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A little nervous about Big Sur

lkalliance

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 17, 2015
482
489
As I understand it, Big Sur has a lot changed under the hood, I'm sure to make it compatible with the (coming soon?) ARM Macs. I remember the last re-architecting, after Snow Leopard and crossing over to Lion. At the time, staying at Snow Leopard felt like a good stable place to be, it was a mature, rock-solid OS. But things move on, new features get introduced that are ones I'd like to try, so eventually I left Snow Leopard behind. For me, that was at Mountain Lion, which also felt like a "Lion with lots of bugs tackled" kind of release.

But I don't feel that way now. I am on Mojave; I waited to upgrade to El Capitan at first to make sure everyone in the family was migrated away from the couple of 32-bit applications we still used, but then once that was done I kept reading that El Capitan was buggy, so I opted to wait. But now there doesn't seem to be a "Snow Leopard equivalent" for the later big cats. I would like some things in El Capitan: some of the new tools in Photos, finally having iTunes split up into pieces so we can just use the ones we always use. But I'm still hesitant to make that move,

From a high level that makes a lot of sense. Up through Snow Leopard the Mac was mostly self-contained. It had access to the Internet through what we would now consider limited channels, it only had to really work internally. There was only very basic iCloud functionality in Snow Leopard. From Lion to today, of course, we are all fully integrated into iCloud and other Internet services, it's probably inherently less stable just by nature. So perhaps I'm just being old and cranky and "it was all good enough without these newfangled doohickeys" as I shake my cane angrily.

Perhaps the initial reviews of Big Sur will say that it IS quite stable and relatively bug-free, but I just don't expect that, given a new architecture, and that's to be expected. But it might be more likely I wait for the next one. I just wish I felt as stable now as I did on Snow Leopard, it would make waiting more relaxed.


EDIT: I also note that we've not had that super-stable release since Apple went to annual OS updates. Annually they add new features, which creates more opportunities to be buggy. I wish they were back on two-year-ish cycles.
 
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noblesoul117

macrumors newbie
Jun 23, 2020
7
14
It will be interesting to observe the OSs and their stability as they transition to ARM for sure.

But out of curiosity, what bugs are you/others so wary of?

We hear of the Snow Leopard (and even Mountain Lion) nostalgia often. But as someone who's used every OS from day 1 (including the beta builds, because I can't help myself from playing with it), I have encountered only a rare few issues. One of the OS betas in 2013/2014 corrupted files I had in DropBox, and the Catalina beta last year was a mess with iCloud Drive. But I can't recall anything else horrible on the beta side of things; and if you wait for a few point releases, each OS is perfectly functional. Solid enough for millions of users to use daily.

I applaud your restraint in holding back as I never could! But even though I'm biased, all of the new features, especially after a few point releases, seem to outweigh any bugs that exist. (Photos especially is one of my favorite parts of modern macOS, and is one of the reasons I'm going to test iOS 14 betas.) There are rarely catastrophic bugs after the betas or a few point releases. Though the annual cycle made things worse / less polished, I personally see no reason to hold out unless you're looking for the Perfect OS, which won't ever exist due to their complexity. But even the iCloud integration works 98% of the time with very few, rare issues.

Someone else on MR mentioned that even the divine Snow Leopard had a bug where it'd erase data when logging into the Guest account. Not sure how true it is, but it made me laugh considering the pedestal SL lives on!

I feel like they'll really polish up 11.1 through 11.3 since 11.0 is such a change. But again from my personal memory, 10.14/10.15 are pretty solid, at least solid enough to use daily without remembering what little issues they had. Perhaps you could dual-boot a newer OS and try it out without interfering with your preferred installation.
 
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lkalliance

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 17, 2015
482
489
It will be interesting to observe the OSs and their stability as they transition to ARM for sure.

But out of curiosity, what bugs are you/others so wary of?

We hear of the Snow Leopard (and even Mountain Lion) nostalgia often. But as someone who's used every OS from day 1 (including the beta builds, because I can't help myself from playing with it), I have encountered only a rare few issues. One of the OS betas in 2013/2014 corrupted files I had in DropBox, and the Catalina beta last year was a mess with iCloud Drive. But I can't recall anything else horrible on the beta side of things; and if you wait for a few point releases, each OS is perfectly functional. Solid enough for millions of users to use daily.

