Apple Success Disaster?

I've been accused of being an Apple fanboy and that may be true to some degree, but even this fanboy's patience is being tried by Leopard, Apple's newest OS release.

Ever since upgrading, my MBP's keyboard freezes for 10 seconds or so every few minutes until I either sleep and wake the system or reboot it. Sometimes I don't have the problem for days and then it descends on me again, making the system unusable. Every day more people contribute to this Apple Discussions thread about the problem. Some say Apple is aware of the issue and that a fix is coming soon. Many are getting very, very frustrated.

Time Machine is also having problems, though thankfully it has worked for me without issues so far. After having used Leopard for awhile, my colleague Eric erased his pre-Leopard disk backup and switched to Time Machine. Which then failed to back up his disk, leaving him without a viable backup of his system. When we last talked, he was going to use Carbon Copy Cloner or an equivalent to do an interim backup, but he had run into Leopard compatibility problems with at least one of these tools. This Time Machine problem is apparently also affecting many people, though I don't have a Discussions link for you.

And then there is X11, which I need to run OpenOffice, the GIMP, and Inkscape. To say Apple's transition to the Xorg X server has been less than smooth would be an understatement. I've had to download and install an unofficial version of X11 to work around some of the problems and get the above applications running again.

Another small issue: /usr/bin/emacs was broken on my system after I did an in-place upgrade to Leopard. After some poking, I found that the Leopard installer had left the Tiger version of the emacs executable on my system. Luckily, emacs can be rebuilt in place with a simple command and that fixed the problem. Go here for how to fix this problem.

And then there is the fact that I can't run SecondLife on my machine without starting the program using the OpenGL Profiler utility that ships with Xcode. Failing to do this can wedge your machine so badly that one's only recourse is to power-cycle the system. This is apparently a graphics driver problem and isn't Leopard specific, but I tripped over this at about the same time all the rest of this nonsense was happening and it has contributed to my annoyance with Apple. For details on the SL problem and its workaround, check here.

This morning Google Earth died mysteriously on startup and found I needed to install a new Leopard version. Thankfully, one is now available.

Apple usually fixes some significant issues in a dot release soon after their initial major release. Unfortunately, 10.5.1 did not fix any of these problems.


re: keyboard lockup issues. I have the exact same issue on a brand new mpb which came with Leopard pre-installed.

A workaround that works for me and a couple of other folks (at least, to unlock it) is to cover the light sensor until the keyboards lits up, then uncover it..


Posted by Dmitri Trembovetski on December 03, 2007 at 11:43 AM EST #

I did finally get Time Machine working. After reading several discussion forums, I did the following:
- Reformatted my Time Machine disk sans journaling
- Disabled spotlight on my Time Machine disk (using the mdutil CLI; not the System Preference GUI)
- Manually deleted the /.Spotlight-V100 directory from the backup volume
- Left my laptop alone while Time Machine was doing its initial backup.

This time, Time Machine didn't hang entirely, but there were still disconcerting pauses of up to several minutes each, and it took well over 8 hours to back up my 101GB of stuff.

Subsequent incremental backups seem to be working fine.

Thankfully, I haven't been bitten by the keyboard issue (I would've definitely not upgraded if I heard about that ahead of time). The X11 stuff was a debacle. I have also experienced a plethora of funky UI effects in Apps like Mail & Safari, mostly innocuous.

Finally, the length of time it's been taking for some of my favorite 3rd party Apps to achieve full Leopard compatibility (e.g. MailTags, quicksilver) is irksome.

I love many of Leopard's new features, but clearly neither it, nor many of the 3rd party developers scrambling to attain compatibility, were ready when it released.

Posted by Eric Sharakan on December 03, 2007 at 03:38 PM EST #

Living on the bleeding edge can hurt.
But you should know by now to wait for 10.X.1

Me, I prefer the trailing edge. I'm still on 10.3.9

Posted by richard friedman on December 06, 2007 at 08:29 AM EST #

Yes! But 10.5.1 didn't fix any of these problems. :-(


Posted by Josh Simons on December 06, 2007 at 08:42 AM EST #

The most recurring issue I'm facing with Leopard is with FrontRow, which dies misteriously while trying to access my Movies folder..

Posted by Valerio Schiavoni on December 15, 2007 at 10:50 PM EST #

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