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"It just works."

Apple's Genius Bar better brace itself for some upset customers.  Buyers of Apple's pricey, sleek MacBook Pros are finding [Apple Discussions Forum] that their machines lock up and stop responding when you stress them.  The hard freeze, which occurs in OS X, is reportedly non-recoverable, though users can SSH into their frozen systems.

The company recently refreshed its MacBook Pro laptop lineup to feature Intel's new 32 nm Sandy Bridge CPUs and AMD's Radeon 6000 Mobility series GPUs, ditching NVIDIA GPUs (the 13-inch model is now no longer offered with discrete GPU).

While the hardware refresh looks promising, the reports may give potential buyers potential cause to steer clear.  Apple is reportedly aware of the issue, but does not have a fix for it at present and has not publicly commented on it.

Apple often remains silent about its quality issues.  That allows it to maintain an inflated perception of quality among consumers and the press.  

The company heavily sells its systems on claims that they are easier to use than Windows and lack Windows-like problems.

The tendency of its new laptops to freeze up stands in stark contrast to these claims.  Reportedly machines can crash under a variety of scenarios.  Describes one user:

Received a new 15" 2.2/6750M MBP last week and have been having some issues with the machine locking up under load.

For example if I boot up a VM using Fusion the temperature will spike up above 90 degrees and the machine will lock up most of the time. The machine appears locked (cannot move the mouse at all and keyboard is unresponsive). I can SSH into the machine still and it still is running however. This is one example but it will freeze under a number of circumstances where the CPU/GPU load is very high (rendering, DJ Software, compiling so far in my travels).

Another user, back on Apple's official Discussions forum, bemoans:

Great. I'm having the exact same issue. It happens when rendering video in Imovie. The fan comes on and everything freezes. I can do nothing but a hard reset. Now I'm wondering if I should return this $2000 item and wait until all the bugs are fixed. 

Maintaining its image of producing "magical" products has been a struggle of late for the gadget-maker.  While some devices like the iPad 2 pleasantly surprised, the company has received a dose of reality from recent malware attacks.  As it continues to grow its marketshare, it will likely continue to encounter the hardware issues and malicious attacks that have become a fact of life for OS maker Microsoft and its hardware partners.

In that sense, Apple may be a victim of its own image which it has worked so hard to create.

Update: Monday March 21, 2011 6:00 p.m.

Late today Apple rolled out an update to OS X 10.6 "Snow Leopard", which included a number of updated features and fixes.  A special version of the update was crafted for the early 2011 MacBook Pros (discussed in this article).  While ostensibly to fix other issues, many believed that this update would fix the freezing problems.

It appears it did not, at least not for all those afflicted.  Writes one user on the MacRumors forums:

this still does not fix the issues on the new MacBook Pro 2011 models (15" 2.3ghz) - just tested on the two machines we have here. Still they are getting too hot, constantly the fans are blowing (testing with Transmission/Bittorrent downloading the Ubuntu DVD). Also we had two freezes already (only under heavy load). I am posting updates on our findings to our blog ( http://j.mp/dLSqgy ) - and we are still waiting for replacements from apple.

Users are also reporting that the update fails to fix another crucial problem, blackouts when connecting to Apple's 24-inch Cinema Display.  Writes another user:

Still experiencing blackouts. No graphics glitches but definitely got 2 blackouts post update...albeit less frequent. Back to the drawing board i guess.

In fact, the update seemed to cause crashes/freezes when using Apple's iTunes.  Writes one user:

I'm on a new Macbook Air (13" maxxed out) and the update seems to be causing iTunes to freeze the whole system - clock, mouse, keyboard, etc. It happens about 5-6 seconds after I launch iTunes. I can start a song, and it will continue to play after the system locks up, but otherwise I'm stuck with a hard reset. I tried clearing the preference files in \Users\[me]\Library\Preferences, but that didn't help. I repaired disk permissions before and after the update. Any suggestions?

