Was trying to research how to create a bootable backup on a USB-C external drive under macOS Monterey. I am using a backup tool called ChronoSync, so I started to research and found a tech note about bootable backups.

No longer can you just make a copy of your main hard drive and make it bootable. You need to first install macOS on an external hard drive, according to Macworld.

The above article recommends that I format the drive as an macOS Extended format. Is that correct? I thought that we were using APFS now, and my internal drive is formatted as an APFS Volume Group.

I couldn’t test this because when I clicked “Show All Disks…” in the installer to see external drives for installation, the installer told me that I could not install on the volume I had chosen because it was part of an AppleRAID.

AppleRAID volumes do no support installing a bootable drive.
AppleRAID volumes do no support installing a bootable drive.

Looks like I will buy a dedicated backup hard drive and update this. If you have any suggestions on external drives for bootable backups, then tweet me.

Recently was searching for a wireless charging pad that would support an Apple Watch, AirPods Pro and iPhone. There are some really well-designed stations, most that are quite pricey.

Satechi

One of the more stylish manufacturers of charging gear is Satechi. However, I balked at ordering this due to the extra shipping costs from the US to Hong Kong.

Friends say Satechi works well, but feels cheap
Friends say Satechi works well, but feels cheap

View Trio Wireless Charger With Magnetic Pad

Nomad

I found a version of this in the Wanchai computer center a while ago and this is the brand I use, but I didn’t see it the last time I walked around the computer center. Overall, it works well, though some days I wake up, and my watch has not been charged.

Using this for years it works well and just realized it supports charging 3 items.
Using this for years it works well and just realized it supports charging 3 items.

View Base Station

Belkin

After trying to find a charging pad that I don’t have to ship from the US to Hong Kong, this Belkin one seems to be the best looking and supports new fast charging methods for newer phones and watches. This is also available in the Apple Store in Hong Kong.

This seems to be the charging station with all the latest tech charging the newest tech quickly.
This seems to be the charging station with all the latest tech charging the newest tech quickly.

View Belkin BOOST↑CHARGE™ PRO 3-in-1 Wireless Charging Pad with MagSafe

All these are quite high in price, if you see a more reasonable priced version, please tweet bdeverman. Simultaneously, I’m going to be monitoring the Hong Kong Carousell Chargers & Cables category.

Made some big changes to my photos library and need my TimeMachine on Big Sur to backup faster over the network to my Drobo.

Searched and found a few tips. First one is this command to remove process throttling:

 sudo sysctl debug.lowpri_throttle_enabled=0 

This still was not enough so then I also tried the renice command:

sudo renice -n -20 -p 565

To get the process id I just used activity monitor and looked for “backupd” in the Activity monitor.

Now I see the “backupd” process jumping up to as much as 50% of the CPU. Since I am on an Apple Silicon M1 I wasn’t too worried about it slowing down.

As of this writing Google Drive’s native Mac application is not supported on M1 Macs because it is a kernel extension and those don’t run intel code on the M1 architecture.

Manipulating Files in the Finder on Google Drive when Drive is no longer a folder

As I have many Hazel rules that sort files into my Google Drive files, I have been trying to find a way to sync my files from my local folder.

I found that Transmit had support for Google Drive and I could log in to my Google Drive using that App. Then I remembered that Transmit had the feature to turn a cloud service into a local drive, however after further reading I found this no longer worked as they don’t support the Transmit Disk feature anymore.

After migrating from my Intel MacBook Pro to my M1, I tried to do some sleuthing to find where the Google Drive data was stored to see if the files were readable locally.

I found the files stored in:

~/Library/Application Support/Google/DriveFS

Unfortunately, the files were not stored as a human-readable folder structure and instead seemed to be in another database format:

Google Drive storage in the Library folder
Google Drive storage in the Library folder

Syncing from Google Drive to a Local Folder

This seemed to indicate my only option was to use Transmit to sync the Google Drive files back down to my local drive to recreate the local copy of the files. One of the drawbacks of using Transmit Sync is the inability to sync the Google Docs documents like sheets.

Syncing problems down to the Local Folder

After doing the sync down to the local folder did not sync everything. I found quite a few errors of syncing down event XLS files and with the Transmit report, it was hard to figure out why.

/SZP GM/Accounting/Payroll Report/SZ Party Payroll Report - 201807.xls - Could not download “SZ Party Payroll Report - 201807.xls”.
/SZP GM/Accounting/Canceled Platinum Business MasterCard 2017-2019/hsbc-6.pdf - Could not download “hsbc-6.pdf”.

Updating my Hazel Rules

Hazel lets you change the folder with the “Relocate Folder…” option…

Hazel change of folder destination
Hazel change of folder destination

WARNING This change all my rules to use the new folder and then started to move all my pdfs that were stuck in my downloads folder since my migration to my M1 Mac.

Uploading to Google Drive using Transmit

Now that Hazel had copied my PDFs I thought the next step was going to be to upload them to transmit. Just to be careful I used the “Simulate” command in Transmit to make sure that the upload was going to work? I got some confusing results as shown in this screenshot.

Upload sync unexpected results
Upload sync unexpected results

The files that Transmit considered to be changed were not just the PDFs that hazel filed. This si where I got gun shy to complete the upload and have published this blog post to send to Panic to see if they have any advice. Will update it after.

