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Major Problems With Safari

pudge posted more than 11 years ago | from the aieeeeee dept.

Apple 199

kuwan writes "There have been many problems reported with Safari on Apple's discussion boards. The two most prominent are that option-clicking on a link to download can replace your Home folder with the downloaded file, effectively nuking your Home folder. The other has been reported as a printing problem, but is far worse. The printing problem occurs because Safari deletes /tmp, which is a link to /private/tmp."

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hi (-1, Offtopic)

antmo (542580) | more than 11 years ago | (#5050392)

do de do

Re:hi (0, Redundant)

antmo (542580) | more than 11 years ago | (#5050419)

oops...

isn't /tmp a link to /private/tmp anyway?

Re:hi (2, Interesting)

neverkevin (601884) | more than 11 years ago | (#5050625)

> isn't /tmp a link to /private/tmp anyway

Exactly, that is what it says above; "Safari deletes /tmp, which is a link to /private/tmp." The problem IS that the link is deleted. Not hard to fix (if you know how to use the CLI), but annoying.

Re:hi (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5050649)

"Post anonymously" is a beautiful thing... but only if you know how to use it.

It's BETA software... (5, Insightful)

xyrw (609810) | more than 11 years ago | (#5050405)

Use at your own risk...

Granted, I was using Moz while it was in Beta, but there had been testimonials... and if you're an early adopter you ought to have good backups anyway.

Just my 2 cents...

Re:It's BETA software... (1)

Iamthefallen (523816) | more than 11 years ago | (#5050605)

Problem is, nowadays a lot of software never leaves Beta stage, a 1.0 version is often years away. Using a beta version usually means you're using what should be called version 1.0. Instead, it's called a beta, features are tacked on and the 1.0 milestone seems to drift further and further away.

Re:It's BETA software... (5, Interesting)

Twirlip of the Mists (615030) | more than 11 years ago | (#5050667)

The responsibility for that problem lies squarely on the shoulders of the Mozilla guys. Back when I was young, "beta" meant "feature-complete, but not yet debugged." If a product is in "beta," that meant that it was absolutely not going to get any new features before release.

The Mozilla guys kept glomming features onto their browser for months and years. Eventually they got rid of the term "beta" and started calling them "prereleases" or "milestones" or something, but the fact remains that it's an awful practice.

Apple has a history of treating betas like betas. The Mac OS X public beta didn't get any major new features when it went to 10.0. iSync beta didn't get any major new features when it went to 1.0. And I hope, oh I hope, that Safari doesn't get any major new features before it goes to 1.0.

Re:It's BETA software... (2)

sweetooth (21075) | more than 11 years ago | (#5050730)

Users still shouldn't expect something labled as beta to be a 1.0. Betas are supposed to be for testing and debugging. Too many people use Beta software in a production environment with the mindset of the parent poster. It says beta but it should really be a release. If it says beta expect bugs.

The mozilla project helped a growing trend of using beta software in production environments, but the blame still lies with the person installing the software and expecting it to be release quality.

Re:It's BETA software... (2)

Twirlip of the Mists (615030) | more than 11 years ago | (#5050768)

Users still shouldn't expect something labled as beta to be a 1.0.

Yes, but the converse is also true: users shouldn't expect something labeled as 1.0 to be beta-quality. When Mozilla went from beta to 1.0, they apparently didn't do a feature freeze or anything. I can't even seem to find any evidence of automated regression testing, although I can't imagine that there wasn't any.

Taking the last beta and slapping a "1.0" sticker on it is not a good way to release a software product, guys.

(I guess this is technically off-topic now. Sorry about that. End of rant.)

Re:It's BETA software... (2)

sweetooth (21075) | more than 11 years ago | (#5050862)

You are exactly right, there is far too much beta quality software put out claiming to be release quality. This is another problem entirly and deserves as much attention if not more as it increases the number of users that think beta software is good enough.

Re:It's BETA software... (2)

darkwhite (139802) | more than 11 years ago | (#5051893)

Are you kidding? Of course Netscape did a feature freeze when going to mozilla 1.0. In fact, they were tightly controlling features since 9.6 or whatever. And there are more regression testing scripts for Mozilla than you can shake a stick at. Granted, the end result may have not made those evident in the past, but it's pretty obvious right now.

Re:It's BETA software... (1)

King of the World (212739) | more than 11 years ago | (#5051933)

Mozilla had a feature freeze.

QUICKTIME 6.1 RELEASED (0, Offtopic)

Alan Partridge (516639) | more than 11 years ago | (#5052005)

use software update

Re:It's BETA software... (1)

Iamthefallen (523816) | more than 11 years ago | (#5050926)

They're not alone though, ICQ for instance has always been a beta hasn't it? I'm starting to think that Beta has taken on the meaning of "Still a living evolving product", ie, as long as there's any development done on the project it's called a beta or development version or some such, no matter how solid it is.

People think that beta simply means the latest and best, thus when they encounter something that is a true beta, ie Safari, they're surprised that there are still bugs.

Re:It's BETA software... (2)

wirelessbuzzers (552513) | more than 11 years ago | (#5052195)

And I hope, oh I hope, that Safari doesn't get any major new features before it goes to 1.0.

Well. Yeah. But it could use some tabs... :-)

Re:It's BETA software... (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5052853)

Well. Yeah. But it could use some tabs... :-)

According to some of the developers who wish to remain nameless (no, Hyatt isn't one of us... publicly) Safari will get tabs over our dead bodies. We didn't omit them because we didn't have time. We left them out because they're a terrible UI design. To see this in action, just open six or seven tabs in a Chimera window. You can't even read the titles any more! Tabs are pretty useless at that point.

Read my lips. Safari will never have tabs.

I hope you're putting us on.... (1)

Scudsucker (17617) | more than 11 years ago | (#5053021)

Right, its so much better to have 6, 7 or more windows cluttering up your desktop. One of the hallmarks of good UI design is to maximize the amount of free desktop real estate, which is one reason why tabs are so popular.

And as for the problem of having the titles disappear: just open another tab bar if thats such a big deal to you!

