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A Humorous Take on macOS: Like Linux of Old

The Particle Debris article of the week comes from a macOS developer writing at Nibble Stew.

After wrestling mightily with an install that was sabotaged by macOS “reserved space,” this developer got to thinking…

After my blood pressure dropped to healthier levels I got the strangest feeling of déjà vu. This felt exactly like using Linux in the early 2000s. Things break at random for reasons you can’t understand and the only way to fix it is to find terminal commands from discussion forums, type them in and hope for the best. Then it hit me.

This was not an isolated incidence. The parallels are everywhere. Observe:

Some excerpts….

Software installation

Linux 2000: There is only One True Way of installing software: using distro packages. If you do anything else you are bad and you should feel bad.

Apple 2019: There is only True Way of installing software: using the Apple store. If you do anything else you are bad and you should feel bad.

Laptop features

Linux 2000: it is very difficult to find a laptop with more than two USB ports.

Apple 2019: it is very difficult to find a laptop with more than two USB ports.

Advocate behaviour

Linux 2000: fanboys will let you know in no uncertain terms that their system is the best and will take over all desktop computer usage. Said fanboys are condescending elitist computer nerds.

Apple 2019: fanboys will let you know in no uncertain terms that their system is the best and will take over all desktop computer usage. Said fanboys are condescending elitist hipster latte web site designers.

These are just a few examples. The thing is, they really hit home. We need more macOS humor like this.

macOS Catalina: some headaches.

The Week’s News Debris

• I love the amazing reviews at ars technica. Here’s the site’s in-depth take on the iPhone 11 family. You will learn stuff. “The Apple iPhone 11, 11 Pro & 11 Pro Max Review: Performance, Battery, & Camera Elevated.” Take a gander especially at the chapter “System & ML performance.”

• I’ve seen a lot of stories about the changes in macOS Catalina causing all kinds of headaches. Let’s start here, via Glenn Fleishman: “Can’t find your Time Machine backup after upgrading to Catalina? Look for a backupbundle.”

• It’s been reported at Macintouch that Catalina won’t boot from external Firewire drives. (This is via a Thunderbolt adapter, of course.) It seems Apple didn’t announce this to end users. Ouch.

• For a sampling of some reader feedback on Catalina installs, see: “Readers Report on macOS Catalina Install Issues.”

• Apple is already working on macOS Catalina 10.15.1, now at beta 2. Cult of Mac has an update: “macOS 10.15.1 beta 2 brings fresh bug fixes to Mac.”

• Of course, Microsoft Office 2011 is 32-bit and won’t run in Catalina. Apparently some users were surprised by this. (Puh-leeeze.) Anyway, here’s a note from Microsoft. The minimum version for Catalina is Office 2016.

• Finally, not ready for Catalina just now? Tired of nagging reminders in Mojave? See: “How to Hide MacOS Catalina from Software Update on Mac.”


Particle Debris is a generally a mix of John Martellaro’s observations and opinions about a standout event or article(s) of the week followed by a discussion of articles that didn’t make the TMO headlines, the technical news debris. The column is published most every Friday except for holiday weeks.


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