Fixing Chrome Crashes, Glitches, and Lockups in High Sierra

I recently upgraded my iMac to High Sierra, and all of a sudden once or twice a day it would lock up.  The mouse would work, and if I had audio playing it kept working.  But no matter what I clicked or what I typed, the screen was otherwise frozen.  Eventually I’d give up and power the computer off and on.

At other times, the computer would keep working but the rendering would be glitchy, like this:

I found lots of vague, similar sounding complaints on the web, but in the end I determined that the problem was due to a driver problem with my NVIDIA GPU.  Here’s how I fixed it.

First, do you really have an NVIDIA GPU?

Go to the Apple menu, and select About This Mac:

That brings up a window like this:

Do you have an NVIDIA GPU? If not, then I probably can’t help you.  If you do, then you have two things you can do to try to fix this.

Disable Chrome’s use of the GPU

If you enter chrome://flags/#enable-gpu-rasterization into Chrome’s URL field, you’ll see something like this:

Change GPU Rasterization to Disabled.  That seems to fix the problem, at the cost of a bit of lost performance.  But it’s also a good first test — if this fixes it, then you know you’ve found the right cause.

Install NVIDIA’s own Drivers

Instead of using the drivers Apple supplies with High Sierra, you can use NVIDIA’s own drivers.

For High Sierra version 10.13.1, the driver is here (last checked 12/6/17):

Note that if you read this after this is written (November 1, 2017 December 6, 2017), there may well be newer and better drivers.

Installing this driver fixed the problem for me, and so I turned Chrome’s GPU rasterization setting back to Default. And then the problem crept back, so I’ve turned the GPU rasterization off again until NVidia reports that the drivers are no longer beta for my machine.

Final Notes

There are a bunch of applications that have their own, embedded version of Chrome — Slack, Atom, etc.  I’m not sure if you change the flags in Chrome whether it affects them or not, but I think it does not.  So if you have one of them open too, you may still get a lockup even if you’ve changed Chrome’s settings.  Updating the driver seems to fix them all.

Fingers crossed.

Upgrading WordPress to PHP 7 and broken permalinks

I recently upgraded this server from PHP 5 and Debian 7 “Wheezy”  to PHP 7 and Debian 9″Stretch”, and everything seemed fine.  Except that all my permalinks stopped working.  I’m running Apache (2) as my web server, and it had been working fine with PHP 5, so at first I assumed it was something with PHP 7.  There were some places where my config files needed to be updated for PHP 7, but that wasn’t the problem.

Turns out that in apache2.conf there was a configuration that read:

<Directory /home/www>
 Options Indexes FollowSymLinks
 AllowOverride None
 Require all granted

That needed to be changed to:

<Directory /home/www>
 Options Indexes FollowSymLinks
 AllowOverride All
 Require all granted

And after restarting apache2, it all worked (bolding just to show the change).

Cable News Aggregate Data for July, 2014

If you are interested in stats for Cable News shows, the following CSV files contain mention counts for each of the news shows on the major networks.

First, the counts by Network, Show, Date, and Hour.  Not all hours are present for all shows: tweetsByNetShowHour201407

Next, the counts by Network, Show, and Date.  This is just an aggregation of the above data: tweetsByShowDay201407

Finally, just the counts by Network and Show: tweetsByShow201407

Let me know if you do anything fun with these!

Introducing HootSchedule — A Utility for Creating HootSuite Batch Files

I use HootSuite to manage my various social media accounts, and one of the killer features it offers is the ability to schedule batch updates.  But it’s not so easy to generate the CSV file necessary and, if you have a set of messages you want to repeat, you have to do a lot of work to create unique versions of each one so you don’t end up with your batch rejected for duplicate messages.

I wrote a simple utility to help create and manage the generation of HootSuite batch files, including introducing random permutations into each message so you can repeat your points without repeating your text.

You can find out more information on the HootSchedule page of this website!

#UniteBlue continues strong on Twitter

As I’ve written before, one of the interesting things to have happened on Twitter is the #UniteBlue website and its ability to amplify the voices of liberals.  By encouraging people of a like political mind to follow each other, it allows its members to gain in Twitter stature (or, Klout, if you must).

It’s hard to measure the impact its had (just because of the sheer number of members), but it is interesting to see how the conversation about #UniteBlue is doing on Twitter:

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