“It just works” – yeah right

Categories: General, Rants and Rambling, and Toys.

Sometimes I just don’t get the apple(computer) universe.

I loved my PPC laptop – almost anything I tried that was anywhere close to a mainstream use just worked. I could wave my hands at the machine and mutter vaguely and the result I wanted just happened.

I waited for awhile after the Intel macs came out so they could work out the “first run” bugs. I got a very nice Intel laptop just before the new year. It compiles things much faster, and for the most part runs the apps I need to run more effectively, BUT:

This thing is _far_ less stable than my PPC version and I find myself losing 10s of minutes a day (sometimes up to 6 of those) to getting it to do what I want to do.

– The wireless card and driver quality is _far_ below what I’d become used to. Connection management intrudes on my life daily now.

– It randomly (usually after being up for a day or more) refuses to sleep. I’d gotten so used to this “just working” that I got out of the habit of looking. My new laptop’s already had a really hot ride in my bag.

– I use a bonjour connection to a printer in the office. On the PPC version this was really stable. On this box, 1 time out of 3 that I try to print, it doesn’t “Just work”. (The most frustrating version of failure involves it deciding to use a different driver than it did last time – resulting in pages of “that’s not my printer language” showing up on the printer.

I’m watching my friends and coworkers (many of whom have new intel macbooks or macbook pros) going through similar pain, and I am alarmed at how quickly the “wave the chicken at windows” behaviors are becoming ingrained. The nice thing about OS/X (up to now) is that you didn’t have to have chickens – you could look at logs and figure out what was going wrong and _FIX_ it in the very rare situation when things didn’t “just work”. Those same logs are very silent on the above problems.

I’ve been moving my family and my lifestyle machines (I have a mac pro now too, and I _really_ like it when I’m not trying to print to freeBSD CUPS ipp queues). I am beginning to dread the probability of a new stream of family support issues that I can’t address without giving hours over to it. In particular, my boasts of the last couple of years about how living on a mac really lowers your frustration-with-the-machine pain are ringing hollow in their ears.

Apple – you are letting me down.

How did this happen?


  1. ben

    I, on the other hand, got a rev 1 MBP. Most of the problems you are having, I either have not had, or had the same problem in my old powerbook. For example, the connection management issues happened to me on the PPC version. I blame some of that on my old linksys access point, which has now gone to silicon hell.

    I _do_ have the sleep problem–but it is much worse now than when I first got the machine (several OS/X revisions and at least 1 firmware update) ago. Hopefully if they can break it in software they can fix it that way too.