Mavericks

a.k.a. MacOS X.9

I said in my article on upgrading MacOS that this was easy to do, it was, but the resultant performance rendered it unusable. This article discusses what I did to resolve this. Concluding that another 4Gb of RAM is all it needs.

Re-install in situ

As at the moment, the best writeup that I’ve found of how to resolve it is here, on Apple’s support forums, a correspondent called IOWA documents four steps on how to resolve it, although he doesn’t explain well why these steps help.

I have reset the NVRAM, reset the System Management Controller and then run a Safe Boot, it seems a bit better now but I need to check if an OS reinstall is required.

Yup, it needs the reinstall. Here’s IOWA’s reference at Apple’s Site “OS X Mavericks: Reinstall OS X” . I have BT Infinity so didn’t take as long as I expected, better but not brilliant. What causes this?

What’s next?

Activity Monitor points me at ‘kernel_tasks”, which points me at  etrecheck, which points me at the startup functions; I also find some MacKeeper detritus, which I delete, and Java which I update.

Dross & Dreck

Performance remains shite. I use Crucial and buy some memory, upgrade from 4Gb to 8Gb. So much better!

iMail

On the article My 1st Apple Mac, I identified a fault such that BT consumer customers could not use iMail s a mail composer. Since then I have changed my smtp server from BT to 1and1; I wanted a hosted single ‘sent’ folder and it is now immaterial who my connecting ISP is. I did not test if imail was working after this. I have upgraded from Leopard to Mavericks and tested imail as part of my performance remediation testing and it seems to be working as a reader, need to reconfigure the smtp server and retest.

Cleaning out the User Library

I have installed CCleaner, it’s a quick way of cleaning out various caches, but doesn’t solve the ~/Library problem. The first piece of advice is to get a visualiser, I have Disk Inventory X, but the Library folders are invisible in Finder, this needs to be changed. Most advice seems to be aimed at reducing what’s stored on the disk, perhaps the answer is to replace the disk with an SSD is this possible. It would benefit from more RAM.

Comment

One correspondent in the thread recommends a complete re-install using the instructions, here. Mactrast says,

Personally, I always make a habit of starting fresh whenever I install a major new version of OS X. It’s the best way to ensure you have the cleanest, smoothest experience on your Mac.

Great if the reason you have a laptop is to run the Operating Systems; oh wait, with Apple it is!

Filevault

The technology changed at Mountain Lion. I had forgotton my password on the one user that I had encrrypted and using the master to change it still wouldn’t permit the one user I had encrypted to login, so I blew it away. Filevault 2 works on the whole disk not just the home directory. I think I had better take some backups first, but again it shows the wisdom of the advice above in starting from scratch.

Here are three links,

Reading the Wikipedia page documents the improvement in the encryption technology but also suggest a significant performance cost for older CPUs. I think I may have a problem. I have an Intel Core Duo. This article at osxdaily also suggests that I should consider an SSD if going here. Perhaps I should consider Truecrypt instead?

Do I need to upgrade the RAM, get an SSD and buy another external drive? It all seems a bit expensive for web browsing?

User Account Avatars

Now if we want to use pictures other than those  distributed by Apple, we need to create .tif files, I used Image Magic, and used macports to install it; they need to be located in /Library/User\ Pictures. I created a ./Local to hold my pictures.

Upgrading MacOS X

And on to 10.9

There was a rumour that it was best to stop at 10.8, Mountain Lion but by the time I got round to it htis wasn’t an option. The Appstore only permitted an upgrade to Mavericks; is this a cat?  The Appstore upgrade works fine.

And now onto Macports which is a pain, and I document on my Macports page.

Filevault is a constraint as well. You’ll need a better answer than I used if any of your pre 10.8 users had Filevault encrypted home directories.

Continue reading “Upgrading MacOS X”