How to Use the Console App for Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting computer problems can be quite complex, but fortunately there are some tools that are included with macOS that can help. One of these is Console, located in your /Applications/Utilities folder. Console displays logs and error messages that, in some cases, can help you pin down the cause of your troubles. Here’s how you can use this app to help troubleshoot issues with your Mac.

Read the rest of the article on The Intego Mac Security Blog.

High CPU Usage on macOS from videosubscriptionsd Process

I’ve been seeing hight CPU usage on my iMac in the past few days from the videosubscriptionsd process. I don’t know where this came from. There’s a database in my user folder, in /Application Support/videosubscriptionsd/.

Looking in this database with an Sqlite browser, I can see a key saying something about http://www.pbs.org. I don’t use the PBS website, though I’ve certainly visited it at times. I certainly have no subscription to anything on the site.

Anyone else seeing CPU usage from this process? There are several threads on the Apple support forums, but I can’t find any more information about this daemon.

How to Use Activity Monitor to Troubleshoot Problems on a Mac

We never like to have problems with our computers, but they are inevitable. Sometimes some of your apps don’t work, your Mac gets slow, you get a spinning beachball, and more. Narrowing down the cause of such problems can be difficult; fortunately, however, Apple’s Mac offers some troubleshooting tools you can use to diagnose what ails your computer.

One of the tools you can use to troubleshoot problems on a Mac is Activity Monitor, a dashboard for many of your Mac’s under-the-hood activities. In this article, I’m going to introduce you to Activity Monitor, and explain how this utility can help you find–and, in some cases, resolve–problems on your Mac.

Read the rest of the article on The Mac Security Blog.

When Good Customer Service Turns Out to Be Really Bad

We’re all used to bad customer service; too much so, in fact, that we’ve come to accept it as the norm. So when customer service is good, it can be surprising; when it’s really good, it can put a smile on my face.

But sometimes, what seems like good customer service may actually be the contrary. Here’s a tale about a recent experience I had with what seemed to be good customer service, but turned out to be crappy.

I recently decided to try to go paperless. I have to keep ten years of accounting documents, which is a couple of big boxes worth, and I’m planning a move in the coming months; it seemed like a good time to scan all those documents and shred them.

Using information from two books – my fellow Take Control author Joe Kissel’s Take Control of your Paperless Office and David Sparks’ Paperless – I decided to acquire a Fujitsu S1500M scanner. This is a wonderful device, which has a paper-feed, scans both sides of paper you place in it, OCRs it and creates searchable PDFs. I got this last Wednesday, and started using it on Thursday, scanning hundreds of pages of invoices and bank statements. At the end of the day, some of the pages had colored vertical lines on them; nothing too serious, but annoying.

Friday morning, I started scanning more, and the vertical lines showed up after about 30 pages, and were increasingly visible. I called Fujitsu’s tech support number, and spoke with a very helpful woman who asked me to send samples of the bad scans. She got back to me quickly, said that it was a hardware problem, and that Fujitsu would replace the scanner; the next day! This was a good thing, because I had been planning to scan all weekend, and get this project out of the way before Christmas.

Well, the next day came, and no scanner arrived. Monday came, and still nothing. Tuesday was Christmas, and Wednesday there was nothing either. I tried calling Fujitsu a few times on Wednesday, and there was no answer; only a message in German. (I’m in France, and their support center is in Germany.) I sent an email, and got no reply (whereas the week before, I got replies in less than a half hour.) Thursday morning – today – I tried calling again, and there was still no answer.

I had bought this scanner from Apple’s online store*, and I called them and explained what happened. They immediately set up a replacement, though, unfortunately, it may take a week for it to come. But the person was very helpful and understanding, and I frankly feel a lot more comfortable working with the Apple Store than with a vendor directly; they have a lot more interest in keeping customers happy (especially since I buy most of my Apple products from them directly).

So what happened? What seemed to be top-notch customer service was just pretend? Did they really intend to send me the scanner the next day? I did get an email from DHL confirming that it was sent, but with no tracking number, I have no idea when it was sent, or when the delivery was scheduled. The fact that Fujitsu’s tech support team seems to be on vacation for the holidays is inadmissible; I don’t expect them to work on Christmas day, of course, but taking a week off – if that’s indeed the case – seems to suggest they only care about their customers when it’s convenient for them.

I like the scanner; it’s very efficient, and it’s going to save me a lot of time. And I’m sure the problem I have is not a common one. But I’ll think twice before buying anything else from Fujitsu, because of what they put me through.

  • I would have bought the scanner from Amazon, and gotten next-day delivery, but it’s about €30 more expensive there. I guess I should have paid more, because Amazon is very efficient regarding returns and replacements.