OS X Mavericks

A few quick thoughts on Apple’s new OS X Mavericks. (They finally ran out of cats!)  I’ve installed it on a couple of Macs now and I have to say I really like it a lot.  I’m often not one to advocate early updates for new Operating Systems but Apple seems to have actually done some good things this time around. That’s not even the best thing, the best thing is it’s completely free!

The Mac I use in the office is a 2007 model iMac and the performance improvements from behind the scenes work Apple has done is truly noticeable. There are a few nice touches here and there to the look and feel too.  For example, Mavericks has vastly improved support for multiple screens on your Mac, where you get a task bar at the top of each screen, it’s earth shatteringly useful and time saving! There are some other interesting little tweaks and additions I haven’t tried out yet, like Finder Tags and Tabs. Tabs sound truly useful, tags, meeehhhhhh not so much but we’ll see. There are some features I rolled my eyes at too, the addition of Apple Maps as a free app for example, I’ll still be using Google Maps I think.

Don’t panic if you don’t like change though, I know of many people that still yearn for MS Office 2003’s layout. Its nothing major like that and theres not a ribbon in sight. If you can use anything from 10.6 Snow Leopard to 10.8 Mountain Lion, you will feel right at home.

A perhaps overly complicated task we all have to deal with at Kent is adding a printer on a Mac. Thankfully all my printers have rolled over to the new OS without a problem and Keychain has remembered all my passwords, so I’m confident anyone else that tries won’t have an issue either.

I’d quite like everyone to seriously consider going ahead with this update on your Office/University owned Macs.  All you need to do is sign in with a valid Apple ID account an click download, you will also need to know the administration password for your Mac. (let me know if you need help with that bit.)  The file is about 5Gb and installation can take 40 mins – 2hrs depending on the age of your Mac.
Please consider the following before you go ahead:

  • Your current OS X must be at least 10.6.8 Snow Leopard
  • Back up all your local files first!
  • Do you have any special 3rd party programs that may not be compatible with the update? Check the Software websites first(SPSS runs just fine).

And just to throw it in here as well, adding Printers to Macs guide: http://www.kent.ac.uk/itservices/print/personal.html

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