Why did they name it this??

I upgraded from MacOS 10.8.3 to 10.9. I didn't want to, but it was bound to be necessary eventually.

Pro tip: if you want to do a clean install, but don't want to spend 48 hours restoring your photos and music from backup afterward, you can now do it like so:

  1. Boot the installer.
  2. Open Disk Utility from the installer's menu and mount your drive.
  3. Open Terminal from the installer and rm -rf everything except /Users.
  4. Install. /Users will remain.
  5. chown to taste.

I've been using it for about a week, and here are the things that suck most about 10.9:

  1. You can't use iTunes 10.7 to sync a phone.

    I was careful to download the iTunes 10.7 package before upgrading, and not let iTunes 11 touch my Music directory before deleting iTunes 11 and re-installing 10.7. However, it turns out that while you can run iTunes 10.7 on OSX 10.9, what you cannot do is sync anything. No local backups, no transfer of local MP3 files to the phone. Presumably no Xcode. So if your phone has no music files on it and you do your backups through iClod, I guess you can keep using 10.7. Otherwise, you're fucked.

  2. It goes without saying that iTunes 11 is a complete disaster.

    1. No "iTunes DJ" ("Up Next" is a terrible substitute).
    2. No way to play higher rated songs more often.
    3. No way to anonymously request songs from Remote.app.
    4. No way to open multiple windows.

  3. The multi-screen support has gone completely insane. It's nice having a menubar on each screen, I guess (though honestly I don't care) but they changed the behavior so that apps no longer remember which screen they were on! When I launch iCal, for instance, sometimes it's on my main screen and sometimes on my second screen instead of staying where I put it.

    There's a workaround for this, but it's a hassle:

    1. Run "Mission Control" and click the "plus" box in the upper right corner of your main screen (it doesn't look much like a plus box) to make a second, blank, "space" on that screen.
    2. Now the context menu of each item in the Dock will have a new option, "Assign to Desktops on Display 1" or "Assign to Desktops on Display 2". Using this, you can lock an app to a particular screen.
    3. You have to do this for every app.
    4. But if you don't want all of a particular app's windows on the same screen -- for example, you want the main window on one screen, and status windows on another -- you're fucked. You have to move them manually every time they open.

    But I have just discovered that you can go back to the old way by de-selecting "Displays have separate Spaces" in Mission Control preferences, but then you have to reboot. I didn't realize it was working.

  4. The Mail.app icon is no longer badged with the number of unread messages.

    As before, I have my "Dock unread count" and "New message notifications" prefs set to a smart mailbox that includes the various folders in which new messages appear. Notifications work, badges don't.

    Oh, except then I rebooted and now Mail.app is permanently badged with "1" regardless of the number of unread messages. How very.

    Oh, this appears to be because my "Biff Mailboxes" smart mailbox is permanently badged with 1 unread message. Though when I sort by unread, it shows me no unread messages in it. This seems to now be true of most of my smart mailboxes: they all have completely random and untrue unread counts.

    Maybe blowing away Spotlight -- again -- will fix it. I'll know in a couple of days.

    Update: No. That made it no longer be perm-badged, but now it's back to never-badged.

  5. Mail.app removed the "Hide" button next to the "MAILBOXES" section. Since I have multiple identities that arrive at the same IMAP server, with different inboxes per account, I never use the privileged and undeletable "Inbox" folder. It's always empty: nothing is delivered there. Before, I could move the "MAILBOXES" section to the bottom and close it with "hide" but now I can't so it's always there taking up space.

  6. The CPU load meters in Activity Monitor are even more hideous than before. I thought skeuomorphism was out of favor now?

  7. And they are no longer restored when the app restarts.

  8. For some reason, using Privoxy as Safari's proxy server has become really unreliable: about 10% of URLs get an immediate "proxy server not responding" error (not a timeout). Nothing in Privoxy's logs or system.log indicating the failure.

