diglloyd Mac Performance Guide
Speed To Create, Capacity To Dream

Emojis in File Names on macOS

Emojis in macOS file name

Unicode, while essential, never excited me much since I had little use for it in everyday work. But what it does allow is for Emojis to be used in filenames.

Emojis are extremely popular, so I thought this might appeal to some readers. And some of them might be useful as distinct visuals for organizing file.


An interesting idea is how Emojis or something like it could bring a more useful and friendly view to computers. For example, in some cases I’d rather have the Emoji be the entire icon and the file name simultaneously—used sparingly for making visually distinctive items stand out.

The files below are all real file names, with Emojis. Pronouncing them is another matter, and I cannot seem to get rid of the file extensions (even with the Finder preference off).

Emojis in macOS file names
Choosing Emojis


OWC Thunderbolt 2 Dock
Review of Thunderbolt 2 Dock

java.nio.file.Path and java.io.File Forward Slash and Backward Slash in File Names on HFS+ and FAT or ExFat File Systems

OS X uses the HFS+ file system (soon to also use the new APFS). But FAT and ExFAT can also be mounted on the desktop. Maybe NTFS also (though perhaps read only). NFS can be mounted remotely.

In developing IntegrityChecker Java version (icj) I wanted to be fully cross-platform, but I’ve been stymied by a Java API bug: there is no way to designate a file or folder name that contains the path-separator characters / and \ (forward and backward slashes).

Not in the traditional java.io.File, and not in the newer java.nio.Path. The API just does not deal with file names that use path separators. Attempting to create a File or Path with slashes yields a “file not found” error, since the slashes are interpreted as folders separators. Listing files as in File.listFiles() or walking the file tree as in java.nio.file.SimpleFileVisitor deliver files with the colon ':' character substituted for the forward slash '/'. Yikes.

For example the filename “_forward_ 03/05/1998.txt” becomes “_forward_ 03:05:1998.txt”. On OS X at least, using the mangled name actually works—the APIs interpret the color character as a slash. But that’s OS X, and I don’t know what Java does on Windows or Linux or etc.

I’ve tried escaping, as in “//” and “\/” and so on—no luck. I’m stymied.

When a slash is a colon

Apple has its own odd behaviors: some file system API calls substitute the colon ':' character for forward slashes in file names, either on FAT or ExFAT or HFS+. But not all!

So does Java, since it apparently gets the names from Apple APIs that do this substitution.

This is true in the traditional file system APIs (PBGetCatalogInfo) as well as in Terminal:

diglloydMP:yikes! lloyd$ ls -l
total 64
-rwxrwxrwx@ 1 lloyd staff 9 Jul 30 12:09 _back_ 08\17\1998.txt
-rwxrwxrwx@ 1 lloyd staff 9 Jul 30 12:09 _forward_ 03:05:1998.txt <=== / characters become :

diglloydTools IntegrityChecker Java Version: Finds Duplicates, Saved me 100GB!


A cool new feature of diglloydTools IntegrityChecker 'icj' (Java version) is finding duplicate files; it saved me a whopping 100GB! Over the past few years, I had inadvertantly made copies when intending to move files due to a silent Finder bug: if files are marked as locked, the Finder makes copies—yikes!

By using the SHA-1 hashes, exact matches can be found unerringly and all but instantly (once the hashes are done via the 'update' command).

This example is after the 100GB duplications were found and deleted, so there is only 2.4 GiB left of duplicates.

Note: this listing is not displayed fully or properly due to bugs in web browsers.

# find all duplicates on volume Archive
diglloydMP:DIGLLOYD lloyd$ icj dupes Archive  
# icj version 1.0 beta 5 @ 2016-08-13 17:38
# Copyright 2016 DIGLLOYD INC. All Rights Reserved
# Use of this software requires a license. http://macperformanceguide.com/Software-License.html
# Sat Aug 13 20:33:49 PDT 2016
Finding folders...4240.6920.9043.12381.14350.16676.16676 12003 ms to find 16676 folders
Loading hash data concurrently for 16676 folders... for I/O to finish...15652.16676 Loaded hash data for 16676 folders in 23822 ms

995 ms to find duplicates

1 duplicate of "/Volumes/Archive/WebSiteOriginals/Infrared-S3-D70-5D/2006-0829-IR-camera-compare-all-orig/S3/091/DSCF0472.RAF" waste = 24 MiB
1 duplicate of "/Volumes/Archive/ArticlesAndReviews/D2XColor/materials/2005-0423 ManyTests/1/color-balance-correction/LCDPhotos/IMG_0044.JPG" waste = 1644 KiB

... lines omitted for brevity ...

4 duplicates of "/Volumes/Archive/ArticlesAndReviews/D2X-vs-1DsMII/publish/logos/diglloyd36.gif" waste = 2644 bytes
/Volumes/Archive/ArticlesAndReviews/CoastalOptics60f4/CoastalOptics_60f4/publish/logos/diglloyd36.gif 1 duplicate of "/Volumes/Archive/WebSiteOriginals/Infrared-S3-D70-5D/2006-0829-IR-camera-compare/D70/no-filter/_DSC5742.xmp" waste = 4380 bytes

WASTED SPACE from duplicate files: 2388 MiB

diglloydTools IntegrityChecker 'icj' beta 6 now posted


Purchase diglloydTools.

