MacInTouch Amazon link...

macOS 10.15 Catalina

Channels
Apple, News


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
I've only got one Mac (2012 MacBook Pro) to try this on, but I cannot get an external drive to boot Mojave 10.14.6 on my MacBook Pro with Catalina OS 10.15.1 installed on it.
What are the symptoms (i.e. what do you see when you try to boot macOS Mojave from the external drive)?
 


I have come across a serious problem with upgrading to Catalina. I don't use cloud-based keychains and store all of my passwords in Keychain Access on my Mac Mini. Some are secure notes, some are account passwords, and some are internet passwords when they were associated with a URL.

Catalina doesn't like internet passwords, and it is associated with the Reminders app. Any Internet password type of keychain entry gets thrown away when Reminders runs, whether by hand or by a system process triggering Reminders. I can put a internet password entry in the keychain and watch it disappear when I start up Reminders.

My workaround was to change all internet password entries to account password entries prior to upgrading to Catalina and then upgrade. It took many cycles of upgrading, testing, and then reverting to Mojave, which is not a trivial task, due to the new disk layout for Catalina, to pin this down.

#applequality
 



What are the symptoms (i.e. what do you see when you try to boot macOS Mojave from the external drive)?
The Mac just goes to the Catalina drive and refuses to deal with booting from the external SSD (with Mojave) plugged directly into the USB port.

Of course, when I try the same thing on my 2012 Mac Pro, the Mac Pro just shuts down, because it does not support Catalina.

I can boot from an external SSD that has Catalina on it, but not Mojave. So, I'm envious and wondering how people are booting into Mojave with a Catalina-updated MacBook Pro.
 



I think folks, so far, have been partitioning the internal drive to hold a Mojave volume alongside the Catalina system (i.e. no external drives involved).
I have 13-inch MacBook Pro (2012) which I've been using with macOS 10.14.6. I just added a minimal Catalina volume to the internal SSD container which already had the 10.14.6 volume. It seems to run fine with both internal volumes, and also runs fine when booted from an external USB SSD drive with macOS 10.14.6.
 


...people moving from macOS 10.13 and earlier might want to move to Mojave first, like Ralph did, as an intermediate step before jumping to Catalina.
Yup. I just made the jump to Mojave and intend to stay here until I put the OS into a Parallels container, in case I have to run 32-bit apps in the future. Converting my FreeNAS to use SMB for Time Machine instead of AFP was trivial and I haven't had any "backup failed because the volume is in use" errors since.
 



Been working out issues with some external devices not booting the machine, but, overall, it's been pretty good. A new - minor, I suppose - gripe came tonight when I went to sync my iPhone to this machine for the first time since I moved to Catalina. I like the Finder window functionality, so that's cool. What I do not like is the decrease in user feedback for the whole backup and sync process.

A moving pie chart tells you that something is going on, probably backup, then the wheel with two arrows spinning tells you that something is going on. probably syncing, but it would have been nice if they had spelled it out, as they did for every previous version of this in iTunes. It took a long time the first time, but we shall see going forward.

One more thing - where do you go to manage your backups? It used to be in iTunes > Preferences > Advanced > Devices if my memory serves. Either way, I could always find it in iTunes prefs, a GUI for handling backups. Where is that now?
 


Yeah, just looked on a Mojave install. What I cannot find now used to be in iTunes > Preferences > Devices, in which there was a window that said "Device Backups," where you could see and delete these. I know where the MobileSync folder still resides, but I still miss having this interface.

Where is this functionality now?
 


Yeah, just looked on a Mojave install. What I cannot find now used to be in iTunes > Preferences > Devices, in which there was a window that said "Device Backups," where you could see and delete these. I know where the MobileSync folder still resides, but I still miss having this interface.

Where is this functionality now?
I don't have Catalina, but I'd look for a "Manage Backups..." button at the bottom of the General tab for the iDevice in Finder.
 


Yeah, just looked on a Mojave install. What I cannot find now used to be in iTunes > Preferences > Devices, in which there was a window that said "Device Backups," where you could see and delete these. I know where the MobileSync folder still resides, but I still miss having this interface.
Where is this functionality now?
In Catalina, that functionality is now found in the Finder. Open a Finder window with Sidebar shown. Your iOS devices will appear under Locations. Select one, and the main window will show you all the controls you need.
 


