Episode 219 – Acquisitions and Murders

Microsoft has bought GItHub. IBM is buying Red Hat. Apple bars Bloomberg from iPad event. All of the Apple Logos Included in the October 30 Event. Tim Mitra Blends Art and (Computer) Science at TD Bank. JAMF – There is no step three. New 2018 MacBook Air, 2018 Mac Mini, 2018 iPad Pro – 11” & 12.9”, and 2nd Gen. Apple Pencil. Picks: Designing for iPad Pro and Apple Pencil, Bringing Your Apps to iPad Pro, Shared Version Number trick

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Episode 215 – Left Handed Bird Flip

We fact check the size of the original iPhones, and AI For Accessibility. Our #askMTJC covers a video on economic principals, and swinging cats in man caves. We follow up on inviting users to TestFlight, countries that support iPhone XS eSIMs, Super Bowl commercials in Canada, and sluggish iOS 12 adoption. Apple Watch Series 4 Fall Detection Tested By a Hollywood Stunt Double. Microsoft Surface event 2018: the 5 biggest announcements. Picks: Adding Device Frames to iPhone XS and XS Max Screenshots with Shortcuts, sudo from Touch Bar.

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Episode 194 – There Is No Step Three

This week we follow up on iTunes on Windows, UIViewPropertyAnimator, iPhone 7 microphone issues, Countdown To WWDC, and the first pedestrian death by Uber’s self-driving car. We discuss the 20th Anniversary of the iMac, the call for Apple Heart Study, Lobe’s use of Core ML, and Apple cracking down on location sharing. We also cover the Microsoft Build 2018 and Google I/O 2018 keynotes. Picks: Vapor 3, Dealing With Dates, Frinkiac.com

Photo: Apple

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Episode 150 – MTJC Sesquicentennial

We begin the episode answering a question about extending other apps. We follow up with Swift for Visual Studio, transferring apps with subscriptions, CRTC mandated phone unlocking and how they built the Not Hotdog app. We dig into the App Store cleaning rate in Chinese markets. Jaime tells of Erica Sadun’s post about scalable vector are in iOS 11. Pucks: Ultimate Guide to JSON Parsing With Swift 4, JSON with Encoder and Encodable, iOS Simulator Power Ups, Apple celebrates Canadian optimism and diversity with A Portrait of Canada, WWDC videos with transcripts, Public betas are out, Optimizing Collections.

Correction: CRTC Wireless unlock date is December 1, 2017
*image inspiration: Adanac font by Matt  Heximer

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Adobe Automates Snow Leopard PDF

Q. Ever since I upgraded to Snow Leopard I have been unable to print Adobe PDFs. I print the file but I cannot find the PDF when it is done.

A. Apple’s latest operating system, Mac OS X 10.6 aka Snow Leopard, is an upgrade for Intel based Macintosh computers that uses 64-bit processing, which allows for faster and wider data processing. As a result the computing experience is much faster and seemingly gives new life to all compatible Mac desktops and laptop computers. While the upgrade has negatively affected some printing services, the refinements in Snow Leopard make it a welcome improvement.

In the case of Adobe’s virtual printers, Adobe PDF 9.0 et al, the method used to print a PDF contravenes Apple’s security protocols. In the past when you chose to print a PDF from a program you were actually printing a PostScript file using the LaserWriter print spooler, which was then silently passed to Adobe’s Distiller application. Distiller would actually convert the PostScript into a PDF and save the file to the location you specified.

That is a simplified explanation and there are more applications under the hood involved. Apple’s CUPS or common unix printing system handles most printing tasks and there is some issues with the permissions set by software manufacturers that is prohibiting successful printing. You may see a notice in a print spooler that warns that you need to contact the manufacturer for an update.

The method to print a PDF your self involves a few simple steps. You can print your file to PostScript which will result in saving a file ending with “.ps”. Next open Adobe Distiller and drag and drop the PostScript file onto the main window. Distiller will convert the PostScript file to a PDF and save it in the same folder as the PostScript file. In most cases you would choose “Standard” but if you want a PDF ready for press you can choose “High Quality Print” or “PDF-X1a” – check with the printer’s account manager. If you want the send the PDF by email choose “Smallest File Size” to create a compressed version.

The Acrobat Team has added an Apple Automator workflow to print PDFs. From the Print dialog you can choose “Save as Adobe PDF” from the PDF menu.

If you’re printing with the regular Mac OSX Print pane:
Choose Print from the File Menu.
This will open Mac OS X print dialog.
Choose the “PDF” button and select “Save as Adobe PDF”.
Click Print.
In a few seconds Automator will open and prompt you to choose what type of PDF
Choose Standard (see above).
On the next window, you will be asked where to save the PDF.
Automator will create the PDF.

Mac OS X fonts

Q I often seem to have problems getting fonts to load with Suitcase. Either I have to restart Illustrator or I get warnings of font conflicts when the offending font is not open.What’s going on?

A. This is a common query with users on MacOS X. Fonts continue to be problematic whether you’re using Suitcase XI or Font Book. However, this gives me an opportunity to explain some preventive maintenance that you should perform regularly.

