Category Archives: Mac

How to share preferences between macOS/iOS apps

A couple of macOS releases or so ago, Apple introduced app extensions: self-contained modules that are bundled within apps to deliver functionality to the wider operating system. But how do apps and their extensions share information between themselves, in particular users’ preferences?

PreviewMarkdown’s new Preferences sheet
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How to migrate to native Homebrew on an M1 Mac

Let the great Homebrew migration begin. Yes, Homebrew now has native support for Apple’s ARM64-based M1 chip. The latest version, 3.0.0, released 5 February, will run nicely on your Apple Silicon Mac. There’s a catch, of course. Well, several catches: first, not all of the tools you can install using Homebrew are M1 native yet and, second, Homebrew doesn’t offer explicit migration instructions, that I could find at least.

Apple Silicon Mac, now with native Homebrew support
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A first look at a MicroPython marvel: the Raspberry Pi Pico, in partnership with a Mac

On Thursday morning I awoke to the news that the Raspberry Pi people have entered the microcontroller board market with a new product, the Raspberry Pi Pico. Before I’d even got out of bed, I ordered a couple. Well, at £3.60 a pop, why not? I’ve now had a chance for a quick play, and here are my findings.

The Raspberry Pi Pico
“Yeah, I know it — it’s on Pico…”
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Oi, app makers, no! Enough Markdown monkey business!

PreviewMarkdown, my modern QuickLook plug-in for Markdown files, was recently updated to version 1.1.4. It was a minor change, which is why it wasn’t announced here, but the reason for the update may interest to anyone keen to understand the workings of macOS. It also highlights some inconsiderate behaviour on the part of some Mac software developers.

PreviewMarkdown, the markdown file viewer
PreviewMarkdown relies on known Markdown file UTIs
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Just released: imageprep 6.2.0 with powerful new features

imageprep, my command line tool for batch-processing picture files, had a big update a week or so back — and now it has another one. With the second update imminent, I didn’t announce the first, 6.1.0, which I released to coincide with my post on writing command line utilities in Swift. That done, it’s time to shout about imageprep 6.2.0.

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How To Write macOS Command Line Tools with Swift

I’ve spent a lot of time of late working on several macOS command line tools written in Swift. So I’ve gathered together the key points I’ve learned while creating and updating pdfmaker and imageprep: some best practices and ways to deliver many of the features common to programs the run at the command line.

imageprep running in Terminal
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Released: MNU and other updates

I’ve just posted updates to a couple of applications. Both can be grabbed from my website or installed using Homebrew.

MNU 1.4.6 provides quick and easy access to your frequently accessed command-line tools
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Out now: a Swift-ier version of imageprep

I’ve just released version 6.0.0 of imageprep, my macOS command line tool for processing batches of images. Born a shell script, imageprep has now not only finished school and graduated from college, but also has gained employment as a fully compiled application. It’s written in Swift so it’s quicker these days.

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App updates support Apple Silicon

These apps will now run natively on Apple’s M1 chip:

All of them are available as downloads from the links above, and all but PreviewMarkdown, which is available from the Mac App Store, can be installed and updated through Homebrew.

Apple Silicon survival notes — day one with an ARM Mac

You have to take your hat off to Apple: it knows how to transition from one processor architecture to another, completely incompatible one. It did it in the mid-1990s with the switch from the Motorola 680×0 series to PowerPC, then again a decade or so later when it put Intel inside new Macs. Now we get ARM.

Apple Silicon ARM-based MacBook Pro
ARM-our plated
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