Upgrade the memory of your 2018 Mac mini up to 64GB

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

Up to 1527MB/s sustained performance

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)


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.

* $6500 with Apple Pro Stand and AppleCare and tax.

Apple Pro Display XDR functioning as a USB 2.0 hub with USB-C capable drives

Upgrade the memory of your 2019 iMac up to 128GB

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.

Up to 1527MB/s sustained performance

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


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

Up to 1527MB/s sustained performance

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

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.

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.

macOS Catalina Screws up My Display Arrangement and Resolution EVERY TIME I Reboot

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

When I rebooted, Crapalina had screwed up most settings of my displays.

But it is much worse than I realized: when I reboot after some time, Crapalina 10.15.3:

  • Reverses the Arrangement of the displays left vs right.
  • Moves the menu bar to the wrong display.
  • Makes 2560 X 1600 resolution unavailable on my NEC PA302W—I have to reboot a 2nd time, which somehow retains the menu bar and Arrangement and I can then use 2560 X 1600.

What the hell is going on over at Apple?!!! Does Apple, the world’s most valuable company, test anything or is the new policy to just ship garbage to customers?

Heads ought to roll and I mean right to the top, because the buck stops there (lots of 'em) and because this nonsense has gone on for at least six years. But they won’t because the world loves iPhone and if you can ship garbage and make half a billion dollars of profit a day, who gives a damn?

Today, I received a new 28-core Mac Pro and it fails to be able to update to 10.15.3 repeatedly as part of the Migration Assistant process, WiFi or Ethernet. It never succeeeded so I did “skip” and updated separely. There seems to be ZERO quality control in place.

I also learned today that it is IMPOSSIBLE to uninstall some kernel extensions with 10.15.3.

My own software will run (execute) just fine... but will not install properly because of Apple’s idiotic new security restrictions, implemented to make the failure totally confusing. That makes sense right... run the software but don’t allow it to install? Who makes these moronic design decisions, and who approves them?

* Apple Orwellian doublespeak which translates as “try out our new bugs and reduced functionality!”.

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Does macOS Have a Rare but Stupefyingly Nasty Multithreading Bug in the Unified Buffer Cache?

macOS caches files up the wazoo, using all available memory to do so. On my system with 384GB memory, I have seen it cache nearly 350GB, an idiotic performance bug that degrades everything else with the system.

With 350GB cached, it can take up to 90 seconds to clear the cache (!!!), with program performance being hurt everywhere else as the system pauses to reclaim the cache. You can see this as apps stutter or are delayed at launch or any similar circumstances. The greater the number of files in the cache, the greater the performance hit, e.g., 250K files occupying 350GB hits it hard.

Performance is one thing but incorrect operation is the kiss of death

I hope I have just repeatedly had hallucinations and/or that there is a perfectly good explanation I have not thought of. But I didn’t write multithreaded code for 30 years as a professional software engineer to be easily fooled.

I’ve seen the following behavior with several programs now and I’ve seen it several times in several months. This bug is SO BAD with potential consequences so severe that I thought I must have imagined it when I had seen it before.

It’s a simple behavior, but I don’t know what makes for a reproducible test case—it happens when it happens but what triggers it is a mystery:

  1. Make use of a file in Program A. For example, run a script in Terminal.
  2. Save a CHANGE to the file in Program B, such as BBEdit, Dreamweaver, etc.
  3. Make use of the file again.
  4. Observe that Program A sees the OLD FILE, the one before the save.

Two days ago, I watched a script fail to update as I repeatedly invoked it and repeatedly hit Save in BBEdit to confirm I had saved the file. That it was wrong was obvious: an output folder name repeated a few hundred times. NO CHANGE as seen by Terminal as I repeatedly invoked the script and saw it fail over and over with the wrong folder name, the name having been changed in BBEdit. I switched back and forth several times to save and try again—NO CHANGE. The file was apparently cached somewhere (presumably by macOS though I cannot be certain).

The seriousness of a bug like this cannot be overestimated. It bears on data destruction for starters, but also could be a serious security hole.

I am having the same problem EVERY DAY saving files in DreamWeaver and then having the new page not show up for a second or two or half a minute; I often have to make a change and save again or again... 2 or 3 or even 4 times.

The frequency of this increased with macOS Catalina, but I saw it in Mojave too.

I suspect that it is a multithreading bug since I now have 16 CPU cores in the 2019 Mac Pro (28 cores starting today). Therefore, any threading bugs are likely to be far worse with 16 cores versus 8 as on the 2019 iMac 5K.

Paul W writes:

I've seen this bug many times since 10.12 at least. Frustratingly annoying. Sometimes I reboot, sometimes I wait until I start seeing the "correct" copy. Sometimes I copy the file to a new file and work with that. I've never bothered to try to diagnose it further. Also, I spent lots of time at the command line.

