Where to begin this tale of woe turned to triumph...I suppose the middle's a good place. I do music for TV. Mostly ads, sometimes documentaries, sometimes other stuff. But almost always it's music for picture. Back in the day, when life was simpler, but also more expensive in this world, that meant a 3/4 inch Sony video machine with SMPTE synchronizer, two analog open-reel tape machines with SMPTE synchronizers (one for tracking, one for mix down), a computer slaved to the tape machines for MIDI instruments, a TV monitor, and the usual recording gear chazerai. Gradually, it's moved to picture, audio, and recording gear inside a computer. And the recording software has gotten far more capable, but at the same time, requires more and more computer horsepower. This trend seems to be accelerating. So by the end of last year, in order to do my work, most of my soft synth and sampler tracks had to be bounced to audio, which interrupts the workflow, as my very powerful-for-its-day 2008 Mac Pro 8 Core started glitching horribly during sessions. So I spent several days researching solutions. I was thinking about the new Mac Pro, but they won't be in stores for a couple of months, so I decided "Ah, I shall upgrade my machine and thereby save some dough." I called OWC and bought nearly a grand worth of SSDs, a video card, and some other bits and bobs. After several days of dealing with headaches, and not getting things to work properly, and after much hair loss which I can ill afford, I decided...no. This will not work. OWC took the parts back, less a restocking fee (fair enough, it was not their fault, and because they were so nice I bought a thunderbolt RAID system from them later on in my tale, but I digress). Back to the original plan. Replace the computer. Simple, right? More time and research. It appeared that the more consumer oriented Macs had made gigantic leaps in power and speed, and for many tasks, they beat even the new Mac Pro 4-core. Honestly, I couldn't see buying a Mac Pro 4-core, as it seemed to offer no audio advantages over something like the iMac for audio production (this would be different if I did video production, of course, as the Xeons are powerful at that). I decided to try one of the new iMacs, figuring I could exchange it within Apple's 14 day exchange or return period if it wasn't up to the task. I got the one with the most options. While I waited for my thunderbolt stuff, I spent the next several days loading my software (this is no small task, as I decided to do clean installs of everything, and it takes a day just to download the latest system, the latest Apple software, and Logic, let alone all of the plugins, etc.). Troubleshooting the system without the audio interface was simple, but time-consuming, as I tried every piece of software, and every plugin before even considering the add-on drives and the audio interface. A few plugins were dropped from my list as being too buggy. I can't afford to crash during a project. And the machine is an absolute delight. It screams. The most hungry soft synths use half as much processor power as my old machine. Everything looks good for the Big Audio Hookup. Finally, the thunderbolt stuff arrived, and installed it. I plugged in my UA Apollo...and... Nothing. No audio. Not even a glitch. Just...silence. A call to UA tech support -- "Les, sorry to tell you this but there are reports all over the internet and coming in to us that the new iMacs with the fusion drive will not work with not only our stuff, but anyone else's stuff, either. You need to return that iMac." By now I'm ready to amputate my own head with a pocketknife rather than start over with a different machine. By this time, I have weeks invested in this process and I'm anxious, crazy and frustrated. So I do the only reasonable thing. I google the issue. As I read hundreds of posts on various forums complaining about the fusion drive being the problem, or something else, I discover a glimmer of hope. A guy from Apogee posts on Gear Sluts that the new OSX 10.9.2 beta 2 developer seed seems to solve the issue. But you can't get it unless you become an Apple developer. Meantime, I have no audio. I'm in the studio biz, and can't make audio unless it's on the computer speakers. That's not good. Neither my Apollo, itself equipped with the latest-greatest software (yes, more time consumption) firmware and hardware, nor the MOTU traveler I use with my laptop, is functioning. I'm plugging and unplugging and checking, and I'm screwed. Screwed, I tell you. And by this time, I've got money into such esoterica as a 30 foot optical Thunderbolt cable made by Corning just to be able to exceed the ten foot Thunderbolt cable limitation at $329 a pop! Frantically, I check Software Update to see if 10.9.2 is out of beta and into the general population. No dice. Panic ensues. There is only one way to stop the madness: return the machine (and go through that entire reinstallation nonsense yet again), or pony up the $99 to become an Apple Developer, and get the OS update beta seed to see if that will save my sanity. I'm just that desperate. I look at the announcement of what they concentrated on in the beta, and it doesn't say a thing about audio. Nonetheless, I hold my nose, pony up the money, and download the beta to my machine -- A warning comes up to the effect of (I'm paraphrasing): "This is beta software. It may kill everything on your computer, have sex with your wife, and sell your children into slavery. Better get on your knees and pray that you have backups. Beware. You can't go back to your old system. Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball. Etc." Gulp. I install this risky proposition on my gorgeous new machine (did I mention that the monitor is beautiful to look at and it freaking screams, and by scream, I mean that it loads an entire Logic session in a couple of seconds?). I am sweating it out as the beta installs. I'm also in need of bed rest and my blood pressure is around 900/200. I finish the process very, very late last night. Yes, I have audio. Contrary to popular opinion, it was a software issue, not a fusion drive issue. The beta update is indeed the source of salvation. I finally go into the bedroom to report that the operation was a success. "You look like someone who was just let out of the looney bin," said my wife. "You don't know how close you are to the truth," I replied.