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  • Newsletter #418 Preview: I’m Ticked Off By Shoddy Tech Journalism

    December 2nd, 2007

    Some tech pundits, such as John Dvorak, seem to exist solely to push the right buttons and get hits by writing sheer nonsense. They figure that, if you piss off enough people, they’ll respond by complaining and drawing more attention to their stuff.It may be a masochistic approach, but I think the real motive is greed. If they bring more traffic to their publishers, they can command more dollars for their work. Or just bask in the glow of their ill-gotten 15 minutes of fame.

    A recent entrant into this questionable group is Oliver Rist, who writes for PC Magazine. In a column entitled, “Leopard is the New Vista and It’s Pissing Me Off,” he demonstrates quite clearly that there are few facts he can’t mangle, and lots of examples of sheer ignorance that make you wonder why that publication actually released this piece of sheer trash into the wild.

    No I’m not about the say that Leopard is the perfect operating system. Lord knows that there’s no way any point-zero release will be trouble-free right out of the box. There will be conflicts with third-party software, and various degrees of flakiness.

    Lest you forget, Tiger was somewhat ragged at the outset too. That’s perfectly understandable, and such issues usually diminish rapidly after a maintenance update or two.

    Story continued in this week’s Tech Night Owl Newsletter.



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    12 Responses to “Newsletter #418 Preview: I’m Ticked Off By Shoddy Tech Journalism”

    1. Lantrix says:

      How far does one have to take tech reporting, even blogging, before its considered journalism?
      In this case do you consider shoddy to be only for the traditional journalist (aka Big Media) or for the new frontier of ‘citizen journalism’, being tech bloggers?

      Back to the core content here – I have not upgraded to 10.5 yet, but have seen some friends do so, and they get up to 6 crashes a day. I too agree that this is to be expected with a dot zero release O/S, even a .1 release. If its not stable by 10.5.3, then things need to be sorted quick.

    2. Spencerian says:

      As Gene can attest (and so can I, with years of Mac OS experience), early adopting is frought with issue, now more than ever with the complexity of OS X and Leopard’s changes. By update 3, stability should be OK, but note that many user issues involve upgrading over the existing OS (this is a MAJOR no-no since this is the most likely cause for most issues), or third-party apps with significant incompatibilities (buttons and windows have changed, affecting many apps, and any OS 9 legacy code that would run fine before cannot now as OS 9 support is fully purged). I’m happy that others have taken the plunge, but I’ll leave my MacBook at 10.4.10 as my workstation and let my older MDD G4 try out Leopard for kinks for now.

      As for “shoddy journalism,” I ignore blogs when the writer uses themselves as a source. That’s classically poor use of the media, since its basically opinion. Unless he sources more people than himself, Dvorak and other bloggers are just opinion makers, nothing more. Your mileage with Leopard may vary, and, if installed cleanly, with older apps installed with care, it should work fine, limited to the known bugs that Leopard has that aren’t necessarily bad. Updating Leopard over an existing Tiger install is like working on your car engine while it’s running. Don’t do it.

    3. As Gene can attest (and so can I, with years of Mac OS experience), early adopting is frought with issue, now more than ever with the complexity of OS X and Leopard’s changes. By update 3, stability should be OK, but note that many user issues involve upgrading over the existing OS (this is a MAJOR no-no since this is the most likely cause for most issues), or third-party apps with significant incompatibilities (buttons and windows have changed, affecting many apps, and any OS 9 legacy code that would run fine before cannot now as OS 9 support is fully purged). I’m happy that others have taken the plunge, but I’ll leave my MacBook at 10.4.10 as my workstation and let my older MDD G4 try out Leopard for kinks for now.

      As for “shoddy journalism,” I ignore blogs when the writer uses themselves as a source. That’s classically poor use of the media, since its basically opinion. Unless he sources more people than himself, Dvorak and other bloggers are just opinion makers, nothing more. Your mileage with Leopard may vary, and, if installed cleanly, with older apps installed with care, it should work fine, limited to the known bugs that Leopard has that aren’t necessarily bad. Updating Leopard over an existing Tiger install is like working on your car engine while it’s running. Don’t do it.

      I think if you have an unmodified system and don’t add lots of third-party stuff, upgrade installations do succeed. In fact, most people do it this way. Problems occur whenever you tamper with Mother Nature or pride yourself as the power user who does no wrong. You see, the real power user knows at least enough not to get into that sort of trouble. 🙂

      Peace,
      Gene

    4. Anonymous says:

      Boy this sure is the pot calling the kettle black.

    5. pabugeater says:

      “Back to the core content here – I have not upgraded to 10.5 yet, but have seen some friends do so, and they get up to 6 crashes a day. I too agree that this is to be expected with a dot zero release O/S, even a .1 release. If its not stable by 10.5.3, then things need to be sorted quick.”

