Help - my dock is GONE

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Kirsten Ruhl
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Help - my dock is GONE

Post by Kirsten Ruhl » Thu Feb 09, 2012 3:38 pm

My dock is suddenly completely gone.
I have no idea how it happened.

From sidebar Applications I retrieved Safari so I could post this question.
Absolutely all dock contents -poof - I didn't even see the smoke when it happened - just suddenly didn't have it there anymore.

What do I do now?

Added Info: I am noticing a funny mirror effect now at the bottom of my screen where my dock used to be.
If I extend a document towards the bottom of the screen, I see a mirrored image of bottom line, a description bar.
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JerryFreilich
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Re: Help - my dock is GONE

Post by JerryFreilich » Thu Feb 09, 2012 4:53 pm

One assumes that for sure you've shut down and restarted the computer?

Kirsten Ruhl
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Re: Help - my dock is GONE

Post by Kirsten Ruhl » Thu Feb 09, 2012 5:29 pm

One assumes incorrectly... :)

I have now restarted and my dock is back!

Thank you, Jerry!

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Stephen Hart
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Re: Help - my dock is GONE

Post by Stephen Hart » Thu Feb 09, 2012 5:38 pm

Kirsten Ruhl wrote:Added Info: I am noticing a funny mirror effect now at the bottom of my screen where my dock used to be.
If I extend a document towards the bottom of the screen, I see a mirrored image of bottom line, a description bar.
A lovely screenshot. Reminds me of low-level science fiction, where all the aliens have names spelled backwards.
A first in the annals of SMUG, I think.

As Jerry wisely said, the first thing to do when anything weird happens is restart. Too bad we can't do this when something goes wrong in real life.
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rickj
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Re: Help - my dock is GONE

Post by rickj » Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:50 pm

Added Info: I am noticing a funny mirror effect now at the bottom of my screen where my dock used to be.
If I extend a document towards the bottom of the screen, I see a mirrored image of bottom line, a description bar.
I have no idea why your dock disappeared like that, but I'm pretty sure I know what that mirror image was at the bottom of the screen. And coincidentally, I just happened to stumble on this knowledge about an hour before I read your post.

I don't know if anybody has noticed this before, but when the dock is at the bottom of the screen (at least in Lion, and probably Snow Leopard), the 3d, translucent "platform" that the icons sit on appears to reflect nearby items on the screen, not just the dock icons. Position a window right above the dock and slide it left and right. You will see its "reflection" in the dock following it. If you start sliding the window down behind the dock, you will see its reflection (an upside down version of itself) sliding up to meet it. I think Apple accomplishes the illusion of a reflection by drawing an upside down version of the window behind the dock. Since the dock is semi transparent, it looks like a reflection.

My theory is that some bug caused the dock to disappear, but the OS still thought the dock was there, so it drew the upside down window to create the illusion of a reflection.
Rick

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Stephen Hart
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Re: Help - my dock is GONE

Post by Stephen Hart » Thu Feb 09, 2012 9:12 pm

Brilliant Sherlock--er, I mean Rick.
I had to test this out, as well as I could:
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Richard Serkes
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Re: Help - my dock is GONE

Post by Richard Serkes » Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:01 pm

rickj wrote:
Added Info: I am noticing a funny mirror effect now at the bottom of my screen where my dock used to be.
If I extend a document towards the bottom of the screen, I see a mirrored image of bottom line, a description bar.
I have no idea why your dock disappeared like that, but I'm pretty sure I know what that mirror image was at the bottom of the screen. And coincidentally, I just happened to stumble on this knowledge about an hour before I read your post.

I don't know if anybody has noticed this before, but when the dock is at the bottom of the screen (at least in Lion, and probably Snow Leopard), the 3d, translucent "platform" that the icons sit on appears to reflect nearby items on the screen, not just the dock icons. Position a window right above the dock and slide it left and right. You will see its "reflection" in the dock following it. If you start sliding the window down behind the dock, you will see its reflection (an upside down version of itself) sliding up to meet it. I think Apple accomplishes the illusion of a reflection by drawing an upside down version of the window behind the dock. Since the dock is semi transparent, it looks like a reflection.

My theory is that some bug caused the dock to disappear, but the OS still thought the dock was there, so it drew the upside down window to create the illusion of a reflection.
Huh?
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JerryFreilich
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Re: Help - my dock is GONE

Post by JerryFreilich » Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:16 pm

A computer haiku I learned many years ago:

Chaos reigns within.
Reflect, repent, and reboot.
Order shall return.

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Stephen Hart
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Re: Help - my dock is GONE

Post by Stephen Hart » Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:17 am

Bottom line, the Dock is an application. Along with the Finder, it's one most Mac users think of as part of the OS, not an application on its own.
So in this case, presumably the Dock unexpectedly quit, or kept running but didn't display its "window."
When you restart, you restart the Dock.
You can also quit the dock, forcing it to restart automatically, with a Terminal command.
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JerryFreilich
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Re: Help - my dock is GONE

Post by JerryFreilich » Fri Feb 10, 2012 9:02 am

I don't know how the Mac handles the Dock as an application, but in this case I think that the problem was with the video display buffer and not necessarily the Dock app. The weird screen display with upside-down characters is an indication that the video display buffer (the part of memory that holds pixel values for the current screen) was obviously corrupted and that it didn't know where its beginning and end points were. As with most of these very intricate things... thankfully, rebooting clears everything out and all is well.

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