Sunday, January 31, 2021

Getting photos from iPhone to Lightroom, Aperture and other non-Photos products

Apple's approach to photography is to keep everything in iCloud and to view or edit the images from a macOS or iOS device running Photos.app (there's also some limited web browser access). There's some limited ability to share albums between family members and other groups, but this has been a mess for years and I'm not sure what parts of it are available in which versions of macOS.

This approach doesn't work very well if you want to mange your photo Library outside of Photos.app. How do you keep track of what you've have reviewed and exported within Photos.app?

I can think of two ways to do this. One is to apply a Keyword to every image that's exported, then use a Smart Album to track photos that are not keyword tagged. The other, which I do for now, is to periodically review everything in iCloud Photos.app, then export everything from there (so it's empty), then import into my photo repository of choice (still Aperture, but Lightroom and others would work the same way. I think one could even use a non-syncing Photos.app library. 

In other words, I use Photos just as a queue for export. If I want to view images on my phone I export from Aperture to Google Photos (for now).

I don't have a great way to review and track photos from family member iCloud libraries. I will probably apply a keyword tag to those I export to reduce duplicate exports.

PS. Photos.app on iOS used to have a special album that identified images that were on-device. That worked well with Image Capture or Aperture Import; I'd delete those images after importing them. These days everything is in iCloud, so I no longer import from the iPhone, I view and export from Photos.app on my Mac. Then I import into Aperture.

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Put display to sleep on Mac with Touch ID: ctrl-shift-power replaced by hot corner

I use Ctrl-Shift-Power to put my MacBook Air display to sleep each night. That doesn't work on a Mac with Touch ID. I believe the only option is to use a hot corner and choose display sleep.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Don't blame your hub when your USB Flash (thumb) drive disconnects from your Mac

I tried using a SanDisk USB Flash ("thumb") drive as an alternative Time Machine backup device on my daughter's 2020 Intel MacBook Air (Catalina) and my 2020 Apple Silicon MacBook Air (Big Sur). It worked when directly connected to a 2011 MacBook Air (High Sierra), but when connected to an Anker USB-C hub it kept disconnecting:


I was pretty annoyed with the Anker hub and decided to return it, but then I tried it on my 2016 MacBook Air (Mojave) with a rock solid old Elgato Thunderbolt 2 Hub. The same thing happened there!

So I can't blame the Anker hub too much. I canceled my Amazon return. The bug is probably some mixture of faults in macOS, the processor in Flash drives, and some global Hub/USB flaw. 

It would be interesting to test Apple's hub-equivalent dongle -- the USB-C Digital AV multiport adapter.

Migrating from 9yo 11" High Sierra MacBook Air to 2021 Big Sur M1 Air

I replaced Emily's 8-9 yo MacBook Air 11" running High Sierra with Apple's latest (M1) Air (Big Sur). A few notes for others who might be facing migrations....

  1. I used Migration Assistant over WiFi but I didn't migrate any applications. Apps have changed to much, better to install from source. Pay CLOSE ATTENTION when they tell you to write down the user passwords! (I took a photo). Migration Assistant brings over a lot of old junk but it also saves a lot of time; it's a pain to migrate mail archives without it.
  2. Only 1Password needed Rosetta so far. As I write Office 365 is installing.
  3. Citrix Workspace for Apple Silicon worked! That was biggest risk.
  4. I couldn't get Carbon Copy Cloner email notifications working. I contacted vendor. The app works for back up though.
  5. I didn't want to use the iCloud Document sync feature and Migration Assistant did preserve my High Sierra settings.
  6. You need to open Photos and let it update before reenabling iCloud photo sync. There's no error message -- it just won't work.
  7. For multiple users I couldn't update the User Profile Login picture from the user account, I had to do it from my Admin account in Users and Groups preferences. (Needed update for Retina images)
  8. I did better skipping iCloud setup initially then doing it from each User account separately.
  9. I had to reenable Fast User Switching on 1-2 accounts.

Overall I ran into a few bugs and glitches but High Sierra is 3 releases from Big Sur so that's a hard jump. Really wasn't terrible so far. 

The new Air is rather faster than the 9yo 11" Air, but not amazingly faster than my 5yo MacBook Air (Best Computer Ever Made). Most delays are waiting for servers, so local speedups don't make a ton of difference.