On the subject of the MacBook, you may recall I was having an issue with it crashing while in/waking from sleep.

I thought it was because of third party software running in the background and seemed to have narrowed it down to the Logitech mouse software.

Apparently not as I’ve had a couple more crashes.

A further search found a thread in the Apple Communities that gives an interesting possible explanation:

”It seems that the initial upgrade from Sierra to High Sierra 10.13 might lead to some corruption of the admin account from which the Mac was upgraded.”

And, while the errors seem to indicate a power management issue, corruption of the admin account can lead to wake/sleep errors.

The proposed solution is to create a new admin account, log in to it, delete the original account (leaving the home folder intact) and recreate it pointing back to the original home drive.

I also found a thread suggesting that changing the MacOS hibernatemode from 3 to 25 (safe sleep to proper hibernate) could also help.

So, I have recreated my admin account and changed the hibernate mode. We’ll see if they help.

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Blogging from the MacComments

My phone is really my PC - that’s Primary Computer - and, as I’ve written numerous times, that’s where I do just about everything including 99.9% of my blogging, image manipulations and even coding.

While I have an iPad I almost never use it; the phone is just far more convenient and easier to hold and use in so many more circumstances. People talk about a mobile mindset but, just because I use iOS on a phone it doesn’t automatically mean the same behaviour will occur when using an iPad.

Or a laptop for that matter.

I find that I use the MacBook far more than I ever did my Windows laptops but it still feels ridiculously underused. Perhaps that’s about to change.

I’m writing this in Ulysses, having subscribed to the app and pretty certain I’m going to stick with it, but Manton Reece has just launched a beta Mac client for micro.blog which may well encourage me to use the MacBook more than I ever have.

I was lucky enough to have an extra day to play with it before launch; I’d expressed an interest in testing and the fact that I’m using WordPress instead of a hosted blog was probably a good opportunity for early feedback.

Manton has repeatedly said that this is just a version 1.0 app but, I have to say, it’s been rock solid. Browsing, replying and posting to the blog have all been a breeze and I’ve not had a single issue or error.

It will be nice when some of the additional functionality from the iOS version gets included (such as automatically converting from status to standard post and prompting for a title when you go over 280 characters) but, other than, this is a fully usable and (so far) reliable app which is great to have sat open while doing other things.

Good job Manton. 👍

Blogging from the Mac

Since updating the MacBook to High Sierra I’ve been having issues with it getting stuck on waking from sleep necessitating a hard shut down. I’ll try resetting the SMC and maybe the NVRAM to see if that helps.

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Mulling Mark’s Manifesto

Reading Mark Zuckerberg's manifesto reminded me of something I wrote after watching his F8 keynote back in 2011:

"...watching Mark Zuckerberg talk about social is like watching Steve Jobs talk about Apple: the pied-piper plays his tune and we can’t help but follow (pun intended). There is an ultimate confidence in what is being presented."

There is an obvious total belief in what he says, and rightly so. There is a lot of truth to be taken from it but the cynic will have a hard time reconciling the vision and the current reality of Facebook with its over reliance on advertising.

How do we get from here to there?

Something I've said for years is that society is becoming more fragmented, not in this retreat from globalisation, but locally. Zuck states that there are "movements for withdrawing from global connection" but, even within these movements, there is no real consensus - just a feeling that the withdrawal should occur.

The 20th Century saw the nature of labour and our roles change. We previously worked locally to our homes meaning our colleagues were our neighbours. The local community was a true reflection of its members.

With modern ways of working and a shift in labour patterns we have separated the different aspects of our lives. We travel to work and spend 8 hours a day with our colleagues within a restricted social environment. When our shift ends we return home and, due to long days made ever longer by more distant commutes, spend increasingly less time with those beyond our households.

Local community no longer holds the same meaning or attraction as it once did.

Online shift

Over the past decade we have used technology and social tools to rekindle our social connections but are enamoured by the ability to have global conversations at the expense of local ones.

Zuckerberg mentions the 100 million Facebook users who are members of "very meaningful" groups but when you consider there are 1.8 billion users overall this is a tiny percentage.

We should not be surprised as this mirrors the change in society offline with people far less likely to be involved in community groups, religious groups, sports clubs, town associations etc. Our social fabric has been in decline for some time.

The move online, while an undoubted boon for some, has not been the panacea we hoped for. It has brought a small percentage together in meaningful ways but has actually been a contributory factor in pushing others apart.

The plan for Facebook to use AI to suggest groups that may be relevant to us is to be applauded but must be employed carefully and consistently.

Online vs offline

Mark talks about dealing with someone as a whole person in order to have a more productive conversation but this is unlikely to happen over a social network. The framework doesn't really exist to facilitate it.

This highlights the importance of meeting face-to-face; only by interacting on a regular basis across a range of experiences can we truly engage with a whole person.

Something people used to do a lot more often.

It is good to see this recognised:

"we can strengthen existing physical communities by helping people come together online as well as offline. In the same way connecting with friends online strengthens real relationships, developing this infrastructure will strengthen these communities"

This will be the real challenge. No matter how invested we are in our online communities if this engagement doesn't translate then how effective can it be?

Some will argue there is no distinction between online life and offline - it is all just aspects of life - but those who exist in this state are, again, in the minority.

For most the distinction between on and offline is real and severe; once the computer has been turned off or the phone put away life continues in ignorant isolation of whatever just happened beyond the screen.

We must ensure that our "very meaningful" groups have offline extensions and are so compelling, so useful, so supportive that we are compelled to seek them out.

Only by continuing these relationships on this side of the screen can we hope to rebuild a true social framework.

Responsibility

The biggest issue with the manifesto for most is that Facebook is run for the benefit of Facebook; it is a business after all.

If Zuckerberg Is desperate to support a rekindled social infrastructure then Facebook has to entertain a degree of social responsibility.

The site can no longer focus on keeping users present purely for its own purposes, to consistently expose you to more ads, but this conflicts with the current business model and may hurt the bottom line.

To meet the aims of the manifesto Facebook has to choose exactly what it wants to become and be truly for it's users. If it can get past this shift then it may succeed, but that very shift will be its biggest challenge yet.

Mulling Mark’s Manifesto