In case you wondered why it is always 9:41AM on Apple devices, now you know.
Apple’s Forced Obsolescence Policy
Had yet another bad experience with Apple last week that has got me shaking my head in disbelief.
My wife re-booted her iMac after installing some updates. I should say she tried to re-boot because it wouldn’t restart fully, just went to a blue screen then eventually just restarts itself. She schedules an appointment with one of the ‘geniuses’ at the Apple store in Kenwood and shows up at the appointed time.
The kid behind the counter looks up the model number of the Mac and proclaims “I can’t help you, this system is too old!” My wife, after recovering from stunned disbelief asks “what are you talking about, the system isn’t that old”. No, he insists, if the system is older than 5 years, they won’t touch it. That is right, Apple refuses to service their own products. Won’t even run a diagnostic on it to determine what the problem is. Nothing. His advice is to buy a new Mac (naturally) or take it to MicroCenter to see if they will work on it. Tremendous customer service.
“Besides”, he goes on to tell her, “that disk drive is so old it probably won’t format – formatting is really stressful to the disk drives”. Wow, now there is some epic ignorance straight from an Apple ‘Genius’.
This weekend, I booted the Mac off an installation CD, attempted to run Disk Utility on it but DU barfed because of ‘invalid node structure’. Fortunately, the system gets backed up with Crashplan so all of the critical files were safe. Reformatted the drive (twice, because it is so stressful to the drives). Clean bill of health and Snow Leopard is installing as I type this.
Makes me think back to when I had PC hardware that ran without issue for over a decade and was always able to get parts and service for them. And now this load of BS from Apple.
So the next time you are thinking about buying one of those overpriced Apple products because they have such wonderful customer service and fantastic build quality, think again. If you hang on to the device for more than 5 years Apple has nothing more for you than an extended middle finger.
The Big Mac ‘Virus’ Scare
For all of the ‘experts’ who piled on this one – as usual, you are wrong. The Mac OS X ‘virus’ is a flaw in Java NOT the Mac.
I love the open remarks from the linked post:
When a computer incident happens on Apple’s Mac OS X, it’s a headline-making event. When it happens on Windows, it’s just another day.
That remains the reality, even after a bunch of media reports on how a vulnerability in Java has led to the creation of a Mac botnet about 600,000 strong.
Oh, and if you found this posting because you have or think you might have the ‘virus’ here is an excellent write up on how to determine if you are impacted and how to fix it.
The Horrible User Experience That Is The Apple App Store On The iPad
My wife was out of town for a few days so I decided to make sure her iPad was up to date for her return. I went into the AppStore (which by the way indicated that there were no updates) and then the updates section. It then indicated that there were 47 updates available. Wow, I guess it has been a while. I then selected Update All – and the fun began. The iPad churned for a bit then spat out the utterly useless popup ‘Application not compatible with your iPad’. Huh? Not which app or which version or how to fix it or find out more, just ‘not compatible’.
I guessed that it was something to do with the recent iOS 5 update so I plugged the iPad into iTunes and away it went with the iOS update. About two hours later it was finally done updating to iOS 5. I go back to the AppStore app and I now have 37 updates to install (what happened to the other 10 is a mystery). I select update all and AppStore obnoxiously throws me out to some random screen while it begins the update. I let it spin for a while then tried to determine what it had installed and what it hadn’t – not an easy task on an iPad.
You see, if you return to the AppStore, it doesn’t tell you what has been installed and what is pending, it just crashes. I guess I am used to Android, where the notification screen tells you exactly what is going on with installs and even shows you the status of the current install, all on one screen. Apple engineers decided that if you wanted to know about installs you had to swipe all over to find which apps still had a hollow bar on them, and then swipe around to find the currently updating app and guess how far along it is. Yep, that is a fantastic user experience, Apple.
