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macOS System Sleep Issues: Apple Mail a Possible Factor?

Note: due to travel and limited bandwidth, I have not installed macOS Mojave updates lately, and my 2019 Mac Pro with macOS Catalina is at home, so I have not been running Catalina for weeks.

See also system sleep.

Don H writes:

With an absolutely clean install of Mojave and painstaking migration of all my files and preferences by hand (not using Migration Assistant) I’m now having a problem with the 2013 Mac Pro waking, where the screen will come up all wonky at times, the Dock won’t appear for 30 seconds, and the seconds on the menu bar clock stall for over a minute. The rest of the UI will be frozen during all this, making the machine unusable. The first few days after the Mojave upgrade/install everything seemed fine, but recently it has developed the problem as described.

What seems to make a difference is whether I have Mail running or not when waking from sleep. It looks like that might be a connection, but the problem is intermittent so I’m still gathering troubleshooting data.

My mail configuration includes a lot of sorting rules and archive mailboxes (I have retained every message I’ve ever sent or received since the early 90s when POP first became usable) so it’s not a trivial number of messages or mailboxes. But all of this worked fine in Mavericks (and Snow Leopard, and all previous OS versions I’ve used), so I know it’s actually possible to maintain this large of a message count.

Anyway, I just thought I’d relay my experience with this problem. I have no idea if it’s at all related to what you’re seeing with Catalina but it might be worth isolating Mail if you haven’t already done so.

... PowerNap one of the first things I turned off. It turns out this machine doesn’t support it anyway.

I’m also a little dismayed that the Energy Saver control panel has dumbed things down even more than before, with no separate setting for computer sleep (independent of the display sleep setting).

... I performed the initial Mojave installation last Thursday with a stand-alone installer that I downloaded direct from Apple, and then after setting up an admin account performed the trick you wrote about to disable Catalina upgrade nags. (It turns out if you do that *after* installing any other updates the nagging will turn off but you’ll still be left with a permanent ‘1’ badge on the Preferences app icon.) Then I installed all the latest Safari and security updates before doing anything else. So this installation is *clean*.

MPG: I suppose it would take only one bug in one program to schedule some kind of system wakeup? I turn off all features that might cause the system to wake up, and it still won’t sleep on Catalina (but Don H’s issue in on Mojave).

In my case it’s not that the computer is waking up on its own or won’t sleep, but instead when I intentionally wake it myself to use it the screen takes a long time to illuminate and the system freezes up for a minute or more.

Also, for what it’s worth, I do have a user-specified wake-up routine, namely Carbon Copy Cloner wakes the machine at 4:30am on Sunday morning and performs a weekly boot disk clone including checks for bad files (which takes an hour to run). But otherwise the machine isn’t sporadically waking on its own.

And, by the way, there are two key combos you might want to use at times:
Control-Shift-Eject (all on the right edge of a standard keyboard) will sleep the display on demand (no need for hot corners with the mouse)
Command-Option-Eject will sleep the computer on demand (which includes the display). I use those all the time, and as an old habit I hit the Shift key to wake a computer, which ensures that no unintentional keyboard input gets applied to whatever window has the top focus.

As to no separate preference for computer sleep vs display sleep, the engineer who thought that one up should be summarily fired for wasting megawatts of power; I am forced to click the Prevent computer frin sleeping automatically... option, thus wasting considerable power year in and year out. What I need is a separate sleep setting or the computer, which might be one or two hours, and one for the display e.g., 5 minutes.

System Preferences => Energy Saver

Michael G writes:

I have no clue about how to fix MacOS bugs, but have you considered using the pmset terminal command for adjusting the sleep time? You know - the sliders that Apple took away.

ere’s a convenient listing of pmset commands. Dunno if these will help you or not. https://eclecticlight.co/2017/01/20/power-management-in-detail-using-pmset/

DIGLLOYD: good idea! Though I don’t know if all settings work here in 2020.

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macOS Catalina is a Disruptive POS — No System Sleep, Displays Won’t Sync

My Mac Pro will NOT sleep under any conditions. Not logged in, not logged out, not with Energy Saver set to allow computer to sleep. This started, it seems, with macOS 10.15.3; at least before it would usually sleep.