See NEW! Cross Platform Java-Based diglloydTools IntegrityChecker for details.

No changes to native macOS version. Changes to IntegrityChecker java version (icj). See the diglloydTools release notes page and download page.

Java-based IntegrityChecker ('icj') is now beta 5, and it is rocking fast.

Update 14 August: beta 6 is out. See the diglloydTools release notes page and download page.

I’ve never seen anything so fully utilize the system resources: disk I/O up to 128 outstanding buffers, multithreaded up to 64 threads and basically using everything there better than 99.9% of the apps out there. And it’s cross-platform: macOS, Windows, NAS operating environments, Linux, etc.

I had fun coding it, but maybe there are some more tweaks. The trickiest thing is optimizing for 4/6/8/12 cores and different speed drives since the interaction is complex. The program defaults do extremely well on the late 2015 iMac 5K and the late 2013 8-core Mac Pro. The main issue is that I don’t have a fast enough SSD on the 8-core 3.3 GHz Mac Pro to drive the program hard, so I have to test with dual instances on both the internal SSD and a RAID-0 stripe of two OWC Mercury Accelsior PCIe SSDs.

A cool new feature is finding duplicates; it saved me a whopping 100GB! By using the hashes, exact matches can be found unerringly and all but instantly (once the hashes are done via the 'update' command).

diglloydTools IntegrityChecker ('icj' Java version) pushing 3.3 GHz late 2013 Mac Pro to its limits

Off Topic: REVO Guide S Sunglasses

Totally off topic, but it’s summer and sunglasses are interesting to me.

I do a lot of cycling, and the right sunglass is very important for the conditions. Driving and hiking are also considerations.

See my experience report with the Revo Guide S sunglasses at WindInMyFace.com.

Revo Guide S polarized sunglasses, Open Road lens
Which Camera System / Lenses Should I Get?
✓ Get the best system for your needs the first time: diglloyd photographic consulting.

Monitoring Memory Usage

OWC blog has an article on memory usage.

The main thing to watch for with memory is the use of Compressed memory. The use of compressed memory indicates that at some point the system was under memory pressure. If Compressed memory is seen regularly (especially if over a gigabyte), it’s a strong hint to get more memory.

One confusing thing about memory usage is Cached Files as shown below; this is just the amount of memory the OS X file system is using to keep files in memory; it does not compete with application memory usage as it is yielded up for any other use when needed.

Still, it is confusing when looking at what is actually in use to have Cached Files taking up ~21GB as here. There is a simple way to fix this: open up a Terminal window and type “sudo purge”:

diglloydMP:MPG lloyd$ sudo purge

Toggle to see the before and after memory usage below. Note that Memory Used discounts memory used for caching already, but using the purge command is useful for other reasons, like getting consistent results when testing performance.

* man page: The purge command can be used to approximate initial boot conditions with a cold disk buffer cache for performance analysis. It does not affect anonymous memory that has been allocated through malloc, vm_allocate, etc.

Memory usage in activity monitor
USB-C Dock for MacBook

4 USB3 ports, 1 USB-C port, SD card reader, gigabit ethernet, audio ports, HDMK 4K port!

Deals at MacSales — 6 Core Mac Pro and More...

The 2013 Apple Mac Pro 6-core has long been my recommended “sweet spot” Mac. With no new model in sight, the existing model is showing up Apple Refurbished with deep discounts. Lloyd’s main workhorse is still the 2013 Apple Mac Pro (albeit with 8-core 3.3 Ghz CPU upgrade).

MPG recommendation for power users is 64GB memory which is down to only $474 as this was written. Add the OWC Thunderbay 4 for storage, a USB hub for more USB ports and USB camera card reader.

See all used and refurbished Macs at MacSales.com.

Used Mac deals at OWC (some like new will full Apple warranty)

diglloydTools IntegrityChecker 'icj' beta 5 now posted


Purchase diglloydTools.

See NEW! Cross Platform Java-Based diglloydTools IntegrityChecker for details.

See the diglloydTools release notes page and download page.

Update 13 August: beta 5 now posted.


IntegrityChecker Java (icj) beta 2 is now posted (August 10). Performance is greatly improved.

  • Optimized I/O subsystem now in place. Optimizations added for small files, threaded handling of small files, asynchronous concurrent reads of large files.
  • Optimized thread handling for small and large files.
  • Utilizes all CPU cores if the I/O is fast enough.
  • Memory usage substantially reduced.
  • Tested with loads as large as 10 million files.
  • Can now read file modification dates from .ic files.
  • Performance up to 90% of the native MacOS version.
  • Flags and ignores files with problematic chars (colon, forward slash, backslash).
  • Ignored non-normal files (e.g., symlinks).

Brazen Example of Phishing

See the security topics page for more security topics and the previous phishing example purporting to be from UPS.

