I will admit that I hate to admit defeat, but I have been defeated.
I am a hardware junkie. I try to buy the first edition of the consumer level products Apple produces. (PB520, PM7600/120, PM7600/200, Rev. A Bondi iMac, Rev. A Tangerine iBook, Blue Dalmation iMac/500/CDRW, 2001 Dual USB iBook/DVD)
I am a software wimp. I usually hold off on upgrading system software until it has been release and upgraded a few times. (OS 7.1 until 7.6, OS 8.1 only because family bought it as a gift, OS 9 only because it came installed on the new computers)
When OS X was release, and then released again, and finally released again, I determined that OS X was ready and upgraded everything (Rev. A iMac and up) to OS X. With little thought, I also upgraded OS 9.1 to OS 9.2.1. That's when all hell broke loose. (Luckily the Tan iBook wouldn't accept OS 9.2.1 (morsel error) -- so it still works properly).
The problem is this...
With all the Macs in the house, they are networked. I have always promoted the Mac for the ease in which it can be networked. Plug into the hub and life is good. That was true until OS 9 when Network Browser decided it wanted to connect to my ISP and various networks every time I tried to connect to the network. After a few restarts with various extensions disabled, I solved that problem -- no thanks to Apple's Knowledge Base. I think Macfixit.com actually addressed and fixed it another way.
Anyway, that pissed me off, because a normal new user would never have known where to go or what to do. What a silly default config to ship with.
So along comes OS 9.2.1. Not only does it have a similar network problem, but before I can even get around to fixing that problem, Network Browser crashes every time with an error of type 12.
I wouldn't complain if this was only happening on the Rev. A iMac (I don't know when I last, if ever, updated the firmware), but it is also happening on the Dual USB iBook. I've not even checked if there is a firmware update for the iBook, it's only a few months old. If there is an update, again, it is not something a novice should be expected to do only a few months after purchasing a new laptop.
Anyway, my poor little Bondi iMac started having various problems, more frequent freezes, lost icons, taking 45 minutes to check it's 4GB HD and rebuild the desktop and other wacky behavior.
So, after having to admit to myself that my lack of trust in new operating system software was not unfounded, I reinstalled OS 9.1, and after pissing around with QuickTime Updates that died on the last item to install and then tried to reinstall the whole thing again, everything is working as it should, at least in OS 9.1. I haven't even started OS X since the big problems started. But prior to that, networking in OS X worked fine.
It is a real shame that Apple, in its rush to get OS X to the masses, has glossed over the problems in OS 9.1 and added a handful more in OS 9.2.1.
Previous to this upgrade fiasco, I would have never had a problem recommending a Mac to a novice or even a Windows user. But, since my Dell at work has run for 8 months with very few problems (none of which I, a PC-hater and Windows idiot, couldn't fix by myself) despite loading all the shareware, freeware, internet crap my T-1 could download, and considering that the Dell with a 17 in monitor and CDRW cost less than even the newly reduced iMac and has twice the specs, it would be a tough pushing an iMac to a convert or new user (and don't even think about mentioning the education market).
Just my rant after a weekend of frustration and realizing that Apple is Thinking Different -- a little too different.
[ 10-15-2001: Message edited by: watashi ]