Because it won’t sleep, I’ve been having to shut down the Mac Pro every night, then waste my time fixing the other problems that arise from rebooting: rejigger my screens, enter passwords for four encrypted backup drives, relaunch apps, etc.

Apple marketing likes to extol their environmental sainthood, but a machine that won’t sleep and burns electricity all night long is about as bad as it gets for environmental friendliness, and it jacks up my $0.26/KWh electricity bill.

Adding insult to injury, I suffer daily from displays that won’t sync up. I have an entire voodoo routine to get both screens working—more energy drain and screen burn-in because I dare not let the system sleep or I might have to spend 5 minutes getting my displays working again.

I don’t blame the engineers; it’s the jackasses in Apple management getting paid the big bucks who decide to screw over their users, whether it is macOS or iOS. Six years to get the ship on course. Scheduling yearly releases that take 6 months to test and fix after being shipped is outrageous. I would call it incompetent except that I think it is all planned, understood, and accepted as the way Apple operates. Which is contemptible.

This go-round with macOS Crapalina, I don’t think the large numbers of problems will ever be fixed—we’re six months in, and it’s time to start a new garbage dump for fall release... macOS Tenderloin? macOS might now be in a permanent state of making users wade barefoot through shit. It’s about time all this useless upgrade masturbation stops and Apple makes things work right.

The buck stops at the top, and only the board of directors can fire the leadership, but who can argue with billions in profit? I don’t see things changing until it becomes a profits issue.

Martin D writes:

I’m having maybe similar problems with my iMac. The Energy Saver settings don’t seem to do anything. The display won’t turn off. If I sleep the computer, it wakes up in the middle of night “on its own”.

All very strange and frustrating. For whatever reason, I’m not having these problems on my 16” MBP, running the same version of Crapalina. These problems seem to be at least somewhat hardware-specific.

MPG: the 16" MBP is affected for some users. Maybe there is a factor involved that is not hardware but software—that’s my guess. I’m running macOS Mojave on my 2019 iMac 5K and it’s sleeping fine, every time.

Sydney L writes:

I had similar problems with a 15” MacBook Pro a few OSes ago. Apple Geniuses were no help. I diagnosed it by starting from a fresh install (which allowed sleep no problem), then installed my key apps one by one until I found the culprit.

Looking at all the diagnostic logs was no help.

Turned out it was a USB bus issue with one particular external disk that wouldn’t allow the MBP to sleep. Never found out why that specific disk had the issue with that build of MacOS - I just stopped using it. Your issue is almost something else, but I’m wondering if a fresh OS install allows your Pro to sleep, then it’ll be either a piece of hardware or app that’ll be not playing ball.

MPG: it’s such a painful waste of time to resinstall macOS these days... only as a last last last resort and what was the macOS 10.15.3 if not a bloated install, not much different from a reinstall? The USB device idea is a good one.

Richard M writes:

Been following all the woes around Catalina and other Mac issues. My problem is relatively minor, but it speaks to the complete indifference within Apple toward the needs of its customers. And of its lack of attention to any detail.

I have a perfectly fine 22" monitor. However, it's a little old and the only output is DVI. When I bought my 2018 Mac mini (which has been great!), I also purchased a DVI -> HDMI dongle. It wasn't cheap. It basically works fine, when it's working, but I dare not restart my machine. If I do -- and with some security updates there's no option -- the Mac is unable to reacquire a connection to the monitor, leaving me blind. I have no idea what the status of the update is, whether it's finished, nothing. The screen is blank. I have to periodically unplug and replug the dongle to wake up that part of macOS which recognizes the monitor. Same if I have turned off the machine overnight and boot up. Don't know if this is an OS problem or if it's down to a poorly designed dongle, but this is the kind of thing that should NEVER happen, it's just so basic. I suppose I could go out and get a new HDMI monitor (assuming that would solve my problem, yet who knows?), but why should I spend a few hundred dollars to solve a problem Apple created?! In the meantime, I leave the mini running 24/7, which, while the mini just sips energy when it's sleeping, is still not ideal.

Word on the street is that no one with any real talent wants to work for Apple any more. Not in any department (remember JJ Abrams turning down their half-million?). So while one can wait in hope that Apple might regain some of its former engineering mojo, you will wait in vain under Cook, and the idiot and dishonest senior management staff he's used as insulation

Thanks for all your dedicated work for us Mac fans. Not sure how many more years I will put up with this lack of professionalism, though. Apple has long since stopped being a tech company.

