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macOS

macOS is Apple's operating system.
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Terence Eden shkspr.mobi

Things I can’t do on macOS which I can do on Ubuntu

A solid rant by Terence Eden, who has to use macOS for work but would rather not:

I know you’re going to be tempted to reply with “you’re using it wrong” - but I’m not. This is how I like to use my computer. And it is clear that the MacBook isn’t my computer - it is Apple’s. (OK, OK! It belongs to my employer!)

Some of his grievances like window snapping and moving/removing UI elements can be alleviated with 3rd-party solutions, but he’s not wrong that the operating system doesn’t provide these features.

WebAssembly blog.persistent.info

Infinite Mac: an instant-booting Quadra in your browser

Mihai Parparita:

It’s a golden age of emulation. Between increasing CPU power, WebAssembly, and retrocomputing being so popular The New York Times is covering it, it’s never been easier to relive your 80s / 90s / 2000s nostalgia. Projects like v86 make it easy to run your chosen old operating system in the browser. My heritage being of the classic Mac line, I was curious what the easiest to use emulation option was in the modern era…

Here’s a video demo of what resulted: a full-featured classic 68K Mac in your browser.

Docker docker.com

Docker Desktop 4.6 promises big speed up for macOS users

I’ve avoided using Docker Desktop on my Mac like you avoid those 16-seeds in your March Madness bracket. Why? Because it’s dog slow. But not anymore?

The 4.6 release of Docker Desktop for Mac contains a number of changes that drastically improve file sharing performance for macOS users. Firstly, developers now have the option of using a new experimental file sharing implementation called virtiofs (the current default is gRPC-FUSE). Secondly, improvements have been made to the way that files are synced between the macOS host and Docker VM. During testing with our amazing macOS community of users, we have observed that these changes have reduced the time taken to complete filesystem operations by up to 98%.

virtiofs is an experimental feature, so you need to enable it to realize these gains.

Command line interface github.com

AirDrop files directly from your CLI with OpenDrop

OpenDrop is a command-line tool that allows sharing files between devices directly over Wi-Fi. Its unique feature is that it is protocol-compatible with Apple AirDrop which allows to share files with Apple devices running iOS and macOS.

Super cool, but with a disclaimer: this is the result of reverse engineering the transfer protocol, so the odds of it being flakey (especially as Apple ships OS updates) are high. It’d be rad if Apple would publish an AirDrop-compatible specification for the community to rally around.

You know, like they did with FaceTime. 😉

macOS launchd.info

The best resource for launchd on macOS

As mentioned on Backstage #20, I’m automating a few rsync commands using cron and Cronitor to backup my “Production” files to the Storinator AV15 on the local network.

It turns out that cron on macOS is frowned upon in favor of launchd, but information on how to use all the power of launchd is sparse to say the least. This resource is the best I’ve found in learning all the parts of launchd and how to use it.

Ask me anything in the comments, I’ll tell you everything I’ve learned.

Backstage Backstage #20

New Mac day!

We upgraded to the new MacBook Pro M1 Max and decided to share our first impressions of the new hardware, how we migrate data and settings from our old machines (or don’t), which apps were “instant installs” for each of us, which apps we’re trying to live without, and how we get our new machines set up for work and play. Nerd out with us!

macOS danpetrov.xyz

The secret of the macOS Monterey network quality tool

TIL Apple added a networkQuality utility to Monterey which measures the quality of your device’s internet connection much like speedtest.net and fast.com.

λ networkQuality
==== SUMMARY ====
Upload capacity: 14.696 Mbps
Download capacity: 21.661 Mbps
Upload flows: 20
Download flows: 12
Responsiveness: Low (103 RPM)

What’s interesting about it is that it measures your upload and download in parallel by default, which is more aligned with real-world usage than running them back-to-back like other tests do.

WebKit Blog Icon WebKit Blog

New WebKit features in Safari 15

With the release of Safari 15 for macOS Monterey, iPadOS 15, iOS 15, and watchOS, as well as macOS Big Sur and macOS Catalina, WebKit brings significant advancements in privacy and security, improved interoperability, and a host of new features for web developers. Take a look.

We discussed a few of these in-depth on JS Party #195, but at the time I was referencing the beta features announcement and it was 404ing during the show. This is a much better resource.

