• The Tiger Report: Mac OS 10.4.7 and Counting

    June 28th, 2006

    You’d think that after nearly 14 months, updates for Tiger would settle down, but alas that’s not to be. On Tuesday afternoon, yet another update, rather a substantial one, appeared in the Software Update preference panels. As usual, the liner notes only indicate a fairly modest number of changes, but a Knowledge Base document is a lot more informative.

    There are separate PowerPC and Intel versions, plus one for Tiger Server, but here’s the short list:

    The 10.4.7 Update is recommended for all users and includes general operating system fixes, as well as specific fixes for the following applications and technologies.

    It includes fixes for:

    • preventing AFP deadlocks and dropped connections
    • saving Adobe and Quark documents to AFP mounted volumes
    • Bluetooth file transfers, pairing and connecting to a Bluetooth mouse, and syncing to mobile phones
    • audio playback in QuickTime, iTunes, Final Cut Pro, and Soundtrack Pro applications
    • ensuring icons are spaced correctly when viewed on desktop
    • determining the space required to burn folders
    • iChat audio and video connectivity, creating chat rooms when using AIM
    • importing files into Keynote 3
    • PDF workflows when using iCal and iPhoto
    • reliable use of Automator actions within workflows
    • importing and removing fonts in Font Book
    • syncing addresses, bookmarks, calendar events and files to .Mac
    • compatibility with third party applications and devices
    • previous standalone security updates

    Depending on your situation, some of these changes are particularly significant. My main concern is the fact that Apple is still wrestling with network problems after all this time and all these updates. Even those irritating connection issues with iChat should have been resolved before this.

    In fact, the entire Knowledge Base document lists over 70 “improvements” and that doesn’t include the security issues, which are detailed in yet another document.

    The upgrades are positively huge and growing. The “Delta” updates from 10.4.6 weigh in at 64MB for the PowerPC version and 131MB for the Intel version. However, your Software Update list may deliver an update of a different size, which makes it doubly difficult to deploy that update on a network with different types of Macs. If you have older versions of Tiger, you’ll be eligible for the Combo updates, which are 192MB and 215MB. Considering that millions of you don’t have broadband connections yet, updates may be difficult if not impossible to retrieve; that is, unless there’s a nearby Apple Store, a cooperative third party dealer, or a friend with a fast connection.

    Once again, I hope Apple will consider setting up a program where you can order monthly or quarterly CD or DVD updates to your operating system, maybe as part of your Mac OS X purchase, or as a separate subscription. I’ll have more to say about that subject in my next Leopard wish list.

    Until the initial chatter about 10.4.7 is posted, though, it may be a good idea not to rush out and run the update on your Mac. True, previous Tiger updates have been pretty reliable for most of you, but there’s always the potential for trouble, particularly when so many fixes are involved. After a few days, it should be obvious if there are any show-stopping issues with the potential to affect you.

    Some cautious troubleshooters suggest that you also take a few precautions before you run any update of this complexity. You may, for example, want to run the Repair Disk Permissions feature of Disk Utility before and after the update. Some recommend that FireWire devices be dismounted and disconnected from your Mac before the 10.4.7 installer runs.

    You should also make sure that all Apple applications are placed loose in the Applications folder and not buried in another folder. While the installer ought to be “smart” enough to find the applications anyway, this is a precaution worth taking. As for myself, I recommend quitting all your other applications too, although I haven’t gone so far as to remove any peripheral devices.

    My biggest hope, of course, is that all of the fixes in 10.4.7 will not deliver new problems, and also that Apple can concentrate now on working full steam on Mac OS 10.5 Leopard without any further sidesteps into the past. And, yes, Tiger will soon be the best, as are all operating systems that preceded it.

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    7 Responses to “The Tiger Report: Mac OS 10.4.7 and Counting”

    1. Norman Brooks says:

      I was an early adopter, but rue the day. I downloaded and installed 10.4.7 using Software Update. After the restart, OS X began loading, the completion bar reached its end, and 3 minutes later nothing else had happened! The completion bar was still showing on the screen. I shut down the computer and tried again (twice) with the same results, so I restored back to 10.4.6 from a backup.
      Now I’ll wait to see how it goes with others before I try it again. Perhaps I’ll try the combo route next time.

    2. Steven says:

      Updated today, imac g4, no problems as yet.
      It did take a long time to restart(twice) and then a blue screen for a couple of minutes after the loading os x screen disappeared which was a bit scary.

    3. It did take a long time to restart(twice) and then a blue screen for a couple of minutes after the loading os x screen disappeared which was a bit scary.

      The slow startup symptom is normal for these sorts of updates. The double restart, on PowerPC models, is documented by Apple in its online liner notes on a number of 10.4.x maintenance releases.

      Glad to hear things are going well for you. It’s A.O.K. here as well.


    4. Karl says:

      On my iBook (A measly 600MHz) I got an error message after the update downloaded and installed. Restarted and got the normal grey screen with the Apple logo. It then proceeded to sit there for about an hour and a half. I had to shut it down. (leaving work) Started it again once I got home and it came right up.

      At that point, the “About this Mac” said it was updated, but I was a bit worried. In the error message, it said to drag the updater package out of the trash and re-apply. So I did just that with no problems or slow start up.

      Well after that I was a bit gun-shy about updating my PowerMac (2.3GHz) but threw caution to the wind and went ahead and did the update. After downloading and updating start up went relatively fast. (No hour long wait at the start up screen) In fact in about 5min. I was logging in and working.

      So I wonder if the megahertz difference caused such a slow start up proccess?

    5. Tom says:

      After the last update went so smoothly, I rushed in and updated to 10.4.7. Oh, I regret that now! I have a dual 2ghz G5 which was running beautifully until… It took an incredibly long time to restart, but then things seemed ok. I put it to sleep and then the trouble started. The fan started whirring like a jet engine whine, slowing building as the RPMs increased. At the peak I could here it two rooms away. I tried waking it up, no response. I tried everything I could think of before using a hard shutdown. I started it up the next morning, it took almost an hour before the all of the systems loaded in and I coulsd use anything. At the opening of an app, the drives make a slow rythmic clicking sound while displaying the beach ball. Slowly the apps would open and I could use them, but not like before. I also noticed that Font Book suddenly had many new fonts I had not loaded. They were foreign language fonts, Arabic, Hebrew, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. I deleted them. Nothing helped. Ran Onyx and Disk Warrior, still the same problems. It was like the speeds reverted back to my old beige 8600.

      Any advice for this? Very upset that apple can’t get this right.

    6. marios says:

      I’m having trouble with that update, uncertain though weather from this one or the previous one.
      I had already been running in stealth mode with the Firewall on and pretty much everything disabled that imposes security risks as FTP access and so on.
      Now I decided to enable Personal Websharing on the Services Pane. When doing so the System prefs will stall and the only way out is to force-quit.


    7. dr bognus says:

      I just put this on, the mhz doesn’t matter, i just upgraded from 10.4.1 using a 500mhz G3

      i think you’ve just gotta leave the computer for about ten minutes and see if it’s done anything, now it seems to be running fine

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