MAC OS X High Sierra or... which?

Discussion in 'all things Mac' started by bellgamin, Dec 29, 2020.

  1. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    I am considering the purchase of a used MAC laptop in order to give the MAC system a trial. So far I have learned that there have been several revisions to the MAC OS down through the years. Based on my research thus far, one of the better references on these various versions is HERE.

    ==>REQUEST: I would very much appreciate comments or suggestions as to MAC laptop configurations &/or capabilities &/or years of manufacture, &/or etc, that would likely be capable of running OS X versions starting from High Sierra, and thereafter.
     
  2. act8192

    act8192 Registered Member

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    Might this be of help?
    https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/f/172/mac-os/
    They have many tutorials.

    MACs don't have right-click context menu nor a directory tree like in windows explorer, so many things take longer to do. Just my opinion from watching few friends' attempts to do few simple things.
     
  3. XIII

    XIII Registered Member

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    This year Apple made a major change to their platform by transitioning from Intel CPU's to their own silicon (with amazing performance).

    If your budget allows it, such an "M1" Mac (which will require the newest OS, Big Sur) might be an interesting choice.
     
  4. Rasheed187

    Rasheed187 Registered Member

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  5. ProTruckDriver

    ProTruckDriver Registered Member

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  6. XIII

    XIII Registered Member

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  7. XIII

    XIII Registered Member

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  8. 1PW

    1PW Registered Member

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    Hello @bellgamin

    The above link is rather stale. Please consider https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MacOS_version_history

    Early fifth generation MBPs may be more financially friendly but you would still want to run them with macOS Big Sur 11.1 (20C69) to protect your system and its data from malware and intrusions. MBPs as far back as late 2013 (late third generation) are still compatible with the latest macOS release.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MacBook_Pro

    HTH
     
  9. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    On eBay, there are a lot of listings for MBPs but very few of those listings disclose the model year. However, most of the listings do disclose the OS installed. May I assume that a laptop running Catalina is compatible with Big Sur? Further, most listings disclose the CPU. May I assume that a MBP with Intel QUAD Core i7 is a 3rd generation MBP?
     
  10. 1PW

    1PW Registered Member

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    Not neccesarily. I believe a MBP with a Model identifier of "MacBookPro11,1" is about the oldest that can still upgrade to Big Sur 11.x

    If the seller will disclose the honest Serial number, Model, Model identifier or Part Number, a translation can be made to establish its upgrade ability.

    The following Apple URL will authoritatively reveal the "Late 2013" MacBook Pros you may be interested in:

    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201300

    If the seller would be willing to send you a photo of the label from the bottom, or even its serial number there too, that will be definitive.

    I hope this really helps you @bellgamin
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2020
  11. Rasheed187

    Rasheed187 Registered Member

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    OK cool, this means that your using apps that are all updated for Retina. Seriously, this problem with DPI scaling is so annoying in Win 10, older apps look like crap on a 1920*1080 resolution with a 150% scale. And in order to fix this problem with some of these apps you will have to change DPI setting for each app individually, just how dumb are these M$ guys, why not add a universal feature? It almost makes me want to buy a Mac LOL.
     
  12. Daveski17

    Daveski17 Registered Member

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    Another reason to move to Unix! Being Microsoft free is a wonderful thing. There are many things I've regretted in life. Three things I've never regretted are:

    1/ Running Ubuntu.
    2. Running macOS.
    3/ Ditching Windows.

    :thumb:
     
  13. Alec

    Alec Registered Member

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    Boy, there is a lot of bad advice/commentary above...

    Yes, macOS does have a right-click context menu and yes they do have directory trees. (To get the right mouse click all you have to do is enable the Secondary click under System Preferences > Mouse > Point & Click.) Finder, essentially the macOS equivalent of Windows Explorer, has context menus as do nearly every third-party application. As for directory trees, the graphical version has a direct Windows equivalent in Finder's List view... but has a much better and more efficient representation in Column view.

