diglloyd Mac Performance Guide
In Motion There is Great Potential
Must-have expansion: OWC Thunderbolt 2 Dock

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

New Apple MacBook Pro

The new MadBook Pro might be what it is called given the cost for this configuration.

But given Thunderbolt 3 and my need for it for testing all sorts of products plus my storage problems in the field with a 512GB flash drive, I’m not about to make the same mistake I did with my late 2013 MacBook Pro. So I maxed-out the SSD (flash drive) and went whole hog on the CPU and GPU. Still no 32GB option for Apple’s top-end laptop—that rankles. I may cancel my iPhone 7 Plus order, because I can’t afford to dump that much moolah into Apple (and I can live with the iPhone 6s Plus anyway).

I expect that B&H Photo will have the new Apple MacBook Pro available for pre-order soon (no sales tax outside of NY). Thanks for using that link to buy.

ThunderBay 4 - The Speed To Create. The Capacity To Dream.

macOS Sierra 10.12.1: Data Loss + Breaking Backup Protocols is Now a Feature?

A reader sent me this disturbing post at 9to5mac.com:

Sierra’s storage management tools are a complete disaster

So Apple Core Rot now moves into data loss. Tim Cook and his cronies are running a software train wreck, which MPG first reported on in Apple Core Rot, back in early 2013, though the roots of the problem started before that. Upper level management at Apple consists of two clowns who think that software quality is improving.

If your data is moved into the cloud by iCloud Drive, it means that your local backups won’t be backing up your crucial data. Which means there is only one (1) copy of your files, eg. NO BACKUP at all. Just iCloud as the sole copy (presumably Apple backs up, but do you really trust Apple that much?) This science fair project must sound good to someone at Apple, but MPG advises not relying on any such features—ever. What happens when you cancel or lose your PW or your account is hacked or whatever? Or Apple screws up? Or you go on a trip, don’t have internet access (or it’s just unavailable when you need it), and you are missing critical files? Or just that $2000 cell phone data overage bill caused by Apple eating up gobs of bandwidth you didn’t know about? Or the account is for a relative who dies, you don’t have the iCloud password, and Apple refuses to hand over the data without a court order (or just deletes it because the account was not renewed)? This whole iCloud offload idea is the most ill-conceived software vomit yet from Apple. The OS gets more and more unreliable, but this is injury over insult.

Apple still can’t make iCloud work right in any area. Apple’s systems WILL be compromised at some point. Trusting your data to iCloud (or any cloud-based service) as a sole repository is a very, very bad idea.

Systems fail. Systems have bugs. Sh*t happens. More complexity is not an improvement. Keep it simple: local storage, multiple backups (Time Machine is borderline acceptable as one approach, but not by itself, since it has had serious bugs in the past and may have more in the future).

To another not so far off point a propos data storage: I dread the arrival of the new APFS file system. The core principle to be violated at your own risk: you cannot trust Apple software. I advise giving APFS at least a year to mature, that is, assuming Apple does not bugify the existing HFS Plus file system in the process of the APFS rollout.


I made the stupid decision to upgrade to macOS Sierra 10.12.1 while on a trip to the mountains (photography). I hesitated, but Ihad to sit and wait for other reasons, so I went ahead with the macOS Sierra 10.12.1 'upgrade'.

After upgrading to macOS 10.12.1., the Apple updater erased (removed) some top level symbolic links, making me think that my entire source code tree had been wiped out. After a stressful investigation, I found that fortunately, only the symlinks has been destroyed. But what gives Apple the right to destroy my files, anyway?

Below is how I have my iCloud preferences set up. I would completely disable it, except that attempting to do so obliterates my contacts (they do not work locally, a serious Apple bug), and I want the alternative email for a couple of reasons.

Apple iPhone 7 Caution Was Warranted: GSM-only model has Inferior LTE Performance

Get NewerTech NuGuard KX Case for iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus at MacSales.com.

About a month ago, I wrote several pieces on the iPhone 7:

Now it turns out that the Apple sales policy that I had called “anti customer” (Apple refusing to sell an unlocked carrier-free phone for the first 30 days) was indeed a lot more unfriendly than I ever suspected, for a completely different reason: poor LTE performance when signal strength is low.

Since I often am in areas of weak to unusable signal strength, the ability of a phone to function with a poor signal is a major issue for me (I ordered an iPhone 7 S Plus Jet Black, but it’s showing as mid-December delivery). I imagine that I am not alone.

Cellular insights reports that LTE performance with the Apple iPhone 7 GSM-only phone (Intel modem) degrades badly when signal strength is less than optimal. Emphasis added:

Both iPhone 7 Plus variants perform similarly in ideal conditions. At -96dBm the Intel variant needed to have Transport Block Size adjusted as BLER well exceeded the 2% threshold. At -105dBm the gap widened to 20%, and at -108dBm to a whopping 75%.

As a result of such a huge performance delta between the Intel and Qualcomm powered devices, we purchased another A1784 (AT&T) iPhone 7 Plus, in order to eliminate any possibility of a faulty device. The end result was virtually identical. We are hoping that this sudden dip in performance at a specific RSRP value will be further investigated by the engineering and hopefully resolved. At -121dBm, the Intel variant performed more in line with its Qualcomm counterpart. Overall, the average performance delta between the two is in the 30% range in favor of the Qualcomm variant.

In all tests, the iPhone 7 Plus with the Qualcomm modem had a significant performance edge over the iPhone 7 Plus with the Intel modem.

Band 4 is the most commonly deployed LTE spectrum band in North America


That’s a black eye for Intel and for Apple. While Apple has hardly Samsung'd people, it sure looks like Apple sold millions of people a bill of goods. There is absolutely no way I would accept this gross performance inferiority—I would demand an exchange. Perhaps a software fix is possible, but Apple foisted this problem on all buyers for the first 30 days by dint of Apple sales policies (no AT&T or T-Mobile customer had a choice in the matter), so holding Apple’s feet to the fire seems appropriate.

