Has Your 'Book been Exhibiting Signs of the Blues?

by Joe Leo, Columnist October 4, 2006

FEATURE: (10.4.06)-- With the release of the Mac OS X update (v 10.4.8) last Friday, some bugs have been crawling up, uh, coming out of the woodwork of people's laptops. One such nasty bug is a non-user defined change to some people's screens, which we'd call the "blue screen of death" except for the fact that this is an Apple machine, and that term is reserved for our friends who use Windows.

"Attention all K-mart Shoppers: 'Blue Light Special' for you Mac users out there... Free Screen Upgrade with Every Installation of Mac OS X v10.4.8 (you don't even need to ask for it!)"

The symptom being [sigh!] displayed (don't say you didn't see that one coming) is an apparent blue tint, or "tinge" as some people like to say, that affects your LCD screen upon installing the recent software update. After reading about the problem on an external "anti-Mac" (pro PC?) website, one couldn't help but laugh because it is yet another glitch in the already long list of problems plaguing owners of the MacBook.

(At least, this columnist couldn't help but laugh because the MacBook will be the topic of discussion in an upcoming article on this site, Part 2 of the "Think Different" series, and some of those other glitches on that list will be mentioned based on personal observations and user experience. You know, the machine that replaces the 12" iBook and PowerBook G4? **Note that this columnist is in no way affiliated with the aforementioned site which will be credited later).

As of now, it appears the problem is relegated to mostly MacBooks, according to information provided on that external website, including user testimonials appearing on the Apple Discussions boards which corroborate the problem. There are a few MacBook Pro owners who've seen the new "screen upgrade" present on their machines and have lent their comments to the forum. As well as one (as of this writing) solo owner of a 12" PowerBook G4...

It's a piece of advice given by a few-- and practiced by even fewer --to backup your system before installing software updates due to some unknown bugs that can unexpectedly appear and wreak havoc on your machine. So far it's been a game of crossing fingers and praying that nothing bad happens, as in the day a particular person upgraded his PowerMac G4 Dual from Panther to Tiger. It purred quite nicely until a few hours later, the machine stopped responding.

What? You sure you weren't using a Dell? Macs don't crash or get viruses. (You didn't hear it here!).

As powerfully-equipped as this PowerMac G4 is (1.42 GHz dual processors with 2GB RAM), while true that it didn't get a virus, it had something. Maybe it was a hairball? (If you were anywhere near the vicinity of the building that day, you would have heard this tiger-- yours truly --growling with rage). It was unexplainable, and as highly experienced as this avid Mac user is, there was no logical explanation that could be found.

Thankfully, since there were four hard drives in the machine, just to be safe, Tiger was installed on a secondary hard drive while the main system with all the apps and important files was left untouched. Just imagine had Tiger been installed over Panther... it would have been a nightmare. Whatever the glitch was, with so many important files on that computer, and stumbling onto crash after crash with each subsequent Tiger installation, it was too risky.

Eventually, after taking the suggestion from a good colleague who said to clone the original drive and try installing Tiger onto the main drive (and after subsequent unsuccessful attempts at various ways of "safe" installations-- such as clean install or archive and install), it finally worked by simply upgrading the existing software. Go figure! (Though one other glitch discovered was with the use of the Migration Assistant which led to the crashing).

Even with the recent update of iTunes, after the big "It's Showtime" announcement, the new version 7.0 messed up some people's music libaries and corrupted them to the point of no return. Others lost complete collections. (Unfortunately, the source of that piece of information is beyond recollection at the moment-- our apologies). Apple immediately released an update to that update, releasing version 7.0.1 to address those bugs.

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