Re:It's BETA software... (2)

sweetooth (21075) | more than 11 years ago | (#5050677)

If it says beta it isn't 1.0 period. If it says Beta and you expect it to work flawlessly you are going to be dissapointed. The truth of the matter is there is much too much software hitting release that isn't labeled as beta quality but is only beta quality.

Re:It's BETA software... (2, Interesting)

bsharitt (580506) | more than 11 years ago | (#5050666)

Yeah, too bad we can't mod the story as redundant. The purpose of a beta release is to find bugs, so the Safari beta seems to be doing its job. It's better to have a buggy beta than a buggy final release.

Re:It's BETA software... (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 11 years ago | (#5051354)

I do not see why they should be forgiven. It is one thing for mozilla or openoffice.org to post beta software on their website. People who generally visit these sites understand the risks. In addition there is generally a choice between the latest build and the stable distribution. The warning are often very explicit and descriptive, as on the openoffice.org website. On the other hand, posting a link on the Apple home page to untested built code, it is an irresponsible act.

Don't get me wrong, I have been using Apple products for 20 years and still feel they are a great value. OTOH, they have been posting a lot of beta software lately for full public distribution. iTunes a while back; iCal just a few weeks ago; and now Safari. If Apple wants to build buzz by releasing beta software, they should have a specific page for that purpose. Releasing such low quality products from their home page, even as beta, it makes then look incompetent.

Re:It's BETA software... (3, Insightful)

neuroticia (557805) | more than 11 years ago | (#5052239)

In addition, most Mac users are still accustomed to a lower-power OS, where not much damage could be done by too many things. OS X is a new breed, and old work/play habits are still being used.

Not to insult the people new to the Mac, who have come over because of OS X, or those who *DO* understand the meaning of 'beta', but most Mac and Windows users think of "Beta" as pre-release, as in "It might crash before you can save your file". They don't realize that the potential exists to cause extremely wide-spread damage and data loss.

A company with the userbase that Apple or Microsoft have, should spend a LOT more time educating their userbase as to what "Beta" means before making it as easy to download as it is. If the casual user (I'm thinking about some of my non-computer-inclined friends, some co-workers, my mother.. You know. Average.) were to see "Beta", either they a.) know what the word means in this context due to extensive exposure to long lectures on the topic courtesy of the resident geek, b.) know that in green it's the second letter of the alphabet, and assume "Beta" means "Second release", or "Version 2" or c.) Looks up "Beta" in the dictionary and sees that it's the second letter in the alphabet, is totally confused as to what the heck it means, and downloads it because Apple says it's cool, fabulous, and faster than anything out there.

Those users are also those that are most likely to be screwed by a major software bug. They don't know what "backup" means, they don't know how to "backup", even if they do know what it means, and they think computers are rock-solid stable things that will never lose anything of theirs.

If these people make up even 10 percent of your total market, you have a MAJOR obligation to inform them of what "Beta" means, and make sure they actually understand that it can result in extensive damage. Apple doesn't. It's three clicks from the main page until it's downloaded, and no place does it say in big red letters "CAUTION".

It should.

-Sara

Re:It's BETA software... (2)

SoupIsGoodFood_42 (521389) | more than 11 years ago | (#5051567)

But Joe Yeah-i-did-backups-last-year User might not even understand what beta means. There should be a large warning on this [apple.com] page.

Atleast it isn't as bad as when iTunes could wipe an entire partition.

Why is it that these things keep on happening? Is it because it's OS X is UNIX? Apple just still having a few teething probelms?
I've never had anything like this happen with Windows...Sure, it's stuffed up more than it fair share of installations to the point where they don't boot and need to be re-formated. But I've never lost any data.

Re:It's BETA software... (2)

benedict (9959) | more than 11 years ago | (#5052675)

Beta does *not* mean "use at your own risk". Beta software
might not do its job properly, but that doesn't mean it
should randomly delete user data.

Anyone who releases software that can delete your home
directory is irresponsible, whether they call it beta, alpha,
whatever. (Cue joke about AT&T being irresponsible for
releasing "rm".)

By the way, pkg_add in FreeBSD 2.1.5 once blew away my
home directory. The author apologized to me and had a
free set of 2.1.7 CDs sent to me. Now *that's* customer
service.

What do you expect. . . . (4, Insightful)

DansnBear (586007) | more than 11 years ago | (#5050425)

Dont get me wrong, Im as big of an apple person as they come (I refuse to use a windows machine) but as the page stated (and jobs in his keynote) many times: It's Beta. . . use at your own risk. . . Im sure once it goes to a full release it will be the most kickass browser around, but untill then, I keep my copy of opera in the dock, right next to safari.

Re:What do you expect. . . . (2, Interesting)

lightspawn (155347) | more than 11 years ago | (#5050508)

Man, we all know the software companies have to say that nothing works and everything should be used at our own risk, it's just the lawyers that make them say it, but (nudge nudge wink etc) it actually works like a charm with no problems whatsoever.

When you're warned about all software, even final retail copies, it's hard to remember to take beta warnings seriously.

Remember when you found out your teachers lied to you about all illegal substances turning you into a zombie or worse? You were smart enough to figure out what's OK and what's not, but some people figured they should just ignore all the warnings because they don't mean a thing. That's right, the points don't matter, just like Netscape.

Re:What do you expect. . . . (0, Offtopic)

Twirlip of the Mists (615030) | more than 11 years ago | (#5050691)

Remember when you found out your teachers lied to you about all illegal substances turning you into a zombie or worse?

<offtopic>Dude, drugs do turn you into a zombie and worse. Hell, there are plenty of legal substances that also turn you into a zombie. If you think you can do drugs (or smoke, or drink, or whatever) and not suffer for it, you're either ignorant or fooling yourself.

Life is full of compromises. If you want to sacrifice your health, your self-esteem, or your safety for a temporary pleasant sensation, go right ahead. But don't kid yourself into thinking there are no negative side-effects.</offtopic>

Re:What do you expect. . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5050738)

If you think you can do drugs (or smoke, or drink, or whatever) and not suffer for it, you're either ignorant or fooling yourself.

Replace "...do drugs (or smoke, or drink, or whatever)..." with "...live..." and you've got it. Three thousand years after the Buddha got it, but still...

