Yet more iDisk woes in Panther

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
December 5th, 2003 • 8:38 am

This is getting ridiculous. I’ve mentioned the serious performance issues of iDisk in Panther and its dreadful impact on performance in the Finder and in Open/Save dialog boxes throughout all applications.

Today, I wanted to replace the MP3 file I uploaded yesterday with a new one. So I mounted the iDisk. I then browsed the iDisk’s contents in my default view mode, which is the Columns view mode, with active Preview pane.

I got to the folder where I had put the MP3 file and clicked on it to select it.

Big mistake. Obviously since I was in Columns view mode, the Finder wanted to display a preview of the file in the next column. But that preview is supposed to be a small QuickTime-like interface for playing the sound file. Which, I presume, means that the file has to be loaded in RAM somehow.

Try doing this over a modem connection with a 1.3 MB.

In other words, the Finder stopped responding. After a minute or so, I got impatient, and tried to force-quit the Finder. Now, I hadn’t noticed this before, but in Panther you cannot force-quit the Finder. Whether you try doing it through the Dock menu for the Finder or through the Apple menu’s “Force Quit” command, when it comes to the Finder “Force Quit” becomes “Relaunch”.

But if the Finder is really stuck like it obviously was on my machine at that stage, “Relaunch” simply doesn’t work. I tried about half a dozen times, to no avail.

Now I was really stuck. I could still work in other applications, provided that I didn’t try using Open/Save dialog boxes, which causes Mac OS X to try and communicate with the Finder, which is not responding, which causes the application in question to stop responding as well. Not pretty.

But I needed to find a way to kill whatever process the Finder was stuck trying to complete. I went to the Terminal and used the top command to find the process. I couldn’t see anything that looked like it was a Finder process. I went to the Activity Monitor application and looked as well. Couldn’t find anything.

Then I went to the Finder’s Dock icon to try “Relaunch” one more time. And the whole Mac OS X environment froze solid. I don’t often get system-wide freezes like this, but this was a real one. A good old system freeze like in the classic Mac OS days.

I had no choice but to do a forced restart. And to add to my misery, I was actually in the process of purchasing Timbuktu Pro 7, and hadn’t started the download yet. So now I have a serial number for Timbuktu Pro 7 and a user name and password, but not the URL to go and download the thing. I’ve written to Netopia’s tech support.

The whole thing is becoming intensely irritating. All this because I’m trying to use something that I’ve paid $100 for, i.e. my .Mac account and more specifically the iDisk.

I just wish there was a way to use the iDisk that did not involve using the Finder at all — like a separate application or something. This Finder integration is just bad news for modem users like me. Really bad news.

2 Responses to “Yet more iDisk woes in Panther”

  1. Erik J. Barzeski says:

    Perhaps you should get a faster connection. Others don’t seem to have nearly as many problems as you’re having…

  2. Pierre Igot says:

    Perhaps I should win the lottery too. That would help :). (I live in a remote rural area, and the only broadband option is two-way satellite, which is horrendously expensive and untested.)

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