Category: Mac

The Mac category area covers all things on the Mac platform.

Time Machine Redundant Backups

I don’t have to go into the need for backing up your data. You all know how important that is. However, some Mac guru’s recommend multiple, redundant backups. I back up my main data three ways. This can be done with Apple’s Time Machine App on your Mac. This article describes how to use the builtin Time Machine App to create redundant backups on multiple hard drives.



We all knew that with the Mojave update would come several third party utilities that would interact with Mojave’s new features. One of those Apps just released is NightOwl by Benjamin Kramser. Mr. Kramser is a student in Germany and I thank him for creating this neat little menubar App. Here is how NightOwl works.


When you buy NightOwl it asks for a donation. I made one after I had used the App for about one day. It is a total time saver and worth a donation for sure. When you download the App, the website shows you an explanation for why it sends information to Google, but you can turn that info sending off inside the App, more on that in a bit.

NightOwl resides in your menubar. When you click on it’s icon it produces this very simple menu with scheduling options:

NighOwl Menu

I started out in Mojave Dark Mode:

Dark Mode

When I clicked on the “Light” button, NightOwl very quickly changes to Light Mode:

Light Mode

There is a small icon to enter the App Preferences area in the menubar drop down:


As you can see, I unchecked the “Send Statistics” setting. Google already gets too much of my info as it is. I also left “Play Sound” checked. NightOwl plays an Owl sound when you switch modes. I like Owls, so I left the sound activated.

I want to mention one more thing. When you first install NightOwl it asks for permission to activate the App in the Security & Privacy Automation Section:


Once that is finished, you can use NightOwl in the menubar. It really does work pretty seamlessly. By the way, besides the scheduling features, you can activate NightOwl using a HotKey keyboard shortcut. That makes it even easier to use!

I am using Dark Mode most of the time these days, but you may be wondering why I would want to switch back to Light Mode at times. My iMac does not have a Retina display. There are times when I have trouble reading small text in Dark Mode which warrants a switch to Light Mode for a bit. Also, the icons you see on the Macessece Blog all require a white background. So, when I take a screenshot of an icon for an article I switch to Light Mode first.


If you are tired of manually going into the System Preferences to change Light and Dark Mode, I highly recommend NightOwl. I sincerely believe it is worth a donation as well. We want to encourage young programers do we not?

Mojave App Store

One of the things I have not mentioned in Mojave is the App Store. It has been totally re-designed. It does a lot of the same things, supposedly better, but it is definitely different from what you are used to. Here is an overview of the new App Store.

Mojave App Store

When you first activate the Mojave App Store your get this main window:

App Store Main Window

It usually defaults to the “Discover” section. The section I use the most is Updates:

App Store Update

If you did have updates the App Store Badge in the Dock would indicate how many and they would be listed in this window.

The App Store has several general categories in the left sidebar.  That being said, the second most used feature by yours truly is Categories:

App Store Categories

If I really want to search different areas of the App Store, I just click on Categories. If you click on a Category like Health & Fitness the App Store drills down:

App Store Drill Down

It usually lists the Paid Apps at the top and Free ones down below which is a nice touch.

If you do a search for something the results are similar to this:

App Store Search

Something that I have not used in the past is Filters; was this in the old App Store?

App Store Filters

You can get very granular in your App Store searches as you can see.

The Mojave App Store has a few Preferences which are pretty self-explanatory:

App Store Preferences

In keeping with my policy to not have Automatic updates, that box is checked. You can see some of the other settings, just set it up like to fit your workflow.

By the way, if you wish to access your purchased Apps just click on your Apple ID name in the lower left corner of the window:

Purchased Apps

Then you can scroll through your list of purchased Apps.


The new App Store takes some getting used to that is for sure. It is just a completely different format which works similarly to the old App Store, but with differences. Once you familiarize yourself with how it works, it really is pretty decent. I like it, what is your take on the Mojave App Store?

