"Some well-informed poster might come up with the magic bullet."
Well someone was bound to say it.
There are scattered reports of problems with Apple's Snow Leopard update that was released yesterday. Ah, tradition. Over on the Apple Discussions forum, early updaters are reporting a series of troubles after upgrading to Mac OS X version 10.6.4: Complete installation failure. iTunes running on an iMac caused the UI to …
Every time El Reg report problems on software release from any manufacturer (whether it be Microsoft, Apple, Google, or anyone else), a bunch of people come on the forum and say, works for me. You do realise that these are the most useless posts ever? No big software company is going to release software that fails to work in testing. Unfortunately, the number of live configurations means that it is very hard to test on every hardware/installed software combination. Even if failures happen on less than 1% of cases, it is a huge issue for people it fails on. Also, in many cases, people with multiple machines to upgrade often have similar software and configurations on all machines so quite often failures are clustered.
Remember the Toyota recalls? The vast majority of people's cars had no problem at all. But a tiny percentage had problems with stuck accelerators, and it became an international incident. With OS upgrades, if 0.01% of people have an issue, that is still lots of people with an issue.
All I ask for is a basic understanding of statistics. With your sample size of 2, your ability to predict that no-one else has a problem is virtually non-existent. If you think Steve Jobs is a saint (or Ballmer/Gates or anyone else), fine. But please don't belittle genuine problems that users have just because your 1 or 2 cases went fine.
....but, as the ranter above said, the default position is that it will work. And it WILL work for 99.several nines% of updaters.
But those that fail are the interesting ones - especially if yours has also failed. They can be grouped together and solutions found.
I agree - "Well, mine worked OK" is about as futile a post as you can make on here when discussing updates. Won't stop them happening, though.
ok i'm an idiot, but you must admit you don't understand statistics AT ALL.
how do you calculate the 1% you mention without counting all data points? if you want to do statistics you have to count 99 positives and 1 negative to come up with the figure. don't you? if people only posted 'it failed', 'it doesn't work', etc how would you know it's 1%? in that case STATISTICALLY it's a 100% failure.
So. Join the club, idiot #2.
Actually, it is clear you don't understand anything - not just statistics.
People generally don't report success - at least not by calling helplines or posting in help forums, so you judge success by the absence of complaint. Therefore, percentage failure is the number of reported failures divided by number of sales. Simple. People in every industry in the world follow this, unless they are selling so cheap a product that people will not complain if it goes wrong.
I must apologise. You must be a very wise man indeed. How stupid of me not to understand the obvious.
PS. Sorry, I must be really stupid, but what's your name? You have signed both posts differently. The first one is signed by 'Idiot' and the second is signed by 'Muppet', so who of those two are you?
Yes, you're right about statistics, but what you didn't do is apply them to the article to begin with. Talking about blowing the problems out of proportion, El Reg, has done a fine job of turning a mole hill into a mountain (or choose any other better analogy). Trawling through support forums is about the least representative way to sample something, but a great way to whip people into a frenzy enough to read the article and get some adverts from it.
This article, and a few of the posters here, are essentially suggesting that this update is borked because it affects <= 0.01%, let's say, of users. I'm sorry, but based on what you said, it's just not worth reporting. Much like a similar proportional volume of problems for Windows update often goes unreported. This is link-bait from a publication that has a growing unhealthy obsessed with Apple, and Jobs in particular.
And some people wonder why the iPhone is locked against just any old app being installed. What is happening for a few with MacOS 10.6.4 update is exactly what Apple wishes to avoid with the iPhone. Still, it happens with the iPhone but not as bad.
As for myself, never had a systemic MacOS update problem. Sometimes badly written apps would not run correctly, but the OS always behaved. Running MacOS since 6.0.2.
> And some people wonder why the iPhone is locked against just any old app being installed.
Yes. Because locking down your device is the answer to bad vendor supplied software updates.
No. This situation points to quite the opposite conclusion. End users should be the ones in control. They should be aware enough to decide to "just say no" to bad vendor updates or bad software in general.
The nanny is a junkie.
> And some people wonder why the iPhone is locked against just any old app being installed.
"Yes. Because locking down your device is the answer to bad vendor supplied software updates.
No. This situation points to quite the opposite conclusion. End users should be the ones in control. They should be aware enough to decide to "just say no" to bad vendor updates or bad software in general."
Let me get this right. End users should be the ones in control because when they are, they'll install 3rd party add-ins, plugins and patches that prevent the official ones from working properly...?
Better to prevent users with that kind of limited intelligence from having any say over the contents of the system at all!
Yeah the iPhone is locked down because Apple can't write an OS that 3rd party apps can run on... is that really your argument? It’s got nothing to do with the well-documented control that Mr Jobs insists on having over what YOU do with YOUR phone.