Apple And Oranges
Listening to the hastily assembled coverage that emerged after the unfortunate death of Steve Jobs made me think that Google search doesn’t exist or that journalists are too dumb to know how to use it. In no particular order, here is what they got wrong:
“Steve Jobs was the founder of Apple.” I seem to remember there being another guy named Steve who was there at the beginning, one Mister Wozniak.
“Apple invented the MP3 player.” Not by a long shot. MP3 players existed for years before the iPod. None of them were as popular as the iPod.
“Apple invented the tablet computer.” Again, not even close. Tablet computers existed for nearly a decade before the iPad.
“Apple invented the smartphone.” Entirely true if you don’t take into account all of the smartphones that Nokia and Sony Ericsson had on the markets (quite successfully) for years before the iPhone.
Come on guys, it isn’t that tough to get the details right.
Designing for iPad
This is a somewhat detailed (and well illustrated) discussion on what it takes to design applications for the iPad — with an emphasis on design (not just slopping code onto the device). Definitely worth a read, especially if you are concerned about how your content looks and feels on the iPad.
Over the last two months we have been working on several iPad projects: Two news applications, a social network and a word processor. We worked on iPad projects without ever having touched an iPad. One client asked us to “start working on that tablet thing” even before we knew whether the iPad was real. The question Are we designing desktop programs, web sites or something entirely new? has been torturing us until that express package from New York finally crossed our door sill. A quick write up of design insights before and after the appearance of the iPad at our office.
Snow Leopard Secrets
Learn all about Snow Leopard’s secrets using the Secrets app.
The hidden tweaks are a mix of features that didn’t quite make the final cut or were deemed too slight to deserve their own tick-box, and deep system changes that normally call for terrifying terminal commands. And they don’t stop at Snow Leopard: Secrets, which has been around in one form or another for a while now, has collected a huge library of “gray” settings for other apps too, from Apple’s various software suites to civilian apps like Skype and NetNewsWire. The app is free, and installs as a PrefPane.
Snow Leopard Updates
After one short week of upgrading to Snow Leopard, all of the software that experienced issues after the SL upgrade have been updated to be compatible. Currently running updated versions of Menu Meters, Cyberduck, OxygenXML Editor and Mozy without issue.
apple, snowleopard, software, upgrade
Snow Leopard Casualties
Upgraded my main system to Snow Leopard. Current casualties include:
Oxygen XML Editor
Otherwise, it seems that most of the apps are holding their own. The new Quicktime looks sweet and plays AVIs natively (so no more dubious third-party plugins — maybe).
Overall, seems to be a bit snappier — which is always welcome.
Tried upgrading a second system and got the domain manager error when trying to run the install from the DVD. Booted from the DVD (by restarting and holding down C until you hear the DVD grind). This update is still running…
I’ll update the post as new developments come to light.
apple, mac, osx, snowleopard, upgrade
The latest Mac Heist Bundle is available for the low, low price of $39USD.
I bought it just for the Kinemac 3D animation software ($300 value) and Wiretap Studio.
Goodbye To .Me
No, I personally am not going away, but my me.com (aka mobileme aka .mac aka itools) email account is. I started with the free iTools service that came out shortly before the first release of OS X. In fact, iTools was released 9 years ago tomorrow (January 5th). I stayed with it when it became the .mac paid service in 2002 because of the discounts on offer and the free software that was given to subscribers (this perk has now gone away). I had second thoughts when the fee increases were announced over the years. But when I got the most recent ‘we (Apple) will automatically update your subscription’ email, I thought to myself ‘what value am I really getting from this’?
The answer ‘is not a lot’. Syncing bookmarks was cool, but I can do that now with Opera or Evernote. As the me.com service becomes more and more iPhone-centric it becomes less attractive to me because I don’t own an iPhone nor will I own one anytime in the foreseeable future. I can sync my contacts on my Nokia N95 using Nokia Ovi online service. In fact on Ovi, I can sync my calendar, upload photos and video, store and retrieve files, enable push-mail from any POP account to my phone, access map updates and more. I have my own hosting account on dreamhost so I don’t need Apple’s crippled iWeb tied hosting.
