Mac VPN server startup fix

If you can’t connect to your VPN server upon startup, then read on.

Although Apple decided to abandon the and completely shut down internal efforts to provide a solutions that would help using a Mac as a server, macOS still comes with a built-in VPN server we can engage.

Basically it needs two plists: one that contains the configuration including the DHCP IP range etc., and the other one that is called by the launchctl daemon and starts the vpnd command.

You can create both manually, but it’s much easier to do it with a third-party app called VPN Enabler that works up to 10.14 Mojave. On newer OSes you may try the Open VPN Enabler for Catalina.

The issue with both the publicly available .plist files and VPN Enabler is that when the Mac that acts as a server is restarted, the vpnd process runs (we can see it in Activity Monitor), but you can’t connect to it and establish a VPN connection.

If you are using the VPN Enabler you have to launch it and click the ‘Restart VPN’ button, or simply issue this command via Terminal:

killall -HUP vpnd

or with 2 steps:

sudo launchctl unload -w /Library/LaunchDaemons/com.cutedgesystems.vpn.plist

and then

sudo launchctl unload -w /Library/LaunchDaemons/com.cutedgesystems.vpn.plist

The reason vpnd daemon does not respond to a connection is that the process starts too early during the boot, before the network interface has been initialised.

The startup of vpnd is managed by a plist file that VPN Enable copies from here:


to here


and then creates a link to


if you have your self made plist, this is the location to put.

This .plist will be loaded by the launchctl process upon startup.

Apple does not provide a way to delay a startup of a process via launch daemon, but we can tell launchctl to wait for the network interfaces to complete the initialisation and then start up the vpnd binary that acts as a VPN server.

by the way the vpnd can be found here


What you may want to fix in your existing plist are the following changes:

delete these lines if you have them


and add these lines. here we are telling launchctl to wait for changes in the provided locations – that actually reflects the initialisation of network interfaces


At the end your plist should look like this:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" ""> <plist version="1.0">
</array> </dict>

As a best practice, enter the code manually, do not copy-past as it might contain some invisible characters that can make the plist unusable. And make sure to check it with plist utility:

sudo plutil /Library/LaunchDaemons/com.cutedgesystems.vpn.plist

how often should I clean my Mac?

Laptops need cleaning more often than desktop computers, due to extremely narrow airflow tunnels. The quality of air and concentration of dust in your area are key factors.

Based on type of work, you should take it for cleaning with the following frequency:

  • movie editing, 3D – 1 year
  • graphic (mostly Adobe apps) – 2 years
  • office work – 3 years

Regardless of the dust cleaning, repair shops will try convincing you to ask for replacing the thermal compound. Assuming the average lifetime of a computer is 8 years before buying another one, changing the thermal compound after 4 years is recommended.

should I upgrade to Big Sur?

do you need some excitement and potentially brick your Mac for good?
just go ahead!

Last year when Catalina was released, the initial builds had a huge flaw – many users have experienced loss of mail data who used the that’s part of the macOS. Now if you have 15 years of email on your computer, not even God can find those randomly missing emails.

This year Apple engineers have prepared a special Christmas present for some users: the installation fails at some point, and your Mac shows no sign of life anymore – it’s bricked.

Why am I saying it’s a Christmas present?
Because of Covid both official and independent repair stores are overcrowded, and there’s a waiting line of 1-1,5 month at many places. Some Mac owners are getting an appointment for January already, however it’s not even December yet.

At first it seamed that Big Sur is bricking MacBook Pros that are manufactured between 2013-2014, but there’s a report from 2016 MacBook Pro and iMac users too.

Previously Catalina damaged the T2 chip on noticeable number of newer machines, making it impossible for the Mac to charge itself, but even on older ones without the T2 it managed to corrupt the SPI ROM that needed to be reflashed – this is not something an official repair center offers as it requires soldering – a technique only independent repair shops do. If you took it to an official Apple certified repair center, you most probably ended paying for a new motherboard.

By the symptoms it looks like Big Sur is doing it again.

You’ve been warned!

As always: do not even think of upgrading to Big Sur before spring until all major bugs are resolved, and make sure to read our previous post on this topic as a Golden Rule.

how to test RAM speed on Mac

In this post I’ll show you a way how to test RAM speed on Mac.

First we will create a virtual disk that resides in RAM.
Open Terminal and type:

diskutil erasevolume HFS+ “RAMDisk” `hdiutil attach -nomount ram://16777216`

…this will create a 8GB RAM disk

If you need different size, multiply 2048 by the number of MB you wish to use for the RAM disk. Here are some examples:

  • 256 MB = 524288
  • 512 MB = 1048576
  • 1 GB = 2097152
  • 2 GB = 4194304

As a next step, download Blackmagic Disk Speed Test from AppStore. Select RAMDisk as a destination in settings. You may also want to change the sample size between 1-5 GB

Here’s an example test result:

DDR4 memory that runs at 3000MHz tops at 6885 Write / 5420 Read when measured.

