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macOS Ventura Setup on 2023 Mac Pro M2 Ultra — kills an entire work day

re: Apple Core Rot
re: Migration Assistant

What an awesome piece of hardware the 2023 Mac Pro M2 Ultra is...Apple builds incredibly good hardware! But what goodness is seen in hardware has its evil twin in software, where quality assurance at Apple is a stretch goal.

It took me an entire day to beat macOS Ventura into a usable state and I’m not done yet. Behavioral irritants and various issues remain to be ferreted-out and fixed.

did not want to use Apple’s Migration Assistant because (a) it often fails, and (b) copying over 4 years of cruft from my former Intel system creates a mess that will never get cleaned up. I did that on my 2021 MacBook Pro M1 Max, and there are tens of thousands of old crufty files lying around wasting space and confusing matters.

The price of not using Migration Assistant

I paid a heavy price for not using Migration Assistant. If you have a customized production work environment like mine, think twice about the massive impact to your time.

Frustrating and exhausting, from 9 AM to 10 PM (13 hours) and not done:

  • 5-6 hours just to get my mail transferred over without being a total mess—Apple does not offer any granularity in Migration Assistant for the user home directory, so it's all-or-none of the Library folder. I tried putting into place my existing Library/Mail folder and the various assorted preference files and all Apple Mail did was “upgrade” it to a shitty mess. I lost all my Apple Mail Rules as a result, which is hours of work to replace. I might have lost some mail too since the size is wrong. Yeah, if you only use IMAP your situation will differ.
  • Transferring over (manually) my SpamSieve corpus and making that all work.
  • Having to manualy recreate Carbon Copy Cloner tasks.
  • Downloading and einstalling all my apps and entering licensing info.
  • Redoing preferences in all my apps.
  • Reinstallation of maven, java, etc and the associated security changes.
  • Manual redo of my command key shortcuts, scripts, etc.

Bugs and problems

Then there are the outright Ventura bugs and arbitrary and capricious changes.

Partial list.

  • I’m told that my PCIe SSD cannot be installed lest it cause an infinite boot/kernel panic that wont’t be fixed until macOS Ventura 13.5 arrives in a few weeks.
  • For a long time, I had two (2) identical iCloud mail accounts with identical contents. It took me an hour or so to make this go away, rebooting a couple of times appears to have fixed it.
  • Broken Terminal window command key shortcuts, which I use hundreds of times a day.
  • All folder modification dates were destroyed and replaced with today’s date. This creates a major problem in finding some things where I rely upon sorting by date.
  • In Auto display style (vs Appearance => Light | Dark | Auto), the user interface text and window stuff were unreadable (a nearly-white gray). I struggled for hours just to try to read text in dialogs on such until I discovered that picking Light or Dark manually fixed the issue.
  • New system global command key shortcuts that override/break my application shortcuts which I’ve used for years. I had to seek out and disable them (enable Keyboard => Keyboard Shortcuts => Function Keys => Use F1, F2, etc as standard function keys).
  • Arbitrary stupid changes like the 'say' command now saying "Capital K" instead of just "K" for "K".
  • File dates to minutes everywhere (not seconds), a huge problem for some things I do—Apple just ripped-out the capability entirely—see the workaround fix.
  • Apple Mail at times goes dead; messages won't send, clicking the Send button does nothing. I have to quit Mail and restart it.

I’d pay good money just to be able to run macOS Monterey instead.

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