Adds another:

Since the update I've had 3 crashes with iTunes.
2011 15" 2.2 MBP.

Not sure its related to the update, but in the space of just over a year, I've never had a crash with iTunes on MacOS 

In other words, it appears that the update not only failed to fix existing issues, but caused additional ones.


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RE: Too late
By JasonMick (blog) on 3/21/2011 5:59:11 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
Oh BTW, why don't you post an "article" every time a Dell or HP or Lenovo needs a software update?


If by "needs a software update" you mean "crashes and dies" we tend to... e.g.:
http://www.dailytech.com/Microsoft+Investigates+Wi...

That said, Dell, HP, and Lenovo don't claim their projects to be "magical" or immune to viruses.

(To be fair Apple has sort of admitted its computers aren't immune to viruses given that its website advises users to purchase AV protection; its ads however, continue to promote that OS X can't get viruses like Windows.)


RE: Too late
By StraightCashHomey on 3/21/2011 6:19:10 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed.

If you had a guy in your office that came in every day and repeatedly said "I'M THE GREATEST FUCKER HERE, ALL YOU SHITS WOULD DIE WITHOUT ME", then you're going to love to throw dirt on him any chance you can get, as long as there is legitimate dirt to throw on him... which in this case, there is.


RE: Too late
By headbox on 3/21/11, Rating: -1
RE: Too late
By JasonMick (blog) on 3/21/2011 6:36:54 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
That's because it CAN'T get viruses like PCs.

To quote a reader (Iaiken):
quote:
It's too bad that stupidity isn't painful...


RE: Too late
By KoolAidMan1 on 3/21/11, Rating: -1
RE: Too late
By snakeInTheGrass on 3/21/11, Rating: -1
RE: Too late
By snakeInTheGrass on 3/22/11, Rating: -1
RE: Too late
By KoolAidMan1 on 3/22/11, Rating: -1
RE: Too late
By Phynaz on 3/21/11, Rating: -1
RE: Too late
By Tony Swash on 3/21/11, Rating: -1
RE: Too late
By damianrobertjones on 3/21/2011 7:34:13 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, they will be. More market share will see to that. Sure, it might not be this year, or next year, or the year after, but once Apple near 50% (Which I do actually see happening), the flood will start and it won't be nice.


RE: Too late
By PaterPelligrino on 3/22/2011 1:27:03 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
Macs obviously and quite clearly do not get "viruses like Windows". The experience of malware on a Mac is nothing like the experience of malware on a Windows PC, the threat level experienced by Mac users is nothing like that suffered by Windows users.


I haven't had any type of malware problem on my Windows system in the last 6 years - nothing . Before that, there were a couple of things my anti-virus software made short work of in the background. I can't remember the last time my computer crashed or froze. This in spite of the fact that I visit the odd dodgy site and simultaneously run dozens of bickering, non-Msft apps.

It is precisely this disconnect with Apple agitprop that turned me against you people. I only started to actively dislike Apple when they began airing those lying, smug, condescending TV ads that painted all PC users as clueless, fat, sexually-unfulfilled losers.

You guys want to splash out on pretty products and hang in coffee shops doing cool things with each other - fine. You want to make a fashion statement and accessorize with suede covers and cases for your Apple kit - I think that's really lovely. But don't try to justify your existence by lying about those of us who don't worship at the Church of Steve. No PC user who knows anything about computers recognizes himself in the stereotypes you pass around as accepted wisdom.


RE: Too late
By ie5x on 3/22/2011 4:39:21 AM , Rating: 3
Well put.

I have been using Windows ever since I started using computers. Reason being the ROI, not that it's magical, dramatic, elvish, or white as a unicorn...
I try to keep my mind open. A common pattern I have seen with Apple users is that they introduce the irrational love factor and do not exercise their brain while vouching for their pricey purchases. The companies behind everything you use are only concerned with their profit, not your benefit. They are not in love with you so don't be in love with them. The onus is on you to not get blindly biased. Behind the marketing makeup, check what's working and more importantly what isn't, simple as that.