Re:What do you expect. . . . . (1, Offtopic)

lightspawn (155347) | more than 11 years ago | (#5051018)

If it was good enough for Jesus [guardian.co.uk] , it's good enough for me.

Re:What do you expect. . . . (2)

90XDoubleSide (522791) | more than 11 years ago | (#5050828)

Apple has a very specific warning on their beta software that never appears on final versions: Important Note: this is trial, pre-release, time-limited software meant for evaluation purposes only. This software should not be used in a commercial operating environment or with important data. Before installing the Apple Software, you should back up all of your data and regularly back up data while using the Apple Software.

Chimera 0.6 (4, Interesting)

MacAndrew (463832) | more than 11 years ago | (#5051118)

For Mac faithful, try Chimera Navigator which is astonsihly based on Gecko yet worlds apart from Netscape. It's a nice example of a rapid development project benefitting from the OS X environment. 0.6 is a major advance.

I use Opera and like it, but you do have to pay $40 for it, and we have three machines. I'm a little worrid about Opera's apparent feature creep.

I don't know what Chimera's future is, but it's free and GPL. I wish Safari all the best but will wait a little. And WHY with Aqua have they still not dropped that awful brushed metal look??? Chimera does a better job of Aqua than Apple's own product.

Re:What do you expect. . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5051496)

But Steve also said it was a really solid beta...

Re:What do you expect. . . . (4, Funny)

baryon351 (626717) | more than 11 years ago | (#5051821)

And ellen said it was a really good paper.

but the paper was devoured.

"It was a really good /tmp... and Safari devoured my /tmp, and I had to link it again but it wasn't as good..."

Re:What do you expect. . . . (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5051942)

Gee, my BETA versions of WMP9 and windows movie maker 2 worked flawlessly. Never even crashed let alone DESTROY MY OS INSTALL!

This is plain CARELESS of apple to release such a destructive "beta" on it's widespread users.

Stop the presses!!! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5050438)

We just discovered that a discussion board about a beta software program includes complaints about bugs! Shut down the press, we need to get this hot news item into today's edition. Nothing like this has ever happened before!!!!

Re:Stop the presses!!! (2, Insightful)

Zxeses (236430) | more than 11 years ago | (#5050451)

Good point, why are we reading a news report about beta software bugs?

Re:Stop the presses!!! (4, Funny)

Zelet (515452) | more than 11 years ago | (#5050545)

I downloaded Safari and it was like beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep. It was a really good slashdot post, too.

Relax I am an Apple user.

Re:Stop the presses!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5051101)

it's not overrated, it's funny

Re:Stop the presses!!! (3, Funny)

MacAndrew (463832) | more than 11 years ago | (#5051137)

Do you look like Ellen Feiss?

If yes, this may not be a safe place for you.... :)

Re:Stop the presses!!! (1)

zygote (134175) | more than 11 years ago | (#5052740)

Deleting a Home folder is a bit larger bug than, say not rendering a certain HTML tag properly.

There are bugs and then there are BUGS.

Specific and useful would be good here (5, Insightful)

nrich123 (581907) | more than 11 years ago | (#5050452)

Instead of useless scaremongering.

I have done multiple control click downloads, and printed a gazillion pages with Safari b48- with no problems.

So can you please tell us *exactly how to reproduce these bugs so we can avoid it, or stop yelling fire in a crowded theatee?

Thanks.

Of course, I wouldn't have installed beta software on an unbacked up production machine mysefl, but there we go.
I don't have a production machine with less than daily backups.

Re:Specific and useful would be good here (1, Redundant)

kuwan (443684) | more than 11 years ago | (#5050721)

Well, my original post was truncated somewhat, I guess to make it fit better on the main page. The problem with /tmp being deleted is a big one. I don't know how to reproduce it yet, but 5 out of the 6 people I work with who have Macs all had /tmp deleted (including me). No one here had their home folder nuked however, but a lot of people have been reporting it on the discussion boards so that's why I included it.

What happens is that Safari may delete the /tmp symbolic link. The result is that a lot of applications that need to write to /tmp will not run, these problems may include:

  1. Can't launch any Classic Application
  2. Can't run Software Update. I get "an unexpected error has occured."
  3. Can't log in as any other user except the Admin.
  4. Can't print.

Not being able to run Software Update is a big problem since that would have been Apple's best delivery method to fix the problem.

Here's how you fix the problems.

You need to recreate the /tmp symbolic link (/tmp is just a link to /private/tmp).

  1. Open the Terminal application.
  2. Type "sudo ln -s /private/tmp /tmp" (without the quotes).
  3. You'll be prompted for your password, so enter it.
  4. Everything should now work like before (you may have to log out and then log back in again).

I agree that you should use caution with beta software, but considering that over 300,000 people downloaded it on the first day there are going to be a lot of people that are going to be needing a fix.

Re:Specific and useful would be good here (2)

Twirlip of the Mists (615030) | more than 11 years ago | (#5050878)

I don't know how to reproduce it yet, but 5 out of the 6 people I work with who have Macs all had /tmp deleted (including me).

Make that 5 out of 7. I just want to cast my vote. I've been using Safari damn near constantly since it was released, and I have had neither of these serious problems. My biggest problems were one application crash and what appeared to be a corrupted plist file.

Re:Specific and useful would be good here (1)

nrich123 (581907) | more than 11 years ago | (#5051426)

and make that 5/8, My tmp directory is still here, large as life . I have used Safari since I downloaded it right after the keynote. No problems whatsoever. So once again: Somethign bad but unrepeatable happened to me is *not* a bug report. Do xyz to repeat this behaviour is a bug report. I haven't seen a bug report on any of the sites, just a lot of hysteria, which will do more harm than good. I agree that a lot of newbies will have downloaded beta software onto production machines which they don't understand deeply, so that errors of the sotrt you describe will not make them think - aha , my tmp directpry has been hosed' . But that's a matter of 'caveat downloador'. And screaming fire is not going to help them. All the best nick

Re:Specific and useful would be good here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5052361)

Well Apple is definitely aware of the issue, thankfully. The support tech. I was dealing with hadn't known of the issue but he spoke with someone else who told him what to do. He then told me what to do and suggested that I delete Safari.

