MacInTouch Reader Reports

Leopard: Bugs and Fixes

Jan. 24, 2009
Jan. 26, 2009
Jan. 27, 2009
Jan. 29, 2009
Jan. 30, 2009
Mar. 24, 2009
Mar. 25, 2009
Mar. 27, 2009
Mar. 28, 2009
Mar. 30, 2009
Jul. 7, 2009
Jul. 8, 2009
Jan. 24, 2009

item.85878

Scott Rose

There are 2 bugs with 10.5 that, when combined together, can cause a serious data loss problem.

Normally, when a file is in the trash can and you try to double-click on it to open it, the file *won't open*. The Finder tells you that the file must be moved out of the trash first. However, if there is an alias to that file sitting in your dock, the dock will open up that file just fine! Simply clicking on the alias of the file in the dock will launch & open that file! Therefore, if you are launching files from your dock, you could be actively working on documents (accidentally, of course) that are sitting in your trash can for months on end without even knowing it! Then, when you empty your trash, the file -- with all of its changes -- is gone.

What makes this bug most disturbing of all is that Time Machine DOES NOT BACKUP THE TRASH, so you have no way of recovering the file that you have been accidentally working on in the trash.

So this is really 2 bugs: Time Machine needs to backup the trash, and the dock needs to prevent you from opening up a file that is in the trash.

Jan. 26, 2009

item.85924

Matt Neuburg

Re:

Normally, when a file is in the trash can and you try to double-click on it to open it, the file *won't open*. The Finder tells you that the file must be moved out of the trash first. However, if there is an alias to that file sitting in your dock, the dock will open up that file just fine.

It isn't just the Dock. Work on a TextEdit document and save it to Desktop. Now quit TextEdit, and toss the document from the Desktop into the trash. Start up TextEdit again, and choose the document from Open > Recent Items. You are now editing a document in the trash. You can't *save* the document into the trash, which is good, but in my opinion you should not have been allowed to open it in the first place.

item.85930

Colleen Thompson

Scott Rose noticed

"Normally, when a file is in the trash can and you try to double-click on it to open it, the file *won't open*. The Finder tells you that the file must be moved out of the trash first. However, if there is an alias to that file sitting in your dock, the dock will open up that file just fine! Simply clicking on the alias of the file in the dock will launch & open that file!"

I recently noticed that a trashed file which is still in your account's Login Items will also launch. I think this was an application that I noticed it on, but might also apply to docs, though I haven't tested it.

item.85964

MacInTouch Reader

Time Machine should not back up the Trash. I empty the Trash regularly to avoid issues.

Since a document is never created in the Trash, it will backup in its normal location. TM will show the various versions in any normal location.

This does require a user to place a document in Documents or shared or somewhere useful. Don't drag stuff to trash unless you mean it. Generally, you would wish to keep working on new copy you keep, not the old version in trash.

Fixing dock not to see Trash would be good. Some application updates can be done by dragging old version to trash and dropping new into Applications folder. If you don't empty Trash, clicking icon in Dock will launch old version in Trash which is not the desired behavior.

item.85970

John Frandsen

Energy Saver won't put my Mac Pro 2 x 2.8 GHz Quad-Core running OS 10.5.6 to sleep, though it will put the display to sleep as scheduled. I have discussed this problem exhaustively with Apple tech support and we have found no workaround. Tech support thinks it may be a bug in this version of OS X that must be addressed when preparing the next version (10.5.7). The computer will go to sleep when commanded to via the Apple pull-down menu.

item.86024

Joe F

This isn't likely to be John F's problem with his Mac Pro not going to sleep when it's supposed to, but I'll throw it out there just in case... Some applications have the ability to prevent a Mac from going to sleep when the period of inactivity in Energy Saver has passed. I don't know if it still is, but iPhoto was one of those applications. I noticed this a couple of years ago with my PowerBook. The display would shut off, but the computer would never go to sleep. You could still put it to sleep with the menu command or putting the mouse in the sleep corner (if you have one set up), but it wouldn't got to sleep on its own. It only acted like this when iPhoto was open.

