Apple admits New Year's alarm bug

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  • Reply 101 of 136
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post


    Well, it's 1/3 and my wife's alarms didn't go off this morning (iPhone 3GS). She has alarms set for 6:00, 6:05, and 6:10 (she's pretty anal). The only reason she woke up is because she has her backup standard alarm clock on the nightstand.



    WTF Apple?



    As I posted above:



    Quote:

    If you set the timer before 3 of January wont it go off on the 3 of January.



    However, if you set the timer after midnight in 3 of January will it work. Go figure!



  • Reply 102 of 136
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Onhka View Post


    Perhaps you should abide by the old English idiom, "People in glass houses should not throw stones."

    By the way, is it true that your mum still has to remind you every week to take the refuse out?



    Perhaps you should get over it mate.



    Thank you for your remarkably adult response



    Could you please explain how you made the connection between our programme scheduling software for the World Service and the BBC's payroll software? Thanks.



    No, I've been holding down a job, bought my own home, driving cars & motorcycles and taking out the rubbish and the recycling for a long, long, time - probably longer than you've been walking this earth I shouldn't wonder.
  • Reply 103 of 136
    geekdadgeekdad Posts: 1,131member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    Another downside is the number of people who disparage you simply because you are successful.



    Well which is is??? disparaging the successful or what you said earlier?

    Quote:

    "This is pretty shameful as it’s a dumb bug to repeatedly have crop up now. It’s not like they are a startup.



    What does this really take from Apple to detect ahead of time? One iOS developer spending an hour setting the clock ahead to these milestone dates to see if the alarms go off as they should?" End quote

    You seem to say two different things......

    If this were an Android issue you all would be Blasting Google and talking about fragmentation...but the Android alarms worked......
  • Reply 104 of 136
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jkmassel View Post


    Three pages of people complaining, but on an Apple forum, nobody remembers that this is a fairly complicated problem?



    I've personally written event management software, and let me tell you - time zone management and recurring events are nontrivial things to figure out. That's why there are many libraries out there that try to do that for you, but sometimes even those don't work (although traditionally that's in esoteric situations, most places don't mess with their timezones).



    This is a tough problem, that can be ridiculously hard to track down. Of course, I demand perfection from apple as much as any bloke, but this truly is a difficult problem, and as it turns out, their solution breaks. Strangely, it doesn't seem to use core libraries already built into the system (for iCal) to handle this. I can't imagine why not, that seems to work fairly smoothly.



    Programming IS certainly complicated and for as long as software is written it will contain bugs whether written by Apple, Microsoft, IBM or anyone. Some bugs, like "If I draw a new object, move it 20 pixels, then shade it green, switch the app to inactive, the click back in the document, give the object a drop shadow and then duplicate it, then sometimes the app crashes may be impossible to replicate! The causes of some bugs are easy to understand (divide by 0 for example) and some can be very, very difficult to fix. The thing about this bug though is that:



    *) The number of days in any year is known precisely as are the days in a month.

    *) All leap years and their effects are known in advance

    *) Times for the beginning and ending of Daylight Savings Times are published for all countries well in advance (or there would be no chance at all of getting this right at all!)

    *) The choices in the Alarm Clock app are decided by Apple, namely: you can set a one off alarm or a repeating pattern with a finite number of options.



    Therefore given a single TZ, only certain things need testing and they are all knowable in advance. Considering the complexity of software that Apple has written (Core Animation, Spotlight, Core Video, Aperture, Final Cut, etc. etc. etc.) this should be trivial and saying that it is "a truly difficult problem" is failing to address what's going on. As I said in a previous post, our software for the BBC had to handle all this kind of thing, including stopping people setting a program to broadcast at, say 1:30am in a country where the DST came into force and meant that 1:30am "happened twice" after the clocks went back. It also had to handle the same situation where 1:30am would not exist when the clocks change the other way and the clocks jumps from 1am to 2am. Again, all this is known and mathematically predictable years in advance and can and should be tested for.



    If you read Apple's Framework documentation for NSDate, NSTimeZone and NSCalendar you will see the depth of thinking about dates that has gone into it by Apple and others so it's not as though they are not aware of the complexity in coding for date calculations which makes something as simple as "When I cross into a new year, this bug happens" such a surprising error.



    As for "get over it" or not, well, how important this bug is to each of us depends on how we use Apple's mobile devices. If you never use the Alarm Clock app it will be irrelevant, if you rely on it for critical events then it will be significant and just calling people "stupid" for relying on Apple's software is hardly the point.



    I don't expect perfection from any software company, just the very best they can do, but falling over on something of this nature is rather elementary for a company employing some of the finest software engineers on the Planet.
  • Reply 105 of 136
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,744member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by geekdad View Post


    If this were an Android issue you all would be Blasting Google and talking about fragmentation...but the Android alarms worked......



