Archive for February, 2008|Monthly archive page

Safari 3.0 Annoyances

Here are my top two Safari 3.0 annoyances:

Switching tabs does not work when you are in a form text field.

This is weird because both Back (Command-[) and Select Previous Tab (Command-{) are enabled in the menu bar but only Back actually works if you are in a form field. If they are enabled in the menu bar then the key combos should also work right?

Searching in text boxes is not possible anymore.

I like the new search functionality in Safari 3.0 where the little search bar pops up and you can highlight words on the web page. There is one huge flaw though; if you are working in a text box, for example to write a blog article on WordPress, there is no way anymore to search in that text box. Find, Command-F, always does a global page search and it skips the contents of the form field you are working in. I guess nobody really tested that one.

Both lame.

Another MacBook Pro Keyboard Update

Apple posted another Firmware Update for the MacBook family to solve the dreaded ‘ELP!’ problem. Where the first key pressed after idle would not be noticed.

The MacBook and MacBook Pro Keyboard Firmware Update 1.0 addresses an issue where the first key press may be ignored if the computer has been sitting idle. It also addresses some other issues.

This is their second try to fix this one, the previous patch was released in december and only solved half of the problem.

It will be interesting to monitor the MacBook Pro discussion forum in the coming days to find out whether this fix really works or not.

Disable Space switching on Command-Tab

There is a great hint at Mac OS X Hints:

The 10.5.2 version of the Dock has a new hidden preferences flag for Spaces. You can now set OSX to not automatically switch between spaces when you press Command-Tab.

This makes Spaces a little less frustrating to use.

I haven’t used Spaces a lot since the 10.5.2 release, but it *looks* like the ‘Spaces Randomizes the Window Order’ bug is also gone.

Frozen MacBook Pro

Well this is a new one … while I was writing a blog article in Safari my MacBook Pro completely froze. It did not show the usual kernel panic screen, it just froze. The caret stopped blinking, the menu bar clock stopped ticking, no response to mouse or keyboard activity. Only a reboot worked.


10.5.2 Fixes the Jumpy Mouse Issue

One of the noticeable fixes in 10.5.2 is that the Jumpy Mouse Problem that I wrote previously about is finally gone!

This one always happened while the MacBook Pro was searching for a wireless network. Sometimes the mouse would stay jumpy, even after finding and connecting to a wireless network. Only a reboot would get rid of the erratic pointer behavior.

So this one is finally fixed. And it makes the Lame Leopard very happy!

My only complaint is that it took four months for them to fix this one even though people have been reporting this issue since the day 10.5.0 came out.

10.5.2 Still has Sleep/Wake problems

This is just so frustrating …

I’m typing this posting on the iMac because the MacBook Pro with 10.5.2 won’t wake up.

I simply opened the lid as I have done a million times but even though I heard the Mac power on and the white pulsing led on the front turned off, the screen stayed dark.

After a few minutes I gave up and closed the lid again, hoping it would go back to sleep again so that I can give it another try. The white LED on the front is now on, not pulsing and I can hear the Mac do stuff.

The screen is still dark. And now the fans are working at full speed too.

I’m hoping for a little miracle because I have a whole bunch of apps and windows open. But I’m afraid I’ll have to reboot this piece of crap again.

As I said in a previous posting, the MacBook Pro seems to be the number one problematic Apple portable at the moment with regards to sleep and wake. I’ve never had sleep/wake problems of this scale on any other Apple portable.

For the record: this is a plain MacBook Pro with a standard install of 10.5.2. No kernel extensions, no crazy software. I basically just use, Safari and some other very standard apps.


Apple Releases Massive OS X 10.5.2 Update

Apple just released the long awaited 10.5.2 update. It is huge, 180MB of compressed code updates. Uncompressed that is probably close to half a gigabyte worth of changes. The Lame Leopard will be reporting back later on this. Hopefully with a lot of good news.

Another Spaces Annoyance Update

Whoa! I just tabbed back to and I switched back to the right window in the right space!

But then I tab-switched back and forth a couple of times and noticed that it worked like 1 our of 10 tries. I understand what happened: this is simply a clusterfrag of the already known ‘Spaces randomized the Application window order’ bug that I described in a previous post.

Still Lame.

Another Spaces Annoyance

I thought I would give Spaces another try but I found another annoyance on top of the already extremely annoying bugs and behaviour of Spaces.

So here is the fourth one ..

