Category Archives: Mac

How to upgrade to the new Nano 5.0 on Mac and Pi

The Nano command line text editor has reached a new milestone: version 5.0.

There are the usual array of bug fixes and tweaks, but what caught my eye among the release notes was the introduction of a scroll indicator. This tells you where you are within a long file and is particularly good for mouse users so you can see where you’ve got to as you mouse-wheel through a document.

Nano 5.0 features a new scroll indicator on the right
Continue reading

How to Script macOS Command Line Tool Notarization and Packaging for Distribution

A few posts back, I talked about the script I use to package macOS apps that I distribute outside of the Mac App Store. That script is designed to simplify the complex process of signing and notarizing not only the app itself but also the installer package its ships within. This is all made necessary by the ever more rigorous, annoying but necessary security provisions Apple is applying to macOS.

Continue reading

How to take control of macOS Finder window sizes

I don’t know if this is a glitch in my system — I see it in a couple of machines, though both have the same config — but under macOS Catalina, Finder has an annoying habit of ignoring the size of windows. Pop up a new Finder window and it’s just a small quarter-of-screen panel at the top left of the desktop, not the much larger panel that the most recently closed window was.

Continue reading

Spruce up the Nano text editor with syntax colouring and more

I use the Nano text editor for command line work. The version installed by Apple (2.0.6) is well behind the curve; use Brew to supersede it with the latest version (5.x at the time of editing).

Nano on macOS with syntax highlighting enabled — and much more
Continue reading

Give macOS’ Terminal a better ‘ls’

Anyone who uses Terminal will run the ls command to get a listing of files and directories. It’s built in to macOS’ BSD Unix foundation layer. It has one key limitation for me: it has no option to list directories before listing files. Read on to learn how to deal with this issue.

gls in action in macOS’ Terminal app
Continue reading

How to quickly package macOS apps for distribution outside the App Store

Preparing a macOS app for distribution through the App Store is fairly easy using Xcode, but to do so for apps that you plan to distribute as a binary by other means — as a download from your own website, for example — isn’t straightforward, and it has got more complicated over recent macOS releases.

macOS app package icon
Continue reading

Using the Z shell on the Mac and Pi

When Apple released MacOS Catalina, it decided to switch the default command line shell from the Bourne Again Shell, aka bash, to the Z Shell, aka zsh. One reason for this was that Apple installs a rather old version of bash, 3.3.57, to allow it to include the software under a licence it’s happy with. This isn’t a problem that affects zsh, so Apple can bundle a much more recent release.

That was no problem for me, either, because I long ago used Homebrew to install an up-to-date version of bash, 5.0.17, and have been happily using in preference to the Apple one. To do so yourself, run brew install bash and then go to System Preferences > Users & Groups. Unlock if you need to then right-click on your name in the left-hand column and select Advanced Options…. Now highlight the Login shell: field and set the path to your preferred shell, in this case /usr/local/bin/bash. Afterwards, you can enter echo $SHELL to confirm the change.

Continue reading

Want 50 great fonts for your iPad? Get my new free app

iPadOS 13 (iOS 13 with knobs, basically) introduced user-installable fonts — or typefaces as we used to call them in the trade, especially in pre-digital times. Apple already bundles a host of fonts with iPadOS, but the addition of user-installable fonts ought to allow much greater scope for tablet-based typographical creativity.

59ADC6A2-3B06-43AD-87B2-F3343FAAA2AC
User installed fonts in iPadOS 13
Continue reading