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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Since 2012, all apps on the Mac App Store must run in an app sandbox, which restricts access to system resources unless explicitly required. The secure sandbox isolates the app and defines access controls, protecting users from malicious code with undesired behaviour.

Here's how to setup a sandbox for an app downloaded from outside the Mac App Store.

Continue reading...

Want to extract files from a macOS installer package with a .pkg extension?

Continue reading...

Wine 1.9.22 development (dated Oct 28, 2016) has been released! See the release notes for changes. Alas, I encountered errors trying to compile it "on top" of the Wine 1.9.21 installation, following the steps from my post Compiling Wine from scratch. I spent a whole day searching for the problem, and resolved it as below.

Continue reading...

So a couple of days ago, I documented how I compiled Wine 1.9.21 with Retina Mode from scratch on macOS Sierra. After that I though I might as well figure out how to bundle all these files into a .app bundle, which Finder presents as if it were a single file.

Continue reading...

I have been using WineBottler to run my favorite Windows applications in macOS. Here, I describe how I compiled Wine from scratch and configure for my MacBook Pro's Retina Display.

Continue reading...

Here is my list of free, macOS apps that I have installed and use often. Many are also open source! When I first got my Mac I searched the internet for lists of useful apps but found most outdated. I decided to compile this list as part of a cleanup and "audit" of what's useful IMHO.

Continue reading...

My Time Machine backups have started to take longer and longer to process and complete. I realized that excluding folders containing temporary, frequently changing and large files would quite dramatically speed it up.

Continue reading...

Recently I realized that the latest macOS Sierra 10.12 upgrade also updated Apache and PHP to newer revisions (2.4.23 and 5.6.24 respectively), but reverted to the default configurations. My previous post on Enabling Apache and PHP on OS X 10.11 needed a slight change too.

Continue reading...