Friday, September 16, 2022
When I tried to run Disk Utility on my 2020 Intel Air running Monterey I got:
Running First Aid on ..
Google found exactly one reference to this in a 2021 Apple Discussion post with a link to an Apple Support article that has since been removed ...
... That turned out to the known issue linked with the T2 Security chip (https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT203127). Resetting the SMC solved that problem as well as the original problem with the hard drive.
Resetting SMC (I used two methods) fixed the bug and First Aid was able to continue. (There are other problems, but at least this one was fixed.)
I don't know if this insanely rare or if Google simply isn't that useful any more (probably both). Resharing here.
Monday, September 05, 2022
Managing multiple Apple Store Apple IDs in Monterey: how to sign out and thus change default Apple ID for app update and purchase
There's a lot of complexity in Apple's software, but my nomination for the ultimate complexity is the web of undocumented and slowly changing rules and tools around Apple's Digital Rights Management (FairPlay) including rights to use media (music, video) and software (apps) for both individuals and family members.
I don't think anyone truly understands it all, not even Apple's senior developers. Sometime in the past decade Tim Cook said he'd fix the Apple ID problem and then things went silent. It's a nightmare. I remember when changing a phone number associated with an Apple ID could switch the ownership arrangement for device history (presumably a matching problem between disparate databases).
My most recent experience with this was trying to fix the default Apple Store Apple ID used to for Mac App Store DRM on my wife's Air Monterey account. It was defaulting to an Apple ID we used to share for iTunes purchases 10+ years ago. I've been slowly disentangling it for 4 years now and the rules change with each macOS/iOS release. Currently there's a bit more tooling to sort out who owns what on a Mac but it's obscure.
As far as I can tell the controls for this are now hidden in the App Store app. That kind of makes sense, because the rules (and Apple's DRM contracts) for movies/TV, music and apps are all likely different. You have to go into the App Store app, which can show the apps associated with multiple Apple IDs, then you have to sign out from the menu:
Monday, August 29, 2022
Podcasts started out as distributing MP3 files; back then iTunes was a great podcast app (and music and audiobooks, and voice memos and more -- it was a glorious app before the fall.)
Over the years Podcasts really shifted to streaming, listen once, don't keep. Then, somewhere post Mojave (Monterey) Apple orphaned the physical podcast files stored in iTunes. The Finder shows physical files in your media library but neither Music.app or Podcast.app can browse them. Music. app's browser Get Info still shows the media type dropdown, but there's only one type! (Music)
If you click on a podcast file iTunes will play it and import the file into the media library where it has media type Music but genre podcast.
So the fix is:
1. Move Podcast folder out of media library
2. Reimport all podcast as music.
3. For genre podcast multi-edit to make more like podcasts. You use macOS Music.app column browse to see all with genre "podcast", select all then hit cmd-I. You'll see a prompt asking if you wish to multi-edit (yes). Then in Options select: 'remember playback position' 'skip when shuffling'. I think this operation may fail if a file is being uploaded to Apple Music (at least I get to burn GB of Apple Storage!) so let uploads complete if it doesn't work.
PS. Voice Memos are supposed to have a migrate path, but that didn't show for me.
Saturday, August 27, 2022
Tuesday, August 23, 2022
Ugh. Almost nothing went well with doing migration assistant from Mojave to Monterey. I had to trash my Photo Library and recreate a new system photo library to repopulate from iCloud. I had to turn off iCloud Drive, delete the Archive versions, then turn it back on again. A bug with deleting user accounts was unrelated but took up an hour or two.
Kind of what I'm used to with Apple to be honest.
I probably would have been better off to migrate my documents folder and my mail files manually, then recreate the rest.
Unrelated but also sad: I hoped Apple's T2 to USB-C cable would let me continue to use my T2 hub and related peripherals (some Firewire 800!) but it's unstable in early testing.
If you delete a user account in some versions of macOS (Monterey in my case) where the user account was created in certain earlier versions of macOS you will run into a System Integrity bug.
