Mac Power Users 450: MPU+:I'm a Big Phone Guy


I used to shoot competively. I alway brought two identical pistols. I traveled hundreda of miles… There was a time limit. Get going or you are out.

So as has already been pointed out @macexpert, there are circumstances when pulling out a fully configured backup gun is crucial.


@katiefloyd are you still using or have you used FruitJuice, amphetamine, Wemo power cycling, etc. on this laptop?
Could this be a contributing factor?


Katie - my 2017 5k iMac was crashing when I left it for a day or so without using it - I’d take is out of sleep and I would see that it had shutdown and restated. The culprit turned out to be Fantastical and now all is good. I looked at the message logs it sent to apple it had not really captured the crash - also looking at the console and the error logs I found nothing. Was happening for months and I finally noticed a large number or entries with some message about Fantastical. I know you mentioned something about thunderbolt ports but anything is worth a try.


I had the same thing. In my case it was a (known brand) USB hub that was causing 99% of the crashes.
For the rest I am suspecting the Ringcentral app and Bomgar remote support app.


Many years ago when I was a student I had a laptop from Dell and they would just send me a replacement laptop overnight when I had a hardware failure so that I could continue working on the replacement machine while mine was being repaired.

I really do not understand why Apple doesn’t do the same and send replacement machines overnight. Especially if you also bought Apple Care. Those machines are really expensive and if they fail in the first two years it is probably a manufacturing issue and the producer should take responsibility for that, in my humbly opinion.


No, I disabled this while troubleshooting.


Thanks, we tried this but the problem persists.


@katiefloyd Regarding your comment in this episode about using IFTTT web hooks to make changes to Nest through Shortcuts, here’s a simpler tip for others.

Thermo Watch is a great client app on iOS with Watch and Shortcuts support -

You can connect your Nest account to it and use that app within Shortcuts to make desired changes without having to play around with web hooks.


Re: Migration from Dropbox to iCloud or another service, as attorneys I assume both @katiefloyd and @MacSparky have an Office 365 subscription in order to use the MS Office suite of applications, which are standard in the legal and business communities. I have one, and I get 1 TB of OneDrive space as part of the plan. Why not use that for file storage and sharing? You’re paying for it already. :wink:

In my case, I had a Dropbox account as well as my OneDrive and iCloud accounts, but abandoned the Dropbox account in order to simplify things. I simply didn’t need 3 cloud services, so I migrated my personal files to iCloud. Now I keep my personal stuff, photos, music, etc. in iCloud, and business, work, and client-related items in OneDrive.

OneDrive is very good, and I suggest you try it if you have not already. It has an iOS app and a Mac app that allows me to sync with all my devices (iPad, iPhone, iMac, and PC at my office), and allows me to set up a shared folder with clients. The iOS app integrates with the Files app, and the Mac app integrates with the Finder. It’s been very reliable on all platforms and is regularly updated with new features and performance upgrades.


Not a single word on the frustration with Fujitsu’s support of the ScanSnap scanners on Mojave that got quite some attention on the forum. :frowning: Are the commercial stakes too high to touch this subject?

The same goes for MPU’s support of Smile (in general, not in this episode). As becomes apparent from reading this forum neither TextExpander nor PDFPen (Pro) are everybody’s favorites. Still Katie and David keep up the appearance as if these are the only programs in their respective categories (I.e. text expansion and pdf reading/editing).

And to a lesser extend this could also be said about password managers. Sometimes I get the impression - not just form the MPU, but from the Mac community as a whole - that 1Password is about the only app in its genre. While there definitely are tools that are equally good. And less expensive. I’m a happy and satisfied user of the SafeInCloud password manager. Which lacks some of the fancy features of 1Password, but does what it should do, offers extensions for all major browsers and has options that I haven’t found in other password managers (most importantly the option to sync via many different cloud services, including WebDAV).

I wish the Mac Powers Users would be a little bit more “adventurous”. It’s a bit too much of the same (Omnifocus, Hazel, PDFPen, Workflow/Shortcuts, etc.) lately. All IMHO of course.


I wonder if the deep cycling could have contributed to its demise?


Agree except for password manager thats the one app not to be “adventurous” with…


Just want to add a +1 for no files on the desktop (sorry @MacSparky)


Great discussion on Dropbox vs. iCloud Drive.

I’d love to migrate to iCloud Drive as it’s obviously a lot better on iOS. However, the two things keeping me in Dropbox are 1) Better/easier sharing. It’s so easy to right click and get a shared link which is really hard to do in iCloud Drive 2) Selective sync. I know iCloud will auto remove local files if they’re not accessed frequently, however, I much prefer Dropbox’s manual controls.


No, my guess is that @katiefloyd is having problems because she has to many peripherals attached to her Mac. My wife has the same MacBook Pro as she has, purchased at about the same time and she has none of the problems Katie describes. From earlier MPU episodes, Katie goes through the litany of hubs and devices connected to her Mac, and I am fairly certain this is the cause of the problems. My wife has an external monitor connected as well as a hard drive, and her Mac works just fine.


…but your wife also doesn’t do the battery cycling that Katie does.
The battery cycling is not recommended, and there’s an issue with shutting down unexpectedly, which could be a power problem.
Could also be peripherals, though they are connected and active while she uses the computer.


I remember the MacSparky post in December stating that David wasn’t tempted by the iMac Pro. Given that I was quite amused by the combination of Katie’s casual asides about David’s iMac Pro during the podcast and the final purchase confession at the end. Nicely done.


In the episode David mentioned backing up his iCloud Drive files. How might one do that exactly?


@PeterOConnor Are you running a Mac logged into your iCloud account? If so, the files in iCloud are synced with your Mac so they’ll get picked up by whatever backup solution you use for your Mac like Time Machine, Crashplan or Backblaze.

If you are iOS only, then your options are more limited. You might be able to setup a Shortcut to copy the files from iCloud to another service like Dropbox.


Thanks for the advice ScottJ.
In fact, I was more thinking of using iCloud as a cloud-based drive. I currently use Dropbox and have a whole series of folders (effectively archives) that I do NOT sync with my Mac. I file stuff which I don’t need very often there, but it’s not backed up which is problematic (just in case!).
I was wondering if iCloud would address this problem, particularly when I heard David talking about having a good backup scheme in place, but apparently, it will not.
Amy ideas for alternatives would be appreciated.