macOS 10.12.2 appears to have brought with it some GPU issues

I run Einstein@Home, using both CPU cores & my GPU.  Other than a few month period where Einstein@Home was issuing broken GPU work units, I’ve been successfully doing this for years, I think.  Longer than I can really remember, in any case.

It appears, however, that 10.12.2 has introduced some serious issues impacting those GPU tasks.  While there’s always been occasional issues with performance while running these GPU tasks – e.g. Amazon streaming video drops frames – I’ve not had any major complaints.

Now, however, I have this:

Screen shot showing massive graphics corruptionThat’s what I get when I render a Nikon NEF file, pretty much anywhere in the system.

The exact symptoms of the issue seem to vary depending on where & what type of NEF file I render – e.g. rendering them in Preview mostly constraints the graphics corruption to Preview, and doesn’t readily lead to the whole system hanging.  Using the Finder for its previews, or Quicklook, however, very quickly leads to massive graphics corruption and, for Nikon D7100 NEFs, quickly hangs the system entirely.  Oddly, Nikon D500 NEFs don’t tend to cause immediate system hangs, but will prevent the system restarting or shutting down – it ends up hung at a black screen, after seemingly closing the window server, with a very consistent pattern of corruption and a frozen mouse cursor.

I never saw this, or anything like it, prior to the 10.12.2 update.  Sigh.

FWIW, the particular work unit in question triggering this right now is:

Screen shot of the Einstein@Home work unit properties dialog

Yay! An actual outage! I’m a real blog now!

I woke up this morning to find that my website – this one – had gone down only a few minutes earlier.  The host’s website,, was acting flaky and not letting me log in either, so I figured it was a widespread issue on their end.

A few hours later, was working again, but my site wasn’t.  Sad panda.

Long story short, I used up all the disk space – and by “I”, I mean something – still haven’t figured out what, yet.  Apparently when you use up all the space, that simply kills the VM without any notification (their dashboard for my VM still claimed it was running just fine, no problems detected, which was obvious crap).

That said, their tech support identified the problem quickly and were ultimately able to rectify things for me (after first suggesting I delete some stuff myself, which I tried only to find that when your Gandi VM is wedged in this state, you can’t log in via SSH nor delete anything via SFTP, and those are your only two means for deleting any files…).

As far as I can recall, this is the first time my site’s actually been down in the ~four years I’ve hosted with them (other than a few errors on my part when messing with WordPress etc).

iOS 7 breaks my heart

I had some obvious reservations about it based on what was presented publicly, but I wanted to give it some time and actually use it for a while to see what was just a mistaken gut reaction and what I could get used to.

Long story short, it’s far worse than even I thought.  I wish I could believe it’s just a bad joke, a prank, and we’ll get the real thing in a few months, but I just doubt it.  It looks deliberate.  It’s depressing.

You have to actually use it for a while to really appreciate how badly it’s broken.  It’s just hard to explain otherwise – you wouldn’t believe some of it, for a start.

There may be a careful-what-you-wish-for moral here.  I’ve long disagreed with Apple’s domineering focus on iOS over all else.  The Mac is still what gets the work done in the end, and it’s been horribly neglected.  It was a small part of why I left Apple.  Yet when I look at OS X Mavericks, aside from the dumb name it is actually a very promising release.  Both from an end-user and a developer perspective.  I’m actually looking forward to it (but, since as noted I actually need my Mac, unlike my iOS devices, I’m not putting the beta on it).

It appears that all the Mac engineers that were stolen by iOS over the last few years were put back on the Mac, and then some.  iOS 7 is superficial, crass, styleless and boring.  Mavericks isn’t a correspondingly revolutionary upgrade, but it’s at least some kind of solace.