Bad, bad upgrade


A few years ago, well, maybe more than that, the concept of a 64-bit version of Windows was a new concept.  Only the higher end machines would support it and certainly what could be afforded for the classroom couldn’t.

Every CIESC meeting, there was one contact who inevitably asked the question when we were investing board-licensed or OSAPAC-licensed software “Will this run under 64-bit Windows?”  After a while, I clued in and tested it before the meeting so I immediately knew the answer.  I think that the memory allocation at the time for school computers was 2MB RAM and so there wasn’t a big need to run 64-bit at the time.

As we all know, things change and now 64-bit operating systems are everywhere.  It makes you wonder about the future of 32-bit applications and Apple has made it clear that they’re toast in the latest release of its operating system – Catalina.

When I read about it, I started to think that it’s probably the best solution for most users these days.  I went through my applications and found some popular ones that I use – Jing and Hyperstudio and then a few oldies that I hadn’t opened in years.  Among the other notices of the new operating system was an attempt to make iTunes more manageable by tearing it into threes.  So, I was ready when my computer told me that there was an upgrade available.  About a week or two in advance, there was a big update to the previous OS (about 2GB in size) which I assumed was partly maintenance to get ready for the Catalina upgrade.

The total size of the upgrade was over 8GB.  This was going to be a half-day download and install but that’s OK.  Just make sure that the computer is plugged in and let it go.  According to the information from Apple, my MacBook Pro is right on the cutting line for computers that will be supported going forward.  My logic was to get the best possible code to get the best possible performance from the computer.  Reading the news of the day, typically from Apple fanboys, was that this was the best OS ever.  I’d never had an issue before with upgrades and I was prepared for the drop in support for 32-bit applications.  I’d done by homework and backups.

I pulled the trigger.

Well, the half-day estimate turned out to be a little too optimistic.  Not only was it a huge download but it took a long time for installation on my SSD and needed a few reboots.  But finally, it was ready to work.

Or work as well as it might.

Logging in was incredibly slow and the computer itself was slow and unresponsive once I finally got in.  I’d experienced that before and recognize that the OS optimizes itself in the beginning.  It will get better, I convinced myself.

What happened next threw me.  None of my web browsers worked.  Opera, Chrome, Vivaldi, Firefox; all reported that there was no network connection.  But, hey, how did I get the update?  Finally, out of desperation, I gave Safari a shot.  I am absolutely not a fan of Safari.  Its operation is not intuitive to me at all.  But, for this day, it was the only browser that actually worked.  Off I was to see if I was the only one having problems.  Not surprisingly Catalina was trending on Twitter and not for good reasons.

I also live and die with extensions like advertisement blocking and password management.  It had been a long time since I had seen so many advertisements.  It was like they were ganging up on me!  Finally, I got to the Safari support site for extensions and found what I needed.  However, that doesn’t mean that they work like in every other browser.  Frustration was mounting.  Off I was to Twitter to get some help.  It was a lesson in media literacy to filter out the helpful hints from the unhelpful ones.

After the launch and the fanboy “greatest OS ever” stories, the other side of the story started to come out.

Where were these stories to warn me before I got started?

And then, there are the fixes.

I checked with Apple and there were no upgrades available.  So, I did the next best thing and rebooted a few times.

Back to Safari…grrr…wait, I realized that there was another browser on my computer I hadn’t tried – Brave.  What a sense of relief to actually see it load and work!  After a few reboots and maybe a day of waiting, the other browsers started to work again too.  Time heals all evils?

Eventually, I got back to one of the reasons why I was curious about the upgrade and that was to see the iTunes upgrade.  I spent way too much time looking for Apple Music as had been called online.  But, I found it – it’s just called Music.  Loading it, it bore a striking resemblance to iTunes with just a bunch of the other things – Podcasts and Movies ripped from it.  The dark theme worked though…

Screen Shot 2019-10-14 at 4.15.57 PM

When I last checked, Apple Music was still looking for album art.  Hopefully, it finds the music I’ve installed during even numbered years too.

Bottom line, this has not been an easy upgrade.

The best news of all?

That was quick!  Hopefully, it will address the issues/problems that it was introduced.

OTR Links 10/15/2019


Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.