Bryan V writes:

I bought an iPhone 7 Plus GSM (T-Mobile) and received it the first week of October. I have experienced signal levels on AT&T that are worse than with an iPhone SE or 6 Plus. This morning I processed the iPhone 7 Plus return and will be picking up a SIM-free iPhone 7 today. I knew there was an issue but it was hard to quantify with anecdotal evidence. I'm glad a report confirms this. I'm also purchasing the Jet Black version based on your comments about better grip. Thank you.

MPG: well, Apple has hardly Samsung'd people but the actual evidence points to a massively inferior modem in the GSM-only phones.

Deal: OWC Neptune 480GB SSD only $117.75

MacSales.com has the OWC Neptune 480GB 6G SSD on sale for only $117.75.

This is a SATA drive suitable for any external enclosure or laptop or older model Mac Pro that takes SATA SSDs. See Making an Old Dog of a Laptop Run Like a New One: Wow!.

See all OWC SSD upgrades.

Deal: OWC Neptune 480GB SSD only $117.75

New Macs Coming?

Dare we hope for a new Mac Pro with Thunderbolt 3?

The rumor mill is saying that Oct 27 is the date Apple announces new Macs. That is very likely to include a new MacBook Pro and siblings, and possibly a revised iMac 5K.

Personally I’m hoping for an iMac 6K which would be a ~24 megapixel display device. Of course an iMac 8K would be jaw dropping, and able to display almost in their entirety images from the vast majority of cameras on the market. But 8K is not likely, nor is 6K—yet.

And then there is the sad old 2013 Mac Pro. Mine is still going strong. But maybe Apple will just cancel it instead of releasing a new Mac Pro?

Potential Security Issue: Google Chrome Update Mechanism Broken, Erroneously Claims up to Date for Any/All Versions

Chrome has a serious version update bug.

Side-by-side machines claim that “Google Chrome is up to date”, but as shown below, three machines have radically different versions, all claimed “up to date”.

With all machines running macOS Sierra:

  • iMac 5K shows version 44.0.2403.157 (64-bit).
  • 2013 Mac Pro shows version 48.0.2564.116 (64-bit)
  • 2013 MacBook Pro shows version 54.0.2840.59 (64-bit), which is the latest version.

It is ironic that a “web browser built for... security” is so insecure that it cannot properly update itself.

Also, color management remains broken using Google Chrome 54.0.2840.59, as tested both on my Mac Pro and on my iMac 5K.

Google Chrome version bug: erroneously claims any/all versions are “up to date”

Reader Question: can Siri be disabled on an iPhone?

Apple’s Siri is useless to me, having failed 100% of the time at the most basic task I try—and I’m just not interested in using it for any reason; it’s a solution in search of a problem for me, at least until it stops being a science fair project.

So how does one really disable Siri on an iPhone? Siri is turned off as shown below, but every day it harasses me with the Voice Control window at right. It seems I press the home button just 1/10 of a second too long or whatever.

I’ve tried “Siri, turn yourself off and go away”, but all Siri does is dial some number in Belarus or Pakistan.


Siri won’t shut up and go hide itself

Disabling Siri as per above ought to work, but reader Michael W writes with a possible solution: go to Settings => General => Restrictions and disable Siri & Dictation.

Except that it does not work—I just tried it, restrictions are in force as shown, and Siri still pops up when I press the home button a little too long. And it disables dictation too.

Apparently, Apple is so intent on marketing and foisting Siri on users that it cannot be turned off. While I realize that Siri users are out there, I am not one of them. I just want disable that what for me is crapware.

Well, que Siri, Siri.


Siri won’t shut up and go hide itself



iPhone 7 in Jet Black: MUCH Better Grip in the Hand + SIM-Free iPhone 7 Now Available

Apple is now selling SIM-free iPhone 7 models that work with any carrier. Background.

I had now desire for the Jet Black finish, but now it’s the only model I will consider—see discussion below.

iPhone 7 and 7 Plus available SIM-free for any carrier

Finish and grip

(!) Grippy or not, I drop my iPhone 6s Plus regularly; see NewerTech NuGuard KX Case for iPhone 7 / iPhone 7 Plus (saved my iPhone 6s Plus several times).

Reader Serko A had written me about a week ago stating that the iPhone 7 in Jet Black was “really grippy”. I did not really understand how this could be, so I visited an Apple retail store and compared the Jet Black model to all the other finishes.

Indeed, the iPhone 7 or 7 Plus in Jet Black has much more friction to the hand than the other finishes—rather counterintuitive given its ultra-shiny finish. I had not considered the Jet Black model, but I found the difference so compelling that this is the only finish I will consider now. Why? Because I think the risk of dropping the phone is greatly reduced versus the finish of other models.

The only problem is availability, which is terrible.

iPhone 7 Plus Availability as of 13 Oct 2016

John W writes:

I’ve had my iPhone 7 Plus, Jet Black, for some weeks now and solidly agree about the improved grip of this finish. I’m picky about grip security, as there are many times where I have exclusively one hand available, e.g. on a crowded metro bus. This is the first iPhone since the 3G that I’ve felt comfortable using without a case. No problems with scratches thus far, but I expect it will acquire some mild patina of wear over time.

MPG: aditional confirmation.

macOS Sierra: Apple Mail Continues to Have Sever Performance Issues, plus crashes

Apple Mail in macOS Sierra:
pegs CPU for 30 seconds or so

See macOS Sierra: Severe Apple Mail Performance Problems; these issues remain a time-wasting headache every day, and have no solution other than waiting for the incompetents at Apple to issue an OS X update that fixes them. Hope for improvement is a foold’s game in MPG’s view, but not imposssible, so waiting until OS X 10.12.1 is my plan, since I’ve been traveling and will travel again soon, and switching mail clients is a Big Deal what with all the emails I have.

