Just Two Days Remain to Support Relay FM’s St. Jude Campaign →

The end of September draws near, which means we will be winding down our fundraiser for St. Jude on Friday. If you haven’t given to this life-saving work, now is the time.

Don’t miss our Closing Ceremonies:

If you are running your own campaign under the Relay FM umbrella, you have until noon Eastern on Monday, October 3 to raise money, so now’s a great time to make your final push.

As I write this, we’re approaching $550,000 raised for St. Jude this year, which puts us well over $2 million raised since 2019. It’s simply astonishing.

Underscore Took the Apple Watch Ultra to the Scottish Highlands →

David Smith:

I was very excited when Apple announced the Apple Watch Ultra this fall. I’ve been wearing an Apple Watch on my wrist nearly every day since they were first released seven years ago. What was so exciting about the Ultra is that it seemed to be targeted directly at me. I’m an avid hiker/backpacker and love being outdoors, and I’ve used a regular Apple Watch to track these activities but would love for a device that even better fits this use.

I don’t think you can properly test a device like this without taking it out into the field. So the day my Ultra arrived, I booked myself onto a sleeper train up to the Scottish Highlands for a three day hiking trip to really see how it performed. I ended up hiking just over 61 miles.

Apple Lowers System Requirements for Stage Manager →

N. Ingraham, writing at Engadget:

Apple is making Stage Manager work with a number of older devices: it’ll work on the 11-inch iPad Pro (first generation and later) and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro (third generation and later). Specifically, it’ll be available on the 2018 and 2020 models that use the A12X and A12Z chips rather than just the M1. However, there is one notable missing feature for the older iPad Pro models — Stage Manager will only work on the iPad’s build-in display. You won’t be able to extend your display to an external monitor.

Apple also says that developer beta 5 of iPadOS 16 is removing external display support for Stage Manager on M1 iPads, something that has been present since the first iPadOS 16 beta was released a few months ago. It’ll be re-introduced in a software update coming later this year.

I’m glad Apple found a way to support older iPads with this feature, but pulling external display support for M1 iPads running Stage Manager is curious. Clearly Apple is doing what it can to get this out the door.

Kbase Article of the Week: iWeb: Avoid Using Apostrophes in Your iWeb Site/Page Names →

Apple Support:

If you create a site or page name in iWeb 1.0.1 with an apostrophe as part of the name, and subsequently update to iWeb 1.1, then the web addresses (URLs) to your site/page will no longer be valid. This will break any existing bookmarks to the page. This occurs because iWeb 1.1 handles apostrophes differently than iWeb 1.0.1.

People who bookmarked your iWeb 1.0.1 site need to bookmark your new site published with iWeb 1.1.

Adding a Driveway Gate to HomeKit

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about my latest attempt to add my older garage door opener to HomeKit.

That project has been a huge hit with everyone in my household, so emboldened, I recently took on an additional HomeKit project: adding our driveway gate to the network.

When I first had the idea, I assumed that I would need to piece something together on my own, but then I came across a product called the ismartgate. After poking around the website for a few minutes, I came across this really great configuration page. After checking a few boxes, the website told me that the ismartgate LITE would work for my needs. $130 and a few days later, I was ready to go.

Compared to installing the Meross, this was shockingly straightforward. The main unit plugged into a spare power outlet located inside of my gate’s control box, and I had to run a total of just two wires to the control board:

Wiring Diagram

With the brains of the ismartgate squared away, I now had to set up the magnetic sensor so it would know if the gate was opened or closed. After some tinkering, I ended up mounting them on the hinged portion of the gate:

Gate Sensors

When the gate is closed, the surface with the magnet rotates, coming near the sensor, which is battery powered. I was able to mount it using some strong double-sided foam tape and one of the two screws used to hold the laser emitter in place.1

Getting the ismartgate LITE added to HomeKit was very simple, but it serves as a reminder that Apple doesn’t ship near enough icons to choose from in the Home app. Visually, it and my garage door look the same, which is a bit annoying.

Also annoying is how Siri treats the names of rooms and accessories. I put the “Garage Door” in a room called “Garage” in HomeKit. That worked really well until I added the “Gate” to the same room. Then, Siri wanted me to clarify what I meant when I said “Open the garage door.” Until I can dive into that further, I’ve moved the gate into its own room.

That hiccup aside, I’ve been really happy with my two recent HomeKit additions. In both cases, a relatively cheap accessory — that can be easily uninstalled — has made life just a little bit nicer here at the Hackett house.


  1. This is less cool than it sounds — it’s used to make sure that nothing is in the path of the gate as it closes. If something crosses the beam, the gate stops immediately. 

Apple Publishes Design Guidelines for Live Activities →

There are several things in this new article that jumped out at me. Up first, is how different phones will treat Live Activities:

In addition to displaying a Live Activity on the Lock Screen, devices that support Live Activities can display your app information in different ways, depending on whether the device also supports the Dynamic Island.

  • On devices that support the Dynamic Island, the system displays Live Activities in a persistent location around the TrueDepth camera.
  • On devices that don’t support the Dynamic Island, the system can display a Live Activity update in a banner that appears briefly while people view the Home Screen or use another app, but only if the app determines that the update is important enough to interrupt people.

Apple also has some guidance about what sorts of information should be shown in Live Activities. For example, developers should not show sensitive data in these UI elements, and should give users full control over starting and stopping Live Activity events.

People have joked about ads showing up in Live Activities, which Apple also addresses:

Avoid using a Live Activity to display ads or promotions. Live Activities help people stay informed about ongoing events and tasks, so it’s important to display only information that’s related to those events and tasks.

I won’t lie — I wish that language was stronger.

Kickstarter Update: September 26 →

Hello! It’s been a busy month around here with Relay FM’s annual fundraiser for St. Jude, but that is winding down this week, and I’m back in calendar land!