  9. Safari removed the ability to take the "Top Sites" icon out of the Favorites bar. Fuck you.

  10. Safari auto-quits all the time if no windows happen to be open. Thanks for making it take an additional 5 seconds for me to open a page. This fixes it:
    defaults write com.apple.Safari NSDisableAutomaticTermination -bool yes

  11. I have a fun Filevault bug. When the machine cold-boots and asks for a password to unlock the disk, there are certain letters I can't type. Let's say I can type A, B and D, but not C or E. It's crazy. This is with my favored old keyboard, through a PS2/USB adapter. So I plug in the "official" Apple USB keyboard. Can't type the characters there either. Unplug my "real" keyboard: now I can type those characters on the Apple keyboard. That's right, the presence of one keyboard is disabling keys on the other.

    This only happens on the boot screen, not once the machine is up and running. After that, it's fine. So I have to have a second keyboard around every time I reboot. Oh and it only happens most of the time.

  12. It is currently only 45°F in San Francisco. I know this is not strictly Apple's fault but I'm going to blame it on "Mavericks" anyway.


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44 Responses:

  1. Jonathan Ungar says:

    Whee. I'm still unhappy with how multiple desktops changed from 10.6 to 10.7. I liked the old Spaces better. Yay progress.

  2. Michael Krakovskiy says:

    Did you keep a list or is your short term memory so good that you were able to sit down and write all of that in one fell swoop?

  3. Jamie Zawinski says:

    My foops are always swell.

  4. Jeremy Wilson says:

    "Mavericks" is easily the worst update yet and not just the name. It totally broke my XBMC setup and has a lot of HDMI issues.

    I'm still running 10.8.5 on my MacBook and will be for awhile I think. I wonder what happened in Cupertino with this one - I've never regretted an upgrade before.

    Anyway, I recommend Slate for your windowing issues.

    • David Glover says:

      Blaming Mavericks for bugs in XMBC (which were fixed in the daily build even before Mavericks came out) seems a little harsh.

      • Jeremy Wilson says:

        It worked in 10.8.5 and doesn't in 10.9. Who am I supposed to blame?

        The daily build is also alpha software and the other bugs in it are bad enough for me to not run it. So I'm stuck waiting for the next release or downgrading OSX.

        Maybe it's Linux time.

        • MattyJ says:

          No, no it is not.

          • denydias says:

            Why not?

            I did this move from Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) at about one year now. I didn't even touched 10.8 (Mountain Lion). Since them I'm running Slackware64 on my quite old MBP7,1 (Core 2 Duo, 8GB RAM, no SSD) with a performance and stability that 10.7 could even pair on those days.

            It's true that the lack of 'point and click' way of doing things, indeed, takes some time and effort to be all set on any Linux distro out there. In the other hand, I never, ever again got caught by these 'surprises' Apple's always come out with upon every released upgrade (minor or major).

            There's a plus also: I run free! Unless there are some lock imposed by some piece of proprietary hardware/software I have to deal with (something like Apple did in iPod nano 6th gen), I can rest assured that every single thing I do on this system works and is going to keep working as the years goes by.

            So, yes! If you are able to, at least take some serious thoughts on making the switch to Linux (or the free BSD variants out there).

            • jwz says:

              You get down with your bad self, living free or dying. Run free, free like the wind. Some of us have shit to do.

            • Jon says:

              can rest assured that every single thing I do on this system works and is going to keep working as the years goes by.

              Aha, aha ha.

        • Aaron says:

          "What shall I do about this scorching case of herpes? I know! Testicular cancer!"

  5. tenken says:

    Jump ship to non-OSX land; bastions of hope do exist!

    Do you keep a laundry list of what annoys you per-OS. How do you decide when to jump ship?

    Feel free to herp-derp me :).

    • John says:

      I imagine jwz will have a fun reply for your comment. :)
      In my case though, I do keep something of a mental checklist on why I'm using each OS. So far OS X manages to keep a place on my desk for PIM apps and email. And Linux manages to keep a place on my desk for development, web browsing and less concern that the OS will go in a direction that's totally incompatible with the way I use it. And last but not least, every so often I boot into Windows and play some game that's not available for Linux or Mac.