MPG: my 2018 Mac mini is unusable since most of the time it won't sync with the display. Sure, I can play with it for 10 minutes, hard-reboot it, etc, and after a long while I might be able to make it work... but that's not viable. Worse, it won't sync with the HDMI headless dongle, so it's also useless as a server. So... I don't think it's the adapter or display—it's just Apple sloppy incompetent work.

Clark G writes:

From my ignorant perspective, it seems that the decline of MacOS really accelerated once Apple started using the T2 security chip. That’s based entirely on the time line. Coincidence? If not, what’s that really mean?

Personally, I took your advice and stopped upgrading operating systems with the last version of Sierra. APFS did and still bothers me. Has it ever really been fixed?

It sucks that you can’t get faster hardware without the new operating system versions. But, aside from those zillions of available cores that some software can take advantage of, processor speed hasn’t really made huge strides in the last few years. So, we plebes haven’t been hurt as much as pros like you have been.

But, if the system isn’t reliable, how does faster hardware help pros? The big question to me is - did all these engineers just forget how to do their jobs? As The Joker said, “Did your balls fall off?” Or, have all these engineers left the company? Clearly, at one time Apple knew what it was doing.

MPG: the T2 chip is a solid feature that no one cares about except Apple, which explains a lot: Apple does stuff no one wants.

I am using APFS now and it has some useful features and on the whole I’ll rate it a win, but it has downsides too. I’ll blog on that in more detail at some point.

Cores do get used by many programs more and more, but macOS still has I/O stack starvation problems under heavy I/O load, so it can be hard to make full use of them.

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How to Enable the Mac Startup Chime on Recent Macs

Credit for this tip goes to TheEclecticLightCompany.

Enable the startup chime

In Terminal:

sudo nvram StartupMute=%00

Silencing the startup chime

In Terminal:

sudo nvram StartupMute=%01

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macOS Catalina: Loads of Crapware Chewing up Memory and Sometimes CPU Cycles, Adobe Does it Too

Of course this issue started long before macOS Crapalina, but it just keeps getting worse.

No wonder that 16GB is the minimum reasonable memory configuration these days.

Apple has added so much crapware* to macOS that hundreds of processes are running all the time, many of them taking up real memory that could be used for other things, spewing useless garbage into system logs, and wasting CPU cycles. It is also true that more complexity breeds more security issues and more bugs and in a non-linear fashion (e.g., twice as much cruft might mean 4X as many bugs).

For example, I never use Airplay or Airport wireless on my Mac Pro (Airplay is OFF on Display Preferences), never have and likely never will. So why can’t I disable all this crapware? Below we see 70MB of real memory being used by stuff I never use. For users with only 8GB of memory, this is offensively stupid.

* I am using the term crapware loosely here as anything I do not want to use but is foisted on me with no control over it. It include applications like Apple Garbage Band.

Crapware: unwanted memory-wasting processes serving no function for me

Adobe is even worse

Adobe piles on to this mess with background crapware that runs even when no Adobe software is running and even when all syncing and similar features are explicitly disabled.

Shown below, I was not running any Adobe applications, I have all syncing and update features disabled, and yet Adobe sees fit to chew up half a gigabyte of real memory with its background crapware. On a machine with 8GB or 16GB, this can be a serious hit.

Unwanted memory-wasting Adobe processes while not running Adobe software

macOS Catalina: System Sleep Frequently Fails

A knowledgeable acquantaince of mine complained recently that his brand-new Apple 2019 MacBook Pro 16-inch frequently won’t sleep and sometimes this ends up draining the battery.

My own 2019 Mac Pro often won’t sleep even if I logout and login again, or logout and hit the sleep button without logging in again. This is/was true both in mac OS Catalina 10.15.2 and 10.15.3 and has been true of two different Mac Pros.

How “green” is that, you public relations dilettantes over there at Apple?!!! All that feel-good PR BS to make Apple look good, and then Macs sit there and burn fossil fuel all night long.

I’ve been forced to shutdown my Mac Pro many nights, otherwise it sits there and chews up power all night.

Something really is broken with sleep support in macOS Crapalina.

Can’t Apple even get the basics right any more?! Well of course not, and Crapalina is the worst macOS release ever.

