Apple Fix Tiger: Waiting for 10.4.2

by C.K. Sample III May 31, 2005

This is pathetic. It’s time for me to write an Apple Matters article and there’s nothing new and great to write about. Just more complaints about how rough around the edges Tiger remains, a little over a month after its release and a full update later. We have 10.4.1 now, but things are still somewhat askew. 

Apple seems to be “pulling a Windows.” Rather than addressing the problems in Tiger, they are ignoring them publicly and talking about all the new features to distract us from the truth. They recently announced a new version of iTunes with support for podcasts. That’s great, but where is it and in the meantime why can I no longer transfer pictures and files via iChat since I upgraded to Tiger? Why does Spotlight decide to bring the Finder to a screeching halt every once-in-a-while? Why does iPhoto crash every third time I launch it?

Safari RSS would be a neat feature if it worked consistently. At least once a week it seems to either forget that it is supposed to be checking for new posts in the feeds, or it becomes fully unable to load the 1375 new stories that are queued. As a result, I have to close Safari / restart Safari, disable / reenable RSS, reboot Tiger, or trash my prefs. These are the four separate solutions I’ve had come to the four different times this has happened.

After doing all the installation bits the wrong way, I went back and did them again the right way and I am still having problems. And I’m a guru! I can’t imagine what kind of problems Tiger may be causing for some of the new to Mac people who ran with hope-filled eyes towards Apple and a good riddance to their virus and spyware plagued Windows world. I mean, sure, it is still better, but if it’s frustrating me, I cannot imagine what it is doing to them.

Things I want to change about Tiger:

  • I want to be able to turn the Dashboard off. It’s a memory hog.
  • I want to have an option to prevent Spotlight from indexing external drives. The other day, when I hooked my digital camera into my Powerbook, for some inexplicable reason, Spotlight decided to try to index the compact flash card inside the camera and my Powerbook came to a screeching halt.
  • I want Safari RSS to work consistently.
  • I want file and image transfer in iChat back.

I do like the new though. When it works, I like Spotlight. I like that screenshots default to PNG now.  There are good things about Tiger. I just wish there weren’t as many bugs. I want Apple to get a move on and make everything in Tiger as stable as OS X was for me in the later versions of Panther. 

Do that before you add new features to iTunes, Apple. Please.


  • Ugggggh not another Tiger article.

    Dashboard is a hog only when you use it right? And since it’s very modal you wouldn’t really be doing other things while widgets are loaded. I thought I remember seeing that the memory usage while the Widgets aren’t on screen is minimal.

    Spotlight does need more controls and fast. Apple’s QA engineers hopefully saw this problem a while ago and have a fix forthcoming.

    Safari RSS is probably the poorest RSS UI you’ll see. I like that Apple is giving RSS some attention but I’d rather use Newsfire or other 3rd party aggregators.

    I expect Tiger will be liquidy smooth around 10.4.5 I won’t have my new Mac until January so I’m stuck regardless.

    hmurchison had this to say on Jun 01, 2005 Posts: 145
  • The Dashboard memory hog comment is interesting.  I’m sure I heard soooo many people say Dashboard would be better than Konfabulator because it wouldn’t be such a resource hog… Hmmm

    Well, after watching the Activity Monitor for a while and seeing that not only were Dashboard widgets hogging memory, but the auto update ones were also hogging CPU, I turned off those - eg Weather, Unit Converter (it checks currencies), Stocks etc.

    I only have the Calculator and Calendar active now.

    This of course, flies in the face of the pre-Tiger talk that widgets would be little apps that sit idly in the background until you need them.

    I run both Konfabulator and Dashboard. Given they both chew resources, if I had to choose, I’d probably prefer Konfabulator, because I like that Widgets are visible all the time. If Konfabultor had a decent calculator Widget, I wouldn’t use Dashboard at all. 

    On the other hand, if Dashboard wasn’t such a resource hog, I might ditch Konfabulator instead.

    As far as Safari RSS goes… I love it and have had no problems with it because from day one I set it up to use NetNewsWire Lite as my default newsreader.

    Chris Howard had this to say on Jun 01, 2005 Posts: 1209
  • My gripe with Tiger is the .Mac syncing.  Before Tiger was released, so much was being said of how .Mac was being integrated into the OS and now synching would be seamless.  Well, ever since I upgraded to Tiger, I’ve received nothing but errors every time I’ve tried to sync my .Mac account with my home machine. 

    All I can say is that my membership will be coming due here soon and I may just skip it and “roll my own” .Mac services instead if they don’t get this syncing problem fixed.  And that’s saying quite a bit considering that I just wrote a very nice review of .Mac about 6 months prior.