I’ve done all the suggested fixes in the above linked blog post, to no avail.

Apple Mail also crashes regularly, though not frequently.

Apple Mail in macOS Sierra: crashes not too often, but regularly


Yahoo’s Bulk Surveillance of Every Account under Government Coercion

Security expert Bruce Schneier writes:

Other companies have been quick to deny that they did the same thing, but I generally don't believe those carefully worded statements about what they have and haven't done. We do know that the NSA uses bribery, coercion, threat, legal compulsion, and outright theft to get what they want. We just don't know which one they use in which case.

So Yahoo secretly built a custom software program to search all of its customers' incoming emails for specific information under government coercion. Marissa Mayer is not only incompetent as a CEO, but has no balls* but likes to play ball. Emphasis added:

Yahoo Inc last year secretly built a custom software program to search all of its customers' incoming emails for specific information provided by U.S. intelligence officials, according to people familiar with the matter.

The company complied with a classified U.S. government demand, scanning hundreds of millions of Yahoo Mail accounts at the behest of the National Security Agency or FBI, said three former employees and a fourth person apprised of the events.

Some surveillance experts said this represents the first case to surface of a U.S. Internet company agreeing to an intelligence agency's request by searching ALL arriving messages, as opposed to examining stored messages or scanning a small number of accounts in real time.

The idea that Yahoo alone engages in such practices is not credible. Any company served with a secret court order is not about to tell you what it is doing.

For now, Yahoo takes the hit, but other cases like this will almost certainly emerge. Electronic services are enablers of a monumentally powerful police state. Not just everything you do online, but out in the world (license plate readers, cameras on every street corner, cell phone tracking in real time, etc). The infrastructure is in place to blink a totalitarian state into existence overnight, given the right “emergency” decree. Meanwhile, people foolishly go about about posting every last detail of their lives and friends on Facebook and its ilk. See for example Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram surveillance tool was used to arrest Baltimore protestors.

I personally experienced government pressure about 24 years ago, when NSA personnel showed up asking for compression source code, with no court order. We complied, but I had deep reservations at the time about it. Also, how the heck would I know a fake NSA or FBI badge from a real one?

* Double entendre intended.

diglloydTools: Current version Works with macOS Sierra (no update needed)


diglloydTools works fine with macOS Sierra—no known issues, and no update needed.

Note that there is also now a cross-platform Java-based version of IntegrityChecker included (works on Windows, Linux, NAS OS, any operating system with Java). The existing native IntegrityChecker remains; the Java-based version is included in addition.

Get diglloydTools and consider subscribing to my photographic publications also.

Some of the other 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:


ThunderBay 4 - The Speed To Create. The Capacity To Dream.

macOS Sierra: Crashes Viewing Folders with Images (while selecting them)

As if potential data loss due to absurdly incompetent reporting of folder sizes is not enough, the Finder cannot display images properly. But first, a scathing editorial—

Why keep reporting such things? Because every day I encounter bug after bug. Every day my work is degraded by rainbow beachballs and delays up to 30 seconds opening a single mail message. File open dialogs that are still sluggish and with usability bugs (two years and running on that fiasco).

These bugs and dozens more are signs of a company in decline—rushed processes driven by timeline, not by quality. You read it here first back in 2013—feel free to call MPG mistaken 3 to 5 years from now, when the fan will need some serious cleaning from what hit it. For it is not even on the radar of the acolytes that fawn over Apple even as the dumbing down of the visionary genius of Steve Jobs* is manifest, Tim Cook being cut of a different cloth entirely.

The trend towards software manure is still easily correctable, but only if competent adults with a sense of pride in their work and a sense of perfectionism are put in charge of iOS and macOS—for macOS is mediocre now, and iOS is a rehash of the genius of its debut with nothing groundbreaking since its initial debut. The stock market rightly has its concerns, Warren Buffet notwithstanding. Freight trains 3 miles long carrying taconite pellets take a very long time to grind to a halt.

Hypothetical: given the bugs in macOS, would you trust your life to an Apple Car? At present, Siri can’t even tell me what 2+2 is (“no match found”).

How does a company ship a new iOS to hundreds of millions of customers with a security flaw that makes password cracking 2500 times faster (since fixed, so kudos to Apple for acting quickly). But when it comes to security, the rigor of software unit tests and code reviews and security reviews should be at least 10X more stringent. MPG thinks this is the tip of the iceberg; it likely points to internal leadership breakdown at Apple, due at least in part intensepressure to ship on a fixed schedule each year. When a company has a user base approaching a billion, the level of responsibility must necessarily rise, particularly witih security.

* Apocryphal, but likely true: manager: “It is supposed to do X”. Steve Jobs: “Then why the **** doesn’t it do it?’

Finder crash for windows containing images

Select more than a few images and no joy. Dual displays, icon view with large icons (list view does not crash).

It is unclear whether the bug lies within the macOS Sierra Finder, or (much worse) within CoreFoundation. I am unable to open this window and select more than a few images without inciting a crash. Yet Photoshop handles the images without a hitch—nothing wrong with the images themselves.

The high-level executive in charge of software development has a history of dilettantism in approaching software quality (based on a detailed private report that I cannot print here from someone who used to work for him). The same overpaid incompetent executive claims that Apple software quality has improved in recent years. So is it any wonder that basic operations like viewing a folder containing images crashes repeatedly? This after a fresh reboot no less.

macOS Sierra is a turkey, not an eagle: Finder crashes displaying a few selected images

Jim S writes:

Considering the market Apple seems to be catering to, professionals are becoming “edge” users.

