A Solution To All Mavericks Problems

Discussion in 'OS X Mavericks (10.9)' started by Felasco, Apr 17, 2014.

  1. Felasco Guest

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    #1
    It seems every time a major new version of OSX is released there is a tsunami of posts from Mac users experiencing some kind of problem or crisis, as is currently happening with Mavericks.

    This thread invites your review of a proposed solution to this problem.


    PROBLEM: It would be nice to think that Apple could release OSX upgrades that worked perfectly on everybody's Mac, but this is likely unrealistic given the infinite number of different software/hardware situations that millions of Mac users are using.

    So let's take it a given that any new version of any operating system from any vendor will likely generate problems for some users. The point of this thread is to try to avoid as many of those problems as possible.


    ANALYSIS: Experienced users already know of a solution, install the new OS on a second drive or partition and test it there before updating their existing version of OSX with the new version.

    It seems the problem is that less experienced users don't know to do this, as they are following instructions from Apple to upgrade their existing OSX directly. This works fine for some, while others (many others) are left with a Mac with all kinds of problems.


    SOLUTION: A solution may be for Apple to educate users on how to test and install a new version of OSX safely. This can be accomplished by putting a prominent link such as LEARN HOW TO UPGRADE SAFELY on the sales and download pages, and in the installer.

    This would help users by teaching them how to safely test a new version of OSX to see if it will work for them, BEFORE they upgrade their existing setup.

    This would help Apple by reducing the damage to their brand which is generated by all the negative word of mouth which arises from those whose upgrade goes wrong.


    QUESTION: Why in your opinion is Apple not educating users on how to upgrade OSX safely? Wouldn't it be in their interest to do so??

    Thanks for any comments. If possible, let's please try to keep the thread on the specific subject of constructive suggestions for how to prevent OSX upgrade calamities.
     
  2. MacDawg macrumors Core

    MacDawg

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    #2
    While you say "many others", I would say that number is very small compared to the installed base of Mac users
    Most don't experience problems (like me, I don't)
    Yes, you hear about problems on a discussion board, but that is what the boards are here for
    The vast majority are not experiencing issues and are happily using their Mac with no need to complain OR come to a discussion board and say they have no issues
     
  3. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #3
    Seems like overkill having Apple recommend people to buy a second drive and install a new version of OSX on it just to test it and then reinstall it on the main drive after its been determined to be ok.

    I installed Mavericks as an upgrade and its been working fine.

    Apple is about simplifying a process, what you recommend is unfortunately anything but.

    Generally speaking its my opinion that the upgrade path ot Mavericks has been very smooth for most users. That's not to say others have had issues, but I believe for the majority its been good. Why set up a more complex process for the exception and not the rule. if they go with that recommendation people will be concerned that Apple has a product that is not working well, and could cause problems - not something thy want to communicate.
     
  4. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040

    FreakinEurekan

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    #4
    Agree with the other responses - it's overkill. As a percentage of overall users, those who have significant issues are a very small group. Your proposal is akin to using a jackhammer to put a tack in a cork board.

    For devs that run the betas, of course, your method makes sense - which is why they already do something very much like you propose.
     
  5. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #5
    I believe most devs clone their drives to an external drive before applying the beta - at least that's the advise I see here often.
     
  6. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040

    FreakinEurekan

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    #6
    Yep, or to another partition. Pretty much what the OP seems to be advocating for all users.
     
  7. Felasco thread starter Guest

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    #7
    Thanks for participating MacDawg.

    Yes, I've heard this theory a lot.

    However, as far as I know none of us have any success/failure data to base such conclusions on. Thus, I don't think we really can compare one version of OSX to another, or OSX to Windows, in terms of how many people are able to successfully install without issues. All such conclusions, whether positive or negative, seem to be largely anecdotal, and perhaps influenced significantly by an individual posters own personal experience.

    But anyway, for the purposes of this thread it doesn't really matter. (So I hope we won't debate it.)

    It seems clear beyond doubt that some people are having problems installing the latest versions of OSX, and if we and Apple can help prevent those problems, that's good, right?

    My thesis is that while you and I can try to educate users on how to test OSX safely, (I just finished a 5 page article on the subject) we can only reach a tiny fraction of those who need the information.