The fact that I have stronger alternatives to Apple’s offering as well as the poor performance and outages that accompanied the mobileme ‘upgrade’, the choice was a fairly easy one. It has cost me a little effort in switching sites that were using my .mac email accounts over to another and downloading the files that I was sharing that I will need to get around to re-hosting on mobrec.com . In the end I feel better about not handing over $100+ dollars to Apple every year for what has turned out to be diminishing returns.
apple, blogging, dubious, email, iphone, mac, n95, nokia, webtools
iTunes Genius Needs To Get Out More
Finally had a chance to try out the Genius function in iTunes. In a word: unimpressed.
Here is Apple’s breathless description of Genius Sidebar:
While you reacquaint yourself with the music you already own, let Genius introduce you to new music you’ll love. As you select songs in your library, the Genius sidebar displays songs from the iTunes Store that go great with it. The Genius sidebar won’t recommend songs already in your library, and you can preview and buy recommended songs directly from the sidebar.
In my experience, not quite. Granted my rather eclectic set of music in iTunes gives a wide berth to what passes for American pop music, it is not like it is all way-out exotic stuff. Genius seems to think so. For I would say better than half of the music tracks that I clicked on, Genius came back with ‘I got nothin’, but here is the tired old crap that everyone else is listening to…‘ displaying the top selling tracks and albums in the iTunes store. Great, not interested in being homogenized like the rest of the herd.
It also frequently falls into the trap that Amazon recommendations does, that of assuming that you are a moron. For example, if you buy a CD by, say, David Bowie, Amazon proceeds to recommend every single CD that David Bowie has ever made, whether the style of it is even close to the original CD. It’s as if Amazon (and Apple) are saying: ‘You found that first CD, but your probably not smart enough to find all the other stuff by the same artist by using our search function, so here they are for you, nitwit‘. Not helpful at all.
The Genius Playlist function does a slightly better job than the sidebar, but I still get plenty of “Genius is unavailable for the song
I suppose it can only get better as more and more info gets fed into Apple’s hungry servers over time. We shall see…
New Apple iPod — Think Different Or Just Steal From This Blog
Over two years ago, I posted about the idea of marrying an accelerometer and the iPod to be able to shuffle iPod tunes and otherwise control it. I guess Apple thought it was such a good idea that they stole it and implemented it in the new iPods announced today.
So where is my money, Apple? 🙂
apple, ideas, ingenuity, innovation, ipod
iPhone ‘New’ Features?
I find the rampant speculation over the presumed announcement of a new iPhone at WWDC tomorrow to be a bit much. Particularly since most of the ‘new’ features have existed in Nokia phones (like the N95) for years. GPS? 3G? HSDPA? Video conferencing? New? No, available on the Nokia N95 for a while now.
I think the iPhone is largely fueled by the ‘me to’ set. The ones who couldn’t understand why I bought one of the first iPods (‘why would you need to carry around that much music?’) but slowly succumbed when the iPod became ‘cool’. Brilliant marketing by Apple. Now they have a captive market waiting for the iPhone so that they don’t miss out on ‘the next cool thing’.
Don’t get me wrong, I have been a fan (and user) of Apple products for a long time. It’s just that the iPhone isn’t really compelling for me largely because I got used to the robust features of the Nokia like of smart phones. When my trusty 6620 was stolen, I replaced it with an N75. This was about 6 months before the iPhone launched. I loved to point out that (outside of the gimmicky iPhone interface) my N75 did everything that the iPhone did (and in many ways better). Plus I could download and use a rich set of Symbian and Java based applications. I could pair the N75 with a tiny Bluetooth-based GPS to get better location info in Google and Nokia Maps applications.
