July 31, 2012

Mountain Lion Does What Lions Do: It Kills

Michael Harper for - Your Universe Online

Apple´s latest OS may have quickly sold 2 million copies in the first 2 days, and another million in the 2 days after, but now it seems as if Mountain Lion might be responsible for killing battery life as well as Safari, according to some forum posts on the Support section of

After last week´s quick sale, some users who upgraded to OS X 10.8 noticed that Safari would crash regularly. Upon investigating the crash reports, it appeared as if the password management app 1Password was responsible for crashing Apple´s built-in web browser. This issue only affected a small number of users, however, implying that the issue might not have been with 1Password but with Safari itself.

After users began to complain about these crashes, the development team at 1Password began to investigate the issue and found the bug existed in the way Mountain Lion handles their proxy server configurations. Proxies are often used for businesses and offices rather than simple home use.

According to, those who are having this problem can disable automatic proxy discovery in their network configuration. If, however, you need to use proxies, a second option is to simply remove 1Password until a fix for the bug is shipped from Apple.

Some users have also noticed a “considerable” loss of battery life on their laptops after Mountain Lion was installed. Such claims are common after any new OS is installed and similar complaints occurred last year as well whenever Lion was released to the public.

According to the support forums at, some users have checked their activity monitors and haven´t noticed any errant processes running in the background, which would cause the battery life to suffer dramatically. Some of these users are complaining about a battery loss of up to 50% since Mountain Lion was installed. One MacBook Pro user has said they´re only getting 3 hours of battery life from their machine, which was purchased in August 2011. The advertised battery life on these machines is 7 hours of “Wireless web” time.

Some users have suggested taking steps such as resetting the system management controller (SMC) or the parameter random access memory, (PRAM) 2 steps which require a bit of timing and some confidence in one´s ability to correctly diagnose and fix computer issues.

“Zapping the PRAM,” as it´s called, not only requires some confidence, it also requires a good deal of finger dexterity. There are plenty of tutorials available online to walk users through these steps.

Apple´s signature silence on issues such as these is only serving to further frustrate these users, especially considering Apple never explained why battery life suddenly suffered in the transition from Snow Leopard to last year´s Lion update. While issues like battery life could be caused by any number of circumstances, it´s likely those who had experienced such poor battery life in Lion expected its younger sibling to fix these issues. Now, these users are feeling the disappointment of 2 operating systems having let them down and drain their battery at the rate of a common PC.