Apps (for Macs running El Capitan, Sierra or High Sierra)
Some are now available using AutoPkg: see this article for details.
LockRattler – a quick check of your security systems
LockRattler checks that the basic security systems in place in macOS/OS X are active, and reports the version numbers of security configuration files which are active, and the latest updates installed. Ideal for checking that SIP is enabled on your Mac, and it has Apple’s latest silent security updates. New version 4.1 adds more detailed information, and provides simple tools for checking for updates, and installing them.
LockRattler 4.1 (El Capitan, Sierra and High Sierra)
The previous version 4.0 offers all the basic checks, and doesn’t check for or install updates.
LockRattler 4.0 (El Capitan, Sierra and High Sierra)
SystHist – lists full system and security update installation history
SystHist is a clean and simple app which tells you all the OS X/macOS system and security updates which have been installed on that Mac. Now probes deep into protected territory to find even silent silent updates, and gives details of all the files updated. Full release includes extensive Help book.
SystHist 1.0 (El Capitan, Sierra and High Sierra)
Revisionist – manage the macOS versioning system
Revisionist identifies and lists files with multiple versions, lists versions with details for individual files, previews them using Quick Look, duplicates them into an accessible folder, and removes/deletes selected versions from the macOS database. Now integrates RevisionCrawler features in the single app.
Revisionist 1.0b5 (El Capitan, Sierra and High Sierra)
SearchKey – adds metadata to any file to aid Spotlight search
SearchKey adds and edits five extended attributes which can be attached to any file (or folder), including creator, copyright, and keywords. These act as sticky markers, and are preserved in almost all file systems and iCloud Drive. They are indexed by Spotlight, and directly accessible in search criteria. Has single-file and batch modes to make life quick, simple, and search-perfect.
SearchKey 1.0b1 (El Capitan, Sierra and High Sierra)
SearchKeyLite – lightweight tool to add metadata to documents to aid Spotlight search
SearchKeyLite provides a sleeker interface to similar features to those in SearchKey. This supports file drag-and-drop, can copy and paste all the metadata in single commands, and makes it even simpler to tag files with copyright information, etc. It lacks a batch mode, and cannot work inside bundles such as Photos Library, though.
SearchKeyLite 1.0b9 (El Capitan, Sierra and High Sierra)
xattred – full-featured extended attribute editor, can also add quarantine xattrs
xattred lets you inspect and edit all extended attributes (xattrs) associated with a file or folder, cut/copy/paste any xattr between files or folders, create your own new xattrs with arbitrary contents, and add a quarantine xattr to force a full Gatekeeper check without downloading the file. Now with full property list editing, display of xattr total size, and more, and compatible with El Capitan at last.
xattred 1.0b4 (El Capitan, Sierra and High Sierra)
Precize – shows the full size of files including extended attributes, and uses macOS Bookmarks as enduring file references
Drag and drop files onto Precize and it will tell you how much space they really take on disk, including all their extended attributes. It also lists all inode data and gives the volfs path to the file. It now provides macOS Bookmarks for documents, and the tool Preciziun to locate and preview files from their Bookmarks.
Precize 1.0b4a (El Capitan, Sierra and High Sierra)
alisma – a command tool to create Finder aliases, and to resolve them to full paths
alisma is a small command tool which gives access to Finder aliases from Terminal and shell scripts. It has two options, one which creates a Finder alias to a given file/folder, the other which resolves and existing Finder alias to the full path to the file/folder.
alisma 1 (El Capitan, Sierra and High Sierra)
Apps (for Macs running Sierra or High Sierra)
Albinoz has revised and repackaged Alex Karahalios’ original shell script and Automator workflow to convert JPEG images to HEIF/HEIC format. They are both available from this article, which explains more fully.
Consolation – a log browser for macOS Sierra and High 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 or High 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 2.4 (Sierra and High Sierra)
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. Newly added are the ability to open individual .tracev3 log files within a logarchive, better syncing of preferences, and a redesigned interface. This beta-release is the sixth candidate for the final release, which fixes a couple of rare crashing bugs: Consolation 3.0b11 (Sierra and High Sierra)
Woodpile – a new type of log browser, which explores long periods from the top down
Woodpile analyses records in any logarchive for the processes which write to the log most, and shows you for each selected process when they did so. This lets you examine those log files in more detail, to hone in on performance and other problems. A unique approach to the vast amounts of data stored in the new macOS log. Also shows important events like startup, creates frequency charts for custom processes, and links windows to a common time period. New beta release fixes a crashing bug which occurs rarely with certain styles.
Woodpile 1.0b6 (Sierra and High Sierra)
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 1.1 (Sierra and High Sierra)
MakeLogarchive – a utility for creating logarchives readable by Console from ‘live’ logs or raw log folders
This tool, in early development, copies the files and folders from /var/db or a copy of that, and places them in a logarchive format file so that they can be opened by Consolation, Console, or
log. It now produces well-formed logarchive bundles, which can be used to browse pooled and individual tracev3 log files. It also catalogues the tracev3 log files in any well-formed log archive, showing start and end times for each. A new feature is statistical analysis of the log load of processes over periods of three months or more, giving new insights into those processes and user activity.
MakeLogarchive 0.5a1 (Sierra and High Sierra)
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. This new version should fix a bug which could throw an error in some circumstances.
T2M2 1.2 (Sierra and High Sierra)
RunT2M2 – runs T2M2 as root to enable assessment of Time Machine when in normal user mode
RunT2M2 is for those who log in as normal, rather than admin, users. It runs T2M2 as root – which can be a significant security issue – but thereby enables it to obtain and analyse log messages as needed to check Time Machine. Caution required, but it does the job.
RunT2M2 1.0 (Sierra and High Sierra)
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 1.3 (Sierra, and High Sierra)
KeychainCheck 2 – thorough diagnostics and tools for your keychain
Completely rewritten, this uses lower-level access to keychains, and will offer sophisticated analysis to perform more thorough diagnosis of keychain problems, and provide tools to fix them. This second alpha release contains more detailed features to work with local and iCloud keychains, in Sierra and High Sierra.
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 1.3 (Sierra and High Sierra)
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 1.0 (Sierra and High Sierra)
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 1.0b2 (Sierra and High Sierra)
DispatchView – analyses the log for task dispatching issues
DispatchView shows log entries for two key systems DAS and CTS 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 DAS/CTS too.
DispatchView 1.0 (Sierra and High Sierra)
Rosettavert – converts between different text encodings
Uses the command tool
iconv to perform conversions between around 144 different text encodings.
Rosettavert 1.0 (Sierra and High Sierra)
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.
Apfelstrudel 1.0 (Sierra and High Sierra)
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.
HelpHelp 1.1 (Sierra and High Sierra)
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.
unorml 2.0 (Sierra and High Sierra)
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.
Blowhole 3.0 (Sierra and High Sierra)
ScriptBase – a kickstart project for scripting using Swift 4.0 in Xcode 9.2
A complete Xcode 9.2 project written in Swift 4.0 for compatibility with El Capitan, Sierra, and High Sierra. Use as the start of a new script project, or follow its detailed step-by-step guide to create your own. Includes many useful helper functions for single-window apps. Copyright-free, for free use in any app, including commercial.
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 DAS and CTS dispatching
DispatchRider lets you set command tasks to be run automatically like Time Machine, using Apple’s ‘smart’ energy-efficient systems, rather than at fixed times using
DispatchRider 0.3b1 (Sierra and High Sierra)
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: