Uninstalling Adobe Flash

Adobe Flash’s days are numbered. Flash is one of those technologies that I never liked using. Using a Flash app on a small business website was never great, but Flash on commercial websites just felt gross, slow, and never felt like it belonged on my Mac. Adobe announced that they would discontinue Flash Player for interactive content at the end 2020. Unfortunately, Adobe’s announcement was in 2017. With months still left on the countdown clock, why are we talking about Flash now?

In the intervening years, Safari, Firefox, and Chrome have been becoming more aggressive at warning and then blocking access to Flash apps. Starting with Safari Technical Preview 99, the WebKit team will be completely removing support for Adobe Flash support from the browser.

Long time Apple fans knew that this day has been coming. From the get-go, Apple famously did not allow Flash to run on their iOS platform. It was a decision that I fully supported after seeing how terribly Flash ran on Palm webOS devices. A decade ago, the late Steve Jobs ranted about Flash in a 1,600-word argument against the technology in a blog post titled “Thoughts on Flash“. In the post, he made an impassioned plea to convince the tech industry, and Apple customers, that Flash was a terrible technology while also arguing that Flash-free Apple products would perform better. It was classic Jobs: fight for the users and Apple all at the same time.

So, now what? If you are like me, I’m ready to ditch Flash now. I already use the Safari Technology Preview beta software. My remaining need for Flash, working with a team that still used Flash on their website, has gone away. Now, I’m ready to rip Flash out of macOS 10.15 Catalina. Here’s how we can uninstall Flash together.

First, go get Flash uninstall tool from the Adobe website.

Next, double-click the uninstall_flash_player_osx.dmg download file. This will create a Flash Player drive icon on your desktop (below, left and center).

Inside the Flash Player drive, double-click the Adobe Flash Player Uninstaller.app file (above, right). When prompted, enter your macOS password to authorize the removal of Flash.

When you are done, drag the Flash Player drive icon and the uninstall_flash_player_osx.dmg file to the trash can icon in the Dock.

Since Flash has a System Preferences control panel and plug-ins for the web browsers that you may have installed on your Mac, I like to also add in a reboot just for good measure.

Apple Issues Security Update for ‘root’ Vulnerability

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Yesterday, an unusually dangerous security vulnerability in macOS 10.13.1 High Sierra was uncovered.  Less than 24-hours later, Apple has issued a patch to correct the situation.  The vulnerability allowed access to the Unix ‘root’ account – the most powerful ID on a Unix system – without the use of a password.

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Apple support article HT208315 gives you the specifics about this vulnerability.  If you haven’t already done so, go to the Mac App Store and install Security Update 2017-001.  It is a small update that does not require the Mac to be rebooted.

John Gruber over at Daring Fireball received a statement from Apple stating the company’s regret and apology for rolling out High Sierra 10.13.1 with this bug in it.  The statement to Daring Fireball also noted that “starting later today it will be automatically installed on all systems running the latest version (10.13.1) of macOS High Sierra.”

It was later reported, again by Gruber, that the Security Update 2017-001 patch inadvertently breaks file sharing in macOS High Sierra.  If you experience the post Security Update 2017-001 file sharing bug, Apple has posted support article HT208317 on how to fix file sharing.  To apply the file sharing bug fix, open Terminal.app and issue the command:

sudo /usr/libexec/configureLocalKDC

There is no output from the command.  When you are done, quit Terminal.

Apple Software Update Monday [Updated]

Update: iTunes 12.5.5 was also released today.

Apple gave us four updates for our iDevices and Macs today.

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Earlier this afternoon, MacOS Sierra 10.12.3 arrived offering graphics improvements for the October 2016 edition MacBook Pros.  The Sierra 10.12.3 update closed up a hole in Preview that was mucking with searching scanned PDF files.

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iTunes 12.5.5 was also released for MacOS (and Windows PC) adding “minor app and performance improvements”.

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Also arriving today was 10.2.1, a minor security and bug fix update for iPhone and iPad.  watchOS 3.1.3 tagged along to give Apple Watch owners a small tune up also.

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And, last, but not least, Apple TV got a minor bump up to tvOS 10.1.1 from 10.1.

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All of today’s updates are minor security and bug fixes, with no major features or new functionality added.