Assuming you haven't already done this, try booting your Mac but not starting any applications (might want to disable your Start Up items, too). Then wait to see if it puts itself to sleep or not.

Jan. 27, 2009

item.86069

Colleen Thompson

To John Frandsen and his Mac Pro that won't go to sleep... have you tried it with all apps quit and all peripherals unplugged?

Jan. 29, 2009

item.86161

George Fowler

I wonder if this is a known bug? Or a feature? It's minor but irritating. Here's what happened. (Leopard 10.5.6 on a 2.8 GHz iMac.)

I had a Finder window open in List View, sorted by Date. The window contained a number of folders, open with the disclosure triangle. I decoded several folders full of encoded segmented .rar files using MacPAR Deluxe. The effect of this is to move each folder to the top of the window as the enclosed files are decoded, because the contents of the folders change and the latest modified one keeps moving to the top. I am simultaneously going through and deleting the encoded files as this operation is ongoing.

I highlight the lowermost .rar segment in a folder, which is currently at the top of the window because it contains the most recently decoded file. I scroll up one windowful so I can see the top of the folder in the list and try to Shift-Click on the topmost segment, just below the decoded file. At that instant, the contents of another folder move up because the decoded file in that folder has just been created. Therefore I actually Shift-Click on a segment at the top of that folder, and this highlights twice as many segments as I want, plus the intervening decoded file in the now-lower folder and the superordinate folder containing the lower files, which I don't mean to select

This is not a bug, although it is an irritant; the Finder just picked an inopportune moment to refresh the list. What happens next, however, seems like a bug. With this series of items selected, I scroll back down one windowful, and now Shift-Click on the proper file. I expect this to select a series of sequential files extending from the initial segment I selected (the lowest segment in the original folder) to the one I just Shift-Clicked on. Instead, it selects a range of files from the topmost segment (which I mistakenly Shift-Clicked on when the Finder refreshed itself) down to the one I did the second Shift-Click on.

How & why did the "anchor" for the range selection change from the initially selected segment to the second selection point? Without the refreshing and movement and scrolling, this doesn't happen. For example, if I click on a file in a list of 10 files, then Shift-Click on the 10th file, all are selected. If, not releasing the selection, I go back and Shift-Click on the 5th file, then the selection is adjusted to include only the first five files. That's the expected behavior, but it didn't occur under the steps outlined agove. So isn't this a bug, or at least counter-intuitive and undesirable behavior? Any comments or suggestions?

Jan. 30, 2009

item.86261

Gregory Tetrault

To George Fowler:

You are treating the OS X Finder as if it were the OS 9 Finder. The OS X Finder is, in most aspects, inferior. (Steve Jobs didn't even want a Finder in OS X, and Apple never brought it to its full potential.)

I've used MacPAR Deluxe and done exactly the same things you described. Each MacPAR Deluxe unpacking of a .rar file changes the modification date, as you noted. The OS X Finder does not update continuously or instantly (as you also noted). The shift-click selection issue appears to function badly because the file order changed from the time of your original file selection to the time of the shift-click to extend the selection. That changed order messes up the shift-click selected file list.

I solved this dilemma by using Stuffit Expander with preferences set to automatically expand archives, continue to expand, set execute permissions, and delete after expanding. This set-up eliminates the need to manually delete the original .rar files. Stuffit Expander isn't the best .rar decoder, but it works on almost all files I've downloaded. (I keep MacPAR Deluxe, RAR Expander, and UnRarX handy for troublesome files.)

item.86262

Colleen Thompson

Re George Fowler and behavior of a date-sorted Finder list.

When I'm doing something like that, I find the resorting leaves one prone to all sorts of problems like you describe, because every time you touch something, the list changes.

Open another Finder window next to the date-sorted one, and sort by name instead. Unless your list is really long, you can operate on the files in the name-sorted list, using the date-sorted list as a reference.

Not perfect, but less vulnerable.

Mar. 24, 2009

item.89395

Colleen Thompson

Several people have commented on the 10.5.6 update Mail bug. If you upgrade a system to 10.5.6, Mail will fail to respond.