Work from home securely – VPN without a VPN router

One major lesson we learn from the COVID-19 coronavirus story, is that centralised workplaces are unprotected against vis major scenarios. Virologists predict that infections like this one will happen more frequently in the future as more and more people move to megacities.

Decentralised workspaces (where possible) suffer less economic damage due to lower downtime thanks to easy switch between office and home office work environment. Let’s move to the country!

In order to transmit data securely between our home and the office we need to encrypt all data, and encryption is an extremely CPU-intensive process.

Let’s see a scenario of a small-sized company where employees work with huge, heavy files:

we can buy an entry level router with built-in VPN server functionality for 250 Euros, but on the first day when everyone starts to work from home we will realise it takes ages to transmit a file, and we wish we had spent 750 Euros more.

  • first we have to make sure the internet connection of the office comes trough an optical cable with at least 100 megabit in both directions
  • second, employees must also have the fastest possible internet connection available

Even when both criteria are fulfilled we will see that the transmit speed is not acceptable, maybe 10 to 20% of the bandwidth is utilised the most. The bottleneck of the communication will be the weak CPU in the router that can’t keep up to the speed and encrypt the data fast enough. If we look for a VPN router that has a multi-core CPU capable encrypting high-speed traffic, we will end up spending above 1000 Euros.

Is there a cheaper alternative?

Of course there is: engaging a regular desktop computer that sits behind the existing router and installing a software based VPN server on it. Most companies always have a spare computer and it is ideal for this task.

We have to understand that the high price of VPN routers are due to the fact that manufacturers charge us not only the cost of the hardware, profit, support, marketing and costs of distribution network, but also the price of the VPN software that runs on these routers.

In contrary, installing a free, software based VPN server on your existing spare hardware will cost you the IT time required for the installation only.

unable to update to WatchOS 6.1.2

Are you unable to update to WatchOS 6.1.x? continue reading for a fix

0) charge your iPhone and Watch above 50%

1) unpair your watch using the Watch app

2) delete the Watch app from your phone

3) reset your Watch to factory default > press and hold the buttons at both sides until it restarts

3) reset the Network settings on your iphone General / Reset / Reset Network Settings – it will restart now

4) join your WiFi network again after the restart

5) download the Watch app from AppStore

6) pair your Watch with iPhone

7) update to OS – you should see 6.1.2, but might see 6.1.1 first and as a next step be offered with 6.1.2

you need iOS 13 on your iPhone in order to be able to update your Watch to 6.x.x

fix AirPlay mirroring lag

In this post we will show how to fix Airplay mirroring lag that some of you may experience.

Our client’s computer is connected to a router by a gigabit Ethernet cable. The router creates two Wifi networks, one over 2.4 and another over 5G. The Apple TV 3 generation is connected to this network over 2.4 GHz.

Our client have tried everything, but the mirroring of a movie to Apple TV constantly had frame drops, like every 2 second it stopped for about 0.5 sec.

Others have tried various things like replacing router, changing cables etc. but one key point was missed.

We have tried the following:

  • switching from 2.4 to 5G on Apple TV – still no luck
  • connecting the Apple TV to the router over Ethernet cable (this turns off Wifi on Apple TV automatically) – still no luck
  • turning off BlueTooth on Apple TV
  • we have connected the Apple TV directly to the laptop over Ethernet – and voila, no more lag. This is where we got suspicious about the router

…so we connected the MacBook Pro again to the router and unplugged the Ethernet cable from Apple TV > it switched back to WiFi automatically.

Then we went to Apple / System Preferences / Network… selected Ethernet.. clicked on Advanced… Hardware…

Here you should switch from Configure: Automatically to Manually

…we only changed Duplex from:

full-duplex, flow-control, energy-efficient-ethernet


full-duplex, flow-control

…and there’s no more lag and skipped frames!

how to enable quota on TerraMaster F2-210

In this article we will show how to enable quota on TerraMaster systems.

the TerraMaster OS called TOS – actual version – has a very limited toolset – that clearly justifies the huge price difference compared to a similar Synology device.

