OS X Mavericks

UPDATE 2 (12/11/13): Problems have been reported with Mac OS X 10.9 and Juniper. Dartmouth Network Services was told yesterday that Juniper has no plans to support Mac OS X 10.9 via the current Network Connect utility. It will only be supported via Junos Pulse. Apparently they are moving towards Pulse being their primary supported platform. The network folks are going to do some testing on what Pulse works with, if we can have a link to the Pulse client on the gateway page, etc. TDI Computing will update you as soon as we find out more.

UPDATE (12/08/13): Anti-virus and VPN software are now available for Mavericks. Also, Adobe has released a patch for Adobe Captivate users. Please find that information here. Unfortunately, there are still problems with DisplayLink drivers and Mavericks. There is a 10.9.1 update on its way from Apple that should resolve the issue.

Apple recently released its latest desktop operating system, Mac OS X Mavericks. It’s free, and Apple advertises it quite prominently in the updates section of their App Store. This makes it very easy to ‘accidentally’ upgrade. Then again, if you’re an early adopter, you’ve probably already updated your computer. There are a few very good reasons to do the upgrade, and a few possibly better reasons to wait. Read on to explore both sides.

The Good

Two of the most useful features I’ve found in Mavericks are the tabbed Finder window and having more control over multiple displays. It was always a pain to lose an open Finder window when I was looking to do a copy or a quick lookup with Preview. Also, being able to have the menu bar and dock on two monitors saves me time as I’m constantly moving from display to display for many tasks. I’ve spoken with a few other early adopters at TDI and they consider the upgrade just a collection of gimmicks.

It really comes down to the way you work. This is the case with almost all of the bells and whistles in Mavericks. Some find them to be lifesavers, some find them to be a halfhearted attempt to merge Apple’s desktop and mobile operating systems. Chances are that you will find at least one feature you can add to your daily toolbox.

If you want to find out if the upgrade will be worth it for you, here’s a pretty fair and detailed review of Mavericks from ArsTechnica.

The Bad

There are a few issues with Mavericks as it relates to some of the software we use at TDI and Dartmouth College as a whole. Below you’ll find a list of what doesn’t work, why, and if we know when a fix will be available. Some of them may be show-stoppers for you, so consider carefully.

  • Symantec EndPoint Protection – This is the school’s anti-virus/threat-protection software. In order for it to work on Mavericks, you need to download 12.1.4. Right now, only 12.1.1 is available. We’ve had one or two reports of people upgrading and being fine, but we’ve also had reports where the software blew up after they upgraded their OS. And by blow up, I mean they needed to recover from a backup of their system. The update is available, and we are working with Dartmouth Central Computing to get an ETA on when it will be available for download. We’ll keep you posted.
  • VPN – Similar to the Symantec issue, the currently available Juniper VPN software is not compatible with Mac OS 10.9. We can obtain an offline installer, but it is only a temporary fix.
  • DisplayLink Software – This is used for docking stations and multiple display solutions by many at TDI. There is an update available from DisplayLink, but it does not consistently work. A patch has to come from Apple. We don’t have an ETA on the first point upgrade that will resolve this (e.g. 10.9.1).
  • Adobe Captivate – There is also an issue with Adobe’s Captivate program not working. Adobe is working on a fix and hopes to have it available by the end of November. It will be rolled out via Adobe’s AutoUpdater.

We’ll keep you posted as we find out more. Always feel free to contact us with any questions.