Never thought I’d see Apple sinking to this level and I have my doubts that things will change given their recent history :-(

MPG: Apple is a mass-market cell phone company, with computers playing a supporting role, one necessarily dumbed-down to support phones (but only one phone properly and well). But we can hope that competition will bring Apple back on course and restore quality goals.

John S writes:

I can’t reproduce this bug at in in Sierra… I can pick 1, 10, 100 , 500 ( I gave up after that) images (DNG files in my instance at about 15mb each) with no issues whatsoever. Finder displays them just fine.

Clearly your problem isn’t universal as I can’t reproduce it.

No issues with Mail either. In fact I’ve never had any issues with mail and everything opens up just about instantly whatever the message or how many (sometimes lots) of attachments it has.

Maybe it’s something peculiar about your setup.

There’s only really two apps I have serious issue with.. Chrome is far less stable than i’d like and I am now experimenting with Brave which seems pretty good and likely will be my default from now on… and there there’s Softraid. I know love this thing but IT has caused me some serious grief when I had it on Mavericks and also when I tried it again recently on Sierra (v5.5.5) I had to quickly remove it.
Having raid capability back in Sierra means I don’t really need it…

I do get ‘bugs’ at times but it’s almost alway due to some third party software and typically things that tinker with the finder / system a recent example is ‘smart scroll’ which I’ve had to remove as certain parts of it’s functionality, if enabled, did cause some Finder glitches. Removed it and all good now. Now if the OS and a third party app don’ t get on… who’s to blame? Don’t know I just fix it if I can and move on.

MPG: the statements here are fraught with logical errors.

Did he try dragging them to Photoshop? Were they Sony RX100 IV files? How was it done exactly (probably differently than me). Were there dual displays (El Capitan would crash with Time Machine with 2 displays, but not just one). And all kinds of other potentialities: bugs often depend on (a) how much memory and/or how many CPU cores and/or single or dual displays, (b) system context (what other apps), (c) the actual actions, (d) size of images in the window, and a thousand other factors. As proof that particulars matter, the Finder does *not* crash in list view, but only in icon view. It does not crash on my MacBook Pro, either. But my Mac Pro has 8 cores, the MBP only 4 cores. Maybe it's a multithreading bug—hard to say.

I could spend all day trying to track it down to something: do a clean install on multiple machines, create a new user account, etc: This is not my job nor do I have the time to waste and I have to real work to get done, so I just will work around the problem.

As for ad-ons: I’ve advised here at MPG for years to never install anything that is not absolutely essential for workflow, so I never use Finder add-ons, and never have. I run a “clean” system with only the minimal set of software needed for my work.

After all these years, and at a company that could fill a landfill with $100 bills for all the cash it has, software development ought to have a massive volume of software unit tests which forestall regressions by testing (proving) the fix for every bug ever found, as well as a rigorous system of new unit checks for all new functionality. That is the way a well-run software development organization ought to work. Given all the bugs in macOS Sierra and previous releases (many of them obvious), this is clearly not the practice at Apple. Heck, the breakage of critical features in iOS such as personal hot spot shows that such testing is not done properly. That sort of thing should not happen if proper unit tests are in place, and when there are also public beta releases, it is inexplicable how software can ship with such issues.

As for the Apple Mail comment: no mention of how many mail messages, mailboxes, type of mail server, etc. Generalized “works for me” statements with no context are of no validity. Bugs occur mostly with “edge” cases, the cases that sloppy developers do not test, hitting the 90% mark. This is the distinction between quality and pride in one’s work and professional competence, and sloppy engineering. In the medical field, 90% or even 98% would be grounds for losing one’s medical license. Given the hundreds of millions of Apple devices out there, I am not inclined to cut Apple any slack—nothing less than 7 sigma on bugs will do. Apple does not need to ship like clockwork every year; ship when the quality is proven out, not when a fixed date has arrived.

Franklin K writes:

After installing Sierra on my MBP 2010 SSD 8 Go, SSD, my display was similar to what you show.

I tried many things. No change.
I ran in contact with Apple in Cork where a friend of mine works.
He adviced me 2 points.
1- create a new user and check if the coloring of images occurs. The answer was no.
2- trash entireley ~/Library/Preferences

and restart the computer. No more trouble.

MPG: doctor, my arm hurts. Response: cut your arm off.

This falls into the “we have no idea, so reinstall the OS” category and similar variants. Or in software support terms: our buggy software sucks, so throw everything away and start over and you might get lucky. Reinstall the OS. If it happens again (it often does), repeat as necessary.

Creating another user is a diagnostic tool, but unacceptable as a solution for many reasons. Deleting the entire Preferences folder is data loss, requiring hours of hassle to fix every last checkbox in every app I use. It is not an acceptable solution.

Any app with preferences should validate them, and it should have software quality unit tests to validate all preferences. There is almost never a valid excuse for an app crashing because of “corrupted preferences”; it is just sloppy engineering and/or a lack of defensive coding, the same reasons that so many security holes exist for software hackers to exploit. Code reviews by fellow engineers (real code reviews not just token ones!) are also proper. I doubt that either is done properly at Apple given the strict “ship on a calendar schedule” versus “ship when proven to be rock solid”.

I wrote software professionally for 30 years. I know how to mimimize bugs by defensive coding, and how to write a wide variety of unit tests to prove that all the “edge cases” work properly. Clearly Apple has not disccovered modern software quality practices. given the delivery of so many new bugs and breakage of old working code with every new software release.


macOS Sierra: Possible Data Loss Scenario

When I see a folder with zero (0) bytes, I have a tendency to hit cmd-delete to put it into the trash, and then cmd-shift-delete to empty the trash. A habit I must now unlearn, or possibly suffer data loss.

After 5 minutes or so, the Finder finally updated the folder size. If I am to guess, I’d say the same jackasses turning everything into a Spotlight search (as in Apple Mail and the File Open/Save dialogs) are responsible for this dangerous new behavior.