Re:Specific and useful would be good here (2)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 11 years ago | (#5050742)

So can you please tell us *exactly how to reproduce these bugs so we can avoid it, or stop yelling fire in a crowded theatee?

Read the posts that this article is talking about; the information is specific and useful. Those who have discovered the bug experience the following: (1) option-clicking a link deletes ~/. If this doesn't happen to you, consider yourself lucky. Me, I'm not going to experiment, because I don't back up my machine often enough. In fact, I'm deleting Safari for now; I don't want to take the chance that I will forget to not touch the option key when using it. (2) the printing bug affects users whose /tmp directory is destroyed, and can be fixed by replacing the directory. To find out if this bug affects you, cd /tmp .... if you can't, then the bug affects you. Anyway the information is pretty specific; I don't see why this is shouting in a theater.

Re:Specific and useful would be good here (5, Insightful)

Twirlip of the Mists (615030) | more than 11 years ago | (#5050909)

Those who have discovered the bug experience the following: (1) option-clicking a link deletes ~/.

For the record, there are very few reported instances of this happening, and none of them is crystal-clear. On Apple's support boards, I think I counted three people who said that this happened to them, but none of them have thus far been able to describe what they were doing when it happened. (Their accounts sound something like Ellen's "switch" commercial, if you can believe that.)

For kicks, after I heard about this I DVD'd my entire Users folder and went about option-clicking everything in sight. I ended up with a bunch of files on my desktop, but I didn't have any problems even remotely like what has been reported.

Should you be cautious? Hell, yeah. It's beta, for Chrissakes. If it sneaks out of your office in the middle of the night, rearranges your sock drawer, eats your children, and deletes all those unwatched episodes of "Wild On" off your TiVo, it's nobody's fault but your own. But is it a disaster just waiting to happen? Apparently not.

Re:Specific and useful would be good here (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5051417)

I've tried to replicate this bug and cannot, when noone is giving specific information that will allow a tester to replicate a bug that usually means that something else has happened. I'm a software developer who been through many alphas and betas and I can smell hysteria here. It's human nature to assume that computer problems are caused by the software that's currently being tested. Sometimes this is true, and in those cases the effect can be reproduced and hopefully fixed. Many other times the software in question cannot be prodded into recreating the error, and it is often something else (like something the user did that is not related to the software being tested).

The second part of this phenomenon is the hysteria -the (possibly erroneously reported) bug looks bad and pretty soon everyone's talking about, it seems like everyones got it and anything that goes wrong with a person's computer is due to the program.

You also get a significant "joiner" effect -people who didn't like the software, or company or whatever begin clamoring about the (now many) debilitating bugs.

I'm not especially impressed with Safari one way or another, but I've been using it for many hours, doing all the things that are supposed to cause problems, and I still:

1) have a home directory
2) have a sym-link to /private/tmp in /
3) can print

What am I doing wrong!!!

Forgot my UID so I am anonymous...
-Aaron

Re:Specific and useful would be good here (1)

andrewski (113600) | more than 11 years ago | (#5051600)

It's funny. People really mean "my graphics workstation" when they say production machine.

Specific Specifics (1)

hiendohar (133407) | more than 11 years ago | (#5051923)


I would like to know:

- If there are cases of this happening where the affected user does *not* have admin permissions
- What the affected users have set as their default download folder

This seems like a serious threat, but without more data it is hard to know just how serious.

Re:Specific Specifics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5052540)

I'm just a visitor dropping by, looking for answers.... but I can tell you this:

-I did have admin permissions.

-My download folder was the Desktop.

-recreating the tmp folder w/ the above advice did not fix my problem, though the tmp folder was indeed missing.

-I believe that the reason why people can't describe what they were doing when it "happened" is that it doesn't appear to happen immediately, or at least not until you try to do something that's been spoiled. Not having needed to print or install software or run Classic, I tinkered with Safari for awhile and then went to bed. The next morning...

On this board and on Apple's site there's been a disturbing number of "I'M fine" and "It's a Beta, you deserve what you got" posts. I don't think anyone who encountered this horrendous bug is going to be doing a lot of Beta testing from now on, so what's the point?

Re:Specific and useful would be good here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5052321)

User Barbie: Clicking on links is HARD!

Re:Specific and useful would be good here (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5052344)

I had to re-install the OS on two of my Macs - a TiBook and a Dual800 G4. None of my files were deleted by Safari but I couldn't print, other users couldn't log in, plus a few other problems.

After 45 minutes with Apple Support/Care they suggested I archive and install 10.2.

I strongly suggest that you seriously back up your home directory or not use Safari at all.

Re:Specific and useful would be good here (2)

ealar dlanvuli (523604) | more than 11 years ago | (#5052499)

Mister AC, please email me at either sfritz@postmaster.co.uk or froggie6@mchsi.com or ealar@mac.com. I would like you to tell me what print driver you are using, weither you are an admin. What other applications were you using. What did you try to print, what print settings did you have.

Until SOMEONE tells me these *basic* facts, I'm becoming increasingly convinced that people are making this up to give Safari a bad name. Trolling in it's most extreme form to say the least.

Here's specific and useful (1)

PetWolverine (638111) | more than 11 years ago | (#5052768)

I have a friend with a PBG4 (600MHz, I believe) named Virginia running OS X 10.2.3 who uses Safari with no trouble. It loads pages quickly, generally renders them error-free, and doesn't crash.

I have a PMG4 2x1.25 GHz named Louise running OS X Server 10.2.3 (why? because I can) and I have tried Safari. It crashes frequently while loading www.versiontracker.com, generally loads pages extremely slowly and renders them incorrectly.

What do you want from a beta? Safari probably has issues with multiprocessor systems, or with Server. I'll use it when they release it for real; till then (though I know I'll get plenty of flak for it on /.) I'll stick with IE.

Some Smart@$$ (1)

RCO (597148) | more than 11 years ago | (#5050499)

remapped the right mouse button to fire off random commands such as rm -rf $HOME

Seriously though, did anyone check to make sure they got the right file from the site rather than a hacked version that was put in place of the original. You would think that these kinds of bugs are serious enough that they wouldn't even put out the program (even in beta) until they were fixed.

