Apps (for Macs running Sierra only)

Consolation – a log browser for macOS Sierra

Consolation provides an accessible but powerful way to browse, search, and analyse entries in the new log system which have already been captured. This is not supported by Apple’s Console app. If you want to check that Time Machine backups have been made on time and without error, or get to the bottom of startup, extension, or many other problems, Consolation is the only practical tool to use. Version 2.3 improves generation of search predicates, works either with the live system log, or with saved logarchives, and can create logarchives. It also gives full access to logarchives captured from other Macs (running Sierra), iOS devices (10.10 and later), watchOS and tvOS with the unified log. Must be run as an admin user. Includes detailed and up-to-date 8 MB Help book with tutorials and unique reference content.
Consolation 2.3 (latest release)
Consolation 2.2
Version 3 supports a custom library of predicates, custom display styles including colour, text filtering of the message content using regex or simple filters, and support for exporting and importing custom libraries. This seventh beta-release is the second candidate for the final release: Consolation 3.0b7

RunConsolation – runs Consolation2 as root to enable log browsing when in normal user mode

RunConsolation is for those who log in as normal, rather than admin, users. It runs Consolation as root – which can be a significant security issue – but thereby enables it to obtain log messages. Caution required, but it does the job.
RunConsolation 1.0 (release)

The Time Machine Mechanic (T2M2) – a quick but thorough check of Time Machine backing up

T2M2 analyses your logs to discover whether Time Machine backups have been running normally, reporting any worrying signs or errors. You do not need to be able to read or understand logs to be able to check for problems now. Reports deep event traversals, compaction of volumes, regularity of backups, and more. Detailed Help book explains results and advises.
T2M2 1.0 (release)

LockRattler – a quick check of your security systems

LockRattler checks that the basic security systems in place in macOS Sierra are active, and reports the version numbers of security configuration files which are active. Ideal for checking that SIP is enabled on your Mac: some MacBook Pro models were delivered to customers with it turned off.
LockRattler 3.3 (release)

Dystextia – encodes and decodes Unicode Latin text using unconventional code points

A unique app which lets you explore hidden reaches of Unicode. Converts text so that it can still be read normally by a human, but uses weird character encodings which break search and string comparison operations. Can be used to electronically obfuscate text, for privacy, spoofing, and more. Version 1.2 also has a Maximum mode for total obfuscation.
Dystextia 1.2 (release)

PermissionScanner – searches folders for files which are either not writable or not readable (macOS Sierra)

Performs deep search of folders containing Preferences and other files to alert you to potential problems with their permissions. An alternative to the blunt tool of repairing permissions on your whole Home folder, perhaps. New release with smart scan for preference file problems.
PermissionScanner 1.0b2 (beta release)

RepairHomePermissions – repairs the permissions in your Home folder (macOS Sierra)

The only app which will help you repair the permissions in your Home folder, which can fix a variety of different problems, according to Apple. Saves you using Terminal’s command line. Initial beta-test: use with care.
RepairHomePermissions 1.0b1 (first beta release)

DispatchView – analyses the log for task dispatching issues

DispatchView shows log entries for two key systems in Grand Central Dispatch whose failure can result in Time Machine backups becoming irregular or stopping altogether, and may be involved in apps or services stalling or behaving unreliably. It can save you lots of effort using Consolation. Future versions will automatically analyse the health of GCD too.
DispatchView 0.2b1 (stable beta)

Rosettavert – converts between different text encodings

Uses the command tool iconv to perform conversions between around 144 different text encodings.
Rosettavert 1.0b3 (stable beta)

KeychainCheck – a quick check of your keychain setup

If you’re suffering problems with your keychains, KeychainCheck provides a basic set of information about them which you can use in diagnosis.
Version 1.2 (release)

Apfelstrudel – check the normalisation of Unicode text, to spot potential problems with file systems other than HFS+

Apfelstrudel details the four Unicode normalisation forms for entered text, including that for the Mac Extended file system, HFS+. Use it to explore potential problems with normalisation, such as working with Linux and Apple’s new APFS file systems, and to explore Unicode representations of text.