When will this rampant Apple incompetence, Apple Core Rot, end? The trend is only worse, never better. I have yet to see bugs introduced up to two years ago addressed. New bugs just keep piling onto the manure pile.

macOS Sierra, Finder: ~33GB folder shown as zero bytes

macOS Sierra: Cannot Copy/Paste Properly

I’ve seen this new bug now in at least two places:

  1. Copy something, even plain text.
  2. Paste it somewhere.

PROBLEM: what’s pasted is some old material, not what was copied. The problem seems to be only when Apple software is involved (Spotlight and Apple Mail so far).

Today, I saw the same problem trying to copy plain text again, but from another app. I also have seen the bug in Apple Mail trying to copy/paste between windows.

Shown below is the problem in one case; I copied a simple plain-text filename so as to paste it into Spotlight search (cmd-space). Instead, what is pasted is some file name or some such that I don’t think I ever even copied.

Spotlight search (cmd-space) cannot Paste the clipboard properly!

Shame on Apple: it takes severe coding and quality assurance incompetence to ship a new OS that cannot even copy and paste properly, a feature present since day zero of the Mac.

Is it any wonder that a macOS 10.12.1 beta was out within days of Apple shipping its ship-by-calendar-not-quality dreck to customers? Keeps things on the release scheduled and to heck with the bugs seems to be the modus operandi: that iPhone has to ship, so macOS Sierra has to ship, regardless of readiness. This isn’t just incompetence, it shows a fundamental disrespect for customers.

Don H writes:

Without digging too deep, I seem to recall that a new feature in the latest *OS is some form of ‘coherent’ copy/paste across devices (probably involves a cloud somewhere). That might be the root of what you’re seeing.

MPG: that must be it, although I turn off as much Cloud crap as I can, after years of disappointments. There does not seem to be any other reasonable explanation for breaking a core feature that has existed for decades.

Consider also the destruction of Apple Disk Utility in El Crapitan leaving users twisting in the wind, the destruction of Apple Mail in macOS Sierra and the grossly degraded performance of the File Open dialog in OS X Yosemite, just for starters. These things are NOT a coincidence: it’s Apple Core Rot, which I detected well before I first wrote about it in early 2013.

Jim G writes:

This is just another example of why it is not unreasonable to think that Macs are no longer the priority they once were at Apple. The updates are further and further apart and the software just keeps getting buggier.

Wonder how much Steve is rolling over...

MPG: absolutely. As a longtime Apple customer, I now view all Apple products with cynicism, a far cry from the day decades in which I was an enthusiastic fan.

Deals Updated Daily at B&H Photo

iOS 10 Supports Color Spaces

Color gamut is going mainstream!

What does this mean for an average web use? More accurate color, more vibrant color, and particularly deep rich reds (think strawberries, bright red fabrics, sunsets, etc).

Far better color from an iPhone on a wide gamut display, the late 2015 iMac 5K, or any iPhone 7 model or presumably future iPad models.

But also on many printers that can print far wider range of color than any picture a previous iPhone could generate using the “sRGB” color space (laughably called “sad RGB”).

That’s because finally after years Apple now supports wide gamut color or simply “wide color”, via supporting the (moderately wide) DCI-P3 color space.

My workhorse display, the NEC PA302W, still has the best gamut and neutral grayscale out there.

For more, see iOS 10 Supports Color Spaces at diglloyd.com.

Brook Trout - Salvelinus fontinalis

Half a BILLION User Accounts Compromised

Side note: I’ve never like Facebook (in part because it is a system that a police state must adore) and in part because Facebook pages are invariably visual garbage heaps. But I’ve also wondered how they can make so much money charging for difficult to document ad-to-finished-sales and amorphous benefits. Well, it helps to greatly overestimate usage.


The yahoos as Yahoo have compromised at least 500 million (half a BILLION) user accounts by poor security, allegedly by a state-sponsored actor; potentially the biggest data breach on record.

Of course Yahoo is “not to blame”, since it was done by hackers, possibly from a foreign state. Right? WRONG.

Yahoo stored unenencrypted user data, including all sorts of personal data that should be stored encrypted, but was not—gross security incompetence to maintain a dossier on every user. According to the Wall Street Journal:

The internet company, which has agreed to sell its core business to Verizon Communications Inc., said Thursday that hackers penetrated its network in late 2014 and stole personal data on more than 500 million users. The stolen data included names, email addresses, dates of birth, telephone numbers and encrypted passwords, Yahoo said.

Yahoo said it believes that the hackers are no longer in its corporate network. The company said it didn't believe that unprotected passwords, payment-card data or bank-account information had been affected.


Yahoo said the stolen passwords were encrypted, but computer-security experts said a determined attacker could unscramble passwords—especially simple passwords—using commonly available “cracking” software. Once cracked, hackers could break into Yahoo accounts and—if the password happened to be reused on another web service—possibly other websites too.

MPG: “believes”? Is that faith-based and/or some evasive statement. Many people re-use the same password for many things, so “possibly other websites” is a huge risk.

When a name, date of birth, telephone number are stored unencrypted, that’s a very nice start to identity theft—core information all handy. Moreover, even the encrypted passwords were apparently done wrong, because using the same 'salt' and other factors can make password cracking far more difficult.

How about a $100 fine per user, plus unlimited liability for anyone who suffers identity theft as a result? Seems fair. This kind of flagrant security incompetence is unacceptable. Hackers break in, and always will. So even mildy sensitive data should never be stored unencrypted and should be compartmentalized (name and email are public and not worrisome, but if a dossier on a user is stored, those too should be encrypted to avoid having a nice complete record).

Password security

Which brings me to password security: get 1Password and use it religiously. NEVER re-use the same password for more than one purpose.

