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Bill Bumgarner responds to my post earlier today about OS X stability. Writing an OS, and drivers, is hard, I don't doubt it, and I don't claim I could do better because I haven't tried. However, what I complain about mainly is that OS X does not have the quality of OS 9. Nothing I see makes me think that the time has been spent to do a really good job—not the kernel, not the drivers or SDKs, not Project Builder, nor command-line tools, and especially not the Finder, the poster child for “unfinished, slow, flaky and buggy” in OS X. That I have to restart the Finder on average 10 times a day is not acceptable.

This is, in part, because time that would be spent in a new 9.x release on fit and finish has to be instead spent implementing basic features that were in System 7, or FreeBSD 3.0, yet haven't been ported to X yet.

The MP3 driver I'm using shipped with Mac OS X, I have a Creative Nomad II. This player is still sold, although not the exact model I use (DAP-0001). The plugin bundle in iTunes says “Copyright Apple Computer, Inc. 2001”, so I assume it means Apple wrote it and should be supporting it—like they're not. In fact the usability of my Nomad has gone down in iTunes 2.x, unlike in 1.x I can no longer drag files onto it after files have started uploading, so I have to either wait for the upload to complete, or create a playlist as a temporary storage area before dragging it to my Nomad. In the flakiness department, I often have to connect and disconnect the player 2–3 times before it registers in iTunes (and pray that it doesn't crash). A robust, stable OS, or applications software (iTunes) does not require that I try something multiple times and work around crashes.

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