macOS Catalina

I recommend waiting a few weeks before jumping into this significant upgrade from Apple. I’m taking the time to do the upgrade and get used to it’s new features (the fun stuff and the bugs).

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A new operating system by Apple is coming out very soon today, macOS Catalina. Like Apples roughly yearly releases of the macOS this one will have a few shiny new features (iTunes replacement, Sidecar, as well as address security issues).

This release is significant in that some older applications will no longer function. Apple has been warning about this for some time and it’s another reason to keep your software current with the latest versions.

For those who want the technical explanation, 32-bit applications will no longer run on your Mac under macOS Catalina. 64-bit code is more robust and can handle more data processing. If you want to find out if you are using 32-bit applications there is a free app called Go64 or you can check in System Information under Applications.

 
 

“That’s why I don’t ever upgrade!”

While some subscribe to that mantra, it’s flawed because it opens you up to all sorts of security vulnerabilities. Company’s like Apple, Microsoft, and Intuit stop supporting software when it gets too old which means that security vulnerabilities that are normally patched in the incremental updates (example: 10.14.1, 10.14.2, 10.14.3, etc) will no longer be addressed.

 
 

There is a tried and true gold standard or as Apple likes to call it, ‘Best Practices’, way of handling these major updates. In nutshell:

  • Make sure your device is compatible

  • Make sure you have enough room on your hard drive to accommodate the upgrade

  • Have or create a current, working backup (or two)

  • Update all your applications and check that any mission-critical apps will work with the new operating system

If you want guidance or advice regarding this update, feel free to schedule and appointment and we can get the ball rolling for you (or not if it’s not appropriate).

Here is more information from Apple about macOS Catalina:

https://www.apple.com/macos/catalina/


Apple Watch, Series 3 GPS + Cellular

Apple Watch, Series 3 GPS + Cellular

Apple Watch, Series 3 GPS + Cellular

This is my 3rd (or 4th?) Apple Watch - I've tried out every generation Apple since the first version Apple released. I opted for the cellular version and set up that feature for a few months. It works great but I don't have a regular need for making/taking phone calls on my watch without my iPhone nearby.

This iteration of the watch is the 42mm, Space Grey. I choose the 42mm over the 38mm after my first watch. I really appreciate the increased screen size.

New Apple Watch face – Pride!

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One of the new bits coming out of this years WWDC (World Wide Developers Conference) is a Pride watch face. Vertical rainbow stripes move in and out of the field in 4 patterns. Two complications are included.

There is a hack to get it now* or just wait a few hours until after today's WWDC18 keynote address beginning at 10am Pacific.

 
Apple Watch Pride watchface 2018
 

 

*Change the date/time to after the keynote on your iPhone but going to Settings/General/Date & Time. Open the Watch app on your iPhone and voila! there's the new watch face. Add it to your watch. Check your watch for the Pride watch face and after it appears, change your iPhone Date & Time back to current (or set to Automatic)

Catered Fit

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In the spirit of my continued goal to improve my health and wellbeing, along with exercise, I’m changing the way I eat. The challenges I am facing is that I live alone and cooking for one makes it difficult to avoid waste and boredom, my schedule is often affected by last minute changes, and…I’m a picky eater. My biggest challenge is that I don’t make good food choices when I’m hungry. It’s too easy to drive through fast food, order a pizza online or just eat a whole bag of chips for dinner.

A friend (thank you Ben!) suggested Catered Fit www.cateredfit.com - my referral code for $20 off for each of us is 12BFF20

This is my third week and it’s working out very nicely! I’ve enjoyed about 95% of the food - high praise considering every meal comes with at least two vegetables. I did make a deal with myself that I would at least try a bit of everything.

