Saturday, September 12, 2009

Snow Leopard - wait it out

I pre-ordered Apple's latest OS, Snow Leopard and got it the day it
came out. Thanks to some FedEx fiasco's I didnt install until the next
day but I think I still qualify as an early adopter. I have to say i'm
seriously disappointed. The quality and compatibility is poor. Worse
than any other release i've experienced from Apple. Here's some of
what i've seen:

1) Many applications are incompatible and not yet updated. Perhaps you
can blame developers for not being on top of things, but I think not.
I expected PPC apps to have an issue as this is an intel only release,
but I was shocked at the number of apps that broke even though they
had intel support. Here's a short list:

Medialink, EyeTV, Growl, ScanSnap, 1Password, Contribute, and many more

Why did so many apps break? Why didn't apple warn people in advance?
The upgrade from PPC to Intel machines was smoother.

2) I've seen several "black screen of death" events where I must power
cycle the machine. I was perfectly stable before that. For the record
the machine I saw that on I did a complete wipe (disk format) and
fresh install of Snow Leopard and then only installed the latest
versions of apps I needed. Can't blame some less tested upgrade path
for that one.

3) I've had many hangs in Mail and Safari where I have to force quit
the apps. Didn't have those issues before the upgrade. This is a fresh
install, Apples apps and basic ones. Quality Control?

4) We've seen some odd behavior -- VPN to work using Apple's native
VPN to a Cisco firewall worked great before Snow Leopard. After the
upgrade DNS doesnt work. You can connect but you cant resolve anything
on the other end so you end up having to edit /etc/hosts and add
systems by hand. How'd they brake that one? And why? (multiple people
have experienced this)

5) Some vendors, like the Agile folks, makers of 1Password, have
chosen to use this as an opportunity to charge for an upgrade and not
support you unless you upgrade. Considering i'd owned 1Password for
less than 10 months I was shocked to see them require me to pay for an
upgrade. On all other fronts the Agile team is amazing but this
decision is flat out wrong. Others have gone down that route and
you'll be paying for upgrades to apps that worked fine prior to Snow
Leopard. The OS may be cheap ($29) but the time sink and the apps you
have to pay to upgrade are not.

So i've had issues, what about the good stuff? Um, what good stuff?
Frankly I haven't noticed a performance improvement and the
frustrations of a semi-stable OS wipes that out anyway. There are a
few very minor visual improvements, but fundamentally almost nothing
is noticeably different.

Its too late for me now, but I wish I had waited 6 months+ to upgrade.
Not the normal experience with Apple.