Re:Some Smart@$$ (2)

wirelessbuzzers (552513) | more than 11 years ago | (#5052220)

Seriously though, did anyone check to make sure they got the right file from the site rather than a hacked version that was put in place of the original.

How? They didn't sign it. It's not open source, and if it were, you'd have to sift through the source for hours to have a hope of finding anything.

You would think that these kinds of bugs are serious enough that they wouldn't even put out the program (even in beta) until they were fixed.

Yeah. I would guess what happened is that Steve said to be ready by the expo, and they weren't, and they didn't have time to test extensively for major bugs like that. In any case, it's Chimera for me until the next beta.

Hmm (3, Insightful)

KH (28388) | more than 11 years ago | (#5050531)

I am a bit skeptical about the reports. It sounds like some people are freaking out because something they didn't happened. Is it not possible that someone tried to download a file whose name was exactly the same as his home directory, and he has set his download location to /Users for whatever reason I don't understand?

Also, the reports say that /tmp was missing, not that Safari replaces /tmp with a link to /private/tmp. /tmp has always been a link to /private/tmp.

Safari is a beta software anyway. Use it at your own risk.

X11 and /tmp (4, Informative)

Daleks (226923) | more than 11 years ago | (#5050675)

The other has been reported as a printing problem, but is far worse. The printing problem occurs because Safari deletes /tmp, which is a link to /private/tmp.

So that explains it. Apple's X11 application was crashing on me shortly after launch and immediately when requesting the creation of an xterm. The logfile said a lock file in /tmp could not be created.

no big deal (1)

applematters (638331) | more than 11 years ago | (#5050683)

First off, this is a beta. Secondly, I also have had no problem with safari and I've printed a bunch. That said, I sure am going to make sure I don't hit that option-key while downloading!

How to fix the /tmp problem (5, Informative)

kuwan (443684) | more than 11 years ago | (#5050767)

The following was deleted from my original post. Here's how to fix the problems with /tmp:

You need to recreate the /tmp symbolic link (/tmp is just a link to /private/tmp).

  1. Open the Terminal application.
  2. Type "sudo ln -s /private/tmp /tmp" (without the quotes).
  3. You'll be prompted for your password, so enter it.
  4. Everything should now work like before (you may have to log out and then log back in again).

I agree with those that have said that you should use caution with beta software, but considering that over 300,000 people downloaded it on the first day there are going to be a lot of people that are going to be needing a fix. 5 of the 6 people I work with (including me) that used Safari had /tmp deleted. That's 83% which means there's probably more than 250,000 people (from just the first day) that are going to need a fix.

Other problems that might be experienced include:

  1. Can't launch any Classic Application
  2. Can't run Software Update. I get "an unexpected error has occured."
  3. Can't log in as any other user except the Admin.
  4. Can't print.

There are many more problems that may come up, so anything we can do to get the word out is a good thing.

Alpha, Beta, Pre-Release Candidate, etc... (5, Informative)

shdragon (1797) | more than 11 years ago | (#5050859)

This is a rather old debate...please see link for related debate.
KDE Office Beta [kde.org]

Above is an old thread regarding KDE office beta and the confusion caused by alpha, beta, etc. and different people's expectations.

I think that a good general rule of thumb is to say that:

pre-alpha/alpha software all bets are off.

Beta - We've worked out all the major computer destroying bugs but there's still lots of little annoying ones.

Pre-Release candidate - Hey, we got this thing to work pretty well and now we need people to try and break it so that when we actually release we can

Honestly, I'd be pretty pissed if someone released a beta and it did something nasty like erase my ~ directory. We're not talking about CS 101 students releasing the Hello World Browser.

Stick to Microsoft (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5050890)

enough said.

lost control of my mouse (1)

DChristensen (98850) | more than 11 years ago | (#5050995)

Hey fellas,

Not sure if this was Safari, OS X X11, or me rm -rf fink's /sw directory, but I had the misfortune of losing all control over the trackpad on my TiBook. Persisted across restarts, across pram zapping, across power manager reset. No mouse movement with USB mice either. My CD drive was fscked, so I couldn't boot off of OS 10.2 CD.

I ended up putting my TiBook in Firewire Disk Mode, and reinstalling Jaguar from my wife's iBook onto the Ti. It seems to be working so far, and I even felt adventurous enough to reinstall Safari and X11. (Yes, I'm a glutton for punishment.)

Has anyone out there has had a similar problem?

Re:lost control of my mouse (2)

evil_roy (241455) | more than 11 years ago | (#5051287)

I had a very similar experience with my Pismo PowerBook & Jaguar. No CD , wouldn't boot. Apple store said it is completely stuffed - they didn't even know about the firewire disk mode or single user mode.

I got as far as single user boot - but no gui and no way out.

I did what you did and I now have a functional powerbook again - but the dvd/cd was fscked so I now have an ill fitting cdrom in the slot.

I have not loaded the dev tools or X11 this time (these older 5gig drives are just too small) and I have no problems. I have nothing to indicate that fink/X11 had anything to do with my problem - it's just that they are the only things different this time around.

Rushed job? (3, Insightful)

batobin (10158) | more than 11 years ago | (#5051186)

A friend who is considering updating to Jaguar asked me if I liked Safari. I had to think for a second. I've switched between iCab, Netscape 6, Mozilla, IE, OmniWeb, and Chimera since I started using OS X. I had finally settled on Chimera as my primary browser before Safari got released.

So what did I respond? I told him that it seemed to me like it was a rush job. I didn't really see any signs that Apple had spent much time or effort developing the software. Yes, I fully realize it's beta. It should have bugs. But bugs as big as are mentioned in this story? Good gracious no. I've been beta testing Apple software for a long time, and bugs this big are usually taken care of with internal builds. Even seeds delivered to ADC members shouldn't have bugs this big. Safari is a widely publicized public beta.

Does anybody see any features that really show work? I know they did a lot of under-the-hood stuff, but what did they start with? What was the state of KHTML before Apple started contributing? I'm sure Apple is going to make the browser a large priority, but how much did they really put into Safari before it was released?