Here are the details; I opted for the Paleo plan which is their version of reduced calorie meals, 300 calories each on average (for a female, more for males). 3 meals a day, 5 days a week. If I miss eating a meal they have lasted to easily 3 days after the intended day. They offer 4 meal plan types; Classic, Meatless (and here you can choose between Pescatarian, Vegetarian, or Vegan), Paleo (Gluten-free and Diabetic friendly), or Combo. The last option is great if there are several people with different preferences in the household. You can choose up to 4 foods to exclude (shrimp and hard-boiled eggs are among mine) but they don't change their recipes based on that, you might still need to make your edits in the actual meal option that you choose. The week before you get the option to select your dishes - 3 choices each day for breakfast and 6 choices each day for lunch and dinner. You can also cancel a day if you know you won’t be able to eat the meals. I’m not sure if that rolls over to the next week or reduces the charge for that week. They will not be delivering on Christmas/New Years Eve or Christmas/New Years Day. Catered Fit currently delivers to Los Angeles and South and Central Florida.

Coffee, Snacks, Desserts or Juices can be added for an additional charge or increase a meal to 'Athlete' portion if you need more calories. A small juice sample was included last week that was delicious (kale, green and red apple, pineapple juice). I may give one or more of those options a try soon and will post an update. I make sure to have my own snacks available (these days it's usually a Honeycrisp Apple) or I make some tea. Hunger pangs are often a sign of dehydration and not really a calorie deficit.

Their packaging is 100% recycled and the ingredients are locally sourced.

My price for the Paleo plan of 15 meals per week is $150 total. Meals are delivered the evening before (about 6:30 pm for me) in an insulated bag with an ice pack (you pay $10 for the bag which is yours to keep, and put it out with the old ice pack before your delivery arrives). When I’m ready to eat a meal I plate it (because it looks nice, not because I have to) then heat it up in the microwave in a few seconds.

Every meal has been fresh and reheated well. There were only a couple of vegetable sides that just didn’t work for me - your mileage may vary. I’m very happy with the food, service and the price is fantastic! The photos are my actual meals. Advantages of this service, for me, include fewer visits to the grocery store, less food waste, and better eating. Biggest benefit besides eating more (many more!) vegetables is that I feel a LOT better every day.

Hi High Sierra!

Upgrading to High Sierra

Apple is releasing the version of its Mac operating system, macOS High Sierra (10.13) on Monday. Like all major OS updates, it offers some obvious new features as well as under-the-hood improvements.

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The more obvious changes include:
Photos - persistent side view with new filter choices (keyword, media type, date, etc), Expanded import view, Curves, and Selective Color editing tools, improved Face recognition, Live Photos editing, more categories for Memories
Safari - autoplay blocking, Intelligent Tracking Prevention, Safari Reader always-on option
Mail - optimized storage to take up 35% less space, improved search
iCloud - iCloud Drive files sharing, iCloud storage family plans
Siri - new more natural voice, new Apple Music skills, music-related trivia
iMessages - they can now be stored in the cloud allowing syncing between devices
Notes - notes can be pinned to stay at the top of your list

A change you won’t see is the new APFS (Apple File System) - this is how an operating system finds and stores ‘stuff’. The new file system helps to save space, better duplicate files, faster directory sizing, and take snapshots of your system to improve backups. If you’ve kept your iOS up to date, you’ve already seamlessly moved to APFS on that device without knowing it!
High Sierra also adds support for HEVC for 4K content.

What to be careful about - those of you still using Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 might want to consider upgrading to the latest version of Office or using alternate document editor (there are several including Pages that included for free from Apple). Office 2011 is no longer supported by Microsoft which leave it vulnerable but also means that it’s functions could start breaking down rapidly.

As always, follow these guidelines when preparing to upgrade to a new OS:

Backup! - in at least two ways/places
Check that your hardware can run the latest OS: All Macs introduced in mid-2010 or later are compatible as well as MacBook and iMac computers introduced in late 2009
Check that the software that you used regularly will still work with macOS High Sierra, in particular, and non-Apple apps.
Apple ID: have that login info handy as you will need it getting started with macOS High Sierra

Feel free to contact me if you need help.