Monday, February 04, 2008

Mac OS X 10.5: a very disappointing release...

I never expected to debut my blog complaining against Apple, but this time I'm more than disappointed with the Cupertino company.

I bought Mac OS X 10.5 to upgrade the operating system of my "old" Powerbook G4 1.33 Mhz: I've waited a few months after the official release of the operating system more out of free time than because I was scared of the ".0 release". Anyway, last Friday I updated finally the OS from 10.4(.10 if I remember well) to 1.5. The process was more than smooth even if it took quite a bit of time (basically the whole morning), quite longer than any other Mac OS X upgrade I performed. At the end I updated the OS to the latest version 10.5.1 and started to roam a bit the new features.

While on the "eye candy" department things were more than exciting I immediately had quite a lot of disappointments that is:
  • this OS "breaks" the compatibility with a lot of old applications: Photoshop 7 doesn't work, neither my original Lexmark Z43 drivers. Included with the OS there are some replacements for them but unfortunately print quality is very poor... (on that I have to make some extra tests to be honest)
  • another application that doesn't work anymore is Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 Mac. OK, who cares you might say. I unfortunately do, since we at office have several crucial (bad) web apps that work only with IE! I'm at a loss here.
  • Time Machine seems to work only with USB/Firewire external drives, not with remote network volumes. Moreover it's necessary to format the hard drive (probably it needs a HFS+ file system) from scratch, quite impossible if you fancied to use your half-empty USB drive as a backup station. Apparently the possibility to use a network share should be officially supported on 10.5.2 (on the Net you can find already some fix to have this feature now).
Today, to add insult to injury, while I was configuring File System Sharing the Finder froze, I was forced to reboot the Mac and.. surprise surprise... the system hanged! It loops on startup and I'm not able to login. I should come back home this afternoon to bring the Mac OS X DVD and try to reinstall everything from scratch.

I will never again blame Microsoft for the Vista upgrade problems....

[Update: everything is working fine now. I booted from the DVD, started "Disk utility" and performed a disk check. While file system was apparently OK there were some issues on permissions.

It seemed like a secondary thing (permissions were mostly wrong on Language files) but I gave it a try. The first time I performed a "Repair file permission" the procedure hanged.... After 2 hours I rebooted the Mac and tried again: this time file permission issues were repaired in more or less 15 minutes.

I restarted the Mac and quite surprisingly the boot procedure completed smoothly and I was able to log in.]

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