iDisk performance in Panther: Good grief!

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
December 2nd, 2003 • 5:26 am

I really wish I didn’t have to write this… I don’t use my iDisk very often — and every time I do, I am painfully reminded of the reason why.

I hadn’t seriously used my iDisk since upgrading to Panther. Today, I wanted to upload a number of files, 14 MB worth in total. Now, remember that I am on a dialup connection. But then, so are millions of other potential or existing .Mac customers.

As soon as I selected “My iDisk” in the “iDisk” submenu in the Finder’s “Go” menu, I got the spinning beachball. Then, after 30 seconds or so, the iDisk appeared on my desktop. I then double-clicked on a folder inside my iDisk to open it. Spinning beachball. Dragged and dropped the folder containing all the files I wanted to transfer. It took about a minute for the “Copy” window to appear. Then it started uploading the files, one by one. It still is.

Trying to do something else in the Finder is painful. Trying to do anything file-related anywhere is painful. Trying to open an “Open” or “Save” file dialog in any application results in a beachball.

I can understand the fact that uploading 14 MB worth of files over a modem connection is going to be slow. I have absolutely no problems with that. What I have problems with is the fact that the slow uploading process interferes with so many other unrelated processes, slowing me down while I am trying to do other things in the Finder and in other applications!

So far, Apple seems to have failed to grasp this most fundamental aspect of modern Mac OS X computing: Just because I have a slow modem connection, doesn’t mean I am a slow user and I will put up with slow performance everywhere in Mac OS X!

First of all, why do other Finder operations have to be slow while this copying to iDisk is taking place? Why can’t I browse my local volumes at the same speed as usual while this uploading is taking place? What does this uploading have to do with my browsing volumes locally? (I am not even talking about my local network: I am talking about browsing my own hard drives.)

I thought Panther’s Finder had been rewritten from scratch, that it was brand new? A brand new version of the same old mistakes, is what it is. It’s been mentioned elsewhere. Apple just doesn’t seem to get it when it comes to Finder performance. It’s puzzling. It’s frustrating. It’s infuriating.

4 Responses to “iDisk performance in Panther: Good grief!”

  1. CyberZorn says:

    I’m pretty sure that the Finder was not rewritten from sratch. Shame on Steve and the rest for try to say it was.

  2. brian w says:

    So. What do we regular readers of this weblog have to do to get you a faster ‘net connection, eh?

  3. Pierre Igot says:

    Brian W: Oh, I don’t know. Invent a technology that breaks the 3-mile limit for DSL, maybe? :-) (I could get a two-way satellite system. But it costs an arm and a leg, and I am concerned about performance issues, especially since I have to do a fair amount of secure browsing/uploading. Based on what I have read, secure browsing performance can be even worse with a satellite system than it is with a modem.)

    René: I will give the local iDisk a try… But right now when I try to create the local copy, it looks as if OS X wants to download 30 MB worth of stuff from Apple’s servers. I have local copies of all of the stuff that’s on my iDisk on my local hard drive. The fact that it wants to retrieve all this data from my iDisk when I already have local copies of it is rather silly.

  4. René Puls says:

    Have you tried using a local copy of your iDisk? You don’t need to make it synchronize automatically; just copy the files on it, and then click the little synchronize button next to the iDisk icon in the Finder.

    When you now use an Open/Save dialog, it should work with the local copy of your iDisk instead of causing a request over the network.

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