One Mac arriving, one Mac may be leaving

Apple_system_crash_log_smallUgh. That’s the best summary I can give you of my Mac experience last night: ugh. I’m really looking forward to James getting his Mac tomorrow, but by the same time, mine might be going to Apple. Although I’m a Mac n00b, I really don’t think it’s me; I think I’ve got some bad RAM, which makes me wonder: how much are the refurbs tested? In the 13-odd years I’ve been using Windows machines, I’ve actually never had a bad RAM module. This is the challenge when you have a closed system like Apple does; you’re not just responsible for the operating system software, the hardware and overall experience is yours too.

Let me set the stage: I had just finished dinner and began to mix the latest MobileTechRoundup podcast. I had our three audio files and was halfway through mixing the show when my app crashed. All of the audio data that was mixed: gone. I have the original source files of course, but now I need to mix the tracks again: the most time consuming aspect of our show. For a 30-minute show, I spend roughly 2 to 2.5 hours mixing the tracks.

Now this wasn’t the first app to crash on me to be honest. When I first got the notebook three weeks ago, Firefox was crashing once or twice a day. I figured it must be the app and I tried Camino, which seemed more stable from my perspective. Over the past few days, however, I noticed that Camino was going bye-bye more often as well. In fact, last night, I couldn’t keep ANY application open for more than a few minutes: even the Crash Reporter was crashing:

Apple_system_crash_log

After trying some suggestions from various Twitter buds, I finally decided to run the hardware test and sure enough got an error that indicated an issue with the memory. I’m crossing my fingers that the issue is just a glitch because I really don’t want to be without the machine for any length of time. I was literally just a day away from moving my home office desktop to one of the kids’ rooms for their use. The Mac was intended to be a full desktop replacement for me; one that I could take on the go if I needed more horsepower than my UMPC can provide.

Again, I’m hoping it’s a glitch, but I doubt it. I actually reinstalled Mac OS X last night with a full Erase and Install. The first of the two disks went fine, but the second disk installation crapped out three times. I let it run one last time before bed around 11 pm and woke up this morning to the initial configuration screens so the reinstall appears OK. Today is a day of Software Updates and the like.

Now, I’m not going to say something goofy like "Mac stinks", but I have to share this one little factoid that I find amusing: I had more system crashes and downtime in the the last few days on the Mac than I did with Vista over the past year. Seriously. Again, you can’t draw any conclusions from that, but it is sorta ironic, no? ;)

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