I wasted a lot of time yesterday and today until Mark Knopper pointed me to a solution for updating my beta by hand. Like others, my download had stalled at 151MB (of a 1+GB update) and I needed to just get the update done.
That solution thread linked to another developer forums post here. This thread contains links to manual downloads. Once you download the component pieces directly, you can move them into the stalled download in /Library/Updates, and then reboot and click Update in App Store.
I decided to complete all downloads, although some report you only have to install three of the four links. App Store sees the completed downloads, and installs and updates. I am now running Beta 2.
Some in that discussion thread have reported unstable systems after performing a manual upgrade. “I may have jinxed myself by asking, but after attempting to apply the packages willy nilly, it seems that my environment (16A201w on pro 3,1) is very unstable. Safari is now crashing all the time.”
My A/C is broken and the repair person is about to arrive so I won’t have time to test my upgrade until later today or maybe early next week. If you do go this route, do so with extreme caution.
I never use my Downloads folder. It’s a fusion drive, so it’s precious, fast, and expensive. I don’t need a thousand downloaded copies of Xcode and firmware updates littering its limited space. Instead, I point all my browsers and other apps to download to my secondary data disk.
And before you ask, I use numerical and alphabetic prefixes so everything shows up in the right place and the right order for quick reference and single-letter typing access. Whatever data I can offload from my main drive, I do offload:
However, when it comes to airdropping, it’s generally true that whatever I’m sending back and forth is of immediate interest. In such case, I don’t want it heading into my Downloads folder. I want it on my desktop as soon as it lands. As I’m updating my Playgrounds Book right now, I’m doing a lot more airdropping than I normally would.
I’m not a big user of smart folders and Automator actions. I have a smallish bunch that I occasionally use. Still, they have their place and today was a perfect occasion to bring a new one into the mix.
I just had had it with the Downloads folder and decided to build a bouncer that would automatically throw any item added to ~/Downloads up to the desktop. I thought I’d share how to do this.
Step 1. Create a new Folder Action
Step 2. Choose the Downloads folder.
Step 3. Drag “Move Finder Items” onto “Drag actions or files here to build your workflow”
This creates the following action, with Desktop selected by default. (If it’s not, choose Desktop for the destination.)
Step 4. Then save:
Your new automator action is stored in ~/Library/Workflows/Applications/Folder\ Actions:
Step 5. Test. Drop a file into Downloads and confirm that it moves to the desktop. You should now be ready to airdrop to your desktop.
Note: I’m sure there’s a better way to do this, but I actually wrote an app that quickly opens AirDrop windows on the Mac side of things. I found an appropriate AppleScript online, compiled it to an app, and use Spotlight to launch it. Very handy when I’m more focused on iOS than OS X at the moment.
Want to grab the latest Maps data and don’t want to wait for updates? I’ve heard of a quick and easy solution, which is to delete ~/Library/Caches/GeoServices. This forces a cache flush and updates all your maps.
I noticed this might be especially handy today for those of you who use public transit in DC, Philly, Mexico City or Chicago. Happy traveling all.
Can you initialize an attributed string with CSS-populated HTML? This question popped up in #iphonedev. The answer is: kind of. HTML initialization is meant for lightweight use, not for full page layout. But yes, you can.
This question in particular had to do with whether you could customize list bullets:
As far as I know, you cannot use externally sourced images but if you worked hard enough (and I’m not willing to do that), there are always attributed strings image attachments.
The upshot of all this is 1: I touched CSS. 2: I’m busy trying to figure out error naming. and 3: I figured that if it’s really important you’ll either use a web view or work out a post-hoc way to insert attachments that I’m not willing to spend any time on here but someone will point me to them if I throw out a post.
As I’m handing over my 2010 MacBook Air to eldest child, it occurs to me that computing today is very different from 2010.
The MacBook did an okay job in its life. It hosted many OS’s, mostly betas, and was a go-to for kids homework, but it really stank at the one job that differentiated it from my iPad, which is to run Xcode and navigate docs.
Xcode doesn’t want to be on a teeny tiny screen with a crappy keyboard. It wants full glorious mechanical travel and many large monitors.
No matter how many times I promised myself that this time, I’d figure out how to do some light development on the damned thing, I ended up using it as a poorly designed iPad — email, browsing, books, media.
Its greatest utility was booting up a half dozen operating systems to test backward compatibility as it sat 2 feet away from my primary dev machine.
I don’t know what it is about laptops and me. For whatever reason, I can’t seem to get along with decaffeinated OS X. I can iPad, I can desktop, but I just can’t seem to laptop.
Perhaps I’m just deluding myself that there people out there who can actually get real work done on these things. What I can’t figure out is how.
