OS X 10.7 Lion is more painful than Vista

My beef is not with the deliberate changes Apple made to the OS, but with the colossal number of show-stopping bugs that have been allowed into this release.

Within seconds of the OS becoming available I had begun downloading Mac OS X 10.7 'Lion' to my trusty Mac mini. In under an hour I had blown away the Snow Leopard install and was up and running with Lion.

What a mistake that's turned out to be. A mistake that turned out to be far worse than when I first installed Vista on a PC.

Before I begin, I want to make it clear that I don't dislike the OS as it stands. I'm not all that bothered one way or another about the 'iPadification' of the OS as my blogging buddy Jason Perlow put it. I like reverse scrolling but feel a bit 'meh' about many of the new features, but the old OS is still there if you know where to look. My beef with Lion is not down to the deliberate changes Apple made to the OS, but to the colossal number of show-stopping bugs that have been allowed into this release.

Yes, I'm aware that Lion is a .0 release, in other words it's straight out of the gate and yet to see an update, and that hopefully there are updates in the pipeline, but it still is a .0 release and not a beta. And don't even think about throwing that 'but it's only $29' argument at me!

So what are the bugs that I'm seeing? They're three of the bugs that I outlined in an earlier post:

  • Random crashing that results in a totally black screen Once the system crashes, it’s a hard reset time. There’s no solution from Apple yet but it seems that the problem here is down to NVIDIA drivers and forcing the system to use integrated graphics only using a third-party tool (gfxCardStatus) helps alleviate the problem.
  • WiFi dropping This is annoying. (I’m seeing this happen, although not often.) Basically, the WiFi connection drops and the only way to get it back working is to switch the WiFi adapter off and then back on again. A possible solution to this is to create a script that pings periodically ... but even with this I'm seeing problems.
  • Viewing videos causes freezing on new iMacs All video types appear to cause the freeze - Flash, H.264, QuickTime, AVIs, MKVs, YouTube … This is another issue that could be related to graphics card drivers … but perhaps not.

There are a number of other problems, some related to Apple, some not: Coming out of sleep is dodgy. Flash is crappier that it is on any other platform. Searching network shares doesn't pull up any search results. Sometimes the Mac decides for no apparent reason to slow down to a snail's pace.

Having lived with the pain of Vista pre-SP1, I can tell you that the problems currently facing Apple with Lion are worse. Much worse. In fact, it's such a nuisance that I've decided to install Snow Leopard into a different partition and switch to the old OS for the time being, keeping Lion so I can keep an eye on future updates to see if they fix these issues.

Apple, you need to fix these issues, and fix them soon!


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