After extensive testing coordinated with TidBITS Talk participants in California and confirmed today, we've discovered the rolling blackouts currently plaguing San Francisco-area residents can cause Apple's just-released Mac OS X to kernel panic under specific circumstances. Reader reports from MacInTouch and MacFixIt corroborate our findings that having your iDisk mounted in Mac OS X (just choose iDisk from the Finder's Go menu) when there's a brief network flicker due to power switching from the area power grid to Apple's data center generators can cause Mac OS X to kernel panic. Examination with a packet sniffer showed timing to be important - the crash happens only when Mac OS X tries to start reading data from a mounted iDisk when it's unavailable, only to have it appear immediately thereafter. Luckily, the workaround is simple - only mount your iDisk when you're planning to use it, and dismount it afterwards by dragging it to the Trash (which morphs into an Eject icon when disks are dragged to it) when you're done. This unfortunate behavior jives with our experience of causing Mac OS X to kernel panic within 10 minutes after installation by trying to download iTunes from an iDisk, accidentally mounting the iTunes self-mounting image thanks to double-clicking more than necessary due to poor performance, and then force quitting Disk Copy and relaunching the Finder several times.
File Email with a Key in Apple Mail
In Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger or later, you can use the simple and fun MsgFiler Mail plug-in to file Mail messages using keyboard shortcuts.
New in Apple Mail 4 (the 10.6 Snow Leopard version), to assign a keyboard shortcut to any mailbox on the Move To or Copy To submenu, you can also open the Keyboard pane of System Preferences, click Keyboard Shortcuts, and select Application Shortcuts in the list on the left. Click the + button, choose Mail from the Application pop-up menu, type the name of the mailbox in the Menu Title field, click in the Keyboard Shortcut field, and press the keystroke combination you want to use. Then click Add.
- April Fools Day Apologies (02 Apr 01)