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Climbing onto El Capitan

That is, upgrading my Mac to the latest version of OS X, not scaling the mountain in Yosemite National Park. So far the experience has been pretty uneventful and things mainly look the same although a few details have changed.

For me, there were two main motivations to get on with the upgrade now that it has had a while to settle down after its release at the end of September this year:

  1. Given that the upgrade is free and the software I need to use works with the updated operating system, it makes sense to switch to it and stay on top of security releases. Apple will probably prioritise patches for the latest version of their operating system and, if I put it off too long, I’ll find that the free upgrade option goes or I need to jump across a wider gap
  2. Split screen! One of the frustrations of the Mac interface compared to Windows has been that the latter makes it easy to compare two windows side by side (press the Windows key and the left or right arrow key to make the selected window fill the appropriate side of the screen). Finally OS X allows that to be done natively (instead of clicking the green button used to maximise a window, click and hold it for a second or so) instead of relying on third party software. There are other changes too but this is the one I’ve been looking forward to.

The upgrade was pain free so, assuming you’ve got your data backed up and a reasonably fast network connection to download the required files, now would be a good time to update your Yosemite based Mac to El Capitan if you haven’t done so already. Don’t get too excited about split screening though – it only seems to work on some applications (for example, not Microsoft Outlook 2016 and it is flaky on MacVim). It pains me to say it but Windows has not only been doing this for a lot longer (since Win7 came out) but still does it much better (Linux, of course, gives numerous options – you can get dedicated window managers built around the context of tiling such as xmonad).

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