Why I Ditched Sierra

Like many people, I guess, I was excited by the prospects of the upgrade to the new macOS operating system, named Sierra.  I did have a bit of caution as I always do and waited a bit to see what the masses say about the product.  Right off the bat, Apple and the Fanpeople are off touting this as the latest and greatest world changer.  I do read the release from Apple and smile at some of the claims from the regular people on the bandwagon.  I need second opinions.

After a while, it seemed that the general consensus was that it was a good upgrade.  My computer was on the list of machines that Apple claimed would run the new OS.  Quite frankly, I wasn’t all that excited about the features.  I guess the big thing was that Siri was available on the desktop now although I always have music or television on while I’m using my computer so it may not be all that practical.  Plus, I didn’t spend all those years developing keyboarding skills by programming in COBOL for nothing. 

I assumed that it was safe to go so I decided to bite the bullet and upgrade.  It’s a big upgrade; I did my usual overnight download and was ready to go in the morning. 

The install seemed to go well and I was up and running.  I had to change a few of the preferences; I like my windows solid and I have my own custom backgrounds.  Things seemed to go well except that the computer was slow.  Now, I know that slow is typical of any upgrade until you tweak a preference or two.  I did what I thought would speed things up but still couldn’t get the same speed in operation from my old configuration.  Have I ever mentioned how much I hate beach balls?  I continued to do my reading and now there were indeed articles and more articles talking about problems with Sierra.

I followed many of the suggestions but couldn’t get things to work the way that they should.  I turned to my online assistant, Andy, who had been using better restraint than me about upgrading and so wasn’t up to speed yet.  I’m left to my own trouble shooting.  By now, some of the applications that I use regularly were crashing and behaving badly.  I did have a problem.  I continue to read.

One piece of advice made so much sense.  Turn off the File Vault.  By decrypting everything, it burns CPU and affects performance.  That made a great deal of sense.

So, I decided to un-encrypt my hard drive.  I started the process, the estimate was six hours, but if I could get speed back, I’d be happy.  Besides, I’ll just let the computer lift the heavy load over night and I’ll be happy in the morning.  The computer was running warmly so it must be really working at it.  So I thought…

In the morning, the progress bar had only got about 1/4 of the way through and the message was that the computer was estimating the rest.  Fine, I’ll get back to you later.  The computer wasn’t running hot so maybe it was just thinking slowly.  Hours and hours later, it was still there.  I was off to another computer to find that I wasn’t the only person who had experienced this while un-encrypting with the File Vault utility.  I tried the various suggestions with no success.

Then came the best suggestion of all.  Restore from a Time Capsule. 

It’s not a procedure that I do often so I had to do some reading to make sure that I was going to do it right.  Semi-confident that I knew what I was about to do, I set things in motion.  A few hours later and a reboot, and I’m back in time to El Capitan.  Instructions if you’re in the same position can be found here.

As for me, I have my speed back and happily working at a performance level I’m happy with.

As for Sierra, it’s nowhere on my radar at present; I’ll keep my eyes open for a revision and stories of happiness.

I guess, for me, I just pulled the trigger too soon.

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