Automating sync

If I can get the
Panic has a video about how to set up a regular sync using automator.

Other Options

I saw a link to the program Insync which claims to be able to replace Google Drive file stream but I have not tried it.

Reference

Now that I use Sidecar to turn my iPad Pro into a second screen I got a bit tired of going to the display preferences to change where my iPad was physically sitting each time. Since I am hot desking I have to put it on the left or the right and that changes almost daily.

Originally, I thought I would fix this would Keyboard Maestro but it can’t change the display layout and it is too hard to automate it to do the preferences.

I found a stack exchange thread with a link to displayplacer. This is a command line tool that can be installed by homebrew which will do the job of display preferences.

After following the instructions to install the tool you can capture your current screen configuration and then run a command to switch.

I created a Keyboard Maestro macro that monitors when the iPad is plugged in and then prompts me to turn on sidecar and choose the side of the desk where the iPad sits.

My first job out of college brought me to New York City to setup around 10 G4 cubes as web servers for an Ecommerce company. These beautiful machines fit well on the racks.

20 Macs for 2020 #13: Power Mac G4 Cube (#8) – Relay FM

There may have never been a Mac more aligned with Steve Jobs
— Read on www.relay.fm/20macs/13

Was trying to copy a few sheets in the writing application Ulysses to the clipboard. I found what to do but it is confusing. You think the normal copy function would work by selecting multiple sheets:

Copy doesn't work like you would think here.
Copy doesn’t work like you would think here.

But it results in the following when pasting…

ulysses://x-callback-url/open?id=W3qZJyl-Npi55m4SlsCwHA
ulysses://x-callback-url/open?id=w2dUH4mafDX5PXWm0mKeqQ
ulysses://x-callback-url/open?id=eRznbiOJJOuj7RUgQKSNkA

Instead I found that if you try to share the sheets as if you were publishing them you have an option to copy to the clipboard:

The "A" graphic here stands for "Copy to Clipboard"
The “A” graphic here stands for “Copy to Clipboard”

The “A” icon in the above screen shot is the option you should use to get the contents of multiple Ulysses sheets in to the clipboard. You can choose the format in the format section so that you don’t have to take the text as Markdown.

After clicking the icon in the share sheet just switch to another app and paste the text.

When I found some old CDs from college I tried to read them in Mac OS X Catalina and was shown an error message. You can read the investigation I went through on the previous linked post.

My friend suggested I try to mount the CDs in a virtual machine so that that started me down a new rabbit hole.

To sum up Apple dropped support for reading HFS in Catalina.

I knew that Parallels could do Mac OS X virtual machines so I thought it would be simple to create.

Turned out to be more complex than I thought and took a lot of google searches so let me try to summarize here.

First Parallels can install but it needs the original installer. Lots of articles tell you to get the older operating installer from your purchase history but if you are on a brand new MacBook Pro 16 inch those old installers won’t show up because your computer doesn’t support them.

It turns out that Apple has a TechNote for most of the older operating systems. I chose the TechNote for macOS Sierra: How to upgrade to macOS Sierra. You will find a download link for an installer around step 4.

Download the disk image using the download link on this step
Download the disk image using the download link on this step

Once you have this on your drive there is still more to do.

In Parallels go to File > New.. to bring up the installation assistant. Originally I tried to find this disk image from the option “Install Windows or another OS from a DVD or image file” but that didn’t work.

The image file you just downloaded can't be recognized with the middle option.
The image file you just downloaded can’t be recognized with the middle option.

Parallels had a support document on installing Mojave that for some reason I didn’t quite understand so one support email later I had clarity on what needed to be done.

You want to scroll all the way to the right on the below screen:

Start by installing macOS Catalina off a recovery partion.
Start by installing macOS Catalina off a recovery partion.

First you need to create a virtual machine based off of Catalina. This is just a temporary virtual machine that allows you to get to the older operating system installer.

Go through the motions of setting up the Catalina operating system.
Go through the motions of setting up the Catalina operating system.

Once you setup the Catalina virtual machine you have to install the “Parallels Tools” on the Catalina operating system. That takes place from the Actions menu. The VM will be restarted and you can then see shared folders between your real Mac and the VM.

Then it is best to quote directly from the tech support email because this is what gave me the lightbulb moment:

  1. Transfer the installmacosx.dmg to the new virtual machine that is created.
  2. Open installmacosx.dmg and run the .pkg file inside the virtual machine.
  3. Once the installation finishes, the app file will be generated in the virtual machine’s Applications folder.
  4. Move the .app file to the Documents folder of your Mac and run Parallels Desktop Installation Assistant. The installation .app will be recognized automatically and you will be able to proceed with creation of virtual machine.

To sum up the above you just want to use the temporary Catalina virtual Machine to run the installer. Once you get the OS installer application you can drag it back to your real Mac using the Parallels shared folders.

Installer extraction completed
Installer extraction completed

Now you create a new virtual machine all over again but this time you can choose the “Install Windows or another OS from a DVD or image file” and it will find the installer.

Parallels automatically recognizes the installer.
Parallels automatically recognizes the installer.

Now just go through the process of installing a Mac virtual machine.

Link your VM to the physical CD reader

Once I just made sure that the CD reader was linked to the Virtual Machine, I was able to copy my files to a folder and enjoy some old college memories of long forgotten documents.