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How to... prepare a mac for Isadora - Best practice



  • Hello,

    I would like to share my/our plan for setup of new Isadora/show machines. I hope for new ideas, corrections, additions :-) The list was originally for a Macbook Pro Late 2009 but is usable for all other mac devices too.

    --- clean install

    - clean mac on the inside if necessary, check ram/ssd upgrade possibility. If third-party-ssd is used, upgrade firmware at first. Tape webcam.

    - Remove all devices/dvd. Reset SMC and NVRAM.

    - Clean install High Sierra. While installation takes time, think of needed software: as little as possible: isadora, quicktime, plugins, video card driver, epoccam pro, vlc media player, ...

    - Choose country, language, connect to web, no service information for apple. connect apple id.

    - choose accountname: one word, choose password, complex but short

    - manual settings: deactivate location services, set timezone, no analysis data, no Siri, no iCloud, no FileVault.

    - when setup is finished, open App Store, perform all updates, reboot. check again for updates, repeat until nothing is left. Use the waiting time to clean the monitor and keyboard or at least plan to do so while enjoying a cup of coffee.

    --- System Settings

    - General: uncheck "allow handoff..."

    - desktop /ss: set desktop to black, screen saver to never

    - dock: minimize windows using... SCALE effect; uncheck "animate opening app", check "hide and show deck" if wanted

    - mission control: uncheck "displays have spaced", deactivate all shortcuts, deactivate hot corners (if activated before)

    - security: uncheck "require password", allow apps from store and developers

    - spotlight, privacy: add main hdd/ssd to prevent spotlight to search at all

    - cd/dvd: set everything to "no action"

     - displays: uncheck "automatically adjust brightness", uncheck mirroring

    - energy saver: battery AND adapter! set both to never; uncheck "put hard disk to sleep..."

    - keyboard: deactivate all shortcuts

    - mouse/touchpad: set secondary click to right corner, check "tap to click"

    - sound: uncheck "play user interface sound effects", uncheck "play feedback...". set "alert volume" to 0, check "show volume in menu bar"

    - iCloud: uncheck everything. or better: quit iCloud after the installation process is completed

    - bluetooth: check "show in menu bar", turn off bluetooth

    - network: remove all adapters you don't need. wlan: check "show in menu bar", deactivate wlan unless necessary.

    - users & groups: deactivate guest user

    - date&time: if necessary, set correct date, time. under "clock": check "display seconds", "show date"

    - finder settings: check "hard disk"

    --- Terminal settings; everything case sensitive!

    - reboot to recovery mode, disable SIP: csrutil disable, reboot to os.

    - deactivate spotlight: sudo mdutil -a -i off

    - deactivate dashboard: defaults write com.apple.dashboard mcx-disabled -boolean YES 

    - deactivate message center: launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchAgents/com.apple.notificationcenterui.plist 

    - deactivate mission control: defaults write com.apple.dock mcx-expose-disabled -bool TRUE 

    - deactivate iCloud saving: defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSDocumentSaveNewDocumentsToCloud -bool false

    - deactivate resume: defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSQuitAlwaysKeepsWindows -bool false

    - deactivate time machine new disk search: defaults write com.apple.TimeMachine DoNotOfferNewDisksForBackup -bool true

    - deactivate power saving: sudo pmset -a displaysleep 0 disksleep 0 sleep 0

    - deactivate time machine: sudo tmutil disable

    - deactivate automatic software update: sudo softwareupdate --schedule off

    - deactivate starting sound: sudo nvram SystemAudioVolume=%00

    - if you use third party ssd, enable trim force: sudo trimforce enable

    - reboot to recovery mode, re-enable SIP in terminal: "csrutil enable". reboot to os.


    --- Isadora

    - install quicktime

    - install isadora, go to programs, rename and add version number

    - register; add plugins

    - go to view, tip of the day, uncheck "show tips"; 

    - install all further software

    - set all needed shortcuts to dock, remove everything not necessary.

    (!!!) - for all show relevant software, go to software list, right click the software, choose informations, check "disable app nap". or disable app nap systemwide, terminal: "defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSAppSleepDisabled -bool YES"

    .