There's a folder called VoiceTrigger that in the deleted user account that is protected by System Integrity (~/Library/VoiceTrigger/SAT. ) It's located in the User's Library, so it should not be SIP protected. (In Monterey there's nothing there called SAT).
I'm guessing the bug is that it was never supposed to be SIP protected but in some version of macOS it was. Maybe Big Sur. (There's a second bug because the error message is incorrect. The problem isn't that the file is in use, the problem is it's SIP protected.)
I found the fix in in r/MacOS - disable SIP, delete, re-enable SIP:
Things other's suggested that didn't work:
1. Terminal: sudo rm -rf ~/.Trash/*
Note you need to be admin to do this. There's a way to escalate non-admin to use sudo but I think Apple has basically given up on non-admin user accounts.
2. Turn off iCloud document sync.
Friday, July 29, 2022
Wi-Fi Calling not working? Your probably SIM-swapped and your IMEI is wrong and you don't have HD Voice
When Emily complained of poor call quality I tried enabling Wi-Fi calling on her 13mini -- and got this error message:
We've hit a bump, but we should have it straightened ... ERR0093-WS
Don't worry, it will never get straightened. This is a crap error message. A pixel page gave me the answer.
Chances are you SIM-Swapped this phone to avoid an infuriating $50 activation fee from AT&T. Turns out that only seems to work, the IMEI in AT&T's system doesn't update. If your plan has HD Voice (most do) it's not working and Wi-Fi (WiFi) calling won't work.
We called AT&T new line support (chat was down) at 611 and after a bit of careful navigating got a human being in "advanced technical support" who updated the IMEI number for us. You may also be asked for the ICCID number. After a phone restart and waiting a few minutes Wi-Fi calling worked. Her voice quality also seemed better.
I did this for a different phone and the first agent said I needed a new SIM -- then (accidentally I think) dropped me. A second agent wanted IMEI and ICCID then told me to restart the phone. It seems to take 3 minutes or so for the change to propagate and enable Wi-Fi calling (and HD Voice by the way).
If you SIM swap to avoid AT&T's #$@$ $50 activation fee you should probably call support or take your phone to an AT&T store to fix the IMEI there.
What's the chance AT&T will ever give up on its activation fee grift? Would be nice for them to just do an eSIM without the fee.
Friday, July 22, 2022
Getting Outlook to export Exchange contacts as vCards (vcf) with proper email addresses for use in macOS
In 2009 I wrote about how it was getting harder to move contact information out of Outlook into something else (like macOS Contacts). I wrote about some options, but that's not what I do now.
Here's what I do (tested in Mojave, which I'm still using because Aperture):
- Create a simple list Contacts view. I usually only want people so I sort by last name. In a few cases last name of people is blank so I fix that.
- Now create an empty email. Drag Contacts from Outlook's view into the email body. It has to be to the email, dragging to desktop creates a .msg file. It might fail if you do too many so I distribute 300-400 contacts across 4 separate emails. Outlook creates a vCard file as an attachment. It resolves the email too, so instead of an Outlook x400 (?) you get a proper email address.
- Send the email to your Mac
- On the Mac download all attachments. They show as VCF files and macOS renders them quite well. If they have photos the photos show within the card icon. Spotlight indexes them all. You don't even need to bother with dropping them into Contacts (though that's easy to do, you can drop them into your Contacts Groups (folders)).
Sunday, May 15, 2022
Based on some issues I've seen with my daughter's devices I think that Apple Message sync will only work when both Apple ID for "iCloud" and Apple ID for "Media & Purchases" agree on both devices.
There's a dependency on "Media & Purchases" Apple ID for Apple Messages, perhaps because it's descended from the Apple messaging apps that predate iCloud.
Considerations and discoveries
- It's difficult to move IMAP emails between services. IMAP emails can be copied to a local store. In mail. app I've had success dragging and dropping emails from one IMAP inbox to another, but I believe this is fragile and unreliable. You can also copy, see this iCloud example.