Below, a dangerous phishing email with all the brazen trimmings, refreshing in a way as a reminder of the early days of the internet.

Does anyone actually fall for these ridiculous brazen emails? Someone must or the crooks would not bother. Maybe teenagers or mentally infirm elders? Or maybe, just bad habits of double clicking things. It’s all about odd—if a million such email are sent, and 1 in 10,000 gets clicked on, it’s a solid business for a crook.

Phishing email offering millions and false reassurances
Which Mac? Storage, Backup, RAID? Color Management?
✓ diglloyd consulting starts you out on solid footing.

NEW! Cross Platform Java-Based diglloydTools IntegrityChecker


Purchase diglloydTools.

Released today, diglloydTools 2.1.14 has very minor changes. See the diglloydTools release notes page and download page.

Update August 9: icj version 1.0 beta 2 is now posted.


Until now, the IntegrityChecker has only been available for macOS. But now a (beta) cross-platform Java-based command line version of IntegrityChecker that can run on macOS, Windows, Linux, etc—anywhere that Java can run. Key goals:

  • Enable cross-platform operation: macOS, Windows, Linux, etc.
  • Enhance long-term viability across OS updates (Apple regularly breaks/deprecates APIs and introduces new file system bugs).
  • Eliminate file system dependencies; enhance viability across widely differing file systems having different metadata support.
  • Maintain outstanding performance: achieves as high 1200 MB/sec on a 4-core iMac 5K with all CPU cores maxed-out.
  • Command line (Terminal) only. GUI support is not planned at this time.

The command line name is 'icj'. In the initial release, icj has been tested only on macOS 10.11.6 using Java SE runtime 1.8. No testing has yet been done on Windows or Linux. However, some care has been taken to avoid common issues:

  • icj makes no assumptions about file system capabilities.
  • icj makes no assumptions about forward/backward slashes in path names.
  • icj makes no assumptions about case sensitivity; file names are used as-is.
  • icj uses GMT-0 in plain text form to store the file modification date.

Existing workflows with the native version of ic are unaffected. Thus icj can be used as an adjunct or a replacement to ic. See Cross-platform Integrity Checker (Java version) — icj and the IntegrityChecker user manual.

diglloydMP:diglloydUtil lloyd$ icj verify /Volumes/Archive/2016-*
# icj version 1.0 beta 2 @ 2016-08-04 17:00
# Copyright 2016 DIGLLOYD INC. All Rights Reserved
# Use of this software requires a license. http://macperformanceguide.com/Software-License.html
# Thu Aug 04 16:26:01 PDT 2016
[14]={/Volumes/Archive/2016-0109-ZeissOtus28f1_4-PescaderoCreek, /Volumes/Archive/2016-0122-ZeissMilvus85f1_4-SonyA7R_II-StanfordNightShots,
/Volumes/Archive/2016-0222-VideosForZeissFocusingArticle, /Volumes/Archive/2016-0304-TripPhotos, /Volumes/Archive/2016-0320-TripPhotos-CarrizoPlain,
/Volumes/Archive/2016-0506-ZeissMilvus35f2-JamesKnight-windowScreen, /Volumes/Archive/2016-0606-TripPhotos,
/Volumes/Archive/2016-0608-Lily-CorteMaderaGraduation, /Volumes/Archive/2016-0626-Markleeville-Yosemite,
/Volumes/Archive/2016-0628-NikonD810-Yosemite, /Volumes/Archive/2016-0628-PanasonicGX8-Yosemite,
/Volumes/Archive/2016-0628-PentaxK1-Yosemite, /Volumes/Archive/2016-0628-iPhonePanos-postProcessed, /Volumes/Archive/2016-0802-SigmaQuattro-backyard}
Scanning folders...
561 ms to scan/read 453 folders
57 ms to count files and sizes
Hashing 7689 files totaling 398 GiB in 453 folders. 
0%: 60 files @ 1193 KiB/sec, 2349 MiB
1%: 167 files @ 1525 KiB/sec, 5992 MiB
2%: 236 files @ 1646 KiB/sec, 9741 MiB
97%: 7644 files @ 704 KiB/sec, 388 GiB
97%: 7654 files @ 703 KiB/sec, 389 GiB
98%: 7664 files @ 703 KiB/sec, 390 GiB
98%: 7670 files @ 703 KiB/sec, 392 GiB
99%: 7675 files @ 704 KiB/sec, 394 GiB
99%: 7681 files @ 704 KiB/sec, 396 GiB
99%: 7686 files @ 704 KiB/sec, 397 GiB
100%: 7687 files @ 704 KiB/sec, 398 GiB
FILE STATUS SUMMARY for 453 folders 2016-08-04 16:35:53
# With hash: 7689
# Without hash: 0
# Missing : 0
# Hashed: 7687
# Changed size: 0
# Changed date: 0
# Changed content + date, size unchanged: 0
# Total changed content: 0
icj done at Thu Aug 04 16:35:53 PDT 2016

A few examples of the capabilities in diglloydTools

Aside from testing hard drive or SSD or RAID performance and reliability with DiskTester, data integrity with IntegrityChecker is a must-have workflow tool for anyone with important data:

David C writes:

A few curiosity questions:

Were you expert in Java before or was this your initiation?