      • Jon says:

        And Linux manages to [...] less concern that the OS will go in a direction that's totally incompatible with the way I use it.

        Hehe.. Good one. ;-)

        • John says:

          Notice, I said "totally incompatible", not "oh god, someone moved my food dish." :P

      • phessler says:

        Guess how I know you aren't a GNOME or KDE user. ;)

        • John says:

          Shocking as it may be, some people actually like GNOME Shell. It took some getting used to certainly, but I definitely feel like it's an improvement over GNOME 2. Generally I try not to get too attached to a certain way of doing things though; it just makes it harder to switch when I need to. That being said, if someone messes with my vim config things won't go well.

          • Other jamie says:

            ... And you are here because. Oh yeah.

            My Linux machines boot to a shell. My desktop is OSX. Apple keeps fucking with that part. On the other hand, every fucking person on the planet thinks I need to install Gmome or some such, and tells me systemd, because the future.

            Or I can make my own distro. Thanks.

            • Rodger Donaldson says:

              I was hostile to systemd at first, not least Because Lennart, but I have to say, having used it a while, it's pretty good. Certainly a vast improvement on the haphazard mess of SysV init. And ragging on systemd while using launchd seems a little quixotic.

              Gnome can go fuck itself in the face. Letting a bunch of failed smartphone designers fuck up your desktop environment was never going to end well.

          • Jon says:

            Generally I try not to get too attached to a certain way of doing things though; it just makes it harder to switch when I need to.

            That's a good policy even if you have no plans to switch. I adapted to GNOME 3. then 3.1 came out. Etcetera.

  6. John says:

    The multimonitor "fix" was painful. I was really looking forward to multi-display handling not being worse than modern Linux desktops. I got to enjoy the novelty of having a fullscreen app on each monitor like once before realizing that their "fix" was causing all sorts of other weirdness. At least they provided an option to go back to the "un-fixed" behavior, so I guess that's ... good? Yay for maintaining the status quo.

  7. Stephen Harris says:

    I don't know whether to be happy or sad that my only Apple machine - a Mac Mini (Core2Duo 1.83Mhz) - won't run 10.9.

  8. Sam says:

    Since you manage what I presume to be a rather large music library through iTunes on OSX, do you have any tips for dealing with the lag?
    I use an external (spinning) disc with a large library (100K tracks), and iTunes has always been very laggy, in pretty much every regard.
    I've been through quite a few iTunes updates over the years that have "fixed slowness issues with larger libraries", and none of them seem to do anything.

    • jwz says:

      I have never seen the hypnowheel in iTunes.

      Actually I vaguely recall seeing it occasionally until I turned off one or another pieces of useless bullshit - maybe it was the option in last.fm to scrobble iPhone plays? That was years ago.

      • Sam says:

        Well fuck. Thanks. At least I know it's a solve-able problem.

        • relaxing says:

          My 100k track library is on a network share accessed over wifi (because I love self-torture) and while iTunes still sucks balls for this use case, uninstalling Audioscrobbler made things much better for me.

    • Robert Krajewski says:

      My library is not as big, but its size (about 20000) used to be a pain point in earlier versions of iTunes. That got better in software, then I got a mini with an SSD which brought the startup times of iTunes and iPhoto (my photos are on the SSD) close to zero.

      I assume that the disk speed where the media is doesn't matter that much, but now they live on Thunderbolt drive anyway, just to make sure.

  9. John Morton says:

    I believe “iClown” is the name you're looking for:

    (Skip to 35:00 for the relevant bit.)

  10. Other jamie says:

    When I woke up this morning, I thought I was abruptly really sick, because I was freezing. Then I looked, and it was 32f.

    The fuck, Apple?

  11. gryazi says:

    That keyboard thing almost sounds suspiciously boot-time we-used-to-call-it-firmware -related... and the loader is watching for the magic keys, except I didn't realize "E" wasn't one of them (not "Eject"?), so maybe this is herpderp.

