504: The Release of macOS Catalina

Purchases magically came back for me this morning.

However now my email doesn’t stay in sync On my devices: iPad, iPhone or MacBook Pro. Oddly, it worked perfectly with the beta versions. I did, however, do a fresh install with the official release (perhaps that messed something up).

I just powered up my machine, and my purchases are also magically back. I suspect the commenters in one of the Reddit threads were right, and there was something odd happening server-side.

Sorry about the Mail glitch you’re experiencing. I’ve occasionally tried using Apple Mail, but I’ve never found it worked very well for me. I’ve always ended up going back to a combination of Gmail (for work mail) and Spark (for everything else).

Thanks, I hadn’t noticed the preferences option, but did notice that you can rate songs in the “Get Info” window.

I understand that lots of people get more out of just a thumbs up/down/love or whatever everyone is moving to, but I hope they keep star ratings. I have a fairly complex smart playlist that uses the ratings. To me, the ratings are how often I want to hear the song. 1 star means never, two occasionally, maybe every year or two … and 4/5 much more frequently.


I highly regret trying to install Catalina on a day I wanted to work from home. Good lord. I thought downloading it overnight then starting the install at 6am would be plenty of time to get started working at 9am. Nope.

What a joke. At least give us a decent “estimated time remaining”. Mine was literally blank (just said Estimated time remaining…) the whole time until the last 10 minutes. Then I got all excited when I logged in, only to get stuck at the Setting up your Mac screen for another hour.

I gave up and went in to the office. This was my first “Windows-like” experience on my Mac. Not a good feeling.

Same here, what a mess.

I did Catalina upgrades on two of my machines

The first was on an older (2013) Mac Pro with lots of RAM (128 Gb) but apparently with marginal CPU capability as it is not eligible for SideCar. It took 6 hours to upgrade - similar to your experience with “Estimated Time Remaining” forever.

The second was on a much newer (2018) Retina iMac with decent RAM (40 Gb) - the upgrade took under an hour and was very straightforward.

I note that both machines are CPU limited when I try to make substantial use of Voice Control - though the older Mac Pro is much more limited in that regard than the newer iMac.

I am pondering whether the long upgrade times are just the tip of the iceberg and whether a lot of Macs out there which had been quite usable on 10.14 are going to be on the verge of non-usable on 10.15 - and whether into the future attention to tech specs of a new Mac will be increasingly important to be sure it can do the desired task.

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Fortunately things have since been working very well overall…and there’s a lot to like about Catalina.

Did anyone else have issues with the audio for this episode? It seemed to skip in several places. One example is around the 43:50 mark when David is talking about email clients.

I noticed David dropping out for fractions of a second occasionally. I thought it was my AirPods at first, but it wasn’t.

I agree. My girlfriend was poised to do the upgrade, and mentioned it in passing. Then we had the backup talk, possible issues with Word, etc.

That was one of my main motivations for risking breaking everything important to upgrade.

Literature&Latte just recommended to wait with upgrading if you use Scrivener.


The email sync problem is also now magically fixed.

I upgraded my 2018 MacBook Air last night. I checked that there were no 32 bit programmes beforehand. It went on without a problem.

Showing the file save/open dialogs in matlab 2019b is painfully slow. Going to drop back to 2019a and see if it’s better.

I guess I’m not a true MPU, I don’t get too excited about operating system upgrades and just expect them to work. I haven’t seen any new features that wow me yet. I like the new Reminders I guess. What are you liking so far?

What are you liking so far?

Reminders and Sidecar (as a second monitor for my MBP 13). And of course the various hangs and crashes.

What are you liking so far?

Some favourite new features/enhancements:

  • Enhancements to Photos great for rediscovering past memories
  • iTunes has been split into Music, Podcasts, Music, and TV
  • Sidecar (works with my 2016 MacBook Pro, but not my 2015 iMac)
  • Using my Apple Watch as an alternative to typing passwords in some cases
  • A variety of other nice enhancements that improve the experience

If you use music creation software, especially older (32-bit) or unsigned plugins you may be in for a world of hurt - in some digital audio workstations 32-bit plugins won’t simply fail they’ll crash their host. And in some cases any plugins built before June 2019(!) need to be updated/signed.

Good overview by Peter Kirn outlining some of the issues with Catalina below - TLDR: if you make music on your Mac you may not want to upgrade right now. And if you’re a DJ who’s relied on iTunes the new restrictions in the new Music app will be a big bag of hurt for you.

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Anyone else use an Apple USB keyboard that is not working any longer w/the upgrade to Catalina? Mine worked fine before. Another Windows-esqe experience…ugh. I guess I’m off to Google to find a fix.