    Did I forget anything, anything to add?

    Yours

    Timo



  • @schaubühnevideo

    Hi timo, I would add to disable OS X auto save feature for Izzy see this post

    https://community.troikatronix.com/topic/4912/solved-copying-actors-crashed-izzy-always/8

    I don’t know if it will be needed for Izzy 3 but for version 2 it is quite useful to avoid loops of crashes.

    Best clemens



  • Hello everyone,


    is there anything special to consider for the new v3?

    (I posted the topic from Schaubühne Account, this is my private one).

    Yours

    Timo


  • Tech Staff

    @timod

    On laptops running Mojave: grant Isadora access to the camera and microphone.



  • @woland

    How does one do that?  :)


  • Tech Staff



  • I updated some points and here is a repost, so I can edit from my private account in the future (if it's useful, I don't want to spam around :) ).

    Here are notes for a smooth configuration of a productive isadora-mac-live-system. If there’s anything to add or something wrong, or someone has a different and better approach, I would be glad about a note. Also for better matching vocabulary:)

    The usage of these notes are at your own risk. I gathered the informations from setup notes for Isadora, qlab, catalyst, protools, apple and also some own tryouts and attempts :)

    I want to apologise for the very detailed and precocious language sometimes, I originally wrote that for a very certain and special person ;)

    This is intended for high Sierra and Isadora 2.6.1 but also usable for newer versions. For Catalina additionally read here: https://www.sweetwater.com/swe...

    (If a clean install isn’t a solution, at least: check the system settings carefully as shown below; create a fresh user account; check startup objects; repair permissions (first aid); thoroughly testing before live show is a good idea.)

    --- preparations & clean install

    a) bla bla bla:

    - clean your mac computer physically on the inside and outside if necessary (dust -> heat -> mac lowers cpu power)

    - check ram/ssd upgrade possibility. If third-party-ssd is used, check for ssd firmware upgrade (often easier via windows pc). (for MacPro: maybe regrouping of long-installed forgotten ram enables dual or quad channel.)

    - If you’re Mac is a little older, consult internet for maintenance advices for your model (hard disk cable / battery swelling / old thermal paste…). 

    - Double security: if you use third party ssd, terminal: "sudo trimforce enable" after the install (see below). 

    - if possible, use separate disks for a) system/apps and b) show files/content. (For cheese grater MacPro: SATA-pcie-card is much faster than the native interface; cheap upgrade!)

    - (( (a) If a lot of ram is no option, you may want to consider a third ssd for the swap file only. b) if you have a whole lot of ram and don't need all of it, you may want to deactivate your swap file) - both isn't recommended but effective. Consider google for further advice.))

    - Tape webcam, if you don’t need it. Tape internal mic if you don’t need it. (If you know what you do, you may even want to unplug system speakers, mic and camera inside the device, after watching "Citizenfour") 

    - to get rid of alu corrosion, stainless steel milk is a solution. Cave: any trace of moisture near the keyboard will immediately destroy it.

    - If your MacBook lost its rubber feet, replace them. If you use VGA or audio, the isolation from a possible metal desk is important (mains hum/ hum loop on older MacBooks). 

    - Double check all connection sockets, use compressed air. For dirty power connector use qtip and alcohol, if necessary. 

    - A perfect opportunity to get rid of old power adapters / cables&cords that “work most of the time”. ;-) Concerning Desktop machines: a normal replacement power cord is cheaper and does the same job

    b) now let's start for real:

    - Unplug all devices, remove all media but keyboard, mouse, display and installation usb stick.

    - Perform hardware check: Hold „D“ or „Cmd+D“ during startup. At least check ram and your hard disks SMART.

    - Reset SMC (first reboot, then shutdown, then: older MacBooks/desktop Macs: unplug power and/or remove battery and press on+off for 15 sec. / newer macbooks: press Shift+Ctrl+Alt+OnOff for 15 sec) 

    - And PRAM (shutdown, press cmd+alt+p+r and start, wait for 2 chimes).

