Friday, December 15, 2017

"Initial" Utility Support For APFS
Is Here!


Kudos to Micromat for being the first file system repair utility to be compatible with Apple's (as yet unfinished) APFS, Apple File System for SSDs (solid state drives) running macOS 10.13.x High Sierra! Well done chaps!

You can read about APFS compatibility added to TechTool Pro v9.6 here

Please note that this is only 'initial' support for APFS. But for now, IMHO this is sufficient support for APFS. Micromat states:
Trust us when we say that there is a lot going on with this new file system, so this is just *initial* support. Techtool Pro can now test and repair these disks, even eDrives on them, but we're still hard at work exploring the depths of this file system. Some more advanced features will be coming down the road. 
I've been using Micromat utilities for a couple decades and have never had troubles with their software. Some users have complained about the upgrade fee from TechTool Pro v9 to v9.5. The addition of APFS repair functionality in v9.6 makes the upgrade cost worthwhile.

Still on my radar are APFS repair compatibility in Alsoft's DiskWarrior and Prosoft Engineering's Drive Genius. I'm specifically interested in utilities being able to repair APFS drives. That's what I consider to be critical.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

Meanwhile, there is not-a-sign of Apple progressing with APFS functionality on either hard drives or Fusion drives. There has been no explanation of why, despite there having been Fusion drive compatibility in the first High Sierra beta release. Also, there has been no workaround for the inability of HFS+ drives to access APFS drives. That's bad.

As such I continue to NOT recommend upgrading to macOS 10.13.x High Sierra UNLESS you're only working with SSD Macs. If any HD or Fusion drives are on your network, you're thoroughly stiffed, stung and stalled if you want them to access High Sierra SSD Macs. As such, I consider High Sierra to be an unfinished beta OS, not ready for prime time.

 It's time for the Apple Prod®™. Get moving Apple!!!


Monday, September 25, 2017

Mac Professionals:
Wait to upgrade to macOS 10.13 High Sierra


For Mac professionals, I highly recommend NOT YET updating to macOS 10.13 High Sierra.

Only today, the release date of High Sierra, has Apple let developers know the APFS standard has been finalized. All developers whose software must directly interact with the Mac file system have been waiting until this specific day of standardization until beginning to recode and adapt their software.

As such, it is going to take some time for critical software to catch up with APFS and macOS 10.13 High Sierra.

Therefore, IMHO, waiting to update may be critically important.

Also keep in mind that APFS is specifically designed to work at this time with SSD Macs and NOT Fusion Drive Macs. Please read through this article for further information:

Apple File System in macOS High Sierra won’t work with Fusion Drives
At least not at launch.

IOW: APFS is NOT actually finished, despite Apple’s finalized standard.

You can read developer information about APFS here:


Monday, August 28, 2017

Disk Utilities vs macOS 10.13 High Sierra: Updates Required
(+ Addendum)


There is zero indication that any current disk repair and recovery utilities with which I'm acquainted are going to be compatible with macOS 10.13 High Sierra. Instead, I'm reading reports that they're throwing errors when run on 10.13 beta.


I personally suggest holding onto your money before buying or upgrading ANY disk utility application. Within a month from now we'll know what's going on, so it's no big wait. Blowing dough on current disk utility software is likely to be a total waste.

The situation is that macOS 10.13 High Sierra formally introduces a new file system called Apple File System (APFS). It is foreign to ALL current disk utilities. As such, I'd count on them not working with the new OS.

Disk Repair and Recovery Utilities I've checked:

  • Alsoft DiskWarrior: No mention of 10.13 High Sierra on their website.*
  • Micromat TechTool Pro: No mention of 10.13 High Sierra on their website.
  • Prosoft Engineering Drive Genius and DataRescue: No mention of 10.13 High Sierra on their website.
  • 508 Software (CleverFiles) Disk Drill (Pro): They very kindly have provided a webpage describing their current work on updating their software for High Sierra HERE. Thank you!
  • MacWare DiskTools Pro: Abandonware. I'd personally advise tossing it into the trash.

Other Disk Utilities?

I expect there are going to be compatibility updates for a lot of other disk related utilities. Off the top of my head, I can imagine updates to such utilities as:



It's possible Apple will provide an API layer to help these higher level utilities to continue to work on 10.13 High Sierra.

I have access via AppleSeed to macOS 10.13 betas, but I've avoided it due to my concern about being able to repair disk problems that may arise. Otherwise, I'd have tested all these apps directly. If readers have conducted disk utility tests on 10.13 and would like to share results, please post!