- Local store email is barely supported any more. Mail.app, for example,
- My domains are managed by Dreamhost which does provide some classic web services though fewer than it once did.
- Domain based email forwarding is fragile -- many services including google will reject it. See DKIM notes below.
- Modern email is both essential and a river of spam and Google has good spam filtering (though it was better once)
- The knowledge of how to manage DNS settings is more esoteric now than it once was, and Google Search no longer works.
- My Dreamhost DNS and mail forwarding has lots of old detritus. That's on me!
References related to closing Google Workspace accounts
- Microsoft on switching to Office 365 - cancel subscription
- Fastmail also has switching options, but price not much less that Google Workspace
- Google has not provided any migration guidance.
- You close your account by canceling the subscription: https://admin.google.com/ac/billing/subscriptions/ then deleting the account (see below).
References for migrating to Dreamhost email services
- Dreamhost email client configuration
- The Dreamhost custom MX config panel has 'uses Gmail' management links that take you to Google admin (so not terribly useful but at least can tell what to change.
- Dreamhost used to support both a mailbox and a forwarding action but you can't do that any more (still works for old settings). Dreamhost uses Roundcube Webmail but has not enabled forwarding in that app. You can use forwarding directly from a domain but I think Google treats emails forwarded this way as spam. (At one time we were supposed to have had quite large storage caps with Dreamhost, but I think email overwhelmed them. Similar to the days our Gmail storage was to be unlimited.)
- A comment on this post mentioned imap sync for moving email: "For transferring IMAP email, imapsync works well. There's a free version you can download and run on your computer (or on your hosting provider if you have ssh access). It's well documented and relatively easy to get your head around, and is fast and reliable. I’ve not got any affiliation, but someone pointed me to it a couple of years ago, and I’ve since used imapsync to migrate email hosts for a small organisation. Highly recommended."
References for migrating to Apple iCloud+ email
- You can assign up to 5 domains to a family group and for each domain each member can have up to 3 email addresses.
- Apple will instruct on how to do DNS settings (there's a bug in the quotes apparently) - there's also a tech note on DNS settings.
- Useful twitter stream on migration to iCloud
- Detailed twitter thread on migration - Google takeout mbox, import into Mail, then drag from local to iCloud.
My steps to closing an essentially unused account where I didn't worry about forwarding
- Go to Google admin console for account.
- Review how many users exist. (typically one)
- For that user review email to see if there's anything important, sites, docs, etc. Don't forget google voice!
- From Google Admin account cancel your subscription. Now pay close attention so you don't miss the next step - delete your account (https://admin.google.com/ac/companyprofile/accountmanagement)
- Go to DNS for domain and delete the Google CNAME records
- Go Custom MX controls and Choose "make me regular email". It may take hours for this to work.
- At this point Dreamhost enables webmail. But I wonder if this actually blocks email forwarding even if you set that up! (The lack of warning doesn't give me a happy feeling about Dreamhost TBH.) So disable webmail. Dreamhost also has a control panel for email forwarding that I think is a disabled feature.) - NEED TO TEST MORE HERE
- Go to Manage Email and set up a forwarding account as needed. This can take a while. Apple picked up the DNS changes within about 15-30 minutes, but Google took 1-2h. (I wonder if DNS propagation in general works as well as it once did.)
- Enable DKIM if not already enabled.
On Mojave as of May 2022 CCC v 5.whatever wouldn't create a sparse bundle disk image for me when I selected new disk image as destination. The 'action button' was grayed out.
I switched from the non-admin account I've long used with CCC to an admin account and I was able to do it.
I was able to create disk images using Disk Utility from the non-admin account.
I don't have time or energy to debug further, but if you run into this issue try an admin account.
PS. Once upon a time CCC would just create a disk image if the task referenced one but none was found on the target drive. That's no longer an option, if you are setting up a new drive modern tasks will require the disk image to exist. It's hard to get the 'right' image manually, so you really want CCC to create it for you.
