Should You Download Apple’s September 30 Launch of its New Operating System, “El Capitan”?

Hello Macintosh Computer users!  On September 30 Apple will launch and you will be able to download “El Capitan” OS X, replacing the “Yosemite” version of OS X as your Macintosh desktop/laptop operating system.

BUT should you join the crowd that has to immediately satisfy the need to be the first to have the latest and the greatest?  No!  And here are the reasons why:

(1) Major new operating systems almost invariably have bugs in them, sometimes minor irritating bugs and sometimes major infuriating bugs.  Either way, what’s your rush? Why not simply adhere to the old proverb, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.

(2) Initially you risk being caught in the mass rush to download, causing delays and sometimes an overload that can disrupt your download and may even crash your operating system. Again, what’s the rush?

(3) Old “Appletonians” like myself (I made up the term), recall downloading a new operating system, and then learning that some of our older favorite non-Apple software applications would not work with the new operating system.  So we then needed to upgrade, sometimes expensively. (eg. Microsoft Word would crash.)

So, what to do?

Wait at least 3-4 weeks before you decide to download El Capitain.  Use the time productively.  Every few days Google “Problems with El Capitain” and read Mac Forums under that search.  Continue until the preponderance of favorable comments
outweigh the complaints, before you download. And look for bugs that the Forums say will be corrected in an update. You may want to wait for the update.  I recommend you steer clear of non-Apple Forums as you often get misinformation from individuals who simply hate Apple products.

Next, while you wait,  also Google “El Capitain compatibility with any non-Apple applications” that you use.  (eg an expensive engineering or graphics program or a program like “Finale” that musicians/composers use to electronically play an instrument, and have their Mac print out the musical notes/score.) You may even want to query the developer of such software to be extra cautious.

Next, those of you who have attended the Apple Macintosh user club meetings (second Tuesday of the month, Lake House Live Oak room, 7-8:30pm) know that before you download any operating system, you should go to your applications folder, then the Utilities folder, to find Disk Utility. Open Disk Utility and click on the Repair Permissions button. Let the repair run and when complete, quit Disk Utility.  It is a good practice to do this monthly anyway to keep your computer healthy.

Lastly, hopefully you own a re-bootable external hard drive.  Be sure you back up your Macintosh computer’s hard drive to your external back up hard drive.

Good luck!

Submitted by Will Wiehn, Apple Macintosh Event Coordinator

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