The fifth time’s a charm? Pretty much! With the side rant about calendars … UPDATED!!!
So this is the fifth time I’ve upgraded a Mac on OS X. I’ve gone from Tiger to Leopard to Snow Leopard to Lion to Mountain Lion. Not all on the same Mac mind you, although one of my older work MacBook Pros (which I will also refer to as MBP(s)), has gone from Leopard to Mountain Lion (which I will also refer to as ML), so anyway … that machine and its siblings in my keep, will have had four different versions of OS X and three upgrades.
[UPDATE: writing these updates about two weeks after the Mountain Lion 10.8.1 update came out and essentially whatever magic was in that update, worked for me! My MacBook Pro is running better then ever].
I turned Mac about six years ago on a white MacBook running Tiger and I was astounded and amazed my first upgrade oh-so-many-years ago going from Tiger to Leopard. And I continue to be astounded by the crazy notion that you can install a major OS upgrade, not lose anything in the process, not have to type in a crazy long key code, only have one re-boot, and be done within an hour. It’s part of turned me into an Apple fanboy.
This time around, I’ve upgraded 3 machines to Mountain Lion (as of this post) since ML came at the out end of July. Two have been 4-year-old MacBook Pros and the latest is a year old MBP. All these upgrades went smoothly. Two went from Snow Leopard to Mountain Lion, the other went from Lion to Mountain Lion, specs listed below in order of upgrades :
- Snow Leopard to Mountain Lion – MacBook Pro 15″ Early 2008 / 2.5 GHz Core 2 Duo / 4 GB RAM / NVIDIA GeForce 8600M 512 MB ( upgraded the afternoon SL was released, I’m a fanboy!)
- Lion to Mountain Lion – MacBook Pro 15″ Early 2008 / 2.5 GHz Core 2 Duo / 4 GB RAM / NVIDIA GeForce 8600M 512 MB
- Snow Leopard to Mountain Lion - MacBook Pro 15″ Early 2011 / 2.2 GHz Quad-Core i7 / 8 GB RAM / AMD Radeon 6750M 1 GB (my current work machine)
The two older MBPs, seem to be working just fine, no discernible issues at all, zippy as ever, nothing crashes, all good. Other then a bum SuperDrive on one, I think these old guys will last forever. My only issue has been on the newest MacBook Pro, my main machine of course …. But, thus far I believe this stems more from the accumulated gunk in my account than ML per se. My OS X account has been transferred between two diffenent MacBook Pros and has gone through at least two OS X upgrades accumulating log files, caches, preferences, left-over bits from deleted apps, etc., etc. So I decided to use CC Cleaner to wipe out years worth of these accumulated log files and caches after the upgrade … and may have gone too far … and maybe should’ve done that before the upgrade eh?
[UPDATE: Yes, using CC Cleaner and cleaning a bit too well was a mistake, but luckily having a Google account and signing in to Chrome to restore things helped as did, as it always does, Time Machine(!). I was able to restore a number of preferences and misecallany by copying over from my Time Machine backups, fixed many things and was reminded that maybe being too clean isn't really such a good thing ;-)]
On my 2011 MBP I find my boot-ups and shut-downs to be uncharacteristically slow, but once it gets booted, this machine works very smoothly and I’ve had no problems at all. I’m maybe going to experiment with creating a new admin account for myself and see if that makes a difference … Need to look into this though because OS X of permissions issues transferring documents and files from one account to another, but thinkin’ about it … I’ll post if I do. And anecdotally, it seems to charge its battery much faster now.
[UPDATE: I did indeed create a new admin user account and was in the process of slowly moving files over to it. I was finding that initially I had slow boot and that apps and the mouse cursor would freeze and disappear for a second or two, both noticeable and frustrating, but I wasn't having that issue as much in my new admin account. Then I went on vacation for a week and let my MacBook rest and when I came back, booted up, first thing it did was install the 10.8.1 OS X update and voilà! My MacBook was running better then ever ... I will note that one of my suspicions of the freezing behavior I was plagued with was due to Outlook or Exchange, but I could never seem to pin it down. Apple's notes for 10.8.1 update state that it will "Improve compatibility when connecting to a Microsoft Exchange server in Mail." Well it seem to do that and just make everything else run smooth as silk too.]
Also on my 2011 MBP I run Windows XP & Windows 7 in Parallels 6 which does not work with Mountain Lion, I’ll need to upgrade to Parallels 7, so that’s that. And I have a Boot Camp partition on this machine running Windows 7. I had created this partition in Snow Leopard and now under Mountain Lion it work just fine. I’ve had no problems on my Window Boot Camp side of this Mac, a bit of kumbayah luv between Apple and Microsoft … so far …
[UPDATE: Did indeed upgrade to Parallels 7, and again upgrade happened without a hitch, was able to activate both my WinXP and Win7 virtual machines, no problem with the addition of now having my Boot Camp Windows 7 install also accessible via Parallels 7. I've gone through 3-4 upgrades of Parallels and am always impressed how smooth they go and how they keep making the virtual OS experience work better and better.]
So far I like Mountain Lion. It seems a nice refinement to Lion, as Snow Leopard was to Leopard. I knew enough about Lion to know what to tweak in Mountain Lion: the silly upside down scrolling; adding the Save As menu; finding my Library folder. And I’m excited by the new dictation features and the iCloud integration as I use my personal iPad for so many presentations now at work. So in all, another successful upgrade, but I may be shopping for an analog paper calendar in the meantime.
Calendering… Which I knew would an issue, but I upgraded anyway
I use Exchange in Outlook 2011 for my work calendar. And I’ve been using an Outlook 2011 On-My-Computer calendar for my personal calendar. Thus I can look at one calendar in Outlook 2011 and see both my personal as well as work appointments and it syncs nicely with my iPhone too. In Snow Leopard my Outlook 2011 personal calendar synced with iCal and then with my iPhone via iTunes, sounds convoluted, but it works! Or rather worked …. In Mountain Lion, iCal is now Calendar (to match iOS) and that syncing ain’t going so well. So <sigh> … I may have to switch my personal calendar to iCloud, wait for some luv, or at least détente, between Apple and Microsoft to make Calendar and iCloud work with Exchange and Outlook 2011.
Now how did Palm get calendaring and syncing so right over a decade ago(!) while Microsoft with their Exchange and Apple with iCloud can’t seem to work out quite that same efficiency? I never had serious calender or syncing issues in Mac or Windows on my Palms! It’s 2012 for goodness sake! Okay, so maybe not exactly Mountain Lion’s fault as an OS, but certainly enough blame to go around here for both Apple and Microsoft. I guess I could try getting Google calendar to sync with Exchange and iCloud and my iPhone and my MacBook … Is it too much to ask, really!?
[UPDATE: Switched my personal calendars to iCloud, kept work with Exchange/Outlook (don't really have a choice on that <LOL>), I turned off Outlook's sync with Calendar on the MacBook and I don't sync my iPhone or iPad with MacBook at all anymore (other than for a backup). I depend on syncing through the clouds of iCloud and Exchange and I'm a happy happy camper. Apple's Calendar app syncs with Exhcnage, so I can see my work and life calendars in once place in my MacBook in Calendar or on my iPhone or iPad on the Calendar app. On the mobile devices I just needed to activate an Exchange account and that calendar will then appear in my Calendar app. It's simple and elegant and works!]