Please describe any steps needed to trigger the problem…

Posted by on Dec 2, 2007 in Geekery, Mac | No Comments

Sometimes, I really wish I was an Apple devleoper. Not because I’d like to work in the funky headquarters at 1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino, although I imagine it’s quite fun. I don’t even want to score myself a free iPhone — well, not until they come with 3G, anyway.

No, I want to read their error reports. Specifically, the user error reports that get sent in when something crashes on a Mac, and you’re presented with a message like this:

Please_Describe_Bath_Crop.png

I’m curious, because I fill these little reports in quite faithfully, and I have done for years.

I started off with quite detailed descriptions — you know, “I clicked on the third pixel along of the “Send” button in Mail.app version 3.0, then checked for new mail, approximately 325 milliseconds later…”

Recently, though I’ve got a bit bored by them. I just installed Leopard, which has led to quite a spate of these little “what were you doing?” requests (the version of X11 that shipped with Leopard, for example, is about as stable as Steve Ballmer on a unicycle1.)

Asked too many times what damnfool thing I was doing at the time of the crash — often finding the crash reports sitting waiting for me on the screen when I get home from work — I’ve become a little jaded.

Some of my recent reports have perhaps been less than helpful:

  • “I didn’t do anything. Nobody saw me do it. You can’t prove anything.”
  • “Well, I was cooking pasta, but I doubt that’s relevant.”
  • “I was asleep in another room.”
  • “I don’t know. I’m scared. I think my Mac is haunted.”
  • “I installed Leopard. That should reproduce the problem for you.”
  • “I was at work. I have witnesses.”
  • “I typed the word “Google” into Google, and that’s when the problems started…”

And that’s why I’d like to be an Apple developer. I’d love to know what other people are typing into these boxes. What do you do when you’re faced with a crash report? Do you think anyone at Apple ever reads them?


1Perhaps I’m maligning Steve Ballmer’s excellent unicycling skills here, but I doubt it. Although I’d like to see him joust with Steve Wozniak on a Segway.

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