Even if that made any sense whatsoever the fact that Apple, with total control over the hardware base (unlike MS and Windows), can’t even update their OS without screwing up some of the major apps in use on their platform is pretty piss poor.
I’m sure all this will amount to ‘features’ that you are willing to pay for.
"Yeah the iPhone is locked down because Apple can't write an OS that 3rd party apps can run on... is that really your argument? It’s got nothing to do with the well-documented control that Mr Jobs insists on having over what YOU do with YOUR phone."
Jobs has very little say over what I can do with my phone. There is an application for iPhone for everything I need...
"the fact that Apple, with total control over the hardware base (unlike MS and Windows), can’t even update their OS without screwing up some of the major apps in use on their platform is pretty piss poor."
If you'd looked at the posts at the Apple website (linked from the article) or read any of the people who commented here, you'd know that it's a tiny minority of users. (roughly 1 user reported each of the problems ;)
Of course, you could always compare this to the count of people who have experienced problems with MSs OS, updates and applications...
And some people wonder why the iPhone is locked against just any old app being installed. What is happening for a few with MacOS 10.6.4 update is exactly what Apple wishes to avoid with the iPhone.
This would be a brilliant argument, and defence of Apple's lock-down of the iPhone. Until you remember that the update to iPhone OS 3 went horribly wrong for a significant number of people and caused the batteries to go doolally. Or was it the upgrade to iPhone 2? Oh no, my mistake, I think it was both...
And there were plenty of reports of that update bricking some people's hardware... Particularly bad in the case of version 2, where Apple totally controlled both hardware AND software.
Actually I don't think anyone expects Apple to release a perfect update that won't cause any problems at all - because testing on all configurations is a practical impossibility. There are 2 reasons Apple are taking extra grief for it:
1. The rather arrogant (and hostage to fortune), "It just works" [tm]. Which with the smugly superior 'I'm a Mac' adverts is simply begging for piss-taking.
2. Apple make it really, really, really hard (in fact impossible on the holy iPhone) to revert to a previously working OS configuration. Which control freakery deserves the regular kickings it gets Apple.
3. I know I said two. So I lied... Apple's piss-poor communications. If they'd just talk to people, and make a tiny effort to appear that they were listening, people's frustrations would be reduced immensely and then they'd be more forgiving. Which nicely links back in to point 1 about smugness and arrogance.
"Until you remember that the update to iPhone OS 3 went horribly wrong for a significant number of people and caused the batteries to go doolally. Or was it the upgrade to iPhone 2? Oh no, my mistake, I think it was both..."
It was neither.
There were problems - a very small number but greatly publicised.
I looked at the posts on the forums that El Reg linked to. There are less posts there about some of the problems than there are on this article. There only seemed to be a handful of people who had problems too...
As always, this article is completely worthless without some indication of how many people are having the problem.
And don't try the "there are 50 posts in the thread" argument. If there are 50 posts, 1 is the person who posted the original problem. 27 are people saying "mine works fine". 15 are people saying "Macs suck". 5 are suggestions from people on how to fix it. And 2 are spammers trying to sell you Louis Vitton bags.
Also, it would also be useful to know how many of the people having problems have installed some haxie that does stuff by bypassing the OS and inserting their own code - which almost always leads to problems on upgrades.
Nothing to see here.
I spent a few years at a helpdesk that supported a few hundred OSX machines, aaaand I don't recall any problems that were traced back to updates (which were applied nightly by a cronjob, because our users were, on average, dense enough to panic when an update notification appeared.)
That's not to say that Apple didn't give us a whole heap of extremely random problems, or that I rush to install updates as soon as they're out, but most of the time there was no problem with updates, and when there was, it was /always/ something incredible that had been done by the user.
One memorable example:
Power User: OSX Update broke my firewire
Me: Be right down to take a look
Power User: See, all of these 11 firewire devices and 2 firewire hubs don't work any more
Me: Tried plugging and unplugging?
Power User: Yes
Me: Lets try again
PowerMac G5: Starts smoking, flames shoot out the firewire port
Me: Good thing we get the extended warranty
I suspect that one wasn't any sort of software problem : -)
No problems on my upgrade done earlier today on a Mac book pro and iMac. Of course I have not messed around with the machine. Maybe that is the key and why Apple are keen to have upgrades to predictable environments. Similar to most large corporates who have a lock down client and do not all "gifted amateurs" to mess around particularly in Windows....
Absolutely ZERO problems here.
It's inevitable that a small number of people will have a problem. The vast majority of issues are caused by incompatibilities with some third-party application, utility, system extension or hack that hasn't been updated for Mac OS X 10.6.4 yet.
If people weren't so keen to install hacks and other programs that make use of unsupported API's etc. there would be far less issues.