      This is not believable, there is something wrong with your friends’ setup. And it’s not to be expected for an Apple “dot zero” release, either. Here are the machines I have upgraded, and they all run “crashless”:

      1 x early 2005 15” 1.5 GHz G4 PowerBook
      2 x late 2007 24” 2.8 GHz Intel iMac
      1 x late 2007 24” 2.4 GHz Intel iMac
      1 x early 2003 17” 1.0 GHz G4 iMac
      1 x late 2004 17” 1.9 GHz G5 iMac / iSight
      1 x late 2002 17” 1.0 GHz G4 PowerBook
      1 x late 2000 headless 0.5 GHz G4 Cube (unsupported in Leopard)
      1 x mid 2002 17” 0.8 GHz G4 iMac (unsupported in Leopard)

      QED, Leopard rules.

    6. Boy this sure is the pot calling the kettle black.

      Is that like providing fake email addresses when you post, which is, evidently, what you’ve done?

      So we call your message a fact-less fake from someone without the courage to admit who they are, right? 🙂

      Peace,
      Gene

    7. David says:

      I installed Leopard the first weekend it came out using my usual method: buy a new hard drive, install OS, migrate users and applications from previous drive. Since then Mail has crashed once and Safari twice doing perfectly normal things.

      There does seem to be a major problem with an ATI component, however. Until I disabled ATI Monitor in the Login Items I was greeted with a crash report dialog every morning. Disabling it hasn’t had any noticeable effect other than the getting rid of the crash messages.

      G5 2.7DP with stock Radeon 9650.

    8. Tom Hughes says:

      Gene wrote…
      “I think if you have an unmodified system and don’t add lots of third-party stuff, upgrade installations do succeed.”
      I can attest to that statement.
      I have now UPGRADED two machines, an Early iMac 2Ghz G5 and an iMac 1.83Ghz Intel Core Duo without problems. I’m not a power tweaker so maybe that is why the machines took the upgrades so well and continue to work with only minor anomalies.
      Multiple crashes daily may be haunting some folks, but the fault doesn’t lie with the OS it’s more likely a hardware issue or serious third party software conflict.

    9. Andrew says:

      I remember doing an “upgrade” from 7.1 to 7.5 and having a bunch of problems. Ditto when OS 8 came along, and then again going from 10.3 to 10.4. On the PC I had decent luck upgrading from Windows 3.1 to Windows 95, but since then, be it 98, 2000 or XP, upgrades always are slow, behave strangely and are unstable.

      For me, clean install is mandatory when I move to a new OS, or even a major application suite. I waited to install Office 2007 on my PCs until Windows Vista was released and then did a clean install of both. My Macs are all ready for Leopard and I’m quite eager to install it, but with Office 2008 just around the corner, I’m forcing myself to wait.

      I know my “never upgrade” policy is probably extreme, but never once has a clean install given me trouble. I still have an old ThinkPad in my office from 1998 that came with Windows 95 installed, and which is still running the clean installation of Windows 2000 and Office 2000 that I put on in 1999. That computer is still fast, stable and doesn’t have any “quirks” like upgrade installs can. My PowerMac G4 (Sawtooth) is still absolutely stable with its clean install of Tiger, and with any luck, it will be just as solid with Leopard.

    10. Lantrix says:

      This is not believable, there is something wrong with your friends’ setup. And it’s not to be expected for an Apple “dot zero” release, either. Here are the machines I have upgraded, and they all run “crashless”:

      He is on a MacBook Pro and given his windows background is the sort of person whom starts fresh on all installs. However, the issues appear to be with 3rd party software providers; i.e. Parallels, Microsoft, etc. I believe he said 10.5.1 or later is already out and that in conjunction with other provider updates has made it more stable.

      Myself I’ll probably get Leopard when the new Mac arrives. Thanks for the stability report.

    11. pabugeater says:

      This is not believable, there is something wrong with your friends’ setup. And it’s not to be expected for an Apple “dot zero” release, either. Here are the machines I have upgraded, and they all run “crashless”:

      He is on a MacBook Pro and given his windows background is the sort of person whom starts fresh on all installs. However, the issues appear to be with 3rd party software providers; i.e. Parallels, Microsoft, etc. I believe he said 10.5.1 or later is already out and that in conjunction with other provider updates has made it more stable.

      Myself I’ll probably get Leopard when the new Mac arrives. Thanks for the stability report.

      Oh, OK, then it’s mostly not the OS I take it 🙂 With regards to my Leopard updates, I’m writing them all up. Several were plain and simple Tiger -> Leopard upgrades, not archive installs or erase installs. Although in the past I would never think of upgrading from one big cat to another, when the Leopard installer itself suggested “Upgrade”, I did just that. No problems.

      Good luck on your upgrade.

    12. I pre-ordered Leopard and installed it the day it arrived. Ran problem-free for 21 days between restarts with more than 20 programs running. Now at 10.5.1 and working more productively than on Tiger. With Spaces and Time Machine I wouldn’t consider going back to Tiger.

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