Well I’m happy to report that Leopard, the latest revision to Apple’s Mac OS X, has finally stopped crashing my machine. Apple released Leopard after an initial delay of over six months in October of last year. I was one of those that installed on the release date, having pre-ordered my copy from Apple. I have had several problems with this release compared to Tiger.
First, the media I received from Apple was scratched. This caused a read error every time I tried to copy or install the development tools from the DVD, not a show stopper as I am a member of ADC and I downloaded the required files. I believe this is the result of the move to new packaging that is also used on the newer versions of iLife and iWork. The soft CD sleeves used on previous releases worked much better to protect the disk.
Second, the day after installation I immediately started experiencing kernel panics do to the USB drivers. This was on a previously very stable Quad G5. I began to suspect driver conflicts, and as a result ended up completing a fresh install (reinstalling everything). This did not help. Finally, Apple released 10.5.1 at which point I was very excited to see if this fixed the issue. Alas the panic continued. Now, with the release of 10.5.2 I have yet to encounter a kernel panic since the install. My hope is that this is now over. The exact problem is still illusive but it basically involved a kernel panic immediately following a wake from sleep, the driver at fault was always in the USB family and the logs showed references to changes in bus power state.
Third and last, I had problems with my keyboard on a recent MacBook Pro (new in August 2007) after installing Leopard. This turned out to be unrelated to Leopard, but instead was a keyboard firmware issue that only occurred after installation of Leopard. This problem was fixed about a month and a half after the Leopard release.
So after about four months of issues I now have both systems working consistently, but only after the upgrade to 10.5.2 have I found the same stability that I was accustom to with Tiger. Now I may finally install Leopard Server on my server. I only hope that this is finally the end of this issue.