Here at O’Reilly we have lots of new Mac OS X users. We’ve leveled the playing field by allowing employees to choose from a menu of hardware options when their time for an upgrade arrives. I won’t give you any specific numbers, but let’s say that Mac hardware is very popular around here right now.
Since most of these folks had WinTel configurations prior, we’ve established a NewMacs internal mailing list where we discuss software and hardware issues. One of the most consistent questions that has surfaced is, “Should I apply this new thing that just appeared in Software Update?”
Our answer is, “Count to two.” Two days that is. Then we’ll either flash the green light or recommend that you don’t update at this time.
I was reminded of this strategy this morning when I read that the current AirPort Management Tools update has been temporarily pulled back by Apple. Based on the comments I’ve read, I’m glad I didn’t rush to apply it as soon as it was released. Since I have a PowerBook, I can’t afford to lose any signal strength bars :)
Personally, I don’t think this is a fiasco. Overall, I think Apple has a good QC process for their software. Yes, they miss things, and I wish they wouldn’t. And I have typos in my articles sometimes too, no matter how many times I read them.
That’s why I recommend counting to two with new updates. Let the guys who have a little more time on their hands than I do perform the final real world test.
I think Software Update is quite handy. I keep it in manual mode so I’m not tempted to update until I’ve made a conscious decision after research. And if I even think about whining about any of these update issues, I then go to my IBM ThinkPad and attempt to apply a few dozen patches.