Adventures With the macOS High Sierra Install


| Analysis

Screen Saver Madness

One of my favorite screen savers is “Cosmos.” The location of the system default screen savers is: /Library/Screen Savers/Default Collections. In Sierra, I loaded up the Cosmos folder with additional NASA images: 23 in all. And they’re no larger than any of the original files there. I never had a problem.

However, in High Sierra that folder of screen savers did cause a problem. The display and UI would lock up completely after about 6-12 hours. I’d have to use the Mac’s power button to reboot.

High Sierra Screen Saver preferences.

High Sierra Screen Saver preferences.

My first trial fix was to use one of the other unmodified directories: Nature Patterns. There are only 7 images there. Using that collection, I haven’t had any lockups, even overnight. My initial guess is that High Sierra can’t handle so many added images. That seems crazy, because Sierra could, but there’s always some wrinkle with macOS security or the graphics on this 2013 Mac Pro, so that’s my working hypothesis. I’ll update if I find out more.

Remain calm. Experiment.

Sierra High Jinks

Two other annoying, historical problems with Sierra, for me, were:

  1. Spontaneous Logouts
  2. The infamous Boot Spinner

I have been watching for these problems in High Sierra, but I haven’t seen either yet. However, I haven’t been upgraded long enough to draw any firm conclusions. Again, I’ll update if I experience these issues again. None of the other TMO staff members have yet reported spontaneous logouts im High Sierra.

Final Thoughts

In every other respect, the High Sierra update has gone very well. That includes my Audio Hijack podcasting suite of tools from Rogue Amoeba. I’m still testing, but I haven’t found any show stoppers. Of course, there are always cases where a particular system with its history and suite of apps and (kernel) extensions can go awry. But I was very pleased with this upgrade.

Except for the Mail app incident. That should never have happened. But then, ahem, it’s the Mail app.

5 Comments Add a comment

  1. Jeff Butts

    Wow, John, that’s pretty intense! I’m not sure I would have thought to check and reset the fonts as quickly as you did. Something for me to keep in my back pocket for a rainy day. Thanks for sharing.

  2. John Martellaro

    Jeff – indeed the visual appearance was so scary and the concern about something really deep and really bad going on can mess with one’s composure.

  3. Mike Weasner

    My only issue in 10.13, which is not fixed in 10.13.1, is that the Mail app randomly reverts to turning off Classic Layout. Quitting and relaunching Mail gets the layout back to Classic but the divider line between the list at the top and the message is moved near the bottom. I keep it near the top (to show about 10 messages in the list). So each time this happens I not only have to quit/relaunch, but I also have to keep repositioning the divider. I’ve seen many reports that others are having this same issue with the Classic Layout selection.

  4. John Martellaro

    Mike: That’s a problem I haven’t experienced. It’s very concerning that, once set, the app randomly reverts.

  5. aardman

    My problem with High Sierra, which came in a 5 day old 27″ iMac, is that Safari eats up memory at the rate of about 30GB an hour, sometimes faster with cooling fans spinning loudly. Though on rare occasions, probably depending on the site displayed, it’s quite well behaved. Haven’t had to time to search for solutions yet so in the meantime I cope by limiting my browsing to abbreviated Safari sessions. Which is a good thing, in a way.

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