2019-07-21 Not trusting a Mac

Here I am, sitting next to my wife’s unattended Mac. Suddenly the Mac’s fan is spinning up. What the hell?

I open a terminal and run top. Apparently load was up to 6, slowly going down but still around 3. How strange. I use the o key to change the sort order and use cpu as the primary key. The process using about 50% of the CPU is photoanalys. It’s shortened. I assume it’s photoanalysisid. Other people have reported something like it back in 2016.

Today, I had loaded some pictures onto the external disk. That would explain it? So I’m trying to eject the external disk, but that doesn’t work because it’s “being used by another process”. I still have top running. So now I’m force-ejecting the external drive. In the top window I see ReportCrash for a moment. What the hell is it doing?

This blog post says “it’s designed to saves the application state to aid developers in working out why the app crashed” (ReportCrash High CPU & How to Disable reportcrash in Mac OSX). OK, I guess?

But I think my main problem is I don’t trust systems that have a ton of processes starting up and doing stuff and shutting down and maybe all of that is required, and perhaps it’s “modular design”, but I also get a vague feeling of dread as the design of our machines complicates.



Just so you know I dislike this complexity in all systems, here’s what happened to me today with my GNU/Linux laptop: I pulled out the SD card including the adapter from my camera, marvelled at it, pulled the micro (?) card out of the adapter, showed it to my wife, put it back, and plugged it into my laptop. I heard the typical beep-bop sound, but the drive didn’t mount. I removed the card and heard the typical bop-beep sound. Repeated it a few times, but it didn’t mount. I asked for help on Mastodon, got some good replies, with ideas ranging from lsblk to mount to fdisk. But the thing that fixed it was trying the same thing on the Mac, seeing that it failed, pulling the micro card out of the adapter and inserting it again, and then trying it all over again. And then it worked.

So, the problem was that something about the contacts in the card adapter was good enough for the laptop to recognize a card but not good enough to recognize a filesystem on it? Or something? And the suggestions revealed the abyss of layers upon layers of architecture required to make external drives and plug-and-play and USB all work. And for a short moment, I wanted it all to just go away. What have we done?

– Alex Schroeder 2019-07-21 21:22 UTC

Every problem in computing can be solved by adding another layer of indirection, except the problem of having too many layers of indirection.

Ed Davies 2019-07-22 10:49 UTC


– Alex Schroeder 2019-07-22 14:10 UTC

Please make sure you contribute only your own work, or work licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. Note: in order to facilitate peer review and fight vandalism, we will store your IP number for a number of days. See Privacy Policy for more information. See Info for text formatting rules. You can edit the comment page if you need to fix typos. You can subscribe to new comments by email without leaving a comment.

To save this page you must answer this question:

Please say HELLO.