Freezing G5 Quad: The saga continues

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
September 22nd, 2006 • 10:28 am

Bloody hell.

Like I reported earlier this week, ever since my G5 Quad had a near-death experience, I have kept it on a separate desk as a test machine to monitor it and see what would happen.

For nearly two weeks, it behaved perfectly normally, with not a single freeze or kernel panic.

And then this morning, I was editing some text in BBEdit and bam! I got a kernel panic.

That pretty much destroys my theory that the problem was with the use of a secondary monitor.

The freeze occurred with a single monitor (the 30″ display), with the 4 GB of third-party RAM and the two 500 GB Seagate hard drives inside, and with a single FireWire hard drive attached to the machine.

So basically I am completely stumped. I still do not know what is causing these freezes. They occur randomly. Sometimes I go through long periods without a freeze or kernel panic. Sometimes I get one, two or even three freezes in a single day. Obviously the frequency of the freezes might be related to the degree of activity on the machine. Using it as a test machine on the side, I wasn’t doing as much with it as I normally do, but I did have a number of applications running, including some Internet applications.

This is utterly frustrating. I simply do not know what to do. I am probably going to switch back to the G5 Quad as my main machine. Using the G4 MDD is bearable, but definitely not as comfortable as the G5 Quad: I have less screen real estate, the machine is slower, its noise is much louder, etc.

But I also know that, as soon as I switch back to the G5 as my main machine, the frequency of the freezes will probably go up again, because I’ll be using it on a constant basis for a variety of tasks.

But how on earth am I going to get Apple to address this problem? If I take the machine to a repair shop, there is a good chance that it won’t freeze for several days while there.

Maybe they have extensive testing procedures that might be able to identify problems more efficiently. I guess that is the only thing I can hope for now. I’ll be on the phone with them on Monday.

This situation is really spoiling my whole computing experience and, consequently, a good part of my daily working life. I spent good money on this machine. It might be a year old now, but it still is top-of-the-line technology. It’s supposed to just work—or, alternatively, to just fail. Instead, it is in this in-between state which is eminently frustrating. And I feel quite bitter about it.

This bitterness affects my daily computing experience on the G4 MDD as well. I encounter the same bugs and the same flaws in Mac OS X and third-party software applications as usual. But because of this whole situation, I am more sensitive to all these flaws and bugs, and they end up frustrating me even more than usual. I am thoroughly disappointed that, in this day and age, we still have to waste so much time dealing with purely technical problems and flaws that of absolutely no interest to creative individuals who just want to get some work done.


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