Bugs & Fixes: Lion compatibility problems continue

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As Michael Corleone said, “Just when I thought I was out… they pull me back in.” That’s my current reaction to Mac OS X Lion compatibility problems. After devoting my three previous columns to this topic, I was ready to move on. But new issues continue to demand attention. Here’s the latest:

iWow for iTunes If you use SRS’s iWOW for iTunes, SRS confirms that there is an issue “with the latest iTunes and OS X Lion updates. The SRS engineering team is quickly addressing the problem and a fix will be available shortly.” The symptom (at least on my Mac) is that, when you launch iTunes, an error message appears stating “iWow Error! Internal Error: Could not insert menu bar item.. Error code = 5603.”

A work-around is to switch iTunes to run in 32-bit mode, as explained in this SRS web page.

Video freeze on iMacs Kirk McElhearn, writing in TidBITS, describes a “video viewing” bug in Lion running on his iMac: “I started having problems with the computer freezing when I viewed videos. This occurs with all kinds of videos: Flash, H.264, and QuickTime formats, as well as AVIs and MKVs. And we’re talking about a serious freeze: the entire screen freezes, except for the cursor.” A 62-page(!) Apple Support Communites thread also covers this matter. As far as I can tell, there is no sure-fire work-around. A cure will have to come from Apple.

Graphics card-related kernel panics and black screens on MacBook Pros MacFixIt notes a graphics-related bug that appears specific to MacBook Pro models with Nvidia graphics cards. The symptom is a frequent crashes resulting in a kernel panic. MacFixIt suggests the cause may be related to another symptom where a MacBook does not wake up from sleep and remains as a black screen. Again, an Apple Support Communities thread confirms that the issue is affecting numerous users and that Apple is looking into a solution.

HDMI loss Macworld reader rtwendel alerted me to a problem where HDMI fails to work after a Lion upgrade: “Those of us using Mac Minis as media servers connected to Hi-Fi systems with HDMI are unhappy.” Confirming this, an extended Apple Support Communities thread starts out: “I just installed Lion on my Mac mini and my TV no longer receives a signal over HDMI.” A few work-arounds are suggested, such as removing and re-inserting the plug, but none are guaranteed to work.

Good news On the positive side, third-party vendors continue to upgrade their software to be Lion compatible. Here are two recent examples:

Recosoft announced that their complete line of “PDF2” products (such as PDF2Office for iWork) have been updated to address incompatibilities with Mac OS X v10.7 Lion.

Remo Software just announced that their latest version of Remo Recover 3 data recovery software is now Lion compatible.

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At a Glance
  • At $30 for all of your Macs, the only reason not to upgrade to Lion is because you rely on old PowerPC-based apps that won’t run on it. Otherwise, it’s a great price for a major upgrade.

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