After a year I had an opportunity to buy a fully unlocked and warranted N95 8GB on Amazon for a great price. I jumped on it. One of the first comments I got from my iPhone toting friends were ‘I see you got a new phone and why isn’t it an iPhone?’ and ‘you know there is a new iPhone coming out, why didn’t you wait to buy one of those?’ Because I wanted a real smartphone; heck with the N95 its more like a mobile multimedia computer. I could move all the apps over from my N95, download a few that take advantage of the accelerometer in the N95 and upgrade to take advantage of the more powerful capabilities of the N95.
Sorry, Apple. When it comes to mobile computing, I am more about function and flexibility rather than fashion.
apple, cellphones, gadgets, iphone, mobile, n75, n95, nokia, nseries, symbian
Mac Heist Bundle
Only 7 days left to take advantage of the aptly named Mac Heist where you can get about half a grand of quality Mac software for $49USD. It that isn’t cool enough, a chunk of the proceeds go to charity (you can even pick which ones you would like it to go to). I already have my bundle and am loving it. Heck, I almost paid retail for Wingnuts 2 last weekend, now I essentially get it for pennies on the dollar.
If you don’t make it this year, definitely check it out next year as it only seems to keep getting bigger and better.
MacBook Air, Er, Err
I guess the new MacBook Air is cute and optimized for, uh, thin. Otherwise, I think it is overpriced and under-featured. Thin is nice, but I can’t ever think of a time when I though, “I can’t use this darn laptop, it’s just too thick!”. And the non-user-replaceable battery is a joke.
Now a pen-based tablet (ok, it can have multi-touch, too) in a slightly smaller form factor, running full OS X; THAT would be cool and useful. MacBook Air? No so much.
apple, dubious, mac, macbookair
A Lemon From Apple
I am becoming convinced that I got a real lemon from Apple a few years back when I purchased an iMac from the online Apple store. I am beginning to wonder if the poor reliability that I have experienced has something to do with timing. I managed to buy a G5-based Mac about a month and a half before Apple announced the switch to Intel. Was it the case that Apple were willing to let quality slide as they were running out their back stock of G5-based systems?
Here is the history of this particular iMac:
It was delivered to me with a defective DVD drive. The drive would read/burn CDs and read DVDs. Burning DVDs resulted in ‘buffer under-run’ errors. I actually had the tech on the other end of the phone attempt a dump and run on me, by suggesting that I re-install the operating system and see if that fixed the problem. Moron. I made the point that if the OS was factory installed, tested and burned in properly, my re-installing it wasn’t going to make a difference — it was clearly a hardware issue. Finally went through Apple’s ‘depot’ replacement process where they express ship the part to me and I send back the defective part in a pre-paid mailer. Worked like a charm. DVD issue fixed.
Within a few months, the system started shutting down at random. Once again, one of the bright sparks on the Apple support line wanted me to re-install the OS to fix this issue (were these guys former Microsoft support techs?). After working through the moron ranks I finally got to someone who elliptically admitted that this was ‘a known issue’ and that I should take the system into the nearest Apple store for a fix. The guy at the Genius bar looked at the make of the iMac and said ‘let me guess, it started randomly shutting down, right?’. About 20 minutes later, he popped out of the back room with the repaired system. When I asked about the root cause, he muttered something about ‘logic board’ and ‘sensor’ and kept telling me that there was no charge for the repair. Right. Not exactly confidence inspiring, but at least it was operable again.
The Leopard upgrade killed the system. Life was good until I attempted the seemingly simple task of upgrading the OS to Leopard. This went disastrously wrong. Read about it here and here. In the course of fixing this ‘install media’ issue, Apple replaced the DVD drive (again!), the hard drive and finally the Apple installed system RAM.
Less than two months later, the new hard drive fails. This was a mystery. One minute it was running the next minute it blanked the screen and kicked the fan on full. Attempts to reboot the system all ended with the iMac displaying the ‘I can’t find a drive to boot off of’ flashing icon. Booting off of the install DVD and running Disk Utility confirmed that the internal drive could not be seen. Because I have an Apple Care extended warranty on this system (thank goodness!) they opted to send a tech out to the house to replace the drive. Five days later(!) he showed up and replaced the drive. Unfortunately, he had no clue what to do next. I showed him how to partition the drive and re-install the OS and made him stay until the install completed successfully (having experienced the previous shenanigans with the Leopard install). All was well and the system is back up and running. Again.
