More fun with iCloud Bookmark sync

So after giving up on LastPass because it is not e10 multiprocessor compatible, I have been trying to sync my bookmarks using Firefox Sync, Chrome Sync and iCloud Bookmark Sync for windows. Unfortunately iCloud bookmarks is garbage, because it has no simple way to either clear bookmarks, or force a sync from a single source, and unfortunately it often gets completely corrupted! To clear it you have to disable sync everywhere except your mac, and let it sit, then clear your bookmarks and either import or create a new clean set. Unforunately this process is very unstable. It requires much switching off sync and waiting, and hoping.

Keep your fingers crossed, as I am.

LastPass 4 does support e10s in Firefox, but no word on Xmarks

So I was let know that LastPass version 4 does in fact work with e10 multiprocessing in Firefox. The normal update does not work, so you need to install LastPass 4.0 from the web site.

There is no word on Xmarks though.

So I am now running the iCloud Bookmarks Plug In on my Surface Pro 4 to sync between Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome. And using Firefox bookmark Sync to sync from my mac to my Surface Pro.

Looks like Xmarks and Lastpass will never support e10 Multiprocessor in Firefox

So it looks like neither Xmarks or Lastpass will ever support e10 Multiprocessing in Mozilla Firefox. For years Mozilla Firefox has been my browser of choice because of all of it's extensions. There was a short period where I used Chrome, but it is not as customizable. Firefox though is changing and is becoming multiprocessor, and that requires re-writing plugins to work with e10, or they won't work. Right no Firefox will still work without e-10, by keeping Firefox in the old mode without mulit-processor support.

I contacted Xmarks/Lastpass support to see about their e-10 support, and I got this response.


Thanks for reaching out to Xmarks Support.

Through testing that we were unable to install Xmarks in Electrolysis e10. At this time, we have no plans to launch Xmarks compatibility with e10. I will submit a formal feature request ticket advocating your desire if you'd like.


So basically a paid service will never update their software and will very shortly lose all support for Firefox my favorite browser! Time to kill my accounts for xmarks and lastpass!

Of course now the question is how to replace these essential programs. I am going to try out Firefox Browser sync, and iCloud sync. Unfortunately iCloud Browser sync only runs on windows, but I have my Surface Pro 4 running Windows 10, so I can try Safari Browser sync to sync between Chrome, Firefox and Safari on Mac. And it is e10 supported, so that might work. I will keep my backup in Firefox on my mac so I can keep replacing my good backups.
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Message now works on my Mac and all it took was resetting my PRAM! Some NVIDIA weirdness though.

I can't believe I had not tried that, but Apple support got me and now Messages works in El Capitan

There was some strangeness though, and it is to do with my NVIDIA Geforce GTX 670 I mentioned in my previous post. After resetting the PRAM the computer came back up, but all the blue was orange again, and this time I took screenshots, but they looks correct once the problem is fixed! And to fix the issue I had to re-install the latest NVIDIA web drivers, though they were showing as already installed. Next time I will take a physical picture.


Still unable to log into Messages with iCloud in El Capitan 10.11.2

So 10.11.2 came out, and I am still unable to log into Messages with iCloud on my Mac, though it works fine on my iPhone and iPad.

So I am on the phone with Apple Tech support. They for sure can see that my MacPro is not authorized. We went through signing out my iPad and iPhone of Messages, Facetime and iCloud and then signing back in, but that didn't help.

I was then moved to a level 2 tech, who sent me and apple application called Capture Data, and had me try to log into Messages with it collecting packets, and I sent the info to Apple and they will be contacting engineers.

They were very nice and I am supposed to hear back Monday. Fingers crossed that they can figure this out. Seems like it has to be on their end, as it worked fine before El Capitan and the weirdest part to them as well is that it still happens on my clean install of the OS.

Apple launches iCloud 4 for Windows, but still no access to iCloud Drive for Mac!


Yes, Apple has released iCloud version 4 for Windows, which allows access to the new iCloud Drive
. iCloud Drive will let you actually see a file system on iCloud and let you access documents from other apps, instead of having every app in it's own little world.

You can activate it when you install iOS 8 on any of your devices, but if you do you lose access to iCloud from your Mac, but no longer from Windows! I know this will be integrated with Mac OS Yosemite, but if they can so easily add it to Windows, they could add it to Mavericks, especially since it is on in iOS 8!

This is just like Apple releasing a plug in for windows to sync iCloud bookmarks with Chrome and Firefox and Internet Explorer, but not giving the same thing for Mac! I know there is no Safari for Windows anymore, but many Mac users hate Safari on Mac and use Chrome or Firefox, so this would be very useful. Especially since always have issues with X-Marks messing up my Safari bookmarks (or at least causing the iCloud version of bookmarks to get messed up).