Over the last few weeks, I’ve made some significant progress:

  • The stickers have been all packed! Big thanks to Myke and Adina for helping while they were in Memphis a couple of weeks ago.
  • The 4×6 prints are here, and packing of those is underway now.
  • I am receiving the final calendar proof from the printer today and should give them the green light for production in the coming days!

Kickstarter Stickers

As mentioned in a previous update, I am using BackerKit to handle fulfillment and additional orders. Currently, there are 71 of you who have not filled out your survey. You should have a PM from me on Kickstarter with a link. If you haven’t received a link to your survey, please get in touch.

If you missed the Kickstarter or know someone who did, pre-orders can be placed online now!

“Built for the Outdoors” →

Apple:

The most rugged and capable Apple Watch yet, Apple Watch Ultra can provide the information you need during a hike, run, or dive; make interactions easy with a single press of the Action button; help maintain your night vision when you’re active after hours; and emit a loud pulsing sound if you need help.

I haven’t needed any of the EXTREME features yet, but the Apple Watch Ultra marks the first time in a long time where people have come to ask me “Is that the new one?” while pointing at an Apple product in my possession.

Sponsor: 20 Years of Great Software from Rogue Amoeba →

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Rogue Amoeba’s product line-up includes:

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  • Loopback: Get ridiculously powerful audio routing to pass audio from one application to another, without needing cables or mixers.

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You don’t need any coupon codes or special URLs, but act fast. Visit MacAudio.com before the end of September to save. You’ll be glad you did.

Bonus Kbase Article of the Week: Use the Depth app on Apple Watch Ultra →

Apple Support, or rather, Apple Legal:

Underwater activities are risky. The Depth app isn’t a dive computer and doesn’t provide decompression stop information, gas analysis, or other recreational scuba diving functionality. If you’re using Apple Watch Ultra where the failure of the device could lead to death, personal injury, or severe environmental damage, always use a secondary depth gauge and timer/watch. Before going on a dive, be sure your Apple Watch Ultra is free of cracks or other damage.

Snark aside, this does seem like a really cool feature. I’m no diver, but I’m looking forward to getting my Apple Watch Ultra tomorrow.

Kbase Article of the Week: Macintosh TV: Television Connection Tips →

Apple Support:

Basically, anything that can be attached to a regular TV can be attached to Macintosh TV. There are two ports for a video source: coaxial and RCA. Things that have an RCA plug can also be attached to the coaxial port with the proper adapter, and vice-versa. One restriction is that closed caption must come through the coaxial port.

In the TV Setup control panel, click on Channel Setup and select Cable (as opposed to Antenna for broadcast TV) as the source.

The CarPlay Settings Disconnect

Like many of you, I spent part of my weekend setting up my new iPhone 14 Pro. For the last couple of years, I’ve used the direct transfer method, and it has yet to let me down. It took several hours, but when the transfer was done, my iPhone 14 Pro was identical to my outgoing 13 Pro.

Well, that’s not quite true, because 8 years into the CarPlay era, its settings still do not come over to a new phone during a migration. When I hopped in my truck on Monday, I had to take a few minutes to get everything back the way I want it.

To be fair, CarPlay doesn’t have that many settings. The primary options are what apps you’d like to see in your car, and what order they should be in. Past that, there are a few other settings, like options for the wallpaper and Siri suggestions.

I don’t understand why this has been carved out as an exception when it comes to migrating to a new iPhone. It’s a bit frustrating in the light of how good Apple has gotten at iOS migrations.

While we’re here, I’d also like to officially complain about CarPlay’s insistence in treating each car as their own unique butterfly. In addition to CarPlay in my truck, we have it in my wife’s minivan. iOS treats them as individual connections, each with their own settings. That means if I switch podcast apps or change a setting, and want things to be the same between the two cars I drive, I have to adjust things a second time.1 CarPlay should have an option to let the phone drive the experience, so things can be consistent across vehicles.

Back when CarPlay launched, it was pretty rare to come across it, so I can see why Apple opted to have each car an iPhone interacted with be unique, but today, just about every new car comes with it. It’s time to address some of the shortcomings and really make setting up and using CarPlay as polished as the rest of iOS.2


  1. I just realized that I’ll have to set CarPlay up from scratch on my new phone next time I get in the van. Sigh. 
  2. Especially if Apple wants CarPlay to take over the whole interior of a vehicle. Imagine upgrading your iPhone ten years from now, and your car forgetting where the speedometer is supposed to be. 

Rogue Amoeba Turns 20 →

Rogue Amoeba’s work has made the Mac a better platform for all sorts of people for two decades now. Here’s Paul Kafasis:

In 2022, Rogue Amoeba is going stronger than ever. Every day, our audio tools help countless Mac users create podcasts, enhance video calls, and so much more. Of course, most of our time is spent focusing on the future (including support for MacOS 13 (Ventura), coming very soon). But as the date of our twentieth anniversary approaches, it’s nice to celebrate, by taking a few minutes to review the past and reflect.

The screenshots of early versions of Audio Hijack are just glorious.

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iPhone 14 Made More Repairable →

Kyle Wiens at iFixit:

Apple has completely redesigned the internals of the iPhone 14 to make it easier to repair. It is not at all visible from the outside, but this is a big deal. It’s the most significant design change to the iPhone in a long time. The iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max models still have the old architecture, so if you’re thinking about buying a new phone, and you want an iPhone that really lasts, you should keep reading.

Podcastathon 4 →

Take off work tomorrow and watch me and Myke Hurley host the 4th annual Podcastathon for St. Jude.

It got weird but the Relay FM community donated over $100,000 during the 8-hour stream.

Unite 4 →

My thanks to Unit 4 for sponsoring 512 Pixels this week.

Unite 4 for macOS allows you to turn any website into an app on your Mac. Using a lightweight, WebKit powered browser as a backend, you can easily create isolated, customizable apps from any site.