To begin with you should “fix permissions” on your Mac on a regular basis (once a month or so.) To do this go to “/Applications/Utilities/” and open Disk Utility. You will see you hard drive listed on the left. Select it by clicking on it. Then under the “First Aid” tab click on “Repair Permissions”. You’ll often find something that needs to be repaired as permissions get altered by software installers and some system updates.

Next, this is the Font part, you should search your Mac for “Adobefnt.lst” files. These are font caches created by Adobe applications – you can safely send these to the trash because they are regenerated as required by the Adobe apps (Illustrator, InDesign and PhotoShop). If you’re a regular Adobe app user you’ll find many of these.

Another area that requires serious attention are font caches. The Mac caches fonts when they are loaded to make subsequent loads faster. When a font is opened, the complex file is examined and the results are stored in a cache file. From time to time these caches can get corrupt and cause font display problems and incorrectly report conflicts.

The easiest way to clean these up is to download “Font Finagler” from “homepage.mac.com/mdouma46/fontfinagler” (formally know as Font Cache Cleaner). Font Finagler will locate all of the font caches on your Mac and delete them. When it’s finished you’ll reboot your Mac and start with a clean slate. The next time you load the font(s) the information will be stored in a font cache.
Performing these steps, repair permissions, remove font lists and caches on a regular basis should keep your Mac running smoothly.

Font is a four letter word

Nothing can bring Quark Xpress to it’s knees quite like a corrupt font. In fact, the whole operating system can suffer. With the introduction of Mac OSX, and it’s ability to use multiple font formats the future looked bright. Missing fonts can still be a headache but at least now when a customer sends a PC TrueType font you can use it. A corrupt fonts can wreak havoc over your Macintosh, which entitles us to say that, “Font is a four-letter word.”

MacOS X seemingly has added another level of complexity to the management of fonts. Fonts can be stored in several locations and are activated in a particular order creating confusion for the average user. Certain fonts are required by the operation system, as well as Apple own applications, so removing them or deactivating them can lead to trouble.

Recently, I was called in to investigate a case where Mail would work intermittently. The user would open the application but the Message Viewer window would not open. Initially, it looked like corrupt Mail preferences. We moved the preferences to the desktop, launched the Mail application but the program still didn’t work.
If you’re having a problem with an application, one of the first things you can do is recreate the application’s preference file. Another trick is to create a second user account, then log in with that second account and test the applications. Nine times out of ten, the application is fine – the problem is the user’s preferences file(s).

You’ll find your application’s preferences in the Preferences folder under your own home folder. (Eg /Users/[yourlogin]/Library/Prefernces). Look for a file ending with “.plist”, with a similar name as your application. In the case of Mail – you would look for “com.apple.mail.plist”. Note: If you delete this file you would be prompted to recreate your mail account login. The other common problem with Apple’s own applications occurs if you move them from the Applications folder. Restore the program to its original location and it may behave.

Returning to the Mail problem, I discovered many other Apple programs were misbehaving. Safari, System Preferences, Mail and even Font Book wouldn’t open properly. In most cases we had to “force quit” the applications. This user was using Font Book to manage her fonts.

Apple has included Font Book as a method for dealing with fonts. It has been improved for the latest system, MacOS 10.4 as Font Book 2. While it enables users to create font sets and has a utility for resolving font conflicts, it is still not as flexible as Third Party applications such as Extensis Suitcase, Font Reserve (and FontAgent Pro) for managing fonts, because they don’t interfere with the operating system – when adding fonts. There are also shareware tools such as FontFinagler for fixing font issues. Most users may deal with a few fonts in their daily workflow, but if you’re a publishing professional, then you know you need a robust font management tool – that can deal with hundreds of fonts and font versions.

In MacOS X, there are several locations for fonts to be installed. The first location belongs to the System “/System/Library/Fonts”. These fonts are best left alone, they’re always active and some are absolutely required by the system.

The second location are the Library fonts “/Library/Fonts”. The third location is the User fonts, “/Users/[yourlogin]/Library/Fonts”. Each user has his own fonts under his home folder. The fourth location is the Classic fonts, “/System Folder/Fonts”. These fonts are available to MacOS X applications even if Classic is not running.

The last two locations are Network fonts and Application fonts. Network fonts are located on a MacOS X Server. Application fonts are stored the Library under Application Support.

If you have duplicate fonts installed, you should be aware of how you Mac deals with them. If the system finds duplicate fonts, then it follows a specific order to activate them. First, it will look in the Application’s own font folder. Second, it will look in the User’s font folder. Third, it will look in the local Library font folder, then Network, System, and Classic font folders.

To resolve the mystery of the applications that wouldn’t open we had to delete Font Book’s preferences. The two main culprits are “com.apple.FontBook.plist” and “com.apple.ATS.plist”. Deleting these to files and rebooting the Mac, restored the functionality to the Mail (and other) applications. Then we were left with the task of figuring out which font was corrupt.

Occasionally a font may appear garbled. If that’s the case then there may be a problem with your font caches. Here you’ll need to remove the following files from “/System/Library/Caches” com.apple.ATS.System.fcache, com.apple.ATSServer.FODB_System, and fontTablesAnnex. You’ll need to be an administrator to do this. Remove the “com.apple.ATS” from the “/Library/Caches” folder, and also remove the “com.apple.ATS.plist” from your own Preferences. Once you’ve done this, restart your Mac.