    The party in the best position to provide such education is Apple, and surely they know that, so I'm trying to understand what factors might persuade them to not do so. I don't claim to know the answer.
     
  8. Felasco thread starter Guest

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    #8
    With any other software I would agree, but surely operating system software is in a category of it's own.

    All I'm suggesting is that Apple tell inexperienced users what you and I already know, some people are going to enter the land of computer calamity when they install any new OS.

    Some people have a high tolerance for risk, and they can proceed to do a direct upgrade. Others need their Mac to be available every day for serious work, or they can't handle stress, and they may decide to go the safer route.

    Imho, the risks and choices should be put on the table by the party delivering the software.

    That's great, congrats, but it's also completely irrelevant to this thread.

    It's not actually a simple process to release new complicated system software full of known bugs to millions of inexperienced novice users who bought their Macs because for over 30 years they've been aggressively sold as being point and click simple.

    Ideally an OSX upgrade should be simple, agreed. And sometimes it is, we agree again. But the well documented fact is that sometimes upgrading is not simple or reliable. This thread is dedicated to serving that group of folks.

    Again, what data do you base this on? None, right?

    Apple does have a product that is not working well for some number of users. That's simply a fact.

    I won't debate percentages with you, because as far as I know there is no way to resolve that question in the absence of hard data.

    I take your point that Apple may not wish to communicate the risk reality of OSX upgrades, as that could dent their brand. I don't know this to be the case, but your theory makes sense to me.

    My point is that their brand is also damaged by some significant number of users feeling that Apple has advised them to do something that then led to a crisis. Each of these users then becomes a negative word of mouth machine, whether in public on forums, or only to friends and family.

    So we aren't weighing no brand damage against brand damage. No brand damage is not an option, imho.

    My calculation is that for any company, going overboard in the direction of honesty and helpfulness is the best long term brand strategy. This is clearly debatable, so go there if you wish.
     
  9. chown33 macrumors 604

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    #9
    However, your argument fundamentally hinges on the actual percentages.

    If the problem rate is 10%, that's a far different risk than if the problem rate is 0.1%. Furthermore, I know of no predictor for whether a given person will actually have problems. That is, I haven't heard anything that says the problems are correlated to any particular hardware or software configuration. Yes, there is software that's incompatible. But some upgraders without known-problematic software have seen problems. So there's no way to predict whether J. Random Upgrader will have a problem or not.

    As an example, with a 10% actual problem rate, it would make a lot of sense to install to an external first. That choice comes with a price, and I don't just mean the external drive. I mean the difficulty of going back if there turns out to be a problem. There will be modified documents and files of all kinds on the problematic external disk, and you have to figure out for yourself how to back-migrate all that stuff. Apple gives you Migration Assistant, but not a Reversion Assistant.

    Frankly, if I knew there was a 10% problem rate, I'd probably opt out completely. If others did the same, what do you think the consequences of that for Apple would be? And since you mentioned "brand damage", what do you think would happen if Apple recommended installing the actual public release to an external disk? That's a recommendation I'd expect for a limited-release beta, not a public release.

    Conversely, if the actual problem rate was 0.1%, then maybe an external disk running the new OS isn't a necessity. Personally, I'd still clone my known-good internal disk to an external before upgrading, but I've been doing that for decades, so for me it's just how I do things.

    Since the success rate is 99.9%, I think the chances are low that I'd see a problem. However, I'd still wait a few weeks to see the nature of the initial problems, because not all problems have equal importance or severity. A problem corrupting files, even occasionally, is far more serious than anything that happens to the GUI.

    To summarize: a suitable response to problems depends on both the frequency and severity. While many problems, both severe and trivial, can be solved by testing from a separate disk or partition, that has its own costs, not counting any additional hardware.
     
  10. dmccloud macrumors 6502a

    dmccloud

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    #10
    The OP seems to conflate "upgrading safely" with running a test environment to determine if there are any conflicts/issues with the new OS and other software/devices/etc. Apple cannot force third parties to update their software concurrent to updates in OS X, and that's where a lot of the actual issues come from. Most of the other quibbles people have stem from changes to the OS that cause things to work differently or be found in a different location.

