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Category: Problem Solving

Adam Engst 37 comments

A Call to Alarms: Why We Need Persistent Calendar and Reminder Notifications

Frustrated by how easy he finds it to ignore notifications for important events and timed reminders, Adam Engst proposes alarms that continue to go off until stopped manually, creating a third notification type alongside banners and alerts.

Adam Engst 4 comments

Howard Oakley Lists Apple System Updates

Trying to remember when macOS 13.2 came out? Turn to Howard Oakley's new System Updates page, which lists all macOS updates by version, sorted chronologically and with links to his coverage.

Adam Engst 63 comments

The 46 Mac Apps I Actually Use and Why

What third-party apps would you install on a clean Mac to restore your preferred working environment? Adam Engst recently had the opportunity to learn just what apps he really uses—here’s the list.

Julio Ojeda-Zapata 8 comments

Using Smart Speakers While Temporarily Blind

How smart are smart speakers, really? Julio Ojeda-Zapata put this to the test when temporarily sightless due to a medical condition.Leaning on his Amazon, Apple, and Google speakers more than usual proved an often-frustrating exercise because Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant are still pretty dumb.

Adam Engst 46 comments

Level 2 Clean Install of Ventura Solves Deep-Rooted Problems

Faced with recurrent kernel panics and an inexplicable problem on the first boot after installing a minor macOS update, Adam Engst opts for a Level 2 clean install when upgrading to macOS 13 Ventura. What’s a Level 2 clean install? And did it work?

Adam Engst 58 comments

Apple Releases iOS 16.4, iPadOS 16.4, macOS 13.3 Ventura, watchOS 9.4, tvOS 16.4, and HomePod Software 16.4

It’s update day at Apple again, with updates to all the company’s operating systems. A few changes may be particularly welcome, including Voice Isolation for cellular calls, duplicate handling in an iCloud Shared Photo Library, and Web app notifications.

Adam Engst 36 comments

Dealing with Leading Zeroes in Spreadsheet Data

After receiving an “undeliverable” holiday card back, Adam and Tonya Engst discovered that their approach to extracting data from Contacts to print labels inadvertently deleted leading zeroes in ZIP codes. Can they ever send snail mail to New England? Here’s what happened—and how to avoid similar errors.

Adam Engst 14 comments

Quirky TidBITS Issue Printing Problem Solved

Prompted by a question from a reader about why images didn’t appear in printed copies of the TidBITS email issue, we look under the hood in WordPress to find the culprit.

Adam Engst 82 comments

Apple’s File Provider Forces Mac Cloud Storage Changes

As cloud storage services like Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, and Microsoft OneDrive move from deprecated kernel extensions to Apple’s File Provider extension, Mac users face interface and workflow changes.

Adam Engst 6 comments

tvOS 16.3.3 to Fix Siri Remote Problems for Third-Generation Apple TV 4K

If you've been having connectivity problems between the USB-C Siri Remote and the third-generation Apple TV 4K, the latest update for tvOS promises to help.

Adam Engst 14 comments

macOS Photo Screen Savers Still Don’t Properly Display Rotated or Edited Images

macOS has a long-standing bug that causes screen savers to fail to show edited or rotated images from Photos—only the original versions. Ventura still suffers from this problem, and although Adam Engst shares some workarounds, you’re not going to like them.

Adam Engst 31 comments

Hunting for a Dead Mouse: AirPlay Receiver to the Rescue

Faced with an ever-worsening stench in his laundry room at Christmas. Adam Engst brings thousands of dollars of Apple gear and recent technologies into play to avoid ripping the entire room apart.

Adam Engst No comments

Howard Oakley Determines the Best Disk Image Format

Ever wondered what format to use when creating a disk image in Disk Utility? After comparing the three main types on space efficiency, performance, and convenience, Howard Oakley came up with a clear winner.

Adam Engst 53 comments

iPhones and iPads Now Require a Passcode on Every Backup/Sync

People who use their Macs to back up or sync their iPhones and iPads have discovered they must enter their device passcode for every connection. What’s up with that?!? Adam Engst explains: it’s Apple’s ham-handed response to a security vulnerability.

Adam Engst 11 comments

A Fix for MobileDeviceUpdater’s “Installation Failed”

Mac users sometimes see the prompt “A software update is required to connect to your iPhone/iPad” when connecting one of those devices. What should you do if the installation fails?