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Avoid the spinning 'wait' cursor after location switch Network
If you're like me, and you have an OS X work laptop that you bring home, you sometimes frustratingly find that the laptop will refuse to wake up when you get home, or it'll take a long time to wake up -- presumably because it's trying to find network resources that your office has, but obviously your home does not.

I've found a workaround that seems to have eliminated this problem for me completely. First, if you don't already, you should have separate network locations for your home and work. In my case, I use my laptop on an ethernet connection at work. So my Work location has every network port except Built-in Ethernet disabled. At home, I use my laptop on my wireless network, so my Home location has every network port except AirPort disabled.

I've created a third location, called NULL, which has all network ports disabled. Before leaving the office every day, I switch my location to NULL (using the Location option in the Apple menu), unplug my ethernet cable, and put the machine to sleep. When I get home, I open my MacBook Pro's lid, and it snaps awake instantly. Then I switch my location to Home and connect to my wireless network. Before I started doing this, I'd see the spinning beachballs for two minutes fairly consistently. Now, I haven't had any problems. I'm guessing it's because, when you switch locations and a network port gets disabled, the operating system can inform the underlying network subsystem that this port is no longer available due to user intervention -- so all the resources that were coming through that port are gone as well. So there's no need for the network subsystem to wait for a time-out period to see if those resources will reappear, since it knows they won't.

To create the NULL location, go to the Location -> Network Preferences entry in the Apple menu. Then, from the Location menu, select New Location. Name it NULL or whatever you'd like. Once it's been created, switch to it in the Location menu. Then go to the Show menu and select Network Port Configurations. Then just uncheck everything.

Once you're done, hit Apply Now. You should be set.
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Avoid the spinning 'wait' cursor after location switch | 16 comments | Create New Account
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Avoid the spinning 'wait' cursor after location switch
Authored by: JimAkin on Dec 12, '06 08:31:39AM

This is a clever trick, but I'm wondering (as a user who doesn't need or use Location settings): Why couldn't you just switch to your Home location before sleeping the machine at work, and to Work before sleeping it at home?

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Jim



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Avoid the spinning 'wait' cursor after location switch
Authored by: itistoday on Dec 12, '06 04:58:00PM

This is exactly what I was thinking, glad it's the first comment. This hint involves one extra, seemingly unnecessary step.



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Avoid the spinning 'wait' cursor after location switch
Authored by: Durandal on Dec 13, '06 07:44:36PM
This is a clever trick, but I'm wondering (as a user who doesn't need or use Location settings): Why couldn't you just switch to your Home location before sleeping the machine at work, and to Work before sleeping it at home?
From what I've observed, it seems that if you just directly switch from one network port to another, things like automount will try and find your network resources on the newly-active network, leading to a time-out if they aren't present. If you simply shut down all of your network ports, automount won't have anywhere to look, so it will just discard the resources. I don't know any of this for sure; it's just what I'm concluding from my experience.

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Damien Sorresso

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Avoid the spinning 'wait' cursor after location switch
Authored by: timrand on Dec 12, '06 08:47:37AM

This may be worthy of a hint by itself.

Not sure if this is related, but I had noticed the same long delay as the wireless service tried to find my local access point. By sequencing my SSIDs so my home network was first, that made a HUGE difference in how long the network connect took.

You can sequence the SSIDs by dragging them in the Network System Preferences Pane. Also, you should remove obsolete ones you picked up while browsing at that distant coffee shop.



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Avoid the spinning 'wait' cursor after location switch
Authored by: eriklager on Dec 12, '06 08:54:03AM

What about disconnecting from (i.e. unmounting or "ejecting") any connected network drives (shares) before leaving work? Because I don't think you'll get the spinning cursor unless you have some remote filesystems mounted that become inaccessible.



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Avoid the spinning 'wait' cursor after location switch
Authored by: styrafome on Dec 12, '06 01:14:32PM

That used to be one of the absolute stupidest things about Mac OS X, but Apple seems to have fixed it. On my 10.4.8 Powerbook, if I forget to disconnect my home server before closing the lid, the next time I wake it, the Finder will put up a little alert palette saying it can't connect and it has a little Disconnect button that causes no harm if you click it. If you leave the alert up, you can keep using the machine, although you can't do anything in the Finder until you connect the volume or click the Disconnect button. It's [i]much[/i] improved over the debilitating spinwheel we used to get.



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Avoid the spinning 'wait' cursor after location switch
Authored by: hamarkus on Dec 12, '06 04:59:37PM

But do not try to eject that volume during these first few seconds before the disconnect message pops up. You seriously confuse the system.



