Macintoast

Macintoast, yum yum eatum up.

Progress marches on, towing me along behind it like a water skier who refuses to leave shore. You can practically hear the skis dragging across the lakeside gravel.

I’ve been noticing various hitches in the gitalong of my 15-inch 2014 MacBook Pro, which is the workhorse here at El Rancho Pendejo (“Your Gateway to Giggle City!”).

And as usual, the problem lies not with me, but with everybody else.

WordPress, The Washington Post, Esquire, and other stops along my daily dawdle all have been pissing on me from their considerable technological height, proclaiming that the MacBook’s 5-year-old OS (High Sierra, 10.13.6) and equally antiquated browser (Safari 13.1.2) are so 15 minutes ago, which as sayings go is likewise about as au courant as “Twenty-three skiddoo!”

It finally became so irksome that I felt compelled to take hold. WaPo and Chazbo Pierce’s site had both gotten as creaky as a geezer’s knees in February. And WordPress wouldn’t even let me swap headers on the blog, which is pretty basic stuff.

In a support chat I could sense the Happiness Engineer’s forehead bouncing rhythmically off the keyboard.

“Safari 13 is several versions behind the latest versions so I suspect that may be what is causing the issue,” s/he typed. “I would recommend that you try to access the site through a different browser such as Chrome if you’re not ready or able to update the Macs yet for whatever reason.”

Well, sheeyit. High Sierra is as good as it gets around here, Scooter. It’s on everything newer than mid-2012. And Google is evil no matter what they claim to be.

Still, it is winter, and I am retired, and also slightly bored. So I decided to do a little tinkering.

Not on the Main Machine, mind you. My testing bench would be the 13-inch 2014 MacBook Pro, the ’Book I use for road trips if I’m sleeping indoors. The 11-inch 2012 MacBook Air gets the callup if I’m tenting it.

First I paid a visit to my old buddy Mozilla, and hey presto, Firefox 96.0.3 works like a charm. But Firefox is awful needy — “Can I be your default browser? Please? Pleasepleaseplease?” — so I thought what the hell, let’s just bump the OS up a notch, see what happens. Can’t sing, can’t dance, too fat to fly.

I’ve been hinky about this shit ever since a long jump from Snow Leopard to Mavericks gave my 2009 iMac a brain bleed. But High Sierra to Mojave is only one little hop, just a year between releases. So I gave the boot drive a once-over with Disk Utility, downloaded a fresh copy of Mojave, and let ’er buck.

And so far, so good (knocking on wood). The 13-incher is my kitchen Mac when I’m not on the road, because I don’t like sitting down first thing, and anyway I have coffee to brew, breakfast to make. And as you see, all is smooth like Irish butter on homemade bread.

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10 Responses to “Macintoast”

  1. Flahute Says:

    The 2014 MBP is compatible all the way up to MacOS 11.X (Big Sur), which is only one release behind the current MacOS 12.x (Monterey). Unless the machines are severely lacking in RAM and/or disk storage, you might want to consider bringing them all at least into the 2020s.

    I had a mid-2012 MBP running on MacOS 10.15.x (Catalina) for well over a year until the motherboard finally fried this past November (and that was due to moisture damage, not anything OS/software related).

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      The 2020s? Shoot, can you loan me a DeLorean with a flux capacitor? I’m stuck in 2014.

      The 13-inch MBP likes Mojave just fine so far, but the system eats up nearly a third of the 128GB drive, so before I take that any further I’d replace the drive. The 11-inch MBA has a 256GB drive, but only 8GB of memory. I hardly ever use it, so I’m content to leave it alone after adding a copy of Firefox for managing the blog.

      This 15-inch MBP has a 500GB drive and 16GB of memory, so I might eventually bring it into the modern era. But it’s not really a priority since all I’m doing these days is running off at the mouth here. Uncle Sammy is throwing money at me every month and I don’t gotta dance for him or nothin’.

  2. Shawn Says:

    Fish heads. Fish heads. Eat them up yum! Old MTV is hard to cleanse your mind of.

    As for technology, I’m still using the wooden mallet and chisel on my rocks. But then I’m not a social celebrity with a following of old gray haired men and attractive women that requires rocknology that works over the etherwaves.

  3. Pat O’Brien Says:

    I just update when it tells me to. Laptop or iPad (2020 7th gen, the bargain kind) makes no difference to me, I just install it. My trust level does‘t go as far as automatic updates, at least not yet. But, I gave up on the internet worry. Tim Cook looks like a nice guy. The laptop, a 2020 13 inch Macbook Air, is running Monterey 12.1 with no issues. My smarter half’s 2020 13 inch Macbook Air does have the necessary memory to run Monterey. It is a 128GB model. Also use Duck Duck Go as the only search engine. We kicked google outa here years ago.

    • Pat O’Brien Says:

      My Smarter Half’s 2020 Macbook Air does NOT have……..Sorry

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      DuckDuckGo for true. Google is the devil. I think my iPhone SE is a stool-pigeon rat-fink informer too. Lately I’ve been seeing ads for items I walked past in the grocery store.

      • Pat O’Brien Says:

        Duck Duck Go was Andy’s advice. Besides, they are an underwriter of NPR. Google is Big Brother. Andy also gave me my ad blocker for Xmas. Helped me set it up, which took some time, but it wasn’t too difficult. A few websites ask me to turn it off in a pop up window on their home page. Guardian is one. I never turn it off. The new versions of Safari have some good tracker blocks built in. I also clear web data at least once a day. My guitar buddy asks why I don’t have a smart phone. He thinks I’m paranoid. I say I spend too much time on computers and tablets at home. I sure don’t need one of the damn things in my pocket.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        I appreciate aspects of the so-called smartphone, but it’s too easy to let it become the center of your life. When I see someone staring into one as though it were the Oracle of Delphi I want to prescribe a regimen of vigorous exercise or heavy medication.

        Mine is a first-gen iPhone SE, comparatively cheap, and I use it primarily for three purposes: taking pix, sending texts, and making/receiving phone calls.

        Occasionally I might use its Magnifier to read some tiny text, or set the Clock’s timer function while cooking. If I’m sitting somewhere waiting on an appointment, I might check the NYT or WaPo rather than pick up some ratty-ass magazine that I wouldn’t give a glance to anywhere else.

        But really, that’s about it. My favorite thing about the iPhone is being able to AirDrop photos straight to the Mac without having to do the SD-card shuffle or plug in a cable.

  4. Jeff Cozad Says:

    The newest Mac computer here at Ice Station Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is an SE/30 with a whopping 40mb hard drive. It’s enjoying its life in the old computer closet. At least I hope it is.

    I did 37 years worth of IT stuff for the big green tractor folks and prior to my retirement to the old computer closet, my colleagues and I regularly wondered how the civilians dealt with all of this given that it gave us fits.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      The SEs were the shit. That’s where I got started. I eventually sold mine to an alt-weekly in Bibleburg.

      I loved the modular PowerBooks too. Rock one battery or two, slip in an additional hard drive, optical drive, or Zip drive. Just like sticking 8-track tapes in the B210’s aftermarket under-dash player baybeeee.

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