P.S.- But if you have loads of money to spare and are an arrogant nut-head, Apple is for you.... :).


RE: Too late
By Tony Swash on 3/22/11, Rating: -1
RE: Too late
By MeesterNid on 3/22/11, Rating: -1
RE: Too late
By Pirks on 3/22/2011 3:07:38 PM , Rating: 1
Well, my Windows lets me play my games without getting in the way, and do some 3D game development too, also without getting in my way, that's why I gave Steve Jobs a finger a long time ago.

When I see at least 1 (one) virus or trojan on my Windows machines - I'll reconsider. I'll begin listening to Tony Swash's pompous lectures then. But not yet, not yet Tony ;)


RE: Too late
By Tony Swash on 3/22/2011 3:21:23 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Well, my Windows lets me play my games without getting in the way, and do some 3D game development too, also without getting in my way, that's why I gave Steve Jobs a finger a long time ago.


Which games? A few years ago I was part of the 'Infiltration' modding team on Unreal Tournament. I did level design - really enjoyed it.


RE: Too late
By Pirks on 3/22/2011 3:40:55 PM , Rating: 3
Ah, too many to mention here :) Currently my favorite game of the year is Amnesia: The Dark Descent, this is freakin damn Masterpiece of games *thumbs up*... also enjoyed Dead Space 2 very much, Darksiders is pretty cool one too, etc etc... you Mac fans won't understand and believe the breadth of game selection on Windows :P not your turf haha


RE: Too late
By Tony Swash on 3/22/2011 4:26:53 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Ah, too many to mention here :) Currently my favorite game of the year is Amnesia: The Dark Descent, this is freakin damn Masterpiece of games *thumbs up*... also enjoyed Dead Space 2 very much, Darksiders is pretty cool one too, etc etc... you Mac fans won't understand and believe the breadth of game selection on Windows :P not your turf haha


I run Windows 7 on my Mac so I can play Shogun 2 and Medal of Honour. One of the reasons I love Macs is that they are just so versatile. Today i flipped between MacOSX (for the serious creative stuff) and Windows 7 for the games, diddled around in the built in Unix command line and did some web development (Wordpress based) running an Apache/MySQL/PHP stack. Personally I would find being constrained to just running Windows very limiting. I know you can hack MacOSX to run on some generic PC hardware (I did on a Dell Mini 10V last year) but it's just that - a hack. Ona Mac you can run multiple OS's and use Unix commands all seamlessly, legitimately and supported. I just love it.


RE: Too late
By Pirks on 3/22/2011 4:39:23 PM , Rating: 3
One of the reasons I love PCs is that they are just as versatile. I run OS X 10.6 in VMWare under Windows when I want to, and it runs beautifully. No need to pay double price to Jobs to get OS X running :P

On a Windows box you can run multiple OSes and use Unix commands via Cygwin, I love it too. For me it's all benefits of a Mac just twice cheaper. Why pay extra $1k-$2k to Jobs? I say he better EARN this much money first :P


RE: Too late
By Tony Swash on 3/22/11, Rating: -1
RE: Too late
By themaster08 on 3/23/2011 3:40:24 AM , Rating: 2
Legalities are the reason OS X is the least compatible OS. That is the fault of Apple, not Microsoft, or PCs in general. Otherwise it can be run on an abundance of PCs with little-to-no trouble whatsoever.


RE: Too late
By Pirks on 3/23/2011 11:21:01 AM , Rating: 2
I don't care about "legality", i.e. about what Jobs would say, he's way too arrogant to care about him and his "legality". I treat him exactly how he treats me, isn't that quite honest eh? ;)

And why would you want to boot into OS X when you can run it under VMWare just as fine? Even with 3D acceleration bells and whistles and stuff.


