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The Monterey Report
#59055 07/01/21 07:48 PM
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I am writing this on my third generation 11” iPad Pro as my newly recovered M1 Mac mini is in the midst of a seven hour migration go data from a Time Machine backup.
Originally Posted by Lesson Learned
While HDDs are cheap and more than adequate for Time Machine Bckups, a USB 3.0 connection makes for a really long restore process
Initial observations:
  1. While macOS, iOS, and iPadOS are well adapted to their specific device form factor, the migration of user interface utilities such as widgets and control panel make the transition from one to the other more and more seamless.
  2. Migration Assistant in Monterey is a huge step with more control, more options, and small but significant changes.
  3. So far the upgrade has gone surprisingly well β€” especially for a very early beta
  4. More to follow




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"Sacred cows make the best hamburger"

- Mark Twain
Re: The Monterey Report
joemikeb #59057 07/02/21 07:02 PM
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After the recovery from a failed macOS 11 update, I finally got Monterey installed and all of my data transferred. If there was any fault involved it was on my part, not the installer and not Migration Assistant.

LESSONS LEARNED:
  1. Fallback Recovery System or not: the only way to revert to a previous version of MacOS requires a second Apple computer, a USB 4/Thunderbolt 4 cable connected to the proper Thunderbolt 4 port and Apple Configurator 2.
  2. Migration Assistant is noticeably improved and has more capabilities and options for a post-installation migration, but I still strongly recommend using it as a part of the installation/reinstallation process. It worked a lot better for me that way.
  3. I will still rely on Time Machine as my primary backup tool, but this experience has taught me the value of a daily CCC clone of the data volume. It reduced the restore time by roughly an order of magnitude. Admittedly much of that was because the Time Machine backup uses a USB 3.1 Gen 1 (nee. USB 3.0) connection and the CCC clone Thunderbolt 3, but there was a lot of untangling involved in extracting the roughly 1.25 million files transferred from Time Machine's snapshots that contributed significantly.


THE MOST NOTICEABLE FEATURES:
  1. A bunch of "this app is not compatible with this release of MacOS" messages as expected
  2. A Passwords preference pane
  3. Hide My Email




______________

"Sacred cows make the best hamburger"

- Mark Twain
Re: The Monterey Report
joemikeb #59061 07/03/21 05:19 PM
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By "previous version of MacOS" do you mean going from say, MacOS 12 to MacOS 11; or from something like MacOS 11.3 to MacOS 11.2? Or does it apply to both situations?


On a Mac since 1984.
Currently: 27" iMacs, Macbook Air, macOS 10.15.x,; iPhones, iPods and iPads galore!
Re: The Monterey Report
Ira L #59062 07/03/21 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Ira L
By "previous version of MacOS" do you mean going from say, MacOS 12 to MacOS 11; or from something like MacOS 11.3 to MacOS 11.2? Or does it apply to both situations?
Definitely macOS 12 to macOS 11, I don’t know for sure about macOS 11.4 to 11.3. In the first case there are incompatibilities in apps, data, backups, etc. that make reverting very difficult, and that can include firmware updates as well. In line with that, I have just learned the hard way there are situations that can cannot be recovered, even with the aid of a second computer, Apple Configurater 2, and DFU mode. My M1 mini is now in the hands of the Genius Bar. Say yes to AppleCare!




______________

"Sacred cows make the best hamburger"

- Mark Twain
Re: The Monterey Report
joemikeb #59082 07/05/21 09:36 PM
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After a second disaster (PROBABLY USER INDUCED) my mini is back from the Genius Bar fully reloaded and running macOS 12 (Monterey) on an internal drive labeled "untitled". It is not fully reloaded because I am once again having to trudge through upgrading and reinstalling the same kernel extensions that gave so much aggravation in Big Sur. There are only a few, but although they were working in macOS 11 none of them survived the upgrade to macOS 12. Fortunately the developers already have Monterey compatible beta versions, but the upgrade process is proving annoying.

Utility applications are notoriously finicky about working with early beta OS versions and that is proving true with Monterey. Surprisingly even Apple's own Software Technology Preview had to be updated to be fully compatible with Monterey and although I can't verify this, it appears the Monterey version (STP Release 127 (Safari 15.0, WebKit 17612.1.18.11.3) is won't run on Big Sur. The implication of course being there are significant {i]under the hood[/i] changes that are not readily apparent at the GUI level. I was also surprised that Rosetta did not survive the update and had to be reinstalled (instead I elected to replace the single app that does not have either universal code or an ARM only version.)