Fixes include removing the ~Library/Mail/MessageRules.plist and backup, removing the ~Library/Mail/Envelope Index file, and removing ~Library/Preferences/com.apple.mail.plist. I usually start with the first, then move on to the other two if that doesn't work. Removing com.apple.mail.plist means you have to reenter your account setup, including passwords (don't forget, your passwords are stored in your keychain, in case you don't remember them.)

I found that a good way to prevent the problem is to upgrade the system to some version *lower* than 10.5.6 (I have installers for 10.5.0 and 10.5.4), then open Mail once, then upgrade to 10.5.6 using the Combo updater. YMMV, but it's worth a try.

Apple's phone support doesn't always know about this. I just had a client who bought a new MacBook and migrated from his iBook. When Mail hung, he spent two hours on the phone with Apple, who finally gave up and arranged for him to send his new computer in. He called me about something else and mentioned the problem. He was very gratified when I was able to fix it in less than a minute by deleting the message rules plist files. He was also, needless to say, unimpressed with Apple support.

item.89474

MacInTouch Reader

If you upgrade a system to 10.5.6, Mail will fail to respond.

I have upgraded to 10.5.6 and have not experienced this problem. So it should say:

If you upgrade to 10.5.6 and Mail fails to respond, then try this...

Mar. 25, 2009

item.89502

Eric Matthieu

After reading Colleen Thompson's comments re: 10.5.6 and Mail, I feel I should follow up on my previous input.

My experience setting up my new iMac seems to echo hers with Mac OS X 10.5.6 in general. Mine is a refurb model which shipped with 10.5.2 installed. All migration was done *prior* to updating it up to 10.5.6. As I mentioned before, Mail imported all of my old mail and settings without trouble.

Makes me wonder if Derek Lichter might be able to start over by restoring his mom's new iMac to something pre-10.5.6 (assuming it shipped as such), then try his luck again with Migration Assistant before updating OS X in the new machine.

item.89504

Gopi Flaherty

Mail.app still has a rather ridiculous bug in it. I reported it via Radar a year ago, and nothing's been done.

Try dragging a message from Mail.app to the Finder. You will get a single file whose name is the message subject.

Two issues:
1. You can only drag one at a time. Multiple messages can't be dragged
2. If there is already a message with the same file name (ie: subject), it will over-write the existing message without asking you!

A co-worker of mine discovered this because he tries to keep his data files and his emails sorted into FInder folders together. He's sticking with Outlook on his Mac because it handles saving messages as files properly.

I have to admit, I am worried when something as ridiculous as silently over-writing files gets left in core Mac OS apps for over a year.

Mar. 27, 2009

item.89667

Neil Houghton

Yes, the overwriting files also annoys me frequently with the "Save PDF to web Receipts Folder" command.

When Internet banking I generally save the transaction confirmation page (with transaction details & receipt number) by using Print/PDF/Save PDF to web Receipts Folder.

If I do this for two transactions in a row and forget to go and rename the first pdf before printing the second receipt to pdf then the first pdf is just overwritten.

I would expect to get the warning that a file with name xxx already exists - but no - it just overwrites without warning.

Mar. 28, 2009

item.89678

Robert Mohns

Re:

"Yes, the overwriting files also annoys me frequently with the "Save PDF to web Receipts Folder" command."

In theory, at least, the Leopard version of this shouldn't overwrite. PDF Services in Leopard are bundles that allow nearly any type of script to be used under the hood (previous versions of Mac OS X used AppleScripts instead). This particular one is Python-based.

Here is the script that does the work:
/Library/PDF Services/Save PDF to Web Receipts Folder.pdfworkflow/Contents/tool

When I examined it, I found this bit of code inside:

# If the filename we want is already in use then start
# appending numbers until we get a unique name.
i = 2
while (os.path.exists(destPath)):
destFile = title + "." + str(i) +".pdf"
destPath = os.path.join(destDirectory, destFile)
i = i + 1

# Move the file if possible otherwise copy it.
shutil.move(pdfFile, destPath)

The rest of the script is similarly simple and looks fairly bullet-proof. I'm surprised there are problems with it.