512 Pixels readers get 20% off this week when you purchase Unite 4 at bzgapps.com/unite512 or when you use the promo code ‘512Pixels’ at checkout.

You can also try Unite for 14 days absolutely free or use it as part of your subscription if you’re a Setapp subscriber!

Garage Door HomeKit, Take Two

Three years ago, I installed the Insignia Wi-Fi Garage Door Controller, which allowed me to check the status of my garage door — and control it — via HomeKit.

After that blog post was published, I heard from several people saying that they had done the same thing, just to be disappointed when the Insignia hardware failed on them within the first year or two of use.

I’m sad to say that the same thing happened to me, so for the last year or so, I’ve been opening my garage door with its old-school remote like an animal.

This issue was so widespread that Insignia has discontinued the product.

Recently, some folks in the Relay FM Member Discord were discussing a HomeKit garage door kit made by Meross. The company makes a wide-range of HomeKit-enabled gear, all of which seems to be well-liked so I spent the $50 for the kit.

Installation was pretty straight-forward. Unlike the Insignia, which had a module that attached to the garage door to work out its orientation, the Meross uses a set of small magnetic sensors to know when the door is closed. As the door opens and moves up the track, the sensors lose contact with each other, and the system knows that the door is open.

The stationary side of the sensor pair is hard-wired to the base unit, and doesn’t require separate power or batteries. I like the simplicity of that, even if it meant needing to run wire from the sensor back to the small base unit, which I mounted to the top of the garage door opener. My garage is unfinished, so it wasn’t a big deal with to run the wire, especially with Myke Hurley making sure my ladder didn’t move out from under me.

The other wiring required was to two terminals on the garage door opener itself. These terminals are also used for the wired button in the garage, so this was just a matter of backing the screw out on each terminal, then slipping the new wires into place. My opener is from the 90s, but didn’t give me any trouble during the installation.

The base unit plugs into power via USB-A and a small power brick. No batteries needed.

The opener requires the Meross app for set up and firmware updates, which isn’t a dealbreaker for me. It’s been shuttled off into the App Library forever, but now my garage door shows up in the Home app, right next to a bunch of other stuff around the house:

HomeKit Garage Door

Kbase Article of the Week: If You See a Cellular, Ultra Wideband, or Apple Pay Issue Message After an iOS Update or Restart →

Apple Support:

If one of these messages appears, iOS or iPadOS diagnostics detected an issue on your iPhone or iPad that might require repair.

Contact Apple Support if one of these messages appears on your iPhone or iPad:

  • Cellular Issue Detected
  • Ultra Wideband Issue Detected
  • Apple Pay Issue Detected

You might see these messages on the Home Screen or in Settings > General > About under Parts and Service History.

Sponsor: Unite 4 for macOS →

Unite 4 for macOS allows you to turn any website into an app on your Mac. Using a lightweight, WebKit powered browser as a backend, you can easily create isolated, customizable apps from any site.

Unite 4 includes dozens of new features, including support for native notifications, new customization options, and much more. Unite apps also serve as a great alternative for resource hogging Electron apps or half-baked Catalyst apps.

Some examples of apps you could create in mere minutes with Unite:

  • A Gmail web client that behaves like a native mail client.
  • A status bar app for Apple Music or Overcast
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512 Pixels readers get 20% off this week when you purchase Unite 4 at bzgapps.com/unite512 or when you use the promo code ‘512Pixels’ at checkout.

You can also try Unite for 14 days absolutely free or use it as part of your subscription if you’re a Setapp subscriber!

WALL-E Joining the Criterion Collection →

Tasha Robinson at Polygon with some good news about my favorite Pixar movie:

The home-video company Criterion announced Thursday that Pixar Animation Studios’ feature WALL-E will join the Criterion Collection in November, as the first Disney or Pixar movie to receive a Criterion release. The Criterion edition will be released Nov. 22, with pre-orders opening Oct. 18.

Criterion, a curation company that preserves, restores, and releases movies of particular cultural impact and importance from around the world, has almost no animated movies in its roster. WALL-E will join Watership Down, the French sci-fi film Fantastic Planet, and Wes Anderson’s stop-motion movie Fantastic Mr. Fox in the company’s limited animation lineup. In addition to being the company’s first Disney or Pixar film, WALL-E is the only CG animated film currently in the company’s library.

Magic Lasso Adblock →

My thanks to Magic Lasso Adblock for sponsoring 512 Pixels this week.

It’s a free and native Safari content blocker for your iPhone, iPad and Mac that’s been designed from the ground up to protect your privacy. And unlike some other ad blockers, Magic Lasso Adblock doesn’t accept payment from advertisers and is 100% supported by it’s community of users.

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Connected #414: I am Michael Jordan →

We recorded this week’s Connected episode just a few hours after Apple’s “Far Out” event:

Apple has announced the iPhone 14, 14 Plus, 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max. Also new: the Apple Watch SE, Apple Watch Series 8 and all-new Apple Watch Ultra. An update to the AirPods Pro was also thrown into the mix. This week, the guys cover the news and see how their predictions looked after Apple’s September event.

Bonus Bonus Kbase Article of the Week: Use Emergency SOS via Satellite on Your iPhone 14 →

Apple Support:

Emergency SOS via satellite can help you connect with emergency services under exceptional circumstances when no other means of reaching emergency services are available. If you call or text emergency services and can’t connect because you’re outside the range of cellular and Wi-Fi coverage, your iPhone tries to connect you via satellite to the help that you need.

When you use a satellite connection, the experience is different than sending or receiving a message via cellular. In ideal conditions with a direct view of the sky and the horizon, a message might take 15 seconds to send, and over a minute to send under trees with light or medium foliage. If you’re under heavy foliage or surrounded by other obstructions, you might not be able to connect to a satellite. Connection times can also be impacted by your surroundings, the length of your message, and the status and availability of the satellite network.