Yes, it's in that Finder window. I missed the radio button that said "Manage Backups." Thanks.

My remaining gripe is that it always reverts back to choosing "backup to cloud," rather than "back up to this Mac." I cannot seem to get that setting to persist.
 


My remaining gripe is that it always reverts back to choosing "backup to cloud," rather than "back up to this Mac." I cannot seem to get that setting to persist.
I have not had that issue – Backup to this Mac sticks. [But I] very much agree with disappointment in lack of feedback on what's happening during sync.
 


Aside from 32-bit loss, which is not such a big deal anymore for me, Catalina’s been much more stable than I had thought. Glad I waited. I may put my head in the nutcracker and do my 2012 Mac Pro Cheesegrater next. Things have been too quiet. ;-)
 


Has Apple finally fixed the "find" progress issue in Catalina? I'm dumbfounded that searches on high-latency storage, such as a NAS, do not trigger an "I'm busy searching" indicator (spinning disk or whatever), like it did in OSes of Apple's past. Instead, I get a blank window, and if something is found, it'll pop up. However, there is no indication that the search is ongoing or that has completed.

Is there a preference I haven't enabled?
This has been bugging me in Sierra through Mojave.

#AppleUI #Finder
 


Aside from 32-bit loss, which is not such a big deal anymore for me, Catalina’s been much more stable than I had thought. Glad I waited. I may put my head in the nutcracker and do my 2012 Mac Pro Cheesegrater next. Things have been too quiet. ;-)
Generally, no problems [for me] upgrading to Catalina. One difference I have noted about hard drives (external, using a USB bus): when selecting them, it now takes a while for them to open, even if they have been recently used and opened.
 


The thing that is still driving me wild with Catalina is the complete failure that is the Books app's handling of audiobooks. I like to be able to sort by author and year. I like to be able to edit metadata. I like to have book playlists that I sync to my iPod or phone. I'll probably end up reloading them as "songs" in the Music app and make sure that my smart playlists exclude the audiobook songs (I'm assuming they didn't break smart playlists too badly in Music, since it feels like iTunes with all the non-music functions deleted).
 


The thing that is still driving me wild with Catalina is the complete failure that is the Books app's handling of audiobooks. I like to be able to sort by author and year. I like to be able to edit metadata. I like to have book playlists that I sync to my iPod or phone. I'll probably end up reloading them as "songs" in the Music app and make sure that my smart playlists exclude the audiobook songs (I'm assuming they didn't break smart playlists too badly in Music, since it feels like iTunes with all the non-music functions deleted).
My sentiments, exactly! Of all the spinoff iTunes apps, I think Books was the worst.

For starters, I have about 1,500 audiobooks in my library, which was located on an external drive before the changeover. The other apps allow you to store your library on other volumes, but not Books. It would not be possible for me to import my books/audiobooks into my 1-TB startup drive, so I’m having to manually archive the titles that I have already read before importing the rest.

My iTunes audiobook playlist had folders for each author, sub-folders for each series, each playlist numbered according to sequence, narrators’ names replacing “Album Artist” (audiobook collectors will understand why), each read title given star ratings… and so forth.

But worse yet is that these programmers don’t even know how to alphabetize titles. For example, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn should be under T, yet it appears under A. The Winds of War under W instead of T. This did not happen in iTunes, and both Music and Apple TV follow correct alphabetizing conventions. Where did they get these people from? I’m just appalled that nobody else seems to have noticed or minded this travesty.

#applequality
 


CTM

After way too many years of upgrading from one Mac to another and even to my current MacBook Pro, I decided it was time to wipe my MacBook Pro and do a clean install of Catalina. There were some weird things happening, and I guessed it might be related to old, dead baggage that's been moved from Mac to Mac.

Regardless, I did a Time Machine backup to an external USB drive and made sure my Documents, Desktop and everything possible was sync'd with my iCloud account. I knew I'd have to reinstall all of my applications, most from the App Store, but also quite a few from third-party developers, not through the App Store. Aside from a couple of tense moments with licensing, I was able to everything back to normal (make sure you keep a log of all of your licenses!).