I applaud your restraint in holding back as I never could! But even though I'm biased, all of the new features, especially after a few point releases, seem to outweigh any bugs that exist. (Photos especially is one of my favorite parts of modern macOS, and is one of the reasons I'm going to test iOS 14 betas.) There are rarely catastrophic bugs after the betas or a few point releases. Though the annual cycle made things worse / less polished, I personally see no reason to hold out unless you're looking for the Perfect OS, which won't ever exist due to their complexity. But even the iCloud integration works 98% of the time with very few, rare issues.

Someone else on MR mentioned that even the divine Snow Leopard had a bug where it'd erase data when logging into the Guest account. Not sure how true it is, but it made me laugh considering the pedestal SL lives on!

I feel like they'll really polish up 11.1 through 11.3 since 11.0 is such a change. But again from my personal memory, 10.14/10.15 are pretty solid, at least solid enough to use daily without remembering what little issues they had. Perhaps you could dual-boot a newer OS and try it out without interfering with your preferred installation.
You know...I'm just going on reputation. My use of my Mac has dwindled over the last few years as three things have happened:

(1) I've gotten older, and my tech needs have dwindled, they haven't moved much in a few years, so I really haven't added much to my list of "things I do with my tech"
(1a) Privacy has become a hot button of mine, so in the case of social media and other things I've actually purposefully *reduced* my involvement.
(2) iOS has gotten much more powerful, so gradually more of what I do has migrated to my iPhone and iPad.

So given that, given that I do less and less...I am going mostly on just reputation. Intellectually lazy, I grant you. It was NOT that way in the Snow Leopard days, when I spent so much time on my Mac both for work and for play and I had my finger on every new development. It's actually worked the same with hardware, too. I used to be rapt with every new hardware release, and I could count on cycling through Macs once every couple of years. That, too, has dwindled: my last iMac died in 2016 after seven years of reliable use, and my current Mac is fine so I don't expect to replace it any time soon (probably just when it dies, lol). With both I become less an active investigator, and more a passive observer. So reputation goes a long way.

(It doesn't help that I do still dilly-dally on tech message boards like this one occasionally...the complainers are always louder than the satisfied, and become over-represented.)


EDIT: I also notice with my partner, as the OS matures and is intended to be used in certain ways...the old ways get less attention, and sticking with them gets less efficient. I can see it as she tries to manage her music and podcasts on her phone and iPod. We aren't Apple Music users...we still buy the tracks we want to own. We still tend to sync them to our devices over the wire. That method has gotten slower and slower as iOS has gotten more and more complex and tuned to do things in other ways. I think that leads us to feel that the next iteration of macOS will only make those things worse, and not better.
 
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Brien

macrumors 68040
Aug 11, 2008
3,258
956
I agree. I don't use cloud services, except for syncing (and even then, not everything). I don't use Apple News, never will. Still manually manage songs and photos.

Used to force kill Spotlight/Notifications, until that became impossible.

To me, macOS has done everything I've wanted since 10.6, and every release after has just added crap.

if Apple would release a version of macOS without all the glitz and kiddy features (message effects!), I'd use it in a heartbeat.
 
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lkalliance

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 17, 2015
482
489
I agree. I don't use cloud services, except for syncing (and even then, not everything). I don't use Apple News, never will. Still manually manage songs and photos.

Used to force kill Spotlight/Notifications, until that became impossible.

To me, macOS has done everything I've wanted since 10.6, and every release after has just added crap.

if Apple would release a version of macOS without all the glitz and kiddy features (message effects!), I'd use it in a heartbeat.
I do get that these features are important to others, and I do admit that some things they add I find convenient and do use. But if given the opportunity, as you say here, to essentially trade off a lot of these new niceties in exchange for an uber-reliable operating system, I would take it.
 
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CooperBox

macrumors 65816
Nov 28, 2010
1,355
1,378
France - between Ricard & Absinthe
And in mho what a stupid name. Yes I'm now aware that it's a mountainous section along the coast of California, but come-on Apple for goodness sake, start thinking out of the box! Where I'm living, OS Sur translates as OS 'on'. On what(?) will be the question asked by most using it in many countries outside the U.S. Plus I'd wager that probably 60%+ of Americans have never heard of the Sur mountain range or have any idea of where it's located. Some more facetious than myself may argue that OS 'Covid' may have been more appropriate, albeit controversial.:eek: Of course that would make everyone even more nervous of Big Sur......
 