So far the third party app issues I have encountered are:
  • Gemini 2: still running with Rosetta and on my list to be replaced (Suggestions welcome)
  • SoftRAID: there is compatible 6.1 beta but the kernel extensions are proving troublesome to upgrade/install
  • SoundSource; there is a kernel extension update, but it reported compatibility issues. (Monterey has built-in support for at least a portion of SoundSource's functionality)
  • BarTender: There is a Bartender 4 beta that is Monterey compatible
  • MacCleanse: Version not tested with Monterey and won't run
  • Carbon Copy Cloner: Version 6.0.2 beta is compatible
  • SpamSieve upgrade to 2.9.44 required for Mail 15 compatibility

I have not checked every one of the 214 apps on my system so there my well be other hidden surprises, but that is the lot as of 20210705 16:38 CDT.
Not bad at all for an initial public beta.

Last edited by joemikeb; 07/05/21 09:38 PM.



______________

"Sacred cows make the best hamburger"

- Mark Twain
Re: The Monterey Report
joemikeb #59094 07/06/21 05:17 PM
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After a good nights sleep followed by two cups of freshly ground Ethiopian single origin medium roast coffee and SoftRAID 6.1 b 2 is up and running. The only real problem turned out to be incomplete or misleading instructions for installing the new drivers. OWC has acknowledged their instructions are misleading, but so far they have made no change. By-the-way I have noticed many of the apps that require System Preferences settings adjustments are now opening the correct preference pane complete with annotations, pointer arrows, etc. to be sure users can perform the correct steps. πŸ‘




______________

"Sacred cows make the best hamburger"

- Mark Twain
Re: The Monterey Report
joemikeb #59106 07/07/21 03:06 PM
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This is Apple's list of all the new features in Monterey that I am working my way through. Not all of them are working yet, some are waiting on support on other devices and/or servers, some are not fully implemented in the Monterey beta, others may be working but i haven't figured out a way to test β€” yet β€”, some that appear relatively minor such as changing the colof of the pointer are surprisingly useful. I will keep a log and report as I go along.




______________

"Sacred cows make the best hamburger"

- Mark Twain
Re: The Monterey Report
joemikeb #59109 07/08/21 10:42 PM
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FOCUS: TRANS DEVICE DO NOT DISTURB ON STEROIDS
  • πŸ€” Lets see, Quicken and DevonThink 3 are running on my Mac which means I am paying bills and don't want to be distracted, so I can receive notifications from my wife, my bank, American express, my broker, Quicken, DevonThink 3, and any time sensitive notifications. Everyone and everything else will either get a message I am busy if appropriate and otherwise sent to the Notification Center to be dealt with when I am finished and all this happens automatically.
  • Any number of other Focus conditions can be established with a huge variety of permitted or not permitted interruptions and toggled on or off on time of day/day of the week, applications in use, physical location, or manually triggered. These are shared and can be triggered via iCloud with other Macs and other devices running macOS 12, iOS 15, iPadOS 15, even TVOS 15. Custom icons on the menu bar indicate if there is an active focus and what it is.
  • EVALUATION: Depending on the individual and circumstances this could be very helpful. There are enough restrictions and exceptions to keep Focus from being too draconian so it could be realistically useful. The standard Focus conditions tend to duplicate existing system conditions, but Focus offers the opportunity for precise targeting. Useful but not a killer app.


PRIVATE RELAY
  • A feature available through iCloud+
  • Not a VPN per se. but offering one of the principle features of a VPN, IP address and location hiding, without the attendant hit to internet throughput. Imagine my surprise when What Is My IP told me I was in San Francisco, CA (when I look outside, San Francisco, CA looks amazingly like Fort Worth, TX πŸ€·β€β™‚οΈ)
  • EVALUATION: A reasonable (the cost is covered under Apple One) and very high performance (I cannot detect any performance hit) alternative to a full blown VPN. If you want to foil trackers completely you can choose a setting that yields an IP somewhere within the United States, or you can choose the option of an IP address in your area if you want to find local services. This is a winner for the security conscious user in the United States. (As far as I know it is not yet available outside the U.S. yet, and will probably be illegal in some (many?) countries.
  • NOTE: Private relay does not fool Find My...