    - Clean install High Sierra: Shutdown, Insert USB setup stick, press Alt on boot, choose USB stick. If you’re Mac isn’t natively supported, use dosdudes patch to create the setup stick (carefully read all readme files).

    - Disk partitioning: select view, "show all devices". 

    --> for all hard disks:  select your hard drive (the device! not the container or partition!), click erase.

    --> For mechanical classic hard drives, you want MacOS Extended (Journaled) and GUID. For ssd/flash drives, you want APFS and GUID. (for very old PowerMac G5 you want Apple Partition table).

    --> Avoid several partitions, just use folders. One partition per disk. Do not encrypt your live-show-system.

    --> Of course, all your data will be wiped, so you made a backup before.

    - Further setup:

    - Choose country, language, connect to internet, no service information for apple. connect apple id. (If you are sure that you will never use internet connection, you may leave that and completely refrain all updates... if you know what you do).

    - choose accountname, choose password, complex but short. If you can physically safe your device, you may go without password. (If you also use catalyst: they want "catalyst" as name and "xxxx" as password, not sure if it makes a difference; they don't explain it).

    - choose manual settings: deactivate location services, set timezone, no analysis data, no Siri, no iCloud, no FileVault, not anything else from that newfangled strange stuff.

    - when setup is finished, open App Store, perform all updates, reboot. check again for updates, repeat until nothing is left. Use the waiting time to think about your backup plan ;-).

    - If you used dosdudes patch, open system settings, Patch Updater and check for leftover patches (carefully choose the correct Mac model! You may want to activate dark mode ;) ).

    - If you use a special graphic card, install the drivers now. Reboot.

    - If there is a Mac managing-software for your SSD, you may want to install it now.

    - If you have any special input cards/devices/stuff, connect now and install drivers if needed. Reboot.

    — System Settings

    - General: uncheck "allow handoff..."

    - desktop/ScreenSaver: set desktop to black, screen saver to never; if you're not clean installing, make sure active corners are disabled.

    --> if you additionally want a black background at login, just edit and blackout this file:  /Library/Caches/com.apple.desktop.admin.png

    --> for Mojave and above its: /Library/Desktop Pictures/Mojave.heic

    - dock: minimize windows using... SCALE effect; uncheck "animate opening app", check "hide and show deck" if wanted

    - mission control: uncheck "displays have spaces“, deactivate all shortcuts, deactivate hot corners (if activated before)

    - security: uncheck "require password", allow apps from store and developers; old machines: deactivate infrared sensor.

    - spotlight, privacy: add main hdd/ssd to prevent spotlight to search at all

    - cd/dvd: set everything to "no action"

    - displays: uncheck "automatically adjust brightness", uncheck mirroring. Set resolution to scaled.

    - energy saver: battery AND adapter! set both to never; uncheck "put hard disk to sleep…“. If an option for graphic energy saver is displayed, deactivate it (first menu item; mostly "automated graphics switching").

    - keyboard: deactivate all shortcuts unless you need them. Click on battery symbol in taskbar and „show percent“.

    - mouse/touchpad: set secondary click to right corner, check "tap to click“; check „silent clicking“

    - sound: uncheck "play user interface sound effects", uncheck "play feedback...". set "alert volume" to 0, check "show volume in menu bar“.

    - iCloud: uncheck everything. or better: quit iCloud after the installation process is completed

    - bluetooth: check "show in menu bar", turn off bluetooth (affects wifi quality if activated!)

    - network: remove all adapters you don't need. Especially delete firewire/thunderbolt adapters if you don't need them. wlan: check "show in menu bar", deactivate wlan unless you need it. Maybe you want to set up different locations for your different… locations.

    - users & groups: deactivate guest user; blackout user picture.

    - date&time: set correct date, time. under "clock": check "display seconds", "show date"

    - accessibility: deactivate everything you don’t need.

    - finder settings: check "hard disk"

    - if you want to keep your message center, remove all objects by clicking at the bottom right item. I would recommend to deactivate the message center (see below).

    - if you have touch bar, go through the settings (or deactivate it?). I couldn't test that.

