OS X Mavericks - optional OS upgrade or critical security fix?

Filed Under: Apple, Apple Safari, Featured, OS X, Vulnerability

Apple's OS X 10.9, better known as Mavericks, is officially out.

The burning question for OS X fans everywhere, of course, is, "Should I or shouldn't I?"

The positive spin is that the $29 fee Apple has charged for previous OS X "dot releases" has vanished.

Just like the uplift from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1, shifting from Mountain Lion (OS X 10.8) to Mavericks is free.

The negative spin is that since this is a dot release, there might just be more to go wrong than in a point release - just like happened in the uplift from Windows 8 RT to Windows 8.1 RT, which caused trouble for some early adopters.

→ In my vocabulary, a major release would be OS X to OS XI, a dot release something like 10.8.5 to 10.9, and a point release 10.8.4 to 10.8.5.

Will Mavericks go wrong if you install it right away?

Industry veteran and former Naked Security colleague Graham Cluley, for example, is dead keen on staying away - so much so that he's even retweeted himself (I didn't know you were allowed to do that) to tell us so.

Graham still seems to think it needs beta testing.

Digital lifestyle site Lifehacker also warns you to stay clear, saying without giving data that Mavericks "suffers from a speed decrease" (you or I would probably just have written that it was slower), and calling it "imperfect."

Mind you, the site also says, with doubly ironic orotundity, that "you should have no trouble work under the new OS without trouble."

I'd love to tell you that Graham is just being a scaredy-cat and Lifehacker merely stirring, but I can't - and not for want of trying.

It's just that at 5.29GB, over a mobile network, I'm still waiting for the Mavericks installer to download itself.

There is one thing that neither Graham nor Lifehacker took into account, however, and that's the fact that Mavericks (the first OS X release not named after a type of cat) is a security upgrade, too.

OS X 10.9 as a security update

In fact, the list of security fixes is, to me, the most interesting part of 10.9.

If you're looking for Remote Code Execution vulnerabilities, or RCEs, you won't be disappointed - you'll find several.

There's a fix for dealing with "a format string vulnerability [that] existed in Screen Sharing Server's handling of the VNC username." (CVE-​2013-​5135.)

There's a patch for curl, the web download utility, apparently sorting out multiple vulnerabilities including some that could lead to RCE. (CVE-​2013-​0249 and CVE-​2013-​1944.)

And there's even a fix for an RCE hole in the kernel itself, caused by incorrect bounds checking, which implies that there was an exploitable buffer overflow. (CVE-​2013-​3954.)

But there are other important operational fixes, notably for security features that gave a false sense of security, because even when turned on, they didn't always work.

Here are some examples:

  • The OS X application firewall had a bug so that applications to which you thought you'd blocked network traffic might nevertheless receive it.
  • Apple's application sandbox could be bypassed by software that it was supposed to have locked down.
  • Safari's Reset function didn't always clear your session cookies, which could leave you logged in to sites you wouldn't expect.
  • The display's lock screen didn't always stop window contents from appearing on top of it.
  • The lock screen sometimes didn't activate after the interval you had chosen.
  • You could sometimes return from hibernation mode without needing a password.
  • Random numbers weren't always random. (Or, to quote Apple's own delightful oxymoron, "under unusual circumstances, some random numbers may be predictable.")
  • The Mail app would sometimes detect that secure password exchange was possible when configuring a connection, but then fail to use it.
  • The "Require an administrator password to access system preferences with lock icons" setting wasn't always honoured.

Mavericks also includes a brand new release of Safari, version 7, that includes a raft of security fixes published to pre-Mavericks users as Safari 6.1.

In short, it sounds to me as though Mavericks is probably an update you do want to get, though I can't put my hand on my heart yet and say, "She'll be right."

I'm still waiting for that 5.29GB to turn up.

While that's happening, I'm sorting out my backups - always a good idea anyway - and installing the 50MB Safari 6.1 update on my Mountain Lion system.