DIGLLOYD: I keep wondering if something else is involved than the unified buffer cache, but I don't quite see how.

Up to 1527MB/s sustained performance

The World’s Most Valuable Company is Incompetent at Software Development  — Apple Management Disrespects Tens of Millions of Customers

Did y’all just love the bugs with iOS 13 on the iPhone? It cost me days of headaches and it took 6 week to get my iPhone to work again with my vehicle. The iPhone still has bugs, and I am SO glad that I returned the 512GB iPhone 11 Pro Max for a full refund.

Not content with that MFUB* of iOS 13, Apple released macOS Crapalina, the most disruptive and jaw-dropping demonstration yet of software development hubris, incompetence and contempt for customers and their needs. So many bugs along with so many security theater headaches, so much $cost all bundled into a “screw you and your stuff” we-are-soooo-smart “upgrade”. Dang. How I wish I could go back to macOS Mojave on the 2019 Mac Pro and that’s like wishing for diarrhea instead of hemorrhoids.

Ship it first, then test it” — seemingly Tim Cook’s philosophy. The buck stops with him but the Apple Core Rot surely is festering a level down with Mr F. I cannot print the private information I am aware of that leads me to say this with justification, but until Mr F is fired, it isn’t going to improve. And if Mr Cook doesn’t do that, then he bears FULL responsibility. Well, he already does—this has gone on since 2013. Enough is enough Mr Cook—get your act together and start showing some respect for customers!

Along comes macOS Crapalina 10.15.3

Forget the ridiculous bug that for two days, macOS claimed that no software updates were available—I had to reboot to get it to notice.

Tonight, I updated (“upgraded” is an oxymoron with Apple software) to macOS Crapalina 10.15.3. IMMEDIATELY, I found:

  • Display resolution f-ed up (requires rebooting and fixing).
  • Display arrangement f-ed up (requires rebooting and fixing).
  • Menu bar moved to the wrong display.
  • Display brightness f-ed up (fix it every time I reboot, this bug is reported by many users), so this bug is NOT fixed.
  • SoftRAID driver REMOVED and has to be reinstalled (and requires disabling Secure Boot).

Does it fix anything? I don‘t know yet. And maybe it fixes 2 things and breaks 3 more, a real possibility. I guess I’ll find out tomorrow.

This garbage-dump experience feels like Windows '98 redux.

It is hard to respect a leader who allows this fiasco to go on year after year.

* Four decades ago when I was 16 working with my younger brother as a laborer, I goofed on a construction job that almost wrecked a very large concrete patio, a mistake that would have cost thousands of dollars at the least to redo. The boss, skilled at colorful language, was kind enough to not fire me but he made it clear that it “was a Major F* Up Boys!!!!”

Upgrade the memory of your 2019 iMac up to 128GB

Reader Comment: Apple 2019 MacBook Pro 16-inch “blown away by the speed”

Reader Lance L writes:

I purchased a new 16" Macbook Pro last week with one of your links.

I got the 4TB SSD and I'm completely blown away by the speed of this machine.

Back in 2008 I referred to that system as being on Steroids, well this system would be on Growth Hormone. WHEN IT ACTUALLY WORKS it's fantastic.

All of my software was already 64-bit so I haven't had any issues with any of my software.

I also purchased the OWC Thunderbolt 3 Pro Dock, OWC Envoy Pro 2TB SSD, and Tripp-Lite display port to HDMI cable to connect my older Asus Monitor. The Envoy Pro connected directly or through the Pro Dock is fantastic.

Sadly the Pro Dock is having issues after shutting down or rebooting. I've contacted Mac sales and informed them but I'm willing to bet it's CRAPALINA. (Have to unplug and replug the thunderbolt to get the internet to reconnect.) My NEC monitor connected directly to the Macbook Pro with thunderbolt has no issues but I've yet to get the Asus to be recognized through the Pro Dock using the display port to HDMI. Just wanted to share my experience after one week. I haven't updated to 10.5.3 yet but will this afternoon.

MPG: I don’t think the Pro Dock is at fault—Apple is almost certainly the culprit.

Heck, I cannot get a simple USB hub to work when plugged into the Apple I/O card on the Mac Pro—after reboot I often have to unplug and replug it or the keyboard and mouse won’t work. Apple quality control is an oxymoron.

Storage and Ports for MacBook Pro, Macs and PCs
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Reader Comment: 2018 Mac mini with macOS Catalina Will Not Boot with eGPU

Reader Krishna M writes:

I’m a regular reader of your blog and echo your frustrations with Catalina and the general lack of quality releases Apple has been providing over the past several years. Thank you for all your hard work. You call it like it is and you don’t pull any punches. Thanks!

Sadly, Apple’s quality control (if there is such a thing) hasn’t been evident in quite some time.