Anon writes:

My personal 16” 2019 MacBook Pro is a buggy POS. It’s fine alone, but with stuff connected all sorts of various crap. Two PD enabled displays and sometimes it will stop accepting power and drain to zero battery. Better than the initial overheating - sometimes have to unplug and replug TB3 display after sleep.

MPG: very recently, I recommended the 2019 MacBook Pro to a client of mine—fully loaded maxed-out $6099 mode. His MPB had problems of loud fan noise even when not under significant load. He ended up returning it, totally dissatyisfied and disgruntled. I now have to hesitate in recommending the latest Apple laptops; while the 2019 MacBook Pro I tested was awesome, it seems clear that problems abound.

Jame G writes:

My 2019 MacBook Pro 16 inch has similar but different sleep issues. I am in the habit of just closing the cover when I’m done. The laptop is supposed to go to sleep and wake up when I open the cover again. With my previous laptop, a late 2011 MB Pro 17 inch running Sierra and earlier OS’s I could do this almost indefinitely and would have to do a shutdown or restart very rarely - usually for a Safari freeze or a choke up on some dodgy webpage. Sometimes I could go weeks or months without having to do a restart.

With my new MBP 16 inch and Crapalina 10.15.1, 2, and 3 I get shutdowns or refusals to wake from sleep almost every day.

Scenario one is I left my laptop open and went downstairs to get something and come back 5-10 minutes later and the screen is black and frozen with no keyboard backlight. Pushing the fingerprint reader/start button does nothing. If I push it a million times or some combination of that plus holding it down while thinking about my fingers around some software engineer’s neck the black screen will suddenly display the Apple logo and a thin white progress bar and go through its complete reboot process. It will then at some point display an error message that the machine restarted because of a problem, which I then dutifully send to Apple, being unable myself to understand any of the contents of the report. After this, the OS, in a well-intentioned attempt to restore my desktop, opens all my apps that may have been opened since the previous crash even if I had previously closed them and they were no longer open at the time of the crash.

Scenario two is I close the cover when I’m done for the day, expecting this to put the machine to sleep and to awaken when I open the cover again the next day. But noooo..... About a third of the time I open the cover to find that the machine crashed while sleeping and the screen is totally black and unresponsive just like in scenario one above. Recovery is the same time consuming process.

I can understand this maybe once every few weeks what with with dodgy web pages or the usual hastily released poorly written software that passes for golden master these days, but EVERY DAY!?!?!? I swear either Apple engineers think this is normal or maybe they just use Windows machines at work and don’t experience this stuff. The Windows machine I am forced to use at work doesn’t crash like this even though the hardware sucks and the PC OS has always been some version of Dante’s third ring of Hell. I never thought the day would come when I would make this comparison between the Apple and Windows sandboxes.

The MBP16 is otherwise a fabulous machine and the speed is amazing. It just needs some decent software to really shine. Come on Apple. Please remove your thumb from where you’ve firmly put it and do the work I know you were once capable of doing. You would make Steve proud.

MPG: all Macs with Crapalina are flaky, from what I can tell from my own experiene and what I am hearing. macOS Crapalina is the biggest steaming pile of dog poop I have ever stepped into, but I can’t take my shoes off, so to speak.

Jeffery J writes:

Same issue here on my 16” MBPro.  I’ll close the lid and put it in my computer bag.  If I’m lucky I’ll check when I get home and the computer will be very warm.  Sometimes overnight or after the weekend when I go to use it is totally dead.  Has to be charged before it will even start.  Many of those times the clock will be reset to 1969.  I agree completely - crapware from Apple.

DIGLLOYD: I noted a few years ago that the idiotic new design would wake the computer just by driving on a bumpy road... the 'genius' designers have no clue how their product might be used and so they take out sensible things like real on/off switches and startup sounds and substitute something inferior. I don’t know if the issue Jeffery J describes is this case, but it might be.


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Apple Pro Display XDR: USB-C Ports Connect at USB 2.0 Speed (20X slower)

OMG.

Aside from having laughable consumer grade off-center color shifts (unacceptable for professional use!!!), the $6500* Apple Pro Display XDR cannot even connect USB-C devices properly.

Apple Pro Display XDR is USB 2.0

I went away for two hours and when I came back, my backups were about 10% done. I was puzzled; it should have taken at most 20 minutes.