And, I hasten to add, I'm getting ready to make a copy of the Install OS X Mavericks.app package out of the /Applications folder as soon as the download finishes, so I never need to download it again

If you're an Apple fan, where do you sit on Mavericks?

Keen on new features, and willing to wait for 10.9.1?

Or keen on security and ready to update right away?

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72 Responses to OS X Mavericks - optional OS upgrade or critical security fix?

  1. hubertf · 314 days ago

    apparently the included/associated itunes upgrade forces you to sync your address book into icloud/similar if you want your addresses on an idevice, you can't sync directly from the local address book to the idevice any more.

    forcing me to open up my address book is certainly NOT acceptable if that holds true. anyone want to comment?

    • Shawn Cowls · 313 days ago

      I made the mistake of upgrading and, yes, you can no longer sync your address book with iTunes. Disastrous in my book since my laptop is still on Snow Leopard leaving me no way to sync my two machines.

    • Natural Nurture · 311 days ago

      It would seem that most updates are sold as wonderful for me...but… upon a closer look, it is to add a widget, plugin, app, device etc. or find some other way to lock us into a newly monetized digital store/cloud/fog or whatever. Apple likes control. I do too...but with me as the controller not a third party. They also hide their mistakes by doing continual updates of software that should have been beta tested by other than the consumer before release. The creative tool that Apple used to be has given way to the new, fun, silly, gaming toy and colourful changes for the sake of change not improvement…. meant to out date create planned obsolescence to sell the next new novel thing while monetizing everything attached to it including the accessories. New chargers, cords, docks etc. and control it with more options but fewer choices. They garner our money and our privacy and our time without due process and informed consent. They keep playing us for the ovine idiots that we are becoming...I would rather eat lamb than be one. Sheep should rule not Apple.

    • Anonymous · 291 days ago

      I agree. It is unacceptable for Apple to make changes which materially diminish the utility of the products I have spend thousands of dollars on.

      If I want to use cloud services, I will. But I will not be forced to commit my contacts and calendars to the uncertain world of the cloud - I tried once with calendars and it was a disaster. And legally I can't put my contacts in iCloud. Australian privacy law prohibits that. EU law too it seems. But most people don't know or care.

      Anyway, legal issues aside, my position is - my data, my rules.

      Unless Apple fixes this and restores local syncing, I am done with Apple. The other options may not be any better, but this sneaky betrayal convinces me that Apple is not the company it once was. No longer worth the premium price. No longer worth submitting to their ecosystem.

  2. Fred · 314 days ago

    I had my download interrupted a few times throughout the download process and it resumed from where it left off every time. I even "closed the lid" on my macbook pro last night and opened it up today in the afternoon and it resumed without a problem. So I don't get where the "making a copy of the maverick app" comes from.

    • Paul Ducklin · 314 days ago

      If I upgrade and I like it, I might want to "start again" with a fresh install. New brooms, and all that. Flush out the accumulated tat I got since the last fresh install of 10.8.

      I don't want to have to use up another 5.3GB of my mobile plan, and another 7h13m45s of accumulated download time, when all I'll be doing is grabbing another copy of exactly the same set of files :-)

      I could make a USB installer after the upgrade, but there's something appealing about grabbing the installer app *before* it does its work for the first time.

      That's all I meant. (The pause/resume does indeed seem to work reliably, I agree.)

  3. Ruy · 314 days ago

    Mavericks is slower without a doubt and I am experiencing slight difficulties with scrolling using the two finger thing on the mousepad (it sometimes stops for a few seconds for no reason, like it doesn't realize you're still scrolling, and then detects it again). Also, sometimes there are clicks that seem to go unnoticed. Other than that it's decent, a few new features here and there.

    • Same problem, mostly with PDFs in Preview, but I've read lots of reports tonight with Chrome and Safari. It'll just stop responding to the two-finger touchpad scroll until you tap an arrow key, then it starts paying attention again.

    • Toni · 305 days ago

      Same problem... is not possible to solve it?

  4. Canuck · 313 days ago

    Updated the entire office - 8 laptops and 6 iMacs without a problem thus far. Haven't noticed this 'slow down' at all - at least no staff are seeing it.