    No, DPI scaling has not been an issue for probably nearly 10 years as was pointed out by XIII. It was, in fact, fixed very quickly by Apple and third-party developers because of the more uniform hardware environment in the Apple ecosystem. As you note, scaling can still be problematic in some situations in Windows.

    Yes, if you were in the market for a brand new laptop, the new Apple Silicon M1 processor models in the 2020 MacBook Air, 13" MacBook Pro, and Mac Mini would be worth consideration. Apple expects to fully transition to the ARM-architecture based processors within the next 2 years, and as a result, will likely stop supporting the Intel x86 architecture models somewhere in the not too distant future (say, 7-8 years from now although I don't believe Apple has stated any specific end-of-life time-table as it likely depends on the sales uptake of the new processor models).

    However, from your comments, I understand that is not a concern as you wish to purchase a used laptop for trial/exploration purposes. The Wikipedia page for macOS is very helpful and should answer most questions about versions and supported systems. As long as your contemplated hardware supports it, there really aren't many good reasons not to run one of the latest two releases... Catalina 10.15, or Big Sur 11.0. The most common reasons one would continue to run something older... other than platform compatibility... would tend to be due to hardware peripheral compatibility and/or legacy application compatibility (issues that should not affect you if you are starting out new to macOS). If you need further details on platform compatibility you can reference Apple's Support pages directly: Big Sur, Catalina, Mojave.

    No, you cannot assume much about the MacBook Pro model if the seller simply references an Intel Core i7 processor... as that could mean any of 34 different models from mid-2010 to today. For details about models, Apple provides this handy support site... Identify your MacBook Pro model. Additionally, if you have access to an Apple iOS device (i.e., iPhone or iPad) or have access to someone else's Apple Mac there is a handy application called Mactracker that lists every variant of Apple hardware over the years.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2021
  14. Rasheed187

    Rasheed187 Registered Member

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    OK thanks for letting me know. It's mostly a problem with older apps on Windows, but I see that newer apps that are still being developed don't have this problem.

    To be honest, I don't think I will ever drop Windows. Yes there are certain annoyances, but Win 10 really isn't a bad OS.
     
  15. Daveski17

    Daveski17 Registered Member

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    I'll take your word for it. The annoyance of constantly worrying about malware solutions is one I can do without though. Particularly the constant fear of an AV or similar eviscerating my hard drive with false positives.
     
  16. Daveski17

    Daveski17 Registered Member

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    About right clicking on Mac's:

    magic.jpg
     
  17. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    BACKGROUND: For my Windows computer, one software that has saved the day for me on many many occasions is Macrium Reflect. I usually image the system disk every other day so a crash or infection or ANY bad thing is quickly & painlessly resolved simply by restoring a clean image. I want the same security when I use a MAC.

    ==>QUESTIONS: With respect to a MAC -------
    1- Is there an equivalent to Macrium Reflect?
    2- Is most of the software for MAC developed by Apple or by 3rd party developers?
    3- What are some good links for shopping for MAC software?

    NOTE: I assume "MAC" is short for "McIntosh" -- a variety of apple. Correct?
     
  18. 1PW

    1PW Registered Member

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    Hello @bellgamin

    1) Time Machine - It's already installed as part of the MBP's system. Just mount an external drive. Also, there's Clonezilla.
    2 and 3) It's always dependent on what you're looking for. Apple's App Store has only notarized apps. Softpedia is also one of many sources. As with Windows/Linux based apps, excellent and safe freeware could be developed by anyone. Perhaps you could specify your exact needs.

    Mac & macOS as in Macintosh.

    Cheers
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2021
  19. Alec

    Alec Registered Member

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    1) Yes, as 1PW pointed out for normal seamless background incremental backups most people use the freely included Time Machine. It's really easy-to-use and sort of fire-and-forget until you need to restore or recover lost files. However, it is not a true clone or disk imaging solution. If your drive completely failed, you would have to restore the OS and then restore the Time Machine backup as part of that OS restoration. For a true disk image, you can use the also freely included Disk Utility to do so; however many people are either unaware of that possibility or prefer the convenience of several third-party applications such as: Carbon Copy Cloner, ChronoSync, Get Backup Pro, Acronis True Image, DoYourClone, or SuperDuper. Carbon Copy Cloner (or CCC) is arguably the most popular, imho.

