OS X 10.6.7 Stability Issues?

I have a mid-2010 15 inch MacBook Pro which has been experiencing some odd stability issues lately, and the only thing I can think of that may be a factor is the latest OS update from Apple.

Fully understanding that correlation does not necessarily equal causation, I’m not going to say with certainty that 10.6.7 is the culprit and a complete failure. Often times there can be so many things that can be factored in when dealing with technical issues, especially when it’s relating to a piece of hardware.

I’ll go on the record and state that I’m not one to install a ton of beta apps, nor do I install a ton of apps in general. Things are kept fairly minimal most of the time, and I do my due diligence by doing routine disk maintenance. Utilities like Onyx and Disk Utility are indispensable and they are run once a month. I’ve looked through my crash logs and can’t find any fault with third party apps running in the background (which isn’t a lot).

My observation and issues can only be perceived as having something to do with installing 10.6.7. For the most part 10.6.6 had been running just fine, however what I have been running into lately are issues with OS X failing to find the primary boot drive after coming out of sleep. I get that depressing grey screen with the folder containing a nice little question mark insider it. This has happened several times to me, and it only appears to be happening when it comes out of sleep mode, which seems peculiar. I have also had the Mac App Store crash on me after my MacBook Pro had come out of sleep mode as well. I had once left the Mac App Store open and running in the background, however when I came back to my Mac and hit the space bar, I was greeted with a nice crash dialog box.

For the most part, Apple has a stellar reputation for doing good beta testing and having top-notch quality assurance processes in check. This is not to say that issues don’t slip through the cracks though. After all, their developers are only human and are prone to making mistakes or missing things just like the rest of us. I find that sometimes OS updates be hit or miss though. Sometimes fixing a majority of major issues, yet occasionally breaking other things in the OS.

When I was in my teens and early 20s, I use to always be on the absolute bleeding edge when it came to using newly released software, knowing well enough of the implications in doing so. Now as I approach 30, I find myself just wanting to use stable hardware and software, so I’m less likely to jump on new things immediately (with the possible exception of a few key reputable app development companies). My general sense though is that while Apple is doing quite a good job with beta testing OS X patches, I would still feel more comfortable if they extended their beta testing periods a little longer, even by a few weeks to catch some last minute issues.

I’ve been keeping a close eye on on the upcoming 10.7 Lion developer previews, and I see some really nice UI and UX progressions happening, for the most part sans iCal. When Lion is released to the public, I think I’m going to sit this one out and wait for a few point releases after the public release to allow Apple to shake out the show stoppers. Once 10.7 proves itself to be rock solid, I’ll end up adopting it.

So does anyone else feel as if the OS X team should be extending their beta testing periods to allow for more quality assurance testing? It wouldn’t hurt to just spend a few more weeks before locking down the code for public consumption.