Look for the iOS 10.3 beta releases to start arriving any day now.

 

Happy 40th Birthday, Apple! Stay Foolish!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mtY0K2fiFOA]
Apple – 40 Years in 40 Seconds video originally show during Apple’s Spring 2016 event

In honor of Apple’s 40th birthday today, I decided to help celebrate by listing out all of the Apple gear that I have either owned (my own personal hardware) or I have used at work (which was a big Mac shop until the mid-2000’s).

Items that I owned have a picture and the approximate year in which I started using it. All of the hardware listed below has been listed in chronological order by the year Apple released it.

Apple //e, Apple

ImageWriter II (1986)

Apple IIgs (1988)

Macintosh SE/30 (1995)

Macintosh Classic (1990)
Macintosh IIci (1996)

Macintosh LC (1992)

Macintosh IIsi (1995)

Macintosh PowerBook 100 (1992)

Macintosh PowerBook Duo 230 and DuoDock (1993)
Apple QuickTake 100 camera (1995)

Power Macintosh 7100/66av (1995)

Macintosh PowerBook Duo 2300c/100 and DuoDock (1996)
Macintosh PowerBook 5300ce (1996)
Apple StyleWriter 1200 (1996)

Apple Newton MessagePad 2000 (1998)
Power Macintosh 7600 (1997)

Macintosh PowerBook G3 “Wall Street” (1998)
Power Macintosh G3 Blue and White (1999)
Power Mac G4 Cube with Apple 17-inch Cinema Display and Apple Pro Speakers (2001)

iMac 17-inch Flat Panel (2002)
PowerBook G4 DVI (2002)
Power Mac G4 Mirrored Drive Doors (2002)
Power Mac G4 QuickSilver with Apple 20-inch Cinema Display (2003)
Apple iPod with Dock Connector (2003)
Power Mac G5 (2004)

PowerBook G4 (2004)

Xserve and Xserve RAID (2004)
Apple iPod 5th Generation (2005)
MacBook 13-inch (2006)
Mac Pro with 23-inch Cinema Display (2006)

iPhone 2G (2010)

iPod Touch (2008)
Apple TV 1st Generation (2009)
MacBook Pro 17-inch (2010)
iPad with Wi-Fi (2010)

iPhone 4s Sprint (2011)
iPad 3rd Generation with Wi-Fi (2012)
iPad mini 1st Generation with Wi-Fi (2013)
Apple TV 3rd Generation (2013)
iPad Air (2013)
iPhone 5s Sprint (2013)
iPhone 6 Sprint (2014)

Apple Watch Sport (2015)

iPhone 6s Plus Sprint (2015)
iPad Pro 12.9-inch with Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard (2015)

iMac Retina 5k, 27-inch (2016)

My New Apple iMac 27-inch with 5K Retina Display

Today, I purchased a new Apple iMac 27-inch with 5K Retina display!  This is my first new Mac since I purchased my beloved Apple MacBook Pro 17-inch.

My daughter Kaitlyn and my Dad where with me at the Trumbull, Connecticut Apple Store for the big day.  Thanks, guys!  (Katie also picked up three new iPhone 6/6s cases too.  Thanks, Daddy!)

The following pictures are of my unboxing and initial setup.  I hope you enjoy them.

I love that years later, Apple is still printing “Macintosh Think Different” on their boxes.  “Think Different” was the slogan from their iconic ad campaign from the 1990s.  Today’s Macs don’t look anything like their beige box siblings, and are insanely more powerful, but “Think Different” still inspires me to always do my best.

I will be upgrading my new iMac to 32GB of RAM from the stock 8GB as soon as all of the software setup and Time Machine restores are done.

Waiting is the hardest part of setting up a new Mac.

While I wait, I decided to try and figure out which keyboard I wanted to use with my new iMac.  From top to bottom, the Apple Magic Keyboard (2015), Apple Bluetooth Wireless Keyboard (2005) and the Apple Extended Keyboard II (1990).  Yes, that last one uses Apple Desktop Bus (ADB) connectors.  You can still find ADB-to-USB adapters on eBay.
My MacBook Pro 17-inch – still working hard while my 27-inch iMac is still goofing off while it’s Time Machine restore continues to run while I write this blog post.
Thanks Steve.