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lkalliance

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 17, 2015
482
489
"Sur" in Spanish (which most places in California borrow from) translates to "South" in English. Nothing weird about that
From my drive through Big Sur a few years ago. Beautiful part of California!
 

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poiihy

macrumors 68020
Aug 22, 2014
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I am on Mojave; I waited to upgrade to El Capitan at first to make sure everyone in the family was migrated away from the couple of 32-bit applications we still used, but then once that was done I kept reading that El Capitan was buggy, so I opted to wait.
You mean Catalina?
 
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lkalliance

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 17, 2015
482
489
You mean Catalina?
Oops, yes, lol. I like the naming convention of the California place names, but I have a hard time keeping them in order in my head. I remember the cat progression. Which is odd because I’m not a cat person!
 
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loby

macrumors 65816
Jul 1, 2010
1,065
711
It will be interesting to observe the OSs and their stability as they transition to ARM for sure.

But out of curiosity, what bugs are you/others so wary of?

We hear of the Snow Leopard (and even Mountain Lion) nostalgia often. But as someone who's used every OS from day 1 (including the beta builds, because I can't help myself from playing with it), I have encountered only a rare few issues. One of the OS betas in 2013/2014 corrupted files I had in DropBox, and the Catalina beta last year was a mess with iCloud Drive. But I can't recall anything else horrible on the beta side of things; and if you wait for a few point releases, each OS is perfectly functional. Solid enough for millions of users to use daily.

I applaud your restraint in holding back as I never could! But even though I'm biased, all of the new features, especially after a few point releases, seem to outweigh any bugs that exist. (Photos especially is one of my favorite parts of modern macOS, and is one of the reasons I'm going to test iOS 14 betas.) There are rarely catastrophic bugs after the betas or a few point releases. Though the annual cycle made things worse / less polished, I personally see no reason to hold out unless you're looking for the Perfect OS, which won't ever exist due to their complexity. But even the iCloud integration works 98% of the time with very few, rare issues.

Someone else on MR mentioned that even the divine Snow Leopard had a bug where it'd erase data when logging into the Guest account. Not sure how true it is, but it made me laugh considering the pedestal SL lives on!

I feel like they'll really polish up 11.1 through 11.3 since 11.0 is such a change. But again from my personal memory, 10.14/10.15 are pretty solid, at least solid enough to use daily without remembering what little issues they had. Perhaps you could dual-boot a newer OS and try it out without interfering with your preferred installation.

It depends what you use your Mac for...

If you are a MSOffice or iWork user or just surf the "Big Sur" internet, use email on occasion, a Social butterfly loving emojis, Facebook, etc., a Youtube-"ite", and/or the occasional maybe iMovie user for your iPhone selfies, wanting to keep your videos/photos of you in your bathing suit (or birthday suit) and/or you with your friends at Starbucks (cloud or local)...then you might say, "yes" the OSs have been stable for your usage and you like each year's offerings to keep life exciting, looking forward to something "new" and/or fresh in the Fall when you go back to school as your Mac experience compliments your new exciting life experiences. :)

Probably most or the "millions" of users (as you say) that use Mac daily might agree with you. I generally agree and you are probably correct...as the OSs since Snow Leopard are relatively stable enough to take a dive on every update to see what's new. I also do this, but on a Mac that is used for general stuff...

But..if you use your Mac for professional use and rely on it to not have issues at 3am when you are trying to meet a deadline...you rarely care little about "cool" stuff and want instead stability. Apple seems to say (by example) that you can't have both. I disagree. No OS is 100% perfect of course, but you can have (acceptable speaking) both, but not in every year's offerings.

I was hoping that macOS Catalina would be the last in the 10.x series that finished with a "bang"...(I was rooting for macOS 10.16 Avalon...i.e. focus on stability instead). Resent intel processor Macs (Professionals) then could camp on the beach for awhile there...but it looks like, I will have to go out instead to the desert with macOS Mojave if I want an OS that works enough (for my usage) for professional use. My experiences of course and opinion.

