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Re: Sound output volume wont stay muted
kevs #55022 06/24/20 01:13 AM
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Originally Posted By: kevs
I don't know anything about deamons and agents except they come up in activity monitor and take 90% cpu and are vague and have no idea what tied to.

None of that has got anything to do with what I asked you to do.

I'm looking for consistency between what you and I are running, because with luck, it'll help pin down the issue, so please just navigate to /Library/LaunchDaemons and tell me if we're running any of the same things.

I"m not asking you to indulge in self-help, which you so relentlessly oppose; I'm merely asking you to take a few seconds to flesh out your question so others may be able to help you and save you from, perish the thought, having to help yourself.


The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire
Re: Sound output volume wont stay muted
kevs #55024 06/24/20 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted By: kevs
I'm pretty sure, no 100% that Keyboard Maestro culprit. Guy use that? Yes fine for 10 years... now mayhem... Catalina or Word..?conflict?


I am using Keyboard Maestro with Catalina 10.15.5 and do not experience what you are.

I have followed your other issues with Catalina and I am thinking the problem may be with your Catalina installation. How about a clean install?


On a Mac since 1984.
Currently: 27" iMacs, Macbook Air, macOS 10.15.x,; iPhones, iPods and iPads galore!
Re: Sound output volume wont stay muted
Ira L #55026 06/24/20 05:06 PM
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Ira,100% KM for the command new issue Word / Excel.

But I had something you did not: I had a command new trigger to center a new window. (which you don't have) Never conflicted created issue.

I deleted that and now issue is gone.. Why this macro become an issue post CAtalina, no idea.

Yesterday, solved thump sound issue: Tony great app Atext, created new default to make sounds, never seen that before. Why would an app start doing a new forced default for sound? Have no idea.

Photoshop, not bringing in previous preferences. Or all old preference annihilated have no idea.. Laptop is ok with that one.

And some apps wanting registration after Catalina, puzzling, getting closer to solve stuff. The safe boot recommendation helped.

Re: Sound output volume wont stay muted
kevs #55029 06/25/20 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted By: kevs
I don't know anything about deamons and agents except they come up in activity monitor and take 90% cpu and are vague and have no idea what tied to..

But these two issue tied to small 3rd party apps.

LaunchAgents and LaunchDaemons are Apple's preferred method of launching Applications and Application helpers at boot time as opposed to Startup items in the user's account. LaunchAgents are intended to be specific to a user and LaunchDaemons are system wide. Generally their name is a good indication of the product they are associated with. For example in Artie's list com.bombich.ccchelper.plist is Carbon Copy Cloner's daemon that triggers CCC to run on a user specified time schedule, com.microsoft.autoupdate.helper.plist checks version numbers, downloads, and install Microsoft product updates, etc. The Daemon itself runs only at launch time and is extremely unlikely to be the cause of an ongoing problem but the application it launches may be running in background continually and could easily be related to your noise issue.

NOTE: When you say "...and take 90% cpu..." remember that is 90% of the CPU cycles THAT ARE CURRENTLY BEING USED. Take a look at the bottom of the Activity Monitor window where the CPU cycles in use by the System, User, and Idle are listed. That 90% figure might be 90% of the two or three percent used by the system or user while 97% to 98% of the AVAILABLE CPU cycles are idle or unused.

RECOMMENDATION: Rather than deleting a LaunchAgent or LaunchDaemon the preferred way of deactivating one is to move it to another folder such as LaunchAgent (Deactivated) and LaunchDaemon (Deactivated). That way you can easily reactivate them if deactivating it does not solve the problem.


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Re: Sound output volume wont stay muted
joemikeb #55031 06/25/20 06:12 PM
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Thanks some bit over my head, but good info.

Never looked at bottom of activity montior before. Still don't fully get that but get gist.. I don't know when big issue 90%, not sure number bottom left, user/ idle / system matter and there is the big issue anyway.