This a 2 bay NAS, our client has two 5GB drives mirrored as RAID 1 using a btrfs file system in this case. He created 2 shares: the first one is called ‘Work’, and second called ‘Backup’ to use it as a Time Machine storage. On Synology devices you can adjust the quota via the web interface, but in case of Terra Master there’s no such option if you are using btrfs, but only for ext4 file system. This is a major problem, as by the time the space Time Machine consumes will constantly grow, and eat up space from ‘Work’ until the NAS runs out of space. We have to try setting quota via SSH. Let’s see!

open Terminal and SSH to the device. is the IP address and ‘admin’ is the user as by default:

ssh admin@ -p 9222

we need to switch to sudo in order to perform some serious kung fu:


…now enter password and hit Enter.

let’s check if quota is enabled:

btrfs qgroup show /mnt/md0

we get the following error:

ERROR: can’t perform the search – No such file or directory
ERROR: can’t list qgroups: No such file or directory

it’s because quota is not enabled by default. Let’s enable it:

btrfs quota enable /mnt/md0

the NAS will start working so wait a couple of minutes, enter:

btrfs subvolume list /mnt/md0

this will list the available shares

btrfs quota rescan /mnt/md0

let’s limit the usable space of Backup to 500 GB:

btrfs qgroup limit 500G /mnt/md0/BackUp

now let’s check if its’s working:

btrfs qgroup show -reF /mnt/md0/BackUp

we get the following output:

WARNING: Rescan is running, qgroup data may be incorrect

qgroupid         rfer         excl     max_rfer     max_excl 

——–         —-         —-     ——–     ——– 

0/259       155.84GiB    155.84GiB    500.00GiB         none 

…where 259 is the ID of the Backup, 500.00 GB is used and the max_rfer is the quota limit.

Now, it all looks good until we feel up the space.

What will happen is that our client will not be able to delete anything in order to free up space.

You might look on forums and find tips like trying the following command:

cat /dev/null “path to an existing file that can be deleted”

…but it’s not working on TerraMaster.

Unfortunately there’s no other workaround than to SSH into the device again, lift the quota, delete some file, and reduce the quota back to previous value.

The other issue we found is that the available space that the Finder of macOS shows is the same value after turning on the quota as before – thus the user has no idea how much free space there actually is. It makes no difference if the user is connected via AFP or SMB. The same is with Windows, so it’s not a client but a NAS side problem.

Owners of NAS devices with quota enabled repeatedly get the following error message: ‘To improve reliability, Time Machine must create a new backup for you.’. The culprit of this problem is that the sparseimage file inside what Time Machine stores your backup gets damaged due to running out of space, plus the inability to free up space when it hapends.

What the solution is for Time Machine backups on NAS volumes is to dedicate a separate drive for it without quota enabled.

As a final conclusion: it’s not a coincidence administering quota is not available over the GUI of Terra Master for btrfs file system.
Our advice: if you need quota, stick to ext4.

install a VPN server on a Mac

In this guide we will install SoftEther VPN server that is available for Linux, macOS and Windows.

One of the most popular VPN server is without a doubt the open source OpenVPN server, which we can install via homebrew but that has no GUI. Other important factor is that most VPN servers operate trough the TCP protocol. Unfortunately TCP ports are blocked in public places, hotels etc. and only the essential TCP port 80 for https is open and 443 for https. So if your boss wants to connect to your corporate network and she/he is in a hotel room where firewall blocks majority of TCP traffic, then you’ll be called quite quickly why the VPN server is not working when it actually does…

A nice thing about SoftEther server is that it runs over UDP protocol that is less probably blocked by firewalls.

SoftEther server can be run on Mac OS X 10.4 and up – you can use use any old mac as a dedicated VPN server, even an a G5 !

For the purpose of the article we are installing it on macOS 10.4.6 Mojave

First, let’s go to and download the installer matching our system. We also need to download the VPN Server Manager that is a separate application. That means we can manage our server remotely from other OSes too. After unpacking the server install we get the following folder that we placed on the desktop:

Let’s open the Terminal and go to this folder:

cd /Users/admin/Desktop/vpnserver/

in order to install it we need the script which is in this folder, but invisible, because its name starts with dot. So let’s switch to sudo in order to see everything what we have in this folder:

sudo su

…and hit Enter. Now let’s list the content of the folder with:


…and hit Enter again. This is the output we get:

let’s start the install with:


after answering the questions the following windows will appear if we don’t have the command line tools installed already:

let’s hit Install… if you see this window, you will have to start the installation again by repeating the ./ command

After the VPN server is successfully installed we have to start it:

./vpnserver start

or in the future you can stop it with:

./vpnserver stop

Let’s install the manager app that comes as a .pkg file.

after the installation is complete look for VPN Server Manager in the Applications folder

after opening, the system is reminding us, that this app will not work on future versions on macOS starting with Catalina that runs only 64 bit apps. Hit OK to ignore the message…

In the windows that appears click on New Setting… name the settings as ‘Test VPN Server’, enter the IP of your server, or if you are running the Manager locally, then simply check the Connect to Localhost setting. Leave the password field empty and close the window with OK.

in the main window select the ‘Test VPN Server’ from the list and hit the Connect button. A window will prompt you to give a password for the server – don’t forget it as you will need it when changing its settings.

check the Remote Access VPN Server – although SoftEther has an exciting feature to connect multiple corporate sites with bridge function, we are not going to explore it now. Let’s just note that with this function you can avoid purchasing expensive Cisco routers.

in the next windows you can leave VPN as a name for the Virtual Hub – read the documentation to understand what hubs are.