Given the attention and focus on the big upgrade to 11.0..macOS Catalina is probably now a forgotten island with no attention at Apple to fix the still under-the-hood inconsistencies.

macOS Mojave maybe go down in Mac history as the "go to" for an "OS" in the 10.x series after OS X Snow Leopard (or at least between 2012-2019 Macs). Again, my opinion as one who has used every OS since Leopard (with a little Tiger wrestling). :)
 
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noblesoul117

macrumors newbie
Jun 23, 2020
7
14
But..if you use your Mac for professional use and rely on it to not have issues at 3am when you are trying to meet a deadline...you rarely care little about "cool" stuff and want instead stability. Apple seems to say (by example) that you can't have both. I disagree. No OS is 100% perfect of course, but you can have (acceptable speaking) both, but not in every year's offerings.

Didn't consider this while writing. There are some pro use cases where near-100% stability is met on an older system, and there's just no reason to fix what isn't broken.

I guess I find myself in the middle. I hop on the latest software because I can't help myself, but I also carry out some pro-level work, such as with FCPX, audio editing, and photo editing. However, I'm careful in terms of backups and would rather use the most current software for work than a version behind, unless it has a serious issue, then I'll revert.

Regardless, I feel there's a generational divide between OP and myself which I didn't notice until after writing. I'm 28, and tech feels old the day after it's announced. But older people might feel more comfortable sticking with a system that works, especially when they don't care about the later updates. Heck, maybe I'll be one of those people in another 30 years. If I could get away using my iMac G4 running Tiger as my main computer, I would!
 
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lkalliance

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 17, 2015
482
489
Didn't consider this while writing. There are some pro use cases where near-100% stability is met on an older system, and there's just no reason to fix what isn't broken.

I guess I find myself in the middle. I hop on the latest software because I can't help myself, but I also carry out some pro-level work, such as with FCPX, audio editing, and photo editing. However, I'm careful in terms of backups and would rather use the most current software for work than a version behind, unless it has a serious issue, then I'll revert.

Regardless, I feel there's a generational divide between OP and myself which I didn't notice until after writing. I'm 28, and tech feels old the day after it's announced. But older people might feel more comfortable sticking with a system that works, especially when they don't care about the later updates. Heck, maybe I'll be one of those people in another 30 years. If I could get away using my iMac G4 running Tiger as my main computer, I would!
I agree about the generational divide. I don't know if it's like this now at the professional-user level, but in the past more than once I upgraded my OS (or hardware) because I needed a new capability for work, and it became more or less a requirement (Not always for work, even: I upgraded from a Performa to a CMax 500 JUST so I could play Riven!). I remember making the jump from OS 9 to OS X 10.1 because OS 9 was crashing so often on me, I couldn't get work done (OS 8: the Snow Leopard of the classic Mac).

Nowadays it's more along the lines of "oh, that would be neat, I would use that," learning if there is a trade-off that needs to be made, and deciding if it's worth it. Lion, say, had the launcher with that fun four-finger pinch. Did I think it was neat? Sure! Would I use it? Yes (it's still one of those little things that's a tiny little joy to me)! Was it worth moving from the older architecture? No. But there was something in Mountain Lion (I don't remember what) that was neat enough to make me jump.

Going through that right now. Catalina broke iTunes into its component parts. Is this a good thing? Yes! Was it good enough to ask my family to break away from our remaining 32-bit apps? No! Nothing is live-or-die, but varying shades of convenience and/or frustration.
 
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loby

macrumors 65816
Jul 1, 2010
1,065
711
Didn't consider this while writing. There are some pro use cases where near-100% stability is met on an older system, and there's just no reason to fix what isn't broken.

I guess I find myself in the middle. I hop on the latest software because I can't help myself, but I also carry out some pro-level work, such as with FCPX, audio editing, and photo editing. However, I'm careful in terms of backups and would rather use the most current software for work than a version behind, unless it has a serious issue, then I'll revert.

Regardless, I feel there's a generational divide between OP and myself which I didn't notice until after writing. I'm 28, and tech feels old the day after it's announced. But older people might feel more comfortable sticking with a system that works, especially when they don't care about the later updates. Heck, maybe I'll be one of those people in another 30 years. If I could get away using my iMac G4 running Tiger as my main computer, I would!

