Switcher's Log, Part 6: All is not honey and peaches in Mac OS X land

When things go wrong is when you start seeing some of the disadvantages of being on the 5% pc platform. Help is hard to find, alternatives are non-existent. Briefly here is the story:

I tried a 'better' Palm synchronizer called "Missing Sync" from Mark/Space. After using it for a little bit I decided it didn't really have too many advantages over the standard one, so I uninstalled it. But... I uninstalled it "the wrong way." Who knew? Who knew that there is a wrong way to uninstall on Mac?

Anyway the result was that not only couldn't I continue using Missing Sync, I couldn't even continue using the original Palm HotSynch. It was exactly like what might happen on Windows XP with a corrupted registry entry or a wrong .DLLs. Every bit as bad.

  • I looked for a "force uninstall" utility for OS X. Can't find one.

  • I tried to call Missing Sync for help. Do they even exist? I got no response to email and phone calls for several days. Finally I got several, totally off the mark responses.

  • I tried to get help from Sprint (who sold me my Treo Palm phone) - who knew exactly nothing about Macintosh.

  • I tried getting help from Handspring who built the Treo, and again, nobody home - they bounced me back to Sprint.

Anyway, it was hopeless. Finally with the help of some Mac expert friends, I went around deleting files and directories all over the place and was after lots of (scary) trial and error able to get the thing back to life.

So, the lessons are:

  1. Uninstallation can be as dangerous as installation. Look for instructions about the 'right' way to uninstall

  2. Use the Mac market is so much smaller, expect much worse support and don't feel bad when you get the cold shoulder

  3. OS X isn't perfect

Posted on April 1, 2005 and filed under Technology.