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Leopard: YMMV

Apple must still be doing something right.


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Leopard's getting a lot of bad press of late. Dave Winer, Charles Arthur, Sam Varghese all are experiencing serious issues.

'I've given Leopard a chance but it's pretty clear this is not a good operating system release', wrote Dave Winer on 5 November.

Winer was 'out of the Mac loop' for ten years and returned to Apple about two years ago. He says if he's known what he was in for he wouldn't have upgraded all his boxes immediately.

Winer has even likened it to Windows. 'I'm using Windows again and I'm not happy about it.'

Winer says Leopard 'disappears for long periods of time' and 'on one system three hard disks were rendered unusable'. He says the UI is 'quirky' and the new networking interface is 'a big step backward' and cites an article at TidBITS in this regard.

'Leopard is nothing for Apple to purr about', writes Charles Arthur of the Guardian. He complains his system freezes after network disconnects and waking and that it's sometimes slower than its predecessor.

'One of the problems as I see it is Apple's very limited beta testing', Arthur continues, citing the Unsanity scandal as proof something's wrong in Cupertino and accusing Apple of being arrogant in the face of the controversy.

'The reality is that as Mac ownership continues to grow there will be more people like that and wider beta testing is needed to iron out bugs before they reach the paying public', says Arthur, concluding: 'Leopard's a big black mark on Apple's record - I doubt even Britney will want it.'

iTWire/'Open Sauce' blogger Sam Varghese finds fault not only with Leopard but with the Apple army. Referring to Steve Wozniak he says: 'he is one of the better human beings who were part of the technology revolution that has taken place over the last 30 years. The current batch of Apple users - at least most of the sample I have been exposed to - are an embarrassment to a gentleman like him.'

'It does not take much to get the Apple user community up in arms - just a mention that there may be a defect in Mac OS X is sufficient to invite abuse, ridicule and plain silliness as though there is even one operating system in this world of ours which is perfect', he continues.

And Sam's of course had issues of his own - with both Apple hardware, Apple software, and Apple locusts.

Sam asks rhetorically: 'if one is paying top dollar for hardware and software - the hardware is proudly advertisted as being made in Cupertino as though that confers some special status on it - then is one wrong to expect a higher standard of efficiency as well?'

Sam can't get his Airport card to work. He didn't upgrade to Leopard - he bought a new box with Leopard pre-installed.

'No matter what I tried it would not provide a stable link to the Internet.'

Sam cites discussions at the Apple forums about this issue. [Grab them now before they're gone.]

http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=1195706

There is also mention of these issues at a number of other sites.

/dev/random: Wireless problems in Leopard
ehMac.ca: Problems connecting Leopard to Wireless network
PC World: Wireless Slowly Dies After Leopard Upgrade, Users Report
Macworld UK: Wireless slowly dies after Leopard upgrade, users report
Lockergnome: Leopard Users Report Major Problems With Wireless Internet

There's also mention of fixes.

Blackfriars' Marketing: Most Leopard wireless problems resolved

In an article entitled 'Is there joy in hating Apple's Leopard?' CNET blogger Matt Asay speculates why people's mileage varies so much with this feline.

'Are our particular software configurations so different? After all, it's not like our hardware configurations can be all that different. I suspect we're actually dealing with a perception problem here. Because the new OS doesn't present too many new sparkly features, users are less patient with any perceived shortcomings. In other words, if Leopard were super-cool yet buggy we'd have less reason to complain. But since its updated features are somewhat pedestrian, we whine.'

But Asay notes something else.

'People aren't opting to downgrade to Windows. Apple must still be doing something right.'

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