Until next time. In some ways, its bad that that is my attitude. Even when I balance the horrible reliability of this iMac with the fact that I have a nearly eight year old iMac that is chugging right along, no issues. Ever. The other iMacs (some approaching 5 years old) also have had no issues. I would estimate that Apple has more than paid for the original purchase price of the system in parts and labor. I wish that they would just replace it the next time it fails (not likely). My Apple Care plan runs out next summer. I hope I won’t need it again, but based on history, I have my doubts.
apple, defective, dubious, leopard, mac, osx, suckage, technology, support
Why is Leopard So Hard On RAM?
Judging from install reports in the aftermath of the Leopard release last week it appears that Leopard is much more demanding on system hardware — in particular RAM. From comments left on this blog, Apple support forums and elsewhere dodgy RAM rather than install media appears to be one of the leading causes for the previously documented install failures.
This bears out my own experience. The Apple Store has had my non-Leopard-installing G5 for nearly a week. First, they were convinced that it was the hard drive; order a new one, replaced it and still couldn’t get an install. A call on Friday informed me that they now think it is the RAM (Apple, factory installed RAM, mind you) that is the issue. The new RAM is on order so it will be sometime next week before I find out whether that is the final glitch.
My question is: What is Leopard doing that is uncovering these RAM issues now? These issues are apparently errors/failures that 10.4.10 (and previous) didn’t seem to care about. Could it have something to do with 64-bit app support? Fundamental memory handling tweaks or changes? Will there ever be an in depth root-cause analysis that gets published by Apple?
Leopard Support Still Pretty Spotty
Here is the next installment in my Leopard upgrade woes saga.
I spent most of Sunday morning searching around for any resolution on the Apple support site and the Internet in general. Found lots of people having the same problem, a few that had no problem at all, but nothing by way of solid solution. One thing that seemed to work for a few folks was to select an install option that only did a base install, no additional fonts, printer drivers, X11, etc. I thought if I could get at least that far it would suit my purposes. So I initiated this bare-bones install and it proceeds without a hitch. Just as I am about to declare victory (within 2 minutes of completion), I am rewarded with this gem:
The source media you are installing from is damaged.
Try installing from a different copy of the source media or contact the manufacturer for a replacement.
Again, this is so not what you want to see after the install program spent 45 minutes ‘validating’ that the install media was good before it initiated the install.
Right. So still a few hours before the AppleCare phone lines open, I thought of another way to test out the media. I put the G5 that I was trying to update into Firewire target mode (hold down T while the system is booting) and ran the install media from the Intel Duo that I had successfully updated on Friday. Of course this won’t work to produce a viable boot image on the G5, but it should tell me 1) can I complete another install on the G5 using the same media and 2) is there some hardware component on the G5 that is hampering the install. I am beginning to suspect the DVD drive or possibly the hard drive itself. However, running the most current version of Apple’s recommended diagnostic tool TechTool Deluxe repeatedly on the G5 showed no errors or warnings of any sort. The target mode install was successful, but as I stated previously, would not yield a bootable G5 because of the cross architecture install (Intel->PPC). I am now more confident that the media is not the issue.