Re:Rushed job? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5051240)



There are some notes [mamasam.com] in the Cocoa mailing list about the Safari implementation.

Re:Rushed job? (2)

analog_line (465182) | more than 11 years ago | (#5051312)

That's nothing really. Companies sell software with even bigger bugs. Pool of Radiance 2 would delete your C drive if you tried to uninstall it, and it wouldn't install anywhere other than your C drive.

Re:Rushed job? (3, Interesting)

P. Niss (635300) | more than 11 years ago | (#5051765)

Well, for one thing, prior to Safari, KHTML (in the guise of Konqueror, I guess, although I've never run it under Mac OS X myself) ran as a KDE application under X11 in OS X; now, Safari runs as a native application in Aqua. I don't know how much work this took, but it obviously differentiates Safari from KHTML. The UI of Safari is noticeably different from prior implementations of KHTML; I don't remember having seen the SnapBack feature in KHTML before Safari, although I could be just out of the loop; and, as one would expect, KHTML prior to Safari did not include the Address Book and Rendezvous integration that Safari now has. These facts, among others, indicate to me that, while Apple might still have a ways to go with Safari (hence the "beta"), they did put at least some significant degree of work into it before releasing it, and I'm not sure there's any evidence, in the absence of inside information, that Safari was a rush job.

With regard to the two major reported bugs, I don't think it ever makes sense to tell otherwise intelligent people who've just had their home directory wiped out after trying to download a file that the bug is nonexistent. In reality, however, these bugs seem to be being reported sporadically at best, and there may be some specific set of circumstances outside of Safari which cause these bugs that we're unaware of. I think the best you can do, then, is acknowledge the usual caveats that go along with using a beta; unless you've actually experienced the bugs, however, I think running scared from Safari might be overdoing it a bit. As always when dealing with software before its official release, caution is the better part of prudence.

Re:Rushed job? (1)

batobin (10158) | more than 11 years ago | (#5051947)

Good points. I haven't used Konqueror, so I really didn't know.

Regardless, even if it was bugless, I'm not impressed. Chimera seems to hang less downloading pages, and I can't tell a difference in rendering times. When you have a Dual 1GHz G4, everything is fast. :)

Re:Rushed job? (2)

jericho4.0 (565125) | more than 11 years ago | (#5053147)

Dude. I love Safari, but any bug that can wipe out your home directory is bad.

My Mac is a production machine, and that kind of risk is far to much to swallow. I am very much looking forward to the next releases of Safari, but until then, I'm back on IE :-(.

Re:Rushed job? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5052511)

They put in almost as much work as the origional KHTML renderer had put into it. Safari is not an app to be taken lighly either, to achieve that speed and simplicity is not nearly as easy as people seem to think.

Gimme a java console!@#! (1)

metalpet (557056) | more than 11 years ago | (#5051216)

Oh, and please implement the netscape.javascript.* package. A java class that cannot mess with the browser is a sad java class.

But yeah. gimme some debugging consoles first.
Then I'll beta-test the darn thing.

Thinking of which, is there some form of public bugzilla for safari where I can moan about this AND have a hope of something being done about it?

it didn't affect me but.... (1)

ii-v-i-head (635487) | more than 11 years ago | (#5051342)

i had set specifically my download folder a long time ago in an era long since forgotten... 10.1... to something other than the default... this download folder was picked up by safari as my preference when i downloaded anything and temp was not nuked.


too sents



yes! it may have been too early for a widespread public beta. your mileage may vary.

Safari working great here,,, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5051410)

Using 10.2.3 and safari...

NO BUGS!

None. I am printing fine, no problems with option clicking, just a little slow flash play.

This is a TROLL Post

Re:Safari working great here,,, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5051927)

So because it doesn't happen to you and your exact setup it can't possibly happen to anyone else? That's not very broad thinking now is it?

Re:Safari working great here,,, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5052132)

did he say that? it looks like YOU are sying that since he has no problems noone else should. he said no such thing.

How is this possible? (1)

meekjt (94667) | more than 11 years ago | (#5051414)

I thought the Unix underpinnings of OS X would prevent things like the deletion of /tmp.

Re:How is this possible? (1)

Zorton (2520) | more than 11 years ago | (#5051488)

Typicaly no, however the /tmp directory has to be world writeable for lots of diffrent apps out there. There was a reference in an older editon of O'Reilly's "System Administration" about a "overzelious" sys admin who changed the /tmp dir to 600 or something similar. As a result it broke vi :)

Re:How is this possible? (4, Informative)

KH (28388) | more than 11 years ago | (#5051526)


[xxx@xxx:~]% ls -l /
.
.
lrwxrwxr-t 1 root admin 12 Jan 10 00:43 tmp@ -> /private/tmp


If you are a member of admin group, you can delete it.

I am beginning to get an impression that people who had set Download folder to Macintosh HD:tmp in OS 9 using Internet Config may be affected. Looks like Safari honors the setting from the Internet Config.

Posting from Safari :)

Re:How is this possible? (1)

bdsesq (515351) | more than 11 years ago | (#5052013)

[xxx@xxx:~]% ls -l /
.
.
lrwxrwxr-t 1 root admin 12 Jan 10 00:43 tmp@ -> /private/tmp

If you are a member of admin group, you can delete it.


Yes, you can delete the link. But not based on what you show here. The permissions on the file allow you to WRITE to the file not delete it. In order to delete the file you need write permissions to the directory it lives in. In this case "/".

The permissions on "/" are

drwxrwxr-t 46 root admin 1564 Dec 16 20:38 /

Which, of course, are exactly the same. But still different.

Re:How is this possible? (1)

marmoset (3738) | more than 11 years ago | (#5053260)

So theoretically, if you've changed mode on "/" (I run Sendmail locally, so I go with
drwxr-xr-x
to keep it from bitching and moaning), you should be immune to this, n'est ce pas?

Re:How is this possible? (2)

eyez (119632) | more than 11 years ago | (#5052518)

lrwxrwxr-t 1 root admin 12 Jan 10 00:43 tmp@ -> /private/tmp
If you are a member of admin group, you can delete it.

Someone needs to brush up on their UNIX. to delete /tmp, you need write permission to /, not to /tmp.