James G writes:

Yahoo apparently is run by utter morons. Maybe that's where Apple has been recruiting programmers of late. That none of this stuff was encrypted (or encrypted with a Captain Crunch secret decoder ring) is just unbelievable. And that it happened two years ago and we are just now hearing about it is even worse.

Bruce Schneier has not weighed in on this yet, but if the breach was done by "state actors" i.e. China or Russia then this enormous data trove has very serious implications for US national security. Imagine having access to a database that has personal information in the private accounts of tens of thousands of security-cleared NSA and CIA operatives, aerospace engineers, software and hardware engineers, employees of power plants and pipelines, and on and on. It may take awhile but with data mining and cross checking against other databases a serious entity with time and money can assemble a detailed profile of pretty much anyone they want. And the same process could yield hits that they otherwise would never have expected. It makes it all that much harder for the US to infiltrate those "state actors" and gives those state actors even more ability to phish and F&%$#K us all up.

I never had a Yahoo account as I found everything that company did to be complete drivel. But my advice to friends has been to go in to your account, change your password and then delete everything and never use it again.

MPG: It makes perfect sense that Apple hired yahoos for the destruction of Apple Mail. Humor aside, I also never had a Yahoo account because Yahoo was and is the biggest turd of an internet destination that I was aware of. The security implications are indeed immense.

SSD Upgrade for MacBook Pro Retina

A Question for Readers: How to Print iPhone Photos

Here’s something that points out just how complicated computers and iPhones have made simple tasks—because I don’t know how to do it, not as described here.

An older friend of mine has used a compact point & shoot camera for years. His method of getting 4X6 prints is simple:

  1. Pull SD card from camera
  2. Hand SD card to camera store.
  3. Pick up prints later.

When I suggested using the iPhone 7 Plus as his sole camera (its image quality is better than his old P&S), the question immediately arose: how to make prints?

This is brilliant intelligent older gentleman, a true master at the top of his own field. But in terms of macOS or iOS competence, any 10 year old is far more advanced, and he is just not going to pick up the knowledge on macOS or iOS that we all take for granted, knowledge that seems trivial to us, but really is quite complicated. Heck, just doing a system update and updating apps or setting up a printer takes core knowledge that cannot be taken for granted. And Apple has failed miserably on iOS and macOS to make it easy, because it presumes a core competency on the part of novice users. [He has mastered messages on the iPhone, but that requires little training and few steps; email still flummoxes him].

So he wants a solution as simple as the above for printing iPhone photos. Maybe there is one, maybe a home printer that will never jam might work for direct prints from the iPhone (but then there is the tedious work of deleting them, just one more step). Or maybe there is a download/upload solution. But even getting the photos into the Photos app is a relatively complicated step, let alone mastering whatever process of selecting and uploading.

Get it? Nothing beats the trivial simplicity of pulling a small card out and just having it done. I’m stumped in finding anything that easy.

Suggestions welcome. But remember, what core knowledge and competency is required cannot be assumed. Review the steps above.


A number of users have suggested an AirPrint capable printer (I had thought of that, but I need to see it work for myself). But when I go into the Camera app or Photos app on the iPhone, I can’t find any print option. See the step-by-step list above: this is the whole point: a few steps is a few too many for some people (and me).

Charles E writes:

My Dad is like that, he’s 90 and has trouble even dialing his iPhone. I have done one-on-one training since the early 1980s. A good trainer knows the majority of the task is assessing the student and assigning tasks to their skill level.

The Print option is at the bottom of every photo in Photos.app. You look at the photo and tap the little square with the arrow going up. It’s at the bottom left. Yes, it’s not obvious that Print would be under Share. Yes, that is the #1 problem with the iOS interface, tasks are sometimes not easily discoverable. Someone has to tell you where it is.

MPG: looks like I need to test an AirPrint printer to see just how well it works.

The print choice is HIDDEN on my iPhone until (a) unless I swipe right and (b) that’s after I touch the Share icon. Two steps just to *see* the Print option. So minimum three steps to print. Still, that's acceptable and so I’ll have to get an AirPrint printer and see how it actually works (there are lots of printer deals at B&H Photo). Something like the Canon Selphy might be appropriate.

Kiso writes:

I know what you mean, for my aging parents the easiest is to use an app like Shutterfly or Smugmug which will ask to access the 'photos on the phone. Simply select the photos they want to upload/order and check out of the shopping cart from the app. A few days later the photos will arrive via mail. They also have the benefit of viewing their photos on their grandkids on their phone at any time.

You can print if select a photo, hit the ‘share’ icon and since i have an AirPrint printer there’s the print button in middle. However, i’d recommend a service over fiddling with inkjets.

I have seen 3rd party lightning to SD card readers/writers, but have no experience using them. The Apple branded lighting to SD card was 1-way only, a SD card reader not a writer.

MPG: Good ideas (Shutterly, etc), so long as its simple, and it looks reasonably so.

The Sandisk iXpand Flash Drive with Lightning connector might be an option, but I’m not sure how complicated the transfer is.

Greg J writes:

It’s actually really simple. The kiosks have built in cables for the iPhone. Once the phone is connect, the machines display all the photos on the device.
The user can select which photos to print using the touch screen. In many locations, the photos are ready within an hour. Many stores now allow the photos to be uploaded via mobile apps and picked up later making the process more convenient.

Most Walmarts now have these kiosks too. Lightning cables are provided at the kiosk. I know some of the Kiosks allow you to load only some of the images, ex. first 100, 200, or ALL.

It’s probably the easiest way to print from a camera phone. The kiosks are not meant for professional photographers who want to edit RAW images.

MPG: this might be a good solution.


macOS Sierra: Compatibility Issues

The arrival of macOS Sierra is not problem free—some apps have issues and some serious.

This list is just a brief “for example”; presumably there are far more issues given the numerous apps out there.

