Ask Max: Upgrading to Mavericks
Do you recommend upgrading a functionally adequate MacBook Air running 10.6.8 to Mavericks? If so, does PowerMax have that upgrade available in the shops on some kind of disk so I can avoid using my stone-axe server at home? I actually have three Macs that need this, so any suggestions you could give on speeding things up would be heartily welcomed?
OS X 10.6 was the last version that was available only on DVD as an installation. Since then Apple has moved OS Upgrades to their App Store and dropped the upgrade price down to zero. The benefit is you don’t need to secure a DVD for installations. The downside: you need a fairly reliable network connection in order to acquire the very large installation file. If your home network isn’t quite up to the task, you may be able to take the MacBook Air to a location with a more robust network and pull the installer down at that point. You’ll need to be signed in with your AppleID in the App store before you can begin.
Also, Apple no longer supports Mavericks, so you can't upgrade to that. You can, however, upgrade to Yosemite from 10.6.8 for free via the App Store. Moving foward, I suggest you keep current with the operating system as it progresses to ensure the greatest protection again internet threats. However, before you upgrade your OS, check the system requirements to ensure you machine will run it properly.
As always, it is recommended that you back up your system before making major changes like updating the OS. With Apple's Time Machine, it's very simple to set up. After this set up, your computer backs up your system every hour, so you will always have a recent backup. Contact one of our Mac Experts to get an external hard drive for use with Time Machine, if you don't already have one, like this one from LaCie