3 Replies Latest reply: Jan 17, 2010 8:34 PM by BobHarris
Allison Sheridan Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
This may be too specific but here goes. I do my podcast live every Sunday night on Ustream, and every week it runs fine. Last Sunday and this Sunday I had a complete system lock up in the middle of the show. I thought it might be temperature, but I watched it carefully this week and had two cooling mechanisms so I don't think it was that.

I run Camtwist to pipe my desktop and picture in picture from my iSight on my Cinema Display. I run Audio Hijack Pro to pipe the audio to Soundflower from my Heil mic (via a USB interface) and from GarageBand where I'm recording. Feeder is what I'm reading my shownotes from and I've got Safari running to push everything to Ustream. Finally I've got Colloquy running to participate in the live chat. I know, a lot of balls in the air for me AND my Macbook Pro, right?

MBP is running Snow Leopard and is a 2.53GHz core 2 duo with 4GB of RAM, plenty of hard disk available.

After the lockup I rebooted and pulled the console logs right away. So what should I be looking for? I can see right where it died last week (6 minute gap in the logs) and the end of the logs for this week. I don't see anything that says "your system crashed because..."

The audience has been tolerant of my disappearing act but it's gonna get old soon!

Allison Sheridan
NosillaCast Podcast at ******
A technology geek podcast with an EVER so slight Macintosh bias!
Follow me at ********

<edited by host>
  • K T Level 7 Level 7 (23,700 points)
    Have to point out that you should work hard to be sure all 3rd party apps AND plug-ins are fully Snow Leopard compatible...and yes, that's quite a load for a laptop.

    Try resetting some of the hardware involved (PRAM~NVRAM). See this Apple KB for details, etc.:


    Can't hurt to try, and apparently this has helped others recently.

    As well, have you done due diligence on the basics.... confirm sufficient free space on the HD; validate disk health via DiskFirst Aid, never install SL from downloaded torrents/betas, etc. Let Spotlight finish indexing; clear out old cache files and outdated/broken/duplicate fonts; find and delete related plists.

    And again, be aware that laptops are typically resource constrained - streaming as an example can tax the hardware and software. If you have large demands you might want to consider a desktop system.

    Also, the general approach at this time is to ask if you've checked for any problematic fonts (all languages) with Apple's Font Book (look in the Applications folder). Find and remove all duplicates also.

    Start there to be sure all fonts that are in play come out with a clean bill of health.

    Don't hesisate to perform wholesale deletion of old and/or little used fonts - be skeptical of anything that has come from Office 2008, including those related to an Equation Editor installation.

    If issues continue, you may consider walking that portable in to the nearest Apple store and asking for opinions from the staff.

    Good luck in any case.
  • Allison Sheridan Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    sorry I missed your response, I thought I'd get email notification but evidently not. Have to work on that.

    Since the post I was able to reproduce the full system freeze again while in Ustream, but no external mic, no cinema display (so no usb hub), I wasn't running Garageband or wiretap studio or Camtwist. I happened to be running Chrome at the time so that eliminates FF and Safari that I'd been using previously. Seemingly the only consistency in when I freeze is Flash and Ustream. I updated my Flash and at least for last week's live show (with all the glop running) I didn't crash. But then again there have been many weeks I haven't crashed.

    Plenty of disk space, paid for version of Snowy (no bit torrent), never loaded a mutant font on this system (clean install the day after Snow Leopard came out). Heat isn't it, captured the screen during a freeze and core temps were in the mid-80's and they were only at about 75% usage.

    since it never happens all week long until I'm in Ustream, could it somehow be Ustream itself that's causing the freeze?
  • BobHarris Level 6 Level 6 (15,600 points)
    The following is from a CNET Review:
    There are a number of reasons users may wish to deactivate their Sudden Motion Senor technology in their Mac portables. Environments where extreme vibrations and movement occur frequently, such as live performance venues, can inadvertently trigger the Sudden Motion technology in your Mac and cause interrupted sound or video playback as the hard drive heads are required to park.

    Here is the URL: