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

2019 MacBook Pro Seems to Have a High Failure Rate

James G writes:

I recently wrote to you about problems with my MacBook Pro 16” running OSX10.15.3 Crapalina having issues with restarts and shutdowns while sleeping.

I mentioned this to an acquaintance who is the manager of our local Apple Store and she said that they had not been seeing any problems like this with other MBP16 customers. She suggested I contact Apple support or bring it in to Genius Bar, which I did. I was impressed. They were fast and efficient.

They determined that there was indeed a hardware problem, probably the logic board, but the problem was esoteric enough that their local diagnostic tools weren’t sufficient. So I updated my Carbon Copy Cloner backup and took the machine back in the next morning to be spirited off to Apple’s central repair facility near Houston.

ll I can get from their progress emails is that it took them less than an hour to determine the problem and order “a part.” I suspect it’s a new logic board but since my MBP was a custom config with 4TB SSD and maxed RAM all soldered to the motherboard I bet the whole assembly has to come from China and what with the Covid situation I may have to wait awhile.

I’ll update you when my MBP is returned and I have a chance to test it.

... March 26...

I finally got my MacBook Pro 16” back from Apple repair. You may recall in a previous email I stated that it was crashing while sleeping. Bad logic board, which had to come from China (I assume) since the RAM and SSD are soldered on during manufacture. As mine was a 64GB RAM and 4TB SSD I don’t imagine they had a bin of those sitting around at Apple’s US repair facility.

The info they sent with the returned laptop says they replaced the logic board, the Touch ID board and the Lid Angle Sensor. The logic board swap presumably used a new SSD as there was a virgin system installed and none of my apps or data. A full restore using Carbon Copy Cloner got me up and running within 30 minutes.

So far so good, except now the right side of the keyboard backlight doesn’t work, though it worked OK before I sent it to them. Grrrrr….

It will be back to Apple once the COVID-19 dust settles. But if they have to wait another two weeks for a part from China I’m just going to buy a new one, get this one fixed and sell it. Apple won’t declare a hardware item DOA and give you a new one unless you buy it directly from them.

So far this is the fifth apple laptop I have owned and the last four have all needed a new logic or video board at some point. Understand, I usually drive my laptops until they drop, but this last one was bad from the get-go.

MPG: this is the 3rd and maybe the 4th bad 2019 MacBook Pro logic board replacement I have heard about—two from consulting clients and one from reader.

NEVER have I had so many reports directly from readers/clients. It seems that Apple has serious qualitiy control issues. Be sure to buy AppleCare with the laptop.

Up to 1527MB/s sustained performance

macOS: Apple 'TrueTone' and Display Profile Problems

Chris R writes:

If True-Tone is turned on, it screws with your display color calibration, over and above what is specified by the monitor profile. This screwing with colors depends upon ambient lighting. Ugh!!!!

I was trying to understand why images were seeming to have different colors (white balance) at different times of the day. Online info also suggests that turning True-Tone off might help with the losing of display profile connection upon waking from sleep.

On the MBP 16”, I have had to reset my display profiles randomly multiple times per day after waking from screen saver or sleep, which sucks.

Seems to me that True-Tone is a stealth disaster for photographers who rely on a calibrated display.

ave you encountered this problem? Simple to fix by turning it off, but you have to realize it is there messing with your display by default. I didn’t realize this until just now. What are your thoughts on this? Are you still having the loss of color profile issues with your system?

... Just a brief follow-up to let you know that turning off True-Tone fixed the loss of display profile connection that we driving me crazy. Hasn’t come back in two days since I turned this ‘feature’ off. Now profiles seem to remain selected and operational.

...since turning off True Tone, the loss of profile on wake from sleep has never recurred. So that definitely fixed the problem, which had been happening multiple times per day when I had True Tone on.

MPG: I warned about Apple True Tone when it was first introduced, in my review of the 2018 MacBook Pro.

Some computers like my 2019 iMac 5K do not have Apple True Tone technology, and so I don’t have to deal with the issue.

Apple.com: Use True Tone on your Mac

Yes, it is an absolute disaster for those of us doing professional work. Turn off TrueTone.

Recommended display settings for anyone doing color work — brightness can be a little higher

Popular Video Conferencing App 'Zoom' is Rife with Security Bugs and Maybe Infiltration by Chinese Communist Party

Chris R writes:

Saw this article today in the press and wonder if you knew, or could shed more light on it, Due to the lockdown in countries, Zoom as you are aware is becoming extremely popular with businesses for conference calling.


Keep up the excellent work with the Sigma FE 105mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art, could you show some more f1.4 images and bokeh.

MPG: my information has been that most Zoom engineers are Chinese nationals, and that Zoom routes traffic through Chinese mainland servers. As such, I would never have used it as the foregoing is a guarantee that the Chinese Communicate Part (CCP) has monitoring systems in place for intellectual property theft.

In my view, this guarantees spying by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party), if only because of the lack of end-to-end encryption, even forgetting that Chinese nationals can be imprisoned or worse if they do not follow the direction of their CCP handlers.

To be clear: my view is that The Guardian is NOT a source I generally trust for balanced reporting, with a pronounced polititical bias leading to no effort spared to avoid discussing both sides of an issue. So in what follows, I expect any counter-evidence to be omitted. Still, it's hard to get around all the security references in this particular article.

The Guardian: ‘Zoom is malware’: why experts worry about the video conferencing platform

In the last month, there was a 535% rise in daily traffic to the Zoom US download page, according to an analysis from the analytics firm SimilarWeb. Its app for iPhone has been the most downloaded app in the country for weeks, according to the mobile app market research firm Sensor Tower. Even politicians and other high-profile figures, including the British prime minister, Boris Johnson, and the former US federal reserve chair Alan Greenspan, use it for conferencing as they work from home.

But security researchers have called Zoom “a privacy disaster” and “fundamentally corrupt” as allegations of the company mishandling user data snowball.

And on Thursday, the company announced it would freeze all new feature development and shift all engineering resources on to security and safety issues that have been called to attention in recent weeks. Here’s what you need to know about the challenges with Zoom:

‘Zoom bombing’ on the rise

On 30 March, the FBI announced it was investigating increased cases of video hijacking, also known as “Zoom-bombing”, in which hackers infiltrate video meetings, often shouting racial slurs or threats. Zoom meetings can be accessed by a short number-based URL, which can easily be generated and guessed by hackers, a January report from the security firm Checkpoint found. Zoom has released guidelines in recent days about how to prevent unwanted guests from crashing video meetings and a spokesman told the Guardian it had also been working to educate its users on protections through blogposts and webinars.

No end-to-end encryption

Zoom has falsely advertised itself as using end-to-end encryption, a system that secures communication so that it can only be read by the users involved, a report from the Intercept found. Zoom confirmed in a blogpost on Wednesday that end-to-end encryption was not currently possible on the platform and apologized for the “confusion” it caused by “incorrectly” suggesting the opposite.

Security flaws

A number of security flaws affecting Zoom have been reported in the past and as recently as this week. In 2019, it was revealed Zoom had quietly installed a hidden web server on user devices that could allow the user to be added to a call without their permission. And a bug discovered this week would enable hackers to take over a Zoom user’s Mac, including tapping into the webcam and hacking the microphone.

The company said on Thursday it had issued a release to fix the Mac issue, but the number of security issues with Zoom in the past make it as bad as malicious software, said Arvind Narayanan, an associate computer science professor at Princeton University. “Let’s make this simple,” he said. “Zoom is malware.”

In-app surveillance measures Zoom has been criticized for its “attention tracking” feature, which allows a host to see if a user clicks away from a Zoom window for 30 seconds or more. This feature would allow employers to check if employees are really tuned into a work meeting or if students are really watching a classroom presentation remotely.

Selling user data

A report from Motherboard found Zoom sends data from users of its iOS app to Facebook for advertising purposes, even if the user does not have a Facebook account.

MPG: the claims made by the Guardian article make Zoom looks like it ought to avoided by anyone in their right mind. Assuming these claims are accurate, trust has been forever damaged—these are not honest mistakes and they go beyond incompetence to by-design. Therefore, here in 2020, Zoom deserves the corporate death penalty, to be banned outright as a national security threat.

Jeff K writes:

It's possible that you've seen these links on Zoom, they'll just confirm what you already know about the app:




The hidden web server issue was our last straw in 2019, but many corporates would not abandon the app, but that's changing now and they are dumping Zoom.

MPG: Bruce Schneier is an expert and I recommend his assessment as a go-to source.


Malware on iPhone? Unwanted “Congratulations Apple iPhone user” Popup Malware Erases Existing Site from Browser History + Improper Security Certificate

See below—I have gotten this unwanted apparent malware 5 or 6 times now at Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams at https://www.scottadamssays.com.

I don’t know if that site is compromised/infected or just has taken very poor stock of its advertiser network. This is nasty unwanted stuff.

Does anyone out there understand what is going on?

  • I am running iOS 13 on my iPhone.
  • I have not seen it happen on the computer, though I rarely visit the site that way.
  • It seems to occur when I refresh the site half a day or a day later.
  • Always the same bogus improbable “you are a winner” thing, using persuasion of quotes buy other “winners”.
  • It always wipes out browser history of the page I was on (iOS, Safari) so that I cannot go back; this malware is now the page and there is no prior page.
  • NOT an April Fool’s thing; it has been going on for maybe a week or so.

If not outright malware (can my phone with iOS be infected?), maybe it is a compromised advertising network. Either way, Scott Adams had better go take a close look at the ad networks he is using as well as overall site security.

Malware apparently coming from https://www.scottadamssays.com

Reader comments

Arne C writes:

Moin! (as we say here in northern Germany)

If you look here, you know that, whoever created the site for him, implemented a load of trackers and advertisers.



My solution for iOS: I use „Purify“ to filter bad stuff for Safari with Ads and Tracking + social buttons + custom fonts FILTERED. And I use iCab mobile as my main browser set to „private“ mode Mobile devices are much harder to harden against all sorts of malware and spyware than PC/Macs.

MPG: what a privacy invading mess: problems with security policy, strict transport security not implemented, content security policy has SERIOUS problems, referrers leaked, 44 cookies including 39 3rd-party co0kies, 128 requests to 46 unique hosts.

Simon N writes:

I have seen this issue before (at least on iOS 12, maybe even earlier), mostly when doing a search and then following a link to a search result.

MPG: no searching involved in my case. I’m guessing an unethical or compromised (hacked) ad network problem, since Adams' site is chock fill of ad tracking garbage.

Incompetent security too

Adams’s site also fails to use a proper site certificate—it will not work without the "www" prefix. This is basic incompetence in web site implementation (and unfortunately fairly common these days.)

It scares people with a security warning (I do not expect Scott to be an expert on web sites, but I *do* expect him to make sure the people he hires are not incompetent).

Improper security certificate fails to account for absence of "www."


OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock
Ideal for any Mac with Thunderbolt 3

Dual Thunderbolt 3 ports
Gigabit Ethernet
5K and 4K display support plus Mini Display Port
Analog sound in/out and Optical sound out

Works on any Mac with Thunderbolt 3

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.

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

Up to 1527MB/s sustained performance

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

Upgrade the memory of your 2019 iMac up to 128GB

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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Up to 1527MB/s sustained performance

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

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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