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Avoid the spinning 'wait' cursor after location switch
Authored by: Durandal on Dec 13, '06 07:41:14PM
What about disconnecting from (i.e. unmounting or "ejecting") any connected network drives (shares) before leaving work? Because I don't think you'll get the spinning cursor unless you have some remote filesystems mounted that become inaccessible.
Disconnecting your network shares does not really touch automount, though. If your office has networked Library and Applications folders, then automount will still want to look for them, and that can end up beachballing. Switching to the NULL location should tell automount that those resources are going away.

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Damien Sorresso

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Avoid the spinning 'wait' cursor after location switch
Authored by: shoobe01 on Dec 12, '06 11:06:29AM

Yeah... I never get a spinner from just undocking, either simply disconnecting from the network or switching to another location.

I DO get one about 1/3rd of the time when I leave a network resource attached (e.g. a file server). Ideally I'd turn off all the remotely-opened files, shut off the applications and disconnect the drive. But frankly I don't have the time. So, I often just take the chance the computer won't notice; sometimes I can get to a conference room or something and it'll just go right back to work.

When it doesn't, it fails badly, and a crash-restart of the finder app is required. Sometimes, 2-3 times. It will usually NEVER time out. If it does, the timeout is like 10 minutes. A forced "just give up searching for that network resource" would be a good hint for me, but I am not smart enough to develop it.



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Avoid the spinning 'wait' cursor after location switch
Authored by: Nem on Dec 12, '06 11:30:24AM
Wouldn't one be able to use the SleepWatcher application to automate this?

I don't know the AppleScript commands to change network locations, but its got to be possible on sleep to switch to the "NULL" network and then back to "Automatic" (or maybe something else) on wake.

---
Nem W. Schlecht
http://geekmuse.net/

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Avoid the spinning 'wait' cursor after location switch
Authored by: NovaScotian on Dec 13, '06 08:24:35AM

Sleep watcher could indeed be used. The AppleScript for this is really a shell script:

set loc_home to "home" -- or whatever
set loc_work to "work" -- the "other"

set current_location to do shell script "scselect 2>&1 | grep '^ ' 2>&1 | grep '*' | cut -f 2 -d '(' | cut -f 1 -d ')'"
if current_location is loc_home then
do shell script "scselect '" & loc_work & "'"
delay 0.5
else
do shell script "scselect '" & loc_home & "'"
delay 0.5
end if



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Avoid the spinning 'wait' cursor after location switch
Authored by: frgough on Dec 12, '06 01:10:47PM

It pains me to admit this, but Windows does a MUCH better job of handling disconnected network resources than OS X.



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Avoid the spinning 'wait' cursor after location switch
Authored by: BlakeyRat on Dec 13, '06 07:50:21PM

I'm not sure OS X/Finder even bothers to time-out. .Mac syncing is terrible on unreliable networks, as well and can easily crash/make unresponsive the Finder... hell, it's pretty terrible on reliable connections.

(Attention .Mac developers: I only have a single user account, so I only have a single Keychain. OF COURSE syncing will change more than 5% of my Keychains! STOP ANNOYING ME WITH THAT USELESS LITTLE BIT OF INFORMATION! CHRIST I DON'T CARE, JUST SYNC IT!)

Ahem.

When I'm commuting on the train, the unreliable network connection wreaks havoc with Finder. God forbid I choose Open in an app and accidentally click a shortcut to my iDisk or a network drive... almost always results in a force-quit of the Finder. Safari isn't too great at handling it, either, for that matter.

This is a long way of saying that, yes, Windows handles networking much better than OS X.



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Avoid the spinning 'wait' cursor after location switch
Authored by: shoobe01 on Mar 20, '07 10:56:10AM

The network does in fact time out. I know because I have this happen sometimes and cannot loose the file I am working on (yes, sometimes the last 10 minutes of work is that important). Its about 10 minutes. Which is INSANELY LONG.

I run into this with poor connections, not just when I am too dumb to eject the share before I go home. Here, the corporate WiFi sometimes "becomes compromized and is shut down...", or just crashes, which leaves me high and dry.

I would really love a hint that gets to the timeout value and makes it like... 20 seconds. Unfortunately, I am not good that deep in the guts. Last time I played around there I badly broke the wifi socket and it took some doing to reload it.



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Avoid the spinning 'wait' cursor after location switch
Authored by: pecosbill on Dec 12, '06 01:45:37PM

1. A less geeky name for the Location with nothing active is "Off" as it will also turn off the modules in question and save some juice.

2. If the OS is looking for a configuration that won't work (don't have your location set correctly) or it's trying to remount a drive that it can't reach, the simple solution is to pull the ethernet connector or turn AirPort off in the AirPort menu. That sends a message to all apps that the network has changed and to react. You should get faster response including that dialog about the missing server.

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Pecos Bill



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Avoid the spinning 'wait' cursor after location switch
Authored by: simonpie on Dec 12, '06 04:38:34PM

There is one more advantage to having such a network setting. If one uses its laptop, then it saves on the battery. Who needs network when commuting?



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