MacBook Pro and the slow-motion beachball of death crash
I've been using 15" Mac laptops since about 2002 and I love them dearly. As general purpose computing platforms for all of the various things I have to do (coding, presentations, communications, etc) they are by far the best blend of power and functionality I've ever had. Having said that, I've been pulling my hair out lately because my latest machine, a ~1 year old 2.4GHz machine with 4GB of RAM and a hand upgraded hard drive, has been crashing.
Generally what's happening is the machine will operate fine for some period of time, several hours to several days. At some point I'll have 2-7 apps open and one of them, usually Firefox, will beachball. When this happens I can switch away to another app but then within 30 seconds or so that app will go down, then the menu bar becomes unresponsive, I can't launch any new apps and that's all she wrote. It's reboot time.
This has been going on for about a month now and I've tried a variety of solutions in terms of running repairs and all that jazz with no luck. At this point I'm ready to throw in the towel. In addition to being a machine that I write code on this is also a machine that I use to do presentations in front of rooms full of people. A lockup during a presentation would be an unacceptable embarrassment so tomorrow I'll be taking this machine back to Sourcefire IT and getting a new MBP. Hopefully they can figure out what the problem is or send it to Apple and let them fix it.