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Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Spinning Beach Ball of Death
Colorwheel by Jonathan Whitfill

When I look at this I don't just see a cleaver little sculpture- I'm immediately reminded of all the late night photoshop frustrations and multiple Internet window interruptions.

The spinning wait cursor or spinning disc pointer — where your mouse pointer becomes the rotating color wheel or "spinning beach ball" — generally indicates that your Mac is engaged in a processor-intensive activity. For example, applying a Gaussian blur to a raw file photograph for a class assignment due in 2 hours in Adobe Photoshop.

In most cases, the "beach ball" disappears within several seconds. However, there are cases when the "beach ball" spins protractedly, a condition colloquially known as "The Spinning Beach Ball of Death" (SBBOD).

Occasional appearances of the beach ball can be expected. Depending on your Mac's current workload, even common tasks may temporarily overtax your Mac's resources such as browsing your boyfriend's 4k song inventory on Itunes or trying to open a youtube window from Dlisted while also browsing huff po for real news.

The first step in dealing with any SBBOD problem is patience: wait a few minutes to see if the issue resolves itself as your Mac balances resource availability against the demands of the tasks it is processing.