Sometimes I feel like the cobbler with no shoes

High Sierra InstallI upgraded my Mac Pro to High Sierra.  For the most part it was seamless.  The installer automatically migrated the HFS+ file system to AFPS and everything appeared to be working great.  As it turns out. . . I have a new intermittent problem that causes the computer to become unresponsive while idle.

It presents primarily as a failure to wake from sleep (backlit black screens instead).  Display sleep is actually all that is required to present and of course it is not every time.  It is often enough for me to return to the 90s habit of shutting down my computer after I finish using it lest I cause irreparable harm to my mounted file systems.  Here are some things i have discovered while trying to resolve.  Sometimes i can access the computer remotely, other times not, never graphically.  Sometimes the system hangs as soon as it goes idle, sometimes it continues to operate.  Sometimes it restarts from “sudo reboot” from an ssh session, other times it just hangs completely when i try.  The console logs are useless.  Nothing at all before the reboot.  When unresponsive, there is nothing to do but hold the power button.

The difficulty i am having at discovering the core of the issue combined with the fact that my remote backup has gotten stale is driving me crazy.  There seems to be people complaining about this on every Apple forum there is.  I am not alone:

https://discussions.apple.com/thread/8085995
https://apple.stackexchange.com/questions/300199/mac-pro-on-high-sierra-doesnt-wake-up
https://www.reddit.com/r/MacOS/comments/73094p/mac_pro_2013_high_sierra_wont_wake…
https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/high-sierra-causing-blank-screen-macpro.2073218/

iOS 11! installed!

looking good with exciting new Control Center and loads of other features. my favorite is 5x sleep to disable touch ID (instantly and temporarily). I am looking forward to the new Augmented Reality features built into ARkit. I cannot wait to see what developers do with it.

There are a few sticky wickets (i.e. Apple changed the bluetooth and wifi toggle functionality in Control Center). For example, if you “turn off” wifi it actually just disassociates you from your current network leaving your wifi radio on and functioning. i don’t mind because i wanted exactly this feature. if you actually want to turn off a radio, you need to go to your Settings app or turn on Airplane mode.

Apple maps is stepping up their game with indoor maps of malls, airports and others allowing navigation without GPS or even a view of the sky. Easy trick to share your complex wifi password with other apple devices and of course native animated GIF support!

Continue reading “iOS 11! installed!”

Remember when Migration Assistant worked with Disk Images?

Apple Disk Image IconI don’t exactly recall when Apple’s Migration Assistant started logging out the user (10.9ish), but since then it has been a little more irritating to migrate from a dmg or other image format (as opposed to a source hard drive or time machine backup).  Here is a simple Terminal command to mount the image as root and thus keep it mounted after logout.

sudo hdiutil attach diskimage.dmg

This process does require running a checksum, and for larger images that could take a while.  Once you run this command and it completes its verification of the disk image, simply run Migration Assistant and complete the migration.  After migration and a restart, the image is unmounted and you are ready to work on your newly migrated mac. (note: migration can also take quite a while depending on the amount of data)

exFAT vs exFAT!

No exFATThe interoperable file system that is nearly impossible to interoperate.  Introduced in 2006 by Microsoft, it eventually gained compatibility from XP to Windows 10.  Apple introduced support in 10.6.5.  Even Linux got to play thanks to Fuse.  It turns out that any reasonable sized drive prepared in windows will not be compatible with Mac and unable to mount. This is because Apple’s implementation of exFAT requires less then 1048576 bytes per cluster, where as Windows varies it’s cluster size depending on the capacity of the volume.  Best advise for mac people is to format it on windows, but set the block size to 1024. Can we get a new file system now please?

Waisting my time at the Apple Store

I’m at the Apple Store resolving an issue with my iPhone camera.  The same camera Jitter that is already an extended replacement with Apple for the iPhone 6 Plus.  No warranty left and no love for my 6s Plus. They wanted to charge me $80.  After begrudgingly agreeing and waiting an hour for the repair.  i returned to a phone with a completely non-functioning camera.  whoops.

Final iPhone Backup Before Apple Replacement

I hurriedly backed up my phone in preparation for Apple replacing it.  I have now been here for 3 hours.  I spent most of my time waiting for someone.  Now waiting for activation of the new phone.   Then waiting for restore.  In all, my customer service experience was much worse then expected.  After very helpful and accommodating internet support, I received absolutely terrible support from the Apple Store itself.  When i asked to complain to a manager, the “Leader” they brought out was condescending and robotic in his rhetoric.  The 2nd guy, was a lot more understanding, but Apple needs to take a hard look at their customer service.

End of an era! cydia.be3n.com shuttered after 7+ years!

In truth, I haven’t touched it in years.  I haven’t even touched cydia recently. Sadly, all this work would only be useful for someone with an original or 3g iPhone. Apple certainly doesn’t support those devices anymore.  Does anyone still use them?  Unfortunately, my ISP insists that I remove the content.  After 7 years of hosting it, they realized it violates TOS.  I should check the logs.  I wonder if it will even be missed.  People say the internet never forgets.  Sometimes it is quite the opposite. For nostalgias sake, I left the instructions site up: http://cydia.be3n.com/ (at least that does’t violate Dreamhost TOS).  For the record, much of my work continued support well into iOS 4.

cydia.be3n.com site

. . . Maybe it will rise again on S3?

Power Nap drops my watts to the floor!

I finally ensured that all of the background tasks on my primary desktop would quite literally run in their sleep.  Now I can leave it asleep a majority of the time.  I am continually impressed with the energy efficiency of the new MacPro. The wattage depicted represents not just my slumbering beast, but several small appliances as well (including two Raspberry Pi).  Getting a bit greener.

15 Watts  APC Display

Bizarre FaceTime error could have horrifying security implications!

ios9 facetime iconI just got off a very strange call. Apparently, a complete stranger received a FaceTime request from me. “Butt Dial” right?  no big deal. Not this time.  At the time, i was in the middle of a FaceTime call with my dad.  I am almost certain I know exactly when it happened because i noticed a call-waiting style interruption on our call.  The first strange thing i noticed was that the incoming caller was my dad.  The same dad, I was presently talking to.  I rejected the call, thinking it was my dad accidentally calling from a different device. Then, moments later I get a mobile call from another LA number.  This time from an irate husband demanding to know why I would FaceTime his wife.  Unfortunately, I may have given them the wrong impression by asking questions of them.  The IT guy inside me wanted to figure out what just happened. Needless to say, they didn’t enjoy being grilled.  I barely had time to get out a few apologies, i don’t think they even realized that I hadn’t actually even called them.  I did get some answers.  They were not on a call at the time.  They were not even on the device.  My call history shows no outgoing calls save my dad.  my dad’s history doesn’t show the missed call on my history from him. I am almost certain I will never know what actually happened.  I am guessing that Apple FaceTime system might be a bit more duct tape and spit then we were lead to believe.