How difficult did you find writing the Java version given your background writing the c++ version? yes, I know this is subjective, but you had to have solved a lot of thorny issues in the original code, hence what I’m really asking is something vague like “how difficult did you find coding in java compared to c++?”.

If you used libraries in the c++ version, e.g. the STL or IPP, did you find it difficult to find/write equivalent java functionality?

Leaving the possible portability advantages aside did you enjoy writing the Java version (i.e. it is not the end result I’m asking about but the process of creating it)?

If you wouldn’t mind divulging it, approximately how many kloc in the icj source (your code, not the java libraries etc etc)? yes I know that kloc is a crude measure, but there certainly is a vast difference between 10kloc and 100kloc when it comes to maintaining it unless one is in the habit of leaving thousands of empty lines strewn about; the size gives me some idea what the difficulty comparison means.

What editor do you use when writing code (idle curiosity)?

DIGLLOYD: I wrote in C++ professionally for many years, then Java multithreaded server code for about 12 years, professionally. I’m a bit rusty with C++ now and STL arrived well into my professional career, but I do use it. I use Text Wrangler for editing my code. Simple and fast.

I vastly prefer working with Java. It’s just a lower hassle and complexity than C++. Also, C++ is a nightmare for portability compared to Java when all the dev environmenbts and libraries and inconsistencies in file systems are dealt with. The same API for all platforms is a huge win for Java.

Java multithreading support and garbage collection makes a lot of stuff easier. With C++, I use a lot of stack-based wrapper classes to guarantee things like deleting points or closing files; once done it’s done but it is extra code and complexity. The Java code still requires some smarts to avoid excessive memory allocation (which causes downstream hits from garbage collection), but C++ IntegrityChecker requires sophisticated memory tracking and buffer management that Java makes a lot easier in some places. The C++ version could probably utilize a 32 core machine with excellent scalability, but I have no such beast to test it on. The Java version is algorithmically mostly the same, but has some room for improvement. But it looks like bottlnecks are there that may be harder to work around (the I/O system in particular).

What I like about Java: rich set of stuff with many flavors of Set, Map, List, arrays, hash tables, etc (and with thread safe variants too). While C++ and STL have many equivalents, Java is less error prone. Also, multithreading ease of use in Java is high. Things like Executor thread pool and a variety of synchronization classes and facilities, plus garbage collection. Garbage collection often simplifies things a great deal, though it’s bad habit to substitute that for intelligent re-use of things like buffers.

The Java version is tiny compared to the C++ version, as can be seen from the binary size. I'm not sure about lines of code, but it is probably 1/8 the lines in Java because I had to build a lot more utility routines in C++ and because threading is more difficult. Also, the C++ version is more sophisticated in its asynchronous and threaded implementation when reading files (uses dedicated open/close thread plus dedicated read thread with dual I/Os in progress at all times).

SSD Upgrade for MacBook Pro Retina

“Not Connected to Internet” after Waking from Sleep in OS X 10.11.6

More Apple Core Rot.

Two weeks ago I wrote that Apple Breaks Thunderbolt Networking in OS X 10.11.6?.

Well, the trolls on the networking team did more than break Thunderbolt networking: it now takes my iMac 5K around 30 seconds to restore networking after coming out of sleep (gigabit ethernet). It’s super annoying.

The MacBook Pro Retina and 2013 Mac Pro wake up normally, so it seems to be an iMac thing.

macOS 10.11.6: not connected to internet for ~30 seconds after waking from sleep
Memory Upgrades
At much lower cost than Apple, with more options!

Reviewed: Samsung 4TB 850 Evo SATA III SSD

MPG reviewed the Samsung 850 EVO 2TB 2.5" SSD in late 2015. In July 2016, Samsung debuted the 850 EVO 4TB. At about $1499.99, it offers a huge amount of fast and silent storage capacity, albeit at a per-terabyte cost premium over lower capacity SSDs (the OWC Mercury Electra MAX 6G 2TB is about $598 as this was written).

  • 4TB Storage Capacity
  • SATA III 6 Gb/s Interface compatible with SATA 3 Gb/s & SATA 1.5 Gb/s interface
  • 2.5" Form Factor
  • Up to 540 MB/s Sequential Read Speed
  • Up to 520 MB/s Sequential Write Speed
  • Samsung MHX Controller
  • 256-Bit AES Encryption

For a SATA SSD, the performance is outstanding.s

Reviewed: Samsung 4TB 850 Evo SATA III SSD

Looking for a Deal on Apple Mac, iPad? Plus $550 Off 2015 MacBook

Bookmark my Apple deals page. It’s updated every hour*.

Lloyd gets credits from B&H photo when you buy through these links (including anything else bought after clicking through), so thank you.

* B&H typically changes priceing only once a day. One-day specials not always present.

See my review of both the 2015 and 2016 Apple MacBook.

