Bugs & Fixes: Get rid of repeating messages in Console

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Here’s the latest installment of “Where’s that annoying repeating message in Console coming from and how do I get rid of it?” This episode begins with the discovery of a line of text recurring every 10 seconds in my Console log:

After some investigation, I traced the problem to Micromat’s free Syphone utility. This Mac program lets you view and archive iPhone SMS text messages. I long ago gave up on this utility, as there are now better alternatives. Micromat appears to have abandoned the program as well, as it has not been updated since October 2007 and is still listed as beta software.

The key question was: How could Syphone be generating these errors even though I hadn’t launched the program in months? The answer turned out to be a component of Syphone: SMSDaemon. This file, located in the ~/Library/Application Support/Syphone folder, continued to be an active process on my drive (as could be seen in Activity Monitor). As implied by the error message above, SMSDaemon was the source of the Console errors.

The obvious solution was to delete the SMSDaemon file. I did so and this succeeded in putting a stop to the Console errors.

But it was not the end of the story. On a subsequent trip to Console, I noticed yet another similar series of repeating error messages. These new ones complained of failing to locate the now-deleted SMSDaemon file, correctly noting that “No such file or directory” existed.

I should have known.

There must have been some other file that was causing SMSDaemon to launch at each login. It was apparently still trying. This was the new culprit. Another hunt led me to the ~/Library/LaunchAgents folder, where I found a file named com.micromat.SMSDaemon.plist.

I moved the .plist file to the Trash, logged out, logged back in and deleted the file. Finally, this put a stop to all Syphone-related messages in Console.

In the end, I cannot say for sure that these error messages caused any problems beyond the annoyance of their repeated appearance. Still, I was happy to be done with them.

More generally, if you are plagued by this or any other repeating message in Console, you should now have a better idea what to do about it. And, if you’re a developer, I have a request: Design your software so that they don’t generate these sort of messages in the first place, especially not when the user isn’t even using your program anymore.

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