    Furthermore, since a lot of these issues have to be fixed by third party developers, this proposal does nothing to accomplish the stated goal ("A Solution to ALL Mavericks Problems") You're looking for a one-size-fits-all solution to what's actually a series of completely separate issues caused by multiple pieces of software made by multiple developers. Again, it is not Apple's responsibility to force third parties to update their apps day and date with a new release of OS X.

    As far as the alleged damage to the brand, outside of boards like this you simply DO NOT hear a lot of complaints about upgrading to Mavericks. In fact, the public and media response to Mavericks was more positive than either Snow Leopard, Lion, or Mountain Lion. Sites like this are NEVER a good barometer of overall satisfaction because people will not log in just to post "everything works great - I'm so happy!!!" If this alleged damage to the brand was real, it would be reflected in items like PC World's annual Customer Satisfaction Surveys (which Apple still holds a commanding lead in across the board). So your alleged impact doesn't even generate a blip in the general population (whom the focus should be on, not small communities like these forums.)


    Furthermore, when the OP states that reports of a successful upgrade of Mavericks isn't relevant to the thread, that indicates that he/she is more interested in promoting his/her agenda than in actually discussing the facts. The fact is that successful installs indicate that the OPs premise is flawed, and therefore should be questioned. I've upgraded multiple machines from Mountain Lion to Mavericks without issue, and my mom (who is next to clueless about computers) also was able to upgrade her Mac to Mavericks without any issues as well.

    Apple designs their OSes to be easily upgradeable, without requiring a high level of technical acumen/acuity. What the OP is requesting is that Apple effectively make things more complicated, which goes against everything Apple has been about with OS X. To be honest, the existing installer DOES upgrade safely, what the OP really wants is to somehow instruct the common end user on how to fix all of the issues with third party software/devices/extensions/addons/etc.

    To be honest, it's impossible to release a bug-free, issue-free version of ANY OS, because there are always some use cases/hardware combinations/software issues that are not replicated in testing. However, there is a much simpler way to avoid these frustrations for less technically savvy users. Macworld, Macrumors, etc will jump all over new releases of OS X at launch, and Ars Technica always puts out a giant, in-depth review of the new OS when released. Instead of placing the burden upon these users (who make up the majority of the Mac userbase) to create a test environment and test things themselves, why not simply refer them to the articles on Macworld and similar sites? That would then provide them with the issue, why it occurs, and how to fix it. This also allows them to collect the information in advance of upgrading, rather than upgrading and then trying to find the information in a panic.

    If you want upgrades to go as painlessly as possible, having Apple tell users how to create a test environment is NOT the answer. Giving users the resources to know what issues may occur and how to fix them before upgrading is.
     
  11. maflynn, Apr 17, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2014

    maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #11
    You're correct I have none, its my opinion, but then I'm not the one who is providing a solution to a problem that may not be widespread. Let me turn it around, what numbers do you have that backs up your hypothesis that there is widespread issues with the upgrade?

    ----------

    So you're advocating a solution to a problem that may not be widespread that would risk Apple's brand.

    I mean telling a consumer that they need to buy an external drive to test out an upgrade will almost always scare people away from that upgrade. Not too many people have a spare external drive lying around to be used in such circumstances.

    In essence what you propose is that Apple is recommending that they spend money (on external drives) because OSX is unstable.
     
  12. Felasco thread starter Guest

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    #12
    No, I'm sorry, it doesn't.

    We know some number of users have problems. That's a hard fact, right?

    All I'm suggesting is that Apple inform users of this fact, and provide guidance on how to avoid the risk.

    The good news is that, for those who care, the risk is avoidable. Why not share the good news?

    This page...

    http://techcrunch.com/2012/10/25/ap...ones-58-23m-ipads-18-1m-macs-and-35-2m-ipods/

    ...says Apple sold 18 million Macs in 2012. 0.1% of that number, the number of Macs sold in one year alone, is 120,000 people.

    Yes, there is a way. The way suggested by this thread. Yes, their test install may not turn out well, but that is not a problem, as their existing Mac setup remains completely untouched, entirely safe from harm.