  5. Mitch Hughes · 313 days ago

    Why is it that people who warn about early adoption always cite Windows troubles?
    Mac OS X has had very very infrequent problems, and those almost always solved with simple and small patches in short order.

    Yes, Windows has had far more scary stories, but that doesn't mean that early adoption is a problem for all companies. It means MICROSOFT has trouble with their first versions, not everyone.

  6. "a format string vulnerability [that] existed in Screen Sharing Server's handling of the VNC username." This is actually CVE-2013-5135 not 5188

    • Paul Ducklin · 313 days ago

      Errr, yes, it is. (I took the CVE number from the item above in Apple's list. Sorry about that.)

      Fixed, thanks.

  7. adam · 313 days ago

    I upgraded and now Mail keeps crashing when I open it..

    • brian · 312 days ago

      Same. Have you found any fix yet?

      • tim · 310 days ago

        any fix yet. Can open the mail client to send an email......always crashing and cant figure out a fix

    • RaphH · 309 days ago

      I have had Mail crash many times and automatic reports sent to Apple.
      My iMac is definitely running slower and lagging since the "flawless" but slow update process! Not so flawless now!

      • Anonymous · 234 days ago

        I wonder if the 'nap' feature is causing the slow issues on the iMac. I'm fairly sure this is used to save power - and battery power (specifically on portables) but this may also function to save power on regular desktops (mini & iMac) and I know it can cause things to work slowly ... depending...

        • Paul Ducklin · 234 days ago

          Who can say? At least some of the people I saw who were complaining about the slowness hadn't actually applied the update - their "slowness" was entirely vicarious.

  8. deejc · 313 days ago

    download and upgrade went without a hitch on an old (2008) macbook pro, it doesnt run any slower than before, but i am using an ssd
    i like the new features and am bored by the "dont adopt early" naysayer's ... its my main laptop so i am fully aware of the problems i would have if it went wrong, Backup, Backup, Backup is all i can say .. you can be an early or late adopter of anything but you MUST backup.

  9. Marco · 313 days ago

    Updated to Maverick yesterday with all the iworks stuff and buying again the Server App (why that? The update broke my old server so I HAD to buy it again... why not releasing it for free too?)
    Yesterday I had a slowdown after the install, but today everything is smooth again.
    Probably it was the indexing, but I don't know...

  10. Angelo M. · 313 days ago

    "Just like the uplift from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1, shifting from Mountain Lion (OS X 10.8) to Mavericks is free."
    Sorry but I don't think that those steps are comparable, as I don't believe that Mavericks is only a sort of service pack like Windows 8.1 obviously is.
    Or we should think that every OS X dot releases made available before Mavericks were only paid service packs?

    • Paul Ducklin · 313 days ago

      I'm not sure that the upgrade to Windows 8.1 is "obviously" a service pack, and that all previous OS X dot releases weren't...you probably need to explain your reasoning a bit.

      (I'm not saying you're wrong, just that proclaiming your statement to be "obvious" doesn't help other readers understand why - since 8->8.1 involved some biggish UI changes, while 10.8->10.9 doesn't.

      • Anonymous · 234 days ago

        the major updates to most operating systems used to be in the say Mac OS 7, Mac OS 8 ... but there are some major OS updates inbetween ... iirc - with say Mac OS 7.5 (or something like that) ... but generally you only paid for the big updates, if you wanted to update an older computer the newer OS...

        and the same generally applies, though the big updates are now - Mac OS X - 10.1, 10.2, 10.3 ... and then the fixes, patches, etc.. are the point update (second point) after ... so 10.3.3 is/has security patches and bug fixes ... 10.4.11 had a lot of "service packs" ... also note 10.0.0 was considered a beta (iirc) and also had no charge (iirc) and was more of a demonstration. Mac OS X was not all that usable until 10.2 (but Mac OS 9 was still pretty strong - depending) and for desktop publishing it was best to wait until 10.3.x before you made the migration ...

