Apple’s OS X Mavericks: Five weeks on

“On October 22, Apple released OS X Mavericks as a free download,” Gene Steinberg writes for The Tech Night Owl. “In the previous months, I’ve suggested that such a thing might happen, although Apple went even further by making iWork and iLife more or less free too. I mean ‘more or less’ because you have to buy a new Mac, or be using a previous version of either, to get the new gratis upgrades.”

“While my OS X upgrade experience was flawless, and Mavericks is near-perfect when it comes to stability, there are some rocky edges,” Steinberg writes, “and I’ll only cover a few.”

Steinberg writes, “I am quite satisfied with Mavericks overall. There does appear to be a bit more snap in the way the system functions, and overall system load is lower when different apps are doing their thing.”

Read more in the full article here.


    1. AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) was the first protocol that was supported when the iChat app was released by Apple (now known as Messages). Apple eventually introduced its own direct messaging service called iMessage, but it’s understandable that many users would continue to use the AIM protocol after all of these years.

  1. Problem free for me. The only minor gripe relates to iBooks – the library window will fail to load upon booting up the app if your library exceeds 30 books. But other than that it has been a rock solid implementation. No crashes, no showstoppers, no drama, just everything working as they should. I’m not experiencing any slowdown in Safari scrolling or any scrolling on any other app.

    I’m thankful that they maintained most of the OS X look and feel and have imported only a little of the iOS 7 look and feel which I feel is inappropriate for OS X. I hate iOS 7 anyway and I feel that Calendar has suffered as a result. It’s almost unusable though not as bad as the iOS 7 version which is totally unusable and a design disaster. And taking away the 3-D Dock I think is retrograde.

    Goes to show that Ive doesn’t know beans about OS design and has overstepped the mark where iOS 7 is concerned because Apple can produce beautiful software if it follows Steve Jobs’ precepts for beautiful realistic looking icons.

  2. I wish people would stop acting like free OS’s are a new trendy thing. Linux has been doing it since 1992, and does it better IMO. I like Apple, but Macs (mostly those made since 2001) are just glorified Unix boxes for hipsters. I’m sorry, but that’s the truth.

    1. I’m sorry but I have to disagree. Free, quality OS is impossible to find. The emphasis on quality. Even paid OS like Windows is a dog’s breakfast, so Mavericks being free is a major step forward in Apple’s OS release cycle. Say what you will, OS X is a major OS.

      I have tried various flavors of Linux before, e.g. Red Hat, Ubuntu and a couple of others whose names I don’t remember because they never struck me as particularly user friendly. Prior to switching to a Mac I was a Windows user so I have some experience in using Windows. Compared to Windows, using a Mac is like being given a drink of ice water when you’re burning in the fires of hell.

      I don’t have anything good to say about Linux except that the user experience sucks beyond measure. To me Linux appeals only to geeks which most certainly do not form the majority of computer users.

    2. I think Linux is great as a server but there are aspects when used as a consumer computer that I hate.
      For example the software update mechanism drives me crazy.
      Perhaps this is specific to red hat and different distros are better but running the TONS of updates is exhausting and if you don’t run them for awhile then you have to worry about breaking the system by installing something out if sequence.
      This does not happen with the Mac.
      There’s a level of detail with Apple devices (Macs, iPads, iPhones, etc) that just does not exist with other companies. Do they make mistakes, of course, but most major end user productivity issues are handled elegantly.

      1. True, but at least give credit where credit is due. Mac is actually built on top of BSD, so a little appreciation for the open-source community would be great. Not all Linux distros suck. Ubuntu was my first non-Windows OS, and I still use it to this day (along with Mac, of course.)

        1. Who’s not appreciating the OSS aspect of Macs? I think you’re blind to the bigger picture here. I’m a long-time and very passionate Mac user and I use open source software everyday on my Mac. I wouldn’t be able to run my business without it.

    3. Yes, Macs are built from open source software, and Apple has equally contributed back. You can’t say that various Linux distros haven’t benefited from Mac OS X either. It’s gone both ways.

      What OS X brings to the table is a powerful, attractive and predictable user interface. Jump from app to app and menu commands are where you expect them (most of the time). In Linux and Windows, there is no such consistency.

      1. Since Apple’s on the BSD kernel and Linux is (I think) on another, Apple has certainly contributed to the Unix community in many and large ways.

        However, while I could be wrong, I would think their contributions to Linux as Linux are more one step removed.

    4. glorified Unix boxes for hipsters

      No. Much as I appreciate Linux, OS X is actual UNIX. Linux is not. OS X easily has the best GUI on the planet. Linux does not. The fact that OS X deliberately emphasizes user-friendless (WAY above ANY other version of UNIX) does not mean it’s made for ‘hipsters’. I’m sorry but truth is in the mind of the beholder, among humans that is.

      As for the freakiness about OS X being free: I entirely agree. There are dozens of free OSs these days. Among them, Linux is a great option, once you figure out which flavor you want to use.

      Folks often forget that Apple was involved in the Linux movement via its free MKLinux OS during the 1990s. IOW: This isn’t the first time Apple has offered a free OS.