Emergency SOS via satellite will be available with an iOS 16 software update coming in November 2022.

On iCloud Shared Photo Library →

The One True John has taken iCloud Shared Photo Library out for a spin:

Having gone through the process of setting up an iCloud Shared Photo Library, I have to say I’m very impressed with how well the feature has been architected. So far, I’ve only added Jennifer and one of my sons to my iCloud Shared Photo Library, but the initial setup process didn’t take long, did a good job of explaining my options, and went smoothly, adding both of them to a library of 25,000 of my photos featuring our kids and extended families.

I look forward to taking a sabbatical to combine my photo library with my wife’s.

The Problem with Liquid Hydrogen →

Eric Berger has an article up about what caused NASA’s SLS rocket launch to be scrubbed last week, and why the problems surrounding liquid hydrogen are so hard to solve:

Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe, but it is also the lightest. It takes 600 sextillion hydrogen atoms to reach the mass of a single gram. Because it is so tiny, hydrogen can squeeze through the smallest of gaps. This is not so great a problem at ambient temperatures and pressures, but at super-chilled temperatures and high pressures, hydrogen easily oozes out of any available opening.

To keep a rocket’s fuel tanks topped off, propellant lines leading from ground-based systems must remain attached to the booster until the very moment of launch. In the final second, the “quick-disconnects” at the end of these lines break away from the rocket. The difficulty is that, in order to be fail-safes in disconnecting from the rocket, this equipment cannot be bolted together tightly enough to entirely preclude the passage of hydrogen atoms—it is extremely difficult to seal these connections under high pressure, and low temperatures.

NASA, therefore, has a tolerance for a small amount of hydrogen leakage. Anything above a 4 percent concentration of hydrogen in the purge area near the quick disconnect, however, is considered a flammability hazard.

Sponsor: Magic Lasso Adblock: Incredibly Private and Secure Safari Web Browsing →

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On macOS’ Malware Scanning →

Howard Oakley:

In the last six months macOS malware protection has changed more than it did over the previous seven years. It has now gone fully pre-emptive, as active as many commercial anti-malware products, provided that your Mac is running Catalina or later. This article updates those I’ve previously written about Apple’s new tool in the war against malware, XProtect Remediator.

Lightning Turns 10 →

Mitchell Clark, at The Verge:

In September 2012, Apple introduced the iPhone 5 — it was bigger, faster, and more powerful than its predecessor, but perhaps the most revolutionary change was how you charged it. Onstage to introduce the new phone, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller announced that the company was switching from the 30-pin connector that had been on every iPhone to date over to a small new port called Lightning. Lightning seemed to be everything its predecessor and competitors were not: reversible, compact, and robust. Schiller called it “a modern connector for the next decade.”

The benefits of Lightning over the 30-pin Dock Connector were very real. Moving to USB-C won’t replicate that, but it will make living (and traveling) with an iPhone more convenient than ever.

Magic Lasso Adblock: 2.0x Faster Web Browsing in Safari →

My thanks to Magic Lasso Adblock for sponsoring 512 Pixels this week.

As a native Safari extension, Magic Lasso blocks all intrusive ads, trackers and annoyances — letting you experience a faster, cleaner and more secure experience across all your devices.

By cutting down on ads and trackers, common news websites load 2x faster and use less data. Along with blocking all web ads, the app now also includes best-in-class YouTube ad blocking to also block video ads.

With over 4,000 five star reviews; it’s simply the best ad blocker for your iPhone, iPad and Mac.

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Clippy Was Born on the Mac →

Benjamin Cassidy, in a really fun article looking at the life — and death — of Clippy:

Clippy was born on a Mac. When Kevan Atteberry was hired to design characters for Microsoft Bob and Office 97, he’d shuttle between the company’s leafy grounds and his Bellevue studio space, where a desktop made by a certain rival awaited. Animation required using Microsoft’s proprietary software, but before hustling files over to HQ, he could tinker in his second-floor walk-up with tons of light and a landlord who never raised the rent. It was here he picked up a Ticonderoga two-and-five-tenths pencil and started outlining an infamous paperclip. Digitizing it just meant closing the blinds and booting up the Macintosh he preferred to his employer’s PCs.

“This is my original Clippy,” Atteberry says one recent morning, pulling up an image on an iMac.

via Christina Warren

Twitter Had Plans to Build an… OnlyFans Competitor →

Zoe Schiffer and Casey Newton have published an in-depth piece at The Verge that dives into a plan Twitter was working on to become more profitable:

In the spring of 2022, Twitter considered making a radical change to the platform. After years of quietly allowing adult content on the service, the company would monetize it. The proposal: give adult content creators the ability to begin selling OnlyFans-style paid subscriptions, with Twitter keeping a share of the revenue.

Had the project been approved, Twitter would have risked a massive backlash from advertisers, who generate the vast majority of the company’s revenues. But the service could have generated more than enough to compensate for losses. OnlyFans, the most popular by far of the adult creator sites, is projecting $2.5 billion in revenue this year — about half of Twitter’s 2021 revenue — and is already a profitable company.

According to the article, Twitter was pretty far down this road, but the project hit a wall when a team of 84 employees dubbed the “Red Team” made a discovery:

“Twitter cannot accurately detect child sexual exploitation and non-consensual nudity at scale,” the Red Team concluded in April 2022. The company also lacked tools to verify that creators and consumers of adult content were of legal age, the team found. As a result, in May — weeks after Elon Musk agreed to purchase the company for $44 billion — the company delayed the project indefinitely. If Twitter couldn’t consistently remove child sexual exploitative content on the platform today, how would it even begin to monetize porn?

It is horrific to read how bad Twitter is at detecting CSE. Whoever has been charge of that at the company should be fired, with real experts bought in.

