My MacBook Pro Experience - Day 12

This post answers a question that I've been asked a several times since starting out on my MacBook experience - Do Macs crash, lockup, or otherwise generally misbehave?Well, do they?
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

This post answers a question that I've been asked a several times since starting out on my MacBook experience - Do Macs crash, lockup, or otherwise generally misbehave?

Well, do they?  Of course they do.  I know this might come as a surprise to some and might even anger some readers, but I've never owned or seen a desktop computer or notebook that didn't once crash or lockup or do something unexpected, and the MacBook Pro is no different.  It's started behaving oddly on me several times since I've had it.  Once is locked up totally while playing a DVD (admittedly I was doing several other things at the same time, including running Aperture).  Another time Firefox just wouldn't run and there was no instance of it running in the Force Quit dialog so I had to restart.  Another time the system wouldn't recognize any CD or DVD that I placed in the drive.  There have been a few other times too, but I don't remember the precise details.  All the incidences have been trivial really, but all of which caused me to have to reboot the system.  A few seconds after ordering a reboot the system was once again up and running and ready for action.  To be honest with you, I take no pleasure it saying that the system has needed rebooting on several occasions - I would have liked to find a platform that was, from an uptime point of view, close to perfect (the last platform I used that came close to that was Windows NT 4) and it would have made a really compelling case for buying a MacBook.

OK, so Macs crash.  What matters is not whether a piece of technology crashes, it's whether it does so in such a way that you lose data or corrupt the system.  I'm pleased to say that I've not lost any data or suffered any form of system corruption at all.  All the instances of misbehavior that I've encountered have been very low key indeed and mostly concerning the multimedia aspects of the system.  In all my time using the Mac I've not come across an instance of Firefox locking up or becoming slow (as it does on most of my Windows machines regularly).  In fact, I don't seem to be noticing the memory leak that plagues Firefox on the Windows platform at all.

Does the Mac misbehave less than Windows PC?  Hmmm.  I think I'm going to sit on the fence for a while longer before answering that question.  Over the past twelve days I've had to reboot the MacBook several times, but is this because the system is misbehaving or it is me not interacting with it properly?  In that time it's certainly needed rebooting more often than my main notebook or my desktop PC, both of which regularly go for a week without rebooting unless some update or installation program demands it (rather than shut down the systems I hibernate them when they're not in use).  However, most of these crashes did occur in the first week I had the Mac, and I have tried doing some ambitious things with it.  The past few days it's been pretty stable indeed.  Hopefully it's settled down.  However, in my experience, crashes and lockups are pretty rare on my Windows system.  Like I said, the systems usually go for days without needing a reboot.  It may be tempting fate to say it but it's been a very long time indeed since I've had a crash or lockup that's caused me to lose data (other than having to close tabs open in the browser - which isn't data as such but can still be annoying).

What are your experiences of with your operating system?  Do you find that it's fairly robust or do you find it crashing on a regular basis.

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