      Apple has also offered Darwin, it’s core UNIX OS using the XNU kernel (derived from the Mach and BSD kernels) for free since 2000.

  3. I love Mavericks and its functionality.
    But I could be enjoying it better, because I’m having some problems with it. I haven’t done a clean install.
    Mavericks is constantly freezing for some seconds and then it keeps working as if nothing happened. Text Edit takes ages to open. Save or export dialogue boxes make the computer freeze for some seconds. iPhoto is unbearably slow. And Activity Monitor doesn’t show anything unusual, not even after those seconds when everything stops.
    I finally fixed Spotlight. It was endlessly indexing. But the system is still very slow!
    I’d love to clean install Mavericks, but this is a working machine and I can’t afford a down time at this point. Maybe in the future.
    But I know not everybody is experiencing this. But it is annoying. OS X 10.8 was much faster!

    1. I would definitely recommend a clean install to fix those issues.
      1) Use Time Machine to do a full backup.
      2) Do a fresh install.
      3) Restore your Home folder from the Time Machine backup.

      Any problems related to system files should be resolved because the Time Machine backup wouldn’t have touched those.

      1. @ coolfactor
        Thank you very much for your answer and for your help.
        That’s exactly what I think will solve this issue. I will certainly do that as soon as I’m able to give this machine a break!
        Kind regards.

        1. Another “test” you can perform to see if it is something in your local library (~/Library) or user config is to create a new user and log into that user to see if your problem persists. This is a quick and relatively easy to tell if it a local configuration issuer or a system configuration.

          1. Thanks Tessellator! I’ll check that out.
            It must be a software issue. Not only it is a recent machine, but everything was fine before installing Mavericks over ML.
            Thanks for your help!

            1. Almost defiantly a software or config issue. (as you say) If you can determine if it is local (user issue) or a system issue you can cut your remedy effort in half:

              If it is user based, copy your documents to the “new” user and begin to work there. (you can eventually delete & kill the old user account if you wish) You -may- need to reinstall some software as some installers put specific files required by the application in the user library. (~/Library ( i.e. /Users/”username”/Library), this folder is tagged as “invisible” so you will have to use the termini,l or “Go to folder…” in the finder’s Go menu to access it)

              If it is not user based (i.e. your problems persist in the new user account) then you will need to do a clean install but you can feel safe in just copying your entire user account over to the new system (knowing that you are not just copying your problem to a new system)

    1. Why are you shutting down? Macs never need to be shut down. Just put your machine to sleep when you don’t need it.

      Slowness might be the result of:
      1) insufficient RAM
      2) poor disk performance.

      Upgrade your RAM as much as you can, and do a disk cleanup. If you’re really willing, install a brand new hard drive. possibly a hybrid drive that takes advantage of Flash RAM for caching of frequently-used files.

    2. Something is wrong, take your mac to a genius bar or if you want to self diagnose try creating a new user (as I explained above) to determine where the problem is.
      In a correctly functioning system Mavericks is not noticeably slower than ML was. (some things are a tiny bit faster other a tiny bit slower)

  4. I have liked Mavericks very much. I installed it over my Mt Lion OS on a new Mac mini with max RAM and SSHD as provided by Apple’s web store. It seemed fine for several weeks. I ran the routine OS maintainence utilities, which seemed to fix most file permissions, as well as kept up with the couple OS X 9 version updates. But after several weeks I could not get Preview to stay open long enough to open a PDF file. It would seem to just flash on so I could glimpse the icon on the toolbar and then quit before any window would even open. In a couple days similar behavior developed with TextEdit showing a quick flash of activity then quitting when attempting to open a document. Nisus would open those same docs without a problem. Finally when I got a message that new software was available for parts of my system, it too would try to open and then quit. I could get no updates nor access to any parts of the Mac App Store without the app quitting. All these unceremonious “quits” generated no failure or other explanatory messages on my screen. Unfortunately I’m not sophisticated enough to comb thru logs or pref files to figure out what is going on. I have tried deleting the logs, updating prefs, and using Onyx or MacKeeper to try to repair any file corruption that might be at the root of this. I deleted ApUpdate hoping it would reinstall, which it did not. Now my goose is really cooked. For the life of me I don’t see what I could have done to mess up Preview, then TextEdit, then ApUpdater of Mavericks. Anyone have any problem like this with Mavericks? What might I have done wrong? What can I do to fix this? I can’t redownload any system installers without a functioning ApUpdater. Bummer. How can I get a fresh start with Mavericks on this machine? I have used all the previous generations of OSX and have never seen this problem before. Yikes.

    1. By no means is this an exhaustive solution to your app launch issues.

      That being said, get rid of MacKeeper and Onyx. MacKeeper is basically malware, and Onyx has caused problems for me in the past because of the way it fiddles with system files. Then follow coolfactor’s solution to Fran’s issue above:

      “I would definitely recommend a clean install to fix those issues.
      1) Use Time Machine to do a full backup.
      2) Do a fresh install.
      3) Restore your Home folder from the Time Machine backup.

      Any problems related to system files should be resolved because the Time Machine backup wouldn’t have touched those.”

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