These stories are exactly why I always wait a month before upgrading to the latest update. Apple don't seem to bother beta testing anything these days, then again why should they when they have paying customers willing to do it. I double the waiting time for updating my iPhone due to the retarded practice of not being able to downgrade the OS if there's a problem.
Still the early adopters are good for a laugh.
On my ff 3.6.3 homepage /newsnow.co.uk/ totally appeared in Korean? Some screwed codepage? Lots of boxes and other junk. Resolved by forcing ff to use a working font like lucida and ignore the HTML page fonts request. Only happened on my iMac, I had recently noticed some false font "duplicates" in 10.6.3. I did the 900meg combo update.
(Nexus.froyo fun next week??)
I got this not after apples update... i am sure it was the Office update... now Word hangs so often i am using either Tetedit, Page or NeoOffice. Itunes hangs now often and once then happens.. the system never shuts down but needs to be forced.
Seems also to happen when Vmware is running... this was updated a few weeks ago also. Not Word 2008 + Wmare dont work...
Trying to hold off a re-install as too busy to piss around so simply finding work arounds...
this all reminds me of windows....
And i am typing this on a Macbook Pro.
The very fact that they have such strict control over their hardware and software and that they still have problems with each and every update, makes Apple a pathetic excuse of a company.
To put it into perspective: if Microsoft (who has no control over hardware configurations) were to have such problems with every update they issue (they issue updates far more frequently than Apple) and considering their market share, then the entire world would stop a couple of times every month.
Safari 5 is still crashing two or three times a day for me and they keep blaming Flash. I cannot recall IE crashing on me in recent years and my browsing habits on PC and Mac are identical. And no, I have no pluggins on either browser. Aside from that, Applications on the Mac crash way more often and generally the whole platform is far more unreliable compared to Windows.
Sorry Apple, I have tried your crap twice and paid good premium for them. Never again in this life. Now do the world a favour and roll over and die like you did in the 90s and this time take the fanbois with you.
Yadda, yadda, yadda... Newsflash! They do!!! If, like the author of this missive, you troll the interwebs looking for issues with Microsoft updates, you'll find them AND there'll be as many, proportionally, as there are for OS X. So, why don't *you* do the world a favour and get back under your bridge and say there. I, by the way, am typing this from a Dell laptop running Ubuntu 10.04, which doesn't work particularly well with video drivers - but I don't think it 'sucks' or that anyone that disagrees with me are fanbois! Why? I'm a fucking adult. So you've got Apple hardware and you dislike their OS; install Windows on it, it's not that hard. Just by saying that you own Apple hardware doesn't make you any less of a troll, does it.
From the tone of your rant I'd say you are typing it on a Packard Bell. Apple "still has problems with each and every update"? Who are you really: Steve Ballmer? Let's pretend for a moment that you ever even saw a Mac, let alone owned or even used one: what problems did you have with updates? Oh, sure, a machine running crap fonts or some piece of naff warez falls over occasionally. Big deal, frankly.
Most of us folks who got sick and tired of Windows and moved to a platform with more stability, not to mention a UI that looked like it was designed by people with some interest in aesthetics, have never had a problem with a single update. There will always be clashes between third party stuff and a manufacturer's own product, of course, but these are few and far between.
If you really do have a Mac I think you should perhaps check it over, run the Disk Utility and buy a copy of Disk Warrior. Do a fresh install of the OS if you feel the urge. I have just updated three Macs and they are working perfectly as per usual. So there!
"The very fact that they have such strict control over their hardware and software and that they still have problems with each and every update, makes Apple a pathetic excuse of a company."
I suggest you open your eyes and ears before opening your mouth. Look at the actual reports on the page linked to by El Reg.
There are a TINY number of people reporting problems. TINY.
There are FAR more problems when MS releases an update ;)
"To put it into perspective: if Microsoft (who has no control over hardware configurations) were to have such problems with every update they issue (they issue updates far more frequently than Apple) and considering their market share, then the entire world would stop a couple of times every month."
Of course, MS updates are perfect. We all know that. They never cause any problems, oh no.
"Applications on the Mac crash way more often and generally the whole platform is far more unreliable compared to Windows."
You're either unlucky or lying.
In 7 years of having Macs, the OS has crashed three times.
WIndows crashed the first time I plugged in a USB device. When the video application I was given with my webcam was first run, it crashed the OS too. Machine had come straight from the manufacturers, nothing dodgy installed.
This was on the first day of having Windows... I put up with this nonsense for years before ditching Windows entirely. I've got unix based OSs now on all machines and never looked back.
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Try not to confuse "reports of significant problems" with "significant problems". This is El Reg, remember.