Re: Sound output volume wont stay muted
kevs #55038 06/26/20 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted By: kevs
I don't know when big issue 90%, not sure number bottom left, user/ idle / system matter and there is the big issue anyway.

Let's just keep this simple. Look at this Activity Monitor screenshot on interpreting the Activity Monitor CPU cycle information.
  1. The graph will give you a quick visual of how many of the available CPU cycles are in use
  2. This will The percentage allocation between System and User will tell you if the problem belongs to the system or a task you have launched as a user.
  3. IF THERE IS A PROBLEM and only then look at the % in use by individual tasks to identify the culprit.
CONFESSION: I have misinterpreted the Activity Monitor CPU usage percentage for years and only this week learned how it is correctly interpreted and that was because I was watching both the task percentage and the total percentage data at the same time. I suspect I am not the only one to make that same error.

Last edited by joemikeb; 06/26/20 03:51 PM. Reason: clarification

joemikeb • moderator
Re: Sound output volume wont stay muted
joemikeb #55051 06/27/20 03:52 AM
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Joe, If I opening activity monitor, it means there is a big problem. So that is a nice screenshot, but does it matter?

Re: Sound output volume wont stay muted
kevs #55055 06/27/20 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted By: kevs
Joe, If I opening activity monitor, it means there is a big problem. So that is a nice screenshot, but does it matter?

Sorry, I am not following your logic at all. Why is opening Activity Monitor a big problem?

You had said that LaunchAgents and LaunchDaemons used 90% of the CPU cycles. The screenshot was an attempt to show you how to correctly use/interpret Activity Monitor data, without going into a long detailed explanation.

The long version is this:
Given:
  • LaunchDaemon CPU usage in Activity Monitor = 90%
  • CPU Load (from the bottom of the Activity Monitor window = 4%
The LaunchDaemon is using 90% of the 4% CPU load or .04 x 0.9 = 3.6% of the available processing capacity. That means 96% of the available processing power is not being used. Therefore the 90% used by the LaunchDaemon is "no big deal."


joemikeb • moderator
Re: Sound output volume wont stay muted
joemikeb #55059 06/27/20 04:40 PM
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Thanks Joe, what saying is even with that benign analysis, I still wont know what to do or how fix issue.
(but taking notes on this) hard to get ones head around still.

And most times, the things showing at top of activity monitor are even more arcane. I've been making a fun list of them.. Maybe the culprits don't want you to know who they are! ?

couple new ones:
HDUITIL.jpeg
SDCUST at 97%

Re: Sound output volume wont stay muted
kevs #55061 06/27/20 06:10 PM
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(Without reading all the way back through this thread,) I think joemike has omitted an important point, i.e. that "90%" CPU usage probably isn't a very high number, because most, possibly/probably all, Macs these days have more than one core - my 2016 MBP is a 6 core machine - and each of them can show up to 100% CPU usage for a possible, albeit unlikely, total of - really - 600%.

I frequently see numbers greater than 100% with absolutely no apparent hit on machine performance.

I think that offers some clarification of his last post.


The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire
Re: Sound output volume wont stay muted
artie505 #55063 06/28/20 01:15 PM
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Try watching the CPU Load at the bottom of the Activity Monitor window and the percentage used by System, User, and Idle. On my Mac mini (3.2 GHz, 6 Core, i7) with the percent idle at 96.4%. The high CPU using tasks are
  • Devonspherebot 98.4%,
  • Window server at 24.4%,
  • kernel task at 10.4% and
  • Activity Monitor at 6.7%.
If my processor cores are idle well over 90% of the time why would I be concerned about a task, Devonspherebot, that is using 98% of the CPU cycles that are being used is the point I am trying to make.