Related to this, I've recently started using Bare Bones Software's Yojimbo. It's one of those "everything box" applications to store bits and pieces of data and information you want to hang onto, but don't have a nice storage system for. It adds a PDF Service to print PDFs into the Yojimbo storage repository. Yojimbo doesn't seem to have filename collision problems. Worth checking out.

(There are a lot of "everything box" applications out there; Yojimbo is the first one I've actually liked.)

item.89686

Scott Boone

Neil, what version of OS X are you running? I filed a bug report on this very issue and it was my impression it had been fixed in 10.5 (at some point). I believe the new behavior is to append a 2 to the name (or 3, or 4) similar to the way the Finder's Duplicate command works.

If you're running 10.4, you can modify the system's PDF Workflow for Web Receipt to append a timestamp to the filename, which solves the overwrite problem. It is pretty easy to do, Google is your friend. The Workflow lives in /Library/PDF Services/.

Unfortunately, when Apple addressed the bug, instead of simply modifying the Workflow, they -REPLACED- the simple Workflow with a completely unfriendly compiled script.

So much for eating their own dogfood. FWIW, I still use the 10.4 workflow with the timestamp mod... I think it is a cleaner, nicer solution.

item.89692

Steven MacDonald

Re:

"If I do this for two transactions in a row and forget to go and rename the first pdf before printing the second receipt to pdf then the first pdf is just overwritten."

Interesting that when I do the process you describe the files are numbered. For instance: Leopard.pdf then Leopard.2.pdf then Leopard.3.pdf and so on.

If I "Save as PDF" and pick the same name it warns me before overwriting.

item.89696

Dave Kreutz

Neil Houghton writes about the Finder overwrite bug in the Web Receipts folder. I agree it's a terrible oversight on Apple's part, but I've created an easy workaround because I love the Web Receipts concept so much.

It's trivial to create a single step automator script that will add a time stamp to the end of any file that goes into the Web Receipts folder. If you save the action as a plug-in and point it to the receipts folder, each receipt will automatically gain a unique name and will not be over written the next time around.
I'll post the action if desired.

item.89698

Kenyon Kopp

Neil Houghton mentioned

"Yes, the overwriting files also annoys me frequently with the "Save PDF to web Receipts Folder" command."

While that's definitely something that shouldn't happen, can I take this chance to recommend a look at Bare Bones' Yojimbo product?

Yojimbo adds a nifty "Save PDF to Yojimbo" choice in the print dialogue, just like the "Save PDF to web Receipts Folder" choice. Within Yojimbo you can give the PDF (or other items) any tags you want. PDF are searchable by tags and content.

Yes, it's a $39 solution to something that shouldn't be a problem, but it also does bunch of other nice things like bookmarks, notes, passwords, serial numbers etc. (all tagable and searchable). And, for those banking info, you can easily encrypt the pdf as well. Oh, and you can use sync services to keep multiple computers up to date.

I'm just a satisfied customer who feels Yojimbo was well worth the price.

http://www.barebones.com/products/yojimbo/

item.89699

M Young

What OS version is Neil H. using? I just checked with 10.5.6 and instead of overwriting, a number is added automatically to the end of the file name when using the "Save PDF to Web Receipts Folder" command. This appears to have been fixed.

item.89715

Vic Wong

Re: overwriting of web receipts

Macosxhints had a discussion of this problem and a fix which appends/prepends a date or other data to the file name.

http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=2007020700285547

item.89716

Bill Planey

I'm not sure this actually IS a bug... I have dragged folders from external volumes into the "Places" area on the left side of a Finder window - these tend to be folders connected with current projects.

Sometimes, I boot the computer without those external volumes attached. My aliased folders disappear and I have to created them all over again when the drives are mounted. But other times, the folders remain, even when the external volumes they point to are not available.

