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Go backFlaws in the Finder

A sidebar to the article “Evaluating the Macintosh Finder,” published in Byte, issue 12/1984, pp. A101.

The first released version of the Finder (version 1.0) had a number of bugs. In May 1984. Apple released a revised version (1.1g) in which nearly all of the bugs have been fixed. Version 1.1g of the Finder includes a number of enhancements.

You can now select an application program as a “start-up application,” and the program will boot into the application. (Note: it is not obvious how you “deselect” a start-up application. Simply begin by selecting the Finder file in the System folder as the startup application.)
A disk-copying utility drastically reduces the number of swaps required to back up a complete disk on a single-drive Macintosh.
There have been several changes to the character fonts provided.
The routines for copying files between disks have been improved so that fewer disk swaps are necessary for a single-drive Macintosh.
Superscripts and subscripts have been added to MacWrite.
A draft printing option has been added to MacPaint offering quicker printing at some reduction in resolution.
A FILL command has been added to MacPaint, which assists filling in designated areas with patterns.

Macintosh owners can upgrade their Finder, free of charge, by bringing their original Write/Paint disk to their Apple dealer. Included with the upgrade are new versions of MacPaint and MacWrite. For the record, a list of all bugs I have run across (for both Finder versions) follows. Many are very difficult to reproduce since they occur intermittently.

Bugs in Version 1.0

Bum disk. Rarely, the Finder will suddenly refuse to accept a previously acceptable disk. Any attempt to insert the disk (either as a start-up disk or as a disk to add to the desktop) results in a “System Error – ID=02” message indicating a memory-addressing problem. Attempting to boot from the offending disk generates a scowling Macintosh icon with the memory address 0F0064. The machine must be rebooted with a different disk.

Jumbled display. Rarely, dragging a disk icon to the trash will cause the display to jumble, and the machine will lock up. The computer must be rebooted to regain control.

Lost disk space. Rarely, duplicating an application program on a nearly full disk and then deleting the duplicate will cause loss of disk space. When this occurs, the Finder will erroneously give you the message “Out of memory – dispose of a dimmed icon,” even though you have only a single-disk icon on the desktop. At this point, the Finder will not let you start an application program or copy files. The computer must be rebooted.

Continuous disk swapping. Occasionally, the Finder will become confused during disk swaps. It will keep requesting the same disk over and over even though you are inserting the correct disk, or it will endlessly thrash back and forth requesting the same two disks. Rebooting is the only exit.

Lost Scrapbook pictures. The Scrapbook routines have a bug that will cause the message “Picture is too big to be displayed here” to be shown for a Scrapbook picture even though the picture easily fits the Scrapbook page size. Interestingly, pictures that really are too big will often be cropped at their edges, indicating that this message should never appear.

Bugs in Version 1.1g

Wrong Clipboard file icon. If you dispose of the Clipboard file in the System folder, the Finder will regenerate the file when you access the Clipboard. This is what it should do; however, the disk icon symbol will be incorrect. It should be a system file; instead, it comes up as a document file. This minor bug also occurs in version 1.0.

Misregistered display. Very rarely (I experienced it twice in approximately 100 hours of computer operation), copying an application program to another disk will cause the display screen to suddenly become misregistered (images will be distorted and blurred). The computer may allow you to do an operation or two, but it eventually crashes with a “System Error – ID=25” message and must be rebooted.

Mark S. Jennings

Page added on 8th October 2004.

Copyright © 2002-2006 Marcin Wichary, unless stated otherwise.