"Network" window takes forever to update, or won't at all



I have an iBook G3, a dual 1GHz G4 Quicksilver, and an 8500 all connected to an Ethernet router. The iBook is usually booted in OS X, the 8500 in OS 9.1, and the Quicksilver in both 9 and X at different times.

My question concerns the "Network" window I get when I click the Network icon at the top of the left-hand pane of any Finder window in Panther on the iBook.

I have occasion to turn on and off file sharing on the other two machines, depending on what I'm running on them. Whenever I turn file sharing on, on either of the others, they usually do not immediately show up in the Network window on the iBook. Sometimes I try turning on and off AppleTalk on the iBook, and that will jolt it into seeing the other machines on the network. Other times, no matter what I do, they won't show up. At yet other times, they just pop up for no apparent reason.

On the iBook desktop I have created aliases to the drives on the other machines (created when they were mounted, obviously). Sometimes, even though the other machines haven't shown up yet in the "Network" window, I can double-click one of these aliases, and mount those drives. The point is, the machines are on the network, and the iBook can connect to them. So why are they not showing up in the "Network" window?

Is there some way I can force the iBook to REFRESH that window, so that it can see machines that have come online on the network? I know I can use "Connect to Server" from the Finder, and save Favorites. It just seems easier to be able to click on "Network" and double-click a server -- if only it would work consistently!


P.S. Before I bought the router, I was using an ordinary Ethernet hub. Same thing happened with it.

P.P.S The same thing happens when other machines go OFFline. The Network window either doesn't update to show that they have gone away, or takes several minutes to notice and do so.


Mac of the SubGenius! :-)
Depending on the protocol used, I believe there might be a time duration where it checks the network to see all the hosts on the network. As to what that duration is in numbers, I'm not quite sure. I have experiences this from time to time, but recently I noticed this on the network at the school I maintain. What I realized was that Mac OS X wasn't just searching for machines on my school network, it searched the entire district network since most of the schools are using NAT to the core, meaning every school in the district is using a private address. It took the iMac I was working on (running Panther) about 2 minutes maybe before it showed me everything on the network (again, not just my school's, but the district network).

Now this might not be the case with your network since it is much smaller, but again we are back to the duration time for updates for each protocol (TCP/IP, AppleTalk, etc.). Do you have AppleTalk enabled on all the Macs by any chance? You might have to do this otherwise you might not see them on the network unless you actively search for them.


Thanks for your reply, nixgeek. Only the three machines are on the network, and AppleTalk is enabled on all. No biggie; I'll just use "Connect to Server" and save 'em as Favorites. Still, it's curious that Apple would have built something that worked so poorly. Maybe it's better in Tiger, but I'm staying put with Panther for now.

It's a Groove Thang,