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Archive for the ‘Apple & Macintosh’ Category

A couple of months ago I started my search for a good iOS app to replace MiniKeePass; I even wrote about it briefly on November 15th. The situation became very urgent when I switched iPhones two weeks ago: everything moved swiftly from iPhone One to iPhone Two – except MiniKeePass, which had disappeared completely from the App Store!

It took me a couple of hours to read up on the current state of KeePass affairs in the iOS world (thank you, reddit!), and a few more to test and re-test a few candidates. Since my wife will also be using the application, and we both also have an iPad, syncing with the iCloud was a must-have feature.

In the end, KeePassium turned out to be a winner after all. This time (and ever since!) it does open our .kbdx files without issues, and is well integrated with iOS and Face ID. That’s all we need at the moment. Thanks, Andrei!

PS. It must be happening more and more these days: apps that are no longer compatible with current OS versions, or that are no longer actively maintained by their developers. But I feel it might be worthwhile to keep a trace of them in the App Store (and similar repositories), if only when you search for them by name. I’ll give bonus points for a small explanation as to why they disappeared from current search results…

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This (my!) Macbook Pro from 2012 is still in a fine condition, and very usable, e.g. to maintain this blog. It may be 7 years old, but is by no means too old to be productive. I have no trouble keeping it up to date, at least until now: it is running Mac OS Catalina.
About window of the Macbook Pro

Since I took the screenshot Catalina has been updated to version 10.15.1.

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For those of you who want to know more about the cameras in the iPhone 11 (and the iPhone 11 Pro), DPReview has a deep dive into the cameras and their performance: “DPReview TV: iPhone 11 Pro – what photographers may have missed“.

DPReview TV: iPhone 11 Pro – what photographers may have missed

(Click on the image to go to the DPReview TV episode)

They also recorded the whole video on an iPhone, so it’s not just photo talk! Well worth 14 minutes of your time, if you care about the iPhone 11.

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Yeah, I cracked under Apple’s marketing and ordered an iPhone 11 to replace the iPhone 7 I was using since January. My excuse? My eldest daughter was exasperated with the old Samsung J5 I gave her a long time ago, so I promised her an iPhone 7 to replace that ;-)

I was not looking for a pocketable camera – I have two of those, thank you. But Austin Mann says that the 11 might well replace them in daily use…

Here’s a sample from yesterday, unedited: a view of the rooftops of Antwerp, seen from the top of the Vleeshuis museum.

Unedited picture of the Antwerp roof top, seen from the museum Vleeshuis. Click on the image to see the full-size version.

I’m not blown away by the sharpness of this picture, but the conditions were not ideal. I will admit that the photos I took inside the building are much better than expected given the dim lighting in the museum rooms – thank you, Night mode!

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Since a few months I have been using Cloudflare’s “1.1.1.1:Faster Internet” app on my iPad. I like the idea of having more privacy while surfing the Web, even though it’s hard for me to verify what the app is doing exactly. At least I never had the impression that the iPad got slower because of the app – but your mileage may vary, of course.

Icon of the 1.1.1.1 app

Anyway, what I wanted to mention is that the upgrade to iPadOS 13.1 posed a problem for the network connection on the iPad. Some applications, Safari included, had no problem accessing the internet, but my main banking app continued to report “You have no internet connection – please try again later’. Puzzling and frustrating, since a second banking app (for a different bank, of course) had no problems whatsoever. I’ll leave it to the specialists/hackers to figure out what that means about the safety of that second app ;-)

In the end I removed the 1.1.1.1 app completely, and reinstalled it from the App Store. This did the trick: the application installed its VPN Configuration and hey presto, all my applications found the way to the web without any trouble. So even if you have configured your iPad to update all apps automatically, I recommend having a look at the 1.1.1.1 app directly after upgrading to iOS, sorry: iPadOS 13. If it has trouble establishing a VPN connection, just remove it from the device and reinstall it – that should do the trick.

Now I’ll take some time this weekend to read up on Cloudflare’s extension of the 1.1.1.1 app, called Warp. I was already intrigued by earlier articles about the WireGuard protocol, and Warp seems to give us a possibility to try it out without costs. I might well do so; if I do, I’ll report on it later.

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For many years now, I have stored my “approved” pictures on Flickr – straight from Apple Photos on my Mac. About two weeks ago, that suddenly wasn’t possible any more. Sharing a picture did bring up the dialog to set a title etc. for the picture, but no list of albums appeared – only an ominous message saying “ShareKit is not authorized to share files“. Excuse me? Why not?

Well, I still don’t have an answer to that question. Through DuckDuckGo I found an Apple Forum thread on the subject: “Can not publish via Flickr“. Sadly however, none of the suggestions worked. In fact, for the moment I am incapable of adding a Flickr account to the Internet Accounts section of the Mac’s System Preferences… Trying to do so with the correct data (!) the only reply I get is this:

And now the question becomes: is this problem caused by Yahoo, by Flickr, or by Apple’s OSX ? All ideas or help are welcome!

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Just like in 2017, my iPad Mini crashed yesterday. When I picked it up, wanting to catch up my personal email, all I saw was the Apple Logo – for several minutes. I tried shutting it down, but that wasn’t easy. Any attempt to resulted in a new boot cycle. In the end, I succeeded, but it took me more than hour to finally turn it off and launch DFU mode.

From there on, it’s a simple matter to have iTunes massage the machine back into working order. And then you can restore the backup you made – you do make backups from time to time, don’t you? One important tip: if you want to encrypt your backup on your local hard disk, don’t forget to write down the password you use ;-) Otherwise you can spend another hour trying all the passwords you might have invented when taking the backup!

When all that is in the past, the Mini is back as it was – I’m relieved. But I do wonder: iOS may be a reasonably stable operating system, but why does it go bonkers from time to time? The Mini did not fall, did not get bent, did not lie in the sun nor in a freezer, it just lay untouched on my desk the whole day, connected to a charger…

For the record, these are, in my opinion, the best instructions about entering DFU mode: “DFU Mode” on the iPhone Wiki. Thanks for helping me out!

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