Beyond that, it is just wild to think that Twitter was exploring launching an adult content service in the first place. I imagine it would have upset a sizable portion of their user base and would have created issues with companies like Apple who famously doesn’t allow content like this on the App Store.

I’m starting to think the folks who make up Twitter’s leadership are not very good at their jobs.

Kbase Article of the Week: LaserWriter: Composition of the Drum Coating →

Apple Support:

The LaserWriter drum is an organic photo-conductive layer laid on the surface of an aluminum cylinder. The ingredients of the organic layer are:

wt% OSHA (PEL) ACGIH (TLV)
aluminum alloy 95.0-98.0 – –
titanium dioxide
(13463-67-7) 0.5-2.0 * 15mg/m3(TWA) 10mg/m3(TWA)(Dust)
(20mg/m3)(Stel)

Binder resin 0.5-2.0 – –
Organic semiconductor 0.3-0.8 – –

Carcinogens: no ingredient is listed on the latest NTP Annual Report on carcinogens, IARC Monograph, or OSHA listing.

I have no idea what any of this means.

Relay FM for St. Jude →

Today, we’re announcing Relay FM’s 4th annual fundraiser for St. Jude. Over the last three years, the Relay FM audience has raised $1.5 million for this incredibly important institution. $700,000 of that was raised in 2021 alone.

(Y’all are awesome!)

If you’re new to St. Jude, here’s a bit about what it does:

The mission of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is to advance cures, and means of prevention, for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. Consistent with the vision of our founder Danny Thomas, no child is denied treatment based on race, religion or a family’s ability to pay.

There is a lot there to unpack. In the 60 years since it was founded here in my hometown of Memphis, TN,1 treatments developed at St. Jude have helped increase the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20% to more than 80%.

The research that fuels those treatments is shared and used around the world.

In May 2009, I got a crash course in what St. Jude can do when my oldest son was diagnosed with brain cancer. He underwent multiple operations, 18 rounds of chemotherapy and more rehabilitative service appointments than I can count. All of this treatment was provided without charging my young family a dime.

This let us focus on Josiah’s care, not our checkbook. We knew he was getting the best treatment on the planet for his disease, and that treatment saved his life. Today, he is doing incredibly well. He loves music and dancing, and like his old man, is working on the student newspaper at his school.

That’s why we spend the month of September talking about St. Jude and raising money to continue its mission. We’d love to have you join us this year.

As always, we invite you to make a donation! Donors who make an individual gift of $60 or more will receive a digital bundle including a wallpaper and macOS screensaver pack and those who make an individual gift of $100 or more will receive a set of stickers in addition to the digital bundle.

The campaign this year includes the ability for you to start your own fundraising campaign to help us reach our goals, while earning exclusive Relay FM merch. Fundraisers who raise $1 or more will receive an exclusive St. Jude limited edition of the Relay FM challenge coin. And fundraisers raising $250 or more will also receive a unique deskmat, featuring the cartoon heads of a couple of podcast network co-founders you may know. It’s very good.

You can donate or sign up to fundraise on our campaign webpage.

Thank you.


  1. In fact, St. Jude was first fully-integrated children’s hospital in the southern United States. 

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Unite 4 for macOS →

My thanks to Unite 4 for macOS for sponsoring 512 Pixels this week. It allows you to turn any website into an app on your Mac. Using a lightweight, WebKit powered browser as a backend, you can easily create isolated, customizable apps from any site.

512 Pixels readers get 20% off this week when you purchase Unite 4 at bzgapps.com/unite512 or when you use the promo code ‘512Pixels’ at checkout.

You can also try Unite for 14 days absolutely free or use it as part of your subscription if you’re a Setapp subscriber!

The Problem with a Piecemeal macOS Redesign

Going from the new System Settings to the ancient System Information — née System Profiler — is quite jarring on macOS Ventura:

Jarring UI Changes

Also, can we talk about why someone centered all the text and the button that ended the up in the footer of this new settings pane?

Also, also, when is the last time any Mac had anything appear in the “Parallel SCSI” section of System Information other than the default text:

This computer doesn’t contain any Parallel SCSI devices. If you installed Parallel SCSI adapters, make sure they’re seated properly and that any devices connected are powered on, connected properly, and correctly terminated.

Apple Confirms iPadOS 16 Delay →

It’s been rumored that Apple was going to delay the release of iPadOS 16. Today, that was confirmed to Brian Heater at TechCrunch:

Apple this morning is rolling out iPadOS 16.1 beta to enrolled developer devices. It’s a break from the standard release cadence, which has tied together the tablet operating system with its smartphone counterpart, iOS, since its first release in 2019.

In a comment to TechCrunch, the company notes, “This is an especially big year for iPadOS. As its own platform with features specifically designed for iPad, we have the flexibility to deliver iPadOS on its own schedule. This Fall, iPadOS will ship after iOS, as version 16.1 in a free software update.”

In other words, Apple will be skipping the iPadOS 16.0 release in the fall and going straight to 16.1.

Artemis I Flight Readiness Concludes →

Tiffany Fairley at NASA:

The Flight Readiness Review for NASA’s Artemis I mission has concluded, and teams are proceeding toward a two-hour launch window that opens at 8:33 a.m. EDT Monday, August 29, from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Pad 39B in Florida.

When the giant SLS rocket gets off the ground, it’ll be a huge win for the agency, which has been developing it for over a decade. I can’t wait to see it clear the tower.

Kbase Article of the Week: Identifying Power Adapters for Apple Cinema Display (20-inch DVI), Apple Cinema HD Display (23-inch DVI), and Apple Cinema HD Display (30-inch DVI) →

Apple Support:

Need to know which power adapter goes with your Apple Cinema Display (20-inch DVI), Apple Cinema HD Display (23-inch DVI), or Apple Cinema HD Display (30-inch DVI)? The following table has your answer!