A priceless surprise awaits you here: a built-in dynamic DNS client for FREE! Usually it’s something you have to pay about 50 EUR / year. The name can be customised:

Enable the L2TP Server Function which provides LPTP over IPsec that is required to connect all modern OSes as macOS, iOS, Android or Windows. Also specify a Pre-Shared key.

For our testing we will disable the Azure option in the next screen – see the documentation for what it is…

Let’s create our first user by entering a name and a password – we are not going to cover how to use a certificate in this guide.

after defining our test user and returning to the previous windows as a third step choose en0 as a local bridge – without enabling this our VPN server will not provide a DHCP service and although users will be able to authenticate, they will get no IP address and the connection will be ended.

On the firewall / router we have to port-forward UDP 500 and 4500 ports to the IP of our VPN server!

Finally we are ready to configure the VPN connection on a client machine. Go to Apple / System Preferences / Network… click the plus sign, choose VPN from the Interface list and L2TP over IPSec for the VPN Type. You can give any name for the Service.

The beautiful thing about SoftEther is that you don’t need a third-party vpn client app, you can use the built-in of the OS. Same is true for iOS.

Hit the Create button, then enter the IP address of the server and the user name. By clicking the Authentication button you can enter the password and the shared key

and finally click the Connect to initiate a VPN connection to the server!

In order to start the server at startup automatically, we need a LaunchDaemon plist.

1) stop the server, and lets move the ‘vpnserver’ folder inside Applications folder as a final destination

2) we are going to create  a wrapper script first:

sudo pico /Applications/vpnserver/

paste the following and save the file:

/Applications/vpnserver/vpnserver start

now, we have to make it executable:

chmod +x /Applications/vpnserver/

as next, we are going to create the plist that will call this script:

sudo pico /Library/LaunchDaemons/org.SoftEther.VPN.plist

paste the following and save it:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "">
<plist version="1.0">

let’s see if it works:

sudo launchctl load /Library/LaunchDaemons/org.softether.vpn.plist

Open the Activity Monitor and look if you see a vpnserver process. The number of processes you see depends on the number of CPU cores you have.

use Apple Remote with any Mac

most Mac models have no infrared receiver – except the Mac Pro and some iMac models.

With the Manta Mini USB plug you can control any Mac with any version of Apple Remote. Additionally you will need to purchase the Mira software that gives you control and customisation – can be bought in a bundle.

If you have a newer Mac with at least BlueTooth 4 and the Apple Siri Remote, then installing the freeware SiriMote software will be enough and no additional hardware is required.

should I upgrade to macOS Catalina?

as always, a big NO!

1. are you using Adobe apps? Do NOT even attempt to try Catalina – serious issues with those apps, and Adobe is late releasing the updates.

Not to mention, some components of Adobe apps are 32 bit, and you will not be able to use the Uninstallers to clean old Adobe apps

2. you have to check if all your apps are 64 bit – old 32 bit apps will no longer work.

Go here to see: Apple / About This Mac / System Report… then on the left side go to Software / Legacy Software…

3. read this old cogitation on this topic that is still a golden rule:

3. data loss in Apple Mail of Catalina

how to flush DNS cache on a Mac

macOS 10.10.4 – 10.14.x

sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder

macOS 10.10.3

sudo discoveryutil mdnsflushcache

OS X 10.7 – 10.8

sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder

OSX 10.5 – 10.6

sudo dscacheutil -flushcache


ipconfig /flushdns


/etc/init.d/named restart


/etc/init.d/nscd restart

does Mac need antivirus?

macOS has its own built-in protection mechanism that does that job for you already – although without a user interface. It also updates itself automatically once a new treat is discovered.

What other apps that call themselves virus scanners may offer you as an extra is discovery and removal of adwares that are installed by you(!) or any other user with admin privileges – and act mostly as an extension of Safari, Chrome, Firefox.

So macOS will not detect adware ‘infections’ because these actually do no harm to your files – they are not virus, but they simple redirect advertisement delivery.

Infections I have to deal with on Macs turn out to be 99.998% adwares in each case, with 0.001% spyware and 0.001% intentional intrusion.

Antivirus apps can also offer you the feeling of ’being scared and protected at the same time’ promising if a new ransomware is discovered, then THEY will be the ‘one’ and ‘first’ to offer you the BEST protection, because their security specialist are working 24/7/365 a year detecting new threats and they do it even while sleeping…

…the actual difference is that Antivirus developers do the job with lot’s of buzz – like Malwarebytes – and Apples own team dedicated to this task works in silence.

But you have to make a buzz if you want to sell your product that’s true. You have to make the people feel ‘aware of the dangers of the internet’ …or in plain words: make them scared – it’s a common psychological method in advertisement business.

Making you feeling afraid is a good business, makes a yearly income of $25-60 per license sold / computer / year to antivirus developers.