As usual MPG recommends WAITING AT LEAST 3-4 weeks for working professionals to make a major OS upgrade, with 3-4 months advised for production shops, testing the waters with just one machine to start. Those with “special needs” like a dedicated Mac for printing to large format should probably never upgrade the OS once a machine dedicated to that task is operating well—keep such Macs as “toasters”.

Broken software

  • Apple Mail: performance is so slow that MPG may be forced to seek out an alternative mail program. One reader suggests Airmail.
  • Fujitsu SnapScan has numerous problems.
  • Google Chrome (latest version as of 21 Sept) hangs frequently when quitting and sometimes crashes.
  • Dragging files to applications in the Dock sometimes goes DEAD—no response, the file cannot be dropped on the app to open it. I’ve never seen this bug before, but it’s terribly annoying.
  • Good 'ol Copy and Paste are BROKEN, at least with Spotlight (cmd-space invocation). Many, many times, I copy something to the clipboard, and Paste pastes something copied from some previous action into the Spotlight search. It is really frustrating when this starts happening. How Apple can break something this fundamental is mind boggling.
    Spotlight search (cmd-space) cannot Paste the clipboard properly!

Drawing problems

  • RawDigger has a minor drawing problem in its histogram. The developer says it will be fixed soon.
  • Adobe DreamWeaver has problems in its File Open dialog, as shown.
    Drawing problems in File Open dialog in macOS Sierra (Adobe DreamWeaver)

macOS Sierra: Severe Apple Mail Performance Problems

Apple Mail in macOS Sierra:
pegs CPU for 30 seconds or so

New Apple Core Rot, and in a key area of functionality, at least for MPG.

Apple Mail in macOS Sierra has severe performance issues (and continuing bugs), just as in El Capitan and Yosemite. But is is far worse now, which speaks to the continuing incompetence by the programmers working on Apple Mail. Performance was notably degraded with the arrival of El Capitan; it seems that Apple is trying to engineer in bad performance. I think it is related to badly done search algorithms, similar to the performance losses in save and open dialogs. Continuing Apple Core Rot.

Clicking on my Sent mailbox (and others) results in delays of up to 30 seconds in showing the mailbox, along with multiple rainbow beach balls. The system has had ample time to do whatever it is it does after a system upgrade. Then trying to open one message may take another 20 seconds. Apple mail pins a CPU or more during this time.

The mailboxes have thousands of messages... a trivial task for software to manage if designed competently. If the issues are indeed related to the number of emails, then one half-assed and unpalatable solution may be to archive older mails.

The behaviors are so troublesome that MPG may be forced to abandon Apple Mail and to seek out an alternative mail program. One reader suggests Airmail.

Other mail problems:

  • As usual, Apple requires non-reversible “updating” of stored mail. A not so nice move by Apple (every release!), since there is no going back.
  • Certain Apple Mail preferences get whacked, including ones useful for security, so re-check mail preferences. This Apple Mail behavior violates good mail hygiene in a security sense (e.g. enabling loading of remote content in messages, removal of the display of custom mail headers, etc).
  • The password for certain types of mail accounts get removed, and they must be re-done (this happened in El Capitan also).
  • VIP senders remain 100% broken (non functional), just as in El Capitan.
  • Unread mail icon shows 8 unread messages, but there is only one shown.
  • Apple Mail beeps sporadically for no apparent reason.
  • Switching between mailboxes can take 30 seconds.
  • Messages can take 10-30 seconds to draw (blank message window). These are messages on the local SSD, not remote messages (nothing to download).
  • Frequent rainbow beachball hangs, often for several seconds.
  • Half-second delays after deleting an email.
  • Search is almost unusable even for the simplest one: multi-second delays.
  • Half-second to a second or longer pauses while typing a short email.
  • Many more sluggish performance problems.
  • Unable to copy and paste with some types of content that I have done many times before. This is an all-new bug. Repeatable, even after quitting and restarting mail.

Apple Mail is a nearly unusable disaster in macOS Sierra aka clusterf**k. Perhaps it works fine with iCloud or diddling around with a few dozen messages, but it is too slow to be usable; everything I do is subject to multi-second delays. Just about everything in macOS Apple Mail involving selection or search or delete or so on has multi-second delays and pins a full CPU core at 100% during that time. Searches and/or examining my Sent mailbox can take up to 30 seconds to respond. This is not a one-off issue, but a constant problem. Never before has Apple broken Apple Mail this badly; It looks like I am going to have to abandon Apple Mail.

The sheer wanton incompetence necessary to code, let alone ship this excrement to customers is mind boggling.

The good news (should I have to switch), that Spam Sieve (which I consider essential) supports many mail clients. The bad news is there might not be any rock solid email clients to switch to, see comments below.

Apple Mail in macOS Sierra: frequent rainbow beachballs while pegging a CPU core

Possible improvement, suggestion by Arne E

Mail does seem to become laggy on its own after a certain time, and until now rebuilding the Mail index has always helped. It doesn't become OS9-snappy, but at least I don't have to wait 10 or 30 seconds for a message to appear. Don't know if this solution works in Sierra, but you should test it.

The vacuum command will rebuild the email database, not the mailboxes (see below). Makes me feel like I’m running Windoze or something, that is, having to crap like this that ought never need to be done by any end user.

  1. Quit Mail
  2. In Terminl, paste this command and hit return:
          /usr/bin/sqlite3 "$HOME/Library/Mail/V4/MailData/Envelope Index" vacuum
  3. Restart mail.

I’ve tried this. Still getting spinning beachballs, but it may be more responsive. TBD.