*My sympathies and best wishes to Alsoft, who were affected by Hurricane Harvey in Texas. 😿



I've received a reply comment from Christianp at Micromat regarding both TechTool Pro and MacCheck:
[TechTool Pro] 9.5.2 is a maintenance update, while 10.13 compatibility will arrive in a future update. We never release an update with new OS compatibility until *after* the OS update is released, as Apple sometimes makes last minute changes.

Also, note that APFS is still in development, and Apple has yet to release a spec to developers, which will delay full APFS support from third-party utility makers. Nonetheless, basic APFS support in MacCheck should be available shortly after 10.13 is officially released.

Hopefully this helps.
I’ve verified that this is indeed the case, as per Apple’s statements at their developer website:

Important: This documentation contains preliminary information about an API or technology in development. This information is subject to change, and software implemented according to this documentation should be tested with final operating system software.
IOW: For a number of weeks after the official release of macOS 10.13 High Sierra, the ONLY disk utility we’re going have to repair 10.13 volumes is Apple’s own Disk Utility. I find that to be of considerable concern. It’s a motivator to WAIT to upgrade Macs to 10.13, IMHO.


Monday, June 26, 2017

Missing Emoji: 2017


Thanks to ease and simplicity of PopChar X, now at version 8, I've enjoyed playing with emoji. 

Years back I used to run a server of impossible-to-get music that included techno from Japan. As such, I was introduced to the Japanese versions of 'smilies', called emoticons. I still use a few of them as I prefer their linear design and find them very useful. My favorites are:

(0_o)(o_0) - craziness

(-_-) - sleeping

(^_^) - glee

(^_^)/ - waving

\(^_^)/ - manic glee

There are plenty more.

Then emoji evolved out of the Asian emoticon scene into the font scene. Emoji are in a state of evolution thanks to the expansion of the Unicode Technical Standard (UTS). As a result, there has been an explosion of available emoji as well as a decline in emoticons and smilies. I personally have no trouble mixing them together.

Recently, it has been announced that a collection of new emoji are being officially released and will be coming to the Mac and iOS probably this fall.

Final 2017 Emoji List
Unicode 10.0 is expected to be released in June 2017, and is required for many of the new emojis listed in Emoji 5.0.
The 69 new emoji include magical creatures, steam room, meditation, craziness, shhh, character censored obscenity, monocle face, exploding head, a full range of ages from child to adult, breast feeding, climbing, I Love You hand gesture, brain, winter clothing and sports, new animals, new vegetable, meat, lunch and snack stuff, chopsticks (at long last!), new flags, UFO, yet another heart color and of course vomit.

And yet, despite the already existent, mind boggling collection of now over 600 emoji, there are still many that I consider to be missing. I originally posted most of this list an Apple news website, who chose to censor it. They offered no explanation. I suspect it was my use of humor or my erroneous inclusion of chop sticks. (At last! We have chopsticks!) So I dumped the website from my bookmarks and email, then decided to publish here my list of Missing Emoji: 2017. Please add your own missing emoji in the comments.

My list of still missing emoji, 2017-06-23

Coffee cup, steaming (classic, every coder has one!)

Hula girl (classic)
Grand piano (for dropping, music)
Anvil (for dropping, for blacksmiths)
The rest of the planets. (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto) (Yes, Pluto)
Groundhog (Groundhog's Day)
Mole (living in the dark)
Skunk (smelly)
Nuclear explosion (controversial or obvious? You decide. My 6th grade teacher used them as quiz icons)
Donkey (to go with the elephant, of course).
Ice bucket (challenges)
Infinity ribbon symbol 
Ribbons in campaign colors
Wristbands / Bracelet in campaign colors
Mail humans (mailman & mailwoman)
Blimp / Dirigible (advertising, steampunk, Hindenburg disaster)
Goggles (both steampunk and dieselpunk)
Flying car (ever-promised and never delivered futurist icon)
Fan (air cooling and for the things that hit them, such as the poop emoji)
Acorn (the standard nut)
Candy cane (xmas candy)
Cross-eyed face
Chewing (gum, an idea, a victim's brain, whatever)
Broken glass / mirror (bad luck, accident, crash)
Gravestone (the end)
Wreath (for holidays and graves)
White wine glass (to go with the red wine glass)
Cigar, stogie (to go with the equally addictive cigarette)
Vinyl record (because some people still like them, I have no idea why)
International traffic symbols: Stop, Yield, Slow, Corner, Hill, Intersection, children at play, deaf or blind child, etc.

Google have their own proposed emoji for the purpose of reducing gender inequality. You can find them by clicking on either of the missing female emoji symbols on this page.