______________

"Sacred cows make the best hamburger"

- Mark Twain
Re: The Monterey Report
joemikeb #59119 07/10/21 03:41 PM
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UNIVERSAL CONTROL

  • What Is It? Use a single keyboard, mouse, or trackpad to work between your devices. When you move from your Mac to your iPad, the cursor for your mouse or trackpad transforms from an arrow to a round dot, automatically changing shape to the one that is best suited for the device.
  • Observation: If it is enabled in this early beta i can't make it work and although there is supposed to be a Continuous Setup in System Preferences. SIdeCar is still available, but when I connect via SideCar, my left and right monitors switch places and SideCar is flaky.
  • Conclusion: Universal Control (an expansion of SideCar) is a work in process.


MAPS (macOS 12, iOS 15, IPadOS 15)

  • What's New? Too many changes, many of them subtle, but all worthy enhancements.
  • Observations: Maps has finally emerged into the top tier of Navigation apps. The turn-by-turn directions (printed or online) should get almost anyone through the most complex intersection in a new city like a native. It even has a separate route planning function. There are features I would like to see, such as the ability to flag roads/routes to b avoided, but there are lots of third party apps such as InRoute that are based on Maps and offer extensive route modification features and even work in CarPlay. Speaking of that if you have the right plugin electric automobile (BMW for one) Maps even adds charging stations to the route planning.
  • Conclusion: An evolutionary winner.


HICCUP

After downloading the latest version of Carbon Copy Cloner (6.0.2) I used it to create a bootable external clone of Monterey and everything proceeded normally. As expected the clone does not appear in System Preferences > Startup Disk 😠 but it does appear as a Startup option in the Recovery Drive. The system runs normally when the external boot drive is attached, but when I attempt to reboot the internal drive with the external boot drive attached the system continues to hang and reboot, hang and reboot. To recover requires powering down, disconnecting the external drive, booting the options menu and selecting the internal drive. After that everything is rock solid. I have seen a few scattered reports of problems updating when more than one bootable volume is found, but this seems different. More testing and exploration is needed than I have time or resources for so I will pass this along to Apple for further research.




______________

"Sacred cows make the best hamburger"

- Mark Twain
Re: The Monterey Report
joemikeb #59135 07/12/21 02:55 PM
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PRIVATE RELAY
  • What is it? a part of iCloud+ and included in Apple One that changes your IP address either to a location somewhere in your immediate region or somewhere in your country and time zone. The intention being to hide your specific location from trackers.
  • Does it work? It most definitely works on the immediate location setting it says I am in Fort Worth, but a completely different ISP and my identity is a company called Cloudflare in California. If I select the "somewhere in your country time zone" I am still Cloudflare but my IP address places me in San Jose, CA. (not quite the same time zone). This provides a major part of the protection offered by a VPN with no detectable performance hit.
  • Gotcha: When I attempted to place an Amazon order with Private Relay enabled, I was unable to convince them my delivery address was not in California and that the sales taxes should be rendered in Texas, not California. Dropping back to the "Somewhere in your immediate region" solved the problem.
  • Will I use it? Yes but I wish it were included in the features that can be set on a site-by-site basis in Safari (maybe in macOS 13).




______________

"Sacred cows make the best hamburger"

- Mark Twain
Re: The Monterey Report
joemikeb #59137 07/12/21 04:17 PM
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As webmaster for a different website than FTM, I had some experience with the Cloudflare service...and it was mixed. Their service provides a distributed mirror that allows more immediate intervention if there is a security issue detected, and also provides a more timely response time for the website through localization at many different server farms. This is a simplification of some of the many services that are provided, but it can provide a framework for how they are providing Apple with their Private Relay feature.....

In my case, I had to discontinue my implementation of the Cloudflare feature set as there were too many instances where the DNS system became confused and dropped our site so some folks were unable to access it at different times. I believe this to be something that they will address and correct going forward, and with Apple (the 900 # gorilla) watching over their shoulder, I would bet $$$ on the Private Relay feature working just fine.


Freedom is never free....thank a Service member today.

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