    Again, there is no problem. You install the new OS on the external drive. You play around with it as long as you wish. You keep doing any important work on your existing Mac setup. Going back is as simple as rebooting from the existing Mac setup, takes 2 minutes.

    Apple would find better ways to release new versions of OSX, perhaps including the suggestion of this thread.

    Fewer people would be experiencing problems, and becoming negative word of mouth machines.

    The public releases are beta software in everything but name.

    There you go. You're a smart experienced user, doing it the right way. And all I'm suggesting is that Apple educate people to follow your lead. So why are we debating?

    Hundreds of thousands of people having a problem is not a problem?

    I disagree. If one person is having a modest problem, and that problem can be solved, that person should be offered the opportunity to choose the solution.

    Please recall, all I'm suggesting is that Apple create a web page that discusses these issues, and link to it from the download page and installer. Apple has 80,000+ employees, and more money than God :).

    Not so hard.
     
  13. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

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    #13
    My email sometimes doesn't update. Even if I created a test environment on a 2nd drive, I probably would not have caught this bug. This is an Apple bug, I would expect Apple to be better than this. Nothing you said would help, and I like bitching :D
     
  14. Felasco thread starter Guest

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    #14
    Like I said, I'm not going to play the percentages game, because that debate is unresolvable, and is irrelevant to this thread.

    There are enough people reporting Mavericks problems on this forum alone to justify a web page explaining how to avoid such problems.

    If I understand your point of view, you object to Apple creating such a web page? Is that correct?

    ----------

    There's no technical reason why you couldn't have.

    I agree with you here.

    Ha, ha, ok then, so you're a happy user and don't require our assistance. :)
     
  15. dmccloud macrumors 6502a

    dmccloud

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    #15
    Unless you can quantify the number of users having a problem, you cannot justify the need for your proposal. If there's 1500 users having problems, that does not justify telling millions and millions of users they need to build a test environment, which won't fix the issues you describe anyways.

    Again, a test environment DOES NOTHING TO FIX THE ISSUES you claim exist in the status quo.


    So Apple should worry 17.998M people in order to reach 120K with a "solution" that won't actually fix anything? All you're doing is introducing needless panic into the userbase.



    So you expect the average computer user to be able to set up, test, and use a dual boot system without any issue. Not gonna happen.



    Apple has done nothing wrong with their upgrades. It's third parties who have been lax in updating their software/drivers/etc for new versions of the operating system.


    Funny, I thought the developer previews served that purpose. I know that's how I've been using them for the last five years.


    Because your proposal does nothing to actually solve the problems you allege. I've already explained several times why your entire premise is flawed.


    Not compared to tens of millions of people NOT having a problem.


    Again, Apple doesn't need to to this, because most of the issues are with third party software/extensions/etc. Furthermore, as I stated in my other post, sites like Macworld, Mad Life, etc will post articles with known issues and how to fix them, which is a much simpler solution than tryign to teach inexperienced users to set up and configure a dual boot system with a test environment.

    ----------

    Actually, it's VERY relevant to the thread. If you cannot prove that the issues you allege affect a significant number of users (using your own numbers, 120,000 is not considered significant against a sample size of 20 million plus), then there is no pressing need to even consider your proposal.
     
  16. Felasco thread starter Guest

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    #16
    OSX is unstable, for some number of users.

    I'm proposing an article that explains the issues involved and educates users on how they can make the choice most suitable for them.

    What you're arguing against is the creation of a web page, and a link to that page in the OSX installer.

    ----------

    dmccloud, I know for a fact that testing OSX before installing it on one's main setup can prevent problems to the main setup, as I've done just that myself. As have very many other experienced users, including the developers themselves.

    I will however admit to a bit of hype in my thread title, as I would agree such testing can not claim to solve ALL install problems. That statement was a sloppy over reach on my part, and I'd edit the thread title if I could.
     
  17. kolax macrumors G3

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    #17
    'The most suitable choice'?! It's either upgrade because Apple decides your device is compatible, or no upgrade!

    You are making it way too complicated. I want my Mac to update just like my iPhone. Educate users on backing up their data, not on all the technicalities of an operating system upgrade.
     