What is the critical equipment line over which you can actually do development? Does it involve bringing along a 24″ monitor and a loud clicky keyboard to the coffee shop, or on a plane?
I’m back to lurking at the online store, trying to figure out if it’s even worth picking up a replacement at this point. What I really want is a portable ultra-light iMac/iPad hybrid, complete with handle on top and kickstand, and that’s just not going to ever happen.
So what do you suggest I look into? Will Retina make all the difference for my bad eyes? Or should I hold out for the mythical hockey-puck Mac or the iPadMac? What’s your advice? And how do you get that work done on yours?
February may seem early to you to be strategizing about Apple WWDC announcements. For tech writers, it’s crunch time. To plan books, posts, and other coverage, you try to anticipate how big a change is coming up and what areas will be affected.
For example, Victor was asking me the other day what I’d like to see in the next installments of iOS and OS X. My answer is the same as it’s been for years: “Bug fixes and security enhancements.” I’m a bit over the yearly update cycle.
I finally figured out how to get a nib/xib loaded into a playground and use it to power an app menu. It’s ridiculous how long this took and how simple the solution turned out to be.
Each playground, regardless of whether you’re building iOS or OS X code, runs as a tiny independent app on your computer. You can find that executable, and the app it is running in by peeking at NSBundle.mainBundle().executablePath.
Playground apps are tiny. OS X versions consist of a minimal bundle with a stripped-down Info.plist, a Resources folder, and a MacOS executable.
You can throw a xib file into your Resources, but the playground cannot read it or run it because it’s not in compiled form. Today, I (finallly!) thought of using ibtool to pre-compile my MainMenu.xib file into nib and then load that. When you install Xcode’s command line tools, ibtool gets added to /usr/bin. So all you need to do to compile your nib is issue the following command:
ibtool --compile MainMenu.nib MainMenu.xib
Throw that resulting nib into your playground’s resources folder and you’re ready to load it up.
The trickiest bit was trying to get all the unsafe autoreleasing mutable pointer stuff working. Swift is like a perfect haiku. It all looks simple and obvious when you’ve finished writing it but getting it debugged is a pain. The answer, by the way is this, which hopefully people will be able to google up without having to go through an hour or two of tweakage:
var array = NSArray()
var outputValue = AutoreleasingUnsafeMutablePointer<NSArray?>(&array)
NSBundle.mainBundle().loadNibNamed("MainMenu", owner: nil, topLevelObjects: outputValue)
A few further points:
I built a simple compile command line shell script so I don’t have to remember the order of the files or the arguments for ibtool. You can see it in the video in the Resources folder.
Add your xib source into your Resources as well as your compiled nib. You can then edit the xib using Xcode editors directly from the playground workspace. You still have to compile outside it. I keep a terminal window open to simplify the process.
Every now and then Xcode automatically moves things around, so use a full path in the terminal. Then use the terminal’s history to re-issue the same command as needed:
cd /Users/ericasadun/Desktop/Playgrounds/X\ -\ Playgrounds/OSX\ Menu.playground/Resources ; ./compile
Don’t compile when your nib is in use. Comment out the XCP indefinite execution line and the loadNibNamed line, and then compile in place from the command line.
You can’t much in the way of binding in your xib but you can design stuff there and then add the targets and behavior in the playground.
How do you find untagged items? This question popped up in #macdev for someone working on a Dropbox-based backup system of all things. So how do you find just those items in a folder that are untagged? Use mdfind:
mdfind -onlyin . "kMDItemUserTags != '*'" | open -f
If you switch that inequality to ==, you’ll retrieve all tagged items instead.
Folderol makes extensive use of tags. You can search for specific tags using names within the single parens, e.g. to find all the Green system tags:
mdfind -onlyin . "kMDItemUserTags == 'Green'" | open -f
The built in tag names are Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple, and Gray, but you can assign any tag name you like in Get Info or by using the tag field in Folderol. Then, with a liberal use of asterisks, you can search for, for example, items with tags that contain the word Neon or neon (the [c] means case insensitive).
mdfind -onlyin . "kMDItemUserTags ==[c] '*Neon*'" | open -f
Or tags that start with Neon
mdfind -onlyin . "kMDItemUserTags == 'Neon*'" | open -f
Or end with Neon
mdfind -onlyin . "kMDItemUserTags == 'Neon*'" | open -f
In addition to the [c], you can use [d] (or [cd]) to add diacritical insensitivity, so a search for “café” would also match “cafe”.
To find all Folderol-set custom color tags, search for “(*)”. This excludes standard system tags, although if you’ve tagged with both a custom tag and a system one, the file or folder will appear in the results.
mdfind -onlyin . "kMDItemUserTags == '*(\*)*'" | open -f