The one surprise was Stickies, which I've used to hold notes in a convenient place. I wasn't able to get that back until I spoke with at least two Apple Senior Advisors. Even the person who eventually was able to confirm something I had read didn't know how to get my old Stickies until I mentioned something I had read somewhere about looking in
/Users/(home folder)/Library/Containers/com.apple.Stickies/Data/Library/Stickies​

I simply had to copy that folder to my current drive from my Time Machine backup and voila! So, for what it's worth, make note of this in case you run across the same need.
 


Just got this email from Orbicule, the developer of the UnderCover app:
Dear Undercover user,

After 14 years of Undercover recovery successes, we need to inform you that we’ll no longer be developing or supporting Undercover.

All Undercover support will stop on Jan. 1st 2020.
On the same date, the undercoverhq.com website and the Undercover recovery service will stop operations as well.
Undercover uninstall instructions can be found at the bottom of this email.

If you want to continue protecting your Mac, we recommend switching to HiddenApp.

Established in 2010, HiddenApp has been recovering thousands of Macs, iPads and iPhones. Hidden not only offers a solution for protecting macOS devices but also has an offering for iOS, which means you can protect your entire suite of Apple devices with one solution. HiddenApp is fully road-tested and ready for the imminent release of macOS Catalina and also has a brand new iOS app that will be released in the coming weeks.

We have negotiated a 20% discount on all Hidden orders with the following coupon code: UNDERCOVER20
Switch To HiddenApp
If you are wondering why Undercover is ceasing operations, we provide more background below, see 'Why we are halting Undercover development' at the bottom of this email.

We’re proud of the literally thousands of stolen Macs that have been recovered thanks to Undercover. We’re also proud of the fact that Undercover helped bringing a little bit of justice in a world that’s often unfair. Undercover even provided critical evidence to arrest a drug gang.

We would like to thank you, as a user, for your continued support over the past 14 years. It has been a great journey!

Best wishes,
Peter
--
Peter Schols, PhD
CEO
Orbicule
© 2019 Orbicule
Uninstalling Undercover

You can only uninstall Undercover if you are an administrator of your Mac.
Please follow these instructions:

• Go to the following folder in the Finder: /Library/LaunchDaemons
• Remove com.orbicule.uc.plist
• Go to the following folder in the Finder: /Library/LaunchAgents
• Remove com.orbicule.UCAgent.plist
• Choose Go To Folder from the Finder's Go menu
• Enter the following path: /usr/local/
• Remove the uc folder in this folder
• Reboot your Mac

This will remove Undercover from your Mac.
Why are we halting Undercover development

The main reason is that over the past 6 years, Apple has significantly increased security on macOS. While that’s a good thing in general, it makes it increasingly more difficult to reliably run hidden software like Undercover.

Another key point is that FileVault has become mainstream. This means that a thief won’t be able to access your files without your password - again a good thing. However, this also means that Undercover won’t be able to function properly, as third party developers don’t have access to the recovery partition that is being used when a thief boots your Mac without knowing your password. Only Apple has access to this recovery partition, where it can run FindMyMac.
Undercover (or any other third party application) can’t run on this recovery partition and will be useless if FileVault has been enabled.

A third reason is that with macOS Catalina, Apple is refreshing its FindMyMac app (now called FindMy) and will leverage its large installed base of Macs and iPhones to track stolen devices, even if they never connect to the internet. They do so by using Bluetooth connections of nearby devices that are connected to the internet. Again a great idea from Apple, but Undercover or any other third party application, do not have access to this functionality.

When launched in January 2006, Undercover was groundbreaking software. The fact that Apple has replicated Undercover-like functionality and embedded it deep into iOS and macOS shows the value of the theft-recovery genre that Undercover has pioneered. At this point, however, we feel that we can no longer deliver reliable software due to security restrictions, while having a hard time carving out a successful business model competing with free Apple software that is installed by default on every Mac and has access to system features that we can only dream of.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
FYI, from Howard Oakley:
Eclectic Light Co. said:
Are you having weird problems with Catalina?
Just when you think it’s safe to upgrade to macOS Catalina, we start hearing of strange and serious problems, like its security checks getting completely out of hand and slowing app launch drastically. Over the last few weeks, as more Mac users take the plunge and upgrade, I’ve been hearing of more and more such cases. Are these bugs and should we still hold off upgrading?

