July 25th, 2011 • 3:32 pm
I am not having much luck these days with Apple software updates…
Last week I wrote about the fact that the Safari 5.1 update has broken the “ ” command in the web browser, at least on my machine. Other readers report being unable to reproduce the problem, either under Lion or under Snow Leopard.
But I am not imagining things… The command is most definitely broken on my machine (with Mac OS X 10.6.8). Most of the time, it cycles through only some of the currently open windows. Maybe it has to do with the fact that I am using a dual monitor setup… or some other aspect that is specific to my personal work environment. It does not appear to be a widespread problem (the top result in Google is my own blog post), so that makes me rather worried about the problem staying under the radar for a long time… I probably will end up upgrading to Lion before it gets fixed, and we’ll see if I can reproduce it then!
But that’s not my only problem. Twice this week-end I found myself having to reboot my computer altogether, because the windows on my secondary display were getting completely scrambled, usually after I started browsing various pages in Safari containing Flash ads, which would blink ferociously, far faster and far more randomly than can be expected from Flash-based animations, even from ugly,intrusive ads. Quitting Safari didn’t solve the problem either. The windows continued to be scrambled, and I had no choice but to reboot.
First I feared that the video card for my secondary display had become defective (and I still cannot rule it out completely). But then I realized that I wasn’t supposed to see Flash ads in the first place, since I had ClickToFlash installed. That’s when I realized that ClickToFlash was no longer working in Safari 5.1, and saw the note on the web site saying that it is no longer supported.
Fortunately, as J. Rentzsch also notes on the ClickToFlash web site, you can use Marc Hoyois’s ClickToPlugin and ClickToFlash Safari extensions instead. So I installed those, and I have not had the window scrambling problem on my secondary monitor since (i.e. for the past 48 hours). It is still to early to tell if this is a solid fix, but that makes me even more disgusted by this horrible technology called Flash that Adobe keeps trying to cram down our throats.
Finally, at the same time I installed Safari 5.1 for Snow Leopard, I also installed the iTunes 10.4 update, and I am afraid I have to report that it too introduces a significant new problem for me. Now, when I try to add music files (MP3 or AAC) to iTunes by dragging and dropping them onto an iTunes window (either the main one or a separate playlist window), quite often iTunes shows the added files grayed out in the playlist, but then fails to do anything. Things stay stuck at this stage:
And nothing ever happens… I can still use iTunes for other things (playback, etc.), but obviously after that adding other files becomes impossible. And if I try to quit iTunes in order to relaunch it and clear the problem, iTunes refuses to quit. The menu heading gets highlighted, but then nothing happens. I have no choice but to force-quit the application (even though it’s still responsive) and then relaunch it. I then can see that iTunes did not add the files that I had tried to add and that had stayed grayed out, and I have to start all over again, crossing my fingers and hoping it won’t get stuck again.
Here again, it does not appear to be a widespread problem. I’ve only found one report on Apple Discussions that mentions something similar, although in that case the author’s problem is linked to the use of a Samba share. In my case, it occurs simply when I drag files stored in my “Downloads” folder onto an iTunes window. (My iTunes Media folder is located on a separate internal hard drive, and I have configured iTunes to copy files to the iTunes Media folder when adding them to the library.)
I am not aware of any easy way to go back to iTunes 10.3.x. (I haven’t kept any of the recent stand-alone downloads.) So here again I am stuck with a rather problematic situation and no solution in sight.
Like I said, I haven’t had much luck in the past few days with Apple software updates… and I haven’t even upgraded to Lion yet! (Then again, maybe the upgrade will solve everything.)