What everyone could do instead is not to install any application from other sources than AppStore or straight from the developers, AND not using Adobe Flash Plugin and Java at all cause, also avoiding unnecessary browser extensions.

My experience is that if there’s an effective ad blocker – like AdGuard for example -. then it’s 99% true that Mac owners with admin rights will not infect their computers unintentionally – for the simple reason of malware being spread by web advertisement primarily – and these will be blocked.

One more experience I would like to share in order to clean the myth about antivirus apps that promise the false hope of staying clean or protecting us:

there was a malware infection spreading last year – – and one of my clients managed to install it via a webpage that made her believe by an advertisement that the Flash plugin needed an update in order to show the content of the webpage she was visiting.

For example Malwarebytes that spends an enormous amount of money making Mac users believe their product is will deliver you protection and it’s ‘essential to have’ did not even detect the infection, although I have to admit there was already a fresh forum dedicated to it on their support site – without an actual cure that would work for everyone (just tips), so they knew about it’s existence at least.

I have managed to remove the components of this infection except one ‘thing’ the have remained as ‘cosmetic’ – and a workaround was enough and faster, than to reinstall the whole computer – that the client had no time and money for – just for the record what this ‘cosmetic’ thing was: the ‘homepage’ of Safari in Preferences could not be changed.

A few months later this client of mine called me about another issue (like a printer problem…) and out of curiosity I have checked the computer with the above-mentioned antivirus app again (freshly installed) – what do you think, did it detect that last trace of infection I was not able to remove? Nope, it did not.

Having an antivirus on a mac builds false hopes, and is a waste of money and energy that every user should had used for integrating safety protocols instead but most importantly to ’think’ before installing anything.

My lifetime experience is that antivirus apps will NOT protect your Mac when real shit happens, however the opposite might be true for Windows that is a real piece of security nightmare by its core architecture.

When your mac get’s infected, you will need IT support and no antivirus app will protect you, because of the speed malware are spreading these years.

When a new malware appears on the internet, no third-party antivirus developers will be faster to deliver cure against it – and you can be sure Apples employees will not wait and drink cocktails instead of acting fast as possible.

If you are responsible for the IT infrastructure of a medium to big size company however, although based on experience it makes no sense to install any antivirus on Macs within that environment, you will actually do so because of a simple, understandable reason: you have to make ‘more’ than it’s necessary – even if that means money being wasted.

Disable the Data & Privacy prompt on macOS Mojave

Let’s say you are managing a Mac remotely via TeamViewer. When adding a new user next to an existing one, once you login into the new user, you will only see a black screen. If you access this Mac via Apple Remote Desktop however, you will see the Data & Privacy, Sign In with Your Apple ID, Enable Siri and Choose Your Look setup windows.

For some reason TeamViewer is not able to transfer the display content at this stage.

Here’s how to disable these setup steps (you should already have one existing user on the Mac):

create a new user by going to Apple… System Preferences… Users & Groups
we assume the new user is called user2 and you are user1 with admin rights

fire up Terminal and switch to root user:

sudo su
(enter your own password when asked – you need to have admin rights)

Now we will copy the file from your Preferences folder to user2

cp /Users/user1/Library/Preferences/ /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD/Users/user2/Library/Preferences/

and another file too:

cp /Users/user1/Library/Preferences/loginwindow.plist /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD/Users/user2/Library/Preferences/

let’s go to that folder:

cd /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD/Users/user2/Library/Preferences

if we take a look at the permissions of the files:

ls -l

we will see the following:

-rw——- 1 user2 staff 164 Aug 15 13:55 .GlobalPreferences.plist
-rw-r–r– 1 user2 staff 20480 Aug 15 13:55
-rw——-@ 1 root staff 1286 Aug 15 13:55
-rw——- 1 user2 staff 326 Aug 15 13:55
-rw——- 1 user2 staff 125 Aug 15 13:55
-rw——- 1 user2 staff 326 Aug 15 13:55
-rw——-@ 1 root staff 288 Aug 15 13:55 loginwindow.plist

Note that the owner of the copied files is root, and that would result the OS to ignore these preference files when logging into that user, as User2 has no permission to read them.

Let’s change the ownership of the files to user2:

chown -v user2
chown -v user2 loginwindow.plist

If you have opened these two files just to see what’s inside, then Finder already added some extended attributes to them – note the @ sign in the above list. We better delete these:

xattr -rc
xattr -rc loginwindow.plist

If you login to the new user, all the setup windows should be skipped and the settings that were stored in while User1 was created be used by the OS.

There’s also a scriptable solution for this problem here.

And if you are using JAMF then checkout this.

4k TV LG 70UK6500PLB with MacBook Pro 2012

is it possible to use a 4k TV with a MacBook Pro 2012?

yes, but…

the 15″ MacBook Pro 2012 has two GPUs:

  1. an Intel HD Graphics 4000
  2. and an NVIDIA GeForce GT 650 MB

We used a 4k Moshi mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapter to connect the TV with an appropriate cable in order to get sound output too.

