Archive for January 10, 2022

Monday, January 10, 2022

Converting from Aperture to Apple Photos

John Gordon:

Photos said it could not open the Aperture library. It did not say why.

I then regenerated full sized previews per Apple’s directions and I tried again. This time the import proceeded. I could see the Version of my original photo but not the original. I then chose Revert to Original and Photos displayed the original image. Then I tried "Undo Revert" but that did nothing. My Version was lost.


There does not appear to be any way to see the original image other than by reverting to original -- which cannot be undone. There also doesn’t seen to be any indication that an original exists!


Has Time Machine Slowed for Small Files?

Howard Oakley:

The only common factor is that, when trying to back up folders containing seriously large numbers of very small files, some of which may be hard links, the rate of copying falls to ridiculously low numbers.


Looking back before 10.15.3, Time Machine never seemed to have problems with copying Xcode, or with the .DocumentRevisions-V100 folder. Exclude those, and anything like them, from backups now, and it performs well, even to a NAS via SMB.


Monterey introduced a new hidden feature in Time Machine: before making its first backup to a new backup set, backupd runs a speed test.


It’s unclear what Time Machine does with those results, or why it should perform the second test using many small files, unless Apple knows there’s a problem, perhaps.

I’ve been seeing this problem, too, except that it’s also triggered by small files that I do want to back up. I had to restructure my folders to prevent it from grinding away 24/7.


Update (2022-01-25): Howard Oakley:

There’s another part to this, at least in M1 Macs, in that backupd threads must also be given sufficient % CPU to be able to take advantage of any release of that throttle. Having demonstrated how user threads can make best use of the Efficiency (E) cores in the M1 Pro, my next step was to inspect what happens during a backup using powermetrics and the CPU History window. Here I was surprised to see that, while backupd accounted for around 90% active residency on each of the two E cores during a backup, those cores were largely running at 972-1332 MHz, around half their maximum frequency.

By default, then, Time Machine backups are run exclusively on the E cores, at economy mode to minimise power consumption, with an I/O throttle preventing them from accessing storage at normal speed. These limit it to backing up no more than 300-400 items/s, which in turn means that folders containing very large numbers of items will take a long time to back up.

Sadly, Apple doesn’t provide any options for the user to accelerate a backup, nor does backupd change its settings when it knows that there are a great many items to be copied.

Updating “Basic Computer Games”

Jeff Atwood:

From here, if you were lucky, you might have a cassette tape drive. If you knew the right commands, you could type them in to load programs from cassette tape. But that was an expensive add-on option with early personal computers. For many of us, if we wanted the computer to do anything, we had to type in entire programs from books like 101 Basic Computer Games, by hand... like so.


There was a half-hearted attempt to modernize these early BASIC programs in 2010 with SmallBasic, but I didn’t feel these ports did much to bring the code up to date, and overall had little relevance to modern code practices. You can compare the original 1973 BASIC Civil War with the 2010 SmallBasic port to see what I mean[…]


So it was with considerable enthusiasm that I contacted David H. Ahl, the author, and asked for permission to create a website that attempted to truly update all these ancient BASIC programs.

The project is here.

Avast Antivirus Software Sold Browsing History

Nick Heer (in 2020):

Avast’s web browser extensions were caught collecting every website users were visiting for sale by its Jumpshot subsidiary. Those extensions were pulled and the company insisted that the information had no personal information attached[…]


Of course, Avast knows de-anonymization is trivial. That’s why it sells an anti-tracking product that explicitly promises to “disguise your online behavior so that no one can tell it’s you” for just $65 per year. That’s nice of Avast: it will sell your identity, and also sell you a product that promises to prevent companies from selling your identity.


Update: Avast has announced that they are shutting down Jumpshot.