el capitan
Original image found at PCMag.com

The new Mac OS X upgrade – El Capitan – was released yesterday. For Mac users that have a Mac made sometime after the middle of 2007 or newer should be able to install this update. If you can run Mavericks or Yosemite, you can run El Capitan.

I have two Macs now. A MacBook 2015 model [I still need to review this new laptop here] and a Mac mini 2014 model. I only upgraded my MacBook. An upgrade to my Mac mini will happen over the next month or two.


I ran a beta version of El Capitan in a virtual machine for the last couple of months. Most of what I did was to test older programs that I still use.

  • Scrivener – this is a writing program that provides a simple interface to just write with very few formatting options to distract you.
  • SplashID – one of my older password programs that still has a good 100 or so passwords that are stranded in it. I have to manually move them over to 1Password, which I now use as my main app to manage passwords, credit card details software license information and so much more. It’s a modified app, as it use to have PowerPC code in it, but I removed that part so it thinks it’s an Intel only app that continues to run until I finish the password entry migration.
  • Celtx – this is a screenwriting app that I’ve kept around for the longest time. It’s aged, but still works fine for being a free program to encourage me to draft up my ideas for movies. Newer versions of the software are paid and part of a subscription program. When I get more serious about my movie making, I will migrate to the paid version.
  • iWork 09 – what was the last suite of apps that included Pages, Numbers and Keynote before Apple reworked them, removing tons of features and gave them away for free. I paid $50 for this suite on DVD and still have the ability to install it on my Macs. There’s an update that needs to happen for this to bring it up to the latest versions [before the newer Yosemite and above only versions] that is still out there. This version is NOT compatible with iCloud Drive, but is compatible with the older iCloud storage, which works with Mavericks and Mountain Lion. Or you can save files locally, which is what I do.

All of the above were tested under the various betas of El Capitan. And I am happy to report that they work just fine under the release of El Capitan.

The upgrade I did with El Capitan was via the App Store download of a 6.08gb file and was an in-place upgrade over OS X 10.10 Yosemite. There were no issues in the 31 mins it took to do the upgrade, once the install file was downloaded locally to my MacBook 2015 model. Once the upgrade is done, that 6.08gb file gets deleted. If you’d like to keep that file for future machine upgrades, you need to copy it off onto an external drive like a flash drive or USB hard drive.

iMovie 06 HD, which yes, I still need as I have many of my older video projects that were created under it, is not newer OS X compatible anymore. I have a future project of converting all of these videos to Final Cut X and for that reason, I need it around until I get them all converted over. But, Yosemite and El Capitan do not allow this very older version of iMovie to run. For that, I have my wife’s Mac mini 2012 model that will stay on Mavericks. Plus, she doesn’t use anything that requires Yosemite or El Capitan to run – as far as what her in-house tech tells her.

Minor Changes

As for what I’ve noticed so far since last night’s upgrade, my MacBook 2015 is snappier. It beach balls less and it looks almost the same as Yosemite. Except for the system font and the beach ball, which are flatter than Yosemite. And more colorful.

Once I spend more time with this, I will post more on it. But for how smooth the upgrade was, I am plenty pleased. I’m sure there will be some issues, as there normally are with any upgrade.

Who else did the El Capitan on September 30th launch day? Any issues?