Cache (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5051428)

I think this does only happen if you try to delete your cache!

I love Safari. Just fast and clean as I want a Browser!

Re:Cache (1)

Zorton (2520) | more than 11 years ago | (#5051528)

I just tried cleaning the cache and still have a symlink. I think I agree with most of the other users out there. This one smells a bit like jitter bugs. However the discussion boards sometimes do crop up interesting bugs such as this....

The key is in replication, sorta like cold fusion.

Safari, /tmp and file permissions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5051574)

Hmmmm. I just checked. My /tmp link is read/execute for other. Owner is "root". Group is "wheel". My normal user account is not root and the group is "staff". In other words, if you use good computing practice and run as a normal user this bug won't hurt you because the file permissions will prevent it.

Are all these people that are having problems always running as an administor?

On the other hand Safari does not seem to handle the "path" value of a cookie per RFC2109. At least it does not handle it the same way as MS IE, Mozilla or iCab.

Where be thy tabbed browsing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5051595)

Who cares if it deletes stuff, I just want this feature.

Come on Steve Jobs get those tabs in there!

Another reason not to run as admin (3, Informative)

Van Halen (31671) | more than 11 years ago | (#5051605)

Although there doesn't seem to be much detail about exactly what Safari is mistakenly doing to cause these bugs, I don't think they would happen to a normal (not in the admin group) user.

Actually I'm a little perplexed about the home directory thing and would like to see more details on what is going on. /Users on both of my machines is writable by root and the wheel group, but not the admin group. It doesn't seem like this could happen without write permission to /Users, so it sounds a bit fishy. However, if the user were in the wheel group, that could explain it.

The /tmp thing is easily accomplished if the user is in the admin group since most Apple software updates like to chmod g+w / even when I don't want it that way.

Personally, I run everything as a non-admin user and have a special "admin" account which is the only one in the admin group. I've ranted on this before, but I still think Apple would have been better off telling people, when they first configure the machine, to simply enter a special administrative password, separate from their normal password. Behind the scenes, they would create an admin user, but any non-advanced user would need not even know that administrative privileges are given via a separate account. All they need to know is their regular account (non-admin) password and the admin password. The facilities for this setup are mostly there - many system-type actions (system-wide prefs, software installs) already ask for an administrative user/password. Just dump the user part (defaulting to "admin"), so as not to confuse non-advanced users. Then add stuff in places like the Finder - try to copy a new program to /Applications and get a dialog asking for the password. Make it as seamless as possible.

I really think this sort of scheme would have been better, more in line with the traditional Unix security model while still giving people full control over their machines without absolutely requiring knowledge of "root," "sudo" and other Unixisms. Advanced (or wreckless) users could even be given the option to "give my account full time administrative privileges" (add to the admin group) with proper warnings of possible doom.

Why hasn't Apple updated? This is Bad Business! (1)

mactari (220786) | more than 11 years ago | (#5051612)

Okay, we've got the first post [apple.com] on Apple's Discussion boards at (Posted Jan 8, 03 3:35 am) and the bug report has made it to Slashdot by 4:37 EST, I assume. The "world" knows about this problem, and has for hours.

I'm upset for a number of reasons. Hey, this is a beta, sure. As a software developer myself, a huge bug that doesn't turn up until you let someone else take a look is, unfortunately, expected. The Chinaman (Big Lebowski screenplay here [screentalk.org] if you missed the reference)... ur, bug's not the issue here, dude.

Here's what's wrong -- we've got 300,000 people who prefer mice with one button a hair's breath away from erasing pretty important folders. We can hardly expect they've backed everything up. Here are three reasons Apple's more than just dropped the ball...

1.) Fire up Software Update in OS X. We've come to expect IE updates here. There's nothing about a Safari update.
2.) Go back to apple.com/safari. Try to download. Same version they released right after the keynote. No fix offered.
3.) There's not even a mention about the problem on the Safari project lead's blog [mozillazine.org] , though there are mentions that they've fixed the appearence of VersionTracker's front page [versiontracker.com] (Admittedly, I sent that bug in yesterday with probably literally thousands of others). Can they really not be aware of the directory-erasing problem?

Look, this is worse than MSN Messenger going down for five hours due to human error [cnn.com] . So what if I can't IM? I'll finally get some work done. With Safari, there are people reporting that they're losing their iPhoto set-ups, their Documents folders, and even their entire home directory. Expecting Joe iPhoto user to reattach symbolic links is a bit much, folks.

It's embarassing, even if this is some sort of strange hoax (which it certainly doesn't seem to be) that Apple's not on top of things. More than mud in Apple's eye, this is nearly scandal.

Re:Why hasn't Apple updated? This is Bad Business! (2, Interesting)

nelsonal (549144) | more than 11 years ago | (#5051827)

I am beginning to wonder if open betas are really the right way for software development to be moving. Recently someone mentioned how easy it is to get beta software these days, and I realized that they were right, it wasn't long ago that beta software was something you had to apply for and hope to be chosen to recieve. I think that this uniqueness prevented less knowledgable users from gaining access to the software, at least without some effort, which meant that if you got it you generally knew what it could do, and were prepared to deal with the consiquences. Perhaps more software should go back to a more closed beta to prevent these sorts of situations from occuring.

Incidentally, did you know that SPAM is concidered a treat in Hawaii? They have some resturants that feature it in $20 a plate dishes, and it usually sells out on paydays. I have heard that it was popular at truck stops as well.

Spam? (2)

mtec (572168) | more than 11 years ago | (#5052747)

I likespam. Always have. I'll have your spam. I love it. I'm having spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, baked beans, spam, spam, spam and spam right now!

Re:Why hasn't Apple updated? This is Bad Business! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5052035)

I don't know how many times this needs to be emphasized --> BETA. It's Beta for a reason... and it's stupid and pointless to be upset about there being a bug in it, no matter how serious! Just because they haven't addressed the issue yet doesn't mean they're ignoring it -- it just means they're doing other things, possibly fixing bugs that users haven't found yet.