RE: Too late
By PaterPelligrino on 3/22/2011 9:21:49 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Absolute tosh. No evidence to support that what so ever. If a hacker or virus writer wants to make money, attack an unprepared and virgin target, or just make a hell of a name for themselves they would go after Macs. They don't because they can't.


And with that illogical nonsense you betray your bias. Cliche or not, hackers are in it for the money, and the money is in the OS that has a market share that massively dwarfs the competition. As Willie Sutton said, he robs banks because that's where the money is.

We've had no end of articles about how easy it is to hack the Mac OS. Who was the famous hacker who compared the Mac to a house in the country with all of the doors and windows unlocked, whereas Windows was like a house in a real bad neighborhood with steel doors and bars in the windows?

So yah, maybe you're right. If you're not computer savvy, the Mac is probably the OS for you. Certainly, I always recommend the Mac to those who aren't comfortable around computer tech.

However, if you aren't an idiot - the kind who clicks on all the junk mail in his In Box - then your PC isn't going to be paralyzed with malware as those bullsh't Mac ads would have everyone believe. Just because some guy confuses his gas and brake pedals and drives his car into a wall doesn't mean I shouldn't buy a Toyota.

We're not martyrs. If the PC really was that bad, and Apple that much better, all the techies on this site would be fanboys. I certainly don't have any affection for Microsoft that would keep me buying their stuff if my computer was always crashing or getting infected with hacker sh't. I stay with the PC precisely because it does everything I ask of it, and doesn't cause me any problems. Therefore, I have no reason to move to Apple. Worshiping at the Church of Steve carries too high a price - both literally and figuratively - to tempt me.


RE: Too late
By themaster08 on 3/22/2011 11:53:35 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Absolute tosh. No evidence to support that what so ever. If a hacker or virus writer wants to make money, attack an unprepared and virgin target, or just make a hell of a name for themselves they would go after Macs. They don't because they can't.
Only a person with very little-to-no knowledge on how malware works and infests would regurgitate such a remark. Either that, or you're well aware of this and are just clutching to this "non-existent evidence" statement to support your ridiculous claims and sheer blind love for a company that does nothing more than manufacture and sell consumer electronics.

You may find this disheartening but Apple doesn't love you back I'm afraid, Tony. They love your money. That is all.


RE: Too late
By Tony Swash on 3/22/11, Rating: -1
RE: Too late
By Pirks on 3/22/2011 3:28:30 PM , Rating: 3
I know - and you know - Windows PCs have all the market share. Macs don't.

It drives Mac victims (sorry - fans) and MS phobes into a tremendous froth. Grasp at any argument. Claim anything no matter how ridiculous. Try to argue that lack of Mac malware is a result of the super duper secure foundation of the Mac OS and platform. Just as long as you can avoid looking the sad awful truth in the eye.

Windows PCs can still claim to control 'all the world' alright - with 99.99% of market share :)

I hope you Mac victims (sorry - fans) enjoy that tiny Mac market share - cos us Windows fans sure do :)


RE: Too late
By themaster08 on 3/23/2011 3:44:48 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I hope you Windows victims (sorry - fans) enjoy that special Windows compatibility advantage - cos us Macs fans sure do :)
I'm sure that's why you also run Windows on your Mac too, because OS X provides you with everything you need, right?


RE: Too late
By INeedCache on 3/22/2011 12:54:51 PM , Rating: 1
Still as full of shit as ever, eh Tony? "They don't because they can't." Are you serious? Can't? Anything, and I mean ANYTHING, built by man can be broken by man. But I'm sure you believe that applies to everything except a Mac. I really feel sorry for anyone who has his head so far up Steve Jobs' ass that he makes comments like these.


RE: Too late
By Tony Swash on 3/22/11, Rating: 0
RE: Too late
By sprockkets on 3/21/2011 8:52:40 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
To be fair


Well to be fair the rest of the world should also hold a press conference or media event and take the time to crap on Apple like Apple does on TV or at their ipad2 debut.

Only fair.


"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation














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