By default you will get a native resolution of 3840 x 2160 at 30Hz. It’s ok for general use, however when watching a movie the side-effect of slow refresh rate becomes disturbing.

If the only purpose of connecting the TV is to watch 720p or 1080p movies, then why not lower the resolution in order to get higher refresh rate?

Going to Apple / System Preferences / Display choosing the second option gives a 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution but again at a 30 Hz refresh rate. You can check this by going to Apple / About This Mac… System Report… Graphics/Display…

Seams like Apple’s programmers have not put enough intelligence into the switching mechanism as this GPU support a way higher refresh rate than 30 Hz at Full HD.

In order to unleash the power of this GPU we need a third-party app like SwitchResX.

The app allows the use of 1920 x 1080 at 100 or even 120 Hz.

A quick check at Apple / About This Mac… System Report… Graphics/Display… shows that it’s really 120 Hz. You might however use the lower 100 Hz setting as it’s more than enough for any movie.

read more about refresh rates here

install wget on macOS

wget is not installed by default on macOS. The easiest is to get it via brew. For that we need to install brew first.

Enter the following line in Terminal:

/usr/bin/ruby -e “$(curl -fsSL”

…and enter password when asked for.

Once brew has been installed let’s continue with wget – also enter in Terminal:

brew install wget


based on experience if you issue the above command as soon as the installation of brew has been completed, you will get an error message. Please wait at least 1-2 minutes till the OS adapts to the recently installed elements and only then issue the “brew install wget” command

and finally a sample command to use wget:

wget –execute=”robots = off” –mirror –convert-links –no-parent –no-check-certificate -R “index.html*” -c –tries=inf <link_to_host>

-c   this tag will continue the download if it has been stopped

–tries=inf   this tag will try to resume the download indefinitely if the connection has been broken

disable then enable the Ethernet with a script when the NIC is frozen

There’s a 2006 Mac Pro 1,1 running El Capitan without issues – except one: about once a month the network card is freezing.

That’s a real issue, as this Mac Pro acts as a file server, and usually I’m not there to fix it.

The fix is quite simple: in Apple / System Preferences / Network… the Ethernet 1 ( or 2) has to be disabled by clicking on the wheel and issuing the “Make the make service inactive” command, then after a few seconds turning it active again. Now in order to to this someone has to have physical access to it, so why not make it automatic with a script?

we need 3 files:

  1. a plist that the OS X will load at startup and call a script to be executed
  2. the script itself
  3. an AppleScript file that is executed after the main script – its purpose is sending a notification to a specified address (to you) notifying the NIC froze again – this AppleScript is optional of course


1. the script

the content of the .plist file is the following:

<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC “-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN” “”>
<plist version=”1.0″>
save this file to /Library/LaunchDaemons
…with the following filename: com.MacMedicine.check_Ethernet.plist
permission has to be set to make it loadable by launchctl:
sudo chown root:wheel /Library/LaunchDaemons/com.MacMedicine.check_Ethernet.plist


the .plist will run the script every 30 seconds

2. the script

a note: this 2006 Mac Pro has two Ethernet ports and no Wi-Fi. I know the names “Ethernet 1” and “Ethernet 2” should be used as previously I ussed the following command:

networksetup -listallnetworkservices

that gave the following result:

An asterisk (*) denotes that a network service is disabled.

Ethernet 1
Ethernet 2

the content of the script is the following:


# -q quiet
# -c nb of pings to perform
ping -c3 > /dev/null
if [ $? -eq 0 ]
echo “MacMedicine: en0 or en1 is up”
#        syslog -s -l error “MacMedicine: en0 or en1 is up”
echo “MacMedicine: en0 or en1 had frozen”
sudo networksetup -setnetworkserviceenabled “Ethernet 1” off
        sudo networksetup -setnetworkserviceenabled “Ethernet 2” off
syslog -s -l error “MacMedicine: en0 or en1 had frozen, turning it OFF”
sleep 3
sudo networksetup -setnetworkserviceenabled “Ethernet 1” on
        sudo networksetup -setnetworkserviceenabled “Ethernet 2” on
syslog -s -l error “MacMedicine: turning en0 and en1 ON”
osascript /scripts/ethernet_was_down.scpt


– change to red content with your details – this is the IP address of the router in my case. Make sure it’s pingable! You may also use any other IP…

– create a folder with name scripts at the base folder of Macintosh HD– now save this file to /Macintosh HD/scripts folder with the following filename:

– let’s make this script executable:

chmod +x /Macintosh\ HD/scripts/

there’s one more thing to do. The following command from the script can’t be run without sudo, so there’s sudo in front of it, but when the script is run the OS X will display a dialog to enter the admin password – and that’s not good in this case, as you will not know it, and you might not be at next to the computer.

