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How I Made A Personal Log Of Something

September 19, 2011

Maybe this will be useful for someone else. It will certainly be useful for me next time around.

Ever since I installed the SSD in my MacBook Pro, I had these weird beach balls (that spinning cursor that tells you the machine is hung on something) every now and then. I had read the blog posts on OWCs website about strange issues with SSDs on the 2011 MBPs, but I didn’t feel that that applied to me. There had to be another fixable reason. But it happened so rarely, it was hard to figure out if there was a pattern. Some days it would happen 2 or 3 times, other days it would be every 5-10 minutes. I wanted a way to record when it happened, so I created a little Beach Ball Log.

There are two tools that helped make this possible: GeekTool for displaying text files on the desktop, and Alfred for giving me a quick way to run a command. Quicksilver, LaunchPad, or any of the other tools for that should work just as well.

So first I created a script extension in Alfred that responded to keyboard shortcut bblog. The script was as follows:

echo “$(date +’%m/%d/%y::%T’) – {query}” >> ~/Documents/bblog.txt

This creates a line in the file every time I run it that looks like:

09/15/11::10:48:02 – was having lots. did disk repair, permissions, plus new efi update

Then I created a GeekTool geeklet that pointed to the bblog.txt file and place it on my desktop. The result was that from anywhere in the system, I could type “CTRL-SPACE bb text to insert” and I would get a line with the current time stamp, followed by text to insert added to my desktop. Here is a sample of whats on my desktop now just before I remove it since the problem is now gone.

Screen Shot 2011 09 19 at 10 57 51 AM

So what was the solution? Simple, I installed the EFI firmware update from Apple last week. All of a sudden the beach balls disappeared. Its like a whole new mac. ahhhh….

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