This new beta release adds information about selected string comparison operations.
Version 1.0b5 (stable beta)

HelpHelp – diagnose and fix problems with Help Books, and open selected ones for search

HelpHelp lists all the currently-available Help Books, and provides detailed paths and signatures for them. It can register an app of your choice, so overriding settings to use a specific Help Book. This helps you diagnose and fix problems. It will also perform a search on any selected Help Book without opening its app.
Version 1.0 (full release)

unorml – a command tool to normalise a string to any of the four Unicode forms

unorml converts the string supplied as its argument to any of the four (C, D, KC, KD) Unicode normalised forms, and helps you address normalisation issues, as may arise on Apple’s new file system, APFS.
Version 1.0 (release)

Blowhole – a command tool to write into the log in macOS Sierra

Blowhole is a command tool, which can be run in Terminal or called from any app or scripting language with support for calling command tools, which writes out an entry in Sierra’s new log system. Use this to check running of periodic tasks, or from any scripting language which does not have direct access to the new log. Version 2 allows the writing of arbitrary strings at last.
Version 2.0 (release)

MacAppScaffold – a quick start Xcode project for scripting

An Xcode 8.3 project for a document-based Mac app written in Swift 3.1. Use as the basis for a new script project, or create a new project and copy across the Storyboard and ViewController.swift files from this. Includes additional helper source code. Described in this article.
Version 1.0 (release)

DispatchRider – an experimental utility to schedule and run background tasks using Grand Central Dispatch

DispatchRider lets you set command tasks to be run automatically like Time Machine, using Apple’s ‘smart’ energy-efficient system GCD, rather than at fixed times using launchd.
Version 0.2a2 (alpha release)

Tinderbox/Storyspace Hypertext documents

Consolidated articles to help you diagnose and manage Mac problems, drawn from this blog (still growing), for Tinderbox, Storyspace and Storyspace Reader: Mac Problems 3

A Swift Scrapbook, of Swift Snippets, Swift 3.1 code for a wide range of common or useful tasks in macOS Sierra. Primarily for Tinderbox 7, although it can also be used in Storyspace: Swift Scrapbook

Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Book 1, in parallel Latin and English translation (text only): Metamorphoses Book 1
Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Book 1, in parallel Latin and English translation (with 21 paintings): Metamorphoses Book 1 illustrated
Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Book 1, in parallel Latin and English translation (with 21 paintings) for Tinderbox 7: Ovid Metamorphoses Book 1 (TB 7)
Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Book 1, in parallel Latin and English translation (with 21 paintings) for Tinderbox 7, Storyspace 3.3, and Storyspace Reader 3.3: Ovid Metamorphoses Book 1 (all)

The Salome Story: an examination of dozens of paintings, plays, texts, and even movies which tell the story of Salome, Herodias, Herod, and John the Baptist, to discover when, how, and why it changed: The Salome Story

Telling Elaine from the Lady of Shalott: full text of Tennyson’s three poems, together with thirteen superb paintings, covering these two Arthurian legends, ready to open in Storyspace, Storyspace Reader, or Tinderbox: Elaine of Astolat and The Lady of Shalott.

Tinderbox export to HTML to make a Help Book: a step-by-step guide to creating custom HTML export templates to create the files needed, then building them into a Help Book: Tinderbox 7 document and the folder ready to turn into a Help Book.

LaTeXport: writing LaTeX documents using Tinderbox. A complete set of custom export templates and prototypes for the article document class which can be modified for other types of LaTeX document: LaTeX Paper (version 2).

LaTeXport: writing LaTeX documents using Tinderbox. A complete set of custom export templates and prototypes for the superb tufte-book document class which can be modified for other types of LaTeX document:
LaTeX tufte-book.