Category Archives: Software

Unknown file activity on your Mac? Boot up fseventer

Screen Shot 2013-11-30 at 1.04.56 PM

My 2009 27″ iMac is starting to show its age. So when its hard drive started crunching this morning (and bringing the machine to a crawl), I wanted to know a little more. The command-line utility fs_usage is good if there’s not much going on, but if there’s a lot, the information flies by far too quickly to get good sense of what’s going on.

fseventer — donation-ware by Robert Pointon of fernLighting — is a great way to figure out what’s going on. It provides the interesting information from fs_usage, but it does so in a fun, visual, animated way. Highly recommended.

Finder crashing? Check your Dropbox version

Screen Shot 2013-11-27 at 11.09.57 AM

Recently my Finder started crashing multiple times per day, so I opened up the Console application and looked for the crashlogs. Looks like Dropbox was the culprit. In each of the 14 Finder crashes I’ve had since November 4 2013, the following line appears in the crashing thread:

4 com.evenflow.dropbox.dropboxbundle 0x0000000102cad2d0 -[DropboxStream removeObserver:forPath:] + 206

After a short bit of Googling, I ran into this thread on apple.com, which contained the line:

“This may have nothing to do with your Finder crashes, but do you have a Lion-compatible version of Dropbox installed?”

…which got me thinking. I’m running OS X 10.8.5. Looking at my Dropbox version (Menubar > Dropbox icon > Preferences > Account), I saw that my Dropbox version was 1.6.4 and that the software had no mechanism to autoupdate nor a way to “check for updates”.

So I checked Dropbox’s website, and lo-and-behold, the current version is 2.4.7, which I promptly installed. Hopefully this cures my woes!

On Software Packaging & Distribution

Casey Key Drum Circle pano
Casey Key Drum Circle.

So, I’ve moved in with my significant other (yay!), and part of that move is a reconfiguration of my office space. Part of this involves me examining things I’ve been holding onto for a while. Those things? Software packaging. Giant, shelf-space hogging, software packaging. Boxes, just filled with cardboard & plastic, so as to take up more space on retail shelves, so that they get noticed by consumers and picked up. I just recycled so much of that stuff.

Now that we’re in the age of electronic software distribution, that won’t be so much of a problem. That said, I couldn’t bear to part with my box for American McGee’s “Alice”, one of the first games I bought for the first computer I bought, all the way back in 2001. So there’s a part of me that regrets this loss of the physical manifestation of software, too. The future of software will be a colder place in that regard.