This MacBook is something I could hike with; it fits beautifully into the interior padded slot of my North Face Recon daypack, so it would work great for day hikes or overnighters in the mountains. It weights 2.03 pounds (plus the weight of the USB-C adapter and a camera card reader).

It is not the 2016 model. but at $999 it is tempting.


Which Mac? Storage, Backup, RAID? Color Management?
✓ diglloyd consulting starts you out on solid footing.

Don’t Get Scammed / Phished by Look-Alike Emails (UPS Example)

See Apple Mail Security: Viewing Mail Headers for how to configure Apple Mail to make most phishing emails obvious. See also the Amazon phishing example and the security topics page.

Back in June MPG showed an example of a PayPal phishing email. This one shows one for UPS.com.


Phishing is the attempt to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details (and sometimes, indirectly, money), often for malicious reasons, by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.

Clicking on email links or attached files is risky: merely clicking on a link to go to the claimed site can result in compromising the computer for some users. While Mac users are generally better off, a Mac is no guarantee of safety, and all sorts of nasty tricks can be played on the desgination sites.

Phishing relies on “social engineering”, particularly an emotional reasponse (greed, fear, loyalty, irritation, friendship, authority, desire for help, etc). Often the phishing emails are difficult to distinguish from a legitmate email from the company being imitated and frequently even use the company’s own images from a legitimate server. If a link is clicked on, the destination web site may be a clone of the real one, which makes it even more “real” for the victim.

What you may lose: username and password, security codes, credit card numbers—anything you can be tricked into entering on a phishing site. Or you may have your computer encrypted and subjected to ransom-ware. No fun at all.

  • NEVER click on links in emails that you are not 100% certain of from a trusted party beforehand. Particularly on a Windows PC, though Mac users are at risk too.
  • Did I mention NEVER CLICK ON LINKS in EMAILS, NO MATTER WHAT? It’s just not worth it.
  • Configure your email program so that images do not automatically load in your mail program. If Mail loads images automatically, you’re essentially telling the sender (the criminal sending the email) that s/he’s got a “live one”: you. Ditto for mail on the iPhone or iPad.
  • Pay attention to spelling and grammar errors. This example below is unusually good; it has only two obvioius errors in grammar/spelling (but “Valnecia” is another).
  • Configure the mail program to show Return-Path and X-Mailer message headers; these sometimes show obvious scammer information.
  • Check the "To" address. In this case, the "To" is not an email I use for PayPal—a very common red flag.

Example — phishing email pretending to be UPS

Below, a dangerous phishing email with all the headers showing. In this case, it should be obvious that UPS.com would not be sending email from beyondthebedd.com. Note also the capitalization errors and non-professional terminology in the footer.

Boot and Master volumes
Apple Mail: customizing which items are in the mail window toolbar

Reader Question: Carbon Copy Cloner and File Integrity

IntegrityChecker (simple GUI plus command line tool) is a must-have utility for data integrity that is part of diglloydTools.

Andrew Bwrites:

Out of curiosity, do have you ever run into IntegrityChecker discrepancies when using Carbon Copy Cloner to create backups?

MPG: No issues with Carbon Copy Cloner, as seen below in verifying 5.2TB of data just today.

diglloydMP:MPG lloyd$ ic verify Archive
IntegrityChecker(tm) v1.2.3 64-bit, diglloydTools 2.2.14, 2016-03-28 13:13
Copyright 2006-2016 DIGLLOYD INC. All Rights Reserved
Use of this software requires a license. See http://macperformanceguide.com/Software-License.html
OS X 10.11.6, 16 CPU cores, 65536MiB memory
2016-07-19 at 15:38:59072
Using threads = 6, read buffer size = 4096K, num buffers = 36
Looking for files in "/Volumes/Archive"...
1000...2000...  ... 229000...230000...231000...232000...Seconds to scan files: 4.54
232953 files found in 4.54 seconds.
Scanning 14521 folders for .ic files...100...200... ... 14400...14500...14521 hash-data files read in 97.67 seconds.
Selecting files for hashing...
Preparing to hash 218277 files...
Files prepared, hashing 218277 files...
0%:     19 files @ 722.0MiB/sec, processed 761.7 MiB
0%:     39 files @ 750.6MiB/sec, processed 1.52 GiB
0%:     57 files @ 755.3MiB/sec, processed 2.28 GiB
0%:     76 files @ 761.7MiB/sec, processed 3.05 GiB
0%:     97 files @ 754.3MiB/sec, processed 3.79 GiB
100%: 218233 files @ 697.9MiB/sec, processed 5.03 TiB
100%: 218258 files @ 697.9MiB/sec, processed 5.03 TiB
100%: 218267 files @ 697.9MiB/sec, processed 5.03 TiB
Finished reading 218277 files of 218277
100%: 218277 files @ 697.9MiB/sec, processed 5.04 TiB
100%: 218277 files @ 697.8MiB/sec, processed 5.04 TiB
Processed 5.04 TiB in 7567.1 seconds @ 697.8MB/sec
ic verify Archive
2016-07-19 at 17:46:51947
# Files with stored hash: 218277
# Files missing: 0
# Files hashed: 218275
# Files without hashes: 0
# Files whose size has changed: 0
# Files whose date changed: 0
# Empty files: 2
# Files whose content changed (same size): 0
# Suspicious files: 0

macOS 10.11.6 Issue with Pegasus?