Also, by the way, and unrelated to above, you need to use AFP if you're doing network CCC backup to a sparse bundle disk image.
Tuesday, April 12, 2022
Recently I've had two issues:
- Mojave Universal Clipboard stopped working between Mojave and iOS 15.4.1
- Mojave notes iCloud synced but always showed a spinning activity icon
- Changing my Mojave location DNS settings from Cloudflare (126.96.36.199) to Google (188.8.131.52). (Based on this post)
- Toggling Notes iCloud off then on again (restores notes)
Sunday, March 13, 2022
Please take these steps to resynchronize the iCloud keychain. Your keychain on iCloud and your other Apple devices won't be affected. Take Step 2 only if Step 1 doesn't solve the problem.Step 1Back up all data.Open the iCloud pane in System Preferences and uncheck the Keychain box. You'll be prompted to delete the local iCloud keychain. Confirm—the data will remain on the servers. Then re-check the box. Follow one of the procedures described in this support article to set up iCloud Keychain on an additional device. Test.Step 2If you still have problems, uncheck the Keychain box again and continue.Triple-click the line below on this page to select it, then copy the text to the Clipboard by pressing the key combination command-C:~/Library/KeychainsIn the Finder, selectGo ▹ Go to Folder...from the menu bar and paste into the box that opens by pressing command-V. You may not see what you pasted because a line break is included. Press return.A folder named "Keychains" should open. Inside it is a subfolder with a long name similar to (but not the same as) this:421DE5CA-D745-3AC1-91B0-CE5FC0ABA128The above is only an example; yours will have a different name of the same general form. Drag the subfolder (not the Keychains folder) to the Trash.Restart the computer, empty the Trash, and re-enable iCloud Keychain.
Sunday, March 06, 2022
What happens when you have an Apple ID without an email address and you change it? (And much more about Apple ID hell.)
I'll provide some back story below, but it's tedious and a bit ranty so I'll put the most useful stuff up front.
For *reasons* (see below) I have had an Apple ID associated with iTunes, App Store, physical Apple Store, hardware and other purchases for about 20 years. For other *reasons* almost lost to memory the username has not been a valid email address for most of those years. Until recently it had an associated email address it would forward to but Apple changed things sometime in the past two years and that stopped working.
We will call this Apple ID username "firstname.lastname@example.org". I will use email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org for my new Store Apple ID ("Media & Purchases") and my longstanding iCloud Apple ID respectively.
Once email@example.com stopped forwarding I no longer received notifications related to Apple Discussions or emails related to charges. Since firstname.lastname@example.org was the store Apple ID for my family (this was the practice in early iTunes days) our children (now adult) used it for purchases. Simplifying a lot and omitting family details the lack of email meant no monthly statements -- so I didn't spot a scam subscription - among other things.
I knew I had to fix this but I dreaded the side-effects. I'd already tried undoing the shared store Apple ID and ran into disaster; I had to reverse that attempt. I had to fix the Apple ID invalid email problem first.
Before Apple broke forwarding for the Apple ID "email@example.com" I had used "firstname.lastname@example.org" as a forwarding address. Although there was no clue in the Apple ID online configuration tool, I knew email@example.com was still entangled with firstname.lastname@example.org (see below, this post goes on for a long time but still omits much).
Ok, so far? I gets a bit simpler then you can skip the back story.
Anyhow ... when Apple broke forwarding they seem to have introduced the ability to change an Apple ID userid - such as email@example.com. I believe, though I can't find any documentation, that the visible username with the form of an email address (ex: firstname.lastname@example.org) is an alias for an unchanging hidden identifier (maybe a GUID).
After some thought I decided the cleanest approach would be to change my Store Apple ID visible username from email@example.com to firstname.lastname@example.org (I knew the two were entangled, see below). It's easy to make this change from appleid.apple.com. When I did this I was not asked to confirm that email@example.com was a valid email address I owned. All I got was an email sent to to firstname.lastname@example.org saying the change had been made.
