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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Life with Mavericks - lots of bumps in the road

I installed Mavericks on my MacBook Pro at work. It has been a very bumpy ride. I really wanted multiple monitors to work better, and it does to a point. I have been able to unplug from my second monitor at my desk, move the laptop to a conference room, connect to the TV there and have it mirror the image then reconnect to my monitor when the meeting was over and have it restore the window positions. That is awesome.

The problem? If my machine goes into a deeper sleep, say when I lock and close it for the night, the next morning or maybe even after an hour lunch and an app window will be hosed. Outlook will disappear into the upper corner and you can move it but no resize it. I have to kill the app and start it back up. It has happened to Chrome, Outlook and VMWare fusion so far. Can't find a definite pattern but it sucks when it happens.

I installed Slate which allows me to take a snapshot of my desktop and restore it. I still have to kill Outlook as the restore is not strong enough to put it back where it belongs but after I restart Outlook doing a restore puts it back on my primary monitor sized correctly. I really hope they fix this mess with an update to the OS.

Next up is Apple decides to wipe out or install older versions of tools such as perl, java, etc. The way the base operating system works is you install common libraries and other tools use them. Of course if you have an old library version things go bad. Also if it used to find the library in one place but it moved then things stink too.

I use xml-grep a lot. It was not working post Mavericks. I updated perl and it still did not work. I reinstalled Twig and no go. I looked at where it was attempting to load things and they did not sync up. I ended up doing a copy + paste of the XML/Twig stuff from one perl directory to another. While doing all this fun something dropped a skeleton .bashrc file in the root directory which load before my .profile so iTerm did not have the proper settings.

MacPorts did not work for the first few days after Mavericks came out. They fixed that pretty quickly but it was failing on the SVN 1.8.4 update. I finally just downloaded the tar file and put it where it wanted and was able to move on. Right now MacPorts is updating and installing as expected but I know they got bit by another Apple tool shift.

Look, DLL hell was no fun on Windows. Most ended up including their DLL copy in their own directory. I did not run into issues upgrading Windows like I have on the Mac. Yes, this only applies to developers (probably) as most folks are not dealing with command line tools. Heck the graphic artist I have worked with had never seen this magical terminal window I spoke of. The problem is Apple is just not very developer friendly which makes me mad at them and hard for me to recommend them to family members.

At this point I am back up and running. I have to kill programs at least once a day to get them back visible on the screen and not is some weird docking mode. That has the potential to affect a lot more than just developers. I am sure I will get bit by another command line tool that is not working as expected soon enough. I am trying to get past all the surprises so I can just do my work.