Apple Releases Mac OS X 10.11.4 Update, Other OS X Software Updates

Following today’s “In the Loop” event, Apple has released a number of software updates for Mac OS X, including the El Capitan 10.11.4 Update, iTunes 12.3.3, OS X Server 5.1 and Apple Configurator 2.2.

Mac OS X El Capitan Update 10.11.4

New in “El Cap” is the ability to passcode protect notes stored in the Apple Notes app.  This feature addition is in-line with today’s iOS 9.3 system update which brings the same feature to iOS devices.  The Notes app also gained new sorting capabilities too.  If you are an Evernote user, or more correctly, an Evernote user looking to escape, Notes can now import Evernote files.  Evernote importing is a feature that Microsoft recently released for the PC version of OneNote with the help of an optional Microsoft OneNote plug-in.

Also of note for Mac users is the addition of Live Photos being shared between OS X and iOS in the Messages app and AirDrop.  iBooks also received an enhancement that allows iBooks to write PDF files into your iCloud account – making the PDF files available to all of your iCloud connected OS X and iOS devices.

iTunes 12.3.3

iTunes 12.3.3 is a minor update that adds support for the new iPhone SE and the iPad Pro, the 9-inch flavor, to iTunes.  iTunes is the only cross-platform software update that is also available on Windows 7/8.x/10 PCs.

OS X Server 5.1 and Apple Configurator 2.2

Both, OS X Server 5.1 and Configurator 2.2 received updates that add new features to support the new Profile Manager and iPads with shared configurations.

Apple Releases OS X 10.11 El Capitan for Macintosh

Apple, today, released the next generation of the Macintosh operating system: OS X 10.11 El Capitan.

2015 is a “rebuilding” year for both iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan with both new operating systems focused on making things run smoother, faster, more efficiently and securely.

With El Capitan, Apple brings Split view to OS X – one of my favorite feathers – new features to Mission Control, the new San Francisco display font, faster graphics with Metal (requires 2012 or later Macs) and many more features and enhancements.

El Capitan runs on most Macs that have been released since 2007 and requires that the Mac has OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.8.  El Capitan requires about 6GB of free disk space.  As with the last few releases of OS X, OS X 10.11 El Capitan has been released by Apple for free.

Download El Capitan from the Mac App Store.

Flexibits Launches Fantastical 2 for Mac

The calendar mavens over at Flexibits have released a major update to their popular calendaring app, Fantastical 2 for Mac!
A short video of Fantastical 2 for Mac in action is available on the Flexibits website.

Designed exclusively for OS X Yosemite, Fantastical 2 for Mac includes features such as a full calendar window (with day, week, month, and year views), an intuitive parsing engine, iCloud reminders support, light theme, time zone support, birthday reminders, and much more.

Fantastical 2 has a beautiful all-new design and includes many OS X Yosemite features, including a Today Widget, Action & Share Extensions, plus Handoff support to provide continuity between Fantastical 2 for Mac, Fantastical 2 for iPhone, and Fantastical 2 for iPad.

Fantastical 2 for Mac’s natural language parsing engine has been updated to be even more friendly and flexible. The parsing engine now understands expressive repeating events such as third Thursday of every month, every weekend, last weekday of the month, and more. Plus, users can now add alerts by ending their natural language input with phrases such as “remind me tomorrow at 3PM”, “alert 1 hour before”, or “alarm 3PM.”

“When Fantastical came out 4 years ago, our goal was to reinvent the calendar app to ease the frustrations of using calendars,” said Michael Simmons, CEO & President of Flexibits. “With Fantastical 2, we challenged ourselves to reinvent Fantastical itself.”

I think for me, the perfect integration with Mac OS X Yosemite with the ability to use OS X Dictation, Today view, and Handoff to/from my iPhone and iPad together with Flexibits natural language parsing engine are the killer features that make this upgrade well worth the purchase price.
In addition to the super functional Mac toolbar mini window, Flexibits has included a new very handsome looking Today widget.  But the big new visual enhancement for Fantastical for Mac is the new full calendar view.
Fantastical 2 is available now directly from the Mac App Store for $39.99.  As the name implies, this is a completely new version of Fantastical, which means if you have already purchased Fanastical 1 for Mac, you will need to purchase it again.  The enhancements found in Fantastical 2 for Mac are really well worth it.  Plus, you are helping out some great indie Mac developers in the process.