And what a table it is…

Display Power Adaptors

Related: my history of Apple’s LCD displays over the years.

Apple Announces Self Service Repair for Select Mac Notebooks

Apple Newsroom:

Apple announced Self Service Repair will be available tomorrow for MacBook Air and MacBook Pro notebooks with the M1 family of chips, providing repair manuals and genuine Apple parts and tools through the Apple Self Service Repair Store. Self Service Repair for iPhone launched earlier this year and the program will expand to additional countries — beginning in Europe — as well as additional Mac models later this year.

Self Service Repair for MacBook Air and MacBook Pro offers more than a dozen different repair types for each model, including the display, top case with battery, and trackpad, with more to come. Customers who are experienced with the complexities of repairing electronic devices will be able to complete repairs on these Mac notebooks, with access to many of the same parts and tools available to Apple Store locations and Apple Authorized Service Providers.

Jason Snell has more details at Six Colors:

At launch, Apple is supporting some specific repair types, though others will be added as the program goes along. For this first round of Macs, you’ll be able to perform replacements for many items, including the audio board, battery (for MacBook Air), bottom case, display, keycaps, logic board, speaker, top case, Touch ID board, trackpad, fans (for MacBook Pro), MagSafe (for MacBook Pro), and the antenna modules. (Apple says there will be a MacBook Pro battery replacement available in the near future.)

The cost of repair parts varies widely. An audio board replacement might cost $12, and speakers $29, while the logic board for a 32-core GPU MacBook Pro with 32GB of memory and a 1TB hard drive would run more than $1900. However, depending on the part, Apple will buy back the broken part and refurbish it for re-use in another repair, making that $1900+ logic board repair cost a little less than $600. (If Apple doesn’t reimburse you for a part, they’ll still accept it and recycle it if you want to send it back to them.)

Like with the iPhone Self Service Repair Program, users can purchase parts and rent tools from the Self Service Repair Store, which as previously discussed, is managed by CTDI for Apple.

Also like the iPhone Self Service Repair Program, I don’t think most people are going to opt to crack open their Macs when a repair is needed. This is great for those of us with the skills — or bravery — to do so, but if I were still in the Apple-Authorized Service Provider business, I wouldn’t be too worried about this tanking my repair revenue.

I am curious to see what will happen with machines like the iMac and Mac Studio are included in the program, as they are more difficult to open than a notebook. Until then, I’m glad to see this program continue to grow.

Sponsor: Unite 4 for macOS →

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How Apple Builds Its macOS Apps →

Alexandre Colucci:

WWDC 2019 had a major impact on the UI toolkit landscape: while the venerable AppKit APIs remained available, Apple removed the old Carbon APIs and introduced 2 brand new frameworks: Mac Catalyst and SwiftUI.

Apple sporadically mentioned some apps built with these new UI toolkits. In this article, I try to bring a better overview of Apple’s use of AppKit, Mac Catalyst and SwiftUI in the different versions of macOS, from macOS Mojave to macOS Ventura.

The charts aren’t a huge surprise to me — there is a lot of AppKit still kicking around in macOS. This transition is going to take a long time, both in the third-party ecosystem and within Apple itself.

MarsEdit →

My thanks to MarsEdit for sponsoring the site this week. It is a fantastic blog editor for macOS that eschews all the increasingly complicated parts of WordPress. I use here on 512 Pixels — including for this very blog post.

Go check it out.

Relay FM Turns Eight

If you had told me eight years ago that we’d be where we are today, with an amazing community of podcasters, listeners and members, it would have sounded like a dream come true.

That’s exactly what it is.

Relay 8

Janet Jackson Versus XP Laptops →

Raymond Chen, writing at The Old New Thing at Microsoft:

A colleague of mine shared a story from Windows XP product support. A major computer manufacturer discovered that playing the music video for Janet Jackson’s “Rhythm Nation” would crash certain models of laptops. I would not have wanted to be in the laboratory that they must have set up to investigate this problem. Not an artistic judgement.

One discovery during the investigation is that playing the music video also crashed some of their competitors’ laptops.

And then they discovered something extremely weird: Playing the music video on one laptop caused a laptop sitting nearby to crash, even though that other laptop wasn’t playing the video!

What’s going on?

The answer — and the fix — are pretty wild.

Kbase Article of the Week: MacBook Air (Original, Late 2008, and Mid 2009) Hinge Quality Program has Ended →

Apple Support, in a pretty terse document:

The eligibility period for the MacBook Air (Original, Late 2008, and Mid 2009) Hinge Quality Program has ended.

The eligibility period covering this issue has ended.

I had forgotten about this situation, but I linked to a support article about it back in 2009.

The URL I linked to back then now redirects to the short announcement quoted above, but here is what it said:

Learn what you can do if you experience one or more of these issues with the hinges on your MacBook Air.

  • Unable to close lid completely.
  • Broken or cracked plastic near one or both of the hinges.
  • More than one inch (2.54cm) of free play while opening or closing the lid.
  • Lid falls freely into closed position from a 30-degree open position. (From a closed position, open the lid approximately 30 degrees and let go.)

You can take your MacBook Air to an Apple-Authorized Service Provider or Apple Retail Store for evaluation and repair if necessary, even if your product is out of warranty.

If you previously paid for a repair for hinge-related issues that were not caused by accidental damage, you may be eligible for a refund. Contact Apple for more information.

That last bit is important, as Apple had previously been treating failed MacBook Air hinges as if they were cases of accidental damage.

A War of Head Versus Heart: The M2 MacBook Air

I’m a big fan of Death Cab for Cutie. Like most music that has stuck with me, I first came across the band’s work in high school. My buddy Levi drove a first-generation Miata, and one night as we drove around the suburb outside of Memphis that we called home, he popped in a burned CD labeled “DCFC.”

