The prospects of Yosemite are exciting. But not nearly as exciting as the pain still caused by Mavericks. Whether it’s the unreliable SMB networking glitch that causes instability on shared volumes or the nasty Time Machine backup drive embarrassment, focus on quality needs to be Apple’s battle cry the remainder of the year.
I don’t want to beta test. Neither do my customers. With the pending release of Yosemite, Apple is relying on its users to flesh out the bugs of its new operating system. The WWDC ceased being something I looked forward to since Steve Jobs no longer graces the keynote stage. The release of cheaper iMacs is not exciting, either. What’s more exciting? That Apple might use some of its cash and reinvest in both R&D and quality control before releasing software or hardware that just doesn’t hold up compared with that more rigorously put through its paces beforehand.
While I have been luckier with the SMB issues on Mavericks, the non-feline-named Apple OS bit me big time when it comes to Time Machine. I have had to advise clients who have upgraded to just get new external hard drives after their backups failed. They did not have the time to move data from their external drives (both Time Machine and otherwise) to other sources. Read/writes from these same externals often failed with errors. While files mostly could be individually accessed and opened on these drives, backups and mass copying both failed to the point where my advice was just to leave the drives as is and purchase new external drives.
Once the new drives were reformatted in Mavericks through Disk Utility, the drives worked reliably both in Time Machine and when copying and moving files from non-Time Machine external drives. A couple of these clients had previously upgraded from Snow Leopard and Mountain Lion to Mavericks, respectively. They were not having issues with connecting to their mixed OS networks or with Time Machine prior to.
The new $1099 price point on iMacs doesn’t get me all hot and bothered. It’s still 10 pounds of components stuffed into a five pound bag. Components are as vulnerable as ever in this too warm environment. Internal fans that are supposed to provide cooling have historically been inadequate. They get dirty, dusty and become even more inefficient at cooling in too short a time period. This contributes to the premature failing of iMac components. This also leads to a trip to either the Apple Store or an authorized reseller where you can expect to be without your iMac indefinitely while parts are swapped out.
If Apple really wants to take advantage with the supposed problems of Windows 8 (the start menu issues really seem minor by comparison with Mavericks), it would whack $200 off the price of a Mac Mini.
The $400 mini. Actually $399. Now there’s something we can all get excited about. I gifted a 1.5 GHz Power PC Mac Mini years ago. It still works fine. The Intel minis have not been as durable. But for $399, who wouldn’t plunk down, especially since they probably have everything else they need peripheral-wise to go with it?
Apple could afford to do this. And that would be really exciting.