Turns out, all three of the Samsung T5 2TB SSDs I plugged in are at USB 2.0 speeds, 20X slower than they ought to connect. On the LG 5K, no problem—they ran at full speed, as they also do when plugged into the Thunderbolt 3 ports on the 2019 Mac Pro. So obviously it’s not the fault of the three SSDs.

Witness, below, USB 2.0 speeds of 480 Mb/sec vs 10000 Mb/sec that should be in place. That is 21X too slow meaning horrible performance, slower than the slowest hard drive.

  • Rebooted twice — USB 2.0.
  • Unplugged and Replugged — USB 2.0.
  • Unplug them all, plug one in —  USB 2.0.
  • Turned the air blue with profanity — USB 2.0.

There is a rule in life: “get the easy stuff right”. Apple seems to be clueless on that front. Here we have a $4999 display with a $999 stand and $499 AppleCare, plus tax on all that. Good thing the display is on loan and I didn’t buy it.

Slow performance is by design limitation

This behavior is BY DESIGN. Apparently the 6K display sucks up nearly all the available Thunderbolt 3 bandwidth so that the USB-C ports are good for charging/syncin. The 480 Mbps bandwidth for data transfer suits most Apple iOS products which still have those pathetically slow speeds—wireless is probably faster.

One Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) port, three USB-C ports

One upstream port for Mac Pro or other Thunderbolt 3 host (96W host charging)
Three USB-C (USB 2) ports for charging or syncing(3)

(3) For the 16-inch MacBook Pro, USB-C ports have USB 3.1 Gen 1 data transfer speeds

Egads. It makes the Apple Pro Display XDR even more unattractive—useless as a hub as far as I’m concerned, it’s a dead-ended display. At 1/5 the price, the about $1299 LG 5K display is far more attractive since its USB-C ports run fast.

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Apple Pro Display XDR functioning as a USB 2.0 hub with USB-C capable drives
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Why Those Super Handy USB-C Ports on Displays and Video Cards SUCK

Both the Apple Pro Display XDR and LG 5K display are connected via Thunderbolt 3. This allows these displays to provide three (3) high-speed USB-C ports, which is terrific as these are very useful to my work, and there are only two (2) USB-A ports on a Mac Pro. The Thunderbolt 3 ports on the Apple video cards also can be used as USB-C ports.

Both solutions SUCK. Why? because both video cards and displays sometimes (not always) cut connectivity to those ports when the system comes out of sleep, which hard-disconnects any attached peripherals, such as hard drives or SSDs.

I don’t know if this behavior is hardware or software or both , but it wasn’t a problem until about late 2018, which means either the latest Thunderbolt 3 shitsets (ooops, chipsets), or macOS Mojave and macOS Crapalina.

It’s bad news for attached storage. Hopefully all important data is flushed to disk before the Mac enters sleeps, but if a program has an open file, disconnection of the drive kills the open file and that could result in serious problems like data corruption. Fortunately, most programs do not maintain files in an open state, but some do, including the worst case of databases, which have complex structures and must not become inconsistent.

And of course, booting off an external drive connected through a video card or display is an automatic hard crash when the drive disconnects in this scenario.

This is very poor design at all levels—more egregious Apple Core Rot.

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Apple Breaks Basic Functionality in macOS Crapalina: Terminal.app Cannot Access Files Even with Full Disk Access and 'sudo'

You have to wonder who thought up the security in macOS Crapalina: using Terminal.app, I have trouble accessing my own files (“permission denied”). Seriously?!!! Yeah—files for which I am the owner with read and write permission. I rely heavily on Terminal, and this was very confusing at first, since it would work with some files in some places, but not others.

What kind of sense does this scattershot behavior make? The macOS Crapalina security scheme is tied to the GUI infrastructure in devious and unpredictable and flat-out idiotic ways which confuses the issue even more. It is disturbing in its erratic behavior, especially for a system that is Unix at its core.

Most users will be utterly baffled and dismayed if they ever do anything even slightly out of the ordinary, and will quickly be trained to dispense with the nuisance dialogs (“foobar.app wants to access the stuff you’ve allowed for 57 other apps, is that OK?”) , making the whole scheme (an appropriate term) lose most of its security value.

The security in macOS Crapalina is a steaming fly-buzzed pile of security theater that users will quickly shovel away to get work done. But shoveling this shitpile still doesn’t get the job done.

