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Upgraded to macOS Monterey — an Unexpectedly Good Result — So Far

re: Apple Core Rot

I upgraded my 2019 Mac Pro to macOS Monterey last night. I feared the worst might happen, but having tried it on a temporarily-purchased-to-be-returned 2020 iMac 5K and finding it worked pretty well, I decided to give it a try.

And wonder of wonders! Apple finally fixed one longstanding headache: the failure to mount volumes specified in synthetic.conf until logging in (a disaster when running a server). Now my local web server starts up just fine after a reboot. Hooray! Actually, I got this wrong somehow—still broken.

And a 2nd bonus: Microsoft Excel 2016 still runs fine, so I can keep using that without having to fork over $100 a year.

It’s not all good—I keep getting a “Photos Library.photoslibrary” zero-byte file appearing in my Pictures folder—very annoying since I don’t use Photos.app and it cannot be removed. Some daemon process I guess. I also see badly blurred text in Spotlight search—weird.

So far, I’ve not run into significant new bugs, which is unprecedented in 5-6 years. Maybe I’ll find some more issues, but so far it has been OK after a day of running Photoshop.

I’m like most other people: I don’t care too much about other people’s bugs, just my own! So I have little doubt there are plenty of bugs, but if Monterey deals me a good hand this time finally, then great.

Don H writes:

It’s good to hear that you’ve had some success with Monterey - it’s about f’n time we had a decent release. But it might be too soon to say; Howard Oakley is observing problems with Time Machine, particularly backing up folders with lots of small files. Beware of this situation if you encounter itself.

That aside, in my own experience I have noticed that the more recent stable Mac OS releases that I gravitate towards happen to start with ‘M’. Way back when Snow Leopard was the gold standard of a solid ‘maintenance’ release; not a lot of glitzy new features but the existing ones got more refined. Then Apple released the dreadful Lion (which was supposed to be the pinnacle of the ‘cat’ versions), followed by the cleanup Mountain Lion, but it wasn’t until Mavericks that things seemed to really gel again.

I pretty much skipped over the next four (I call them the ‘mountain' releases), partly from reading your experiences with them, but then the Mavericks version of Safari stopped working at a lot of web sites and other software pressures forced an upgrade. Mojave turned out to be pretty decent once it settled down (I’m still running it on my main machine). But once again Apple broke what didn’t need fixing and gave us the ‘coastal’ releases, which does include Monterey, but I feel like that one might be another plateau to rest upon.

(I also dread what Apple might have up their sleeves next, given the ever-tighter coupling of iOS and macOS. Yet more over-simplification of the user interface until all utility is erased in a wave of winking emojis?)

So for me the big jumps have been Mavericks > Mojave > Monterey (potentially). When can I expect another stable release - Marin? Malibu? Mecca?

MPG: macOS Merced, around XMAS next year?

I did see see some serious user input problems on the 2020 iMac 5K (nothing but beeps!), but they went away after quitting restarting apps.

Shammeer M writes:

Very good chance the next macOS will be macOS Mammoth: Apple renews ‘Mammoth’ trademark, hinting at potential name for macOS 13 - 9to5Mac

MPG: I vote for Merced ("mercy") as in Merced River. But things are already mammoth in size (12+GB for an OS upgrade... wow).


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