Sunday, June 25, 2017

How I plan to test my Aperture Library against Sierra

It’s almost time for me to move to macOS Sierra, now that the usual post-release beta testing is drawing to a close.

This is what I am doing to test my Aperture Library on Sierra:

  1. Export a small Project as a Library.
  2. Open the small Project and delete its contents. Now it’s an empty shell with my settings in it.
  3. Import my existing Library into it. So everything is written with the latest version of Aperture.
  4. Test with #3.

Apple Discussions have lots of fix and workaround suggestions for early Sierra, but I’m told they are no longer necessary. The things broken in El Capitan and broken in Sierra, but nothing new.

How to delete your iCloud account and Apple ID

First, invent a time machine.

Second, go back in time and force Apple to add account removal.

For now - you can’t.

You can remove your Google account. You can remove your Facebook account. You can’t remove your iCloud account and your Apple ID. They are eternal.

I’ve run into this little oddness before, but I was reminded of it when cleaning up my deceased father’s online presence.

A 2013 Apple forum post says: “Access can be stopped by Apple if they are provided with your Death Certificate.” I bet you have to fly the certificate to Cupertino. Even then it’s not clear if any data is deleted. I wonder if anyone has ever done this.

Apple gets away with a lot.

PS. I did set his email to forward to me.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

OS X (macOS) installer sizes - Mountain Lion through Sierra

Sierra is almost ready for release now, so I’m preparing to install.

Interesting to compare installer sizes from the download era:

ReleaseSize (GB
Mountain Lion 4.46
Mavericks 5.33
Yosemite 5.68
El Capitan 6.21
Sierra 4.97

Sierra isn’t much bigger than Mountain Lion.


Sunday, June 11, 2017

Apple drives me into Google's arms - using Google Photos with iPhone and Aperture

Apple has broken me. I’ve left iCloud Photo Stream shares for Google Photos.

First I lost the ability to share from Aperture to Facebook. I think that was probably a Facebook change, but of course Aperture isn’t getting updates any more.

That was annoying.

Losing Apple Photo Stream was much worse. Photo stream wasn’t great, but it was simple for my daughter, sister, and other users to subscribe to. For a time I could use iCloud Photo Library on alongside iCloud Photo Streams on Aperture [1].

Then Aperture retched and I lost my shared photo streams (but not, happily, the originals). I played around with restoring iLifeAssetManagement from backup but, despite early promise, I couldn’t defeat Apple’s black box sync infrastructure [2].

That’s it. I’m toast. I surrender. Google’s inexplicable aversion to album creation on upload is the lesser evil now.

I’ve installed Google Photos on my iPhone and enabled backup and sync. I’ll use that to cull and play with photos before I transfer them to Aperture.

I’ve freed up 14GB from my Air’s SSD by deleting iLifeAssetManagement and I’ve installed Google Photos I pointed that to a folder on an external drive, when I want to share from Aperture I export there for upload. I do my post-upload organization and sharing through the web UI.

Since Google nicely migrated images when it closed Picasa Web Albums my new shares are reunited with my old Picasa web albums. I’ve come home again. Though I’m still puzzled by Google’s weird album aversion.

It’s far from ideal, but Apple has burned me yet again. They seem to despise my data.

[1] Though I gave up on iCloud Photo Library when I realized it was more or less incompatible with importing images from iPhone photo roll to Aperture.

[2] Apple is famous for sync that disallows any kind of troubleshooting.


Partial restoration of lost Apple iCloud photo stream shared albums (updated: didn't work)

Something went wrong. It always does.

I had thousands of images distributed across over 60 shared photo streams. One day I rebuilt Aperture’s database and all the iCloud images were in one recovery folder. I deleted them and then most of my iCloud shared albums vanished.

This is a quick summary of how I recovered most of them from backups. I don’t know how this truly works, but it seems that this folder in my user account was a source of truth for iCloud photo streams:

/Users/[my user name]/Library/Application Support/iLifeAssetManagement

I copied what was there to an external drive then deleted it, logged out (necessary to close open databases) then logged in. With Wifi on when I launched Aperture it showed no images at first then downloaded what was in iCloud. So there was some kind of sync.

Next I did the same thing (closed Aperture, deleted, etc) but this time copied a backup of iLifeAssetManagement from prior to the bad event. I then turned off wifi.

On relaunch Aperture showed about 6100 images in “Shared:iCloud”. It rebuilt thumbnails for them. Then I turned on Wifi. Next I saw the count rise briefly as albums I’d shared previously came down from iCloud. Alas, the count started falling again, stabilizing at 5600.

I had most of my streams back — though one stream was much smaller than it used to be. Still, about 80% recovery and I didn’t lose a few I’d done post-disaster.

Better than nothing.

Sync without controls is truly hell (and Apple never provides enough control).

Update: Aperture shows 56 single owner photo streams (one is empty) and 5 shared. iOS shows 20. At least one of the iCloud albums not seen in iOS cannot be found at its public link. The iCloud library and the Aperture iCloud library are not in sync. So I’d call this a failure.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

MarsEdit tables: create in TextEdit and paste

MarsEdit is a great app — but I wish it were a rental product. Then I’d pay every year and Daniel Jalkut would be incented to add support for image resizing and table editing.

In the meantime I’ve discovered I can get good results by creating a table in TextEdit then pasting it into MarsEdit rich text editor.