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back to article Inevitable Mac OS X 10.6.4 update problems surface

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 become …

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Linux

"Some well-informed poster might come up with the magic bullet."

Linux

Well someone was bound to say it.

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Errr...

Linux was the symptom, and Mac OS is the cure ;-)

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Ubuntu says otherwise

Every Ubuntu update is followed by a surge of online complaints about things breaking. Linux isn't the magic bullet.

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Linux > Ubuntu

And better distros update with much less drama

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Happy

Now you've tasted the apple...

Maybe it's time to try Vista ?

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Jobs Halo

really?... hmm..

updated 2 iMac today, no issues whatsoever.

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FAIL

Is this the most useless post ever?

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.

Idiot!

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Anonymous Coward

Relaaaaax Win-ston!

Agree with everything you say but, chill out dude! :)

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So when individuals report failure...

...it's a meaningfull metric of the quality of the product. When individuals report success it's meaningless.

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Not quite that....

....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.

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OMG: "Is this the most useless post ever?"

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.

:)

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FAIL

Massive Fail

But Apple don't actually have many hardware configurations to test it on, unlike MS and, I hate to say the word, Linux.

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@AC ala Winston

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.

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Epic Fail

Apple play within a nicely walled garden and still mess up updates time after time. No wonder the market share never rises.

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Anonymous Coward

Hang on...

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.

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But

The Mac *isn't* a walled garden, users are free to install any old third party stuff on them, just the same as every other desktop OS.

I seriously doubt that any of the users experiencing problems are working with a fresh install of the OS on vanilla hardware.

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Re: OMG: "Is this the most useless post ever?"

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.

Muppet.

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Fail yourself

"Apple play within a nicely walled garden and still mess up updates time after time. No wonder the market share never rises."

Never rises eh? IIRC Apple had something like 3% desktop market share a decade ago compared to around 8% today.

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Re: "Re: OMG: "Is this the most useless post ever?""

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?

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And some people wonder why ...

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.

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Linux

Silly Propaganda

> 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.

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Jobs Horns

@Kelly

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.

Twat

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The control-freak defence...

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.

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WTF?

RE: Silly Propaganda

> 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!

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RE: @Kelly

"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...

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Anonymous Coward

RE: The control-freak defence...

"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..."

Urrm.

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...

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No problems here...

Sorry for being smug about it, but both my Mac Pro (Early 2008) and my MacBook Pro (Mid-2009) are fine. No problems with fonts, iTunes, or anything else.

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No problems either....

Updated a 2nd gen Mac Mini and an early black Macbook....

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30%

No doubt if you all aid Apple the 30% the world would be a happier place,

I'm being quite contradictory in that half these apps would be banned anyway.

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This is getting REALLY tedious

"A MacBook Pro lost Internet access"

"A". One. Singular.

FFS, grow up.

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Joke

No problems

Except the damned ATI framebuffer *still* doesn't work on my Toshiba. The cheek! ;-)

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Sinking Ship of OS X

A little quote from one Jonathan Ive

" I told Steve we have to include the mac and he told me that the mac platform is a sinking ship and iOS is future"

How many more updates will we get before Apple weld the doors shut ?

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Where did you hear that?

I believe it, but I would be shocked if Ive told anyone that.

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@David Simpson 1

You made that up didn't you?

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Headmaster

frickin' gamma rays

You say it could be due to "frickin' gamma rays" although not in a Mac Pro as they use ECC memory that counteracts the effects of gamma rays.

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How many?

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.

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OH, Gamma Rays...

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 : -)

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Joke

Flash

It's all Flash's fault (probably).

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Megaphone

Hrm

No issues here on Macbook 15" (5.4) with as much as possible built in Macports (Apache, Firefox, coreutiles, etc). Then again I always test it out using a Time Machine restored install on a dirt-cheap (£20 ffs!) USB drive. If you value your data at all, you'd *always* test shit this way.

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Go

Mac OS upgrade

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....

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Jobs Halo

3 here

you know there's a laundry list of thing that can go wrong on any update

but i've got 3 macs here all updated fine with no issues.

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I'm not one for OS wars, but...

I'm not one for OS wars or zealotry, but Apple? Screwed up fonts? I mean, it's not as if their core market are typographers and graphic designers is it... Oh, hang on...

I wonder how this one got past quality control.

Ah well, oopsie...

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oh I remember...

the old rule about Mac OS updates... never update to even number versions!!

there was a famous System 6.06 update. I think it lasted about a week before replaced with System 6.07.

but I did an update on two macs last night .. no problems at all.

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No probs

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.

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FAIL

Beta testing?

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.

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@Psycho Flump

Fuck me, all you need to do is browse mac blogs and follow the seeds as they are released.

Apple sometimes arse up, but when things go wrong it is more often 3rd parties (such as Logitech using haxies, against Apple guidelines).

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RE: @Psycho Flump

To say nothing of the fact that most of these "problems" have got a mere 1 person affected by them...

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I got the broken ff fonts

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??)

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No problems here

CS5 is fine. iTunes is fine. Fonts are fine.

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