        Microsoft has done similar things ... there was Windows 3, 3.1 and 3.11 (for workgroups?) ... irrc, then NT 3.5, NT 4, NT 5 (Windows XP) and NT 5.1 (Windows Vista/7?) and NT 6 (Windows 8) ... Windows 8.1 is a service pack - hence it cost no additional money (though there is a question if they will really fix the traditional computer GUI) and of course Windows Mellenium, and Vista were garbage. Windows 8 could be a lot better (it Microsoft best touch based OS), yet Microsoft went crazy (again) and decided that their, 'no compromise' approach would be your regular desktop computer (or laptop) is now a large Windows phone!

        Sometimes the "free" market sucks and all we have is craptology (not actual, useful, secure, stable, powerful technology).

    • hyhybt · 309 days ago

      Some people like to pretend that there is no difference in meaning between the number after the first decimal in OS X versions and the same position in most other software. Since it's very obvious that the only reason Apple has stuck with "10" in the first position is to keep the name "OS X," it would be nice if at least one such person would bother explaining why.

  11. gadget37 · 313 days ago

    Mavericks works faster for me. Particularly when running multiple applications. The new memory management system works really well.

  12. Mia · 313 days ago

    Can you uninstall the OS X Maverick?

    • hyhybt · 308 days ago

      It's not like iOS 7, where anything that's ever had the new version can never again run the old one, but it would involve erasing the drive and installing something older from scratch.

      • Bud · 307 days ago

        Can't uninstall it.....PERIOD !!!

        • hyhybt · 304 days ago

          In effect, you can, if you have a previous version and a backup from before installing Mavericks. Like any OS, there's no "uninstall" function, but the effect is the same.

  13. gmd · 313 days ago

    It tries to force use of iCloud, forces maps into the system and is slower that the previous version of OSX (which itself is dreadful). The underlying problem is that there is so much network checking going on in the background (app store, iCloud etc). Apple is trying to force network solutions on customers and degrading performance because of it. For all my serious academic work, I still use OS 9!

  14. Ken · 312 days ago

    Upgraded and now all my thousands of images are automatically locked and Photoshop cannot save changes. I have to Get Info for each image and unlock it.

  15. Frank · 312 days ago

    I am not upgrading, simply for the fact that I can't sync adresses and calendar locally anymore. Instead Apple wants to force users turn use that unsecured iCloud. Why not posting my private data on Facebook instead? Since Mac OS 10.7 usability has been declining. Performance is going down even on new machines, performance-wise mountain lion is total crap. Today I can only dream about a clean and lean system like 10.6.8

    • Scott · 309 days ago

      I totally feel what You're saying. I still have 10.6.8, was thinking of getting Mavericks, found out after I downloaded it and using SOPHOS that it was corrupted right from the app store. The same thing happened with My copy of Mountain Lion. All I can say is, SNOW LEOPARD FOR LIFE, peace...

    • Paul · 303 days ago

      I use Gmail for contacts and calendar, and use that service to sync to all my iDevices.

      I know this means giving Google my data, but since they already have emails etc I'm not that bothered.

  16. Ben · 312 days ago

    Having been testing Mavericks since well before the public release (being a developer), with the public release I have noticed nothing but improvements.

    It's faster, more resource efficient & the battery lasts longer. I also have had 0 problems with any of the apps I use on a daily basis.

    I never upgraded to Mountain Lion on my laptop and had been previously using Lion, Mavericks offers many improvements for end-users and developers alike. (I had been using Mountain Lion on other systems).

    This is on a Mid 2010 17" MBP (2.53 GHz Core i5, 8GB RAM, 500 GB SSD).

    A highly recommended upgrade, in my opinion.

  17. maurdie · 312 days ago

    I'm trying to install it right now and it's asking for my administrator's password. I have set my MacBook Pro with no password so I normally simply click OK without entering anything in the password field and the machine starts up.
    Now it's asking me for a password, I click okay and says the password is incorrect!
    There is no password, what the hell, I can't get it to move on from here so I don't know what to do.
    Any help out there?

