It's been a while since my last blog. This time I wanted to do a small review of the new OSX Mavericks.
Six months ago after I got my Macbook Air and a thunderbolt-to-VGA connector, I always wanted to set up a multiple display in office, so I did, and the experience was horrible, they way OS X do their workspace in multiple display is impractical for day-to-day use, not to mention doing any poweruser related task. I was frustrated, so did many other user, there was no workaround, no tricky solutions, there's just that and we have to deal with it. So I put my external monitor under my desk and hope that someday Apple will fix this.
So few weeks ago, there was this WWDC 2013, annual conference from Apple, the rumor was they are going to launch a new line of Macbooks, and of course, along with that, the new OS X, with (rumor says) more support towards power users, including better implementation of multiple display. This was like a godsend for me, this is something I really wish to have. So right when they launch it for developer preview, I tested it out.
Truth to be told, this is the only computer I have for now, it's either this or nothing, so it was quite risky to experiment shiny stuff in this laptop, especially new OS, but I just can't wait for the stable version to be released this year's end. So I went and download the beta version, it weighted 4.5GB in a DMG format. This is the first time for me installing a new OSX in Mac, I was a long time Ubuntu user, and admitted it wasn't very smooth when it come to trying beta stuff in Ubuntu, so I expected the same in this experiment.
Surprisingly, the installation went very smooth. I just need to mount the DMG file, install the application and run it, the system will then restart itself and continue with the installation for about 30 minutes, and voila, I got the new OS!. My data is still there although I did back it up into my external HDD. Everything stays the same, my documents, installed apps, configuration, everything. Well, maybe not exactly everything.
As a Python programmer, I mainly worked with
postgres. So the first thing in my mind right after the installation was to make sure I can continue doing my work. I turned out the JDK I installed was gone, mercurial was also gone, and some other python libraries such as
virtualenvwrapper. So I had to reinstall them and then only it worked fine. Some tmux features are also disabled due to lack of support for the new OS, well that's fine, nothing major there.
Right after I make sure everything seems all right, I summon the forgotten monitor under my desk and tried the multiple display support, it was awesome. I know multiple display support is nothing new, it worked well on Windows and Linux for a long time already, I don't even know why OS X had to wait this far to get it, but it doesn't reduce my excitement. Everything is good now, each display has it's own workspace, menu bar, dock, support for fullscreen aps. Although there are some minor stuff I find annoying. For example, when a non-fullscreen apps got attention in one display, both display will jump to desktop. Also, when I'm creating a new window, say a Chrome window in the next display while Chrome is already opened in the first display, the new window will come out in the first display instead. They are quite minor and I can live with that.
So it's been like few days playing with the new OS X mavericks, the experience was good, it doesn't feel like I'm using a beta OS, it's very stable, no crashes, no error messages. The laptop has been awake for about 2 days and it is still stable. It also feels faster, especially the wake up speed after stand by/sleep. I used to get some very technical error messages in Ubuntu when trying out their preview-version OS, but OS X Mavericks beta has impressed me with its stability.
I know its not fair to really compare Ubuntu with OS X, I mean Apple don't have much hardware line to deal with. So in my opinion Ubuntu and Linux has been doing a really awesome job as well, keeping it error-less as much as they can. It's just that now I feel comfortable using OS X (even the beta version) for my day-to-day use personally, as I don't have to deal with errors as much as I did when I was still using Ubuntu. So yeah, overall it's all good.