The Core Dump

The Core Dump is the personal blog of Nic Lindh, a Swedish-American pixel-pusher living in Phoenix, Arizona.

[By Nic Lindh on Monday, 27 October 2003]

FileVault considered harmful

This bites. My number one tinfoil-hat feature of Panther is wreaking havoc with my system. Big discussion about it over at MacSlash.

In my case, what’s happening is that when I first set up FileVault it would fail silently–while sitting at the login window doing its thing, it would just … die. Checking the crash logs showed that some file was choking it, but of course not which file. Argh. Moved some suspect directories to another drive, then FileVaulted again. Everything went fine. Except now the machine forgot about my Dock settings. Sigh. Redid those. Mail.app forgot my accounts. All local folders are there, including the mboxes for the accounts, but Mail.app has no idea about those accounts. Sigh. Reentered those.

Moved the suspect files back to my home folder, as they’re my work files that I very much want to have encrypted, thank you very much. Everything goes fine for a few days, then Mail.app decides to not make sounds any more. I have a really elaborate (some unkind souls might call it obsessive) rules system that involves a lot of custom sounds to let me know which account got mail, which mailing lists got mail. etc. so that I can leave the machine to do its thing, crank the speakers, and still hear what is happening on the email front. So obviously having a mute Mail.app is not an option.

Waved a dead chicken over Mail.app. Nope. It will not break its vow of silence.

[Many curses.]

Fine. Let’s turn off FileVault. Fails silently at the login window. Sigh. Move my suspect folder out of the way. FileVault decrypts my home folder. Log on. The Dock has forgotten its settings. [Motherfu…] Deep sigh. Fix that. Launch Mail.app. Accounts are still there. Yay. But some of my mailboxes have most (but not all) mail marked as unread. Sigh. Fix that. Launch iTunes, hoping that perhaps, just perhaps, the annoying lag is gone now. “This library file is not valid.” [Motherfu…] Nuke the iTunes folder. Happiness.

And that’s were we stand, all unencrypted to the world. I do belive it’s time to not mess with this system any more, so I can actually get some things done.

Kids, let this be a lesson to you. Remember, I do these things so you don’t have to.

You have thoughts? I’m @niclindh on Twitter and I want to know what you think.


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Man is ready to die for an idea, provided that idea is not quite clear to him.

Paul Eldridge

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