LOL...Yes, there is an old saying that says, "nothing is new under the sun...". If we live long enough we learn that this is true. Same principles, different applications...even in technology.

Eventually, I think we get to the point over time and can say, "What's the point..???" Even Steve Jobs himself kind of said that with Dual-Core processors back in the day...He said, "Why does anyone need more than that?!?!? it does everything that you want or need to do..???" (He was trying to deal with the reality of heat issues in smaller and thinner enclosures...something Ive never really cared about...)

Technology can get to the point where it meets the needs (individually) unless you are always going for the latest or the next "new thing" (that is ok of course). I am not talking about the occasional issues with hardware or software etc., that is a given and does come.

But, the Next "New Thing" can get really "old" very fast if we get caught up in constantly look for our next "fix" in the "new" whatever to keep us going. This is how Apple and others keep the funds rolling in.. :)

But when you start to get older..the energy and enthusiasm can or usually does starts to slow down, even to the best of us (unless you find an unnatural or unhealthy way of keeping it going). When that time comes, if what your needs are for the technology is now being met, then you camp somewhere and call it a day.

Give yourself 20 years and you may be writing similar blogs (if there are blogs etc. then) and you too might say, "Why do we need anything more than macOS 11.0...?" :)
 
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lkalliance

macrumors 6502
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Jul 17, 2015
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LOL...Yes, there is an old saying that says, "nothing is new under the sun...". If we live long enough we learn that this is true. Same principles, different applications...even in technology.

Eventually, I think we get to the point over time and can say, "What's the point..???" Even Steve Jobs himself kind of said that with Dual-Core processors back in the day...He said, "Why does anyone need more than that?!?!? it does everything that you want or need to do..???" (He was trying to deal with the reality of heat issues in smaller and thinner enclosures...something Ive never really cared about...)

Technology can get to the point where it meets the needs (individually) unless you are always going for the latest or the next "new thing" (that is ok of course). I am not talking about the occasional issues with hardware or software etc., that is a given and does come.

But, the Next "New Thing" can get really "old" very fast if we get caught up in constantly look for our next "fix" in the "new" whatever to keep us going. This is how Apple and others keep the funds rolling in.. :)

But when you start to get older..the energy and enthusiasm can or usually does starts to slow down, even to the best of us (unless you find an unnatural or unhealthy way of keeping it going). When that time comes, if what your needs are for the technology is now being met, then you camp somewhere and call it a day.

Give yourself 20 years and you may be writing similar blogs (if there are blogs etc. then) and you too might say, "Why do we need anything more than macOS 11.0...?" :)
Just to add to the tale you're telling...perhaps this is just another way of saying "you grow old and it matters less": over time, the baseline technology you need gets more sophisticated. There was a time all you needed was a horse and wagon. So then cars came along, and lots of people asked "Why do I need a car? I've got a horse, and that's sufficient." But over time the technology around us grew even further and at some point, a horse became insufficient to operate day to day in the world. Oh, there are places you can do it, and perhaps if you cared enough about it you could make a horse work. But the world around us is now built to use a car.

Same thing happens in tech, only faster. There was a time not so long ago that "the Internet" just meant the World Wide Web, as far as many users were concerned. The Internet backbone itself wasn't being used to deliver services like it is now, at least for consumers. So as browsers came into being and they needed frameworks in the OS to work properly, you might have said, "Why do I need this new OS so I can use a browser? I'm not into the World Wide Web, I can read things in the newspaper." Now, however, the Internet is the conduit through which we get almost all our digital assets. If you don't have an Internet-capable computer, you're dead in the water.

There are some technologies in Big Sur or iOS 14, possibly, that seem superfluous to a person like myself. To a, er, "mature" user. They represent some convenience I probably don't need, with the possibility of introducing complexity or bugs or privacy issues. Do I really need my phone to be able to start my car? Of course I don't, and I couldn't with my current car anyway. But 20 years down the line will all cars start this way? Will it be necessary tech? Perhaps. But that will be the concern of those that actually operate in the world, not to those of us being spoon-fed apple sauce.
 
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