    • Alenitsjev · 312 days ago

      I have the same problem, I'm not sure what to do about it, but the only thing I can think of is to simply create an administrator password and then try to install it with the new password

    • crw · 311 days ago

      I have the same problem, and i don't want to be stuck with a password for the computer, enough passwords. Have you found a solution?

      • lola · 309 days ago

        It's asking not for administrator's password, I think you need put your Apple password, there is mentioned Apple ID and password.

      • debbie · 309 days ago

        ...me too! would love to hear solutions!

  18. vipcity · 312 days ago

    Works well with macbook late 2008. Safari is quicker, probably cleaned out punch of s…. :)

    Disappointment was that Notes is gone from Mail.

    Did upgrade from Lion. Will see how it works :)

  19. Ari · 311 days ago

    MacPro early 2008, Macbook Pro 15" middle 2012, MacMini late 2012, 3 clean install, running for 40 hours, SSD, 16 Go memory, FCP X, Raw photos ==> going back to ML tonight...

  20. Michael Steele · 309 days ago

    Mavericks WAS beta-tested; the Apple developer community has had it for some time. I installed it on my Mac Pro and have noticed that for the most part, things work a bit better. Just a bit. I'm not happy with some of the changes is the Activity Monitor, especially in the way it displays memory usage; I can't find a way to display the pie chart that allowed me to predict when I was going to need to do something about memory management. Instead, there is only a digital display with ambiguous and possibly different meaning, and a "memory pressure" chart that is useless until you've already run into trouble. Apple makes me think they believe I am stupid. Stubborn, I am: I want the pie chart back lol! I also DESPISE the sudden attachment to iCloud; iTunes insists on logging in every time I start it "to check for downloads." I cancel the dialog three or four times before it gives up; I don't care about pending downloads. If I can't sync to my iPod without iCloud, then I will not connect my iPod to my Mac Pro; I'll continue to sync on my old Mac minis.

  21. TLC · 309 days ago

    I tried installing this today. Got a message that said my Macintosh HD was damaged. Told me to wipe everything out and start over. This is on an iMac that I got in January 2013.

    After several pieces of bad/confusing advice from a senior tech support rep, I found one that helped me restore my iMac from my Time Capsule. I will NOT attempt to install Maverick until another update comes out -- maybe two.

    I do not understand why a computer this new is having hard drive issues already. Maybe it's the wrong error message. But between the errors I got today and the service I got from Apple, I have no confidence in this.

    I run my own business on this computer; without it, I don't make a living. I spent 7 hours on this day -- that's an entire work day. Being self-employed, I don't have the time or money for this. I need something that WORKS!

    • Helen · 309 days ago

      mine did the same. I found going through Disk Utility to verify the disk, then repair disk resolved the issue.

    • Ben · 309 days ago

      If your iMac is saying your hard drive is damaged you really shouldn't just be ignoring that... because chances are it most likely is.

      January 2013 or not, sometimes hard drives are just faulty and you may very well have just been unlucky.

      You should really get that checked out under your Applecare before it expires, because otherwise you'll likely end up with a dead drive shortly and have to pay for the new one and any work that is done to fit it yourself.

    • Paul · 303 days ago

      One of my colleagues had the same issue, and as Helen has mentioned a verify/repair disk solves it.

      The error message may not necessarily mean you HAVE a damaged hard drive - it may well be file permissions that have gone a bit wrong, which repair disk fixes, thus allowing you to install Mavericks.

  22. Ben Jarnagin · 309 days ago

    Being new to Mac coming from 20 yrs of PC experience, I run Windows 7 on my mid 2011 iMac w// 3.1 processor, 12 gigs of RAM through Parallels 8. I reluctantly upgraded to 10.5 or whatever they are calling it because I heard that if you don't upgrade with Apple, down the road, things quit working. But I don't care if iTunes or "I" anything works so long as windows comes up. I bought this money pit because I heard they last longer than PC's. I've learned that Apple "doesn't care" when you run windows. I am going to take a chance by not upgrading any more and hope that my Norton security software for the Mac and Windows side takes care of any bug a boos. Has anyone else had unfavorable experience with not upgrading the Apple regime?

