Finder Catalog Numbers

Stick with me, folks. This is going to get super nerdy and may take a while to explain. It’s also going to cover some of my favorite topics: a custom-built Mac app, a small server-side script, Keyboard Maestro, the command line, and URL schemes.

Let’s talk about the stuff you need to do and the files, supporting documents, and reference material you need to accomplish those tasks.

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Mortal Mac App Sins

Maybe I’m just an ornery old man yelling at the new kids running through my lawn. Maybe I should be content to retrain myself to hit ⌘H instead of ⌘W when I no longer want to see a non-document-based app but want to keep it running.

Maybe Apple has done the research and realized that a decade-plus of relearning computers with iOS had taught the over-60 crowd that fullscreen apps are the be-all-end-all. And Gen-Z, who grew up with touch screens, intuits that as well. Maybe there are diminishing numbers of us in the middle reluctantly dragging overlapping windows around like cave people?

Regardless, there is one specific UX sin that interrupts my workflow and annoys me more than anything else on macOS. I want to call out a few of those offending apps now before offering my dumb solution.

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Receipts

Ten months ago I drafted a post about how incredible the Apple ecosystem is when all the pieces fit together. It was a month into the pandemic and I found myself walking through a real-life Apple commercial in the grocery store.

I was a bit stunned when I got back to my car and it sorta hit me just how well the entire end-to-end experience worked. As a lifelong adherent of the positive influence and power that well made software and hardware can have over our lives, I was taken aback.

And so while I was planning on finishing my thank-you post to Apple this weekend, that’s not going to happen.

Instead, let’s talk about receipts.

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Roundabout Syncing

I don’t mean for this blog post to only be more complaining. It’s just my dumb solution to a Finder bug I’ve been running into for years. And also a great example of how a little bit of automation can go a long way. (And an even better example of how unique the macOS ecosystem is that tools like this can exist – and how scared I am that (despite assurances) we seem to be headed in a direction where powerful and clever apps are not wanted.)

Anyway, something must have broken in Finder around when Apple integrated iCloud Drive into macOS Sierra in 2016. That’s when I noticed that the files on my Desktop would stop appearing on…my Desktop.

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The Apple Hero 2020 Needs

Rakhim is the hero we need in 2020.

Please don’t let the comedic nature of the video turn you away. I’m not sure if there is a better way he could have presented this.

Stay for the entire trainwreck so you can appreciate the focus of a two-trillion dollar company that says subscription services revenue is the future.

He really does make some excellent observations about usability, attention to detail, care, and obviousness in software.

I cackled for the full 18 minutes.

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The App That Never Was

While using one of my favorite iOS Shortcuts the other day, it occurred to me how much things have changed in six years.

I say six years ago specifically because it was in 2014 that I made an iOS app called Upshot.

Sadly, Upshot never saw the light of day because I couldn’t get it past App Review for very dumb reasons. Lucky for you though, after I show the ridiculously simple Shortcut that I now use instead, this gives me the opportunity to tell you my very favorite App Store rejection story.

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