After killing time trying various options until the AppleCare support line opened, it was time to open another call on my existing case with Apple. After sitting on hold for 47 minutes (noted from the call timer on my phone) I finally get a live person. I gave him my case number and he went away for about 8 minutes to read the case notes to date. Then he comes back on and it faltering English, reads back the notes to me and asks me if they are correct. Of course they are. When I ask what the next step was he put me on hold again for 4 minutes, came back on the line and asked me if this was something to do with installing Leopard(!). Sigh. Yes. Well, then, I would need to speak with a product specialist. I then get dumped into another call queue. Where I sit for another 48 minutes without even so much as a ‘call volumes are high’ message. At one hour on hold, I grab the other phone and call back in to AppleCare on line 2. After 36 minutes on hold, someone answers on line 2 (still nothing on the specialist queue). They review my case notes and ask what the product specialist advised. I told them that I didn’t know because I am still still on hold now for just shy of 2 hours waiting for a product specialist. I request that this case be escalated because this is now the fifth time I have called. I am told ‘there is nothing that can be done’. I ask for a supervisor and am told that is not possible either. So this is what you get for premium support?
After three hours and 12 minutes on hold a ‘specialist’ answers the line. She (yet again) reads the case notes back to me and asks a few questions. Then she wants all of the serial numbers off of the spindle of the DVD disc, product numbers and other details off of the box. I suspect part of this was to try to determine if I was using some kind of bootleg install media. At this point she proclaims that it is probably the install media. I remind her of the test that I had conducted and the successful install I had on the Intel box. Silence on the other end of the phone. I even pointed out to her that the DVD drives were the same base unit (PIONEER DVD-RW) with different firmware. She then asks me to go into system profiler and tell her what the DVD drive specs where. Sigh. I reminded her that I had just given her that information literally 10 seconds ago. I am then instructed to go to the nearest Apple store and give them the case number and they will give me a new set of media (ie she is not investigating the drive angle at all). I ask what I need to take with me to the store (a 30 minute drive) the G5? the install disc? serial numbers? No, I am told, you just need the case number.
On to the Apple store in the mall. I walk to the back of the store to the Genius Bar. No one behind the bar dares make eye contact. I see three employees standing around shooting the breeze, so I approach the group. One of them asks if I need anything. I explain my situation, reference the case number and that I was sent here to get replacement install media for Leopard. He wrinkles his nose, stares at his shoes and says ‘we don’t do that here’. WTF! After I press him, clearly losing my patience, he goes back to the Genius Bar and talk to some peachfuzz, who glances up at me slightly, shrugs his shoulders and the other guy motions me over. Starts asking me questions about when and where I bought my G5. I cut him off and try to focus him on the fact that AppleCare support sent me here to get new media because they think it is the cause of the install failure (and now dead Mac). Oh, you want a copy of Leopard? We can get you one, if you give us the old media back. WTF! I asked explicitly about this and was told that I didn’t need to bring the old media.
Sensing my growing frustration he offers to have me speak with the manager. She tells me (prophetically) ‘service and sales are different organizations, we can’t give you anything without getting the old media first’. I explain that AppleCare assured me that I didn’t need to return the media and that if I buy a second copy it leaves them open to refusing to accept it as a return because it would have been opened. She offers ‘but you’ll have a case number’. I point out that I have a case number now and it does seem to be buying me much. Blink. Blink blink. Nothing, she just stares at me.
I tell both of them, that I have the G5 in the car — can I just bring it in and see if the new disc installs (so we can eliminate that canard in the support process)? Uh, yes, if I buy a copy of Leopard because ‘service doesn’t have their own copy’. What! Why would I buy one when I was supposed to get a replacement for free. Her logic was: I could buy it and if the install worked I could return it and if it didn’t work, then I could return it. I pointed out that if the end result was that I was going to return it, why did I have to buy it to begin with? Apparently, she was so desperate to get credit for a sale she would stoop to hatching such a farcical scheme. She was saved from certain death by the guy who I originally talked to. He said jumped in and offered ‘Look, let me talk with the guys in the back and see what we can do’. Meanwhile the ‘manager’ is just standing there, saying nothing, doing nothing. Blink. Blink.
