When macOS High Sierra was released around 25th September, I tried to install it in Parallels Desktop Lite. However, both a clean install in a Parallels Virtual Machine (VM), nor an in-place update did not work (the High Sierra VM would refuse to boot). I discovered the High Sierra installer converts the VM file system to Apple File System (APFS). However, Parallels does not support APFS, so here's how to disable the conversion and get High Sierra running in a Parallels.

Continue reading...

I admit, my title is misleading. This is a list of mostly "not likes" with iOS 11. Why few "likes"? Because there is enough written elsewhere singing the praises of iOS 11 and detailing "what's new". Maybe my dislikes will help you decide if (when) you want to upgrade...

Continue reading...

I upgraded my iPad to iOS 11.0.0 last night - and this morning realized that my IBM Verse contacts had disappeared from my iPhone! I didn't update my iPhone, nor did I make any changes of significance lately. Most upsetting! Here's a guide to restoring your contacts.

Continue reading...

Lots of web pages now rely on SVG instead of PNG or JPG images. SVG stands for Scalable Vector Graphics, an XML-based vector image format that scales well, unlike bitmap images (bitmaps become pixelated when up-sized). I recently wanted a quick way to convert a SVG to PNG, and discovered modern browsers (read: Chrome and Firefox) can do this with a simple bit of code.

Continue reading...

Microsoft PowerPoint 2016 for Mac (aka version 15) has a strange quirk - when I copy and paste images from Preview or most other applications, the image gets copied in Tagged Image File Format (TIFF). The image is practically uncompressed (or possibly minimally compressed), resulting in very, very huge PPTX files! Plus: Removing unwanted font references.

Continue reading...

I recently had the "opportunity" to perform some text manipulation to get data from a huge log file into a spreadsheet. I had done this sort of work a long time ago as a developer, but had forgotten over the years. So I decided to compile a text manipulation cheat-sheet for macOS.

Continue reading...

There are many open source packages that require the "AMP" stack comprising Apache, MySQL and PHP (hence "WAMP" for Windows-Apache-MySQL-PHP and "MAMP" for macOS-Apache-MySQL-PHP). Since macOS 10.12 Sierra already includes Apache 2.4 and PHP 5.6, here's how to add MySQL 5.7.

Continue reading...

Some time ago, I posted about starting Apache automatically when macOS 10.12 Sierra starts, using the launchctl command to add Apache to the launchd Launch Daemon/Agent Manager. For those familiar with Windows, this is akin to managing Windows Services.

Continue reading...

Following up on my posts, Compiling Wine 1.9 from scratch on macOS with Retina mode and Creating a wine.app bundle manually, here's my script to automatically download and compile pre-requisite libraries, then download and compile Wine 2.9 32-bit, build the .app bundle, and even include a registry tweak to enable Retina Mode.

Continue reading...

You have have read that CheckPoint, a cyber security research company, has identified vulnerabilities that may allow an attacker to compromise your computer using malicious subtitle files downloaded by popular media players including Kodi and VLC. It's not clear if this affects macOS too, but in light of this threat, here is a summary of how I further "lockdown" any apps I'm unsure of...

Continue reading...

I recently downloaded an update to VLC, an open-source media player. The VLC download page, displayed it's SHA-256 checksum - here's how to quickly validate your download by comparing the checksum using the built-in macOS tools.

Continue reading...

I have experienced a couple of issues printing with the Ricoh printer drivers for macOS - at one location, I simply couldn't print, and at another, I couldn't get it to print "two-sided" (despite the correct duplex settings). In both cases, I reverted to the standard macOS driver, i.e. "Generic PostScript Printer" or "Generic PCL Laser Printer". This post details the steps to set printer defaults like duplex via CUPS.

Continue reading...

It's pretty easy to get Picture in Picture (PiP) in Safari on macOS - just a right-click twice - and if that didn't work, I described simple workaround by disabling JavaScript. Here I have a Workflow.is App based workaround to enable PiP in YouTube in Safari on iOS. This allows me to surf (or work) while having a video running in a tiny floating window on my iPad.

Continue reading...

If you are a developer or someone who likes to try lots of software, head over to the App Store and get Parallels Desktop Lite. It's free for macOS and Linux guests! (Windows support is an IAP)

Continue reading...

In August 2016, GE's CEO said he wanted every new hire to learn to code. And I must say, I do agree! In today's digital, data-driven, self-service world, everyone should learn to code. But, to clarify, I'm not necessarily referring to programming in C# or Swift (like I do), but rather "coding" for automation.

Continue reading...

So I got a new MacBook for work and I didn't realize upon next reboot, the enterprise profile had mandated FileVault encrypt the start up disk, and Apple had recommended an upgrade to macOS Sierra at the same time! You can imagine triggering both simultaneously upon reboot didn't go well at all!

Continue reading...

By now you have realized that the latest version of the Workflow App no longer has deep integration to Google Maps. That's not too big a deal, since you can make do with the Workflow Open URLs function. Here's how...

Continue reading...

Apple has noted that a number of users may experience an issue with iCloud setting being enabled after upgrading to iOS 10.3. For me, I had quite the opposite experience, as iOS 10.3 finally enabled some iCloud applications that I had never gotten working for a long time!

Continue reading...

Does your service provider differentiate between standard or "premium" IDD and "budget" IDD like mine does? Typically, the standard + international call prefix will default to the premium option, but to use the the cheaper option, usually via voice-over-IP (VoIP), one has to specific a different carrier-defined prefix, e.g. 12300 (I just made this up, check with your telco). I can't find a built-in way to do this on iOS... enter the Workflow App!

Continue reading...

Remember the time I waxed lyrical about using Google Sheets to track my stock portfolio? Well, it's going to be a "standard feature" of spreadsheets soon, with the introduction of the capability to retrieve stock data with today's update of Numbers on iOS (3.1) and macOS (4.1).

Continue reading...