Activity Monitor has evolved as MacOS has matured. We used to focus on swap file activity to indicate whether or not more memory was needed until Apple changed the memory management algorithms and we switched to the "MEMORY PRESSURE" graph at the bottom of the Activity Monitor "Memory" window as the more accurate representation of memory usage. I am not sure when Activity Monitor changed how to judge CPU usage, but from what I am seeing in Catalina, the most accurate place to begin, like memory, is the "CPU LOAD" graph at the bottom of the CPU Window.


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Re: Sound output volume wont stay muted
joemikeb #55065 06/28/20 08:59 PM
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Artie thanks, what saying is when see issue/ slowing I go to activity monitor. !/2 some indecipherable something listed at top.

Sometimes culprit is there and 70% 90...% who knows. but it's up there. and then I know the culprit. Don't think amount once over 25% matters, I just want to know who/ whats at fault.

Re: Sound output volume wont stay muted
joemikeb #55066 06/28/20 09:02 PM
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Joe, thanks. I'm getting the "gist", but still those 3 categories are over my head. Now what I just wrote to Artie-- I'm not looking or caring whether it's 40 or 80% or system or idle.. just trying to see the culprit. so 30% or often 96% or 85%; I think then system core wont matter.. who is culprit slowing things down....

And 1/2 times it may not show at all or be hidden with coded name.

Re: Sound output volume wont stay muted
kevs #55070 06/29/20 04:35 PM
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If I read them correctly, Artie and joemikeb are saying that you really are not slowed down, even if you are seeing in one place a percentage number that is high.

My question to you is are you experiencing a slow down? Noticeable lag time between mouse clicks and an event? Spinning colored beach balls? Slow opening of applications? Etc.


On a Mac since 1984.
Currently: 27" iMacs, Macbook Air, macOS 10.15.x,; iPhones, iPods and iPads galore!
Re: Sound output volume wont stay muted
Ira L #55072 06/29/20 04:46 PM
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Ira, I am slowed down, otherwise, I'm not opening Activity Monitor.

Usually, most time, internet is slow, so checking what is slowing it down. REcently clone app Super Duper was going real slow, so then

I did find Malware Bytes was culprit (though that was coded very obtusely).

What JOe is saying is very intriguing, I don't get it fully, but get the gist.

That said Activity Monitor is far from easy to deal with as so many culprits are coded not to take blame. .. that 's by guess on that so far..

Re: Sound output volume wont stay muted
kevs #55081 07/01/20 07:25 AM
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Originally Posted By: kevs
...Activity Monitor is far from easy to deal with as so many culprits are coded not to take blame. .. that 's by guess on that so far..

First, if your Internet is slow, you're probably more likely to find the problem living all around you than in Activity Monitor, i.e. Internet slowdowns are considerably more likely to be ISP, e.g. heavy traffic, related than the result of something going on on your iMac.

I've got zero idea what you mean by "coded not to take blame;" AM shows what's going on impartially. If a process is using CPU cycles, AM shows it, and if it's using so few cycles that it doesn't rise to the top of the list, it's probably not slowing you down.

The one thing that MAY be slowing things down is your iMac itself, and to judge the possibility we need some info beyond the idea we've already got of which apps you're running:
  1. Exactly which model iMac are you running?
  2. How big is your internal drive?
  3. How much empty space have you got on your internal drive?
  4. How much RAM have you got?
The answers won't necessarily point to a problem, but they may, by giving us a perspective on what 90% CPU means on your particular machine.

We very often have trouble addressing your questions because you very often don't ask complete questions, i.e. you omit important info such as that I just asked for.

PS: This (*) is an example of what you see in AM when something on your Mac is responsible for your slowdown.

The 635% is 53% of the possible 1,200% available from my 6 hyper-threaded cores, but I'm not sure if that agrees with what joemike said in his last post.

(*) OK, I confess. That 635% is a situation I contrived by taking advantage of a bug I"ve uncovered in macOS 10.15.5 (at the least). I haven't filed a bug report yet, because although it's reproducible, I haven't been able to figure out how to reproduce it reliably.


The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire
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