OpenCore [PDF] is an open-source project from Acidanthera, currently in public beta testing, that offers an option for booting and running macOS on non-Apple hackintosh systems (especially those with AMD hardware) or experimenting with boot mechanisms on Apple’s Mac hardware. See Getting Started With OpenCore 0.5.0 for details.
OpenCore is an alternative bootloader to CloverEFI or Chameleon. It is not only for Hackintosh and can also be used on real macs for purposes that require an emulated EFI. It also aims to have the ability to boot Windows and Linux…
OpenCore is freely downloadable open-source, beta-quality code with a long list of requirements for technical users interested in experimenting with hackintoshes and similar low-level challenges. (See also Clover EFI Bootloader, Clover Configurator and tonymac86.com.)
The MacInTouch Community forum is now open again after a relatively quick software update (less than half an hour total). Please let me know if you encounter any anomalies.
MacInTouch discussions include the following updates:
Fusion Dual 2.5-inch SSD RAID is a full-length, full-height PCIe 3.0 card from Sonnet Technologies, Inc. that accomodates two standard 2.5-inch SATA SSDs, with a hardware RAID controller, and also offers a 10Gbps USB-C port. Features include RAID 0, RAID 1, Span, and JBOD modes (selected via external switch), 15-watt power delivery, status indicator lights, and performance “up to 1,000 MB/s.”
Fusion Dual 2.5-inch SSD RAID is due for release by the end of this month at $129.95 for Mac Pro models or external Thunderbolt PCIe enclosures that can hold a full-length, full-height PCIe 3.0 card.
Microsoft NTFS for Mac is software from Tuxera Inc. for supporting full access to Windows-standard NTFS storage volumes (while Apple only provides read access). Features include automatic translation of file names, “speed similar to native HFS+” with “smart caching”, support for NTFS extended attributes, and compatibility with “any third-party software”, including Parallels and VMware, plus a Disk Manager app for formatting, volume checking and repair. (See FAQ for additional details.)
Microsoft NTFS for Mac 2019 is priced at $15 for Mac OS X 10.4 and later, with a 15-day trial period.
coconutBattery is a Mac app from Chris Sinai (coconut-flavour.com) that shows “live” information about the battery in a Mac laptop, iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch, including manufacture date, design capacity, maximum charge, computer model, battery loadcycles, battery temperature, battery history and more.
coconutBattery 3.8.3 is a free, donationware download for OS X 10.11 and up. The latest release brings “improved manufacture date calculation.”
coconutBattery Plus, an upgrade priced at $9.95, provides more features, including WiFi access to iOS devices (in addition to the standard USB access), “lifetime” analyzers, “advanced viewers” with more details about the Mac or iOS device, and notifications.
If supported by the battery, the Lifetime Analyzer will show you lifetime information about your iOS battery like maximum/minimum and average temperature, voltage and charge/discharge rate ranges and battery operating time.
Intel Power Gadget is cross-platform software for monitoring and displaying the power usage and other operational details about Intel Core processors. It “includes an application, driver, and libraries to monitor and estimate real-time processor package power information in watts using the energy counters in the processor.” Features include graphs and data for Power, Frequency, Temperature and Utilization, plus the option of logging data to a file.
Intel Power Gadget 3.7.0 is a free installer download for OS X 10.11 and up (and second-generation or later Intel Core processors), and it’s also available for Linux and Windows.
LaunchControl is a Mac utility from Soma-zone that lets you control what programs are running on your Mac by provding a graphical interface to the operating system’s critical “launchd” mechanism. Features include a control palette that shows all manner of “jobs” (running programs), including background, hidden and startup programs (e.g. Google’s updater; Apple’s gamed and photoanalysisd; firewall programs, disk drivers, backup programs and much, much more), providing details about status, invocation, options and program locations, plus numerous controls over their operation (along with built-in help and tooltips).
(Note that changes to Apple processes, such as disabling unwanted Apple Game Center or photo-analysis daemons, require turning off “SIP” via the csrutil disable command, which must be entered from Recovery mode on the Terminal command line.)
LaunchControl 1.50 is priced at $15 for OS X 10.7 and up. (See FAQ for uninstall instructions.) The latest release brings a few improvements and fixes.
With LaunchControl you see all services and their respective status at a glance. Invalid services are highlighted and a problem description is provided. You can enable or disable services with a single click. The same goes for loading, unloading and ad-hoc starting. A long list of jobs may be filtered by job name and/or various properties, helping you to find what you are looking for in an instant.
Synchronize Pro X is an “industrial-strength” backup and file-sync app for older Macs from Qdea. Features include the ability to handle very large numbers of files with fast transfer, detailed control over sync operations, conflict resolution and manual overrides plus sync previews, automatic sync of watched folders, archiving of files, configurable error handling and warnings, incremental backup, scheduling, bootable backups, logging, AppleScript and more.
Synchronize Pro X 6.9 is a 32-bit application for Mac OS X 10.6 through macOS 10.14 but does not make bootable backups of macOS 10.13 or 10.14 systems, and no version is planned for macOS 10.15 or later. Licenses are available via email or phone contact. Synchronize X Plus is a lower-priced version with fewer features. A one-week demo is available.
SetDate is an app from Rob Braun that addresses a “Y2K20” issue with classic Macs:
Allows setting the date/time through 2042. The stock System 7 Date & Time control panel has problems with current dates. This allows manually setting the date & time through 2042 when deeper problems arise. Now with System 6 support!
SetDate is a free download (SetDate-1.1.cpt.hqx) for classic Macs running System 6 or System 7.
MacDrive is software from OWC Digital for using Mac-formatted drives on Windows systems. Features include support for reading and writing unencrypted, non-Fusion HFS+ volumes; formatting, partitioning, and repair; plus support for Target Disk Mode, DVD/CD, flash drives, etc. It also supports Time Machine backup browsing/copying, as well as access from Boot Camp, VMware Fusion and Parallels. A Pro version even supports SoftRAID RAID 0/RAID 1 volumes, mounts Mac sparse disk images, creates Mac ISO files, burns Mac Blu-ray discs and offers automatic file defragmentation
MacDrive 10.5.4 is priced at $49.99 for Windows 7/Server 2012 and later with a free 5-day trial available. MacDrive Pro is priced at $69.99.
MacDrive 10.5 APFS beta offers preliminary support for reading (but not writing) unencrypted APFS volumes, but the company warns about Apple’s APFS performance problems with hard drives:
While APFS does offer many advantages for Mac-formatted SSD drives, its performance on traditional platter hard drives is significantly worse. As a result, if you are going to be moving files back and forth between a Mac and a PC on a non-SSD hard drive, we recommend keeping your drive formatted as HFS+.
Keeping the drive HFS+ gives you the ability to both read and write to the disk on a PC with MacDrive, while retaining the ability for the drive to be mounted on non-High Sierra Macs.
Deep Freeze is system management software from Faronics Corporation that creates snapshots of a Mac system for instant restore and recovery to a known, controlled “frozen” state, while user data can be saved and isolated in a separate “ThawSpace” virtual storage partition. Features include dual-boot support, remote management, Apple update support.
Deep Freeze Mac 6 is priced starting at $69.30 with one-year maintenance for OS X 10.8 through macOS 10.13. Version 5.9 is supported on Mac OS X Server 10.7.5 through 10.11.
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