I caved

Adel Gabot



Huh. I finally gave in. I caved.

I installed the macOS Sierra beta on my iMac.

I’ve been wanting to do that for weeks. I’ve been intrigued by all the hype about the changes they were going to implement, and most of all I wanted to try out Siri on the desktop. Siri on the desktop, man!

I didn’t go all in, like I normally do though.

Normally, I have implicit trust that Apple will do everything in their power to make things relatively trouble-free for their users that I just jump in and install their OS betas on my working, mission-critical system when they become available. But not this time. I’ve long been a staunch and loyal beta-tester for Apple, but this time I didn’t know.

When the year started I became very stingy and penny-pinching on my disk space, and have deleted and uninstalled every single piece of software I wasn’t really using. As such, I’ve trimmed down the load on my 1TB main drive from 700+ GB down to 350GB—almost half the old storage! I’ve also redistributed my data on three big external drives, to further slim down the main hard disk. (I can still relocate my iTunes and Photos libraries, but I’m not that far gone.)

Been living with this svelte drive since the beginning of the year, basking in the knowledge that I have so much extra space to play with if I wanted to. Thing was, I never really played with anything anymore. I’ve finally gotten to that stage where I don’t like to try anything new, and everything’s fine just the way it is.

I’ve whittled down my main drive to its bare essentials, without any real reason to. I got everything humming to such a strict, streamlined efficiency that I dared not tamper any more with it.

Which was why I was antsy to install a still-unproven OS beta on top of it. I guess I’ve gotten cautious and wary in my old age. Or maybe I simply just quit being foolhardy. I just couldn’t bring myself to install the macOS Sierra beta on my nice, working system.

So yesterday, I decided to partition a 100GB portion of the drive off, and install a bare-bones Sierra setup there. (Which, in hindsight, was something I should have done with my other older beta installs anyway.)

At first, I was thinking of doing a bare install of El Capitan 10.11.6, and then restoring my MacBook Pro‘s Time Machine backup to that, then upgrade to Sierra, so I could have a working installation complete with everything I needed to comfortably work. But then again I thought, what the hell. Install Sierra fresh from the ground up, then install the most basic software I needed to get by. Get rid of that retro baggage I’ve been carrying for years for once in my life.

So that’s what I did. Took me most of the late afternoon and evening, but I finally did it, and installed all the other software I couldn’t live without: Pages, WordPress, Twitter, Dropbox, Menumeters and all those other third-party apps I couldn’t imagine not having. I setup extra Spaces for the apps and got everything working the way I liked it. Came up to around 20GB for the full install plus the other software. Hey, I still had an 80GB buffer!


Siri worked as well as could be expected (which wasn’t saying much). I got to shove up some of my essential data to iCloud, got a few nice improvements and additions to the notification window, some nice add-ons to Messages and had a few new usability tweaks, but in the end, it was largely the same as before.

I really shouldn’t have bothered.

I ran into some glitches right off, too:

  • some of the apps would jump their assigned Spaces and move around willy-nilly;
  • some of my external USB drives refused to get recognized unless I disconnect and reconnect them first;
  • my Apple ID refused to be recognized by the system until I’d rebooted a couple of times;
  • but most tellingly, the App Store refused to download the newer, second Sierra update and other related software, as if it was telling me not to bother and just wait for the official release.

I’m seriously thinking about it.





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