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How To: Freeze Finder

freeze finderWant to lock up OS X? Of course you do! When friends with Windows complain that Macs don't have all the features of PC's, you can whip out this little trick to show then that, yes, OS X can lock up just as tight as Windoze. How? You'll need two Macs: one can be any kind of Mac, the other has to be a laptop (also a Mac).

First, mount a network volume onto the laptop any way you like. I have a Mac mini in the den we use as a file server (amongst other things). I mount one big honkin' USB drive on all our laptops (three iBooks, a Macbook Pro, and a Macbook) and use it as our Backup.app drive. Next, close the laptop. This puts it to sleep, and "freezes" the state of the machine. Step three involves driving/biking/running as far away from your home network as possible. For this to really work, you'll want to get near another WiFi network. Now here's the tricky part. Upon opening the laptop, quickly navigate to the Finder and open a new window. Anything to access the Finder, essentially, and prompt it to start looking for that (now missing) network volume. During this, the Mac will be scouring the airwaves for a new signal. Upon finding one, it'll ask to join. Say yes, and if you've got your Airport strength in your menu bar, you'll see the name of the network start to scroll across. For me, that's where the party ends.

I've tried this on all flavors of Tiger, on a G3, G4, and Intel-based laptop, and it all does the same thing: rainbow wheel and lock up. Once I left my G4 iBook on for 4 hours, and Finder never recovered. No key combos will return sanity, just a floating wheel, with no other response from the OS. Not even CPU gauges update! The only solution is to hold down the power key and reboot. Who says PC users get all the fun? You'd think with UNIX being built for networking...

Want to lock up OS X? Of course you do! When friends with Windows complain that Macs don't have all the features of PC's, you can whip out...