1.235 tech support mostly

Thursday 7/23/2020

After the aerobics class I was doing my usual morning internetting when the phone rang. It was Michele, who lives on the 9th floor and who I have helped with Mac problems before. Her Mac was giving an odd error message about its disk being nearly full, please do something. Michele is pretty much the opposite of technical, so was flummoxed. We agreed to meet in the lobby at 10 to look at the problem.

Which was a real problem. Over the course of half an hour playing with her pretty little rose-gold Macbook Air, I learned quite a bit. For instance, although I had often selected About This Mac from the Apple menu, I had never noticed that the little window it opens had anything other than info on the model and the level of the OS. It has tabs! And one of them is Storage! And it presents a nice bar graph to summarize how storage is used. Here’s the graph from Michele’s machine.

Almost all of the 250GB drive is in use. The little colored slivers on the left represent System, Photos, Mail (the largest blue one) and so on. But 209GB is in use for “Other”. There in the lobby, and later alone, I researched the heck out of this. There are a lot of web pages out there telling you how to manage storage, but none of them matched up with Michele’s situation.

I learned how to get the Finder to show me a list of all files in the Mac, sorted by size. None of those files were larger than the 2GB in the mail folder. A couple of websites pointed to Time Machine as a possibility. Apparently it sometimes keeps local “snapshots” of backups. So I got Michele to meet me again in the lobby and I checked her machine and no, Time Machine wasn’t even running, there were no snapshots. You use a command in the terminal window to verify that. I felt very sophisticated opening the terminal window and running the tmutil command, heh heh. So now I will meet Michele tomorrow at 5:30 and she will call Apple support and I will translate geek for her.

It was second-Thursday, and Marta came by at 2 and made my unit spic’n’span. So that was pretty much the day.

Tomorrow, Friday, there is to be a scheduled power shutdown, apparently having to do with an elevator test. So power will be off from 8:30 am until maybe 11am. I imagine they will come back sooner than that. Anyway, if I go for a run I will probably have to climb six flights of stairs when I come back. Well, so?

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