I’m becoming tired of a bug that has surfaced in Leopard. It was present in Tiger but not nearly as bad. Essentially, I cannot enter the password to unlock my screen… without re-typing it at least once.
I have a long password for security’s sake… it’s what Apple suggests and I agree. The problem is, for a few moments when waking from sleep, Leopard starts to jot down what you’re typing… and then stops… and then resumes again.
The result? Half my password is entered, and I’ve already pressed the enter key. Then, I have to wait for it to tell me I’ve entered the wrong password (shocker), and then acknowledge, and then re-enter the password again.
Here’s what I think is going on. When defrosting from sleep, CoreServices hands the screen back to the window behind it for a split second. Not long enough to really cause a problem… unless the system is bogged down from waking up from sleep, and resuming all the tasks behind that locked screen. That split second turns into about a full second… and typed content is not entered into the password field.
I’ve seen some evidence to confirm my hypothesis, in the form of a part of my password showing up in the text window behind the locked screen. However, this is sporadic and not completely reproducible. Otherwise, it would be on RadarWeb (Apple’s internal bug reporting tool) already. I suspect the sporadic nature is due to timing issues with the kernel that is causing this bug to appear in the first place.
Now, what can be done about it? Well, a few things. First, the locked screen box should behave like the login window does. An incorrect password should not trigger a dialog box. Instead, the screen should “wiggle” the incorrect password off. This wasn’t just a nice effect in Mac OS X, it was a time-saver for the thousands… millions… of logins a day. Second, the underlying issue should be fixed; Mac OS X should never pass key commands to the window behind the lock until it is unlocked.