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BlogApple Notarisation: Current Mac software installers might not run smoothly on macOS CatalinaTuesday, August 13 2019

Apple’s new ‘notarisation’ security requirement for macOS Catalina might mean that installers you have for pre-2019 software will not run if you double-click them in the Finder. Also many installers available online that are not updated will not run in macOS Catalina.

Those of us who have created installers of all kinds – including for Final Cut plugins – should prepare for extra work before macOS Catalina is released in Autumn.

For installer applications to run as normal, they will need to be ‘notarised’ by Apple.

This process includes using Xcode or a Terminal command to submit your application to Apple. Once an automated process approves your application (which takes less than 30 minutes at the moment), it is notarised. That means when a user double-clicks it (or a browser attempts to start it), the Mac will go to the internet to see if it has been notarised. If notarised, it will run. If not, it won’t. If there is no internet connection – if someone runs an installer on a Mac with no or restricted online access – the application will not run.

So that notarised applications can run on offline Macs, there is an additional process known as ‘stapling’ which attaches the notarisation ticket to the application itself. If the installer application has been ‘stapled,’ it will run as normal on non-internet connected Macs.

I used Plugin Manager (from Digital Rebellion’s Pro Maintenance Tools) to make the many installers for my free Final Cut plugins. Part of the process was signing the installers with my Apple developer ID. These installers from years ago will not work smoothly with macOS Catalina.

I watched a long presentation on notarisation by Tom Bridge who has written on his blog:

I found a package that is properly signed that delivers Motion and Final Cut Pro templates that also triggered the quarantine warning. They were signed for distribution, but not notarized. They still flagged the quarantine check because they were distributing files.

Developers might see this as an opportunity to review old installers. I hope Digital Rebellion can help me with my NLE plugin installers. I might also need to make a whole load of new installers that I can notarise using other tools.

It is time for macOS developers to do the research to make sure their applications will easily run in macOS Catalina and newer.

Watch Tom’s presentation (aimed at Mac administrators who are happy building applications using Xcode) from 33:22 to find out more about the notarisation process:

If you do nothing, users running your pre-2019 installers will see this (from Tom’s blog):

How to run un-notarised applications in Catalina

There are many useful Mac software installers on the internet that remain safe to use, but whose developers have moved on – who are very unlikely to go through the notarisation process.

Apple have said that users will always be able to run any software they like on their Macs. Their security policies in recent years have been about making running unchecked applications less straightforward – to protect naive users from malicious software.

In the Finder, use the File:Open command (or control-click its icon to see a context menu that includes the Open command) to get a dialog box that asks if you are sure you want to open it – which includes an ‘Open’ button which you can click. Here is what that dialog box looked like in 2013:

Click ‘Open’ and the un-notarised application will always run on your Mac. For each new Mac you move the installer to, you will have to go through the same process.

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Apple Motion 5Happy birthday Apple Motion 5 – here’s to the next 15 years!Thursday, August 8 2019

Apple’s oldest professional application – their real-time motion graphics tool – was first made available to buy 15 years ago: on August 11, 2004.

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BlogApple introduces a tiny hint of collaboration to iMovie for iOSWednesday, June 12 2019

Yesterday Apple updated iMovie for iOS and macOS. There’s one new feature in the iOS version which could set Apple’s video tools on the path to collaboration.

  • iOS version adds green screen keying from macOS version
  • Adjust the green screen effect with a 4-point mask and strength slider
  • iOS version adds 80 new soundtracks
  • Overlay still images with transparent backgrounds
  • Both versions tidy up video sharing on iCloud Photos
  • Collaboration-wise, ClassKit support lets students deliver video assignments to teachers using the Schoolwork app

ClassKit and collaboration

I don’t know how much of iMovie for iOS is ClassKit compatible, but ClassKit has interesting features for developers to integrate into iOS apps:

  • Define and Display Assignable Content “When a student taps an assigned activity in Schoolwork, they are taken directly to the corresponding content in your app.”
  • Report Student Progress “The progress information your app can report includes time spent, start and end timers, percentage of completion…”

ClassKit and Schoolwork are built with student privacy in mind. Schoolwork only receives and displays student progress data for activities a teacher explicitly assigns, and only when students use the Managed Apple ID that was created for them by their school on their device

Could the ‘Define and Display Assignable Content’ feature could help a feedback note show exactly the timecode it is referring to.

I wonder if Apple’s eventual workgroup collaboration features will involve using Managed AppleID for participants, and tools for a team member to administer membership of groups. Last week’s WWDC mentioned managed AppleID for business in a forthcoming update to Apple Business Manager. I’ll keep a look out for more information from Apple.

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Blog2019 Mac Pro: two ultimate configurationsWednesday, June 5 2019

As previewed at the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference 2019, the 2019 Mac Pro has quite the technical specification. What is it’s ultimate configuration? Just how powerful can you make it? There are two ultimate configurations: the Professional configuration and the Hobbyist configuration. As months and years go by, I’ll keep this post up to date.

