No Mac Is an Island with macOS Catalina

Creating APFS snapshots is basically instantaneous. Depending on how it’s implemented, restoring may also take no time at all or may take some time, my guess would be equivalent to how long the install took. Doing this for macOS updates is reassuring, having the option for any kind of install or change would be even more so. I think one can already make a snapshot whenever so it should only require the Recovery partition to give the option to restore any snapshot, not just the last one triggered by an OS update.

It’s a niche issue but I wonder if restoring will break a Mac’s binding to Active Directory, making logging in with an AD account fail. I’ve had this happen to Windows virtual machines after restoring their snapshots; domain controllers don’t want to see clients “go back in time.”

Interesting. Yeah, it sounds like it would be great if we could chose to restore from any available snapshot. If restore is that fast, you could think of a lot of other tasks where this kind of functionality would come in handy.

My biggest issue with Catalina will be losing 32-bit applications. I still have a bunch that I depend on. For example, I still use Quicken 2007 because I still haven’t found a worthy replacement (any hints would be appreciated, and I’m very underwhelmed by recent Quicken editions). In other cases, the applications are useful but no longer supported without equivalent replacements.

I have one 32-bit app that I will miss very much when our work Macs move to MacOS 10.15. The apps publisher is out of business. But I have time. I have been thinking about this issue overall. It costs money for Apple to continue to support 32-bit apps, I suspect more than most people imagine.

  1. How much would I be willing to pay for a MacOS Update that will continue to support 32-bit apps? $50? $100? $1,000?

  2. How much would I be willing to pay for an upgraded version of the software I want to continue using. Some apps still have publishers but the cost of redesigning the app is too expensive for the publisher. I am sure we would see a new version of DragThing if everyone using it was willing to pay $500 for an upgrade.

I find when I add a $ value to what I want I often find I don’t want it that much.

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Ding, Dong, iTunes Is Dead

Hmmm, Podcasts, huh?

…just wondering if it will offer user tools to manually add episodes, edit metadata (including long descriptions), create smart playlists, run “Doug’s Scripts”, etc, etc

I’ve accumulated a sizable library over the past 15-20 years, comprised mostly of information type content (vs. news & entertainment, etc) - I use iTunes as a database to augment my subject-matters-of-interest research

So, on the off chance macOS Podcasts mimics the minimalist functionality of it’s iOS cousin…

What’s a fella to do?

Anyone have suggestions on iTunes alternatives?

In the past I did some poking around to see what’s out there, then motivated more by iTunes’ misbehavior, but didn’t pursue it too far, or with any AHA! discoveries, since I found ways to work around iTunes’ shenanigans (viz., turn off the iTunes Store, for one)

I gave Plex a shot at it and was less than pleased with how it handled (and didn’t) my carefully curated library (I use a third party metadata editor before manually adding anything to iTunes)

VLC is on my radar (and my iMac) but, my limited testing suggests it won’t cut the mustard either

Thanks in advance for any guidance

Doug Adams of dougscripts.com has posted some early thoughts about the switch from iTunes to Music.

https://dougscripts.com/itunes/2019/06/first-thoughts-about-music-app/

My main concern is the lack of an .xml file in the new Music app. I use TuneSpan to move a lot of music and movies (esp movies) to an external drive since Apple has moved to smaller SSD drives. May have to move my whole iTunes library off the main disk if it is not able to be updated.

Andrew, I used Quicken for years, and recently moved to You Need a Budget, which is a website and iPhone app. It’s changed my relationship with my personal finances. It’s not for those who need something stocks, but when it comes to setting financial goals and tracking spending, it’s really outstanding. Message me if you want a referral link.

How in the world can you update an operating system that is on a read-only partition?

The same way it already updates the parts of the OS protected by SIP, it’s read-only to you, not to the installers signed with Apple’s certificate.

This is an improvement I guess…but will require that the installer repartition your drive before actually installing Catalina obviously. I can see both pros and cons to doing it this way.

It’s not a panacea though…and earlier versions of macOS aren’t unprotected from this since changing stuff in the system area requires inputting admin credentials now. In particular…what happens when we get macOS whatever it is 2 versions from now and the read only partition isn’t big enough. At that time it will need resizing.

Nothing to be done about it though…users will be given no choice about having the read only partition or not…if you install Catalina you’ll get it.

For those of us that already have our daily driver account being non-admin…the additional protection is less. That’s a small minority though…the vast majority of folks that I have dealt with have only a single account on their machine…and having no password is also a pretty common occurrence.

I’m just guessing, but most likely it will not. APFS has space sharing, so it lets you set volumes so that they are all sized to take the whole disk and the file system just allocates unused space as each one needs it. I haven’t installed Catalina to check (and probably won’t until it’s released in the fall), but I’d guess that they do something like that.

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AFPS sort of virtualizes the drive as computers have done for memory for decades. So, partitions are no longer “fixed” allocations. You set a max for each “partition” and the system uses “real” blocks as needed. (Which is why this can be
painful on spinning rust. Block location doesn’t really matter on SSDs but matter a LOT on spinning media.)

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You are probably right…I’m not very knowledgeable about APFS and how it works at the drive level.

Why would assume it would not preserve your ratings?

I think it would still be a good idea to make a clone before you update. It’s relatively painless to do.

I won’t consider that Apple is taking usability seriously as long as they maintain the goth gray interface. I’m visually impaired and I used color and custom icons in the Finder sidebar as navigation aids. Now that they’re gone, using the sidebar is much harder than it was. Epic fail.

Why would assume it would not preserve your ratings?

Because Apple has been on a steady course of deprecating star ratings for years, first by breaking many of my smart playlists when they started automatically assigning ratings to unrated tracks, and then by not making a ratings interface available in non-Mac operating systems, which usually point to future changes in Mac OS.

Andrew, have you looked at iCompta or iFinance? MY preferred “Quicken for Mac 2007 Lion Compatible” has been PocketMoney Desktop. However the developer, Hardy Macia, passed away in 2013 so I’ve been running those two applications in tandem with PMD and Q4MacLC.

Dennis, thanks! I’ll have to check those out.