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Old January 27th, 2004, 08:25 PM   #1
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Spinning Pinwheel of Death

I am not really looking for a solution to this problem, but more like how to avoid it. Sometimes when I am working in FCP4 on 10.3 at work, I will get the spinning pinwheel of death (which NEVER goes away) and the program must be force quit. This rarely if ever happens to me at home. It usually happens when I am moving faster than the computer can handle making lots of changes quickly, cutting and pasting filters, transitions and the like over multiple sequences. It also usually happens right as I start thinking about saving, that way I get to lose precious minutes of work.

So here are my questions:

#1 - When you get the pinwheel, what does it mean? Is the computer thinking? Why can't it figure out what it was thinking about? Why the pinwheel forever? Doesn't the computer realize it's resources could be better utilized by doing something else besides spin the pinwheel indefinitely?

#2 - Does this happen to anyone else, and what are you doing when it happens? I want to try to avoid doing similar things because I don't like pinwheels.
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Old January 27th, 2004, 08:53 PM   #2
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Have you ever tried to just let it sit for a long time to see if it... gets better?

What kind of machine at work and home? (and how much memory in each)

How big a project on average?

When this happens, go into Terminal and type "top" and hit return. This is the list of processes going on or you can go into the utility folder and use the process monitor app as well.

If it looks like FCP is cranking away and sucking down all the CPU cycles or is it hung.

do you have other programs running a the same time?

Have you recently run a program like onyX to delete caches, fix permissions and run the cron scripts?

Do you have the autosave option on?


Yeah, it could be the computer taking up all the CPU figuring something out. It could be that it can't keep up with you with real time effects and the like and just might need to catch up.

Give the details and maybe me or someone might have some suggestions
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Old January 27th, 2004, 11:57 PM   #3
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They’re several things going on here at the same time.

1. Your computer is searching out the IDEs and Buss lines so if you have your hard drives in the Energy Preferences set on put drive to sleep when not in use this will occur more often than not. If you have more than one drive and it is a sleep then this will occur.
2. Consider using an application called “Chud” as there is a setting in the controls that allow that the disks will never sleep.
3. RAM is an issues that comes up from time to time as it needs more in applications as OS X uses this in the background for the System now being more like the protective RAM in a Windows computer. So try to max your RAM.
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Old January 28th, 2004, 09:20 AM   #4
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At work I have a fabulous eMac with 640MB of RAM and OS 10.3.2. I am supposed to edit commercials on this thing. My bosses are incredibly cheap! Of course the other guys get dual 1.25 Ghz G4 towers, but they only have 512MB of RAM and they get the pinwheel as well with 10.2.8.

At home I have 10.2.8 on a dual 1Ghz with 1 GB o' RAM. I also have a Pioneer A07U DVD+-R/W that kicks ass. That's not relevant, but I wanted to mention it anyway. :)
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Old January 28th, 2004, 10:22 AM   #5
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Good plug Ted!!!!
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Old January 28th, 2004, 01:33 PM   #6
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Ted, what media are you using with A07?
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Old January 28th, 2004, 10:41 PM   #7
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I just got the A07 last night. I don't have any +R's yet though. It seems to recognize the -R's just fine (when you use Toast.. I don't think DVD Studio Pro or iMovie will recognize the drive since Apple hates people who install their own sh*t). Since the A06 can suposedly burn dual layer DVDs with just a firmware upgrade, the A07 should be even more adept when the time comes... hopefully. I wonder if Apple will ever support that feature.

At work we use only +R/W's. Does anyone know which side is winning? + or - ? Does either have any noticeable advantage or disadvantage? All I know is that now I won't be left out in the cold like most Mac users if + takes over.
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Old January 28th, 2004, 11:42 PM   #8
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Stalemate they both won seriously. As most DVD burners now have both as a standard.

Ted about your spinning do you have two drives???

Do you also allow the drives to go to sleep??

Have you thought of Chud??
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Old January 29th, 2004, 07:04 AM   #9
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Quote:
I don't think DVD Studio Pro or iMovie will recognize the drive since Apple hates people who install their own sh*t
This is incorrect. DVD SP does recognize internal drives (if OS X drivers are available) installed by users in Macs. iDVD will not recognize user installed internal drives because of licensing restrictions forced by the MPEG group. Many users still prefer to use Toast to burn discs, because they feel it does a better job, less coasters.
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