    Yes, the Android alarm will wake you in the morning right on time. But Android will still be Android.
  • Reply 106 of 136
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


    Yes, the Android alarm will wake you in the morning right on time. But Android will still be Android.



    Didn't you hear? On January 4 2011 all Android phones will become iOS phones.

    It's a feature, not a bug!



    But seriously though Apple dropped the ball on this one, particularly so in saying everything

    would work fine on Jan 3rd, which is not the case... :-|
  • Reply 107 of 136
    firefly7475firefly7475 Posts: 1,502member
    Quote:

    Apple admits New Year's alarm bug



    This one is kind of strange. Any programmer worth his salt will set up unit tests around time code that would easily pick this kind of problem up. Maybe this is something to do with the way the software interprets the time result from the hardware clock.
  • Reply 108 of 136
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dlcmh View Post


    Thanks for taking the time to write this. The last PC game I played was F1 Racing Championship in 2000 (!!!) so this is all quite interesting.



    This is what console gaming has done to the gaming industry:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pblj3JHF-Jo
  • Reply 109 of 136
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TedK View Post


    It's disappointing to read these posts from people like Onhka and Wonder when they're throwing around words like stupid and moron in this sort of open, opinion-based forum. People are entitled to express themselves without being jumped on. If a poster is upset by an Apple bug, esp. a very basic and annoying one, then so be it. There's no need for childish name calling...



    Well spoken good sir.



    Back to the original topic, I too experianced this issue both days. Using an iPhone 3GS 32GB, latest iOS version, and NO jailbreak.



    Also, being New Years Eve weekend I had a date that stayed over a couple nights. She had noticed I use almost all Apple products at home (iMac, Mac mini, iPhone, iPad, Apple TV) and asked why. I mentioned it's mainly because they're so reliable. Due to sleeping in too late both mornings, because the alarm didn't go off, I have a hunch she's not taking that "reliable" point too seriously. Doubt she'll be a switcher anytime soon. Way to go Apple!



    But at least Apple's alarm issues beats the Pocket PC/Windows Mobile alarm issues I had 2000-2007 on several models I owned. And I was not alone. It was the norm that various alarms wouldn't go off on many users devices from all device vendors, a few times a week at random in my case, and as far as I'm aware Microsoft never was able to figure the issue out. They even offered a reward at one point for anyone that could figure it out. Well, that's Microsoft for you!
  • Reply 110 of 136
    geekdadgeekdad Posts: 1,131member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post


    Didn't you hear? On January 4 2011 all Android phones will become iOS phones.

    It's a feature, not a bug!



    But seriously though Apple dropped the ball on this one, particularly so in saying everything

    would work fine on Jan 3rd, which is not the case... :-|



    Maybe the alarms didn't work because you were holding it wrong for them to work.........

    My wife's alarm did not work on her iPhone and she was late for work....not a big deal all things considered. But I had to rub it in that my alarm on my EVO worked perfectly.

    Apple does get a little smug sometimes in the response to consumer complaints....
  • Reply 111 of 136
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by geekdad View Post


    Well which is is??? disparaging the successful or what you said earlier?

    Quote:

    "This is pretty shameful as it?s a dumb bug to repeatedly have crop up now. It?s not like they are a startup.



    What does this really take from Apple to detect ahead of time? One iOS developer spending an hour setting the clock ahead to these milestone dates to see if the alarms go off as they should?" End quote

    You seem to say two different things......

    If this were an Android issue you all would be Blasting Google and talking about fragmentation...but the Android alarms worked......



    Startup refers to a new company, not one that is a failure. In fact, all successful companies came from the successes of initial startups.



    I?ll use an example. A company has trouble securing more than 200k NAND modules for their product and ends up not selling as many as they could do to a lag in production due to this component issue. That is perfectly understandable for a company that is fairly new and limited in every way, but for Apple or HTC or Nokia not be able to secure more than 200k NAND units, well that would be shameful.
  • Reply 112 of 136
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mimsyswallows View Post


    Is this the third time, or am I mis-remembering? What is so hard about doing the alarm app right?



    Yeah, have a feeling that if we see any more of these bugs pop up we may see a class action lawsuit!
  • Reply 113 of 136
    geekdadgeekdad Posts: 1,131member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    Startup refers to a new company, not one that is a failure. In fact, all successful companies came from the successes of initial startups.



    I?ll use an example. A company has trouble securing more than 200k NAND modules for their product and ends up not selling as many as they could do to a lag in production due to this component issue. That is perfectly understandable for a company that is fairly new and limited in every way, but for Apple or HTC or Nokia not be able to secure more than 200k NAND units, well that would be shameful.



