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Caution on Upgrading to macOS Catalina — Could Cost You Money and Functionality — Configure Software Update to Prevent Auto-Update

MPG strongly recommends NOT installing macOS Catalina, which is due out within weeks. Wait at least 3 months and probably more.

There is no reason to “upgrade” and make your life a hassle. Apple’s calendar driven releases have proven themselves to be untested bug-ridden messes for the past 4 or 5 releases. It’s a clear and compelling track record. You don’t need the hassle! Mojave did not one good thing for my work and workflow and to this day has continuing hassles—and I waited a full 6 months before installing it.

But wait—it gets much worse32-bit software will no longer run, see below.

Recommended software update settings

Turn off (uncheck/disable) the Install macOS updates preference. Otherwise, Apple may foist macOS Catalina on you one morning quite unexpectedly.

Turn off Download new updates when available: if you travel as I do, losing gigabytes of my cell phone data to unwanted and unimportant (and outright destructive) software updates is a major downer when things slow to 12KB/sec with AT&T (AT&T blatantly lies about throttled speed, it’s around 12K/sec not 128K as claimed, proven over a week of suffering through it).

Recommended preferences for Software Update in macOS

32-bit software will no longer run

Apple just doesn’t 'get' the pain macOS Catalina will cause some of us.

This pattern of disregard for professional in the Mac user base is nothing new, unfortunately. Researchers, professionals, business people, custom software in R&D/science/universities, etc—lots of people out there are going to be VERY unhappy if upgrading to Catalina.

There is absolutely no good reason that 32-bit software has to be abandoned; it is purely a decision of Apple management. Apple provides BootCamp which can run Windows, but cannot support its own platform’s 32-bit software? This shows gross disrespect for its users. While a virtual machine can be used to run another version of macOS, that’s a hassle and a memory hog—and if so, Apple ought to provide the VM.

Significant upgrade costs

Upgrading to Catalina might prove costly $$$ to upgrade. In my case, I face a $500 cost to update software just for compatibility with no benefit to me—software crucial to my business (accounting). Just a friggin total waste of money when I could buy something useful.

Might be no update available

Or there might not be any update at all, so if the software matters to you—ooops!

In my case, a crucial piece of software I use for hours a day doesn’t have an upgrade to 64-bit version at all. Upgrading is thus a nightmare proposition as there is no good alternative, and moreover I am used to the software.

Major security bugs again perhaps?

The last two macOS releases had major security bugs and many other bugs. It took six months to stabilize the release.

  • There will be (as usual) changes that disrupt workflow, and rarely are these improvements.

In short, and especially if you are a professional, see your mental health professional if you feel an urge to upgrade.

Günther D writes:

I totally agree with you. I usually wait 6 months or sometimes even longer before installing a major OS upgrade (it applies to Windows as well). All based on experience since 1990 when I started using Mac professionally. ”If it works don't fix it”.

MPG: absolutely. My advice for any pro using a Mac on any reasonably recent macOS is to treat it like a toaster: keep using it for its value and avoid all major OS upgrades.

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