Monday, July 1, 2013

Don't Use Beta Operating Systems on Your Only Computer

This is a public service announcement that may be an obvious statement to some people. Don't use a beta version of an operating system on your only computer.

Details - I decided to upgrade to the MacOS/X Mavericks Developer Preview. That is 10.9 for those of you who need a version number. I also upgraded to iOS7 on my iPod Touch. I must say I love the looks of the effects on iOS7. However I ran into the same issues on both systems - most everything works great except for a couple apps that I use all the time.

Since I don't have a spare Mac or spare iOS device just lying around, this was a major issue. Or would have been except I took some precautions.

For OS/X, I happened to have an app called SuperDuper! which takes a snapshot of a hard drive and clones it to an external hard drive. I had taken a snapshot right before doing the upgrade and hadn't really used the laptop much before realizing Mavericks had some issues. To revert, I just had to boot from the external drive and then SuperDuper! snapshot of the external hard drive back to the internal hard drive on my laptop and everything was back as if the whole developers preview upgrade had never happened.

For iOS7, I had also done a backup right before the upgrade. I don't think restoring a backup of a previous version of iOS is supported for whatever reason, but a quick Google search yielded instructions on how to download and install the latest version of iOS6 and then restore from the backup so all my apps and data are available again.

Lesson learned - if you have something vital to your day-to-day work, don't upgrade it to a beta. Run the beta in a virtual machine or spare computer if it is an operating system. If it's just an app, try to run the beta and real version in parallel if possible.