I’m writing this note to let your readers know of another Catalina issue that has yet to be addressed by Apple (surprise!). Specifically, it’s a problem with the 2018 Mac mini and Polaris based Radeon cards (i.e. the Radeon 580x). Under Catalina, it is impossible to boot the Mac mini with the eGPU plugged in. The Mac will hang at a green screen. The only workaround that I’ve found is to unplug the eGPU from the Mac mini and reboot, with a display connected to the Mac mini’s built-in HDMI port. This is absolutely unacceptable. I’ve filed bug reports after bug reports since I moved over to Catalina (a BIG mistake) with no response.

Based on my research, other users are having the same issue. It’s infuriating and I have no other recourse but to wait it out and hope that Apple will fix the bug.

MPG: Sounds very similar to the display syncing issue I have with the Apple Mac mini.

Up to 1527MB/s sustained performance

Mac mini has Serious Trouble Syncing with Display via either HDMI or DisplayPort

Update Feb 1: today, I was unable to get the 2019 Mac Pro to work with the NEC PA271Q even once. After 20 minutes, I gave up and had to connect an LG 5K display so I could wipe the Mac Pro I was sending back. I could actually hear a high frequency noise from the display which I associate with a second or two of attempted video sync. Whether this is a hardware or softwase issue is unclear, but it’s a new behavior that I associate with macOS Mojave and macOS Catalina and perhaps the newer Thunderbolt 3 chipsets—could be a hardware compatibility bug.


I bought a 2018 Mac mini back in May, hoping to use it as a 24 X 7 server. But that can’t work because rebooting (which has to be done sometimes) frequently meaning usually the Mac mini will not sync up with the display!

Options for Connecting a Display with Mini DisplayPort or DisplayPort input to a Mac with Thunderbolt 3 / USB-C.

Without a display, I cannot use Apple Remote Desktop. And driving 30 or 300 miles to the server room every time the Mac mini has problem is unacceptable, let alone a hard reboot.

This display syncing on the 2018 ac mini has been a problem since May, so it is both Mojave and Catalina. Before Mojave, I never had significant display syncing issues. With the Mac mini it is a terrible problem, and on the 2019 Mac Pro on Catalina, it is just as bad.

Mac mini display syncing details

Sometimes it can take 5 minutes just to get the display working and I dare not reboot or let the machine sleep or I have to do it all over again, often with a hard power on/off (very bad idea).

The Mac mini won’t sync ANY of these:

Apple, I want my money back for this useless POS Mac mini you tech-porn poseurs sold me. I have $1600 into the Mac mini which cannot function as it ought.

Upgrade the memory of your 2019 iMac up to 128GB

Why I Returned the 16-Core 2019 Mac Pro... Wanted 28 Cores!

macOS Catalina is required for Mac Pro, but I have learned to deal with its vexations.

The 2019 Mac Pro 16-core is the best computer I have ever owned, by far.

So I returned it.

The reason is pretty simple, coming after nearly a month of usage which informs my conclusion: over the next 3-4 years, the benefits of a 28 CPU cores and a AMD Radeon Pro Vega II video card will be more than worth the extra cost in time saved and increased productivity, faster software development, etc.

Consult with Lloyd as to the ideal computer for your own particular workflow.

I scrimped and saved all of 2019 knowing I might decide on this large purchase, and along with a 100% federal tax write-off as a business tax deduction, the numbers and expected lifetime and actual benefits all add up.

Accordingly, the Apple 2019 Mac Pro 28-core CPU with AMD Radeon Pro Vega II GPU shows up two days from now on Friday, whereupon the 16-core goes back (order to delivery was only ~7 days in spite of the “2-4 weeks” notation at B&H Photo). The model is shown below.

Naturally I bought the Mac pro with only 32GB memory, since the 384GB of OWC memory is going into it, along with two OWC Accelsior 4M2 PCIe SSDs. (for sale $219: 32GB of Apple memory as 4 X 32GB).


Below, I use five OWC Thunderbay 4 units for most of my storage, though I also have one OWC Thunderbay 6 unit (6 bays instead of 4), and OWC has an 8-bay OWC Thunderbay 8 coming. Nearly all of the capacity is for backups as I am moving to a 100% SSD main storage approach.


Below, I am currently using the LG 27MD5KB-B 27" UltraFine 16:9 5K IPS Monitor shown below along with my trusty NEC PA302W. The LG 5K is excellent and a BIG practical plus is that it breaks out 3 high-speed USB-C ports, which solves a thorny problem off too few USB ports on the Mac Pro.

My desired display setup includes the Apple Pro Display XDR and most likely the NEC PA311D, but that’s a financial bridge too far just yet. The NEC PA302W remains critical to my work however, for its low pixel density; see Too-High Pixel Density on 5K and 8K Displays Impedes Image Assessment.

Up to 1527MB/s sustained performance

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