Well, crap. Having serious computer problems.
First, I noticed it was running pretty hot (though I don't know how hot I should expect it). The first time I noticed awhile back was during the time it was uploading everything to BackBlaze so I figured that was the cause. I kept a fan blowing over it until it was done and, for awhile, the temperature seemed reasonable even after removing the fan when that transfer was done - certainly not "hot" anymore.
But then I found it was running hot again and stayed pretty hot, even with the fan (though it helped a little). So I looked at Activity Monitor and saw this thing called "corespeechd" that was running over 100% of the CPU. I also downloaded iStat Menus, which I ran for years on my old Mac, so I could check the temperature - I think it was about 150 degrees!
Saw some stuff online about it, though not much. Most said to turn off Siri and reboot. I decided to start with just rebooting. Well, most apps didn't reopen and one that did was not responding and had to force quit. But also, everything was extremely unresponsive. For example, clicking "force quit" may take 5 seconds to show the list of apps running. And I was constantly getting the spinning beach ball. I even saw apps listed as not responding that never actually showed on screen (but should have).
So, first checked activity monitor. Looked fine. that file never went over 1.3% of cpu and was usually zero. And I checked the temperature in iStat. Not sure how low it might eventually go, but I saw it drop to 124 degrees.
But since things weren't working right, I quit or forced quit everything and shut down for a couple minutes. When restarted, I only launched Safari - but it was not very responsive. Click a tab and it would take 2-4 seconds to react! Activity monitor didn't show any issues.
Next thing was to consider that maybe iStat Menus were being a problem, though I never had trouble with it on my iMac. Clicked the uninstall button. It then does something that makes no sense - it says "goodbye", but also comes up with the same pop-up to approve loading a helper. I just canceled that but the app still was in the folder. Then saw a popup saying it had failed.
So, reboot again, and go straight to uninstall iStat Menus. That worked, but I decided to just reboot again to, hopefully, start clean. I've only launched Safari Technology Preview. Seems to be working now. Can't check the temperature anymore, but that file still isn't grabbing hardly any cpu % and, so far, the Mini doesn't feel hot.
I'll try launching my usual apps and see what happens. If that file does cause trouble later, I'll try the suggestion to turn off Siri.
Well, most of my open apps didn't open and one that did (Numbers) was unresponsive and I had to force quit. Meanwhile, everything was acting very slowly. For example, if I clicked "force quit" in the Apple menu, it would take a couple seconds to show the list.
Then I saw a couple other apps were listed in that menu - which never showed up on screen - but said they were unresponsive. Did a force quit on them too. Finally, since things just weren't working well, I qui