I’m repeating this story from a daily beemail in hopes of collecting more outside-the-box use cases for Beeminder. It would be fun to do a followup post to this classic from 5 years ago: https://blog.beeminder.com/box/
Ok, here’s my entry!
On Apple laptops, if they’re overheating, a process called kernel_task takes up more and more of the cpu, to throttle it. If the laptop is very hot, kernel_task will crowd out everything and even typing and clicking becomes very sluggish.
I’ve had my laptop for almost 3 years now and don’t want to upgrade because the internet tells me that the new Macbooks are worse than the one I have. And I think the biggest problem with mine is that it’s full of literal dust. This is getting to be a long, boring backstory.
I wanted to see how much cpu time kernel_task was eating up so I made this graph:
Every day (or every few days – being an odometer goal it doesn’t matter) I tell Beeminder the total cpu time that kernel_task has eaten. Thanks to the odometer reset feature, if I reboot the computer I can just add a zero datapoint and keep reporting whatever total time the Activity Monitor app tells me.
And thanks to @saranli’s visual road editor I can retroactively make the yellow brick road match the data. I often find that eyeballing like that is better than the fanciest data-smoothing algorithms. For example, for the above graph I didn’t count the first week since I was traveling and thus had my computer off more than usual then (normally it’s on 24/7). Also starting with a flat week ensures I won’t derail if I actually fix my laptop.
So now I can try different things (the obvious one being opening this puppy up and blowing the dust out) and see what happens to the slope of those datapoints.
Anyone have a more unintended use of Beeminder than that? Stories of merely mildly-outside-the-box beeminding also solicited. We know from your emails there are a lot of gloriously convoluted ones out there!