I am an early adopter – be it a new phone, a new music player or a new operating system – I am first in line to snap up that gizmo. It was this lust for new that prompted me to switch to Apple Tiger almost […]

I am an early adopter – be it a new phone, a new music player or a new operating system – I am first in line to snap up that gizmo. It was this lust for new that prompted me to switch to Apple Tiger almost instantly. A clean install, and seamless transition to Tiger OS-X was great for about an hour. After I had gotten over the joy of iSyncing 6682 and 6620 with iCal and Apple Address Book, I realized that I should not have been so eager to upgrade. Over next month or so, the problems just mounted. The Mail.app was a tough one to get used to, but that’s a minor quibble. The biggest problem was that my Powerbook 15 and Powerbook 12, both after upgrades were running so hot that you could cook an egg on them.

I tried everything – turning off dashboard, turning off spotlight, and well, everything that I could do. I could not figure this out, and then problem only got more acute with fans running all the time. (It was the fan-issue that resulted in a iMac G5 meltdown earlier this year!) The screen started to flicker. (I was told that since Tiger offloads a lot of vital tasks off to the graphics chip, normally if you have an older generation graphics chip, it cannot do the task and causes some screen related problems.)

Unable to figure out what to do, I decided perhaps it was time to switch back to Panther. I made a copy of the drive using carbon copy cloner, and did a clean install of Panther. I was able to import mail from Tiger version of Mail.app using simple import command in Apple Mail. The applications were manually dragged to the new machine from the old folders sitting on a mighty fine IOGear 320 Gb drive. It was painful to register all the software again, but I did it anyway. Took me about 2 hours to do all this.

To make sure that it was not a hardware issue – I left my Powerbook 12 (which has been switched back to Panther) for the entire day. 20 hours later, the machine is lukewarm. It is brisk, and well feels like a real comfortable Mac I have been used to. Even my Cisco VPN software works nicely. The only problem – my Nokia 6682 doesn’t sync with iSync 2.0, and needs the Tiger version of iSync (2.1). Oh well, I still have the 6620 lying around somewhere. Lesson learned from all this – when it comes to Apple, it doesn’t pay to be an early adopter.

Also, The Hidden Cost of Tiger OS-X.

  1. May be it’s because you have Virex installed. I too experienced my PowerBook 15 getting very hot and slugish. Until i realized that vshield didn’t start properly and consumed about 80 percent of the cpu-resources. I deinstalled Virex and since then my PowerBook ist fast, cool and quiet again.

  2. What I do with my 12″ PowerBook is I use the Custom Energy Saver profile and basically force OS X to run the CPU in Reduced mode always. When I am in need of the extra CPU cycles I just pop up the Profile to the Better Performance setting. Granted I’m using a Rev A 12″ PB which from what I understand has the most heat issues? I believe 12″ PB';s going forward after the Rev A are better with heat?

  3. My Tiger install gave me bad permissions for /var/spool/postfix, and this left Postfix logging errors and retrying deliveries every second or so. This left me with similar symptoms–my laptop was running really hot and battery life was short.

    Repair permissions fixed it. Now I think my G4/550 is actually cooler with Tiger, and I’m getting better battery life and much better wireless networking performance.

  4. Turn off spotlight by making your entire hard drive private. This dramatically improves performance/battery/heat.

  5. scott,

    i actually tried the permissions fix and all the stuff, but it did not really make any difference at all.


    I did not have Virex installed so cannot say, it really was the problem. however i guess, going back to panther on one of the machines for now has made life more bearable.

    thanks for your advise though.

  6. I have had multiple problems with being an early adopter at Apple. Bottom line is that their quality control is really lousy these days. I’ve had problems with (1) PowerMac G5; (2) Tiger; (3) PowerBook G4; and (4) iLife ’05 (iPhoto and iMovie). Apple really seems to be dropping the ball. The hype around Apple’s products is matched only by the hype around Google. A 2-button mouse merits a story on CNET? A lousy IM client from Google? Hopefully Google will have better QA than Apple.

  7. While I haven’t been quite as frustrated with Tiger as you, I agree that it’s not nearly as stable of a beast as Panther. Panther was by far the best OS upgrade Apple’s ever released and Tiger, while adding some nice features, just isn’t bulletproof yet.

    My biggest beef is the fact that Apple Mail doesn’t give you the text status line anymore which tells you your messages are being fetched, or sent, or whatever. There’s just that stupid pie piece which tells you “something” is happening.

  8. Hey, I’ve had similar beefs with Tiger and have been contemplating making the switch back to Panther as well. For me, Tiger’s support for third-party wireless cards (I still use a TiBook with the wonderful Titanium-shielded case), and odd problems I’ve had with Keychain stuff have been quite frustrating.

    And then there are a slew of other issues with various apps that ran well under Panther and not so well under Tiger that get in the way. I know, Apple’s response to that will be “We don’t control third-party applications,” but as the host of the OS, they should do their best to ensure that major applications run well on their system before they issue a release. When I constantly have to kill Safari, Mail, and Word because they freeze up for no apparent reason, there’s a problem.

    I’ve finally given up on Safari with Tiger and have switched everything over to Firefox. That’s a sad statement that Apple’s own browser won’t work well on their own OS.

    You’re right, Om, being an early adopter has its advantages, but with Tiger so far, being an early adopter only means that I get to thrash about in the water like a swimmer caught in the grip of a shark. It’s not good, and it’s not pretty.

  9. Whenever my PB gets really hot (on Jaguar, Panther or Tiger) I open up the activity viewer and check out what processes are running. Sometimes I’ll find there is something wrong with a program and it’s taking all available CPU cycles so the machine is running at 100% all the time. Just quit that process and no further problems.

  10. I’m sysadmin for about a dozen Tiger users, and the main complaint I’ve heard was speed, which I solved by upgrading any Tiger user to at least a gig of RAM. It all ran much faster after that. I’ve got no info on the heat problem, sorry.


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