Bleah. Another morning lost to a misbehaving PowerMac G5. Yesterday I decided to move from the partition that was giving me trouble to the other disk. (Luckily I have two.) However the migration assistant froze with “22 minutes left” for several hours. Apparently some large Warcraft files were giving it trouble. I eventually forced the migration assistant to quit, but that left me with a corrupted and unbootable second drive. The Mac was not smart enough to notice this and boot from the first drive instead. It just kept kernel panicking in the boot process. I had to boot from the Tiger DVD manually, erase the disk, and reinstall the OS.
Memo to software developers everywhere: test your programs with multi-gigabyte files and make sure they still work. These are more common than you think, and include movies, archives, disk images, games, databases, e-mail inboxes, and a lot more. Lately I’ve noticed a lot of programs getting hung up on gigabyte+ files. In 2007, pretty much all software should handle files up to about a terabyte without blinking, and software with high robustness requirements such as operating system utilities, backup software, disk recovery utilities, and anything that runs a nuclear power plant should probably be good to a petabyte or more, just for safety’s sake.
One other detail: I’ve done a lot of Tiger reinstalls lately and for all Apple’s vaunted ease of use (still much better than Linux installs certainly) it could easily cut at least three steps from the install process. I’m referring, of course, to the places where it asks you for lots of personal information, asks to spam you, and tries to sell you .Mac. Even if Apple insists on this for new users, couldn’t they at least notice that my Mac already has several installed partitions and not ask me for this for the umpteenth time? Should I really have to turn off my router when installing to keep my Mac from spying on me and reporting that information back to Big Brother Steve?