Daniel M writes:

That’s why I moved to Outlook for Mac since early this year. I can’t stand the poor performance of Apple Mail. I have an IMAP professional email hosting, and an Exchange Online Office 365 and both have a custom domain. Apple mail handles both accounts very poorly especially the exchange account. It doesn’t matter if the mailbox and folders contain tens of thousands of messages because if it is done correctly the system can handle this task very easily. I also encountering slowing down when loading folders, and at the same time, the unread counts are very unreliable.

Surprisingly, Outlook performs really well. It is fast responsive and handles various types of accounts very well.

MPG: I run my own mail server also, but it is POP3. One reader suggests Airmail as the client, see below.

Mark E writes:

I’m surprised you are still using Apple Mail. Maybe you could go into what features keep you in Apple Mail. It did get a lot better a few years ago, but then stagnated.

It seems obvious that the new Apple won’t put any serious development resources to freebie apps. If it sends and receives email, it’s good to go. It wouldn’t surprise me to hear that Dev did the testing as well. :^}

I’m using Airmail and find it extremely robust.

MPG: looks I may have to move to something like Airmail.

Martin D writes:

The mail situation just keeps getting worse and worse and I don’t know what to do.

I’ve tried AirMail. It has lots of problems, too… different problems.

It’s as if there’s a global conspiracy to bury email unusable.

MPG: (I know Martin and trust his feedback)—I don’t know if I can tolerate AppleMail much longer, but if AirMail has issues I’m hosed.

Mike C writes:

I read your post regarding Apple Mail bugs and potential third-party mail apps. I've been using MailMate on Snow Leopard for several years and am mostly happy with it. As a default, it blocks external content links in messages, and the user has the option to load the content or not upon opening the message.

The developer is one guy against the giants; I think he's doing a pretty good job.

MPG: another potential replacement candidate for Apple Snail Mail. It’s useless to me however, because it is an IMAP client only, not POP3.

Deals Updated Daily at B&H Photo

macOS Sierra: Stable Release

UPDATE: MPG now recommends waiting six (6) months to go to macOS Sierra. Key functionality has been destroyed, like Apple Mail and Copy/Paste. And some of it might not be fixed any time soon. And bottom line is that there is ZERO benefit to macOS Sierra.

MPG is contemplating downgrading back to El Crapitan, but this is difficult because at the least, AppleMail destroys (updates) mailboxes to some new format that is irreversible.


Unlike the past 3 or 4 releases, macOS Sierra is probably safe to go ahead with right away. Finally, relief from the Apple quality failure onslaught.

The macOS Sierra install has been running on the late 2015 iMac 5K and 2013 MacBook Pro Retina with no issues for 12 days now. Today I installed on the 2013 Mac Pro, based on stable results with those two machines.

There are at least some compatiblity issues with macOS Sierra; as usual MPG recommends WAITING AT LEAST 3-4 weeks for working professionals to make a major OS upgrade, with 3-4 months advised for production shops, testing the waters with just one machine to start. Those with “special needs” like printing should probably never upgrade the OS once a machine dedicated to that task is operating wel.

  • There was an install glitch and it happened on BOTH the late 2015 iMac 5K and 2013 Mac Pro: the install hangs with a dark screen, and the computer has to be forcibly powered off. Installation resumes after powering on and is was successful after that one glitch.
  • The usual issues crop up: Apple removes certain software such as the version of Java required for Adobe DreamWeaver to work, which requires reinstalling the legacy Java package.
  • diglloydTools works fine, with no obvious issues.
  • My daily tools including Photoshop, DreamWeaver, TextWrangler, RawDigger, Safari and so on, and all seem to be OK. Exception: Adobe software update window has drawing problems on one computer, and so does RawDigger. So there are some glitches.
  • Apple Mail has severe performance problems and other bugs.
Eastern Sierra Nevada

OWC Drive Dock Now Available in USB 3.1 Gen 1 for about $75

Get OWC Drive Dock at MacSales.com.

OWC Drive Dock

Back in late 2015 MPG reviewed the OWC Drive Dock. That version of the OWC Drive Dock offers both Thunderbolt and USB 3.1 gen 1 connectivity. But because of the high cost of Thunderbolt-based peripherals, its about $240 price tended to make it more of a product for professionals.

OWC has now released the OWC Drive Dock USB 3.1 gen 1 model for about $75. MPG has not yet tested the USB 3.1 gen 1 version, but performance should be identical when using the USB port (that is, almost as fast as the Thunderbolt port).

  • Two drive bays each accommodate 2.5 or 3.5-inch SATA drives
  • USB 3.1 Gen 1 port
  • Read up to 434 MB/s, write up to 406 MB/s
  • Supports drives up to 10TB or greater
  • Mac & PC compatible
  • Each bay features an independent power switch and LED activity indicator
  • Universal auto-switching internal power supply
  • Professional aluminum enclosure
  • Two year OWC Limited Warranty including award-winning technical support
  • Includes 24-inch (.6m) USB 3.1 Gen 1 cable

The OWC Drive dock accepts either 3.5" or 2.5" drives—SSD or hard drives in either size. Bare hard drives and fast high-quality bare SSDs are the least expensive way to expand storage, since there is no enclosure (case) or power supply or cabling involved. With the OWC Drive Dock, just insert the bare drive and go.

OWC Drive Dock: Thunderbolt + USB3 Connectivity Using Dual Bare Hard Drives or SSDs

The OWC Drive Dock is an excellent solution for anyone needing to work with bare hard drives or SSDs for backup or similar. For example, videographers who need to download and backup SSDs in a single portable solution.

Bare hard drives and fast high-quality bare SSDs are the least expensive way to expand storage, since there is no enclosure (case) or power supply or cabling involved. With the OWC Drive Dock, just insert the bare drive and go, swapping drives as needed. For example, inserting two bare 6TB HGSG Desktar NAS hard drives into the OWC Drive Dock delivers 12TB of capacity at low cost. Swap more drives as needed.

OWC Drive Dock

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