December 5th, 2003 • 12:39 am
This morning, I experienced a bug that I thought would have been fixed long ago.
I had left my computer on last night, because I had a big file to download. When left on, my computer is set to launch the screen saver after 15 minutes, and then put the displays to sleep after 25 minutes.
Normally, I also check the option to ask for my password when waking up the computer. But since I had just reinstalled Panther from scratch, this is a setting that I hadn’t turned back on yet.
So when I hit the spacebar to wake the computer up this morning, the screens came up right away, without asking for my password. Normal so far. But then I started looking for my mouse. And I couldn’t find it!
The keyboard was still working fine and I could switch applications, close windows, etc. But I didn’t have a mouse pointer. I tried unplugging the mouse and plugging it back in. I tried plugging it in a different USB port. To no avail.
I had already experienced this problem in Jaguar. I had managed to get rid of the problem entirely by setting the computer to ask for my password always when waking from sleep or screen saver.
The only difference I can see is that, in Panther, when the mouse is invisible, it doesn’t work either. (In Jaguar, you could still click on things, but since you didn’t know where the mouse pointer was, it was like walking in complete darkness.)
I used cmd-shift-Q to log out. The mouse still wasn’t there. I tried putting the computer into deep sleep and waking it up again. The mouse still wasn’t there. I had no choice but to do a complete restart of the machine.
Then when I got to the login window again, the mouse was visible, but I couldn’t move it! I logged in (using the keyboard) and everything launched fine, but I still couldn’t move the mouse.
Finally I unplugged the mouse and plugged it in a different USB port (again) and I got my mouse pointer back.
I am definitely turning the “Ask for password” option back on!
Still, you’d think that, by now, such obvious bugs would have been fixed in Mac OS X.
(Of course, one might argue that this problem is somewhat related to the “Can’t log back in” problem I have been experiencing in Panther for the past few days. But it’s not like my keyboard and mouse are not working. It’s just that they cease to work in certain specific circumstances. USB was supposed to be pure plug-and-play, remember? Ahem.)