There’s a very old joke about a man who goes to the doctor and says:
"Doctor, it hurts when I do this."
To which the doctor responds:
"Don’t do that."
I was reminded of this recently when I was having some troubles with my iPod and my iMac. I was trying to drag over some songs in iTunes. The iPod would freeze up and iTunes would give me the spinning beachball of death.
Using the scientific method, I was able to determine that it wasn’t a software problem and it wasn’t a cable problem. The only weird thing I noticed was that my iChat graphic would sometimes switch from video to telephone when I plugged in the iPod.
The iSight and the iPod both use FireWire and my iMac has two FireWire ports. A little bit of googling confirmed my suspicions that there was some kind of conflict going on.
It was this support article on the Apple website that reminded me of the old joke. Here’s the description of the problem:
"Connecting or syncing an iPod via FireWire can cause a computer to stop responding (hang or freeze) if you’re also using an iSight."
And here’s the prescribed solution:
"Don’t use iSight at the same time as your iPod if connecting over FireWire."
A very helpful piece of documentation, that. Not.
Then again, Apple are (in)famous for not documenting stuff. Here’s a really useful feature that I just came across. Basically, you can access OS X’s spell checker from any Cocoa app:
"Just type the first few letters of the word in question in a text input box (like the Safari URL bar or iChat’s input area or TextEdit or … you get the idea). Once you have a few characters, hit Option-Escape to see a pop-up list of possible completions…"
It also works with F5. I can also confirm that it works fine with <textarea>s in Safari: I just wrote this entry with extensive help from this feature.