macOS 13.0.0 Ventura introduced an irritating problem for all us Mac-based Raspberry Pi Pico programmers: Finder no longer allows you to copy .uf2 files to a mounted Pico. It’s not a forbidden operation, but it does trigger an error that prevents the copy from taking place. This is undoubtedly the ‘new normal’, so here are some ways to circumvent the error. I’ll save the best one until last.
This post was originally going to be about building a tool to access I²C devices on a Mac, reaching them via USB and an Excamera Labs I2CMini adaptor board. But then I accidentally snapped the pins and board traces off my I2CMini, so I had to go back to the drawing board. Now it’s about accessing I²C devices on a Mac using a Raspberry Pi Pico, or any other RP2040-based board, as the adaptor.
I connect to my Mac many USB devices that communicate over a serial (UART) bus to send debug information to the host or to receive data and code. You know, Raspberry Pi Picos, Adafruit Feathers, FTDI cables — that kind of thing. Often I have more than one connected. Is there an easy way to see what’s connected without listing /dev every time and to remember connected devices’ paths?
Over the last few years I’ve released a number of command line utilities for macOS. I’ve always included online help within them, triggered with the --help switch, but I recently wondered how I might provide Unix Manual pages too. It would allow users to call up help with the CLI command man as well as a command switch. Belts and braces, perhaps, but I’m a completist and, more to the point, didn’t know how it was done and wanted to learn.
How do you safely interrupt a command-line program written in Swift? This question was posed to me this week by a reader who got in touch to point out that boilerplate code included in my How to write macOS command line tools in Swift post might not be totally safe: it could leave a program and system in an undefined state, which is never a good thing. So I took a closer look.
I recently had a rather large number of screenshots to process: specifically to crop them down to a small area about a third of screen width in and two-thirds of its height down. I could have done this manually, but it’s easy enough to make mis-crops when you’re cropping a couple of images by eye, let alone a 100 or so. The solution? Get your Mac to do it for you. Here’s how.
For a while, running commands and scripts in macOS’ Terminal has felt slower than it should, especially when opening Terminal for the first time. Clearly my .zshrc file was being run, but there was a very noticeable pause between the completion of the script and before the prompt appeared. The gap was much less on my M1 Mac than my Intel machine, but still noticeable. Got the same problem? Here’s how to fix it.
PreviewMarkdown’sThumbnailer component, an App Extension which generates Finder icon thumbnail previews of Markdown documents, recently started showing some odd behaviour. Tracking down the cause provided some interesting insights into writing macOS software for a multi-threaded environment.
I’d like to introduce you — if you’re not already acquainted — to the Z Shell’s incredibly handy function zmv. If you ever need to change at the command line the names of a batch of files consistently, it’s the tool you’ll want to turn to first. It’s not well known, and having been given the nod by a colleague, I thought I’d explore and pass on some notes about taking advantage of it.