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Trouble Spots in Leopard

As people have continued to install Leopard--the new Mac OS X operating system from Apple that I reviewed last week--a couple of issues have emerged.

One is a nasty bug that can cause you to lose files that you're moving to a different hard drive or computer if their destination becomes suddenly unavailable. For example, if you unplug an external hard drive by mistake or if your network connection to a server hiccups. Blogger Tom Karpik documents the issue with numerous screenshots and a plea for Apple to fix the problem: "This is unacceptable." The MacInTouch blog provides additional detail, including advice on how to avoid getting bitten by this bug.

The other is the design of Leopard's firewall, which on closer inspection by security experts has revealed some disturbing aspects. Mac security consultant Rich Mogull's writeup in the TidBits newsletter explains how the firewall can leave your Mac less secure than before, how it can cause some programs to malfunction and how, even when active, it will still allow some incoming network traffic. Mogull concludes:

All of these behaviors are considered "bad" on the whole firewall good/bad scale.

The way I'd put it is that Leopard's firewall setup looks uncomfortably like Windows at its worst. If you'd like more technical details about this issue, see Mogull's analysis on his own blog.

I still think Leopard is a good operating system and a worthy upgrade from Tiger. But if you don't have a firewall on your home's wireless router protecting your computers or you often move files from one computer to another, you should think about holding off on installing Leopard until Apple fixes these problems. (As for myself, I have my own reasons to delay upgrading to Leopard--the software I use to sync my smartphone isn't compatible with it yet.)

If you've installed Leopard--or tried to--have you run into any unpleasant surprises with this software?

By Rob Pegoraro  |  November 7, 2007; 4:10 PM ET
Categories:  Mac  
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