I know, I know. You don’t install a beta software on your production (everyday) computer. But you know what, blame Apple for all this as they showcased battery-saving old-laptop-life-extending performance-boosting features in last week’s WWDC. From the moment I watched the keynotes my dilemma started, how long was I going to wait to get this stuff on my ageing MacBook Pro Late 2008? Finally, I cracked and upgraded my laptop to OSX Mavericks.
My experience? Well, it felt like it was just a regular patch install or something like that, rather than a major upgrade. If this is what they call beta, then I’d install a beta anytime. I downloaded the beta, installed it and only had to confirm I wanted to install it, it took about 30min to install and restart. When it restarted on OSX Mavericks, I could just continue working where I left off without touching anything at all, absolutely everything I had before was preserved intact where I had left it on OSX Mountain Lion!
Here I was, a mere 45min after clicking “Install OSX Mavericks”, using the brand new bleeding edge OS without having to answer a single question or any form of trouble!
I was thinking that there’s bound to be a catch somewhere, surely something would fail, I’d see some nasty error messages popping all over the place! Nope, none of that occurred, not a single error popped up, not a single trouble so far. I found it hard to believe that would be the case, still expecting something nasty to happen anytime but that may just be paranoia.
Here is the list of programs I am able to just carry on using after installing OSX Mavericks beta 1 without even touching a thing, not even changing a setting, just start it as usual and use it:
- Google Chrome (both Canary and regular), I also listen to BBC Radio or RTS (Swiss) with this
- Firefox (latest) and Firefox Aurora
- Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, Alfred
- Parallels Desktop 9 (that’s also a beta software)
- Omnigraffle Pro, Pixelmator, Evernote, Skitch
- Intellij IDEA 11, Eclipse Juno, XCode
- Apache Tomcat, JBoss, Mule ESB
- Ruby on Rails (3.1.13 and 4.0 RC2)
- Postgresql 9.2, MySQL 5.6
- Homebrew (brew), Ruby version manager (RVM)
- Apple’s iWork: Pages, Numbers, Keynote
- LibreOffice 4
You can see there’s a lot of software development products, despite that nothing broke. I thought Rails (Ruby on) would certainly fail, or that something like ‘bundle install’ would choke. Nope, they all worked fine just like before. I did notice that Chrome Canary would have a rendering problem in between previews while writing this blog post, but that’s it, and that is actually normal since Canary itself is a bleeding edge program.
What else can I say? Without even trying a benchmark or anything sophisticated, I see that my MBP Late 2008 is noticeably faster than it’s ever been before, just starting programs and carrying out tasks, everything is working smoothly.
I am now expecting gains in battery life, which I can confirm after a couple of days of usage. In fact, my urge to migrate was triggered by the hope that it will be faster and battery life would be better. It delivered on the first, now let’s wait a couple of days on that last point.