Rick Forno: WTF

Rick Forno has said it better than I ever could. So allow me to elevate his comment to a post.

(sent out to my mailing list this evening)

Snow Leopard comes out for OSX users today. OSX 10.6. Hurray!

While watching the Redskins-Patriots on the big screen, I go about trying to upgrade my test laptop only to discover the Apple DVD is not recognizing the hard drive as something that can support OSX. WTFO? Resourceful as ever, I begin to Google for answers.

As I Google, an email[1] arrives from PGP.COM saying that their current product is incompatible with 10.6 and if users want to use PGP they should not upgrade but that if we “intend to upgrade to Snow Leopard, you must decrypt all PGP encrypted drives and uninstall PGP Desktop before upgrading the system to Mac OS X 10.6.” They go on to say that 10.6 support is forthcoming in their next major release but offer no details on when it will be, except to say they’re accepting beta applications now.


Taking beta applications now? There are freeware and shareware developers whose products are fully compatible with 10.6 and PGP only now is soliciting beta testers? Did the company just realize that OSX 10.6 was coming out today? Didn’t they get the memo? Are there no OSX users at PGP Headquarters?

So back to my stalled Snow Leopard upgrade to my laptop: Thanks to Google’s timely archiving of the Apple support boards[2] I found out that not only did I have to uninstall PGP, repair disk permissions, and reboot, but since PGP apparently does something to the OSX partition table, I had to enter Disk Utility and dynamically resize my laptop’s hard drive a few megabytes in size just so a new partition table could be written — at which point I was able to install OSX 10.6 just fine. (Note that I had installed, but did not use, PGP on this computer, and certainly did not use their Whole Disk Encryption.) What kind of stuff did PGP have to write to my partition table to make it unreadable by Apple’s own installation disk? Scary!

Unfortunately, after many years of dealing with their quirky product registration system and hiccups with routine OS upgrades, I am forced to say that PGP has lost me as a customer — their tolerable corporate quirks aside, I cannot trust any security product that tweaks (nay, borks) my system in such a troublesome manner and certainly one that seems to treat Mac users as third-class citizens.[4] I’m not the only one who feels this way, either — indeed they are correct in titling their concerns the Audacity of Hopelessness.[3]

I will follow the lead of my coworkers and other securtygeeks and embrace GPG instead.


[1] http://blog.pgp.com/index.php/2009/08/sneak-peek-pgp-whole-disk-encryption-for-snow-leopard/
[2] http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?messageID=10063151
[3] https://pgpsucks.wordpress.com/
[4] How about their officially-unsupported but unofficially-supported Mail.App plug-in? After nearly a decade of OSX in the marketplace they still don’t officially support Apple’s Mail program? WTF, indeed.


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