Bugs & Fixes: A trio of bugs make news

Occasionally, a troubleshooting matter is deemed sufficiently newsworthy that it gets “front page” treatment on the Web. Rather than repeat what’s already been well covered elsewhere, I typically omit mention of these matters at Bugs & Fixes. This week, however, is an exception. At least three troubleshooting stories have been making the rounds. That seemed too many to ignore. Here’s a roundup:

DST change confuses repeating alarms in Clock app

An Apple support article acknowledges what many iPhone and iPod touch users outside of the U.S. have already discovered: “Shortly before or after the daylight saving time (DST) change, repeating alarms created in the Clock app may work incorrectly.” This bug will affect iPhone users in the U.S. this weekend, as most parts of the country revert back to standard time. The recommended workaround is to temporarily set the alarm’s repeat interval to Never. After November 7, you can reset the alarms to repeat as before. The soon-to-be-released iOS 4.2 purportedly squashes this bug altogether.

Data loss after upgrading to iPhoto ’11

Whenever you update to a new version of iPhoto, you typically have to upgrade your iPhoto Library as well. Such is the case with iPhoto ’11 (technically referred to as iPhoto 9.0). Apple has acknowledged that, with the initial version of iPhoto ’11, “in extremely rare cases…you may experience data loss…during the upgrade process.”

Typically, what happens is that the Library upgrade appears to hang, taking an unusually long time with no indication that any progress is occurring. At this point, a user may resort to a force quit followed by a second attempt to upgrade. This is when the data loss may occur. That’s why, if this happens to you, Apple recommends not force quitting. Instead, wait longer. Eventually, the process should finish.

If you do force quit, Apple advises that you not launch iPhoto again until after you install iPhoto 9.0.1 or later. With the newer bug-fixed versions, iPhoto Library upgrades should proceed without any problems.

The just released iPhoto 9.1 (newer than the prior 9.0.1 upgrade) offers additional fixes—including addressing “an issue that prevented videos downloaded from MobileMe or Flickr from importing correctly into iPhoto events.”

Problems with MacBook Air displays

A small percentage of MacBook Air users have had problems with the display on the new (Late 2010) machines. The display may either flicker or change its brightness level repeatedly after waking from sleep. According to internal Apple memos cited on Boy Genius Reports, the workaround is to put the Air to sleep for at least 10 seconds and wake it again. The symptom should now be gone. The memos add that a permanent fix will arrive in an “upcoming software update.”

Although not directly addressed by the memos, at least two threads on Apple’s Discussions Boards (thread 1; thread 2) cite a possibly related problem: MacBook Airs sometimes not waking from sleep at all—requiring a forced restart to get them working again. No solution has been reported as yet.

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