Add Items To The Share Menu

Sometimes we just kind of space it when it comes to working with the macOS. Recently, I decided to return to the very intuitive Spark Email App for all of my email needs. I had to tweak a few settings, but Spark remembered most of my email accounts information without any problems. However, in the process of doing something on my Mac I wanted to email a picture to a friend. When I clicked on the “Share” icon in the Photos App, Spark was not listed. After a bit of contemplation I remembered where to fix that problem.

Share Menu

If you want to add or remove something from the Share Menu, you need to go into the Extensions System Preference area:

Extensions Pref Pane

There are lots of settings in here including the Share Menu:

Share Menu

Once you select the Share Menu all you have to do is scroll down to locate the App you wish to activate or deactivate:


In my case that would be the Spark Email App:

Spark Activated

Once you have activated the App in question you should see it in any dropdown Share Menu:

Spark Share Menu

I guess I should have remembered this, but sometimes when your brain gets full, it drops stuff off the other side of your memory. Please note, sometimes when you install an App it will be automatically added to the Share Menu. Apparently that is not the case with the Spark Email App.


If you need to add or subtract something from your macOS Share Menu the above described procedure is simple and quick.

Mojave Stacks

Mojave has some features I do not use. One of those is Stacks, the feature that groups your Desktop files into categories and stacks them for you. I keep a very lean, mean Desktop so I do not use this feature. Besides, it does not work in Path Finder, at least not yet. However, if you have lots of stuff on your Desktop, I recommend reading this article which contains a video on the in’s and out’s of Stacks.


Mojave Security & Privacy Automation

I have posted a few articles on the new Security measures in MacOS Mojave. These primarily concerned Accessibility and Full Disk Access. However, there is one more settings area in Security & Privacy that I have come across called Automation. I did not know this when I first started using Mojave, but was forced to go into the Automation are when I could not update one of my Apps.

Security & Privacy Automation

This all started when I tried to install an update to my Boom 3D sound App. I kept telling the update to install, it went through the motions, but never updated. Then, I received an email from Boom describing why their App would not update in macOS Mojave. They provided a solution involving the Automation area. I guess lots of people complained about not being able to update the Boom 3D App. Here is what you need to do to fix this type of problem in MacOS Mojave.

Navigate to the Security & Privacy Preference Pane, then click on the Privacy tab. You should see a window like this:


Click on Automation in the left sidebar. When you do, you will see a list of Apps. Scroll down to the App you are having problems with and check the box to activate whatever activity it needs:


So what does the Automation section do? It is described right in that window. It “allows the apps below to control other apps.” Boom 3D controls the Finder, more specifically, the sound controls in the Finder. As you can see, there are several Apps listed in this area that control different Apps on my machine.

This is an important note. Once I had the Boom 3D / Finder box checked the update still did not work. I had to do a Restart on the iMac to get it to activate. If you are making changes in the Automation area, you will probably have to Restart the Mac to make them take effect.

Once I Restarted the Mac, I tried the Boom 3D update once again:

Boom 3D Update

There was an update listed. I ran it and Boom 3D updated normally:

Boom 3D Updated

I am glad this happened or I might of never looked into the Automation area.


If some of your App updates are not completing in Mojave, you might take a gander into the Security & Privacy Automation area to see if it is listed there.

Mojave 10.14.1 Update

Apple released the 10.14.1 update to Mojave today along with iOS 12.1, a Watch OS and TV update. I have installed all of these without incident. When you request the iOS update it may say “Update Requested” for a while, but it will update eventually. I am hoping the MacOS Mojave 10.14.1 update will alleviate my Mojave OS freezes that I have been having. YMMV, but I say go do a bunch of updates when you have time. The 10.14.1 update has lots of security fixes. There is a security update for macOS Sierra and High Sierra.


Apple’s Hardware Keynote

I watched Apples Mac hardware keynote this morning. Macs and iPads just keep getting better and better. My wife and I were looking for a new Mac Book Air, we were not disappointed. And, I know many people were looking for a new and improved Mac mini which Apple has finally delivered. It is truly an impressive little machine. But, we must not forget the totally revamped iPad Pro’s. They really are phenomenal. If you have time, you can get a lot more detail watching the keynote, it is totally fun and exciting.


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