The hardware is all about overhead. A power supply that can handle the needs of multiple hungry PCI cards – those for sale today and those expected to go on the market in coming years. A cooling system that can handle more heat than hardware can produce today.

The ultimate Professional configuration – ‘Available Fall 2019’

CPU

28-core 2.5Ghz Intel Xeon W CPU with Turbo Boost up to 4.4GHz.

Could be a version of the Xeon W-3275 modified to access more than 1TB of RAM. The W-3275 is available for $4,449.

Memory

Each of the 12 memory slots can take a 128GB DIMM, fully loaded that adds up to 1.5TB.

Apple sells memory kits for the Mac Pro of up to 64GB – made up of four 16GB DIMMs. Apple’s 128GB 2666MHz DDR4 ECC memory configuration for the iMac Pro costs $2,000. Other World Computing sell a wide range of RAM kits, their 256GB kit (64GB x 4) for the 2017 iMac Pro costs $2,279.

Graphics

Two AMD Radeon Pro Vega II Duo MPX modules + Afterburner ProRes and ProRes RAW accelerator card.

Storage

52TB:

4TB made up of two 2TB SSD storage modules. 4TB from Apple for the iMac Pro currently costs $2,400.

In exchange for one AMD Radeon Pro Vega II Duo MPX module, an additional 32TB of storage in a Promise Pegasus R4i MPX module.

Plus 16TB made up if a Pegasus J2i (which comes with an 8TB drive with space for an additional 8TB drive), which is fitted on a sled that can be placed next to the CPU heat sink.

I/O

Two Thunderbolt 3 ports on top of enclosure.

Two Thunderbolt 3 ports and two USB-A ports in the Apple I/O x4 PCI Express card.

Two 10Gb Ethernet ports. No 25Gb Ethernet or 40Gb Ethernet PCI cards yet announced for the 2019 Mac Pro.

Power supply

1.4 kilowatts – the maximum possible for use on US domestic power networks.

Aftercare

AppleCare+. For the 2013 MacPro this costs $249.

AppleCare OS Support Preferred costs $19,995 – for unlimited support with a two hour response time and custom post-production workflow design.

The ultimate Hobbyist configuration – Less than $2,000?

The best sign that Apple think that the Mac Pro would suit hobbyists would be for them to supply a special configuration just for them.

Instead of choosing the minimum configuration and having to remove an SSD, a couple of PCI cards and RAM, it would be better to buy a configuration with none of these things. One where hobbyists can source the parts suited to their personal needs from Apple or elsewhere.

CPU

None – a heat sink.

It seems that the CPU is socketed.

Memory

None.

Other World Computing sell a wide range of RAM kits, their 256GB kit (64GB x 4) for the 2017 iMac Pro costs $2,279.

Graphics

None.

There are a wide range of PCI-based GPU cards. For those who want to use NVIDIA GPUs, they can use BootCamp to run Windows.

Storage

None.

I/O

Two Thunderbolt 3 ports on top of enclosure.

Two 10Gb Ethernet ports.

There is range of PCI-based I/O cards for Thunderbolt, USB, Ethernet, Fibrechannel, iSCSI, ADB…

Power supply

None.

For those who can guarantee the power they will supply their Mac Pro – for example if they can put it on a 50 Amp circuit.

Aftercare

None.

I would guess that Apple would not want to provide AppleCare+ for this configuration. It will be up to expert hobbyists and their suppliers to troubleshoot their configurations – with the aid of a section of the Apple Support forums.

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Apple Motion 5WWDC 2019 notes for Apple’s Pro AppsMonday, June 3 2019

Today Apple announced their plans for their software, hardware and services for Apple TV, the Apple Watch, iPhones, iPads and Macs. Here’s a rundown of news relevant to Final Cut, Motion 5 and other ProApps.

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BlogAtomos Neon: ProRes RAW on-set recorder + HDR monitor + Dolby VisionFriday, May 31 2019

Atomos have announced Neon – a new recorder that encodes ProRes RAW and also acts as an HDR display. It will be shown at the Cine Gear Expo in Los Angeles this weekend.

With a 1000nit display, including dynamic zone backlight technology for 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio and 180 degree viewing, Neon gives you and your crew a crystal clear view of whatever’s in frame – so you can review footage in stunning clarity and lock down your shots with total confidence.

  • 17″ – 17:9 2048×1080 – 142 ppi
  • 24″ – 17:9 4096×2160 – 193 ppi
  • 31″ – 17:9 4096×2160 – 147 ppi
  • 55″ – 16:9 3840×2160 – 84 ppi
  • 4KDCI 180-degree perfect viewing
  • 10-bit DCI-P3 100% color coverage
  • 1,000,000:1 contrast
  • Real-time playout with Dolby Vision to test content on connected domestic TVs

They say it will be available in the second half of 2019.

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