553: Sparky's Wrong ... Again

wait, so if I have a bunch of pdfs that I like to search every daily for a specific subject, do you guys think raindrop.io can replace devonthink?

CalDigit Dock

In the “CalDigit Dock” section, Stephen mentions that he thought the issues with “which side do you charge your MacBook Pro with” was mostly related to the 13” MacBook Pro.

I can share two things.

  1. I have a 16” MacBook Pro and the CalDigit was unreliable when plugged in to the left side. I would get notifications that drives had been ejected improperly or the Stream Deck would have glitches. It was so bad that I was ready to return it.

  2. When I contacted CalDigit’s support, they pointed me to the iMore article that suggested using the right side for power.

Once I started using the CalDigit on the right-side ports on my 16” MacBook Pro, it has been flawless.

I have not had any issues with the left-side ports for things like drives or other peripherals, it was just the CalDigit dock (which is a pretty power-hungry device). So if you get one, I recommend plugging it in on the right side, regardless of what size MacBook Pro you have.

Resilio Sync

In the discussion about Dropbox, David mentioned that I had suggested Resilio Sync. It’s not a Dropbox client, it’s just a way to sync data between Macs without needing Dropbox or iCloud.

The nice thing about it is that it’s a one-time fee vs monthly subscription, and there are no space limitations, other than the amount of hard drive space you have available. However, that also means there is no cloud storage so if you are using your iMac to edit files, you need to leave your iMac running when you go to your MacBook so those files can sync from the iMac.

Another nice feature of RS is that you can sync pretty much any folder you want.

Want to sync your ~/Downloads/ folders ? You can do that. ~/Pictures/ ? That too (although I wouldn’t recommend syncing your iCloud Photo Library with it).

You are not limited in the number of folders that you sync either.

Here’s a big plus: each folder syncs separately, so if you are syncing your ~/Downloads/ folder and you have a lot of data syncing, but you’re also syncing a bunch of text files in ~/txt/, the ~/txt/ process will sync without having to wait for ~/Downloads/.

David mentioned that he tried to sync his Keyboard Maestro macros file with iCloud. That’s a good example of the kind of thing I sync with Resilio Sync. I have a folder where I keep configuration files like that, which is very small so it syncs fast.


I circled back around to clear that up :wink:

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There’s also a Synology app which lets a NAS participate in the syncing.

The mention of bookmark counts got me to wondering how many I currently have in my primary browser. The answer: 8,600. It looks, based on some old sync records, like it got as high as 23,000 before I declared bookmark bankruptcy a few years ago. It didn’t stick.

These are mostly things that look interesting enough at the time for me to plan to get back to them at some point. That (almost) never happens. I need a different workflow here - or at least some intervention for digital hoarding tendencies.

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Yup, I was glad to hear that.

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My oldest Mac in active use is a 2012 Retina MacBook Pro. It was my daily driver until I got an iMac in 2017, and I still use it when I need a laptop. It runs Catalina (in fact, it’s my only machine running Catalina; I’ve kept iMac and mini on Mojave).

However, the writing is kind of on the wall. Big Sur isn’t going to support the 2012 MPBs. While Catalina will still get security updates for a couple of years and it’s still fast enough for the things I use it for, the 15" form factor is increasingly out of step for what I need out of a laptop. It was a great choice when I was laptop only and it spent a lot of time docked, but now that I’ve got an iMac on my desk, a more portable laptop would fit me better.

I’ll be looking pretty closely when Apple releases an ARM MacBook Air or a MacBook successor, since those would probably be a much better fit with what I need out of a laptop these days.

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I haven’t listened to this episode yet, but Resilio Sync has in the past always gotten downplayed on MPU. Always seemed to me to be the ideal situation (cost as low as free) if you have a server computer running 24/7.

I think it just got a bad name because it was created by BitTorrent, and was originally called BitTorrent Sync. But it has always been a legitimate product. I’ve used it since it was new.


or NAS, as mentioned above.

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Which one is that? I would love to get more out of my NAS.

@MacSparky The Arlo floodlight cam is HomeKit compatible.

It’s the ResilioSync app.

Here’s a link to install instructions for various vendors. For Synology, it’s in the package center.



I’m going to give Eufy another month or two before I go down that particular rabbit hole.

Wow, that’s a lot! I have 90.

Hearing Sparky talk about how he uses a random password to link to things reminds me of my system of using timestamps created by TextExpander that I talked about here.

I use this all the time, it’s just a simple keystroke and TextExpander creates it. Since it’s based on time and down to the second I don’t have to worry about repeating codes.

This is how I tag new sections in my journal documents.

08:05 PM {{Tuesday September 15, 2020}} (a20200915200522) .

It’s also makes searching for date based things a lot easier. If I wanted to find all my thoughts from today I would simply search for “a20200915”.


Consider me another fairly happy Arlo user. HomeKit integration works pretty well and the batteries last a very long time. My only complaint is their refusal to adapt any shortcuts to arm/disarm the system. As a workaround I found a HomeBridge plugin that adds the base-station as an alarm tile in Home. Now I can run my goodnight routine and arm the whole system.

+1 for Resilio Sync. The easiest roll your own dropbox I could find (when compared to others that want to run in Docker). Best to have a machine that is always on to run like a server.

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Thanks for mentioning this regarding ResilioSync. While listening, that characterization of it was bugging me too.

ResilioSync is essentially a way for individuals to BitTorrent files between computers; it’s not a cloud drive. I have found it great for shuttling large media files to friends. It’s been way faster than Dropbox, and the like, at moving those files.

It’s a great product/service that I love and have been using for years. And “BitTorrent” really shouldn’t be considered a bad word.