    I think you missed my point...It was YOUR quote about the start up and it being shameful for Apple to not fix this bug TWICE...That was not my quote. In one post you said it was shameful for Apple to have not fixed this by now...then 2 posts down you insinutaed that people pick on Apple becuase they are successful.......you can't have it both ways...you said to different things in 2 diferent posts....that was my point but no worries......it is a great new year!
  • Reply 114 of 136
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by geekdad View Post


    I think you missed my point...It was YOUR quote about the start up and it being shameful for Apple to not fix this bug TWICE...That was not my quote. In one post you said it was shameful for Apple to have not fixed this by now...then 2 posts down you insinutaed that people pick on Apple becuase they are successful.......you can't have it both ways...you said to different things in 2 diferent posts....that was my point but no worries......it is a great new year!



    As I pointed out and you just stated, ?[I] said [two] different things in 2 diferent posts?. They are separate issues and therefore can both exist at the same time. Again, startup does not imply failure.
  • Reply 115 of 136
    geekdadgeekdad Posts: 1,131member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    As I pointed out and you just stated, ?[I] said [two] different things in 2 diferent posts?. They are separate issues and therefore can both exist at the same time. Again, startup does not imply failure.



    Well just to keep things honest. I did not infer a "start up" implys failure. You did in post #5 and I quote you:



    "This is pretty shameful as it?s a dumb bug to repeatedly have crop up now. It?s not like they are a startup.What does this really take from Apple to detect ahead of time? One iOS developer spending an hour setting the clock ahead to these milestone dates to see if the alarms go off as they should?"
  • Reply 116 of 136
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by geekdad View Post


    Well just to keep things honest. I did not infer a "start up" implys failure. You did in post #5 and I quote you:



    "This is pretty shameful as it’s a dumb bug to repeatedly have crop up now. It’s not like they are a startup.What does this really take from Apple to detect ahead of time? One iOS developer spending an hour setting the clock ahead to these milestone dates to see if the alarms go off as they should?"




    What a weird world you live in. I implied nothing of the sort and you’ve somehow many two separete comments into some Voltron comment that doesn’t exist.



    As noted with my previous example, a startup would have less resources at hand to deal with certain issues. You inferred “startup” means failure simply because they have less resources, when I implied the exact opposite, that Apple has failed on this issue by virtue of the fact they do have the resources that a “startup” does not.



    PS: What was your new year’s resolution? To give Teckstud your account?
  • Reply 117 of 136
    j2nhj2nh Posts: 3member
    Everyone in our house got spanked this morning. Wife late for work and I was late getting my daughter back to school. We new about the issue but also read that it was resolved after Jan. 2. Not the end of the world, but we all really depend on these things to work.
  • Reply 118 of 136
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post


    This one is kind of strange. Any programmer worth his salt will set up unit tests around time code that would easily pick this kind of problem up. Maybe this is something to do with the way the software interprets the time result from the hardware clock.



    Hard to say what caused it but I wouldn't be surprised if it was a bug introduced during some power management optimization. The Clock app must be running in the background all the time so they might have been doing some tricky suspending routine that came back to bite them.
  • Reply 119 of 136
    geekdadgeekdad Posts: 1,131member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    What a weird world you live in. I implied nothing of the sort and you?ve somehow many two separete comments into some Voltron comment that doesn?t exist.



    As noted with my previous example, a startup would have less resources at hand to deal with certain issues. You inferred ?startup? means failure simply because they have less resources, when I implied the exact opposite, that Apple has failed on this issue by virtue of the fact they do have the resources that a ?startup? does not.



    PS: What was your new year?s resolution? To give Teckstud your account?



    LOL you inferred the startup and failure in your post not I...... you just don't like being called out for conflicting posts with conflicting statements. Not a problem...don't really care. Have a great new year! Why bring up Techstud? Do you miss him?
  • Reply 120 of 136
    thomprthompr Posts: 1,511member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by radster360 View Post


    I don't think it is just 1.1.11 or something special about 2011 issue. Looks like the bug might have to do with Jan. 1 and Jan. 2 of every year. Why else would they fix it, since the dates have already passed, if it was for an absolute year. I hope they test it out for every year.



    It might even have to do with the fact that these days were on the weekend as opposed to weekdays, which follow different rules for recurring alarms. I wouldn't be surprised if there weren't some obscure bug in the "do alarm / don't alarm" logic involved with recurring/non-recurring, weekday/non-weekday, pathways which only gets tripped under very peculiar circumstances.



    Some bugs, like Y2K, are not so much programming bugs as they are paradigm problems that result in fairly "sensible" bugs. By that, I mean you can make sense out of them by just observing the symptoms and understanding the principles involved. But some other bugs cannot be understood in this manner. Some bugs are just plain screw-ups by the programmer that result in strange manifestations. When you face one such bug, you can't just stand outside of the box and work your way to the explanation. You have to dive into the code. That may very well be the case here.



    Thompson
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