Niels Leenheer nielsleenheer.com

Why Electron apps are fine

From Niels Leenheer:

It is not difficult to find some incredibly shitty takes on Electron, and every time it boils down to: It’s slow. Downloads are huge, and it uses a lot of memory. Electron apps are just websites. Developers that are using Electron are taking the lazy or easy approach to cross-platform development. Native apps are just better in every single way.

And somehow, these arguments often come from Apple fans when they discover one of their apps isn’t “native” or when a macOS favourite is considering moving to Electron. How dare they!

And on the surface, I agree with pretty much everything that people say about Electron. And at the same time, I don’t care at all. And neither should you.

Niels goes on to explain why you shouldn’t care. But, where’s the evidence for those shitty takes on Electron? Let’s use the recent example of 1Password.

Some have said that 1Password has “simply decided that the Mac isn’t important enough,” which we’re hoping to uncover in our upcoming dual podcast series with 1Password Founder Dave Teare on Founders Talk and Mitchell Cohen and Andrew Beyer on JS Party.

Drop some comments if you have questions/topics we should bring up.

macOS github.com

A macOS-like operating system based on FreeBSD

A new open-source desktop operating system that aims to provide a similar experience and compatibility with macOS on x86-64 systems. It builds on the solid foundations of FreeBSD, existing open source packages in the same space, and new code to fill the gaps. Airyx aims to feel sleek, stable, familiar and intuitive, handle your daily tasks, and provide as much compatibility as possible with the commercial OS that inspired it.

This is largely the effort of one hacker in her spare time. It’s still early days, which she admits in a tweet:

For the record, I know how much airyx.org sucks rn and I’m working on it Face with tears of joyFace with tears of joy Be patient.

Gotta respect the ambition on display here. Go get it, Zoë! 💪

The Changelog The Changelog #446

xbar puts anything in your macOS menu bar

On this episode we’re talking with our good friend Mat Ryer whom you may know from the Go Time podcast. Mat created an awesome open source tool for putting just about anything in your Mac’s toolbar. It was originally written in Objective-C, but it just got a big rewrite in Go and abig rename from BitBar to xbar.

If you don’t use a Mac don’t hit skip on this episode quite yet! There are lessons to be learned for anyone interested in hacking on tools to make your life better. Plus, with this rewrite Mat has positioned xbar to go cross-platform, which we talk about as well.

Linux github.com

Lima is like a "macOS subsystem for Linux"

Lima launches Linux VMs on your Intel or ARM-based Mac with automatic file sharing, port forwarding, and containerd. That means you can easily do cool stuff like:

$ echo "files under /Users on macOS filesystem are readable from Linux" > some-file

$ lima cat some-file
files under /Users on macOS filesystem are readable from Linux

$ lima sh -c 'echo "/tmp/lima is writable from both macOS and Linux" > /tmp/lima/another-file'

$ cat /tmp/lima/another-file
/tmp/lima is writable from both macOS and Linux"

Mike McQuaid brew.sh

Homebrew 3.0 ships with official Apple Silicon support

Mike McQuaid:

Thanks to all our hard-working maintainers, contributors, sponsors and supporters for getting us this far. Particular thanks on Homebrew 3.0.0 go to MacStadium and Apple for providing us with a lot of Apple Silicon hardware and Cassidy from Apple for helping us in many ways with this migration. Enjoy using Homebrew!

And a quick note on the Apple Silicon support:

Homebrew doesn’t (yet) provide bottles for all packages on Apple Silicon that we do on Intel x86_64 but we welcome your help in doing so.

I’d be surprised if this undertaking could be described as anything less than large. Congrats to Mike and the entire team! Homebrew is a gigantic blessing to developers (who use Macs) everywhere and a shining example of open source done well. 👏

Alabe Duarte alabeduarte.com

Setting up a new machine

As I became to customise my settings more and more, having to set up a new environment wasn’t an exciting thing to do anymore. I not only have to remember to install all of these things that I need, but it became also tedious and demanded a large cognitive effort. Also, I got frustrated many times because I thought I was all set up until I realised I forgot to install a particular tool. This post shares some things I’ve learned when comes to automating my environment setup.

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