    You are missing this year's fun of Linux+Xorg where under sufficient load (and possibly because I'm sharing the bus with a USB network adapter) on a certain machine, keystrokes nwo start bneig eldvierd ni teh gwron droer, though. Except once 'space' is included it becomes less readable. Also the GNOME calculator occasionally starts performing operations on wrong/old data.

  12. Mark says:

    My ancient mac pro will probably run 10.6.8 forever, since it can't run 10.8 or newer. Tried mavericks on my mac air but didn't see much point so rolled it back to 10.6.8 as well.

    I think I'm one of those curmugeons that will run snow leopard forever. Still 6.1.2 on my phone, as well.. since it's jailbroken. Don't think I'm missing much ;)

  13. Tim says:

    Sort of related to #10: At least Mavericks Safari now manages to reliably remember and re-open tabs/windows from the previous session when it launches. Pretty sure I remember commiserating with you about how older versions had serious amnesia (yet mysteriously still remembered all tabs if you used History->Reopen All Windows).

    You probably should have waited for a .1 release. Mavericks is better than the average Apple .0 release in that it's actually reasonably stable, but it still needs some polishing.

  14. Mike says:

    Mail badging seems extremely buggy. I often have to open up the prefs and reselect my smart mailboxes to get the badging working right again. It looks fine in the preferences, until you actually select the pop up menu and see that your smart mailbox is listed twice - once at the very top of the pop up (and selected), and again at the bottom where all the smart mailboxes are listed. Picking that bottom one gets it working again...for a while. Until Mail decides it really likes the number badged right now, so it'll keep it.

    • Waider says:

      There has already been a patch release of Mail since the Mavericks launch which purported to fix the mail badging. Still broken on my work machine, but given the dark satanic mills in operation behind the scenes there I'm not wholly surprised. It just bothers me that the "new mail" count in the app doesn't match the one in the badge - that'd seem like a fairly basic thing to get right.

      However I just now did that thing you said (reselect the same damned mailbox) and wow, it looks like they agree. Thanks.

      • Jal says:

        Um, yeah. But that sort of defeats the porpoise. Poor guy.

        If I have to check a mailbox to see what is in it in order to see...

        Right. Just reaffirms my belief that, fuck you, I'll reply to your email when I get to it. It is Cuperino's fault.

  15. MattyJ says:

    Another fun thing was that on day one, if you were using Google mail and opened the mail app, it would download your 'all mail' folder and store it separate from all of your mail. Can't tell you company-wide how many hundreds of gigs suddenly started coming through, and how many people suddenly ran out of disk space.

    I think they fixed it but it's nigh impossible to get people to stop downloading and installing that new shiny thing. Disaster.

    Apple better hurry and fix the weather. I feel like a moron running my fireplace during the day.

    • Other jamie says:

      Reminds me of the old days, when we ran our own mail servers off a Sparc 1 and liked it. (No, really, I did.) and then some dumbshit would send a 40 meg PowerPoint presentation to {company-name}-all, and you'd have to explain what the mathematical 'times' operator means and that disk, in fact, has limits.

      Oh, people do that with BI jobs now. So glad they're segregated. Like email. Except when they need realtime, and need Viral Intelligence.

  16. Megabyte says:

    I've experienced the Filevault cold boot bug with 10.8 before. Suspecting its more EFI related than OS.

    • Michael Dwyer says:

      I've seen something similar on HP and Dell laptops. On HP, I wasn't able to enter a password from a Microsoft Natural keyboard, but I could from an HP one or the one built into the laptop, when they're all plugged in at the same time.
      On Dell, I am able to enter a password from the MS Natural, but if I type it too quickly, it drops characters.

      If I had to do this more than once a day, the security wouldn't be worth the inconvenience.

  17. Kevin McKenzie says:

    Can’t comment on the privoxy problem, but I’ve had no issues with glimmer blocker, which is pretty much the same thing.

  18. joe user says:

    newly impossible to text-only mail, also. at least the tiny set of emacs key bindings has survived another round.

  19. Pablo says:

    1. Downgrade to 10.6.8
    2. Enjoy the best OS of the world

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