Computers Are Magical; Computers Are Awful
I grabbed my phone off my nightstand and launched the CBC Newsapp. A scrolling gesture in the Top Stories feed was misinterpreted as a tap on an ad, which launched Safari . This is a constant problem in many apps but, particularly, in CBC News .
Next, I opened the New York Timesapp. I tapped on a story, then returned to the Today view, which immediately refreshed and showed some different stories.
I marked a story within the Timesapp to read it later. I assumed I would find this in the For You section of the app, but I was wrong. You actually need to be in the Today view and then you must tap the person icon in the upper-right. I am noting this because I will forget it again and refer back to this post.
Messaging a friend, I once again noticed that the autocorrect suggestion bubble is sometimes partially obscured by the keyboard. I have predictive text turned off so this is the old-style iOS autocorrect bubble.
Partway through my text to my friend, the predictive text bar appears with no particular trigger — for example, I did not type anything like “my address is” — then disappears, then reappears with a button to send money via Apple Pay, which is not supported in Canada .
I brewed some coffee and started my day on my Mac:
There was intermittent lag in Bluetoothkeyboard entry in MacOS . Running killall Dock seemed to fix it temporarily; connecting my keyboard via a wire and toggling its Bluetooth mode, then disconnecting the wire seems to have corrected it.
I was listening to a song in Music, then I paused it to watch a video on YouTube in Safari , then I closed the Safari tab and tapped the play/pause key on my keyboard, which did nothing because it was — according to the audio playback menubar item — still controlling that closed YouTube tab.
When performing ripple deletes in a simple Adobe Auditionproject, there is lag or delay which increases a little bit with each ripple delete. After ten minutes or so of work, it is necessary to restart Audition . I lost an hour
todayto tracking down and trying to diagnose this problem. It turns out many people have experienced this problem on MacOS and Windows for years , and there does not appear to be a fix. Interestingly, Audition does not consume a lot of resources. It uses less than a single CPU core even while doing complex editing, and its RAM consumption is similarly modest. It is just a really, really slow application.
OneDrive and fileproviderdput a combined 300% pressure on my CPU while syncing Audition ’s temporary files. I do not necessarily need those temporary files to sync, so I pause OneDrive. Then a colleague asks me to share a link to a file and I find that OneDrive cannot generate links while syncing is paused. Resuming syncing causes high CPU consumption for several minutes .
I filed a bug report against this with Microsoft. (The relevant Apple one is FB13320112.) The text box was unresponsive, but in a new way compared to the keyboard entry problems I was having earlier.
Attempted to launch Auditionfrom Spotlight by typing “aud” which momentarily flashed Audition before changing to Audio MIDI Setup as I hit return.
Noticed my free disk space had dropped by over 20 GB in the span of an hourfor no clear reason. A brief investigation did not reveal anything immediately, but I got sidetracked by…
…a 34GB folder of cached Apple Music files sitting in a ~/Library/ folder labelled “com.apple.iTunes”. It appears to have been untouched since iTunes became Music but, for some reason, MacOS has not cleared it out.
I switched to my laptop to write a post through MarsEdit
this evening. There was apparently a configuration change somewhere — probably at my web host — which causes it to return a “403 Forbidden” error when attempting to publish through MarsEdit . I have, as of writing, spent three hours trying to fix this. I finally gave up and asked my web host for help; they fixed it because their support is great.
I tried to AirDrop a website from Safarion my iPhone to my wife’s iPhone . It got stuck on “ Waiting… ”, so I cancelled the AirDrop. Then I navigated away from the page and the AirDrop occurred a beat later.
I dismissed a Time Machinenotice that my MacBook Pro has not been backed up in about two months . The hard drive attached to my “server” seems to have a problematic connection or board or something else, and it is something I need to fix.
None of the problems above are life-changing, but this list is representative of the kinds of hiccups I experience more-or-less daily. It could be a different mix of things with less or more impact than those above, but these problems often require I spend time trying to diagnose and fix them. Sometimes I can; sometimes, as with the Adobe Auditionproblem, the tools just suck and I have no recourse.
I know there are real people working on these products, many of whom really do want to make them the very best. I am encouraged by stories like Mark Gurman’s report today in which it seems that Apple has spent a couple of weeks switching from feature development to bug fixing mode for its next major releases. I am grateful for how incredible most of this stuff often is, and I understand things occasionally need fixing. But not like this. The ways in which these things break rob me of confidence in everything I use. I cannot see a good reason I would want to introduce more computers into my life, like with “smart” home devices.
It is amazing what I do every day with the computer on my desk, the one on my lap, and the one in my pocket. But I wish they did everything more reliably, predictably, and consistently. I am prepared to fix things sometimes. I do not understand why I am tending to these things daily like they are made in a shed instead of by some of the world’s most valuable corporations. We, the users, deserve better than this.