I have some spaces with a bunch of windows. I’m working in Space #2 and I tab-switch to Safari in Space #3 to lookup some stuff. I then tab-switch back to but I end up on Space #1 and not #2 where I came from. Sure, it also contains a window, so technically I’m back where I started. But really, OS X is all about usability right? So why this retarded behaviour instead of just going back to the place were you were doing work? Who makes up this stuff?

This is a complete productivity killer and shows a serious lack of integration between software components (App Switcher vs Spaces) which is probably reflected by disconnected development teams inside Apple.

Lame and I’ll repeat this from the previous Spaces posting …

Note to shareware developers: If you thought your virtual screen software was rendered obsolete by Spaces, think again. Apple is incapable of releasing even the most basic version bug free. Please give us the next version of Virtue Desktops, VirtualDesktop Pro or Desktop Manager. Without the same mistakes that Apple made but with more Pro features please.

Sick and Tired of MacBook Pro Leopard Issues

This is a rant about a 2000 EURO laptop that does not work correctly.

I’ve been using Apple computers since 1980 and Apple laptops since ’97 or so when I had a PowerBook 150. I’ve had many iBook models, PowerBooks in all shapes and sizes and now I have the last model of the MacBook Pro 15″. The Late 2007 ‘Santa Rosa’ model.

In all these years I have never owned an Apple laptop that was so incredibly badly supported by Apple’s own operating system. The MacBook Pro in combination with Leopard is a true compatibility disappointment. It feels like a flakey Windows XP install on crappy hardware. Which is crazy since they are both made by the company that we love so much.

Let me explain the issues that I have.

Sleep/Wake Problems

I have constant sleep and wake problems with this MacBook Pro. I know that the MBP now uses full hibernate where it can take a LONG time before it goes to sleep. My problems are different though.

  • Sometimes it does not wake up when I open the lid.
  • Sometimes it wakes up but the screen stays dark.
  • Sometimes I close the lid and I can see that the backlight stays turned on. Forever.
  • Sometimes the backlight goes off when I close the lid and the I see the Apple logo flashing every couple of minutes.
  • Sometimes I hear the CD drive making it’s purr sound when the lid is closed.
  • Many times the ony way to get control back is to reboot. Sucks bigtime.

I’ve seen sleep/wake problems with all other models since the iBook but never so structural as with the MacBook Pro running Leopard. This is simply embarrassingly bad. It used to be one of those great features. Now I am afraid to open my MacBook because there is a good change I will have to reboot.

I’m not the only one. See the following threads on Apple’s MacBook Pro discussion forum. Just search for Sleep or Wake.

Keyboard Issues

I have described my keyboard problems in detail on this blog. Summarized the problems are: first keystroke has no effect after some period of idle time. Keyboard functionality disappears completely.

Apple put out a fix for this in the form of a software update. I think this proves that they simply fragged up support for their own hardware. Unfortunately the fix does not work for many people. Many folks on Apple’s discussion forum are reporting that they still have the above issues, even after installing the update.

See for example the following threads on Apple’s discussion forum: #1355165, #1356337 or #1129578

It’s INSANE that so many people are still having issues and that there is no proper fix.

‘Jumpy’ Mouse Issues

What I mean with Jumpy here is that you move the cursor for a little bit but instead it jumps all over the screen.

The problem is probably related to the wireless connection since I have heard from a lot of people that the mouse is jumpy when the MacBook Pro is looking for a wireless network to connect to. When it is connected to a wireless network of decided that no network can be found then the jumpy mouse problem goes away.

That by itself is already a big problem since your MacBook Pro is basically unusable during that time. And it can sometimes take a really long time before it find a usable network, so all that time you are basically waiting behind a non-working computer. But even more annoying, for many people the mouse stays jumpy even after succesfully connecting to the wireless network.

It actually just happened to me: I was at the Copenhagen airport to fly home and when I opened my MacBook Pro the mouse got all jumpy and stayed that way. Now back at home in Amsterdam I have to reboot and close 8 terminal windows with work and editors with documents open to get rid of this problem. Extremely Lame

This is clearly a Leopard software problem since I never had this issue with 10.4 on this same MacBook Pro.

See the following threads on Apple’s discussion forum: #1206438 , #5889720 , #5881774 , #6126097 , #6137148

I’m not alone. Just check Apple’s own MBP forum or the forums on any Apple fan site. Leopard has been out for months, this hardware for much longer. I can only think of one reason why the MBP has so many issues with Leopard: they never did proper testing and quality assurance since everybody in Cupertino was too busy building new products.

Prices go up, quality goes down. These are really bad signs.