eXtensions - Wednesday 20 November 2019
Cassandra - Mid-Week Diversion: Catalina Solution and Unwelcome Frustrations
By Graham K. Rogers
I deleted the library that Photos created when it was started for the first time under Catalina and started again, but with the limited space on the hard disk of the Mac mini, it is in my interests to work from the external drive. With the Create New dialogue, I navigated to the disk, but was told that it was not possible to overwrite an existing library. This was recognized; I just couldn't use it.
In Photos preferences, I turned On iCloud and saw that "Updating" appeared at the bottom of the screen. It soon recognized that the over 17,000 items existed and began downloading some, while providing place-markers for others back to June 2015. Within an hour, the number to be downloaded was under 10,000. Unlike the problem I have found since the iOS 13.2 update on the iPhone 11 Pro, (now updated to 13.2.3) the recently-taken DSLR images and scans were all available.
The final transfer number of images was 17,760 with a few more arriving overnight from the iPhone, as well as scans from the MacBook Pro I had done Monday evening. The update to the Photos library was followed by some updating and restructuring of albums and folders. This was done in around 2 hours for the complete library. In comparison the iPhone has been trying to update part of the library for over 12 days and nothing has appeared.
I am wary of any other application or processes that might use iCloud although content used in Keynote, Numbers and Pages does seem to be intact. The content from this file, created in Notes, has also synchronized immediately with the iPhone.
The amount of data on the Mac mini is tiny compared to what I have on the MacBook Pro, which is my main work machine. Even with such a small amount of content, the workaround that I was forced into, because a working Photos Library could not be used - while the eventual replacement is in the same location and easily downloading images from iCloud - has dampened my enthusiasm for the update even more.
On the plus side, as well as the download of the images, content from my MacBook Pro has synchronized (including my website files) which gives me some reassurance that iCloud is doing what I expect. It will still take much to convince me that I should risk the MacBook Pro, when "risk" is not a word I have ever used with updating OS X or macOS in the past. Or iOS come to that.
After a number of attempts, I managed to re-pair the iPhone with the iPad Pro and was able to access the internet. As with the update to Catalina, the latest changes to iOS do not seem to be carrying over the settings, and each time I need to change something (Calls, Bluetooth) to return to a normal working state. Photos on the iPhone 11 Pro is still continuing its week-long process of Restoring from iCloud, while the iPhone X (13.1.3) updates immediately.
A look at WSJ online took me down a bit of a rabbit warren until I finally found the Subscriptions section and then a Cancel option. However, I was directed to a chat with a bot and that was not successful: it could not cancel my subscription. I looked further and finally found a list of phone numbers that could be used for this. The number for subscribers in Thailand is 001800 441 8323 and I tried this the next morning. I was connected to a polite young-sounding male and although he tried to sell me a couple of lower-cost options, I finally managed to unsubscribe. When you sign up for a free month, don't forget to cut the cord unless you want to keep paying.
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. After 3 years writing a column in the Life supplement, he is now no longer associated with the Bangkok Post. He can be followed on Twitter (@extensions_th)
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