  18. dmccloud macrumors 6502a

    dmccloud

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    #18
    What we're arguing against is unnecessarily creating a sense of panic and/or uneasiness among millions of users for an issue that you can't even prove affects a significant number of people. You're also falsely assuming that there is no means for the average user to learn that information in the status quo, and I've already mentioned sites like this one, Macworld, Mac Life, etc that have how to articles all the time.

    The bottom line is that you can't prove your alleged problem affects enough users to be considered significant, you can't prove that the lack of a link provided by Apple is the cause of these issues, and you can't prove that providing said link will fix anything. Therefore, your proposal is a bad one.
     
  19. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #19
    Yes because I think its unnecessary, it does Apple no good (because the affected users are a tiny minority in my unofficial uneducated opinion) and will only harm Apple's marketing of OSX being stable and rock solid.

    It boils down to perception and marketing and apple is not going to promote any message that infers that OSX is not stable (even for a minority of users).
     
  20. Felasco thread starter Guest

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    #20
    You may be on to something here. It could be that Apple also has the view there is no pressing reason to even consider addressing problems being experienced by thousands of Mac users.
     
  21. dmccloud macrumors 6502a

    dmccloud

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    #21
    "Thousands" versus "tens of millions" is a statistically insignificant sample size, especially if you're relying on forums like this one to provide the sample. Again, Apple continues to dominate customer satisfaction surveys, so there is no measurable negative impact of these alleged issues on Apple's reputation. If the issue was as severe as you claim, it would show up in the responses to those surveys (the most recent of which was conducted after the release of Mavericks).
     
  22. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #22
    How do you know its thousands of mac users. You even said there's no way for anyone to quantify the percentage. I think you do a disservice to your argument when you start throwing out numbers as fact when we all know its not possible to know them.

    I've been clear when I took my position in this thread its based on my opinion.
     
  23. Felasco thread starter Guest

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    #23
    Yes, an opinion based on nothing by your own admission, which you cling to stubbornly nonetheless. Again, please read this...

    THE CONCEPT OF TINY MINORITY HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS THREAD.

    OSX is not stable and rock solid. It's the lying about that that harms Apple's brand.

    It's reasonable that a new OS should contain an element of risk. It's not reasonable to lie about that risk, even if by omission.

    The perception for those experiencing the problems may be that Apple is a dishonest company that does not care about it's users enough to create a web page telling them what you and I already know.

    It is actually dishonest to promote a piece of software as being rock solid and reliable when the developer knows in advance it still contains many bugs and will cause calamity for many users.

    It used to be possible to do this kind of thing, back before the Internet, back before the "customer is king" era which began in the 1960s. Apple, and many of it's users, are living in the past, imho.

    I know posters may sincerely feel they are being supportive of Apple, but imho, that's not what resisting improvements to the customer experience are.

    ----------

    maflynn, you want to keep arguing this numbers business, because you have few other points to make.

    I do agree with you that Apple may see it to be in it's interest to pretend new versions of OSX are rock solid.
     
  24. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #24
    I disagree, it has been and is rock solid, and so that's the gist of my stance.

    You disagree and that's fine, its your right to disagree and I've enjoyed the dialog :)

    The bottom line is that apple isn't going to do anything based on a thread here.
     
  25. Felasco thread starter Guest

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    #25
    Guys, this thread illustrates why I haven't bought a new Mac in 12 years. I believe the point of view all of you are expressing is held by Apple too. I can offer no other explanation.

    Apologies, but you guys are not expressing the original vision of Apple, the vision that made Apple so popular.

    Steve Jobs would agonize endlessly about every little detail of the design of Macs. No issue was too small for him to consider. All I'm suggesting is that the same kind of quality focus can be applied to the customer experience.

    Remember the customer? You know, that person who actually funds Apple. Ya, them. It matters whether they're having a good time or not. All of them. Every last one. That's the Steve Jobs excellence attention to detail mindset.

    You guys aren't supporting Apple, you're rationalizing and enabling a deterioration of the Steve Jobs mindset that made you decide to buy a Mac instead of a PC. If it's sloppy mediocrity that you want, Microsoft is still in business and happy to take your money.
     

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