion that made them worthwhile. Mavericks is even more incremental - the UI changes are very slight. But, Apple is laying the foundation for even more significant OS advancements in the future - most of the Mavericks changes are “under the hood.”

As someone in the same situation as the OP, how do I determine which software have a binary that won’t run?

I went directly from 10.6 to 10.9 on my home (former work) computer. There are some nice benefits, particularly related to the use of iCloud. I like Mavericks.

The key downside is that none of your PowerPC applications will work anymore. So if you have old software that requires Rosetta (aka is not a universal binary), it will no longer run. The other aspect is that Mavericks is 64-bit only. I use Macports to manage software packages and it was quite a pain in the ass to migrate–reinstalling xcode and all of my ports with all the correct flags and dependencies was not easy.

Go under the Apple menu->About this Mac->More Info->Software->Applications

This will generate a list of all installed applications and their binaries. If the “Kind” is anything other than Intel or Universal, don’t expect it to run.

Thanks! Although it did give me the bad news that I’d have to buy a new version of Office… sigh OTOH, I can’t hold onto this computer forever either, so I’d have to do it eventually… But I got the Student version at a bargain price back when I was taking some extension courses, so it’s hard to let go… Dammit.

My mother just got a new iMac to replace her tuckered-out PowerBook. She has an odd setup with the broadband that requires a lot of steps to accomplish (get connected) that we did not have a list for. So, I started grabbing specific files off the old computer (.plists that looked like they might be network-related) until I put the right one in the right place.

Why am I relating this? Because if you ever have to do this sort of thing – muck about in ~/Library or /Library, Apple has gone to obscuring these directories, you do not casually notice them in Finder. Not that big a deal, there is an “Open Path” function that gets you right there in a snap, and, IIRC, you can put obscured directories into the sidebar. I am just saying, if you seem to be not seeing stuff, fear not, it is still there and still fairly easy to get to if you have a need.

My wife went from 10.6 to 10.9. The worst part was swapping the scrolling away from their “natural scrolling” (aka backwards) to normal scrolling.

A few things that haven’t been mentioned yet:

  1. You’ll lose scrollbars and the little up and down arrows. You’ll be able to turn scrollbars back on, but the arrows (for scrolling a line at a time) are gone for good.

  2. (And this is the one that really burned me) Scrolling with a mouse or trackpad will be backwards. That can also be changed back in system preferences, separate setting for mouse and trackpad. They call this, of all things, “natural” scrolling. As if when I point up I want to see see my feet.

  3. Software Updates is replaced with App Store. Not a huge deal, but you’ll have to be type in with your Apple ID password to update some of the old standby programs, like iLife.

  4. There’s a new security setting that prevents third party apps from opening unless you change it. By default only apps downloaded through the app store will open. This can be changed to “Mac App Store and identified developers” or “Anywhere”, but you’ll have to go to the Security & Privacy tab of System Preferences to change it.

The Student version of Office is now “Home and Student”, available to anyone for non-business use, and much cheaper than the business versions.

They’re right, though. Scrolling has been backwards since the beginning of computers, and we only think it’s normal because we’re used to it. Every complete novice of a computer user I can remember tries to scroll the wrong way the first time.

Put a piece of paper on your desk. Put your finger on it and press lightly. Move your finger up. What direction does the paper move? Why does it go the opposite direction when you use a computer to do the finger moving? Worse, with everything becoming touch now, computers are “backwards” from tablets, too–which also move in the “finger pressed down on the document” direction when scrolling.

If it really bugs you, you can turn it back to the old way with a checkbox. But give it a week and you won’t notice any more, unless you’re one of those people who has to keep moving between Windows and Mac.

Well, it’s a philosophical thing…
We scroll down because we want to look further down the page. So, if your scrolling controls the position of the current focus on the page, than it’s “correct” to have it work this way.
With tablets, there really is no scrolling - you pick the image up and move it in the direction you want, so it’s the reverse of the scroll-bar scroll.

Personally, I have all my machines set to scroll the old way. I have no problems moving from Mac to tablet, although my wife has her Mac set to match her iPad, and that always drives me crazy.

I use my mac for personal computing and I’m half interested in downgrading to Snow Leopard. In fact, if I knew for sure I could easily downgrade I’d do it. I thoroughly enjoyed every new version of OS X until Lion and ever since it’s been more or less the same OS but annoyingly converging with iOS.

To be fair, I find most of the changes in Windows 8 irritating too - but I have to know the latest Windows for work. My mac is just for me and it sure is tempting to go back to simple elegant Snow Leopard.

On a practical note - Lion and above support only 64 bit device drivers, so if you have any hardware without 64 bit drivers they won’t work. It’s been so long, you’d expect most products still in production to have new 64 bit drivers by now but it might interfere with some older products.

And again, I’m arguing that you only think that way because you’re used to it. In the document metaphor that desktops are supposedly providing, the “focus” isn’t a physical thing you’re moving. You’re conceptually moving the “frame” that you’re viewing through (already counter-intuitive unless you’ve been brought up with it), but you’re actually moving the document displayed in the frame in the opposite direction. That’s backwards from basically everything in the real world (real-world windows are in fixed positions, not movable ones), and makes even less sense as scroll bars go away – without them, there’s literally nothing on screen moving the direction you’re indicating.

Certainly there’s enough entrenched tradition here that I can understand folks preferring “the way they’ve always done it,” but the square quotes people put around “natural” scrolling is clearly uncalled for – the new way is more natural, it’s just not traditional.

Wrong analogy. When you use a desktop machine the display isn’t a piece of paper that you move around, nor is it a frame you’re looking through. It’s your eyes, and you’re looking at a document displayed in front of you. When you scroll up, you’re not pushing the document up, you’re looking up , and when you scroll down, you’re looking down. It would be pretty jarring if you tipped your head down and saw the sky. To put it another way, Apple’s reverse scrolling is like pressing the up arrow on the keyboard and having the cursor move down.

It’s telling that the first thing that pops up when you log in to a new Lion or higher machine is a window telling you to scroll backwards. What they call “natural” is anything but, and users need to be told it works backwards.

A tablet is different, because it’s more like you’re holding the document in your hand and manipulating it directly. You aren’t pressing arrow buttons or rolling a scroll wheel, you’re actually pushing the document around with your finger.

I upgraded a couple of months ago. The major change I see is noticeably improved battery life, apparently due to more agressive power saving measures.

And much better memory use, too. On 4GB machines, it’s night and day different.

Really? So if I upgraded, some of my problems with Firefox’s CPU hogging could be alleviated?


Then the only question would be the best source for buying MS Office cheaply…

(In after edit: a Google search doesn’t show any sort of time expiration on the free offer mentioned. I suppose it makes sense, if the goal is to reduce OS fragmentation. Anyone know anything either way? The fact that Office is the only hugely major software that would be affected by my upgrading is making me think hard about this.)