I haul the G5 in from the car, through the mall, back to the Bar. I sit for about 15 minutes, then they finally get to me in the ‘standby’ queue. The three names before me were apparently no-shows. So the guy behind the Bar starts asking me about the issue. But wait; here comes the guy who was the third name on the list. While he is still three feet away from the counter, he pulls his iPhone out of his pocket and launches it in a clean arch in front of him, clattering to a stop on the bar top in front of him. Bar guy cheerily says, ‘I guess I’ll deal with you both at the same time…’ iPhone boy sneers at him ‘No, finish what you are doing so you can focus on my issue, this is the third f**king time I have been here…’ Bar guy suggests that iPhone boy talk to the manager (blink, blink) and goes off to wrangle her into what is shaping up to be at least her second near-death experience of the day.
Bar guy returns to me and I cover what the issue is, give him the case number and reiterate that I am here because AppleCare thinks the issue is the install media. After he hears the parts about the successful installs on the Intel box and the Firewire target install, he just shakes his head and says ‘its not the install media’. He tells me, ‘we will install from the service copy of Leopard that we have — you don’t have to buy another copy’ as he sweeps the Leopard retail box (that the manager had thoughtfully left for me) off the counter. Hmm, ‘service copy’ — didn’t Blinky just tell me they didn’t even have one of those? Liar.
Initial diagnostics appear to point to the volume layout on the disc. He tells me that they can ‘see bits and pieces of all of the install attempts that I had made and that was probably what was causing the problem. WTF! In the course of trying to get the install to work, I had re-partitioned the drive several times. It anything was left directory-wise after that, I would be amazed. Anyway, they think they have the directory and partition sorted out and they are going to do the install of Leopard. An hour or so later we return and are told it will take another 45 minutes or so for the install to wrap up. Unfortunately, we need to leave to pick up my daughter. As much as I would like to take the G5 home, I am out of time. I make arrangements to pick it up first thing on Monday morning.
Before we even get home, the Apple store had left a message saying that they had found some other hardware issues and need to order parts (disc drive among them). Might be until Wednesday until the unit is ready. From 45 minutes to 3 days is quite a variation in estimate. In any case, it sounds like they are on to something. Hopefully, I have a working, upgraded Leopard-toting G5 sometime this week. So the Apple store manager was right, sales and service are different — sale’s only concern is making a buck, service is there to keep the customer happy. I am waiting for my day to be happy about Apple customer service.
Leopard Is Damage If You Are On PowerPC — Do not install
I have just spent a very frustrating 8 hours trying to upgrade an iMac that was purchase just 3 short months before the shift to Intel processors. My discovery is, it won’t upgrade, it won’t Archive and Install and it won’t Erase and Install on PowerPC hardware very reliably.
The puzzling thing is, the install was nearly flawlessly on my recent vintage dual processor Mac. When I attempted the same on a recent vintage PPC, it has been hours of frustration. Apparently, the Apple support robots are programmed to tell you that you must Archive and Install, rather than upgrade. Note: I will post a verbatim dialogue with Apple support on this topic in the near future — it does not reflect well on Apple’s outsourced support.
I don’t understand how the install can spend 45 minutes validating the install media and then tell me within 2 minutes of trying the actual install that:
The installer could not validate the contents of the ‘base system’ package. Contact software manufacturer for assistance.
Uh, that’s you Apple. I also love that, even though I have an Applecare protection plan on the system in question, when I call support I get a message that basically states that Apple can’t deal with the call volume of their current cluster f**k, try again later. Click! That’s what I get for buying a ‘premium’ support plan?
I suspect that this is something to do with poor QA on the non-Intel install packages. I will attempt another update on an Intel-based system tomorrow. If that works, I will be convinced that non-Intel install media is suspect and all should exercise necessary caution.
Apple have managed to go from 7-8 years of near flawless OS upgrades to a Microsoft grade f**kup. Steve Jobs, please focus on your base and don’t sacrifice the quality of the core OS for the iPhone. I have basically bricked one of my iMacs with no relief in sight. I don’t anticipate that Apple will get off their asses until Monday to float some damage control on this one. Sad.