Friday, July 21, 2017

Some Known Bugs in macOS 10.12.6

Howard Oakley has a list of user-facing bugs that remain in what is likely the last update to Sierra. Here are some that continue to affect me regularly:

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* When I close the lid on my MacBook Pro 15in (mid-2015), there's a 30% chance that it'll crash somehow so that when I try to resume by opening the lid I experience a full reboot rather than resume. There's no suspend state written to disk either – it's a genuine full reboot, with a warning that the computer didn't shut down correctly last time. Except I didn't shut it down. Doh. Literally at some point it just turns itself off instead of sleeping.

* Same model, the graphics driver module for the AMD R9 M370X discrete GPU appears buggy. Whenever I use an external monitor when the discrete GPU is in use, windows dragged between the two desktops sometimes don't redraw correctly (smearing, mainly). I can't use the Duet display app either (using iPad as second/third screen) because of this issue, which is 100x worse with Duet. Duet says they know of the issue and are working on a fix. They've been working on it for two years now, which makes me think it isn't their problem.

* Keyboard backlighting has a mind of its own. I turn it off, when the computer resumes it's back. SM reset/PR reset has no effect.

* Clicking on force touch trackpad is broken somehow, in that when I wake the Mac from sleep it takes around 30 seconds for the click feel to build-up. Initially it's extremely faint. I've created a second account to test if this is a hardware fault rather than software, and the clicking works fine there, so it's software somehow. I've deleted all the config plists for mouse/trackpad, and reset the SM/PR reset, but it seems the settings are stored somewhere mysterious. This is one of those irritations of macOS nowadays – at one point I would know that a plist somewhere held the setting because that was how it's done on OS X, but nowadays the setting could be anything, stored anywhere. I'd be better off looking at how the iPhone might store such a setting.

So yeah, two year-old computer which itself was only a spec-bumped 2013 model, with some serious and profound bugs. It's not like Apple is lacking time here. I suspect Apple doesn't really put much bug-triage work into 15in models. The 13in models that sell by the wagon-load are where the work goes.

Oh yeah, and another: the mouse cursor disappears when the automatic switch to a discrete GPU is done. I have to waggle the mouse for around 10 seconds and click randomly to make it reappear. And yes, often the cursor will stay as a text selection cursor even when moved out of text. But that's been around for literally more than a decade now.

There's always a final update timed with the GM of the major release.

[…] still waiting for the reliability/drivers to match FireWire and […]

If you use multiple Spaces, exercise caution whenever you encounter the ⌘-Delete bug. Sometimes the action doesn't fail, but instead deletes something in the Finder from some other space. I've encountered situations where — when switching Spaces — the Finder's focus goes to a completely different and unexpected Space, so the keyboard shortcut ends up moving something to the Trash, instead of the thing that appears to be in focus in the active Space.

My habit is now, whenever a keyboard shortcut appears to fail, to check the Undo queue...

I have an older MacBook Pro -- got the white screen, which had never happened before. Got it going. Took to Apple repair-- they couldn't find anything wrong. Had me convinced it was a video going bad. But I finally replaced the operating system and seems ok now. I think there was a bug, as I had just done an update.

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