    • Michael Steele · 306 days ago

      I've used Macs since the late 80s, and made my money from PCs for even longer; I started using computers in the 70s. (The only new computers I buy for myself are Macintoshes.) I've run Macs for as long as 5 years without updating the software; generally I've gotten so much newer hardware that I just quit using the older stuff, but as long as you don't need to go online or install current applications, you shouldn't have any troubles associated with failure to upgrade. Running Windows shouldn't be a problem either; I used VirtualPC for 7 years without updating it.

      That said, if you're buying Mac hardware just to run Windows, you're missing out, and probably wasting money. While other hardware may age faster, it's cheaper to replace; but I still get annoyed every time I have to put up with a Windows mindset. The Mac OS also manages memory and multitasking MUCH better than Windows, and with OS X 10.9 Mavericks, it also saves on internal heating (and electricity).

      I use a Mac Pro 12-core CPU with 48GB RAM as my main machine, and run Windows 7 Pro on a used HP Core Duo with 8GB RAM. I prefer keeping my important files out of reach of viruses, etc. Since I only run a couple of apps on Windows, 8GB works well enough. (I use them both for 3D gaming, and develop on the Mac.)

  23. George · 309 days ago

    Upgraded yesterday to Mavericks from Mountain Lion on a late 2012 Mac Mini... after restart the screen goes black and the only way seems to be to unplug the monitor lead and wait..nightmare!!

  24. Oshkosh · 309 days ago

    Corecom will not send eMail messages--can only receive them. Apple tech support has not yet been able to solve.

  25. Gunnar · 308 days ago

    Upgraded yesterday, and some stuff appears to be buggy. App store has frozen several times, and the new scroll function in the calendar app was frozen solid when I opened it this morning (even after a restart of the program). I'm not sure what reasonable expectations are of an upgrade like this, but I found these bugs to be pretty embarrassing. :P

    On a personal note, the new appearance of the notes app reminds me of puke. The old appearance was perhaps not the best either, but if they were gonna change it they could at least have put a little effort into it.

  26. hozo1 · 308 days ago

    actually Mavericks is much faster on all my machines ... unfortunately Mail is all messed up because it changed the way it deals with Gmail ... and it is a real issue ... stay away if you use Gmail .. and this is definitely a Beta version .. not ready for prime time at all

  27. It appears that if you don't have negative things to say, there isn't news on this site.

    1. Download - without a hitch, on a 10 down 1 up cable modem from Bright house with two wireless repeaters in between and a Sonicwall firewall it only took 22 minutes to download and I didn't need to restart, even once.

    2. Updated without a hitch, worked first time and no errors, although the secondary updates after the primary were a bit annoying, but expected. (And, I mean a teeny tiny bit annoying).

    3. Has run for a few days without a glitch. Browsing, Eclipse, Git (various flavors), Facebook, Hootsuite, all working fine.

    So, where's all the problems, interminable downloads and failures.

    You're busted guy. No stopping here anymore. Really sad.

    • Paul Ducklin · 307 days ago

      If you listen to this...

      http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2013/10/28/sscc-1...

      ...you will see that I am actually a giant fan of Mavericks.

      I'm delighted you were able to download 5.3GB in 22 minutes - that's about 40Mbit/sec, which is a creditable speed.

      I suppose I could simply have said in the article that it wasn't taking me a long time to download 5GB over my 3G connection...perhaps that would have been "positive" in your book. But it would have been a lie.

      There were no "problems", the download wasn't "interminable" (it did finish), and there were no "failures." But a 5GB download *is* hours' worth for many, if not most, home internet users around the world. And keep in mind that many users have internet plans with data caps. (I pay approximately $5 for each GB of data, for instance. Simply put, a 5GB update is 5x as expensive as a 1GB update. That is by no means an uncharacteristic situation in the global 3G market.)