sudo networksetup -setnetworkserviceenabled “Ethernet 1” off

There may be another way to fix it but here’s one – we will make an exception and allow this command to be run without the need of entering password. For this we have to modify the sudoers file

In terminal:

sudo pico /etc/sudoers

navigate below the following lines:

## Same thing without a password

insert the third line:

## Same thing without a password
%admin ALL = (ALL) NOPASSWD: /usr/sbin/networksetup

hit Ctrl+O to save the changes, and hit Enter to finish the save
hit Ctrl+X to exit pico


3. the AppleScript

open the Script Editor from the Utilities folder and create + save this script to /Macintosh HD/scripts folder with the following filename: ethernet_was_down.scpt


set recipientName toyour name

set recipientAddress

set theSubject tocompany – servername: Ethernet was down

set theContent toooops…

tell application “Mail”

##Create the message

set theMessage to make new outgoing message with properties {subject:theSubject, content:theContent, visible:true}

##Set a recipient

tell theMessage

make new to recipient with properties {name:recipientName, address:recipientAddress}

##Send the Message


end tell

end tell


change to red content with your details


finishing touches

now that everything is in place we have to tell OS X to load the plist and execute the scipt in the future.

in terminal:

sudo launchctl load -w /Library/LaunchDaemons/com.MacMedicine.check_ethernet.plist


how to test if it’s running and working properly?

change the following line in script to an IP that’s not pingable:

ping -c3 > /dev/null

unload the .plist by issuing this command in Terminal

sudo launchctl unload -w /Library/LaunchDaemons/com.MacMedicine.check_ethernet.plist

now load it again

sudo launchctl load -w /Library/LaunchDaemons/com.MacMedicine.check_ethernet.plist


If it runs as expected, then because it’s not able to ping the test IP, it will output an error into Console like this:

6/24/18 1:59:02.846 PM syslog[662]: MacMedicine: en0 or en1 had frozen, turning it OFF

then a few seconds later:

6/24/18 1:59:06.129 PM syslog[712]: MacMedicine: turning en0 and en1 ON

…so the script runs smootly, you can revert the test IP to a working one.

delete old Time Machine backup files

Time Machine automatically frees up space when the backup drive is full, and you should never move anything from the backup to the Trash manually, because you will end up with those files in Trash without being able to empty it.

Also you will not be able to move them back to the original place.

files backed up by Time Machine are protected by the operating system and can’t be deleted in a simple way.

if running 10.9.x (Mountain Lion) issue the following command in teminal:

sudo /System/Library/Extensions/TMSafetyNet.kext/Helpers/bypass rm -rfv /

if running the older 10.7.x (Lion) system, then:

sudo /System/Library/Extensions/TMSafetyNet.kext/Contents/MacOS/bypass rm -rfv /

How to fix a Mac Application that’s not starting

Sometimes an application does not open, just jumps in the Dock a few times, then stops.

There may be lot’s of reason for that:

  • the app is incompatible with the OS you are running
  • damaged preferences
  • damaged application
  • file ownership rights not properly set
  • other

One of the ‘other’ reason is that you made some nasty modification to an application. In this case you need to make the app executable.

If the app is here: /Macintosh HD/Applications/

…then the file you have to make executable is is within >

enter in Terminal:

chmod +x /Macintosh HD/Applications/

MacBook Pro dust cleaning

The MacBook Pro is the top of the line of Apple’s laptops, faster and stronger than the MacBook Air.

The MacBook Air was designed primarily for office work, while the stronger MacBook Pro family for creative work.

There are 3 models:

a) the 13″ model with a GPU integrated on the CPU

b) the 15″ model with a GPU integrated on the CPU, but with a bigger battery = longer battery uptime

c) and the most powerful model that has an additional GPU, hence it has 2 fans = 2 times more dust circulating…

There’s a main difference in usage of a computer. If used for office work, the processor and the graphics card are not overused, therefore the speed of the fan in slower and less dust is collected by the computer. Computers used for creative work tend to fill up with dust 2 to 3 times faster.

Word of advice

Do not risk the health of your expensive computer by cleaning it with compressed air can.

The cold air from the can might freeze the motherboard or some of the components and create micro-cracks Hardware repair shops use compressor for this task by purpose.

You should take your MacBook Pro regardless the model to an Apple repair shop for cleaning every 24 months, but at least every 3 years.

Let’s be honest: how much money do you spend for cleaning your car?
Your computer deserves the care too.

should I upgrade to macOS High Sierra, Mojave?

Let’s ask it this way: what’s the right time to upgrade to any newly released operating system? In short: about 6 months after the initial release. Let’s see why!

At this moment 10.3.4 is the latest release of High Sierra, but from previous experience we know that Apple makes about 6 rounds of updates to every OS, therefore 10.3.6 will be the last one. We also know that almost every bug and incompatibility is fixed with the 6th round.

