Aaron Brethorst

Round peg in a square hole, rabid generalist.

Uninstalling Kexts

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I have one rather big issue with Mac OS X that I hope is resolved in the not-too-distant future. Removing nasty, buggy kernel extensions (kexts) is a terribly difficult process most of the time. Mind you, well-behaved kext authors do nice things like include uninstallers, but god forbid that every author of a device driver would do this. I have experienced periodic, nasty issues with kernel panics on my system with a particularly ugly, generic compact flash card reader in the past, and I was reminded of it when I came across a blog entry on daring fireball. It would be absolutely wonderful if we could expect every kext author to include an uninstaller, but rather unrealistic. I get the feeling that most companies writing software at that level tend to be PC-centric, and that they stick some poor schmoe in charge of that sort of thing (Microsoft Mice: I am looking in your direction with that hideous Mac OS X “Control Panel”, Microsoft Windows Media Player 7 for Mac OS X: I am also looking in your direction!).

I have to play Microsoft apologist here for two seconds and remind everyone that the Mac Business Unit at Microsoft is not in charge of Windows Media Player for OS X, nor the Intellimouse Control Panel. They do Office, Remote Desktop, Messenger, Virtual PC, and whatever else I happen to be forgetting here.

Random story from WWDC 2003: I was sitting in some session (I think it was Advanced Cocoa UI Techniques) and saw a guy with a WWDC badge that said “Microsoft Corporation” under the company. However, I didn’t recognize him. Upon closer inspection of his badge I realized that he had penciled in “formerly of Connectix” underneath the MSFT declaration.