I’m loving my new MacBook Pro, but… it’s definitely far from perfect. I have these niggles:

  1. iTunes will every now and then choke on playing an AAC/MP3 for a second and then resume. I have a widget that constantly monitors by CPU usage, and when this happens, it’s really low (>0.2 load average). Hmm…
  2. Sometimes, the computer just locks up for a second or three. This is especially common when I use Adium. Each time, and its fairly frequent, I have this sinking fear that I’m suffering from the next problem on my list…
  3. My PowerBook G4 1.67 GHz seized up once a week or so; this baby does it two or three times a week and requires a hard reboot. When this happens, iTunes keeps playing the current song, the mouse cursor keeps moving, but I can’t do anything else.
  4. Sometimes, it doesn’t wake up from sleep. Uggggh! This is the cardinal sin. This is the single biggest reason I loved my PowerBook. It always went to sleep right away and always woke up right away. The MacBook, on the other hand, often takes more than a few seconds to doze off, and maybe one out of ten times, it never wakes up (and another 10%-20% of the time it requires a few attempts to wake up properly). Oh, how I miss the days when I didn’t have to worry about making sure everything was saved, etc. before sleeping. This glitch more than anything else makes me feel like I’m a PC user again.
  5. I travel a bit, and often hot-swap my battery. With the PowerBook, this was a dream. Close lid, swap out battery (without tearing fingernail to shreds), and open lid. In five seconds, I’m all done. The MacBook, on the other hand, swaps memory to disk, so its: close lid, swap out battery (with new cool switch mechanism that doesn’t require strong fingernails or a tool), open laptop, and wait for about a minute for the memory to be swapped back in. And, 20% of the time, wait another two or three minuets for the environment to stabilize.

But, on the whole, I’ve been pretty happy with the sucker.

18 thoughts on “MacBook Pro Update

  1. Mine does have problem #1 or #2. My current Macbook Pro and my old 17″ G4 didn’t have problem #3. Both had problem #4.

  2. Have MBP 1.83Ghz:

    #1: Never had

    #2: Get it on occasion, usually when starting up with Safari. I’ll open a few tabs quickly and it will stop to think for a little bit (like it does right before Safari crashes). I’ve also noticed that Safari is far less stable under Intel than it was under PPC

    #3: When connecting to a particular wireless access point at work I get a problem like this. I can be working away happily, then a dark veil wil slowly come down from the top and a message will pop up saying I need to restart the computer (in about 5 different languages). It’s only ever done it when connecting to that access point so I don’t know what the go is. It’s not the only problems I’m having with wireless.

    #4: It does take far too long to go to sleep, waking up seems fine for me. However, every now and then, after a wake up, the computer is no longer usable. The mouse works and any open applications work (slowly). If I try to start safari or anything really, the dock icon just bounces forever (until I force quit it). Finder even died on me in this situation the other day. Very annoying.

    #5: Never tried it

    WIRELESS!! With the update to 10.4.6 I’ve been having VERY annoying problems with wireless. When I turn the computer on, it finds the closest point in my house (there are two) and I have a connection. However, it will NOT pick up an IP address from the DHCP server I have running. It NEVER does it (since 10.4.6). If I switch to the other access point it thinks for a long time and then tells me there was an error (but is connected anyway). When I switch back I am again told there was an error (but oddly enough I am connected) and it finally picks up an IP. After this it is fine.

    I’ve had problems not being able to connect to point with the wireless before and odd behavior on certain points (as mentioned above), but never at home. Since 10.4.6 it’s been really annoying.

    Overall I feel like Apple are still sorting out some things, but this was something I expected buying a rev.A product, especially after a switch to Intel. Overall I’m happy and just hanging out for 10.4.7 to hopefully address some of these annoying little things.

  3. (with new cool switch mechanism that doesn’t require strong fingernails or a tool)

    I always used the corner of my battery to remove the battery from my G4. Worked like a charm. 😀

  4. I get #3 and #4, and I agree, #4 is BAD BAD BAD. Just to underscore the point, I regularly did NOT reboot my 17″ PowerBook for weeks at a time.

    In fact, until I shut it down to put it into FireWire Target mode to pull my data to my new 17″ MacBook Pro, it had not been rebooted for 34 DAYS. I travel with it every day, putting it to sleep in my bag, logging into dozens of different networks, etc. It was simply rock solid.

    In the three day’s I’ve had the MacBook, it has hard-frozen on me twice, when doing nothing (only a few seconds away from the mouse/keyboard), and not awakened from sleep twice (had to force restart it). When I pull it out of the bag, it is often very warm as if it had just gone to sleep, even though it had been put in the bag 20-30 minutes earlier.