    Chris had this to say on Jun 01, 2005 Posts: 5
  • My issue is simple..prior to Tiger ZERO crashes of any applications..since Tiger several a day…what happens to those send reports to Apple anyway?

    Kevin E. McKenna had this to say on Jun 01, 2005 Posts: 3
  • I can’t imagine what kind of problems Tiger may be causing for some of the new to Mac people who ran with hope-filled eyes towards Apple and a good riddance to their virus and spyware plagued Windows world.

    While I can’t imagine that these people exist in quite as many numbers as Mac enthusiasts would like to believe, I’m going to take an unusual tack and actually defend Tiger on behalf of the casual OSX user. 

    Like most users, I don’t use RSS that much.  I couldn’t tell you the difference between the speed of the machine with Widgets showing or not showing.  I’m just not INTO squeezing every last drop of power out of my machine (which is good, because I own a Mac mini and there’s not much to squeeze).  I do what I’ve got to do on OSX and then I get out.  Wham, bam, thank you ma’am, and for that it works fine.  I’ve had two or three force quits since upgrading, which isn’t above normal compared to Panther.

    Besides, there are many bigger annoyances and disappointments for the user totally new to Mac for these minor little problems to be much of an issue.

    Beeblebrox had this to say on Jun 01, 2005 Posts: 2220
  • Btw, I love that photo.

    Beeblebrox had this to say on Jun 01, 2005 Posts: 2220
  • Thanks for testing 10.4 for me.  I always wait for someone else to test it first.

    What's the Frequency Kenneth? had this to say on Jun 01, 2005 Posts: 11
  • Just a couple of notes from a new user. I have run into nearly no problems with Tiger upgrading from Panther. The only problem I was having with Safari sometimes crashing were fixed with 10.4.1. I use RSS daily in Safari, but I guess I don’t read tens of thousands of feeds, so it performs without problem for me.

    Finally, as a former Windows user, I laughed when I saw the specs for the Mac’s when I bought mine. 256MB for a modern operating system shouldn’t be taken seriously. I upgraded to 1GB right away, and have been very happy with that decision. I suspect a lot of problems people see on the Mac is because they actually believe Apple when they say the OS runs in 256 or even 512MB of RAM.

    wrecklass had this to say on Jun 01, 2005 Posts: 2
  • Dashboard is a hog? People keep telling me that but I don’t see it. I have two different weather widgets, the dictionary, and a notepad widget active. When I look for activity on them I see 0% until I activate Dashboard…and then quickly back down to 0% active I put it away. As for memory, who the hell cares? If the memory used by widgets is needed it gets swapped out.

    Want to bitch about Dashboard? Bitch about the time it takes from hitting the hotkey to the time you can actually use the widgets. By the way, that time doesn’t seem to be related to how much memory the computer has. On my 2 gig G5 and my work 1 gig G5 running the same applications and widgets…the time is the same.

    You are off the mark on Spotlight too. Why do you care if Spotlight does or doesn’t index? What you should be caring about is the fact that if you set indexing off for any drive or folder it also makes ANY kind of searching impossible. Spotlight kills the Finder? Dude, I am sitting here with a G3 iBook running Spotlight and I cannot complain about Spotlight’s index speed. Searching speed is another issue.

    RSS and Safari? Come on, get a real aggregator. But if you want to complain, complain that Safari doesn’t provide enough information in the blurbs. But again, NetNews Lite is what you want if you are too cheap to buy the full version.

    And back to Spotlight - spend some more time with Spotlight and do a real article about its shortcomings. Especially since Apple Nazirators I mean moderators keep killing off the important threads.

    davidwb had this to say on Jun 01, 2005 Posts: 32
  • For Chris Howard: If you hold [option]-click on a widget and then hit your Dashboard activation key (or one of the Expose keys), the widget will pop to the top and will always be visible. To reverse, simply repeat (this time on Dashboard key will work though). Alternately, you can close the widget by holding [option] to make the close button to appear (also true for widgets when Dashboard is visible).

    For davidwb: The fact that Dashboard is taking the same time on the 1gig (real model-?) and 2gig G5’s seems to suggest exactly what you are arguing against - that Dashboard relies on memmory to run. Can’t be certain since you didn’t indicate if the two models had different amounts of RAM.

    switchtomac had this to say on Jun 01, 2005 Posts: 3
  • I’m with the first submitter on this..another Tiger story -groan - although the author points on that not much is occuring at the moment.