In corporate environment where your computer is part of a network with file and application servers etc. it’s best to stick to 10.2.6 until 10.3.6 is released, and only then upgrade to High Sierra.

If you are an individual – free like a bird – then try to wait until the 3rd round is released, and then upgrade to the newest OS.

so the pattern is:

10.x.0 – a definitive no-go! lot’s of bugs and incompatibility, instability waiting for you – you’ve been warned!
You will most likely want to downgrade to the previous OS after one week – have a Time Machine backup ready.

10.x.1 – still lot’s of bugs, better have a test computer for this, don’t use it in a production environment

10.x.2 – major bugs have been fixed, still wait for the next one if you can, curiosity is not worth it

10.x.3 – ok to go if you must – time to test with more than one computer in a corporate environment

10.x.4 – usually safe to go – compatibility issues and driver bugs are all fixed at this stage – now it’s usually 6 months after the initial release of the current OS

10.x.5 – almost perfect

10.x.6 – ok to upgrade each computer in the company

external SSD upgrade for iMac

It’s good to have your iMac dust cleaned every 2 years by a Mac service technician, so if your iMac is opened anyways, why not to replace the slow hard drive with a 10x faster SSD?

Sounds logical. Well, there’s another option without the need of disassembling your iMac, that you can do on your own:

Buy an SSD that comes with USB 3, or the more expensive version > buy an SSD that comes with Thunderbolt.

For example the 250GB Samsung T5 costs 113 EUR it has an USB 3 port  link

The stylish 240GB Transcend JetDrive has Thunderbolt but it costs 256 EUR  link

What’s the difference besides the price?

macOS (OS X) does not support the TRIM function as of yet over USB. Why is TRIM support important?

If you have upgraded your computer with an SSD and you run it for months, most likely you will experience a slowdown if TRIM support is not enabled and your SSD is filled with data to it’s 80% capacity. We have dealt with lot’s of MacBook Pros and iMacs like this that were taken to an independent Apple repair shop for SSD upgrade, but the technicians did not enable the TRIM function. Because of this the read and write speed have slowed down to 35-65MB/sec from the expected 450-550 MB/sec, resulting a frequently spinning beach ball to be seen. So an SSD in a USB casing is not the best option on longer run.

The Transcend JetDrive family is an ideal solution as it comes with Thunderbolt that supports passing the TRIM command to the SSD.

SSD upgrade for MacBook Air

We wanted to upgrade the storeage space of a MacBook Air with a bigger SSD, so we decided to give the OWC Aura Pro X  a try, as we know OWC to be a reliable brand. Well, it was a huge slap in a face.

If you need more space in your MacBook Air, you have three options:

1. upload everything to the cloud if possible

2.  buy an SD card for $197 Euros from Amazon, like the Transcend JetDrive Lite 256 GB and insert it into the card reader slot

3.  replace your existing SSD with a bigger one – this is the most expensive option

OWC used to make quality products, but theire recent product for this purpose the OWC Aura Pro X is something to avoid. Our very first purchase proved to be defective, and you can read reports from dozen of other custumers complaining – therefore we asked for a refound.

Luckily, there are other reliable alternatives, like the Transcend JetDrive series.

About Our Services

Mac Tech Support – for Startups and home users

Need help installing an application or fix an issue with your Mac? We are here to help.

Making your computer faster, or find missing space on hard drive, discover the reason why your Mac is slow or unresponsive – are some of the tasks we can help you with. We offer Mac Tech Support for Apple device users across the globe > start a chat with us

Our clients are individuals and companies who have no need for an IT department and infrastructure.

Based on your needs we advise should you buy a MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and iMac or perhaps a super-fast Mac Pro. We help picking the right amount of RAM, internal storage space, external Thunderbolt or USB hard drive for backup, or find a monitor for graphic design or photography with high color accuracy.

Want to make sure if it’s safe to update your macOS or upgrade an aging OS X system? Thinking of buying a second-hand Mac but don’t know what exactly? We offer consulting and help you prepare for the changes.

Moving your own domain or corporate email to the cloud – Google’s G Suite – is a daily routine task for us.

Helping you run a Windows on top of macOS is not an issue for us.

With 20+ years’ experience in design and publishing we help your work by fixing issues you might encounter.
Some of the apps we have deeper knowledge: Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, FontExplorer, FileMaker, Cinema 4D, Final Cut Pro X.

We can advise you how to archive your data, create a multilevel backup or offload your data to the cloud.

Remote Support via screen sharing

For remote support via screen sharing we use the popular TeamViewer application that takes only a minute to install.

Our focus is fixing software related issues, therefore we do not offer hardware repair service. Still we know how to diagnose a Mac showing symptoms of hardware failure and determine if it’s really a hardware issue simply a damaged operating system.