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MathGroup Archive 1993

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Re: OpenRead crashes System 7

  • To: mathgroup at yoda.physics.unc.edu
  • Subject: Re: OpenRead crashes System 7
  • From: withoff
  • Date: Tue, 23 Nov 93 16:08:53 CST

> Dear MathGroupers:
> I have just found a way to crash Macintosh System 7.1 with the Mma 2.2.1
> operator OpenRead.  It's not much fun, but here are detailed instructions
> for those who might like to try it:
> 
> 1.  Use FileNames["*xxx*",$Path,Infinity] to locate all files in your home
> directory that have xxx anywhere in their name.  (I assume $Path still has
> its automatically initialized value).
> 
> 2.  Use control-t to unformat the return, and copy out the desired
> pathname, including its surrounding quote marks. If it is long enough to
> have a line continuation in it, take out the \, the carriage return(s), and
> any extraneous spaces. Paste it on the right in 
>  
>         dataPath = "<<path from current directory to desired file>>"
> 
> 3.  Verify dataPath with FileDate[dataPath].  When you have the dataPath
> correct, the date of last alteration of your data file be returned.
> 
> 4.   Now issue OpenRead[dataPath].  Mma will go into a seemingly endless
> loop, it will not abort, the cursor will be dead or disabled, and all you
> can do is hit the reset button.
> 
> OpenRead["fileNameOnly] does work if you do one of the following: 
>  
> (1) Prepend to $Path the path to the directory that directly contains the
> desired file, or 
>
> (2) Use SetDirectory to change the current directory to the subdirectory
> that directly contains the desired file.  (I find this awkward, since
> SetDirectory seems to work only one level at a time.  Even DOS did better
> than that!  But this is a separate complaint...).
> 
> Regards- Martin

I'm afraid I wasn't able to duplicate any of this.  The functions involved
quite quickly call Macintosh system and C library functions, and the only
known problems are related to differences in file naming conventions.
I have a hard time imagining how this could crash a computer unless
the system or the C library or the file being opened is somehow messed up.

SetDirectory also worked fine when I tried things like

    SetDirectory[":Packages:Statistics:Common"]

(or whatever the proper Macintosh pathname separator convention is).

This sounds like a question that could be sent to our technical
support department (support at wri.com).

Dave Withoff
Research and Development
Wolfram Research





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