A day of history

Tonight was the opening night of the San Jose Comedy Theatre, the new home of ComedySportz San Jose. It was great to be there, and great to see that they had a full house for the first show. I’m looking forward to many return visits.

Earlier today, we had parked our car at the old home of ComedySportz so we could explore the San Jose History Walk in Downtown San Jose. The walk took us by 32 sites of historical interest, ranging from the oldest Spanish building in San Jose (the Peralta Adobe) to the less-than-a-century old Bank of Italy building.

I’m not sure how long ago the walk was created. Some of the signs for the walk have vanished, like the one for the Lyndon Building. Some of the sites have vanished, too – Pellier Park‘s sign is gone, as is the park, but it is supposed to be restored soon. But most of the signs and sites are still there, and it was interesting to discover things I didn’t know about San Jose’s history.

Next time I’m in the area, I want to visit one marker that isn’t on the walk – the marker for the first disk drive. Google Street View shows the marker in photos taken last month; it’s in the same style as the ones for the walk, but I guess it’s too recent to have been included.

Press “1” to save!

I have a love/hate relationship with The Economist. I love the way it covers the world and gives me a non-US perspective; I love the witty writing; I love the culture and science sections; I love the year-end special issues. I hate to skip anything in the issue, and I hate the price ($249/year).

My subscription came up for renewal this week. I noticed that they have a discount for a three-year subscription ($629), so I tried to get that price. It’s easy if you’re not a subscriber yet, but if you are, you have to work through their customer service desk. I tried to do it last night through their Live Chat – I got disconnected three times and gave up.

This morning, the customer service phone line was open, so I called and started my way down the voice menu tree, when I heard “Press ‘1’ if you’re considering cancelling your subscription.” I wasn’t planning to cancel, but I pressed ‘1’ anyway and two minutes later, I had renewed for one year at half-price. It’s just like dealing with the cable company!

We took the Prius back to the mechanic and they put in another new coolant pump (under warranty, so all it cost us was time) – I hope this one is good.

I didn’t have much time to work on restoring the Mac mini; I’m in the middle of copying all of my data (it takes hours). I won’t have much time to deal with it tomorrow, either; we will be walking the Turkey Trot in the morning and joining friends for Thanksgiving dinner later on.

In medias res

I was too confident in yesterday’s posting.

The “Check Engine” light returned this afternoon; I took the car to the mechanic and they ordered another coolant pump and will install it tomorrow. I hope.

I spent hours trying to solve the permissions problem on the Mac. Web searching turned up a few useful leads (this one from Rainforest, this one from Sentinel Labs, and this one from Howard Oakley at Eclectic Light Company), all of which pointed to the tcc.db database in the system and user Application Support directory. I had copied the system tcc.db database from my other Mac last night and things seemed to be working – but this morning, I had the same raft of permissions problems.

So I deleted the database (both copies) and rebooted. As expected, the system asked me to reauthorize a lot of apps. Then I logged off and back on, and everything was still OK. I left the machine alone for a couple of hours and the screen turned off (as expected), but when I logged back in, I had the same problems (all of my running tasks had been killed, and the permissions problems were back).

I gave up. I made sure my backup was good, and then I nuked the SSD so I could do a truly clean reinstall. I nuked it so hard that the system lost its pairing with my keyboard and trackpad – luckily, I have a wired keyboard and trackball for emergencies!

So far, I’ve let the system reinstall Monterey (the version of Mac OS that came with the computer) and have upgraded it to Ventura (the current version). I haven’t installed any software or copied my data yet – that’s tomorrow’s project.

Mysterious Problems

Let’s start with the good news: the check engine light on the Prius has stayed off for a couple of days. I’m hoping it’s a solved problem.

I have an unsolved problem on my Mac mini, though. Every time I log in after the screen has gone blank due to inactivity, all the processes that were running under my userid get killed with a SIGABRT (this should not happen). And when things start up again, they don’t have permissions to use some system services (generally Accessibility, but there are others).

I’ve tried a few ways to try to beat the problem, none of which have worked; I even tried copying the permissions database from my other Mac, which doesn’t have this problem.

I bought an SSD this evening and backed up the system in case I have to do a full reinstall. If I do, I’ll only restore my actual data and documents, not all of my settings, and I’ll only install apps as I need them.