William R writes:

Followed this site for years. Thought you might warn others using Promise RAID drives.

Recently updated perfectly running MacBook Pro to Yosemite because it is required to run Capture One 9. Attached Promise Pegasus 6 indicated firmware upgrade recommended after Yosemite upgrade. Did so and drive malfunctioned. Note a “voltage #3” parameter went critical immediately after the firmware upgrade. I was told incremental upgrades of firmware were necessary. I pointed out that it did not say that in release instructions. Also learned Promise has no repair facility and quite honestly they don’t care that their upgrade caused the problem. “So sad, too bad”.

Luckily when the drives were placed in another unit all the data is safe and uncorrupted. I have attached a copy of the interface with tech “UNsupport” so you can judge for yourself. I am sure there are better RAID companies out there and this chaos caused by the Apple OS X “upgrades” must stop!! Please warn others.

MPG: I foreswore Promise Technology after the sh*ttiest tech support experience ever. If free, I would not use their products. But of course Apple Core Rot is of concern, constantly breaking things, so Apple bears part of the blame for this type of thing.

My advice to William R is to remove the drives, buy an OWC Thunderbay 4, and then enjoy the combination of a sledgehammer and the Promise Pegasus 6 case near a dumpster. MPG has NEVER had to update firmware with the OWC Thunderbay 4. Five of them run without a hitch, for nearly two years now.

A short snippet from Promise Technology “support”, from William R’s attachment:

As we discussed on call a week ago, before update the firmware you should confirm the current firmware version and same would have been checked with Promise Technical Support to proceed further. As we discussed earlier the product is out of warranty and doesn't have any repair center available.


We have checked the the mac system profiler.The Pegasus is connected to the mac machine. Please generate the subsystem report of the unit and attach it.You need to execute all the commands one by one and attach it here.

Please note that unit is not under warranty,you will be charged for the support if you need any further assistance.

WTF? And Apple still sells this wonderful experience to this very day? (just checked the Apple Store).

David K writes:

I must say in my situation (Pegasus2 6, updating OSX from 10.11.5 to 10.11.6, updating firmware after someting like 2 years), everything went fine. The Pegasus utility first updated itself, than the firmware. Allthough I was unusually carefull updating after reading Your post. I have my unit for something like 2 years and until now it runs perfect.

MPG: the nature of some bugs is that they sometimes happen, and sometimes do not.

Tim Standing of SoftRAID writes:

You might also want to let your users know that they can reconfigure their Pegasus RAID systems to JBOD and then create a SoftRAID volume using the disks in the Pegasus. We have many customers who have done this and all our happy they did. They gain all the reliability of SoftRAID, our advanced disk monitoring and our excellent tech support all without having to buy new hardware. Our rebuilds are also much faster than those of a Pegasus. Rebuilding a Pegasus after replacing a 6 TB disk takes almost 2 days, with SoftRAID, it is less than 12 hours. Users do however have to copy the data off the Pegasus before turning it into a JBOD, but that's a one time job.

MPG: Sounds like a good idea. MPG uses SoftRAID, see more on SoftRAID.

Envoy Pro mini - In Motion There Exists Great Potential

8K Video Card Support Now Available, though NOT for Apple

Another casualty of the decision to eliminate PCI slots from the Mac Pro in favor of beauty* over brawn: the latest and best video cards cannot be used in a Mac, at least not without special external hardware, and even then Thunderbolt 3 speed is only a fraction of what a PCIe 3.0 16X slot offers.

The MSI GeForce GTX 1060 ARMOR 6G OC Graphics Card and MSI GeForce GTX 1060 GAMING X 6G Graphics Card support 8K video at 7680 x 4320 @ 60 Hz. And the price is very modest also.

  • PCI Express 3.0 x16
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060: CUDA Cores: 1280, Base Clock: 1544 MHz, Boost Clock: 1759 MHz
  • Speed: 8 Gbps, Configuration: 8 GB, Interface: GDDR5, Interface Width: 192-bit, Bandwidth: 192 GB/s
  • DisplayPort 1.4 + HDMI 2.0b + DVI-D DL
  • Display Support Display Connectors: 1 x DVI-D DL, 3 x DisplayPort 1.4, 1 x HDMI 2.0b. Maximum Digital Resolution: 7680 x 4320 @ 60 Hz, Multi Monitor Support

Apple is way behind the curve: no Thunderbolt 3, no machines with DisplayPort 1.4, no support for external resolution beyond 4K.

* In the eyes of the beholder: a glitzy black trash can vs the elegant robust aluminum of the 2009 / 2010 Mac Pro.

Problem connecting to server: bang head against wall until unconscious
Which Mac? Storage, Backup, RAID? Color Management?
✓ diglloyd consulting starts you out on solid footing.

Apple Breaks Thunderbolt Networking in OS X 10.11.6?

