Attorneys who are currently running OSX in their offices maybe asking themselves whether or not they should perform the recent major upgrade and what will be the final one in the 10.x series.  Let me calm your fears with my setup overview followed by the pros and cons of the upgrade in relation to a lawyer’s firm.  Finally, I wrap everything up with my recommendation of whether or not I think it is worth your time to do so. While not a major step forward, the security updates in Mavericks support going through with the upgrade.

The OSX Mavericks Installation/Upgrade Is Easy For an Attorney To Perform

OSX Mavericks LogoAs with Lion (OS X 10.7) and Mountain Lion (OS X 10.8) before it, getting Mavericks is as easy as downloading an installer from the Mac App Store. A few clicks (and some patience) is all it takes to install OS X 10.9 over your existing copy of Mountain Lion, Lion, or Snow Leopard (or, if you’re brave, even Leopard).  If the upgrade doesn’t show up in the default window of the app store, you can either search for ‘Mavericks’ or click on this direct link, to start the download process. Time involved may vary depending on your internet connection, but on my end, the download took around 20 minutes.  The annoying part is that there isn’t a way to monitor its progress that I am aware of.  Just be patient and rest assured that eventually the download will finish.

Once you’ve downloaded the Mavericks installer, here are the simple steps involved in installing the new OS:

  1. Double-click the Install OS X Mavericks app; in the window that appears, click Continue, and then click Agree (twice) to agree to the Mavericks software license.
  1. On the next screen, you choose where to install the new version. By default, only your internal startup drive is listed; if you have other drives connected and want to install Mavericks onto one of them, click the Show All Disks button and then choose the desired drive.
  2. Click Install, and then provide an admin-level username and password when prompted.
  3. The installer spends some time preparing for installation. During my own tests, this process rarely took more than a couple minutes.  A message in the installer window explains that your computer will restart automatically; you can continue to work in other applications during this time, but once the preparation phase is finished, you get only a 30-second warning, and then your Mac will indeed restart on its own, so I recommend not leaving any unsaved work unattended.
  4. After your Mac restarts, the actual installation occurs.  Sit back and relax.  During my test installs, the installation took anywhere between 20 and 30 minutes.

Please watch part 1 of my series below for a video overview of the installation process.


OSX Mavericks’ New Features – Pros and Cons for Lawyers

Ok, so you’ve told me how easy the installation is, but as an attorney, what are the new features that are the most useful to me?  If you are running multiple monitors in your office, 10.9 solves several issues plaguing such setups in prior versions and it works well.  Secondary monitors now have their own menu bars, control center now allows easy access to applications on either screen, and most importantly, once an application is ran in full screen on one monitor, another monitor can be used to run other applications either normally or also in full screen.  The latter was a pain point for many people in earlier versions.

Finder was enhanced with a tabbed interface allowing multiple folders to be open in a single window, allowing for easy copy and pasting between locations.  If you have used Safari or Chrome to browse the internet, you have seen and are familiar with this powerful feature.

If you don’t use Microsoft Outlook’s calendar application and have used the native OSX calendar (previously iCal) in the past, the native app has been nicely enhanced.  Event notifications are smarter and will alert you when you need to leave depending on current driving conditions.  Additionally, a new Month view offers continuous scrolling, and locations will now include suggestion and auto-completion capabilities—start typing, and Calendar will offer possible locations based on your keywords.

Please watch part 2 of my series below for a video overview of the new features in OSX 10.9.


Attorneys Should Upgrade to OSX Mavericks

The list of pros above is limited, are you sure I should upgrade and risk a broken system?  In my opinion, major upgrades should always be performed and are recommended even if the new features don’t whet your appetite.  The reason is that with most upgrades, including this one, Apple has worked hard to include several security and performance updates under the hood that will make your system more secure and running more smoothly.  Also, this is a free upgrade, unlike the ones in the past! So while an attorney won’t find any overly exciting bells and whistles, you should upgrade the Mac computers in your office to the latest version of OSX.