OS X, iPhone, iPad, sometimes Windows, and information on other peripheral devices.

  • Automotive,  Tech

    Updating the iCarsoft POR OBD tool using a Mac?


    Yep, you’ve read that correctly. You can update the iCarsoft firmware using a Mac. The key is to use Wine, the compatibility layer for Mac hardware that lets you run Windows apps. You can then use Wineskin PortingKit or CrossOver to wrap up the runtime environment into an icon that looks like a Mac app that you can launch by double-clicking on it. You will want PortingKit or CrossOver to run the iCarsoft update app in 32-bit, because modern MacOS is 64-bit and making Wine run in 32-bit without a wrapper is a hassle.

    Once you make those wrappers, you might want to change the boring default icons. You can use

  • Tech

    Is TurboTax still telling you “It Looks Like We Hit A Snag”?

    If your TurboTax for Mac is still telling you “It Looks Like We Hit A Snag” after an initial crash AND sending in the error report EVERY TIME you start TurboTax, then you have to clear TurboTax’s instance from the cache for KSCrash.

    If you’ve had the situation outlined in:

    … but ended up with Step 5 like @Williamfromroswell did, where TurboTax shows that pesky error report window every time you restart, then the one last place you have to look is:


    Quit TurboTax and move this folder to the Trash. When you start TurboTax again, it should not show you the error report screen until the next time TurboTax actually crashes.

  • Tech

    That Mac script that passes MP4v to ffmpeg

    Because of how Mac OS Mojave, Big Sur, Monterey handles file permissions, many Firefox add-ons are not able to pass downloaded files to outside binaries. Usually, the add-on will return a “file/directory not found” or “permission” error.

    I use one such add-on that converts movies to audio-only so that I can listen to a video in a car. After the upgrade to Mojave, the add-on started having problems with passing the downloaded MP4 file to ffmpeg to convert into M4A (MP4 Audio). So instead of typing commands into the Terminal to pass the file to ffmpeg, I decided to make an Automator script to convert MP4 to M4A from contextual menu by right-clicking on the file

    1. In Automator create a new Quick Action
    2. Make the item shown below. I usually keep the ffmpeg executable in ~/bin
    3. Save the script
    4. Name it Convert MP4 to M4A

    That’s it. Now you can right click on a MP4 file and call up the conversion script from the Quick Action or Services item.

    This script is meant for people who know what they’re doing. It won’t check if the file you’re trying to convert is an actual MP4 file, and it won’t display any errors to the GUI. Use with caution.

  • Tech

    How do I unlink my Facebook account from the McDonalds mobile app?

    Short answer: At the time of this article (Dec 2021) YOU CANNOT.

    You can’t even change your e-mail address with the McDonalds app even if you signed up using your e-mail address only.

    According to the official McDonalds Mobile Order app help page:

    Can I change the Email Address? No.

    I suspect that the developers for McD decided to use the e-mail/login-method as the primary unique key for each user instead of assigning a number for the userID. Kind of ridiculous. If you get fired from work or graduate from school, your e-mail address is going to change. If you move from Meta to Google, your login method is going to change. McDonalds expects each customer to possess a “for-life” e-mail address to be using the mobile app.

    I hope this changes in the future because it is totally do-able technically and makes sense practically.

  • Tech

    Downloaded iTunes/Music track is twice as long

    If you’ve downloaded music tracks from a video source, there is a chance that your software did not pass the correct parameters to the audio converter. This is the case with a certain Firefox extension YT downloader that passes the files to ffmpeg. The music track contains extra space for the non-existent video and the track time is twice as long. iTunes/ has a bug where it will play the next track during this blank time, therefore, the CoverArt and Title will not change while the next song plays. You will need to reattempt to convert the files from MP4 to M4A manually or some kind of automated/batch method.

    The correct parameters are:

    ~/foo/bar/bin/ffmpeg -i %input -acodec copy -vn %output

    You can set up an Automator process as a Service so you have it under the Contextual menu when you Right-click, or you can set up the download folder for YT Downloader to be the target for a Automated process where the MP4 is converted to an m4a, then added to the iTunes/ directory automatically.