Friday, December 15, 2006


My iMac seemed to be acting a bit sluggish today, and I wanted to do something about it. I recalled a Call For Help episode that I saw a few weeks ago, where they featured a segment called A Healthy Mac is a Happy Mac, where they showed off how to perform maintenance tasks to keep your Mac running smoothly. One piece of software that they featured was OnyX, which does an amazing job at getting rid of the gunk on your Mac, too good a job in fact.

It accidentally deleted all my browsers' history, download cache, and recent searches in the process (luckily my saved passwords and cookies remained unscathed). ALL of them. Firefox, Safari, Camino, Flock, even Opera, completely wiped out. Six months' worth of internet exploration, now gone. Sure, I can remember the usual sites I visit (Gmail, upcoming,, bloglines, technorati, etc.), but when I want to recall that strange obscure YouTube video or blog post about a certain unix command, now I've got to rely on Google, and I don't even get purple links to tell me that I've been there before (although there is Google Search History, which does help, a bit). I can use my browsers' & bookmarks as a starting point to slowly rebuild my history.

OnyX Internet Cleaning settings

But the thing is, I explicitly told OnyX not to mess with my Internet settings (save Browsers' Cache). There might have been some other options that had overrid this somewhere (perhaps "Application Caches"), but they were not apparent to me. The bottom line is, if you tell a piece of software to do (or not do) something, it should do it (or not do it, in this case). Users shouldn't have to second-guess what they thought they told a program to do, and then find out it did the exact opposite happened.

On a good note, I did manage to find a library of practically all the Simpsons songs ever (which makes an excellent supplement to my copy of Songs in the Key of Springfield).

Update: It's been five days since this happened, and I've got about 30% back. Although I'll probably only be able to recover 90-95% at best, I'm further along than I was five days ago.

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