    - check again if all updates are installed, then disconnect web connection and:

    - reboot: uncheck „Open windows at next startup"

    --- Terminal settings; everything case sensitive!

    - reboot to recovery mode (cmd+r), disable SIP: „csrutil disable“ , reboot to os. I strongly recommend to reactivate sip after the following steps, although there are some guides that want you to go with deactivated sip. If you want to do that, I would absolutely stay off internet. 

    - deactivate spotlight: sudo mdutil -a -i off

    - deactivate dashboard: defaults write com.apple.dashboard mcx-disabled -boolean YES 

    - deactivate message center (or see above): launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchAgents/com.apple.notificationcenterui.plist 

    - deactivate mission control: defaults write com.apple.dock mcx-expose-disabled -bool TRUE 

    - deactivate iCloud saving: defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSDocumentSaveNewDocumentsToCloud -bool false

    - deactivate resume: defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSQuitAlwaysKeepsWindows -bool false

    - deactivate time machine search for new disks: defaults write com.apple.TimeMachine DoNotOfferNewDisksForBackup -bool true

    - deactivate power saving: sudo pmset -a displaysleep 0 disksleep 0 sleep 0

    - deactivate time machine: sudo tmutil disable (cave: that means you are in need of a good plan for manual updates!)

    - deactivate automatic software update: sudo softwareupdate --schedule off (cave: that means you may need to perform manual updates from time to time. If you want to keep Auto Updates, at least deactivate "MacOS updates" in settings).

    - deactivate FileVault: sudo fdesetup disable

    - deactivate AutomaticTermination: defaults write -g NSDisableAutomaticTermination -bool YES

    - deactivate Sudden Motion Sensor (only older MacBooks): sudo pmset -a sms o (that means, if you still use mechanical hard disks: be careful with sudden motions from now on!)

    - deactivate starting sound ("Chime"): sudo nvram SystemAudioVolume=%00 (doesn’t work on some machines. You may want to secretly install Onyx Mac tuneup app, deactivate Chime and uninstall (!!!) Onyx right after (!!!) and keep it as a secret. (There are some other terminal commands on the Internet forums but they don’t really work). Different approach: hold mute button during startup to prevent the chime.

    Very important: if you use a third party ssd, enable trim force: sudo trimforce enable

    - reboot to recovery mode, re-enable SIP in terminal: "csrutil enable" (or see above). reboot to os.

    --- video configuration

    - connect all displays/projectors you want to use.

    - open settings, display, gather windows. For all devices: set resolution to manual and choose the resolution. If you need a resolution that isn’t natively supported, press “Alt” while clicking on “manual”. Set refresh rate to an integer multiple of the frame rate of your Isadora project. Document that setup.

    - if you’re still using miniDP to VGA adapter “A1307” you may want to update the firmware (see apple page)

    - Maybe there are also useful firmware updates for your devices? I looove firmware updates.

    - You may want to set ICC profiles, some display manufacturers offer them to download, if you don't have the possibility to calibrate.

    - If you’re using a trash can Mac Pro, take note of the correct/best order of your displays/projectors (see at the end of the text).

    - double check energy saving settings for best performance of graphic card.


    --- Isadora and third party software

    (- if needed, install Quicktime Player)

    - install isadora, go to applications, rename and add version number. 

    - install older versions if needed.

    - reboot

    - register. if you have a usb license, check for firmware updates of the usb dongle.

    - add only plugins that you really, really need. Also avoid old and discontinued strange plugins from somewhere.

    - go to view, tip of the day, uncheck "show tips"; 

    - go to preferences, startup action: open file dialog

    - check “show stages”… after 5 sec.

    - deactivate auto save for show; important on older machines with complex show files.

    - set resolution and frame rate. Resolution: same as your projector/display and as low as possible; frame rate: see above; for example: isa project with 25 frames; set projector refresh rate to 50 hz.

    - for very old/weak machines with little ram: set general service as low as possible (maybe you don’t even need it?); set background movie players as low as possible

    - set default resolution as low as still useful, use a lower integer multiple of your output resolution (is that correct? And is it correct language? :) ).

