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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

I Thought Mac Applications Weren't Supposed to Crash


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GTwinkie
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Hey guys...

One of my biggest incentives to make the switch from a PC to Mac was that applications don't crash and that the Mac OS was stable.

Granted my new iMac G5 has yet to "freeze" or give me the Mac equivalent of the Blue Screen of Death, but I have had a number of occasions where programs have "unexpectedly quit." The most frequent culprits:

AOL Instant Messenger
Firefox
Entourage

... and in each case, I haven't been doing anything memory or resource-intensive. Honestly, I've either clicked on an email to read it or just opened a new Tab to go to another website.

Are these programs known to be prone to crashing? Or is there something wrong with my Mac?

OR am I holding my Mac to impossible standards of stability?

Thanks guys... just trying to get all my newbie questions out while they're top of mind.

VNL.
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trpnmonkey41

 
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I occasionally get it with FireFox but I don't use AIM alot, or Entourage. You also have to remember that these are third party applications. Firefox has been a bit buggy since its pre-release's. Entourage is a microsoft product. I used to use AIM regularly but switched to AdiumX because I prefered the interface. I only use AIM for file transfers.

Don't forget to use the new User Reputation System
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dan828

 
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You are holding it to impossible standards. I was trying to use a dlink USB-wireless device and managed to get the Mac version of the BSOD a couple of times within the first few days of owning my Mini (A nice little window pops up telling you that the OS isn't working and to hold down the power button and restart). Once I quit trying to use this hardware that the Mini obviously doesn't like (my iMac G3 is fine with it though, go figure) I haven't seen the pop-up window of death again.

Also, Firefox has crashed on me a couple of times as well-- looks like the Mac version isn't ready for prime time yet. I've been using Camino, which is a Mozilla based browser designed for OS X. It's still beta, but seems very stable (no crashes so far) and I like it better than Safari.

http://www.mozilla.org/products/camino/
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meltbanana314
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AIM, Firefox, and Entourage are all prone to crashing

AIM - it's made as a second rate competetor to iChat on a second rate (non-Windows) platform. It's destined to be buggy. Use iChat instead, or Adium if you like multi-messenger capability. Much better apps.

Firefox - Very fast, still very unstable in my opinion. Use Safari, which is natively developed for OS X by Apple (instead of Firefox which is by a bunch of preteen hackers who talk in l33tsp33ch and run Linux.)

Entourage - It's made by ****ing Microsoft, what do you expect - stability?

All apps have bugs, OS X included - but pick the right apps and you will have less problems. I've only had 3 application crashes and 1 system crash in the three weeks I've owned my PowerBook.
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Macman

 
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@ meltbanana:
y4y l33tsp33ch.

back on topic, I agree, most apps that are third party apps come with read me's saying stuff like "use at your own risk" for a reason. how much ram do you have?
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iWhat

 
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I have had this problem on my iBook many times over. Yet, on my iMac, apps crashing happens rarely. I think that it might come down to memory. My iBook has 256mb, but my iMac has 512mb. I notice crashing happening a lot with my iBook, when it comes to having a lot of tabs open with Firefox. Or when a website has intensive flash ads, then my iBook just seems to poop out on me and unexpectedly quit that app.
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Meyvn

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTwinkie
The most frequent culprits:

AOL Instant Messenger
Firefox
Entourage
I love that two of these programs are ports, (AIM being a TERRIBLE port), and another is a Microsoft program.

'cause when it rains, you know it pours.
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Meyvn

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meltbanana314
Firefox - Very fast, still very unstable in my opinion. Use Safari, which is natively developed for OS X by Apple (instead of Firefox which is by a bunch of preteen hackers who talk in l33tsp33ch and run Linux.)
I would personally recommend Shiira or Camino over Safari, but I'd just like to say that Firefox, if you use the 1.0 and not the nightlies, it's supposed to be stable. It is, however, a port, and that will never change, however fast it or flexible it is. Additionally, calling people like Blake Ross, Ben Goodger, and Asa Dotzler "preteen, Linux-using, leetspeaking hackers" is a very ignorant and rude comment.

'cause when it rains, you know it pours.
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VastDeathmaster
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Look at it this way. When any application crashes on a Windows PC, it almost always crashes the entire Operating System. On a Mac (or at least from my experience with OS10.1 thru 10.3.7) the application crashes, and the system keeps going.

I have a third party program to use my Logitech QuickCam 3000 with Yahoo messenger. When I quit the video, messenger crashes, but my system still works. I am pretty sure if I had a third party program crash on my PC, it would lock up the whole computer and I would have to reboot.
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mynameis

 
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Nothing is going to be perfect, my mac mini was brought to a stand-still while trying to use the registration program when I first got it, since then it has been solid.
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meltbanana314
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meyvn
I would personally recommend Shiira or Camino over Safari, but I'd just like to say that Firefox, if you use the 1.0 and not the nightlies, it's supposed to be stable. It is, however, a port, and that will never change, however fast it or flexible it is. Additionally, calling people like Blake Ross, Ben Goodger, and Asa Dotzler "preteen, Linux-using, leetspeaking hackers" is a very ignorant and rude comment.
Firefox has a way of corruping profiles, and the extensions have a problem with breaking things six ways from Sunday sometimes. I must say that Shiira and Camino are very nice (esp. the Camino optimized builds) but neither really offer anything that catches my eye, so I'm sticking with Safari.

