Beware of the Mac

Ladybower Reservoir, The Peak District. Fuji X-T3, Fuji 16-80 lens. ISO160, 7.5 seconds at f/11.0.

First, an apology that I didn’t post a Friday image last week. I ended up at my daughters in France. I thought I would be able to post the image from there, but technical problems got in the way of what should have been a simple task. I won’t go into the details because I want to share a different technical issue that a lot of photographers will face.

I shared the above image on my Instagram feed just before I left for France. In all honesty, the processing was a little rushed so I thought I would reprocess it again (hopefully better) for this post. That’s when I discovered my latest technical issue; my graphics tablet won’t work with my Mac, and this is just the tip of the iceberg.

A couple of days back I received a message that my Mac needed to apply updates. I didn’t think anything more about it and applied them. This turned out to a major update to the operating system of my main Mac.

The new OS is Catalina and was a huge 8Gb update. It made lots of changes including how my hard drive was partitioned. It’s also a pure 64bit OS which means any software with a 32bit element won’t work. This was frustrating enough but then I found I couldn’t run some software that was 64bit. Instead I now get a message saying that the software supplier needs to work with Apple to make software compliant and you can’t run it. I don’t know what “compliant” means but I’ve lost the ability to use some important software as well as hardware, including my graphics tablet. I find this completely unacceptable.

So, if you have a Mac and you see the message to upgrade, be careful. As I understand it from reading the many complaints on the internet, there isn’t an easy way to reverse the upgrade. If you’re running anything but the latest software and hardware drivers, you will probably find things are immediately obsolete.

On a lighter note…

Friday Image No.233

I captured this week’s image on my way to shoot the sunrise on Higger Tor in the Peak District. As I passed Ladybower and the trout fishery, I couldn’t resist pulling over. It was still around 20 minutes before sunrise and there was a lovely blue, pink colour to the light. I could also see the very tops of the cloud starting to catch some light and turn pink.

Because the scene is so light with the mist and water reflecting the sky the dynamic range was low, and I didn’t need to use any filters. I did, however, use a tripod and cable release as the shutter speed was 7.5” at ISO160 using f11.0. The lens I used was the new Fuji 16-80mm. Whilst I haven’t used this very much at present, I don’t think I’m that impressed, especially given the price point. Once I’ve used it a little more and made some comparison shots, I will share my thoughts.

I hope you like the image and have a great weekend.

12 thoughts on “Beware of the Mac

  1. Lot of angst on the ON1 group over Catalina. At least Apple asks you, Micro$oft just crams it onto your machine. Hope you get it sorted soon.

    Love the photo!

    1. Spoken like a true fan boi ! Neither company is any better than the other when it comes to decisions which affect users – remember the battery issue, the current ‘your screen is not apple’ – too many examples on both sides and none are any excuse for messing up the users environment or arbitrarily introducing limitations.

  2. Fortunately I knew about Catalina and have held off. It’s possible to identify the 32 bit software on your Mac and I realised I have quite a bit – some with no replacement, others require buying the latest versions or starting subscriptions. Mmm. This is not something I’m rushing into.

  3. I run Macs for my Property Photography business. I learned many OS’s ago that an upgrade to a new OS or even a update to a current system can cause issues. The same applies to some of software upgrades, Adobes updates have been problematical but seem better lately. Anyway, firstly always hold off doing an update for a while till bugs are ironed out especially if you need everything running smoothly for a business etc. Secondly I always do a complete backup prior to an update and use Carbon Copy Cloner as my preferred option from It’s ultra reliable, cheap and has saved many a bad situation. If it’s on an appropriate external drive you can start up from it and be back up and running in literally minutes. Apples solution, Time Machine is good but slow if you need to restore a whole machine. I also have a partition on a separate drive which is a complete copy of all installed software and I use this for testing a new OS. CCC makes this very easy to do.

    I am sure PC’s have similar issues with Microsoft’s updates from what I have read but can only advise on Mac’s!

    Catalina (along with Mojave) have been a whole new ball game, Mojave introduced a new file system (APFS) and Catalina is totally 64bit, and has also split iTunes into different apps for music, films etc. My iTunes library is to big to risk updating yet!!

    1. Thanks for your help the other day Chris. I’m continuing to test but it looks like the problem only happens when Time Machine is running. If I turn off the automatic backups everything behaves. Given TimeMachine is a core piece of the OS I’m suspecting my Mac doesn’t like the hard drive I’m backing up to or something else is conflicting with the backup. This won’t be easy to track down but I may just switch to using CCC for all my backups.

  4. Beware of the iPad.
    PS for iPad was released over the weekend.
    PS for iPad  cannot open Raw files.
    What could the rationale be for this?

    1. From what I’ve seen it’s probably something to do with access permissions. The new OS for my Mac has done some things to the disk that I haven’t yet fully understood. I now have to grant access to lots of different areas for software. It feels very much like they have tightened up security and they have probably done the same on the iPad.

      1. Many have reported no import of RAW of any flavor. It works with DNG. Given that LR for Mobile already imports RAW it looks like a feature they could not implement in time. For me it has no use without direct import of RAW.

  5. Not a good position but it has to be said that the developers of those programs that don’t work need to take the blame. Apple have been looking to phase out 32 bit apps for the last 10 years and warned developers that they were no longer going to support them when High Sierra was introduced back in 2017.
    There is plenty on line about why Apple wanted to take this route and it all comes down to the developers not supporting the end user.

    1. That’s very true but it’s not just 32bit apps being blocked. The drivers for my now useless graphics tablet are 64bit but apple blocks them saying they are a security problem. This has only arisen because of the new security approach taken in Catalina. On a more positive note, I’ve finally traced the cause of my daily crashes on one of the desktop Mac’s. It turned out to be a USB external drive it didn’t like. I’ve now switched that to a Windows PC and have a new backup drive that’s working great with the Mac so I’m feeling a little more positive to Apple at the moment.

      1. Yes I noted that you referred to some of your 64 bit apps not working, seems strange that the developers of those apps chose not to update. I have a Wacom tablet and fortunately experienced no problems. Glad you’re feeling a bit more positive with Apple at the moment, I guess them being the ‘big guy’ in the room it’s easy to point the finger of blame at them.
        I was a bit of the same frame of mind in the past until I started to research some of the issues. I often found out things were not as straight forward as I thought.

      2. I’m not too negative about Apple but feel the approach has hurt a lot of people. I understand why they have done it and remember the issues Microsoft had when going 32bit and then 64bit. The 32bit was particularly memorable as I was working in IT with a small software house at the time.
        Something else I discovered recently was that my print driver colours were thrown out again by the upgrade. I had this on the previous major upgrade and had to use the “Reset Printer” service before reinstalling the drivers again. This was the article I posted last time ( The colours weren’t as bad this time but they were still wrong by a long way. Hopefully others won’t be caught out by this.

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