Feb 10

Before you upgrade to OS X Catalina you may need to stop and assess the applications that will stop working. Catalina is what is called 64 bit. They are not at all compatible. Previous OSX version (e.g. Mojave) would have given you a warning about 32 bit applications that you are running. So I knew that Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop and some other apps would stop working when I upgraded to Catalina. But I was not prepared for how many applications would stop working!

Here are just some of the apps that stopped working wth my upgrade to Catalina:

Bento

I used it a lot to edit my Apple Address book contacts. It’s the only program thatI know of that can interface directly with Apple address book and export your contacts into a CSV file. A shame that there is no alternative.

Quicktime player 7

I had the pro version which allowed me to do some nice video editing and compression. The newer versions of quicktime do not have a pro version.

Data Rescue

Requires $150 to upgrade to the newer version.

Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator

These products now only come as a subscription so I purchased Affinity Designer to replace them.

Sibelius First and Dragon for Mac.

These still worked on OS X Catalina until I purchased a new laptop. The Serial number validators don’t run in Catalina. That means Dragon and Sibelius will continue to run as long as you keep the same computer. I just upgraded my laptop and both Sebelius and Dragon asked me to re-verify my serial number. There is no way to enter a valid serial number under Catalina. So Catalina killed those two apps even though the apps them selves are 64 bit.

Fujitsu Scansnap Scanner drivers.

I have a Fujitsu Scansnap S1500 scanner that I used to import all my documents into Devon think pro. The Fujitsu scanner drivers that work in Catalina do not work with older Fujitsu scanners so now my $800 scanner is rendered useless even though it was working perfectly.

The bottom line is when you install Catalina a lot of your existing apps may stop working and you may need to buy new ones or upgrade them. For some applications that just means forking out some money but there are other discontinued applications that there is no alternative for Catalina. (e.g. iDVD, Bento, Quicktime Player 7 Pro, CSSEdit.)

I’d suggest waiting till you have a fair bit of free time before upgrading to Catalina, and after you upgrade give all your Apps a test to make sure they still work.

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Jan 27

In OSX Catailna Apple have introduced lots of security ‘Features’ which make it harder to install and run software, especially with software that interacts with other applications. You may get a warning telling you that accessibility needs to be enabled.  Here is how you can turn it on for a particular application.

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Jan 16

In Apple TV there’s an option called ‘Computer’ where you can stream movies that are stored on your computer. But these movies need to be shared from your computer to Apple TV. In Catalina Apple changed how you turn this sharing on and off from your Computer.

Previously you need to go into iTunes and select ‘Turn on Home Sharing’ from your iTunes App. In Catalina it’s been moved from iTunes into the System Preferences. (It’s not been moved to the TV app – that’s where I went looking!)

To turn on sharing for your media Library you need to go into System Preferences, then ‘Sharing’ and then select the box that says ‘Media Sharing’ and then select the box that says ‘Home Sharing.’ Now all the movies that were in your old iTunes Library will be available on your Apple TV.

Turn on Home Sharing to see movies in Apple TV

If you want to add files from a media server or external Hard Disk to be able to view them on your Apple TV as well, you can leave them in place on your media server but you need to drag them into the new TV app on your computer. Before you do this make sure you unselect the option that says ‘Copy files to media folder when adding to Library.’ If that box is selected it will try to copy your movies from your external drive to your computer’s internal drive, and fill it up. If you leave that box unchecked, it will make a link to your external movies (so that you can play them from Apple TV) but it will keep them on the media drive.

Turn off ‘Copy Files…’ to access files on an external drive without copying them across.
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Dec 12

Not strictly Macintosh but a mixture of very old and very new technologies. My 4 favourite gadgets this year have been…

1. Cold-Press Coffee in the Aeropress.

I’ve rigged up two Aeropress to give a consistently smooth rich cold drip coffee.

2. Nissan Leaf Electric Car

We bought a 5 year old second hand Nissan Leaf this year to try out. It’s been amazing. Very soon we will all look back and wonder why we drove petrol cars for so long. Last week I filled up our other car with fuel at the petrol station and pumping flammable liquid into a car felt so stupid. It felt like I was going back to the steam age and putting coal into a steam engine – it really did!.

3. Rode wireless Go mic

A very simple portable mic solution when recording on an iPhone or Google phone. Not perfect audio quality – a little too much compression for my liking, but unless your after a very professional result, this is fantastic. (The Leaf video above was recorded with these mics – thanks to Matthew Dickerson for introducing me to them!) They will be my go-to mics for recording interviews on the phone.

4. Hand Forged Mezzaluna

My boys bought me this fantastic hand forged Mezzaluna for my Birthday. Perfect for cutting home cooked Pizzas which has been our weekly tradition this year.

http://www.slowfoodandhandforgedtools.com.au

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Dec 12

I’d like to set up some iPads so that our musicians can all follow along with what’s on the mac’s screen. This may also be useful for helping visually impaired people to see what is on a projector screen. Previously I’ve used VNC but it’s a bit complex to set up. There are various options around but sadly none of them worked seamlessly. Here’s a discussion that may save you some time!

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Dec 02

To connect your iPhone, iPad or iPod to your home stereo you just need a 3.5mm to RCA cable like this cable above.  The two RCA connectors plug into the back of your stereo and the 3.5mm plugs into the headphone jack of your iPhone. Pretty much every stereo available has RCA inputs as the standard inputs on the back.  If you want the best possible audio quality, then an Apple iPod dock will make it sound even better, but we’ll get to that in a moment.

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Oct 27

Advanced!

Apparently there are a a few bugs in OSX when it comes to accessing a network drive. This was really slowing down my Synology NAS which I use to host my video and audio files. To fix it, create the following file in /etc/nsmb.conf

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Oct 20

In this document I write about how to edit a PDF file using the built-in OS X preview app. But sometimes you need to add your signature to a PDF document. Well here is some good news – you can also sign a document right from within the preview app. Thanks to Bryson who pointed this out to me!

1. Firstly click the pen symbol as if you were going to edit the PDF file.

2. Then click the ‘create signature’ button.

(You can already see three ‘signatures’ here!)

3. Sign using the track pad or camera.

If you select “trackpad” you will be able to use the trackpad on your MacBook to sign your signature and the app will record your signature and keep it in preview for signing future PDFs.

If you select “Camera” you just need to sign your signature on a piece of paper in panel pencil and then hold it up in front of your computer’s camera. Preview will automatically adjust your signature and scan it.

Now you can just select your signature and preview will insert it into the PDF document when you need it.

Your signature will automatically be stored in preview so that you can use it in the future, but if you want it deleted for security purposes you can simply click on the cross on the right-hand side of your signature and it will delete it.

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