And as for calling it "bad business" -- noone told all these people to go out and start using it all the time. They were told it's Beta, and those people who don't know any better shouldn't have gotten it! They should wait for it to be a final release product... If they were charging for the application, or marketing it as a full fledged production quality browser, then yeah, bad bussiness -- BUT THEY'RE NOT!

And this is no where's near as bad as MSN Messenger going down... that's a full fledged production system which many many people (stupidly) rely on! NOT A BETA PRODUCT. Apple doesn't expect "Joe iPhoto user to reattach symbolic links" -- they expect Joe iPhoto user to be smart enough to see the big fat BETA banner and hold out for a while.

It's not embarrassing - it's life. Just because Apple hasn't yet addressed one prevelant bug out of potentially hundreds of other bugs doesn't mean they're not on top of things... you're just overreacting.

Re:Why hasn't Apple updated? This is Bad Business! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5053012)

" they expect Joe iPhoto user to be smart enough to see the big fat BETA banner and hold out for a while. Just because Apple hasn't yet addressed one prevelant bug out of potentially hundreds of other bugs doesn't mean they're not on top of things... you're just overreacting."

Just plain wrong. This is a pretty atypical bug for a Beta, let alone a public Beta. Apple shouldn't be touting the download on their splashy, product-pushing home page. Some "Joe iPhotos" HAVE downloaded it, thanks to the heavy advertising on the same page that their browser points to when they fire up their shiny new computer for the first time.

That IS bad business.

I'm gonna have to reinstall everything, it looks like (I'll hold off for a couple of days in case someone figures it out). This is the first public beta I've used in years that's forced me to do that, and I've used many.

Does it affect UFS or HFS+ or both? (1)

andrewski (113600) | more than 11 years ago | (#5051669)

Everyone loves and remembers the silly kernel panic from OS 10.2. I never got it to work on my machine. Maybe this problem with Safari is the same sort of thing. I know that 10.2 must use the VFS "virtual filesystem interface", so from this I will make some very gross assumptions.

1. The VFS UFS implementation is pretty stable. Lacking softupdates at this point, but still both mature and robust.

2. The VFS HFS / HFS+ implementation is newer, and a bit slower (quite subjectively), and seems to me to be somehow weak, or flimsy, or not-quite robust.

I get the same feeling from the VFS HFS+ layer that I did from the P/T Cruiser and the Ford Focus. No offense to anybody who worked on the code, but it doesn't feel right.

I'll take this opportunity again to tell Apple to just put a kibosh on HFS+ for good. Go FFS+S, or something else but for heaven's sake, if you're going to remodel the house, you might as well finish!

Another bug... (1)

andrewski (113600) | more than 11 years ago | (#5051764)

Has anyone figured out how to stop Safari from spawning its windows anywhere and everywhere, randomly on both my monitors? Does anyone else have this problem?

At least in Omniweb they finally included a Save Window Position option. Safari is just weird.

Which brings me to another problem. When I hit the + gumdrop, I sometimes get a window that is maximized to the dimensions of my smaller screen (1280x854) instead of 1280x1024! That happens a lot though with a bunch of different applications. Does anybody know how to make a Cocoa app's window take up both screens without having to do the little dance of maximizing it, nudging the window over onto the other display a little (like 1 or 2 pixels) and then grabbing the resize handle and finally making it the desired size?

Re:Another bug... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5052461)

Yes have this same issue. Fill out a bug report like I did. Definately needs fixed. ANNOYING.

First of All (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5052210)

First of all is a beta. Get that? Know what a "beta" is?

Since few do try looking it up at dictionary.com.

The reported problems are not common. They appear to relate to unique configs and are *limited* in the number of users that are affected. There are other reports as well.

For /. Apple to post this miserable item only typlifies why reading /. is a waste of time, a babble of morons.

I call bullshit (5, Insightful)

ealar dlanvuli (523604) | more than 11 years ago | (#5052669)

None of those posts claiming their home directory was deleted contained any of the following information:

1: The file being downloaded
2: The download destination
3: Their Username
4: The settings they had in Safari.
5: How to attempt to repeat it.

Sounds like a nice distributed troll with a goal of ruining Safari's reputation. If anyone can provide those 5 peices of information to me, I will start to believe this might possibly be a legitimate rumor.

whew! (3, Funny)

Slur (61510) | more than 11 years ago | (#5052833)

Thank goodness, according to the latest reports it only affects Microsoft astroturfers.

They weren't kidding...it is faster than IE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5052878)

..faster in every sense, including the speed in which it screws up your box!

Muahahaha

here's what happened to me--specifically (5, Informative)

cmdrjbgoode (586617) | more than 11 years ago | (#5052903)

i run 10.2.3, and have two main users, an admin and a normal user. i always log in a the unprivileged normal user and only use the admin for, uh, admin. duh. when files are downloaded, they go to ~/Desktop. i won't reveal my usernames for security reasons but they don't contain spaces. my admin user lives on the same disk as os x (/users/admin/), and my normal user lives on an external firewire disk (/volumes/disk/foouser/) i download flat files from my bank to import into quicken. on every other browser i've used, clicking the appropriate link on the bank's page downloads a file "foo.qif". safari comes out, i get it and use the default settings. i try downloading the file. safari shows me the contents of the flat file in the window. i go back to the previous page, option click on the link and choose "save link target as..." (i don't have the exact text, because safari is banned for reasons that will become obvious). the file downloads, i import it. fine. good. i keep using my computer for a few days, using safari (but not option-click downloading anything). i read here about how this problem has happened. i logout from my normal user, log in as my admin user and delete /Applications/Safari.app, ~/Library/Safari/*, and everything else i can find with that name. (yes, i know i can do that from terminal, but i had other stuff to do in the gui.) when i try to log back in as my normal user, i get the default desktop and dock. yikes! sure enough, my home dir /volumes/disk/user is empty except for . and .. after a few minutes of panic & regret & resolutions to get a friggin cd burner for backups of those priceless photos of my kid, etc, i realize the disk usage hasn't changed. relief sets in and i realize the files aren't gone, they've just been misplaced. i log out and then log in as my admin user. i run disk utility and repair the external disk. it says the directory listing is incorrect and repairs it and then everything is magically good as new. i log in as my normal user and all my files are back. i never had any printing problems.
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