    2) By 3rd-party developers by far. Yes, Apple develops a lot of commonly used apps like Safari (browser), Mail (email), Pages (word processor), Numbers (spreadsheet), Keynote (presentation), iMovie (entry-level video editing), Final Cut Pro (pro-level video editing), Logic Pro (music / sound editing), Xcode (software development IDE), etc. However, the vast majority of the big-name 3rd-party developers such as Microsoft, Adobe, etc make macOS versions of their applications. The only exception would be games... many game developers will produce a macOS version as well as a Windows version, but it is not that unusual to see that some games are only available to Windows. Gaming platforms such as Steam and Good Old Games (GOG) have huge portfolios of games and clearly mark which ones are macOS compatible.

    3) The Mac also has its own whole eco-system of 3rd-party developers sort of outside and apart from Windows developers. Many people don't like Windows or Linux ports because they tend to carry over interface elements and user interactions/processes from those other operating systems that feel completely out-of-place on a Mac. You can, of course, buy and download software for the Mac direct from vendors themselves; however, much Mac-specific software is sold via the Apple Mac App Store (or sometimes called MAS, to differentiate it from the iOS App Store for iPhones). MacOS includes an App Store application that allows you to easily browse, download, and update applications. These App Store apps have to be code-signed by the developer, go through Apple's submission process, and run in a sandbox... so they are generally vetted to be safe. Many developers like the App Store because it saves them the hassle of marketing and payment collection, but many others don't like the restrictions and the fact that Apple takes a 30% cut of sales (although I think they recently reduced the cut for smaller developers). There is also a good curated-app subscription plan called Setapp that many people like (for $10 a month you get access to the latest versions of over 200 of the best Mac apps).

    In addition to direct downloads and the app store, there is also a third software distribution scheme that many Mac users are sadly unaware of. It is called Homebrew, and it is a package manager for macOS. This is a concept that is familiar to most Linux users but is generally unknown to most Windows or Mac users. Basically, it is a way to automate the installation, configuration, and upgrading of software. Typically the software installed through Homebrew as well as most package managers is of the open-source Unix/Linux variety. Initially, most Homebrew packages were command-line interface (CLI) applications however it now supports the installation of many graphical user interface (GUI) applications as well. This whole mechanism is very powerful once you are used to it, and is familiar to Linux users. A large percentage of Linux applications can be grabbed via a Homebrew package as well.

    As for the Mac naming, yes, you are correct...
    https://history-computer.com/ModernComputer/Personal/Macintosh.html
     
  20. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    Thanks to the nth @1PW & @Alec. Now then ---

    Q1- Will software written for later OSX versions (say, Catalina or Big Sur) be backwards compatible to run on earlier versions (say High Sierra or Mojave) ---- Never||Sometimes||Usually||Always?

    Q2-Will software for earlier versions run on later versions ---- Never||Sometimes||Usually||Always?
     
  21. XIII

    XIII Registered Member

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    • A1: Apps using features of a (major) new OS (version) won't work on old versions of the OS (App Store will not allow you to download them; for example I can't install several Apps using Big Sur features on my Mac which is running Catalina)
    • A2: Catalina dropped 32-bits support, so those (old) Apps won't run on Catalina or Big Sur
     
  22. 1PW

    1PW Registered Member

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    Last edited: Jan 6, 2021
  23. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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  24. 1PW

    1PW Registered Member

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    Almost three dozen models are now sold out.
     
  25. ProTruckDriver

    ProTruckDriver Registered Member

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    Thanks for the links @Alec I knew of SuperDuper & CCC but not the others for Mac's. If Dave the developer at SuperDuper doesn't get on the ball to get his software compatible with Big Sur I may be dumping SuperDuper for one of the products in your post.
     
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