macOS Catalina in Testing Phase

The latest version of macOS dubbed Catalina was just recently released on Oct 7th.  It promises many new features which include:

  • Sidecar
  • Screentime
  • Restoring MacOS from snapshots
  • Improvements to Photos, Music, Safari, Mail, etc.

However, in some cases it’s out with the old and in with the new.

  • iTunes has now become Music.
  • 32bit application support has been removed.

In our testing, we will be focusing on the last one.  For years software developers have been slowly moving applications from 32bit code base to 64bit.  This includes all the libraries and dependencies that help those applications run.

What is 32-bit?

CAUTION! Geeky Stuff Below!

Well many years ago computer memory started with a 32-bit architecture.  Think of memory in the computer as a large shelving system that you can access very quickly.  You can use this system to access information that you need instantly.  How will you know which information is on which shelf?  Computers use memory addressing to remember which “shelf” the information is stored in.  In 32-bit architecture, memory addresses run out at 4GB total memory.  Computers now come standard with 8-16GB of memory.  So how do we address all that new memory (besides using the PAE extension)?  The answer is 64-bit addressing which allows for a max of 4 PetaBytes.

👍, Why should I care?

There are many applications out there that have not been updated in years, if not decades.  They have been abandoned by the developer, but some folks are still hanging on to them.  Our goal will be to help identify some of those apps to give you some warning.  We will be moving to Catalina regardless if the app will run or not, but this should help ease the pain.

I suspect we won’t find any problems with the apps used at DA, but it is best practice to test Catalina making sure it is ready for our consumption.  Most likely we will just see problems with old versions of Creative Cloud.

What should I do?

Well, hold off on updating to Catalina.  It has been blocked by our management system.  So you shouldn’t have any prompts for the update.  Just in case you see a work around to this, avoid updating your computer until we give you the green light.

Stay Tuned!