Apple's cookie monster: Safari CRS

Summary:Apple rushed the latest version of OS X to market because of Steve Job's promise to the Mac faithful. And we've been paying for it ever since.

Apple rushed the latest version of OS X to market because of Steve Job's promise to the Mac faithful. And we've been paying for it ever since. 10.5.2 is almost up to Apple's traditional quality. My last serious peeve: the Safari CRS (Can't Remember . . . um-m, Stuff) bug.

Cookies: love 'em, hate 'em - the good outweighs the bad Back in my command line OS days, like CP/M and VAX/VMS, a little storage went a long way. Hit the up arrow key and your last command line came back, ready to correct. Bliss!

Now of course we take little helper storage for granted. Email that offers up addresses after you've typed a few letters. Applications that remember recent documents and preferences. And browser cookies - little files that remember web site registrations and passwords. (Cookies have less savory uses as well, but that's not today's topic.)

Leopard, the almost-ready-for-prime-time OS I surf a lot of sites everyday, many that require registration. Normally not a problem: I've registered and the cookies handle the sign-in. But ever since I installed Mac OS 10.5 - Leopard - Safari has regularly forgotten some or all of my cookies, forcing me to login again to sites whose registration details I've long since forgotten.

I want my computer to remember this stuff! And the irritating thing is that it used to!

It isn't just me I checked the Apple support discussion group for Safari. Sure enough, other people report the same problem - starting almost 4 months ago - just days after the 10.5.0 release.

A bug report was filed months ago. Still no fix. Now, after 2 more dot releases, the problem persists. 10.5.3 anyone? Sigh.

The Storage Bits take This isn't just about Apple. This is about the industy's myopia about data storage. The value in our systems is the data.

Not big, colorful displays. Not fast, multi-core processors. Not even our 1 terabyte disks. They're all Good Stuff. But its the data - our data - that makes our system ours.

That's what makes me crazy about flaky disks, buggy file systems, rickety RAIDs and cranky backup software. They're core to why people buy computers. And the industry can't be bothered to create really solid data storage systems.

The irony is that the better our systems get, the more we rely on them. And the more we rely on them the more damaging it is when they fail.

Comments welcome

Topics: Apple, Enterprise Software, Hardware, Storage


Robin Harris is Chief Analyst at TechnoQWAN LLC, a storage research and consulting firm he founded in 2005. Based in Sedona, Arizona, TechnoQWAN focuses on emerging technologies, products, companies and markets. Robin has over 35 years experience in the IT industry and earned degrees from Yale and the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton... Full Bio

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