Never trust software

For the past while I have noticed that my MacBook Pro has been getting quite hot on its underside. Now this machine is only 7 months old, so it seemed kind-of weird. I spent a few days trying to google similar problems, with the usual suspect – hardware the forefront of most online discussions – not enough circulation, internal fans running too slowly, blah, blah, blah. Then this morning I noticed that it seem to get hot about 3 minutes after opening the laptop. Further investigation and a lucky google search led me to use the activity monitor, with the idea being that one or more processes was hogging a CPU, and causes it to overheat. Low and behold, what do I find? The culprit is “Google Chrome Helper”, not one instantiation, but multiple ones – hogging anywhere from 15-70% of CPU cycles. So I started killing the main CPU eaters, and the heat dissipated.

So it was software causes my issues. What this Google Chrome Helper does is anyone’s guess, but I managed to fix it by killing all the Chrome browser windows, and then going into advanced preferences, and setting Privacy→”Content settings”→Plugins to “Let me choose when to run plugin content”. Problem solved, machine cool, user happy.

It still bothers me that this is an issue, and it goes to show you can never really trust software.

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