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Talkin' Smack: Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me?

How the devil made me crash OS X for the first time in seven months By Dave Nagel
Most of you know me as a good man. Some of you might even refer to me as a holy man. Perhaps you're right. However, recent evidence would tend to indicate that I may have fallen out of favor momentarily, a direct result of comments made in last week's column. Here's what happened.

Last week I referred to Mac OS X 10.1 as "the God OS." I based this primarily of the (up to then) true assertion that it was impossible to crash this OS, since, back from the first release of OS X 10.0, I had been unable to do so. Mind you, I'm not just talking about average computer use. I mean running so much stuff at once in Classic and Native simultaneously that a crash was bound to happen. But it never did. And that's just not possible without some sort of divine aid.

At least not until "the incident."

"The incident"refers to two distinct crashes experienced on the very same day just after I finished smugly responding to one person's doubts regarding the true infallibility of OS X. I'm going to relate these occasions to you presently. And, while I do, I want those of you with at least the slightest amount of learning to ponder the story of Job as you read this. (For those who aren't familiar with the story of Job, don't worry; I'll hit you over the head with it later.)

This will require a little background. Here at Digital media Net, we're switching to a new system for publishing that's Java- and JavaScript-based. Well, it was supposed to be, but actually it's that fake Microsoft junk that doesn't run on anything but Explorer for Windows. I, needless to say, am not on a Windows system at all. But I do need to publish. The solution? Go out and buy Connectix Virtual PC and then download the OS X public beta so that I don't have to keep switching between OS 9 and OS X. (No, Virtual PC does not run in Classic.)

So I installed it, no problem. And then?BAM?crash city as soon as I tried to launch it. Subsequent launch attempts worked fine (as far as a beta release goes), but I was stuck, nevertheless, with the permanent blemish of my very first crash.

And so, after six or seven months, my pure, infallible God OS has received its first tarnish.

Now, I don't know what caused this crash. But I do know that a dialog box came up during the installation that didn't tell me what to do. It just offered me a choice of two systems. It was probably asking for a system containing my Virtual PC prefs, but I chose the OS X system instead. Then my hard drive churned for a while, and the installation ended, almost, but not quite, complete. (I had chosen the wrong system file, so the installer was unable to locate my prefs, meaning I had to do a little manual installation.)

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