Apple puts out multiple betas and 3rd parties are quite capable of reporting bugs - but in the real world of very complex technology it is impossible for anyone - Apple, MS, Canonical, Google - to catch everything before release. Just can't be done.
Oh, and re "I've had no other problems with both MS and Linux.". Neither you or I are even close to representative samples and trivially easy searching reveals that these things happen to all vendors.
Apple consumer helpdesk used to BE my job, and this kind of problem cropped up with every other major OS revision. Probably no more than a few hundred individuals in the whole country for each update, given how many calls we took each time, but I began to love (read: hate) the phrase "archive and install", especially given the propensity of callers for making a mistake with its use and deleting something important.
6 mac here - 4 mini's, a pro & a macbook. All fine. As per the last time. And the time before that. And probably the same story for the vast majority of OS X users.
2 windows7 PC's here too - one bluescreens when plugging in a blackberry after recent update (worked fine for 6 months before that), and the other's anti-virus updates, but won't load the new definitions, and sits there munching 60% CPU trying to do so. They are universally hated by all staff.
Yes, transparently 10.6.4 is obviously a complete failure (as was 10.6.3 before it), and we should all move to the much more stable and brilliant windows. Aren't statistics are great...
Slightly off topic: £929 for the new mac mini??? Are Apple taking the p1ss????
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If you're going to pull hair, stick your tongue out and not play fair we're not going to let you play your favourite game (other than being offensive and arrogant) and that is jump rope with all the other little girls.
Oh, and we'll not let you have any more chewing gum, cause you keep getting it caught in your own hair.
"Slightly off topic: £929 for the new mac mini??? Are Apple taking the p1ss????"
That would be the server version with the server OS that normally retails for £400, so it compares reasonably well with a Windows equivalent which would probably cost about the same (the lower cost H/W being offset by the £600 Windows Server license).
£630 for the entry level machine *is* taking the Michael, though.
Yes, I'm well aware that someone here could build something with the equivalent functionality for free from bits they have lying around and a RedHat DVD.
Oh, memories. I remember the unused row of Apple Macs at uni, and wondering why everyone was queuing to use the PCs for reading their email and getting stuff off FTP (this was in the days when WWW was very new, and NCSA Mosaic was standard). The first one crashed on me, at which point I found that it wouldn't power down from the on/off button, looked around for a reset button which didn't exist, looked at the power cable which was secured into the box and couldn't be removed, and eventually found that the only way of getting the damn thing rebooted was to crawl under the desk and physically remove and replace the power cable. After this happened for the third time, I understood why no-one was using the Macs!
So it's nice to see that nothing much changes in the Mac world. ;-)
Are you for real?
You take an experience nearly twenty years ago with obviously very poorly set up machines and compare it to a situation where a vanishingly small number of people have some problems with a fairly big OS upgrade using a completely different software platform and hardware chips.
You probably think Windows XP is good!
I downloaded the update last night and all i saw before closing the lid was the default starfield effect and no icons. I will have a check when i get home this afternoon.
From reading some of the comments on the Apple site it seems that the drivers for the external speakers might have been corrupted and it might need them re-installing.
Not heard of anyone with problems, never had a problem with Apple updates. There's an update to iTunes as well maybe the handful of peeps that had an iTunes problem after the upgrade didn't upgrade that at the same time.
Occasionally there are driver / kernel module problems if you have 3rd party hardware if it has been specifically compiled to the kernel version running so when you update you need a new driver (this is the same on Linux). I had a problem with an internal M-Audio soundcard on my PowerMac whereby I had to wait for them to release a new driver before I could install the OS service pack or it would cause my machine to crash.
The risks to the average Mac user when installing updates is always very low.
Reminds me of the time I convinced a user that her machine could be affected by high energy cosmic rays; my PFY was in awe of me after that.
The user in question was a support nightmare though; anyone listening in support would assume her surname was Marie and her first name was "Fucking"!
Boss: Who was that?
PFY: Only fucking Marie.
I have just finished rebooting after updating the last of the Macs around here. No problems with any of them. It's amazing, all these people who always have problems with Apple updates while I have never had even one problem _ever_ in my history of updating Macs... and I've been using Macs since May of 1984. Whatever have I been doing wrong?
Did these people have flash installed .... because you know more oftern than not flash is the cuase of mac crashing......
ok sarcasm end....
it is dispicable that in such a closed eco system that a update can have such a dramatic effect this puts apple in par is Mcafee in my books.
O/S UPDATE CAUSES SOME BITS TO FAIL ON SOME MACHINES UNDER SOME CIRCUMSTANCES! SHOCK!
Really, is this news any more than the fact that my Ubuntu has niggles when updates occur,? My Windows work desktop has some niggles after patch updates and my Mac at home has niggles! Flips sake, even my PSP had some niggles at the last firmware update.