I also happen to be a Linux user. I used to go to my LUG meeting every week before it got boring. I advocate use of open source software to my friends. I bought "Running Linux, 4th Edition" right after it came out.

There *are* professional people developing open source applications and services (Yukihiro Matsumoto happens to be my idol, if anyone cares.) - but then again, a lot of the (younger) community zealously and pointlessly argues about editors (vim/emacs/pico) shells (zsh/bash/ksh/tcsh) window managers (KDE/GNOME/Fluxbox/Blackbox) distributions (Slackware/Gentoo/Debian) - hang out in some of the IRC channels on FreeNode or DALnet and you'll see what I mean. I admit calling them immature teenagers was a bit of a stretch, but I've had such problems with Firefox that I've gone a step backwards and use Dillo for web browsing on my Fedora and Ubuntu machines. I've got a bit of a grudge against them.

To me, Firefox feels like an incredibly half-finished, totally unprofessional product. The speed is there, it blows Safari out of the water in rendering times and Gecko renders things better than KHTML too. But, it's *really* unstable in my opinion. See the first paragraph.
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GTwinkie
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WOW guys! Thanks for all the replies.

My iMac is a 1.8GHz G5 with 1GB of RAM... so I figured I wouldn't run into some of these problems.

You guys seem to be right... I have been using iChat lately instead of AIM and indeed it hasn't crashed once. And Safari has yet to crash on me either.

However, I think it's the fact that AIM and Firefox are *FREE* 3rd party programs that make them a little shaky. For example, Photoshop is a 3rd party program, right? But I wouldn't expect it to be prone to crashing because I assume Adobe put a lot more money into developing and testing than, say, AOL or Mozilla did their respective apps.

As for Entourage being unstable... well, I can't really say anything about that. Like Meltbananana314 said, it's Microsoft... what do I expect?

To VastDeathmaster's point... the one saving grace to these crashes is that my Mac doesn't freeze and I have yet to be forced to reboot it (knock on wood). If an app. crashes, it closes, and I go on with my work.

Despite these few incidences... overall, my Mac is head and shoulders more stable than any PC I've ever owned.

Thanks again guys!

VNL.
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Meyvn

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meltbanana314
Firefox has a way of corruping profiles, and the extensions have a problem with breaking things six ways from Sunday sometimes. I must say that Shiira and Camino are very nice (esp. the Camino optimized builds) but neither really offer anything that catches my eye, so I'm sticking with Safari.

I also happen to be a Linux user. I used to go to my LUG meeting every week before it got boring. I advocate use of open source software to my friends. I bought "Running Linux, 4th Edition" right after it came out.

There *are* professional people developing open source applications and services (Yukihiro Matsumoto happens to be my idol, if anyone cares.) - but then again, a lot of the (younger) community zealously and pointlessly argues about editors (vim/emacs/pico) shells (zsh/bash/ksh/tcsh) window managers (KDE/GNOME/Fluxbox/Blackbox) distributions (Slackware/Gentoo/Debian) - hang out in some of the IRC channels on FreeNode or DALnet and you'll see what I mean. I admit calling them immature teenagers was a bit of a stretch, but I've had such problems with Firefox that I've gone a step backwards and use Dillo for web browsing on my Fedora and Ubuntu machines. I've got a bit of a grudge against them.

To me, Firefox feels like an incredibly half-finished, totally unprofessional product. The speed is there, it blows Safari out of the water in rendering times and Gecko renders things better than KHTML too. But, it's *really* unstable in my opinion. See the first paragraph.
All right. Very educated and well thought-out reasoning. But, yeah. I got some of the same stuff you did with Firefox. I used it for awhile because using optimized FF builds sure beat Safari's speed, not be a ton but it's noticeable. I got tired of the lack of nativeness, though. And of course you'll get the unprofessional feel every once in awhile coming from programmers who write bad movie quotes and 'cookies are delicious delicacies' right into the code. I never used hardly any extensions, so I never had problems there, or with profiles. The thing I've consistently noticed about Firefox is that it works for me really well on Windows, but everywhere else it has some sort of problem or other. You mentioned that Safari was drastically slower than FF. Have you considered trying enabling pipelining? A lot of people have said that it's a 'placebo effect' speed increase, but it seems to work pretty well for me.

'cause when it rains, you know it pours.
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Thud
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTwinkie
Granted my new iMac G5 has yet to "freeze" or give me the Mac equivalent of the Blue Screen of Death, but I have had a number of occasions where programs have "unexpectedly quit."

You need to be very clear of one distinction:

MacOSX makes NO guarantees that programs won't crash.

Programs crash because they have BUGS. MacOSX can't help it if programs have bugs. Buggy programs can be written for any operating system. Buggy programs can (and do) crash on any operating system.

However, you can be assured that when a program crashes, it won't bring down the rest of the system. The OS just shuts down the offending program and keeps going. Windows does the same thing, but if device drivers are involved then it CAN bring down the rest of the system.

If the program simply closes without any error messages (I dunno if OSX informs you of an "illegal operation" like Windows does) then it means the program closed ITSELF due to an unhandled exception withint the program.
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Macman

 
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os x doesnt do 'illegal operation' error messages.
@meyvn: how do you pipeline safari? I like FF's extensions, though a few have caused problems.
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