What's Up With iChat, Leopard?

Last modified on January 15th, 2008

I’ve been using Leopard now for around 3 months, and to be honest, I’m really not impressed at all. It’s an extremely buggy OS with a bunch of mediocre improvements, many of which I haven’t really found a use for.

Spaces? I actually thought these would be cool, but I just haven’t been able to find a good use for them. In fact, I find myself accidentally switching between spaces from time to time thanks to how heavily I rely on the control and option keys for other things.

Stacks is another completely useless feature, mainly because you can’t really see enough icons. Plus, it’s generally a stupid idea to present multiple conflicting UI designs (the box in stacks and the curvy expandy thing) for the same feature, especially if you switch between them from time to time.

I am currently on the 10.5.1 update of Leopard, which is basically the first major service pack after the OS release. Ever since upgrading from Tiger to Leopard, my Macbook Pro refuses to connect to my Wireless N WRT150N router at home. Even though it has great signal strength, it generally always comes back with a self-assigned IP address. It would seem I’m not the only person having this problem.

Without a doubt though, the biggest complaint I have with Leopard is that they’ve completely destroyed iChat with it. Nearly every person I know who uses it routinely has suddenly found it nearly unusable. It seems with every application update it just gets a whole lots worse.

I looked so much happier when iChat actually worked

Tonight I tried various iChats with a few people, and pretty much all of them failed with a communications error. Looking at the logs, it appears that iChat is having problems determining which IP addresses to use. I tried on two different computers in two different network topologies with multiple people. You know how many iChats we successfully pulled off? Zero.

I’ve gone through every thing I can think of, and every suggestion other users in the forums have come up with. I’ve disabled uPNP, played with my Leopard firewall settings, tried various AOL servers, all with no luck. You know what pisses me off the most though — how you can’t find any information from anyone at Apple. Clearly this must be a known issue, so at least fess up to it and tell people you’re working on it. Ignoring the problem just seems arrogant, and is leading to frustration all across the board.

When I first installed Leopard it worked slightly better, and I even had a few opportunities to try out the screen sharing feature. But now, it’s basically completely broken — not just for me, but for many people I know and usually talk with.

I used iChat fairly frequently, so having it out of commission is a pretty major pain in the ass. To top it off, Apple isn’t really talking about many of these problems openly, even though many users are reporting these same problems. I bought my Mac because it was supposed to “just work”, but with each new update I take from Apple, the situation just gets worse and worse. Before spending anymore time putting out new technologies such as the new Apple Air, they really need to get their shit together and shore up this OS in a hurry.

I’m going to add a few polls here to get some feedback. First, what do you guys think of Leopard?


And second, if you’ve upgraded to Leopard, let me know what your experience is with the new iChat: