I wrote a little while back about an extremely frustrating problem I was having with Mac OS 10.4, Tiger. I know I wasn’t the only one having suffering from infuriation: Dave was in a similar pickle.

Fortunately, the update to 10.4.1 seems to have fixed the immediate problem. The "update" process no longer hogs all available CPU.

Still, even with this glaring problem solved, Tiger still isn’t cutting the mustard for me. Jon agrees. Tiger just doesn’t feel finished. Maybe by 10.4.4 or 10.4.5, all the problems will be ironed out, but right now it feels kinda kludgy.

I never used to spend much time thinking about Apple’s operating system. It just worked. It never got in the way of letting me get on with my work, which is probably all you can ask of an OS. These days, I find myself thinking about Tiger and how it isn’t quite as out-of-your-face as I would like.

Even with that major problem (the "update" process) fixed, I’ve still had my computer freeze up once or twice. That’s once or twice more than I’m used to.

What really bothers me though, is the way that Apple is dealing with these issues. Or rather, the way that Apple refuses to deal with these issues:

"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?"

At the same time that Microsoft seems to be emerging from its corporate shell - allowing developers to blog, embracing and extending RSS, not firing Robert Scoble - Apple seems to be getting more and more insular.

Take the recent addition of Podcasts to iTunes. In of itself, this is a great move and one to be welcomed. But the cracks appear when you look at the way that Apple has added extensions to the RSS spec. As Dave Winer says:

"It would have been really smart to review this stuff with the community before releasing their software."

I’m not completely pessimistic. Surfin’ Safari has moved to a newer, bigger home to reflect WebKit’s new open source status. But, on the whole, Apple could really do with being a little less secretive and do more to involve developers and users.

I never thought I’d say this but Apple might want to pay attention to what Microsoft are doing.

Have you published a response to this? :

Previously on this day

15 years ago I wrote The mac rumour mill

Daniel Bogan pointed out this very interesting tidbit from the iMac page of the Apple website:

16 years ago I wrote Gone fishing.

After bidding farewell to Dublin with a trip to Guinness brewery, Jessica and I caught the train down to Cobh.