  5. My MBP seemed to have a few stability problems when I first got it. Two kernel panics and a few times not waking from sleep in the first two weeks.

    For me, it appears it was mostly bad devices. My Nokia 6230 just didn’t play well (nor did it under Windows) and appeared to be the cause of at least one of the kernel panics (wake from sleep, can’t re-connect t phone -blam!). I also seemed to have problems when waking from sleep when I was using a Kensington bluetooth mouse.

    In the last week I have changed phones and stopped using the mouse and not a single problem. Sleeps nicely and wakes every time and no kernel panics.

    One other thing, as a new Mac user, I wasn’t really sure about the best way to unplug devices, etc. I was probably a little cavalier in closing the lid (sleep) and immediately pulling out USB cables, etc. I have been more careful to pull out stuff while still running and then going into sleep. Again, not that scientific, but my machine has been super stable so something is working!

  6. An update two months later. I discovered while reading another blog that my Bluetooth phone was probably the culprit for waking my laptop while it was supposed to be asleep. I found an AppleScript for turning on Bluetooth, performing a sync, then turning off Bluetooth– and I haven’t had a sleep problem since.

    Also, since discovering that it was Netscape that caused the hard crashes (which I use for testing websites under development, but use Safari 85% of the time and FireFox for the rest), it has not hard crashed since.

    My MBP has gone over two weeks without a reboot, and has been rock solid since discovering these two things. (And pleasingly FAST).

  7. my computer restarts randomly. so ANY unsaved work i have i lose! i’ve had this computer for three months and will be sending it for the third time for a repair. they said it was a RAM issue. i say give me a new MBP! it’s a beautiful machine and runs fast, but there are issues reminiscent to using a PC.

    1. computer freezes
    2. won’t wake up
    and, of course, the random restart.

    i’ve had a $2700 headache these past three months. i’m very annoyed. this is my first Mac and i didn’t expect to come across these problems.

  8. I’ve been dealing with #2 and the hard-to-wake issue on and off for a while now but recently a new problem has creeped up on me.

    When I close the laptop, it doesn’t sleep AT ALL. It just keeps running like normal, which sucks because I like the security afforded by requiring password to wake and this breaks completely.

    Glad, and sad to know I’m not the only one.

  9. Random restarts:

    I was frustrated that the default power settings would allow the machine to sleep when plugged into the power cord. I would go off to a meeting and when I would return the machine had gone to sleep and broken several SSH and RDP connections. I changed the default power settings when connected to wall power to never sleep.

    Then I started to come back to a machine with a login prompt. It appeared that the machine was rebooting and losing all my work. Several co-workers mentioned stories they’d heard about mackbooks shutting down or restarting. One thread I found even suspected non-Apple memory, which I had added. I reordered my memory. Ran a memory test from single user multiple times. No problems. But everytime I come back after an hour the machine would be sitting at a login prompt.

    Then one day I came back to a screen with “BlahBlahBlah cancelled logout.” Searching around I found that there is a default setting in the security system preferences to logout the user after 60 minutes of inactivity. Disabled this and the problem went away!

    Hope this helps.

  10. Thomas: I’ve noticed that behavior from time to time. It appears that certain applications can cause OS X to fail to go to sleep, but I haven’t yet tracked it down…

    It only happens to me every so often…

  11. My MacBook has always exhibited annoying sleep habits – takes long to go to sleep, wakes up from sleep, gives me a blank screen after I type a password – which I have tended to ignore since the Random Shutdown Issue was fixed after 3 visits to Apple. But it has just started to ‘crash while asleep’ – can’t wake it from the coma without restarting. All of you with these weird problems, PLEASE take your Macs in to an Apple Store. I’m going tomorrow. Nobody should have to put up with this!

  12. Greg: That setting is what has been aggravating me for weeks now. I couldn’t stand to go away from my MBP 17″ for a short period only to come back to a login screen. Go figure it would be some simple default (what’s up with that?) setting that resolved it. Thanks a bunch! Now, to just let my hair grow back in…

  13. I have a massive problem with itunes. I have a brand new laptopn and it just doesn’t work. I get the spinning wheel and have to reboot EVERY time. I plug my ipod in – spinning wheel, I try to skip to a song, spinning wheel – not quite the same as choking (although that does happen occassionally – would it be the same cpu thing?

  14. I wonder why Apple requires MacBooks to be plugged into a monitor to run? I mean, I can’t imagine leaving it running without some external input/output but some PC friends are upset they can’t do that with their MacBook Pros.

    BTW, Comment #18 is spam for online drugs.

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