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OS X scream day

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Sometimes OS X is just a stinking pile of shit. Nothing works properly. Particularly not all the ‘wonders’ they promised us to come thanks to all the Unix rubbish they crammed into it.

I know that nobody asked me, and thus I will have to do that myself. During the interview I answered each of the following questions with a firm no

Unfortunatlely Mac OS X.5.2’s opinion to each of these question is yes. And, yes, compared to all these problems, my remarks about the menu bar icon for Time Machine rotating too obviously and in the wrong direction are utterly irrelevant.


February 19, 2008, 0:46

Tagged as X.5.


Comment by Dave2: User icon

I don’t think I’ve had any of these problems since upgrading. Not one. Except maybe the PID issue, which I never check. And while I have had problems copying a large number of files, there’s been no slow-down. Time Machine is a godsend, and has worked flawlessly for me.

This is not to say that I am not having problems with Leopard being a total pile of shit. Mail App alone causes me endless frustration all day long… accounts told not to auto-check do it anyway… the program takes forever to process mail… mail disappearing… this is probably the single most important app on my Mac, and it’s crap.

But the worst offender? .Mac integration. Talk about a pile of shit… AND I’M PAYING FOR IT! Syncing has NEVER worked properly since OS X day one. Every time I sync it asks me if it’s okay to change mail accounts that have never been changed. Address book information goes missing. Keychains get duplicated… it goes on and on. Of course, that’s when syncing works at all. And don’t get me started about iDisk… Apple’s built-in access is painfully slow, crashes constantly, and brings the Finder to a halt (or crashes it completely) any time you copy something to it. Third party FTP apps have no problem connecting to iDisk, but Apple’s own solution does?? WTF?!?

It’s pretty sad when you look forward to a new version of OS X NOT because of what new features it will bring, but because you hope it fixes the existing features they already have.

February 19, 2008, 17:09

Comment by ssp: User icon

I guess I’m lucky that I’m not using .mac. Who knows in which ways it’d haunt me. You may want to start phasing out your mac.com e-mail address so you can dump it at some stage. I’m sure your web host can handle most of the features it provides. And I guess that synchronisation is very hard to get right and that Apple just don’t want to make the effort.

The problem with many of these issues is that they aren’t easily reproducible or if they are they may depend on some unknown status of your/my machine. My impression is that motivation to fix problems which cannot be immediately reproduced is very low at Apple. Sure, it’s an expensive thing to work on those issues. But then again, they pretend to sell machines that can use wireless networks and run for more than a day in one go.

I kind of suspect that the problems which involve graphics could be related to the MacBook’s crappy graphics chips and Apples ‘hardware and software crafted together’ crappy drivers for them. Or that OS X’s USB support has become rather rotten over time which may play a role in the file copying problems.

But ultimately I shouldn’t even need to know what graphics chips or USB are. Things are supposed to ‘just work’.

February 19, 2008, 17:58

Comment by Steffen: User icon

Maybe you could get some insight into the PID issue using the DTrace facility new to Leopard. There are two ready-made scripts you can call directly from within Terminal: pidpersec.d will count the number of processes created per second, while newproc.d will print one line for each newly created process. You can either read the man-pages for these scripts or have a look at the scripts yourself, they are located (amongst some others) in /usr/bin.

February 20, 2008, 14:13

Comment by ssp: User icon

Cool hint, thanks!

Inspired by that, it was quite easy to also find a graphical way to see all processes in Intstruments. Still more steps than running the script, though.

As I have restarted the machine by now, I can’t really find out what was going on back then, but I’ll keep these in mind when things go wrong the next time.

February 20, 2008, 14:36

Comment by Paul S: User icon

Since 10.5.2 I’ve been getting erratic and agonizing slowdowns for no reason that I can fathom. Maybe it’s coincidence and my hardware’s on its way out. OTOH, maybe not. I am feeling a bit disenchanted with Apple at the moment. You get the feeling that what’s of most importance to them is cosmetic changes and putting in new features and that system solidity and stability isn’t really a prime concern. I’d think they think the former drives sales and the latter doesn’t. And they may well be right - at least in the short term (although I’ve a feeling that attitude may be catching up with Microsoft these days).

I might disable Spotlight - I don’t find it a lot of use anyway. I know where I’ve put stuff, and if you ever want to find OS X’s own stuff it’s pretty hopeless for that.

I run OS X and Windows and Linux at the moment. At the moment OS X is what I use most, but it is disappointing in some ways … that slowness for a start. And it’s not as if I’ve not plenty of RAM. I replaced the RAM - it didn’t ship with enough - with 1GB. Well, 1GB was enough for Tiger, but Leopard seems sluggish at times even on that much.

Windows is out as the main OS, of course, and even the Linux vendors are feature-driven these days. I was looking at this (see below) today, after seeing a link to it on Slashdot.


It’s said the FreeBSD people are very much driven by quality rather than features, and this is a desktop version of their OS. I’m sorely tempted to give it a go on a spare machine.

February 28, 2008, 18:25

Comment by Anonymous: User icon

my own favourite bugbear with the steaming turd that is leopard is that after every restart it, any ‘dmg’ file i click on opens ‘disc utility’. so after every restart i have to reassociate ‘dmg’ files with ‘disc image mounter’ which takes ages since i have to drill down into ‘system > library > core services to find the bastard.

then there’s the fact that every time i launch DVD studio pro, it asks me to type in the serial number again.

annoying enough if this was incompatibility with 3rd party stuff - but ‘dmg’ is apple’s own file format and DVD studio pro part of apple’s final cut studio suite.

i’ll not even start on all the third party stuff this steaming pile of turd has broken - or i’ll be typing all day.

i’m now on my fifth install of leopard and these feckin’ problems happen every time!

March 8, 2008, 22:54

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