Archive for December 30, 2022

Friday, December 30, 2022

The Voice Assistant Battle 2023

Marques Brownlee (via Dave Mark):

Google Assistant vs Apple’s Siri vs Amazon Alexa vs Samsung’s Bixby

He says that Google Assistant is far ahead and that Alexa is not what it once was. Siri comes in second, but that seems to mainly be due to the iOS/HomeKit ecosystem—otherwise he seemed to prefer Bixby.

Personally, I’m mostly interested in “easy” tasks, and so I’m frustrated more by Siri’s speed and reliability problems (blaming spurious network issues, pausing for a long time before admitting it is confused, and getting stuck in a mode where it won’t do anything until I unlock my phone) than by how sophisticated it is at following a sequence of questions.


Transmit Instead of File Sharing

Accidental Tech Podcast:

It’s 2022 and we still haven’t solved email, batteries, or sharing files between two computers.

Sean Heber:

I really hate local network file sharing. It never seems to work right.

I setup a folder to share on my mac. My computer shows up in the Network section of Finder on every other mac in the house, but when I open on it, it just sits there seemingly trying to load and eventually times out. The list of shared folders never even appear. Using the “Connect As..” button also just times out eventually and I don’t even get a login prompt.

His specific issue may now be solved, but I’ve noticed a lot of flakiness with File Sharing over the last few years. Sometimes, the other computer just doesn’t show up in Finder. Sometimes the alias I’ve been using to access a folder on it stops working. Sometimes the alias fails because it’s trying to log in using the account of a different user.

Copying lots of photo files can take a long time because, after selecting them and initiating the drag, Finder wants to load a lot of data—I guess to generate previews. I have to keep holding down the mouse button while it does this because otherwise it will just freeze again the next time I try to start the drag.

Several versions ago, SMB transfers between my Macs got a lot slower, and they remain slow. So are Screen Sharing transfers. AirDrop is sometimes faster but is usually inconvenient for me because I tend to want to “pull” files from my main Mac; AirDrop requires me to physically go to the other Mac to “push” them.

I’ve settled on using Transmit instead. It’s great about remembering my favorite folders and login info. It’s convenient to be able to configure which local folder should be associated with each remote one. I can even leave tabs open for different Macs and come back a week or two later with it remembering what I was doing. The main limitation that I’ve run into, compared with Finder, is that there’s no way to move a file from the remote server to the local Mac. I have to remember to go back and delete it after the download has completed.


Fixing SMB File Sharing in Ventura


I use the SMB file sharing system to access files on my MBPro from my iPhone 12, on my local network. Until now, this has been robust, reliable and fast.

After updating my MBPro to Ventura 13.0 and my iPhone to iOS 16.1 I cannot connect the laptop to the phone or to my old iMac, running Monterey 12.6.


After I installed macOS Ventura my File Sharing stopped working. I wasn’t able to connect from my Windows computer to my Mac anymore.

I had to turn off File Sharing, reboot my computer, and then turn on File Sharing again. It started to work after I did that.

Via Sean Heber:

It worked and I’m back in business but… like… SERIOUSLY WTF?!

I rebooted a bunch of times trying to get to this work but I never thought to turn off file sharing before rebooting because, like, why would that make any difference?!


Update (2023-02-14): Isaac Halvorson:

Ever since getting my new Mac mini server set up, I have had nothing but problems sharing its drive over the network. Apparently there are issues with SMB shares in Ventura, so that’s likely the actual culprit.


The common workaround is to turn file sharing off on the server, restart the machine, then turn file sharing on again. That does seem to work, but only temporarily for me.

Update (2023-02-21): Isaac Halvorson:

I didn’t want to jump the gun before some time and testing, but it appears that the most recent macOS update (13.2.1) has resolved my SMB network share issues! I’m now able to connect from my MacBook Pro to my Mac mini without issues, and the connection is stable and consistent.

There wasn’t any change to SMB documented in the release notes, so it could be random somehow, but I’m happy regardless.


Update (2023-03-23): Joe Rossignol:

Several users who were affected by the issue have noted that network file sharing is functional again as of the third beta of macOS 13.3 and later, with one user saying that Apple confirmed a fix was implemented. macOS 13.3 is in the final stages of beta testing and is expected to be publicly released as soon as next week.