Still more on Mac OS X troubles

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
August 11th, 2003 • 10:52 pm

The problems I have been experiencing with Mac OS X lately are still happening. Just today, as I was in the process of saving a file in BBEdit, I experienced the same symptoms again. After opening the “Save As…” dialog box in BBEdit, I realized that I wanted to make a small adjustment to my Default Folder X settings, by adding an item to my “Favorites” list and giving it a keyboard shortcut in Open/Save dialog boxes. So I switched to System Preferences and made the change.

And then instead of switching back to BBEdit immediately and saving the file, for some reason I clicked on “Show All” in System Preferences. (I guess I’m still used to HAVING to “save” changes in preference panes and, since saving is no longer required in Mac OS X’s System Preferences, I suppose that, subconsciously, I’ve decided that clicking on “Show All” to switch to the current preference pane where I made the change back to the preference pane index would ensure that my changes are properly saved. It’s silly, of course, but that’s what you get for giving users an inconsistent user interface experience.)

Unfortunately, clicking on “Show All” triggered, once again, the same cascade of scary events as before: the System Preferences freeze, the spinning pizza everywhere, etc. And, once again, I was able to regain control of my machine after a while after fiddling with the Power button, putting the computer to sleep and waking it, and unplugging and plugging FireWire devices.

I’m still not sure what exact sequence of events triggers the problem, and what exact sequence of events works to get out of it — but I guess that I’m slowly narrowing things down. I’m starting to wonder, for example, if Default Folder X itself is not involved in all this. If I remember correctly, the first time it happened I was already in the Default Folder X preference pane and attempting to switch back to “Show All”.

Since Default Folder X is a system-wide modification, it might be involved. Generally speaking I am very pleased with the utility and could not live without it. St. Clair Software also has an excellent track record of identifying and fixing bugs and adding improvements. So my suspicions might not be founded. I’m going to have to keep a close eye on this.

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