Sunday, May 03, 2009

Yikes! Disastrous iTunes 8.1.1 AppleScript bug!


This iTunes 8.1.1 bug is probably the nastiest bug that's bitten me in years.

I have long used an AppleScript to delete the first 'n' characters from an iTunes column string for all selected columns.

In iTunes 8.1.1 it ignores the selection, it processes all the items in a playlist.

So about 300 items have lost the first few characters of their name.

I'll have to restore from backup.

Update: Well, isn't that sweet. My backups appear to be good, but my restores are failing with a Retrospect error code of "-519", which means network error. I have reason to suspect this is actually a hardware error on the old Windows XP machine that runs my Retrospect Professional backup server.

Looks like this is going to be one of those days.

Update b: I dropped the XP to 10mbps and rebooted the XP box and the iMac. The backup is now crawling along; it will take about 12 hours (!) to complete if it continues. I'll delete all the AppleScripts associated with iTunes and see if can figure out if this is a known bug.

As for the networking issue -- it's not the first odd networking problem I've seen lately. Sad thing is this is just as likely to be hardware (switch, XP box, iMac) as software! If Retrospect 8 were in better shape (still no PPC version!) I'd probably buy a modern iMac and get rid of the XP box.

Update 5/4/09: The 45GB restore at 10 mbps took about 12 hours, but it worked. Interesting lesson about modern apps -- the script bug only knocked out a few bytes of data distributed across about 300 MB of music, but I had to restore all 45GB.

So now I have to address the network problem that blocked restores at 100 mbps. In the past I'd have been confident this was a software bug in either the iMac or the XP box. Nowadays nothing's so simple. It could be an emergent bug. It could be an XP BIOS problem triggered by the 1 TB external USB drive, a drive that's far out of spec for that old system. It could be a subtle motherboard problem on the iMac -- the G5 iMac line is notorious for mb failures (one of Apple's crappiest products).

I've already ruled out switch or cable problems.

I'm going to take a semi-informed gamble and install a new 1 gbps Intel NIC in the XP box and retest. If that doesn't work I'll have to start testing the iMac for a motherboard failure.

Update 5/6/09: New NIC worked, but not exactly sure why.

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