In making the decision to upgrade to Catalina, you must bear in mind that in terms of structural change this is possibly the most major upgrade since you first installed Mac OS X. Because of that, the risk of the upgrade not working perfectly the first time is significant. This all comes back to the introduction of the read-only System volume.

... Catalina does still have plenty of bugs, but if you seem to be the only person affected by something quite prominent, it’s more likely to be a clash with third-party software, or an error in its installation. If addressing those doesn’t help, try contacting Apple Support, who by now should be well aware of how to deal with your problems.
#applequality
 



Ric Ford

MacInTouch
A pretty good article about Unix shells, Apple issues and macOS Catalina:
TidBITS said:
Resources for Adapting to zsh in Catalina
macOS 10.15 Catalina brought many big changes to the Mac, like lack of support for legacy 32-bit apps, but one change you could have easily missed is the default Terminal shell being changed from bash (the Bourne-again shell) to zsh (Z shell). It’s an easy change to miss if you don’t use the Terminal, but also because if you upgraded from an older version of macOS, bash remains the default, though you’re prompted to switch.

If you’re a Terminal user, you need to be aware of the change, and if you’re merely Terminal-curious, now is a great time to dive in and learn more about the shell, since so many Mac-friendly user guides are being published. In our last reader survey, Terminal coverage wasn’t high on the list of desired topics, so I won’t dedicate a ton of space to zsh here, but instead point you to resources to help learn more about it.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
FYI:
DigitalTrends said:
How to fix the “Update Apple ID Settings” bug in MacOS Catalina
If you’ve upgraded your Mac to MacOS Catalina, you may be experiencing a frustrating bug in System Preferences where you are repeatedly asked to update your Apple ID settings. No matter how many times you try, that little red “1” icon in the Dock just won’t go away, and you keep getting pestered to update your settings.
#applequality
 


I had a serious variation of this problem last week. I was unable to sign back into my AppleID after signing out, because my Mac had clung onto a corrupted Keychain file, which persuaded my computer that it was still signed in (even though it wasn't).

The confusing symptom was that in the Internet Accounts preference pane, iCloud did not appear at all, though my computer believed it should be there (and directed me there to find it).

After escalating over several hours through three Apple Support techs, to a longtime "senior adviser," the problem was solved when he directed me to open Keychain and delete (!) all references containing my Apple ID. (Yes, I was frightened by his instruction, but he assured me it would be OK, so I crossed my fingers and trusted him.) After deleting those Keychain items, I restarted my computer... but I was still unable to sign in to my Apple ID account.

The senior Apple tech then instructed me how to use Terminal to delete all references to my "MobileMe" account (yes, I guess the Mac system still refers to those files by that now-abandoned Apple moniker). This, too, was a bit scary. But I needn't have worried.

After another restart, I was able, simply, to sign-in again to my Apple ID accounts (including iCloud, Music, Photos, etc.). When I later checked Keychain, all but two of the previously deleted items had been restored (presumably now uncorrupted). I'm guessing the two which did not reappear were the culprits.

#applequality
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Low-level issues discovered...
Eclectic Light Co. said:
Stick a fork in it, and other flashbacks
... Thus Catalina does appear to have a bug which can cause unexpected behaviour when accessing resource forks using deprecated interfaces. In the right circumstances, this can lead to data loss in a few applications like Script Editor which are still thought to rely on those interfaces. Suggesting that Apple and third-party developers should stop using those interfaces isn’t helpful either: the Resource Manager and related support for the resource fork may have been deprecated for over seven years, but there are no suitable substitutes.

So long as AppleScript and its editors still rely on resource forks, Apple is going to need to support and maintain the Resource Manager and namedfork mechanism for accessing resource forks in the traditional way. Maybe it’s time to dedeprecate them after all.
 


Amazon disclaimer:
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Latest posts