App Store Goes (RED) To Help Fight AIDS


Apple has long been a supporter of AIDS prevention.  This year, Apple has launched a multi pronged event to help raise awareness of the fight against AIDS.

To start, Apple has posted a special (RED) page on their website.  There is also a link to the RED.org website where you can lean more about the work that is being done and the other companies that are helping fight this disease.

Apple also has a few other promotions going on for your favorite iOS devices.  As in years past, Apple is promoting their (PRODUCT) RED devices and accessories.  Current model iPods are available in (RED) editions as well as (RED) cases for iPhone and iPad.  I have a few of the (PRODUCT) RED cases for my iPhones and iPads.  They cost the same as other Apple cases and look great!  What’s better, is that they are on sale all the time.  You owe it to yourself to pick one up and feel good that you are supporting a good cause all the while having a case that looks great on your device!

Apple is also running a special promotion on Friday (11/28/14) and Monday (12/1/14).  On Friday, when you purchase participating products, you will receive a special (Product)RED Apple gift card and Apple will donate a portion of the proceeds to (RED).  Similarly, on Monday, when you make a purchase at an Apple Retail Store or online, Apple will donate a portion of the proceeds from everything they sell to (RED).  That’s pretty damn amazing when you consider that Monday is “Cyber Monday” and a lot of people will be doing online Christmas shopping that day.

New this year, is iOS app developer’s involvement in the (RED) campaign.  From November 24 – December 7, either 100% of app or In-App Purchase item is donated to (RED)’s Global Fund.  There are some really fantastic apps that are part of the program.

For example, Apple has updated Garage Band with a special (GarageBand)RED Loop Pack.  Rovio has created three special (RED)’s Mighty Feathers levels to play.  My favorite iOS app that is participating in this year’s campaign has got to be ustwo’s Monument Valley.  With a $0.99 IAP, you can purchase one extra level – Ida’s (RED) Dream.

If games and making music aren’t your thing, there are still other ways to help.  In total there are 25 iOS app developers involved this year, with apps like 53, Clear, Kitchen Stories Recipes and Star Walk 2.  You can find the complete list of apps and IAP on the App Store.  If you would just like to make a donation you can do that too.  Just open the App Store on your iOS device and make a donation.

This holiday season, we have lots to be thankful for.  Please, make a donation to help fight HIV/AIDS by participating in one of these programs.

Apple Releases Yosemite Public Beta 2, iTunes 12 Beta, and iWork Updates

This past Thursday was pretty busy for Apple.  Continuing toward the presumed late October launch of Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite, the Fruit company released the second public beta of Yosemite alongside a new iTunes 12 beta.

Yosemite Public Beta 2 and iTunes 12 Beta

The Yosemite and iTunes betas brings the changes that have recently been released to Apple’s registered (and paying) application developers to the free public test drive of the next version of Mac OS.  The software, as is all other Apple software at this point, is shipped as a software update from the Mac App Store.  The installation process took about 30 minutes on my mid-2009 MacBook Pro.  The new version of iTunes was a relatively quick install.

Taking a quick look around after installing Yosemite, there didn’t appear to be all that much changed from Public Beta 1.  Many of the changes at this point will be internal meaning that applications have most, if not all of their features and are going to become more stable.  I did notice that my external USB hard disk had a new flattened icon that I like better than the original orange icon.

The iTunes 12 beta has a new, cleaner look to it.  I’m still on the fence as to whether or not I like the older interface with the sidebar or the new interface.  Knowing myself, I think it’s just a reaction to having to learn where things are or a new way of doing them.  I’m pretty sure I’m just being a cranky old man about the UI enhancements in iTunes.

iWork App Updates

In addition to the new beta software, Apple also rolled out new versions of their iWork applications for the Mac, iPhone, and iPad.  I didn’t notice any outward appearance changes to Pages, Numbers, and Keynote.  According to the update description, Apple only stated that the new apps “contain stability improvements and bug fixes.”

Head over to the Mac App Store and the iOS App Store to download and install the free updates now.