Take a Leopard, Pathfinder, 37 Cups of Coffee, and a Goat...

Ok, ok. I have had to admit this even though I am bias towards Apple.

There OS developers are smoking crack.

Here is my gripe (but not is all whine. I offer a solution as well!)

In Tiger the overrated, underperforming “Spotlight” could NOT search network volumes. Needless to say those that use Macs in an environment with something I assume Tiger developers had never heard of before called a FILE SERVER never realized that I may want to search for a file on my APPLE FILE SERVER since its design was to STORE FILES. Nope. Spotlight in tiger turned out to be rather retarded. Further stupidity reared its ugly head when you start to notice that spotlight many times could not “find” certain files or folders because of course they were not “indexed” so Spotlight became as about reliable as 100 year old dynamite stored on the back of a 4 wheeler during a motor cross race.

So of course many users (myself included) would fall back on more reliable software such as EasyFind or Disk Catalog Maker and would avoid Spotlight like a crack head bumming money on a friday night.

Then Leopard was announced and low and behold they “fixed” the major drawback of Spotlight and actually made it where it could “index” network drives (some limitations of that claim became apparent later) and many users such as myself sighed a content sigh of relief praying that the greatly touted “feature” of spotlight would actually work with some form of reliability. So we tested it and yes it could now search the apple file server but its searches were still not 100% reliable due to its dependency on “indexing”.

Now for local searches in 10.4 we noticed that Finder Searches (Not spotlight) were more reliable than spotlight in finding items so we used Finder Searches alongside EasyFind. Of course this was quite confusing and not real straightforward (poor Apple design) but it achieved what we wanted and that was a literal directory search for a name instead of an index search. One drawback was it would search a network drive BUT you could not perform the search on the root share point. Nothing would appear. You would have to make a subdirectory, put all your files in the subdirectory, then search the subdirectory to see any files in a search (once again weird)

Fast forward to Leopard and the new and “improved” spotlight. Its faster, can search network drives BUT still suffers from the odd behavior that you cannot search the root directory of a drive, you have to go one folder deep (sub directory) and peform a search in order to find anything. (File server is 10.4 not 10.5 so maybe this is not the case on an AFS that is 10.5)

Ok so we worked around the oddity of Apple engineering when it comes to searching and created subdirectories which allowed us to perform searches on a networked drive.

Then we noticed the most stupidest thing I have ever seen from Apple since the LIsa.

Perform a search in Leopard. In the “results window” you will notice there are only three sortable columns


This is NOT modifiable in the OS. For some reason Apple Engineers thought that sorting by CREATION DATE or MODIFICATION DATE was not needed. THey also decided that even though you have VIEW options in all finder windows, you get NO OPTIONS in a search results window. The last opened option is a joke because of course if you open something to see if it is the one you want that date changes. The only work around was to Get Info on each individual item.

This makes Spotlight pretty much useless for production work entirely. Of course this was not the case in TIger 10.4

Apple “fixed” one problem of Spotlight in Leopard (ability to search network drives) but then also “broke” spotlight by limiting sort options in the search results window. Options that were available in Tiger were removed in Leopard.

THe kicker now is they are advertising in Snow Leopard Sortable Options in Spotlight search results window as a new feature (Laughing). Its not a new feature. It was in 10.4, 10.3 etc. The only thing is they are putting what they already had BACK. (Bad apple!)

Anyway, after 37 cups of coffee of frustration over this whole mess of just wanting the ability to search locally and across a network and have sortable searches available I came across PATHFINDER

It is a Finder enhancement program.(you can use it to replace the finder but not recommended since so many apple apps rely on the finder it can cause problems if you “quit” the finder. Rather just run it in the background)

And I tell you what. Apple should take note of Pathfinder. In my opinion it is what the Finder should be. They could have simple finder. Standard finder (the current finder) or ADVANCED FINDER (Pathfinder) and OSX would rock socks.

So as a tidbit, if you like to have more control check out pathfinder.

PS: The goat is a whole other story