My Turn

More about Jaguar on the 800 MHz iBook

Korin Hasegawa-John - 2002.12.18

I got lots of great feedback on Jaguar on the 800 MHz iBook from readers. Thank you to everyone who took the time to write me.

The greatest amount of feedback came from readers pointing out that you can drag things to the dock in any view that you bloody well please. However, this isn't strictly true. I have the Dock set to show/hide automatically, and while this option is checked you cannot drag any item from Column View to the Dock. You can drag items to the Dock from Column View if you grab the icon from the preview pane.

This problem seems very strange, and I hope Apple will fix it at some point. (For the record, OS X 10.2 seems to be working as expected now. Go figure.)

Another note came from David Weber, pointing out that I had mixed up multithreading and multitasking. OS X includes preemptive multitasking, which controls tightly how much of the processor time each task gets. OS 9 includes cooperative multitasking, meaning that any one program can bully every other program and take all of the processor's time. Cooperative multitasking is sort of like a free-for-all - each task dives for the pile and tries to latch on to as much processor time as it can.

Many people also responded to my strange iMovie bug and thought it might be due to bad third party RAM. I neglected to mention that these kernel panics occurred with the stock 128 MB configuration from Apple. Since adding the RAM, I have not tried to replicate the problem.

Onto more interesting things. I downloaded the Mac OS X 10.2.2 update last week. It seems to work nicely, and I didn't experience any other problems. The biggest new thing is a Journaling File System (JFS). Basically journaling uses an 8 MB cache space on your drive to insure that if you have a hard crash or have a kernel panic, the hard drive won't get corrupted.

In order to enable JFS, you must use the Terminal (ack! scary!). Here's what you have to do:

  1. Launch the terminal.
  2. Type the command sudo diskutil enableJournal / This will enable JFS on all of your volumes. You'll be required to type in your root password.
  3. The terminal should say report Allocated 8192K for journal file. Journaling has been enabled on /
  4. If you want to see other commands for the Disk utility, just type sudo diskutil

Close the terminal. JFS is now enabled. The only drawback is a decrease in write performance of 10-15%.

Another interesting thing that Apple has made available through their Developer page is IP over FireWire preview. It only works in Jaguar, but if you install it on two computers with Jaguar, you are able to connect them via a 6 pin FireWire cable for very fast file sharing or LAN gaming. With an iBook 800 and an iBook 600, transfer was about 130 Mb/s - better than ethernet, but not as fast as FireWire's potential of 400 Mb/s. A caveat: If you have lots of complicated network locations in your Network control panel, it will break them all. You will have to set them up again.

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