Can anyone explain this inconsistency?

item.89729

Doug Cameron

Neil Houghton wrote:

Yes, the overwriting files also annoys me frequently with the "Save PDF to web Receipts Folder" command.
When Internet banking I generally save the transaction confirmation page (with transaction details & receipt number) by using Print/PDF/Save PDF to web Receipts Folder.
If I do this for two transactions in a row and forget to go and rename the first pdf before printing the second receipt to pdf then the first pdf is just overwritten.
I would expect to get the warning that a file with name xxx already exists - but no - it just overwrites without warning.

If I understand correctly, I handle the same situation differently. When I make a bank transaction and then get to the confirmation page, I select most of the web page, capturing all the pertinent data (date, amount, payee, reference number, etc.), and then drag the selected text to a folder called "Bank" in my Documents folder. You will have to hold the mouse button down for two or three seconds before you drag or you will lose the selection - repeat if you must. I usually have a finder window open behind and to the left of the Safari window. If I don't, I just Command Tab to the Finder, open a window, and Command Tab back to Safari. I drag the selected text to the left and hold it over the Documents folder in the sidebar. The Finder window will come forward and then I move the mouse to the Bank folder, and release the mouse button. This takes about 4 seconds.

The text clipping will be given the name "Transaction Completed" or what ever the first selected words are, and a unique number - it won't overwrite any of the other "Transaction Completed" clippings in there.

Now that you have a text clipping, you can double click and open it. It's not nicely formatted and it will not print. However all the info you need is there, and you can copy and paste it into any word processor or email application. Since the name is not much help when trying to find something, you can switch to List View, and find by date.

Incidentally, I usually move the transactions from the previous month or so into a new folder (Inside the Bank folder) so I don't build up too many clippings to wade through.

I don't hear very much about people using text clippings, but this works very well for me. I'd be interested in hearing if others have similar or different uses for clippings - and how do you try and explain text clippings to a Windows user?

Mar. 30, 2009

item.89746

Stephen Hart

Robert Mohns wrote, in part:

"(There are a lot of "everything box" applications out there; Yojimbo is the first one I've actually liked.)"

The one I like best is the Finder. You can store anything, you have almost unlimited naming, labeling and hierarchical folder and search capability. You have QuickLook for instant viewing/listening. Most importantly for me, there's almost no learning curve and no software to keep up-to-date.

item.89795

Grandy Pollo

Regarding Web Receipts - I find the name is usually so ambiguous or so incredibly lengthy I give it a proper name before saving and the date so risk of overwrite is nil and it is far easier to tell what each thing is when you have a mitt full of them later.

Jul. 7, 2009

item.95488

Paul Cartwright

On the Apple Discussion Boards is a problem that I have just encountered. A G5, running OS X.5.7 can't fax from its internal modem. It spools, then says "waiting on the modem" eventually times out and holds the job.

The Discussion Boards have two solutions, neither of which worked. Turn off Receive Faxes in the system preferences and then send your fax, and turn it back on again. That seems to work for some.

Another suggestion was the IOSerialFamily.kext extension was responsible and replacing the X.5.7 version with a x.5.6 would do the trick. That also appears to have worked for some. We get an error at startup telling us that the extension was installed incorrectly - we did a Finder drop on the correct folder, authenticated and told it to replace.

We have deleted the Fax and reinstalled it in the Print & Fax preferences numerous times.

Anyone have any other suggestions?

Jul. 8, 2009

item.95537

Emmett Gray

Re fax problem:

"...replacing the X.5.7 version with a x.5.6 ... we get an error at startup telling us that the extension was installed incorrectly - we did a Finder drop on the correct folder..."

This error happens because you can't just do a Finder drop, you have to set the right ownership for extensions. Use Terminal and set owner to root:wheel, or get a little application called "Kext Helper" and you won't need Terminal.

item.95542

MacInTouch Reader

Re fax no longer working under 10.5:

Try a new/different cable between G5 and wall socket, especially if the G5 is in a new location, or attaching to a different wall socket from when it was known to be working. The existing cable pins may not be aligning either with the G5 port pins, or the wall socket pins, or the cable is damaged. Pinched cables (when running 10.4) and a new wall socket (when running 10.5) have been the cause of my problems, rather than the OS.


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