Archive for January 26, 2023

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Standard Mac User Accounts

Howard Oakley:

There are a few unexpected features that aren’t available to the normal user, of which the most irksome is accessing the log.


A traditional argument in favour of running as a normal user is that it separates your data from the system, and from other users. Thankfully, in all recent versions of macOS, you don’t need this any more: macOS is tucked away on a read-only snapshot on your System volume, and Privacy & Security work just the same whether you’re an admin or normal user.


All built-in macOS security protection applies equally to all users, regardless of their privileges.

Even with an admin account, I get prompted for my password all the time. So, these days, it seems like standard accounts are mostly useful for when the administrator is a different person from the user, who is to be prevented from changing settings or installing certain software. The old recommendation—which I didn’t follow—of having the administrator use a standard account most of time makes even less sense now.

What Happened to Virtual Memory?


Your system has run out of application memory.

To avoid problems with your computer, quit any applications you are not using.

Jason Koebler:

why do people pretend like RAM is somehow not important on Apple Silicon? I have a $2,000 14" 2021 MBP with 16 gb RAM and I’m regularly getting notices my computer can’t run bc not enough system memory with not that much stuff open[…]

meanwhile I have a 2017 iMac that I installed 32 gb of RAM on myself with a garbage processor but that generally runs large numbers of programs/tabs better than this MBP.

I’ve never quite known what this error means. I’ve been using macOS since the beginning and don’t recall ever seeing it until the later years of using my 2017 iMac. It had 40 GB of RAM, and when I would get this error it never seemed like applications were using a huge amount of memory. Sometimes it looked like the kernel was using 10 GB or so. Even so, how can the system be out of memory when it supports virtual memory and the boot drive has 100 GB of free space?

Meanwhile, my 2022 MacBook Pro has only 32 GB of RAM, and I don’t think it has ever shown this error message. My guess is that this is because the MacBook Pro has a larger SSD and the iMac was in fact running out of space. Perhaps it’s just more confusion caused by displaying purgeable space—that will not actually be automatically purged—as though it’s free.


Update (2023-02-14): Alexandre Colucci:

Achievement unlocked: memory swapping on Apple Silicon 🤘

Update (2023-04-24): See also: Mike Richardson.

SwiftUI Views Are Lists

Chris Eidhof (Mastodon):

When you write SwiftUI, all your views conform to the View protocol. The name of this protocol is a bit misleading: it could be called Views or ViewList, or something else that suggests plurals.


As mentioned, the Layout protocol lets you work with these view lists directly as of iOS 16 and macOS 13. You can also use variadic views — a non-public, but stable API — to loop over view lists. The variadic view API is really powerful (for example, you can write things like filter, map and reduce on view lists) but also quite low-level. I have a gist here with some examples, and plan to also write this up soon.


Update (2023-01-27): Chris Eidhof:

To deal with these lists of views (e.g. during layout) we can use the underscored variadic view API.

Missing Tweets

Lora Kolodny (Hacker News):

Twitter’s full-time headcount has dwindled to approximately 1,300 active, working employees, including fewer than 550 full-time engineers by title, according to internal records viewed by CNBC.


Musk has contradicted the internal records obtained by CNBC in a series of tweets, and claimed that Twitter now has about 2,300 full-time working employees and thousands of contractors. CNBC contacted Twitter for clarification and comment but did not immediately hear back.


Before Musk led a $44 billion leveraged buyout of Twitter last year, Twitter’s headcount stood at about 7,500 employees. Layoffs were rumored internally and expected to take place whether Musk’s takeover went through or not. However, Musk has cut Twitter personnel far more than many expected — or by about 80% according to the internal records and two recent employees who spoke with CNBC.

David Frum:

On my computer, I am checking the latest tweets by people I follow. On my phone, I’m checking whether their most recent tweets are showing up in the “Following” column. I’m just getting started, but even in the first dozen cases, Twitter failed to show me an absolute majority of the tweets I had requested to see.

John Gruber:

With Twitter now, there’s no indication that you’re missing tweets — let alone a huge number of tweets.


Here’s a speculative thread explaining what might be going on — sounds like a very solid guess to me. In short: after cutting back on servers and entire data centers, Twitter can no longer keep up with its own content.


At this writing I see a grand total of one mention for my account going back to January 5. My Twitter mentions are nearly completely useless.

Dave Mark:

Totally agree with his take. Something fundamental on Twitter is breaking. 😐


Lisa Source Code on 40th Anniversary

Benj Edwards (MacRumors):

As part of the Apple Lisa’s 40th birthday celebrations, the Computer History Museum has released the source code for Lisa OS version 3.1 under an Apple Academic License Agreement. With Apple’s blessing, the Pascal source code is available for download from the CHM website after filling out a form.


The Lisa was not the first commercial computer to ship with a GUI, as some have claimed in the past—that honor goes to the Xerox Star—but Lisa OS defined important conventions that we still use in windowing OSes today, such as drag-and-drop icons, movable windows, the waste basket, the menu bar, pull-down menus, copy and paste shortcuts, control panels, dynamically movable overlapping windows, and even one-touch automatic system shutdown.

John Gruber:

To this day, I’ve never seen one. The Mac interface captured a certain magic that the Lisa’s quite obviously did not — I think the Lisa ultimately failed more because of that than its price. But its influence on the original Mac is obvious.


Mac 30th Anniversary Icons

Robb Knight:

SVG icons extracted from the 30th Anniversary Mac Font

Via Dave Mark:

And if you hover your cursor over the icons, they slowly change color.

Nick Heer:

It is also a reminder that the titanium PowerBook which so clearly set the template for Apple’s current laptops was released closer to the original Macintosh than to today’s Macs.