How to make Terminal work more often

Anyway, to make Terminal work properly, give it Full Disk Access in How to Add File/Folder Access Permissions in macOS Catalina. It should look like this, below.

Except... that it still won’t work, even with sudo on top of this... see below.

NOTE: changes might not take effect until the padlock icon is closed or the window is closed. You must also close and re-open the application(s) for which permission was added.

Giving full disk access to Terminal.app in System Preferences => Security & Privacy

Still does not work

Problem is, even giving Full Disk Access does NOT really allow access, not even using 'sudo' as can be seen directly below.

The broken design of Apple’s latest security infrastructure can be seen in the screen capture below: even given Full Disk Access and using 'sudo', Terminal.app is unable to even list most of the applications in /Applications/Utilities. And that is hardly the only place this problem occurs.

My own software will run but won’t install into /usr/local/bin. The incoherence of that should be self-evident to any used to unix.

Apple is seemingly hell-bent on destructive design incompetence in macOS. This is so ridiculous and so unacceptable as to merit some kind of Jackass Design award—any artists out there (?)—I need a graphic going forward, because it might just get worse.

Giving full disk access to Terminal.app plus using 'sudo' STILL cannot list some files

 

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macOS Catalina 10.15.3: Privacy Tab Does not Work — Files and Folders Inoperable

I can’t fathom what it means that the "+" and "-" button are disabled in Preferences => Security & Privacy => Privacy—yet another macOS Crapalina bug.

Is the Files and Folders area dependent on something else to operate, and if so, which settings, and why doesn’t it say so?

Thus at present the only way I can allow an app to have access to anything is to give it Full Disk Access, which does function... well sort of, sometimes and partially.

Inoperable Files and Folders in macOS Catalina 10.15.3
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macOS Catalina 10.15.3 Disables all of my Samsung T5 Backup Drives

I can’t get any of my Samsung T5 encrypted backup drives to work after updating to macOS Catalina 10.15.3 and transferring my data to a new Mac Pro. By “work” I mean that I want the hardware encryption feature enabled, and for that the Samsung driver is needed*.

These drives worked fine in 10.15.2 and 10.5.3 on the 16-core Mac Pro. But after moving to the 28-core Mac Pro, none of the drives can be used. I enabled the Samsung driver in the Security preferences—no luck. I turned off Secure Boot—no luck. I gave the Samsung Portable SSD Software full disk access—no luck.

I’m stuck and I’m furious.

This security-theater engineering in macOS Crapalina is bullshit that benefits no one and hurts a lot of us.

Apple and Tim Cook, you are out of control with your irresponsible jackass-grade software development. You ship poorly tested software to your customers, whether it is iOS or macOS, so that customers test it for you, following up with release after release after release, security patch after security patch, all to fix all the problems that should never have been released at all. Then 6 months in, the engineers are given six months to do 12 months of work on new stuff no one wants... and the cycle begins all over again. Adding insult to injury are claims that these problems will be fixed. This lunacy has gone on for at least six years and is NOT ACCEPTABLE. The cumulative loss of functionality and monotonocally increasing number of bugs is a sick joke.

The cumulative impact on my time (which is money to me) has been at least a week over the past year. Where is my compensation for that, Apple? I know that others are impacted too, because I regularly get email from users grateful to find my writeup of whatever problem, giving relief at least pyschologically or in being able to point to someone besides themself to Apple (non) Support, and I always post a solution if I can find one. Good luck finding solutions at Apple Support—it is always the other brand’s fault—Apple rarely if ever goes the extra mile (or inch) to document how-to solutions for problems that people are having with other brand products—which speaks volumes.

* Apple’s Disk Utility can encypt volumes, but I want hardware encryption with no loss of performance. It’s not clear to me that even on a machine with the T2 chip that hardware is used for the encryption, and my iMac 5K has no T2 chip even if th Mac Pro does.,

UPDATE: after disabling all security and downloading and reinstalling the Samsung software, I got things to work again. Why should that be needed after using Apple’s own Migration Assistant? My position on Apple’s practices remains the same: damage to functionality that requires hours of sleuthing is never acceptable—and it is disrespectful at best. And it sure looks like things are only going to get worse.

