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So my sister has bought herself a new MacBook. Naturally I snatched it from her hands as quickly as possible, she's barely been able to touch it. It is a very impressive piece of industrial design, and Apple has certainly mastered the art of designing a graceful user interface. Of course, I managed to find the faults, nasty kernel bugs and unexpected behaviour seem to gravitate towards me. This instance was triggered by a $30 external flash card reader that hung half way through a data dump --- this created unkillable processes and an unmountable filesystem --- what the heck? --- I thought that was the prerogative of Windows. The Mac has a nice graphical kill function... which doesn't work!! Trying to dismount the flash card filesystem from the Finder results in the finder hanging. Graphically killing yeilds ... nothing. System shutdown is nice window dressing but nonfunctional. But the system is still working otherwise --- so I fire up a terminal window and sudo su into a root shell and send a kill signal and ... nothing!!! So I go for the big guns and do a shutdown -h now and ... well, you know the rest. Apple has replaced the nice determistic init with something called launchd which doesn't do what you want. Apparently MacOS isn't as UNIXy as it purports to be. How can an unblockable kill signal not kill. And if the kernel was doing well enough to keep the machine humming along otherwise, how come init process refuses to accept a direct order to shut down --- I mean that was an order, not a request --- it had already wasted well over a billion attempts to do exactly the same thing without success, and if computers don't have the common sense to know when to give up they should at least be obedient.


The 2GiB memory upgrade that just came in seems to have solved a lot of little annoyances.