“I think you’re going to like these guys,” he said, turning up the volume. As a somewhat-emo 17 year old, I was hooked.

Their album Plans came out in August 2005, at the start of my sophomore year of college. I wore out those bits on my iPod. To this day, it may be my favorite album of all time. I don’t listen to it often, but when I do, it’s an experience.

One of the singles is the 8th track on the record, named “Crooked Teeth.” Here are the lyrics from the bridge:

I’m a war of head versus heart
And it’s always this way
My head is weak
And my heart always speaks
Before I know what it will say

I’m not sure it is what Ben Gibbard and Chris Walla had in mind when they wrote the song, but this sums up how I feel about the new M2 MacBook Air.

M2 MacBook Air

At this point, you know just about everything there is to know about this computer.1 The new design fits with the MacBook Pros Apple introduced last year. The Touch Bar is gone; the Notch is here. MagSafe is back. The M2 probably does thermal throttle, but you won’t ever notice it. It comes in a few colors, but not the ones we all wanted.

There’s no doubt that the MacBook Air is the most important computer Apple makes. Even when Apple tried getting away from it, customers refused to let them.2 It was a stunning fall from grace, but the machine was able to make a rebound. There’s a pretty clear line between Apple rebooting the MacBook Air in 2018 to the machine we have today.

And what a machine it is. The wedge shape may be gone, but everything that made the MacBook Air good back in the day is still here today: performance that will meet the needs of almost everyone, impressive battery life and a portable design that makes it easy to take the notebook anywhere. In a vacuum, the M2 MacBook Air is one of the best Macs Apple has ever made.

But the Air doesn’t exist in a vacuum.

When looking at any product, one has to consider the context of that product. For the M2 MacBook Air, that context is the M1 MacBook Air that is still for sale and the 14-inch MacBook Pro.

If you’re on a budget, you should probably buy the M1 MacBook Air, especially given the fact that the base-level M2 MacBook Air comes with kinda-lame SSD speeds. The M1 Air is a great machine, and while it’s a shame the M2 couldn’t hit the magical price of $999, at least Apple has a good option for those on a budget.

The 14-inch MacBook Pro is a more interesting comparison, and not just because it has been my notebook for the last nine months.3

Back when Apple introduced the USB-C-and-nothing-else MacBook Pros in the fall of 2016, I had my first Something isn’t right here thought when I saw this slide:

Thickness of the pre-retina MacBook Air and 2016 MacBook Pro

Apple was thrilled that the then-new 13-inch MacBook Pro was thinner than the pre-Retina MacBook Air, had 13% less overall volume and weighed the same three pounds.

With that design, Apple blurred the lines between the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro in a way it hadn’t done before. That decision got reversed last year when the new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros were introduced. The Pro got thicker, heavier and a lot more capable. Many people fell in love with it, including me. Finally, after five years, Apple was letting the MacBook Pro be a pro notebook again.

The M2 Air, in many ways, is the opposite side of that coin. The design is cut from the same smooth aluminum cloth, and side-by-side, it’s clear that the M2 Air and 2021 MacBook Pros were indeed designed together.

This has made the decision between the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro easier in a bunch of ways, especially if you are like me and pretend the Touch Bar-laden 13-inch MacBook Pro with M2 isn’t a thing.

If you need something lightweight and thin, the MacBook Air is an excellent choice. On the other hand, if you need more power and more ports, the MacBook Pro is there, ready to meet your needs. They are two divergent paths, and most customers will know which one they should traverse.

This is where we get to the Head Versus Heart of it all. My workflow benefits from the M1 Pro’s extra horsepower, especially when it comes to multi-threaded tasks like encoding MP3s. Logic renders are also faster on the MacBook Pro, and the inclusion of an HDMI port and SD card slot meant that I took most of the dongles out of my backpack months ago.

In my head, I know that the 14-inch MacBook Pro is the right notebook for me and the work that I do when away from my desk. My heart says otherwise.

There’s something about the design of this machine that I can’t escape. The footprint is pretty similar between the two notebooks, but in my backpack, there’s a huge difference. Don’t get me wrong: I am thrilled that the MacBook Pro has beefed up to be a better computer, but I’m drawn to the clean, simple look of the Air. I know the Pro is a better match for my workflows, but the Air can do everything I need — if just a little bit slower. And I don’t care about that speed difference any time I pick up the Air to take it with me. Something about it just clicks with me in a way I didn’t anticipate.

I think my heart is going to win this one.


  1. If you have just woken up from a coma or just gotten back from a stay at the South Pole and haven’t seen coverage of this machine, check out Quinn Nelson’s video about it. 
  2. The 12-inch MacBook really did bring a ton of chaos with it: a muddy product line, a bad keyboard and the USB-C-and-nothing-else era we’re just now leaving behind. I know some people loved it, but in hindsight, it’s amazing just how wrong Apple got so much of how it was presented and where it was in the lineup of Mac notebooks at the time. 
  3. I’ve been a desktop-first Mac user for years but have always kept a notebook, for times I want to work away from my desk or am on the road for work. For me, a notebook is a secondary Mac, and I treat it as such, with a subset of the data and workflows present on my Mac Studio being set up on my MacBook Pro. 

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MarsEdit 4

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Network Locations Removed from macOS Ventura →

Jason Snell:

Network Locations is a feature of macOS that, ever since version 10.0, has allowed users to switch between different sets of network configuration preferences in different environments and situations. It’s not visible in the redesigned System Preferences app of macOS Ventura — and Tyler Loch discovered that the disappearance is not an accident. Loch’s Feedback submission to Apple has been marked as “works as currently designed.”

Length of service in macOS is not reason enough to keep any feature around, but I’ve heard from several people who say they still use this feature and are upset that it’s seemingly been terminated. It’s useful in business situations where different networks have different properties. One colleague of mine says he uses the feature to debug network problems without messing up existing settings and to connect to specific devices when visiting a relative’s house.