After I made the change I found the following. I expect other changes as Apple's different systems synchronize and update (I will update this as I learn more, I expect to learn of problems from family members later today):
- I cannot login to the Apple ID or anywhere using email@example.com but the two factor notification dialog still says firstname.lastname@example.org (this may change).
- I think I may have more control over Apple ID two-factor, I can add/remove trusted devices, remove from account, and I can add a second trusted phone number. I still can't add a backup email address; that is available on some other Apple IDs I have
- Apple Discussions is intact. When I login with email@example.com I show as "member since June 23, 2003".
- Mail sent to firstname.lastname@example.org still fails, there's no redirect.
- iTunes on Mojave: asks me to sign in and displays new email@example.com. Says session expired, asks again. Purchase history intact.
- Media & Purchases on iPhone showed new iCloud address and I had no trouble with updating apps.
Messages in iCloud not available as iCloud and iMessage accounts do not match. (Messages in iCloud is not available because iCloud and iMessage accounts are different.)
There's a fix here but it's not the one I needed. When I looked at Messages on my iPhone it showed only my Phone number, the Apple IDs were all absent. When I tried to enter an Apple ID it showed my store Apple ID; I chose "use other Apple ID" and entered my personal iCloud Apple ID. That worked and it immediately restored all my send/receive message list. I could then reenable messages in iCloud.
It didn't fully work on Mojave iMessages though. I reenabled using iCloud Messages in preferences there and about an hour or two later it seemed to start working (though uploading messages to iCloud is still ongoing.)
That concludes the current record of changes to date. So far it has been less of a problem than anticipated, but it's early days. I will add other issues as they emerge. Then I can return to the herculean tasks of moving family members off of a shared Media & Purchases account.
Below are details for the benefit of someone searching who finds this post. They are related older items that I will summarize in outline.
----------- additional details ---------------
As noted above years ago I had firstname.lastname@example.org as forwarding email for the Apple ID email@example.com. The address firstname.lastname@example.org had no associated email because of complex changes Apple made in migrating from free iTools to not-free .Mac to MobileMe. 
When I finally realized I wasn't getting Apple media purchase statements for email@example.com I began investigating what had happened to the old firstname.lastname@example.org iCloud account. I found it was deactivated. I was able to reenable it. That's when things got weird. Remember (if you read above) that there was no longer anything I the Apple ID settings for email@example.com that showed firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once I reenabled email@example.com with a new password I found that:
- Both firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com worked as usernames for the same firstname.lastname@example.org Apple ID.
- The password for the email@example.com Apple ID had changed to match the firstname.lastname@example.org password. [This actually took a day to propagate to iTunes purchases]
- Both email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org showed the same iCloud services (mail, etc).
- email@example.com was still not a valid email address.
Services offered by iTools included the first availability of @mac.com email addresses, which could only be accessed through an email client (e.g. the Mail app); iCards, a free greeting card service; iReview, a collection of reviews of popular web sites; HomePage, a free web page publishing service; the first version of iDisk, an online data storage system; and KidSafe, a directory of family-friendly web sites.
As costs rose, most particularly due to iDisk storage space, the wide demand for @mac.com email accounts, and increasing support needs, iTools was renamed .Mac on July 17, 2002, as a subscription-based suite of services with a dedicated technical support team.
 eWorld https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EWorld
. Yesterday the password for App Store was different from password for Apple ID but today they seem to be same. I think they are two different systems that update every few hours...
· Feb 19
Today it appears there is a single Apple ID with two usernames and one password. One username has iCloud services but is nowhere displayed in Apple ID information. twitter.com/jgordonshare/s…
... If you change a phone's Store ID to match the phone's iCloud ID you cannot update all their apps with their iCloud ID password. You need to use the old Store ID password. Even when family sharing is in play...
... I have a hunch that Apple has an internal ID for users separate from the username (email form) displayed with their Apple IDs and Store IDs and iCloud IDs and that is what they use in FairPlay.