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Problems with OS X Lion

My first review yesterday was after upgrading and playing around with the new features a bit. Now that I’ve had more experience with it, I should warn you all that there are numerous problems I’ve found. Here’s my list of annoyances:

  • Time machine tells me backups are delayed if I disconnect the backup drive more than an hour. Previously it would go ten days between warnings. Ten days was preferable, especially for laptops you’re roaming around with. I’m not certain this is a bug, either. From some reading, I think versioning might be integrated with Time Machine, and needs it to work.
  • Versioning is annoying. There are some documents I might want to enable that feature for. I don’t want versioning to be universal unless it’s going to be transparent, which it is not. If this depends on Time Machine, it’s a poor implementation. Digital managed a good implementation of this idea in the filesystem for VMS.
  • MacFusion broke, as did MacFUSE. MacFUSE was easily fixed, but you can’t delete shares in MacFusion. If you’re not using FUSE filesystems, this isn’t a concern.
  • I had a weird error that prevented any apps from running. Upon examination, one of the OpenGL libs was trying to load another support library, “libCVMSPluginSupport.dylib”, but spelled “libCVMSPluginSuprort.dylib” The ASCII difference between r and p is only a single bit, so it’s possible a bit flipped in memory, and this isn’t related to Lion at all. That happens sometimes, and looking at the library trying to load it, it was spelled correctly in the binary code. A memory leak could also cause data corruption, which would be Lion related, but I would have expected more extensive damage than a single inverted bit in a string.
  • I have previously used a plugin that blocks all Flash on any page I don’t specifically approve. It was sophisticated enough to display still images for popular Flash apps like YouTube. It has greatly improved my life when browsing with huge numbers of tabs already open, because I don’t have dozens of instances of Flash running, slowing my machine down to show me ads I don’t want to see. This plugin seems to have stopped working under Lion.
  • The Mac will no longer wake on mouse movement. You have to actually click the mouse to wake the machine up. I’m fine with that, but an option to change it would be nice, and telling me would be too, so I’m not moving my mouse around frantically thinking my machine just crashed.

So that’s the list so far. We’ll see what else I find. My friend Jason thinks I’m nuts for suggesting it’s a good release. I believe his exact quote was “What the hell are you thinking? Its a horrible release.” Not doing any real work with this machine currently, I’m probably less inclined to find problems than he is. But just so anyone who wants to upgrade is aware, there could be problems.

11 Responses to “Problems with OS X Lion”

  1. Andy says:

    Someone has to be first.

    We’ve observed some wonkiness in smb path names, where ones that worked under Snow Leopard no work under Lion, and when we figure out the correct incantation for Lion, it doesn’t work in SL.

    Also, Outlook is behaving strangely when not directly attached to Corp network, causing incorrect authentication and getting the account locked out. That one is a real head scratcher.

    I’m holding off for the moment.

  2. ecurb says:

    That plugin wasn’t noscript, right? I’m curious if there’s any alternatives to that addon.

  3. Sebastian says:

    ClickToFlash is what I used.

  4. Link P says:

    I love NoScript and I’m sticking with Linux, but I appreciate the review from an early adopter for the benefit of all the Mac OSX users out there.

  5. Andy says:

    Noscript, Ghostery, AdAware and Better Privacy are why I run Firefox on my Mac.

  6. Chris Byrne says:

    It’s also disabled caffeine, insomnia, and sleepless; so that I can’t keep the machine from going to sleep when the lid closes on my MBP.

    It’s a HUGE problem for me. Bit torrent for example. Software updates… really anything that takes a long time that i don’t want to interact with the machine for.

  7. terraformer says:

    “Time machine tells me backups are delayed if I disconnect the backup drive more than an hour. Previously it would go ten days between warnings. Ten days was preferable, especially for laptops you’re roaming around with. I’m not certain this is a bug, either. From some reading, I think versioning might be integrated with Time Machine, and needs it to work.”

    This is by design. It is telling you it is delayed but it is actually doing the backups for you in the background so that when you reconnect to the backup disk, it will fill in the gaps between connects. Go into time machine while not connected to the disk and you will an index of all backups and you will be able to recover files modified from the last backup on. Basically, Time Machine is now operating every hour, regardless of the connection to the disk. It can buffer backups for 1 week.

    “It’s also disabled caffeine, insomnia, and sleepless; so that I can’t keep the machine from going to sleep when the lid closes on my MBP.

    It’s a HUGE problem for me. Bit torrent for example. Software updates… really anything that takes a long time that i don’t want to interact with the machine for.”

    It’s very dangerous to have a laptop run with the lid closed if the machine is not designed for it and Apple’s are not designed for it. Aside from the damage it will do to the screen, there is a risk of fire.

  8. terraformer says:

    BTW: The above and the following should not be construed as me thinking this was not a buggy release, it has been. But some of your issues are also with 3rd party software.

  9. Ian Argent says:

    Not bring able to ruin the cpu with the lid closed is a hardware issue of epic proportions. Among other things you can’t run it “docked” with an external kvm set.

  10. John says:

    Anyone who isn’t a total Macaholic should make sure he/she isn’t using any PowerPC apps. Once you upgrade, they’re toast. As a Mac newbie, I didn’t know this.

  11. Sigivald says:

    I suspect in a few weeks (or less) there’ll be new versions of sleepless/insomnia/caffeine/etc.

    That’s the sort of thing that’s going to break on major releases pretty regularly.

    John: I’d think anyone who isn’t a total Macaholic isn’t likely to have any PPC apps, these days. It’s been five years since you could buy any* PPC Mac, after all, and 10.6 won’t even run on one.

    The majority of Mac users now probably never owned a PPC – and of those of us who go back to that era (or in my case the 68k/System 6 era), well… I don’t run any PPC code, myself.

    (* Okay, Xserves until December or so of 2006, but still.)

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