    - take a moment to configure warnings to your needs

    - in finder, go to, press alt, click “library”, folder “Saved Application State”, right click com.troikatronix.isadora.savedState, remove all permissions and set: Me (Read only); Everyone (No Access).

    - for Mojave & higher, you need to grant access to microphone and camera for Isadora, if needed. See here: https://support.jigsawinteract...

    - install all further software, but: as little as possible (I recommend: Compressor, VLC player, keynote, TextEdit).

    - if you need adobe software, make sure to deactivate creative cloud

    - note for Blackmagic Desktop Video Setup drivers: 11.2 is the last version working with Isadora 2, they discontinued support for 32bit apps in the newer versions. If you plan to use Isadora 2.x in the distant future, you may want to safe the setup file for 11.2 somewhere.

    - same for all other input/sound/anything-drivers: for Isadora 2.x you need 32bit drivers. 

    - set all needed shortcuts to dock, remove everything not necessary.

    Very important:  for all show relevant software, go to software list, right click the app, choose informations, check "disable app nap". Also for Isadora. (not for Isadora 3.x).

    -> or disable app nap systemwide, terminal: "defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSAppSleepDisabled -bool YES"

    - you may want to install a fan control app like “SMC Fan Control”. The cooler your cpu is, the better!

    - check system settings, users, startup objects for unnecessary items.

    --- maintenance, from time to time

    - keep only apps/files you need on your productive/show system; delete unused from time to time

    - check startup objects and remove everything you don’t need

    - flush /Library/Caches if you feel the urge to do something

    - if you still need some action, reboot to recovery mode and perform the “first aid” to repair permissions

    - some people say, a lot of objects on the desktop slow down the Mac

    - reboot from time to time, reboot before the show.

    - do not use cleaning apps.

    - perform hardware test, especially SMART test.

    - if you have evidence that your system is really slower than usual, I would take the time for a clean reinstall. You may want to add all necessary setup files on your high sierra usb stick so everything is together for further use.

    -- additional note 1: screen order for trashcan Mac Pro

    Source: Apple Support HT202801

    - there are three thunderbolt buses, every bus maintains two connections. Take a look at the (physical) docking area:

    TB1 TB2

    TB2 TB4

    TB5 TB6

    (LAN1 LAN 2)

       HDMI

    - this is how the buses are wired:

    bus1 bus2

    bus1 bus2

    bus0 bus0

    (LAN 1 LAN 2)

       bus3

    - quote from apple: “The solution to these types of problems is to isolate devices that require a lot of bandwidth on their own Thunderbolt buses so they don't interfere with the other devices in the system.”

    - that means a possible order to use the ports would be:

    2      4

    3      5

    6      7

        1 

    - if you have inputs connected via thunderbolt, you may want to use one bus for inputs and the other buses for your screens.

    - I assume this is only important If you play high resolutions and a lot of devices.

    --- additional note 2: startup key cheatsheet

    - alt: boot menu

    - shift: safe mode

    - d: apple hardware test

    - n: netboot (wtf is that)

    - cmd+s: single user mode

    - t: hard disk mode

    - cmd+v: verbose, with detailed protocol

    - shift+ctrl+cmd+onoff: smd reset

    - alt+cmd+p+r: pram reset

    - mute-button: prevents chime

    - settings, displays: alt+”scaled”: see unsupported resolutions

    - finder, goto: alt: shows "Library"

    --- additional note 3: reminder for some solutions concerning hardware problems (my private fear issues tbh ;-) )

    - humming sound: disconnect power adapter on macbook, use different/original power adapter/cord, isolate MacBook case from desk/other devices

    - strange/changing colours on projector: check resolution; check refresh rate; try lower refresh rate. in case of emergency try interlaced instead of progressive (why does that work sometimes?)

    - Blackmagic decklink no input shown: don’t panic. Order: check sdi cable, check sdi adaptor, check desktop video version 11.2 or lower, check desktop video patch, change input. Try all resolutions starting with lowest.

    .

    Did I forget anything, anything to add?

    Yours

    Timo