At first I thought maybe this had just been misplaced in the switch to System Settings,1 but if it really is gone, I agree with Jason that it’s a good opportunity for a third-party utility to shine.

Dropbox Announces Beta for macOS Monterey Coming in Q4 →

A nameless Dropbox employee:

A public beta for full support of macOS will be available in early Q4. For now, you can still double-click to open files in Finder. Everything else is working as usual.

The “full support” language is in regard to a change Apple made in macOS 12.3 that deprecated the type of kernel extensions used by both Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive and others. This extension allowed Mac applications to open online-only files from Dropbox as if they were stored locally. For users running macOS 12.3 or later, a workaround is available, but the experience is less than ideal.

When this change was made earlier in the year, Dropbox announced a beta due out in March that would restore the functionality, but according to today’s news, that full public beta won’t be here until the final quarter of 2022.

…at which point macOS Ventura will be out.

Spotify Separating Music and Podcasts in Upcoming App Redesign →

Spotify:

This week, we are launching a new Home experience that includes feeds for both Music and Podcasts & Shows. The feature is currently rolling out to Android users and will soon be available on iOS. By creating these feeds, Spotify will help listeners to easily scroll through the type of content they’re looking for at that moment. The updated interface will make the experience more personalized while allowing users to dig even deeper into their recommendations.

In the Music feed, listeners will have quick access to suggestions based on their music taste, making discovering new favorites easier than ever. There will also be album and playlist recommendations as well as buttons that make it easy to share, like, and instantly play music.

In the Podcast & Shows feed, listeners will be able to head straight to new episodes of their favorite shows. They’ll also find personalized podcast recommendations. What’s more, listeners will be able to read episode descriptions, save to Your Episodes or start playing podcasts without leaving the page, so the experience all starts from one place.

I never understand Spotify wanting to mix music and podcasts so clearly. Music and podcasts are just fundamentally different things.

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Apple I Drama →

Today I read a story about an Apple I that is reported to have been built by Woz. That may or may not be true, according to some experts. Ethan Baron, writing at The Mercury News, has more:

Mike Graff, spokesman for Boston-based RR Auction, said Jobs gave the Apple-1 to its current owner, who wants to remain anonymous, around 1990. The device had languished for years in a drawer “with things on top of it and below it” in the famed “Apple Garage” where Jobs and Wozniak did their early work in Jobs’ childhood home in Los Altos, said Corey Cohen, a board member of the Vintage Computer Federation and a prominent Apple-1 expert.

Cohen and the auction house say Jobs used this prototype to demonstrate the Apple-1 to Paul Terrell, owner of the Byte Shop in Mountain View, one of the world’s first personal computer stores.

However, Terrell told the Bay Area News Group this week that he isn’t convinced it’s the same device.

Magic Lasso Adblock →

My thanks to Magic Lasso Adblock for sponsoring 512 Pixels this week.

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18 Hours Left to Back the Apple History Calendar →

My Kickstarter campaign for a new version of my Apple History Calendar is almost done! If you haven’t backed it yet, time is running out. The campaign closes at 10 AM Eastern on Friday, August 5.

I’ve been hard at work on the photos over the last two weeks and couldn’t be happier with how things are going. This calendar is going to be awesome.

Apple Outlines Studio Display Audio Issues in Memo to Service Partners →

Sami Fathi at MacRumors:

In a memo to authorized service providers, obtained by MacRumors, Apple acknowledges that customers may find themselves facing speaker issues with the company’s $1599 display. Apple says that customers facing issues should unplug the Studio Display from power, unplug any accessories or devices connected to the display, wait ten seconds, then reconnect the Studio Display to power. Apple explicitly notes this is not a hardware problem and implies that a future iOS update may address the issues.

Just think about how much easier this process would be if you could take the power cable out of the back of the display itself.

Update: There’s a firmware update out to address the issues.

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Newton and the Campbell Soup Company →

I came across this article in doing research for my Apple History Calendar:

The Campbell Soup Company has over 40,000 employees. Campbell Germany wanted to improve their sales and distribution system as well as the quality of their customer service. Campbell developed a solution around a mobile communications system involving the Apple MessagePad and mobile phones in the field, and a SyncServer which processes data transfers between the MessagePad and the central office.

In the past, field representatives collected order lists from their customers and faxed these lists to the central office at the end of the day. There, the order information was input into the inventory management system and the delivery schedule was set up. Even when everything was running smoothly, it took four to five days for customers to receive their goods. Because orders were processed manually twice, errors could easily creep into the system.

Starting in April 1997, Campbell’s field representatives will be working with the mobile communications system designed by Pythia. This system includes Apple MessagePad handheld computers, with ordering and information service programs that were specially developed for Campbell’s, as well as a standard product, the SyncServer. This server controls the data exchange among mobile clients and the inventory management system and Campbell’s Sales Information System, both of which are run on an AS/400 mainframe at the central office.

Each sales representative in the field will be equipped with a MessagePad that stores customer information as well as data relating to all articles for which he or she is responsible. Orders are directly input on location. The graphical interface of the MessagePad makes it extremely user-friendly; for instance, delivery dates are input by typing the desired date into a special calendar. After leaving the customer, the representative plugs the MessagePad into a mobile phone and transfers the order data directly to the central office. The transfer takes only a few minutes, and errors are avoided because the information does not have to be input a second time.

The time to delivery is thus reduced to two or three days. Furthermore, the field representative is notified immediately if an item is not available.

Audio Hijack

My thanks to Rogue Amoeba for sponsoring 512 Pixels this week.

They have been helping Mac users for nearly twenty years, and their app Audio Hijack is a critical part of my podcasting workflow. Right now you can check it out online to learn more and download a free trial of Audio Hijack 4. You’ll be glad you did!