We can always count on new bugs with Apple these days. Every software update is a risk, like opening a can of badly dented food.... will it have botulism or not?

Working for many months now, Thunderbolt networking between the MPG Macs is now inoperable in macOS 10.11.6. No number of reboots or restarting file sharing fixes it.

Such a 'helpful' message! I am the system administrator and it all worked fine before OS X 10.11.6.

Problem connecting to server: bang head against wall until unconscious
All network connections fail across Thundebolt networking

MacSales Deal on iMac 5K

See all OWC Weekender deals.

MacSales.com has this deal on the iMac 5K 3.5GHz / 8GB / 1TB Fusion with full factory warranty. Additional rebates apply for more memory, etc.

High Performance 480GB Thumb Drive only $265
USB3 high performance rugged thumb drive.

OWC 'Upgrade Your Summer' Photo Contest

Post a summer fun/activity photo and win.

Simply post a summer fun/activity photo with the hashtag #UpgradeSummer to your Twitter and Instagram account or post the photo and hashtag on our Facebook page for a chance to win a MacBook Air, OWC Dock or Envoy Pro mini from OWC. Not on social media? You’ll also be able to enter with your photo and hashtag via this page or enter below! For more information, visit our terms and conditions page.

Which Mac? Storage, Backup, RAID? Color Management?
✓ diglloyd consulting starts you out on solid footing.

Amazon Prime Day

It’s Amazon Prime day on the 12th, maybe longer.

MPG gets credit if you buy from Amazon through this link — any day or any item.

Deals Updated Daily at B&H Photo

Deals of the Week at B&H Photo, Selected

View all B&H Photo deals of the week.

A few things that caught my eye.

Must-have expansion: OWC Thunderbolt 2 Dock

Thunderbolt 2, USB 3, Gigabit Ethernet, 4K Support, Firewire 800, Sound Ports

Finder Setting for Generic Icons or Custom Icons Based on Content 

In the macOS Finder, a tiny little checkbox hidden away in View => Show View Options controls a seriously useful feature, the Show Icon Preview checkbox.

Particularly on a high-res display like the iMac 5K, Finder icon previews can be quite detailed, at least if the icon size is made larger.


Toggle to compare the custom icon view to the generic icon view.

Generic icons or custom icons in macOS Finder

Apple Knows Better: Your Needs as a Traditional Mac User do not Matter  — Has Apple Abandoned the Creative Community?

I completely agree with this excellent podcast with Larry O'Conner, the President of OWC.

MPG’s view, which has appeared here on this site in many forms over the past several years:

Apple is now (only) a consumer company that builds consumer devices (primarily iPhone), along with increasingly toylike computers, giving the bird to traditional users and anyone who depends on a Mac for getting real work done (in all ways: software and hardware and support).

It would not be accurate to call this arrogance or stupidity or accident by Apple since Apple is running a business and the goal is to make money. On that basis, the company cannot be faulted in any way, being the most successful company that has ever existed (in financial terms). But is there a real mission there anymore? In spite of the slick Apple public relations masking a iron-fist approach in sales and marketing and legal, MPG perceives no soul and no vision whatsoever left at Apple. What remained of those qualities died with Steve Jobs and even he was losing sight of the big picture beyond pretty and sleek. Apple Core Rot is manifest not just in the massive decline in software quality and hardware dumbing-down, but in meaning.

John S writes:

Whilst I don’ t have an issue with anything generally in your article above I think it’s drawing too long a bow in some respects and also lacks some much needed perspective and balance.
I understand your frustration and share it to some degree however just ‘hating’ on Apple isn’t likely to be constructive.

Here’s a few comments from my perspective (and I believe many others would agree):

1. I am a “traditional” user and I certainly don’ t feel as though Apple is giving me the ‘bird’.
2. Would I like a better, faster, internally expandable Mac Pro sure… I had the Trash Can Mac Pro but have now replaced it with the latest iMac (late 2015)
Would I buy such a new Mac Pro - probably but it would have to be really really good and software would have to take advantage of it’s capabilities. Reality is that not much software could take advantage of all the cores in my ‘trash can’ Mac Pro.
In the meantime the latest iMac is, IMHO, still the best computer for doing what I do PERIOD. Windows 10 - no way on earth!
3. Core rot! Yes there are bugs and quite a few have bitten me.. however ALL operating systems, unfortunately, have bugs. As software gets more and more complex and, lets face it, does more and more it’s likely we will see more bugs. There may very well be many more ‘bugs’ now than in Mac OS 7 or 8 or 9 or 10.5 or 10.8 or whatever but the software does so so so much more now than it used to. Would I go back to s a system from 5 years ago even if it was free of bugs? No Way! I should note that El Capitan now seems pretty rock solid to me and most of the recent updates seem to be doing nothing more than consolidating that - that’s good. ( Oh I really hate the new disk utility.. but SoftRAID to the rescue.. but Apple really needs to fix the currently crippled disk utility.
4. To be clear I also use windows almost every day as there are some programs for which there is no comparable Mac equivalent. I use Windows 7 in a Parallels VM mostly.
Does windows 7 have bugs - you bet it does! But a lot less than windows 10 IMO. I do have a Windows 10 VM but it is not yet seeing any serious use from me as it has enough ‘issues’ to stop me from preferring it to windows 7. Bluebeam Revu is an app I use in windows and it really is the best in it’s class. There is a Mac version but it is a long way from having feature parity so Windows it is.

