I have now officially gone two weeks using the Mac Pro. I bought the Mac Pro on the day of Leopard’s release. They gave me the Leopard upgrade DVD with the system. The first thing I did when I cranked it up was install Leopard. So how is the experience?


So far, I am not exactly thrilled with Leopard. Unfortunately, too, this is my first experience using a Mac and I must say that it does taint my view of it somewhat. I have heard all the talk about about how everything with Apple “just works” and how this operating system is supposed to be super stable. Well, it isn’t. At this juncture, Windows XP simply blows OS X Leopard away in terms of reliability and stability.

So far, here are my observations:

  • Time Machine is a piece of crap. It hangs up the machine for a couple seconds when powering up the external hard drive. And apparently it is causing full system hang ups. I am guessing on this, but I have had instances where VMWare Fusion has completely frozen and it was recommended I exclude the virtual machine files from Time Machine. Problem is….
  • The whole machine goes through periods of instability. After using it for a day or so, I get random program crashes, lockups, you name it. So, I’m left wondering if perhaps Time Machine is dragging the whole system down. Last night I disabled the entire thing and we’ll see what happens. But then…
  • I wake up this morning and all of my screens were blank. No video signal. System was running. After giving up on it, I hard reboot the system using the power button. When it powers up, I get notified that the system was restarted after OS X quit unexpectedly. I take a look at the error report. What I had was my first kernel panic – OS X equivalent of the blue screen of death. The system was hung up all night.
  • The system has almost consistently locked up during restart or shutdown.
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As of now, this machine is NOT dependable. Sure, I can work on it, but I have had to reboot the machine almost every day in order to clear our the plethora of random crashes and annoyances.

This is Worse Than Vista

People can tell me about Apple’s speed releasing this as compared to Microsoft taking six years to give us Vista. People can, rightly so, complain about Vista’s driver issues and the fact that it is bloated and slow. And all those points would be perfectly valid. But one thing I would not convict Vista of is being unstable to the point of forcing daily reboots.

In terms of the most important qualifier for any computer – can I dependably work on it – this Mac Pro is currently skirting the edge for me. I can get my work done, but I have to start second guessing the system planning for my next lockup.

Apple – You Screwed Up

Rightly or wrongly, my impression of Apple is that they care more about their bottom line that their customers. They released the Iphone, for example, at a super ridiculous price, get a bunch of early adopters on board buying the phones, then slash the price. They basically stick it to the early adopters. At the same time, they work out a sweetheart deal with AT&T to lock the phone to their service plans and then actively battle against anybody who is trying to unlock the phone and do what they want with THEIR OWN PHONE. I mean, look, if you get the phone at a discount because you have a contract with your service provider, perhaps they have some right to control certain things on your phone. But, Iphone users paid FULL PRICE for their phones, are then channeled into AT&T to get their service or are faced with the wrath of Apple when you try to buck their money-making pyramid.

Now, I don’t think Apple screwed up quite as bad with Leopard as they did with the Iphone, but it is clear to me they released this too early. What I am experiencing with this operating system is not completely atypical for a new OS – if it is in beta. But, Apple so proudly bashes Microsoft in their promotional campaigns, marketing themselves as the easy computers that just work reliably. Well, Leopard doesn’t just work. And judging by the Apple support forums, there are a LOT more people than me complaining about issues with Leopard.

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It seems to me they were more interested in getting Leopard out before the holiday season than actually living up to their reputation.

Are any of these arguments sound familiar, Vista bashers?

Keeping It Real

Just for the sake of being clear, I am not unhappy with my Mac. It is a good system, and Leopard is much better than Vista when it comes to speed, features and ease of use. Apple gets a lot right, but lately I have been disappointed. They are simply not living up to their marketing. They seem more interested in the marketing and the swiping of my credit card than they do in providing me with a quality computing experience. There is little excuse for these instabilities given the amount of control Apple holds over the entire “Apple experience”.

At least that is how I feel right now. They better rush out the 10.5.1 update to Leopard and it better fix these issues. Otherwise, I might even consider wiping the system clean and re-installing Tiger.

And doesn’t THAT sound EXACTLY like my comments on Windows Vista. Apple, learn from this.