      So instead of complaining that I told the truth, why not just praise your own good fortune at having a fast (and presumably uncapped) internet pipe, and encourage people in my position to keep the faith with the download? (Hang on! That's exactly what I suggested!)

  28. Edmll · 308 days ago

    I updated to Mavericks from Snow Leopard and I had a bootcamp with Windows 7. Apparently, I forgot to backup my stuff on a separate drive but thats my fault. So... the thing is now I can't access my bootcamp (the alt function at the beginning does not show the drive being there). Anyone else having this problem? If so are there any quick fixes? Other than that its been running smoothly.

  29. midho · 307 days ago

    Upgrade to Maverick went without problem and everything seems to work fine except when it goes to sleep or screen saver. I have it setup to require password after sleep/screen saver with 5 seconds interval and the hot key, but after it wakes up it doesn't require password, goes to last used application. Any idea how to fix this problem? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  30. Gunnar · 307 days ago

    Scrolling stopped working in Safari (among other places on the "History" page) after upgrading. Come on Apple, make it work with your own stuff :P

  31. Bud · 307 days ago

    Only noticeable PLUS feature with Mavericks is the upgraded Safari 7.0 speed !

    I can't fathom as to why Apple didn't allow for Safari upgrades on Snow Leopard.

    Mavericks keeps deleting my Time Machine, along with many former apps no longer being compatible with it, AND spending a lot of time searching my backups to add apps that I WANT and NOT many of Apple's that are forced upon you !!!

  32. Judas · 307 days ago

    I have never been a fan of the "upgrade", preferring to back up my documents, pictures and the like to an external drive and then reformatting and installing from scratch.

    This approach, whilst not painless (one has to reinstall one's apps, copy the data back across etc), has always been error free and provided me with a nice clean version of the OS to play around with and analyse the merits of.

    The download took me about an hour, I am lucky enough to live about 300m from my exchange, though that said, it was 6gb, so I have dropped it onto a USB installer.

    I will give it a shot tonight.

  33. Jerry · 306 days ago

    Installed Mavericks on Mac Pro running Mountain Lion. Only bug so far: every time I hibernate, my corporate Exchange info has to be deleted and reinstalled in order for me to receive Exchange email. No problems with sending. No problems with Gmail. Any suggestions?

    • Anonymous · 233 days ago

      turn of hibernation - or if its the new "nap" feature turn this off for Outlook - or whatever your Exchange client is. This is a good feature - for portables (saves power/battery), but it does not always play nice with older (pre 10.9) software ...

  34. Cary · 306 days ago

    I'm waiting since Pro Tools has not been certified to work with Mavericks. I'm currently on 10.8.4.

  35. 3caster · 306 days ago

    I have had bad experiences of Apple OS upgrades.

    When I upgraded from Lion to Mountain Lion I found that the drivers for my 1999 Brother and Epson printers were not there, also the software for my 1999 Agfa scanner. All three of those peripherals had been working as well as on the day I bought them.

    I had to find and buy third party software for the scanner, and one printer, independent but free software for the other printer.

    I wonder how many problems would be thrown up by Maverick! Even the name rings alarm bells! I conclude that I shouldn't try to fix something that's not broke!

  36. Nac · 306 days ago

    The commands on external keyboard on Mac Book pro don"t work anymore since I upgrade to Maverick, like send computer to sleep, etc. I notice is a lot slower. Very unhappy with the upgrade. Also 2 of my external drives are not recognized anymore.

  37. I upgraded one of my IMac's to Maverick, and "surprise" the "Pages" files I happened to open with Maverick now will not work with my other machines not yet upgraded. Terrible to lose access to my word processor documents just because I happened to open them on the "Maverick" system......

