MacBook Pro Thoughts Part 3

Magic Happens

Previously and previously.

The keyboard is apparently different enough to give me issues with my hands. I never had a single RSI problem with the 2013 model with "the good keyboard". I could type on that thing all day. Now I find that the bones in my hands and fingers ache after prolonged typing.

When I'm "in the office" at work, I hook the laptop up to an external keyboard/monitor and things are fine. But I really feel it when I work remotely and use the native laptop keyboard. Like, literally feel it in my bones.

Speaking of the days I'm in my work office and "things are fine", they're not fine really. For I'd rather not have to reboot once a day just to fix the "oh look the external monitor has started flickering on and off again" issue.

Those previous generation MacBook Pros were really really really good. Now they're really really really not. Which is a shame.

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On Moving Lightroom Libraries

I love Lightroom. For the last six years or so I've used nothing else for all my photography post processing, tagging, and cataloging. Early on I settled on a workflow that suits me and now it's all second nature. I'll write more about that workflow in an upcoming post. Today I'm just happy to announce that I moved a complete Lightroom install from one Mac to another.

First a bit of preamble. I have an old 2008 MacBook Pro that was my workhorse for a decade. A little over a year ago I got a 2013 model that became my main personal non-work laptop. I say 'main' but it was really "everything except for Lightroom". Why? Well I wanted to start afresh with the new model and didn't want to carry the cruft of 10 years of OS upgrades. So I didn't go the usual restore entire disk from backup onto the new machine route.

And therein lay the problem.

Apple sure don't make it very easy to restore a single app from a backup. Sure you can restore just the *.app file from the Applications directory. But that's not the entire install, and not something that will even run on the new machine. For that reason I was always hesitant to try to migrate anything Lightroom related. And so I just continued using my 2008 model for Lightroom things. Which wasn't fun. No retina screen, no SSD, it was as painful as it sounds.

Last weekend I'd had enough. So I carved out an hour to bloody figure out what was needed. I wasn't successful on the first couple tries and there was some trial and error before Lightroom would stop crashing every 5 seconds. So here's how I did it. In each step, keep the same directory structure on both machines.

(1) Copy all your original photos.
(2) Copy the Lightroom .app file.
(3) Copy the Lightroom catalogue and presets directories.
(4) Copy ~/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Lightroom/*.
(5) Copy ~/Library/Preferences/Adobe/*.
(6) Copy ~/Library/Preferences/com.adobe*.plist.

And lo it all "just works". Not only is it all fantastic looking on a retina screen, it's so fast I can't even stand it. It's truly like night and day.

MacBook Pro Thoughts


This week I got a new MacBook Pro at work. One of the touch bar models. It's certainly too early to have anything reasonable to say, so a few quick first impressions.

Keyboard. Louder, less travel, doesn't feel as substantial.

Screen. Just lovely in every way.

Trackpad. Very big. And also big. The 'click' is softer. Why is it so big?

Touch Bar. Why. Is. This. A. Thing?

Touch ID. Being able to use my fingerprint to login is wonderful.

Ports. All USB C, all the time. Not as big of a deal as I thought? Only need one USB C => USB A dongle.

No physical escape key. I'm in vim all the time. Not having an escape key is almost a deal breaker.

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On Phone Call Notifications

The ability to add phone call support to your Mac, if you owned an iPhone, landed in Yosemite a few years ago. I don't recall which OS upgrade flipped the bit that starting making my Mac actually notify me by ringing every time my phone does? I swear it hasn't done it since Yosemite has it? Well after the 7th phone call today and hearing it all in perfect stereo I decided to do something about it.

So, where do you think you go to turn all that off? If you said 'System Preferences', you made a smart guess, but you would be wrong. And that's pretty much 10 minutes of my life I'm never getting back.

Instead you have to know that on a Mac what you're actually doing is handling a Facetime Audio call. Obviously. And you can't get at Facetime preferences from within System Preferences. You have to open the Facetime app itself and then go do Preferences => 'Calls from iPhone' and uncheck that.

So I guess file this under things you should already know unless you don't know them?