LittleBITS: New Years Resolution, macOS upgrades, ad hoc Wi-Fi networks

In this week’s episode of LittleBITS, I share a few topical articles that inform my resolution for 2022, compare Tonya and my upgrades to newer versions of macOS, and explore the mystery of what happened to network controls. Ad hoc Wi-Fi.

Good year!

Welcome to 2022! The rise of the COVID-19 variant Omicron has been impossible for us to avoid in the news, in particular because Cornell University in-depth surveillance testing of all the students meant that our hometown of Ithaca was behaving like a canary in a coal mine in early December. Omicron was probably spreading everywhere, but with so many mild, asymptomatic cases, only places like Cornell were seeing the full extent of the positive test spike. Nonetheless, we had a lovely holiday thanks to our son Tristan’s visit from Vancouver, which was extended due to CVS not returning the COVID-19 PCR test results he needed to travel to the Canada within 72 hours. We’re trying again this week.

But what I want to share, in terms of not succumbing to the drumbeat of the negative press, are a few things we especially enjoyed reading as a recap of the year. FutureCrunch’s 99 Great News You Probably Haven’t Heard Of In 2021 helped lower our blood pressure, just like The Year in Cheer: 192 Ways the World Got Better in 2021 of Reasons to be happy. From the FutureCrunch list, I learned that 10% of global vehicle sales are now electric cars, up from virtually zero in 2010 – as a Nissan Leaf owner, it was exciting to read. And on the Reasons to be happy list, I discovered that Maine had passed a law requiring companies to pay fees related to the ease with which the packaging of their products can be recycled, mimicking a Quebec law that has generated $ 250 million in annual revenue and increased recycling rates to 63%.

The “52 things I learned in 2021” lists from Jason kottke and Tom whitwell. These facts may not be important, but I appreciate the keen curiosity they reveal. I still remember having brunch with Philip and Phylis Morrison (Philip was one of the physicists who worked on the Manhattan Project) in the late 1980s, and despite their age, they seemed to me to be among the most curious people I have ever met.

As we move forward into 2022, these recommendations combine to create my New Years Resolution, and I hope many of you will join me: Stay positive, stay curious.

We have improved our iMacs and have had very different experiences

After New Years Eve, Tonya and I had some free time to upgrade our 27in iMacs. I took my 2020 iMac from macOS 11 Big Sur to macOS 12 Monterey, while Tonya upgraded his 2014 iMac from macOS 10.14 Mojave to macOS 11 Big Sur, the latest version he can run. I had just been busy, as Tonya was held back by the need to run AccountEdge, which was not compatible with macOS 10.15 Catalina (see “Switching to Xero from AccountEdge,” May 10, 2021).

My upgrade went perfectly. I started it, left for a few hours, and went back to my Mac while running Monterey. The only issue I’ve noticed so far is that Nisus Writer Pro doesn’t know where its settings are stored in Dropbox. I moved them to iCloud Drive and everything has been fine since then.

Tonya’s upgrade was more troubled. It got stuck with a white progress bar on a black screen at about 40%. We had no idea what it was doing, but after about 8 hours we shut down the iMac. When we restarted it it came back to Big Sur and she started getting all the “Mother, can I?” »Permission requests that appear when you upgrade from a much older version of macOS. The only problem was that the Security & Privacy preference pane needed her to authenticate before making any changes. The authentication dialog didn’t list her username, and it was shaking every attempt she made. A quick search revealed that some users see their users demoted from administrator to standard during upgrade, and standard users cannot make such changes.

The solution was to boot into Recovery, use Terminal to delete a hidden .AppleSetupDone file, and create a new administrator user in the setup wizard. Once we were logged in with this user, it was trivial to promote her actual user from Standard to Admin, after which she was able to authenticate to grant all necessary permission requests. And after that, everything worked out fine. It wasn’t the best upgrade experience, but it only took about 15 minutes to resolve once we figured out what was wrong.

Enable legacy networks to create ad hoc Wi-Fi networks

In SlackBITS, a TidBITS reader named Tony asked what happened to the option to create a Wi-Fi network in the Wi-Fi menu. Initially, I wasn’t sure what happened. was trying to do and I checked if he wanted to share his internet connection over wi-fi which you now do with System Preferences> Sharing> Internet Sharing. But he then made it clear that he just wanted to create an ad hoc Wi-Fi network for an app to run on an iOS device, like the marine navigation app. iNavX, can connect to another browser program running on a Mac to receive data, no internet connection is required. It gave me what I needed to know, and I quickly discovered a Apple Support Page this explained that from macOS 11 Big Sur, revealing the possibility of creating an ad hoc network now requires an additional step.

To bring back the Create a network option in the Wi-Fi menu, open System Preferences> Network, select your Wi-Fi service from the list on the left, click on the Advanced button and select “Show legacy networks and options”. Once you close the dialog box by clicking OK and save your changes to the Wi-Fi service by clicking Apply, Create Network will appear again at the bottom of the Wi-Fi menu.


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Steven L. Nielsen