  38. DisillusionedFormerMacHead · 236 days ago

    I'm done with my 20 plus year love affair with Apple. I bought them for their higher quality and better security, but the mature looking and stable Windows 7 Pro with support until 2020 and tons of software and hardware options convinced me to switch. Apple is downgrading and removing their laptop lines very covertly, the 17" and the MacBook's are gone, only the top end 15" has a dedicated graphics processor for longevity and 3D uses. no anti-glare screen options. None of the models are even basically user serviceable or upgradable anymore,. can't even clean the fans of dust. They are releasing a new OS X version every year and it turns more into iOS each time. Apple is slowly removing itself further and further from the computing market, becoming a closed device maker with it's own ecosystem and incompatibility with the Windows world more each passing day. Why they came out with the new MacPro is beyond me, their Final Cut Pro X was horrible and many switched to Avid as it's more in tune to their needs. Of the two closed systems, one has to chose the one used most by the business and corporate world as they purchase most of the machines out there. Apple lost by catering only to the rich consumer market, they never got over 10% ever and now the dumbed down and ergonomic hostile iOS devices they are leading their lemmings into is just going to be so incompatible that eventually they will be only toys for tots. Apple is done for, yes they continue to make profits, but as a serious computing platform they are no longer a viable option. Steve Jobs is dead and even he couldn't get Apple's market share up. Windows 8 needs a lot of work still, but we've got until 2020 with Windows 7 to see what happens. Finally, peace and stability verses Apple's change chaos and crippled hardware soon after a annual operating system upgrade. I might get a few more malware issues on Windows, but restoring from a restore image is simple as using TimeMachine or Carbon Copy Cloner, no drop in performance either like with newer OS X versions.

    • Paul Ducklin · 236 days ago

      Now tell us what you really think :-)

    • Anonymous · 233 days ago

      - Windows 7/64bit is not all that bad - depending on the configuration. It is nice Microsoft is supporting this to 2020, since they have yet to really fix Windows 8 for desktops (laptops).

      - It is sad the 17" Mac Book Pros are gone... they were very nice, but I was more of a fan of the 15" models.

      - the Intel graphics are not bad, so long as you dont need high end 3D (software, some games, CAD, etc). If you need a dedicated graphics processor (GPU) then the 15" are a good option.

      - Final Cut Pro X was kind of a mini disaster for Apple's "AV", pro-sumer and professional crowd. I really have no idea what they were thinking. Apple did improve FC Pro a lot, but is more of a forward looking application - where if you are a professional (making money or working for a company that uses FCPro to make money) then it is probably not for you... this is sad, really, it was very cutting edge - about 8+ years ago

      - The new Mac Pros (I call them Mac Mini Pros) are beasts of a system in a tiny (mini) case. The TB2 handles a lot of bandwidth, though might not be as good as dedicated cards (PCIe 2 or PCIe 3) from the older Mac Pro Towers (or other similar hardware). There are tear downs of the new Mini Pros and they are fairly servicable - except the GPUs - but you can get dual FirePro D700s for a very nice cost upgrade - if that is the kind of system you need.

      - The MBProR (Mac Book Pro Retina) displays are very, very nice, but also fairly pricey - due to the high resolution screen (which I love). I know Apple typically allows people to configure the screens for anti-glare (I really hate the shiny screens - they are horrible - unless, maybe - you have 100% control of your lighting/light sources/office lights). These systems are nice and fairly powerful. I do mis the optical bays, but not for the optical drives - but many aftermarket places allow you to install a boot SSD and then have a larger slow HDD for all that data - which is a great combo ... but no optical drive bay - no second drive ... no combo - this is kind of sad too.

      - Mac OS X/Lion 10.7 was trying to be more like iOS, but I have heard 10.8 fixed some odd type issues ... (but maybe not all?) ... though it looks like 10.8.5 is already EOL/orphaned, because 10.9 is "free", but nothing is ever really free in tech.

      It is a sad state of the traditional computer is being so neglected by Apple and abused my Microsoft (Windows 8/Metro is horrible - since it has a touch GUI on a traditional computer). Maybe some day these mega corps will support their paying customers?!

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About the author

Paul Ducklin is a passionate security proselytiser. (That's like an evangelist, but more so!) He lives and breathes computer security, and would be happy for you to do so, too. Paul won the inaugural AusCERT Director's Award for Individual Excellence in Computer Security in 2009. Follow him on Twitter: @duckblog