In summary, Apple does have it’s issues. Maybe I even ‘hate’ some of the things they have done (stupid disk utility). I wish it had less bugs, I wish there was a Mac Pro that was internally expandable and I could just slide in SSDs and maybe a few ‘spinners’ of the huge type… etc etc… however despite all these shortcomings the Mac remains the best PC there is when viewed in the totality of hardware / software / usability etc and I wouldn’t change to windows if I had any choice in the matter. Luckily I do. In fact I use both Mac and Windows … all on my iMac - another thing Windows PCs can’t do.

You are correct, Apple is the most successful company that has ever existed and despite numerous things that could be better, and by all means let’s keep pushing them, lets not lose perspective or sight of the fact that they do also still make (IMHO of course) the very best computers in the world even after taking the flaws into account. If i didn’t think so I would swap to windows full time without hesitation. (Windows 7 mind you… V10 remains unacceptable ATM).

Guess I’m a glass half full type of guy!

MPG: no argument, but way off base as far my meaning: (a) I in no way 'hate' Apple; the frustration stems from the trend and Apple does indeed still make the best computers, albeit crippled in many ways, (b) the arguments here are concretized and rationalized and do not address the trendline (c) I am speaking to patterns of worsening issues; products should get better and yet the reverse is in play, d) No way would I switch to Windows, (3) Apple has cost me great time and aggravation, cost me tens of thousands of dollars (for reasons I won't go into here), and my workflow is degraded just a little every day. For starters.

When the glass was 3/4 full and filling, that was exciting. A glass half full and draining has no excitement. The Apple 'train' will lumber on for many years, just like Microsoft, with bags of cash its payload, but in my view Apple has lost thought leadership, which it did several years ago when the iPhone began to become harder to use, not easier.


Apple Still Cannot Tell Time

Back in November 2015, I wrote that Apple OS X El Capitan Cannot Tell Time.

I was working late last night and noticed this time problem (which I had notice many times before). I’d sure like 25 hours in a day so I would not have to work so late!

Such a small bug (system wide)... that never gets fixed. It is one of dozens dying canaries.

Time of day: 24:40:36
Which Camera System / Lenses Should I Get?
✓ Get the best system for your needs the first time: diglloyd photographic consulting.

iPhone Panoramas In Depth: Shooting & Post Processing Tips, Numerous Examples up to 11K Resolution

A look at various iPhone panoramas here.

See my in-depth review and how-to on shooting very high quality iPhone panoramas [full access requires subscription to Guide to Mirrorless].

Fresh Snow on Sunny Morning, Lundy Canyon
Mt Conness Watershed with view to Saddlebag Lake
Which Camera System / Lenses Should I Get?
✓ Get the best system for your needs the first time: diglloyd photographic consulting.

My iPhone 6s Plus Saved From Cracking Again by NewerTech NuGuard KX Case

NewerTech NuGuard KX Case for Apple iPhone6s and 6s Plus (and older models)

Get NewerTech NuGuard KX Case for iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus at OWC.

I dropped my iPhone 6s Plus about 4 feet onto concrete. My teenage daughter gasped and asked if it was cracked.

I laughed without worry and picked it up—no harm done. The NewerTech NuGuard KX Case for iPhone 6s or 6s Plus had saved it again, for the 5th time or so.

I wrote the following last year when getting the case for my iPhone 6s Plus.


I’ve been using the NewerTech NuGuard KX for iPhone 5s on my iPhone 5s for over two years. It uses a “Orbing gel technology to absorb and evenly distribute kinetic energy drop test certified to STD-810G U.S. Military Standard”. See my review of the NewerTech NuGuard KX Case for iPhone.

After over two years of use, my iPhone 5s is still humming along, yet I’ve dropped it many a time on hard surfaces. The case has done its job well, and it has (even better) kept me from dropping the phone in the first place, by dint of a better grip surface for my largish hands. This is a particular concern for me when cycling at 20 mph or so, and pulling the phone out of my jersey pocket to check an incoming call.

With a larger form factor of the 6s Plus*, I suspect that drop protection will be even more important, so for my new iPhone 6s Plus, so I ordered the NewerTech NuGuard KX Case for iPhone 6s or 6s Plus to go with it.

* See also iPhone Viewing Tips for Presbyopia and Vision Issues.

Panoramas with moving subject

One thing that impresses me with the iPhone 6s Plus is its ability to take panoramas with minimal motion defects, event handheld in a moving boat!

See More Panoramas with the iPhone and Panoramas with the iPhone.

iPhone 6s Plus panorama, Saddlebag Lake

MacSales Sizzling Firecracker Savings

MacSales has sizzling July 4th savings (through July 5th).

Many items are on sale, but check out that discounted iMac 5K or the OWC 480GB Neptune SSD for only $117.76.


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