    Not wanting to sound too happy, but I’m experiencing none of the aforementioned problems highlighted here. Spotlight has indexed and runs fast (i have a quick machine admittedly). Safari is ok and still quick (still into firefox myself) but the RSS still doesn’t compare to NetNewsWire. iTunes connected first time on fresh install to the home stereo. Widgets are okay as well, but obviously in the early days of development - 3 months from now someone will be writing a round-up article on the ‘must-haves’. As for crashing applications - which ones? Adobe, Macromedia, Cinema and MS Office all work fine for me, plus the multitude of other apps I use regularly…Although I do have one gripe, Entourage (or the Exchange / Win2k (LDAP) server at work) has trouble remembering my LAN password. (If anyone has or knows of a fix for that I’ll be a pig in..stuff.) Scooby.

    Forget about the niggles or do a comepletely fresh install including applications.

    Scooby had this to say on Jun 02, 2005 Posts: 1
  • Dashboard is in a lot of ways like the Dock. It will be much maligned in its career.

    Apple designers and engineers seem to like to put UI tools - with a very limited scope of functionality.

    This works great, like iTunes, pre-iTMS. And even the Dock is a great limited-use tool.

    When people complain (with or without merit) it is when they want those tools to go well beyond their designed purpose.

    You could say this is how Apple wants it - they don’t want to overload the basic feature sets, and the limitations also breed 3rd party innovations of necessity.

    Dashboard is lacking everything that Konfabulator has. But Konfabulator is missing the feture of being built on Webcore, and is too openen ended and esoteric. Already, Dashboard has as many widgets as Konfabulator does, and its been out for two years.

    As for the instability: what good does it do for Apple to talk about the bad things?? No one in the history of selling software has ever profited by talking about the bugs.

    That aside, I am sure if you have a ADC membership - the forums are alive with Apple engineering feedback and questions answered.

    At the very least, I would check out the excellent Tiger review over on Ars.Technica John Siracusa nearly exhaustively documents (and does so in the PDF full-text article) the under-the-hood changes, where Apple has finally frozen the APIs for developers so the future of 10.x will be stable. Apple has always maintained that frameworks and api’s will be unstable until this version.

    10.4 is unstable, many (Apple and 3rd party) applications have not caught up to the core technology changes. Should Apple have released Tiger to only early adopters and not to their entire customer base? I don’t think so. Everyone reading this site is an early adopter, Mom, Grandma will probably never get Tiger until they get a new Mac. And new Macs will not have 3rd party app instability nor screwy OS installs/upgrades.

    Nathan had this to say on Jun 02, 2005 Posts: 219
  • Probably the same people that is complaining about the crappyness of Tiger here now is the same people that were hurrying up the release of it. Tiger was originally intended for release by the end of this month, but as you just keep on pushing Apple, they were forced to let it go two months early. If you would just have been patient, you’d be awaiting a great OS release, a really stable one, with 90% less flaws. But no, you want the new stuff and you want them NOW, fuck the bugs and all, we can complain later, we just want Tiger now!! And no, we won’t assume the consequences of a premature release, we’ll just complain and be a cry babies until we get what we want!! And the same thing will happen with the PB G5. You will be wanting it so bad, Apple will have to release it o keep their customers happy and we’ll get a million burned batteries cases. And you won’t be able to blame it on Apple, but you will do it anyways because it is the only thing you can think of, you can’t even evaluate the posibility of you being the responsible for hurrying Apple up.

    And, no, i don’t have Tiger yet, I’m just gonna let you take the crap of a release that was supposed to be a beta.

    hackand had this to say on Jun 02, 2005 Posts: 1
  • And you won’t be able to blame it on Apple, but you will do it anyways because it is the only thing you can think of, you can’t even evaluate the posibility of you being the responsible for hurrying Apple up.

    Of all the lame Apple-apologist excuses I’ve heard, this has got to be the lamest (and that’s saying something).  There is NO excuse for releasing a buggy product, and they were not FORCED to do anything.  Apple would not have released Tiger if they didn’t feel it was ready enough (no one expects it to 100% bug-free);  they KNOW their loyal user base will wait it out.

    So no, the users are not responsible for Apple’s releasing a product before it’s ready.  That’s entirely Apple’s fault.

    Beeblebrox had this to say on Jun 02, 2005 Posts: 2220
  • Btw, I’m not saying that Tiger is buggy, since I haven’t experienced any problems with it.  I was just speaking generally.  Like one game developer once said, “They won’t remember if it was late, but they will remember if it sucks.”

    Beeblebrox had this to say on Jun 02, 2005 Posts: 2220
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