My own software can run but cannot be installed thanks to Catalina’s ill-conceived security mechanisms—think of just how incoherent that is—slipshod security design that makes no sense at all, being driven by semi-random user interface choices, multiple multi-step hassles to just get something basic to work.

What is the value of all this security theater if it all has to be disabled in its entirety just to get simple things to work? Millions of users will be trained to disable security, to click “Allow” after the first three dozen dialogs pestering users about basic file access. Does anyone at Apple have a clue about this mess?

Disabled Samsung T5 Drives in macOS Catalina 10.15.3
Samsung Portable SSD Software 1.6.6
What’s loaded and why and where is it? Why is SoftRAID LLC disable after installing yet stil in /Library/Extensions?
Full Disk Access in Security & Privacy

Up to 1527MB/s sustained performance

Apple Pro Display XDR: a Gorgeous $7K Display Presented at the Apple Store like Some Cheap $399 4K TV at Best Buy, and Apple Employees Don’t Even Know Their Products

I checked out the Apple Pro Display XDR in an Apple Store two days ago. The nano texture glass model is what I’d prefer but between it not being on display and even more expensive and the Apple Store employees knowing next to nothing about it (less than I did just reading the sales page), my questions are not addressed.

The main thing keeping me away from the nano texture glass is that apparently that option requires a special cloth to clean the display... and how does that work with Kung Pao Prawns, red wine and yogurt splatter? Yeah, I eat at my desk.

Selling a $6500 display with $399 TV tricks

UPDATE: with the Apple Pro Display XDR with nano texture glass at home where I could evaluate it side by side with the NEC PA302W, my comments about contrast, dynamic range, etc remain true but with a BIG "but": the Pro Display XDR has some serious shortcomings.

Anyway, what we have here folks is a $7000 display (display, stand, AppleCare) presented like some crappy $399 4K TV at a Best Buy.

What I mean is that the display capabilities are stunning (aside from too much reflection!), with the best contrast, color gamut, color saturation, dynamic range, etc that I have ever seen in a display. It makes an iMac 5K display look quite mundane.

BUT whoever prepared the images either was either wholly incompetent or intentionally pulling the same trick used to fool gullible consumers when selling televisions: all of the images were so eye-poppingly hyper-saturated that they looked like travel postcards. Seriously Apple?

SO bad that color tints can be seen in what should be neutral shadow and highlight areas. Magenta/red everywhere (snow, shadows, etc). Or green in some cases. Totally f'ing mangled. The work itself is excellent but I would be incensed to see my own work presented in such an amateurish way.

I am assuming of course that the issue is the images themselves and not the display. I confirmed that premise by viewing my own images and they looked fantastic without any of the issues I saw with the Apple-chosen images.


Up to 1527MB/s sustained performance

macOS Catalina 10.15.3 vs 10.15.2: Consistent Performance Losses in Photoshop CC 21.0.3 vs 21.0.2

Three days ago I “upgraded”* to macOS Crapalina 10.15.3.

Aside from Apple making things worse for display, I am seeing performance losses in Photoshop CC 21.0.3 on the 2019 Mac Pro 16-core for a number of things.

I would have liked to re-use the figures I obtained in my in-depth review of the 2019 Mac Pro, but when both the OS version changes and Photoshop is updated, the previous data cannot be trusted as valid any longer. I particularly want solid data to comparethe 16-core against the 28-core Mac Pro with Vega II, both of which are now here, though the 16-core must be returned Monday.

I am seeing these losses on the same machine, same memory, same SSD, same script, same everything. Photoshop benchmarks are consistently a little slower to a lot slower, with my most important task of all 15% slower.

Not everything is slower; raw-to-JPEG seems fine and might even be a little faster.

The very long duration update process looks to have involved a firmware update, os presumably it changed stuff yet again in some way that looks to have performance side effects... or it sure seems that way.

I always follow a strict procedure/protocol to get consistent repeatable results, such as waiting for the system to become quiescent before starting a test. So when I test multiple times and keep seeing slower results on more than one test (even if a some tests are only marginally slower), it makes me doubtful that it is a fluke.

Because there are two changes (macOS and Photoshop), I don’t know if macOS is to blame, or Photoshop, or both. But I’d wager that it is macOS Crapalina, which is undoubtedly the most problematic macOS release in history, still in its birthing throes.


Up to 1527MB/s sustained performance

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