Come Apple lets see iCloud Drive and iCloud Bookmarks for Mavericks right now!

iCloud iOS bookmarks are messed up again

Well it seems to have happened again. My iOS Bookmarks are totally screwed up again, and I can't seem to get them to clear up.

I will explain my situation again, which has changed slightly. I run Firefox as my primary browser (used to be Chrome, but I am starting to not feel comfortable with Google having dominion over everything I do on the web), but I still use Chrome for some things. To keep my Bookmarks in sync I run Xmarks, and to get my bookmarks on iOS I run Xmarks for Safari, but it doesn't seem to do the trick.

Even though my bookmarks on my Mac in Safari match my bookmarks in both Firefox and Chrome, this doesn't seem to make it over to my iOS devices.

In the past I have run Chrome in Windows 8.1 in Parallels. I would download the latest bookmarks with Xmarks, and the Chrome iCloud plug in seemed to overwrite the iCloud bookmarks with clean ones, but this doesn't seem to be working currently.

I just wish Apple would go back to allowing direct bookmark overwrite via iTunes. They used to allow this, and have gone back to allowing it for Contacts and Calendars, but not for Bookmarks! If they aren't going to give you settings to overwrite things on iCloud, they need to at least let you just overwrite from your computer!


Macrumors is reporting that the next version of iTunes restores local contact and calendar syncing, and my iCloud Bookmark solution.

MacRumors has the news that iTunes 11.1.6 Beta has returned local iTunes Contact and Calendar sync to your iOS devices. I have railed about this because iCloud syncing is very very broken, especially without the ability to easily overwrite the iCloud information from your computer. Now if only they would add back Bookmark syncing so I could forget about the damn iCloud which seems to constantly screw up my bookmarks! Honestly I have now figured the only solution which seems to get clean bookmarks to my iOS devices. I use x-marks to sync my bookmarks, as I use Chrome as my primary browser with Mozilla as my secondary browser. Since I am not a PC (which has the great iCloud Sync extension for Windows) I have to get my bookmarks into Safari on my mac to be able to sync bookmarks to my iOS devices, so I use X-marks, but while my Safari seems to then have good clean bookmarks, it does not follow that my iCloud bookmarks are at all the same. Instead I seem to end up with many duplicate folders, but most of which are empty in random orders. In order to fix this, I have found that the aforementioned iCloud plug in for Safari only available on PC's seems to actually overwrite the iCloud bookmarks, which I can't seem to manage from my Mac. So I boot up Windows 8.1 in Parallels (can also be done in BootCamp) and launch Chrome for PC. Then I download clean bookmarks from Xmarks and wait for iCloud to sync, and that seems to clean up my bookmarks for a little while at least. Why Apple can't add a control to iCloud to control overwrite, like they used to have for syncing, or like x-marks has I will never know. I mean if there weren't issues they wouldn't have brought back local syncing in any for. Lets hope they bring back local syncing of bookmarks soon, so I can forget about the broken iCloud bookmark syncing!!!

iCloud Bookmark sync on Mac is Garbage!

Was just on a bit of a vacation last week and realized that my iOS bookmarks were completely screwed up again.

I use Chrome as my main browser, with Firefox as my second browser (mainly for it's plug-ins and tabs), and I only use Safari to sync my bookmarks with iOS. As I have written before, pre iOS 7 I used iTunes to directly sync my bookmarks from Safari, as my iCloud bookmarks constantly were screwed up. Well once again my bookmarks on iCloud were screwed.

I keep my bookmarks synched with xmarks ( ) and have a good very cleaned up set of bookmarks that I recently cleaned. I tried downloading these using xmarks for safari, but it would download and then sync with iCloud and be screwed up again.

So I booted up Windows 8.1 in Parallels, and booted up Chrome, opened xmarks settings and downloaded my clean new bookmarks, and amazingly iCloud sync for Safari correctly overwrote my iCloud bookmarks. Why does Safari on the mac not do this?

Apple still needs to add syncing control, so you can overwrite bookmarks on iCloud from your Mac, especially since it is the only way to get bookmarks to your iOS device! This whole simplicity thing only works when everything works, but bookmark cloud syncing often gets screwed up so you need advanced controls. Hide them from users if you want to Apple, but they should be there! And why the hell does the Windows syncing work better than Mac syncing!

iCloud Boomarks Sync Update

Well since I heard you need 2 computers to get iCloud to work better, I have been working on getting iCloud Syncing installed in Windows 8 in Parallels to see if I could get my bookmarks cleaned up on iCloud, and it seems to have worked.

It seems that iCloud sync works much better on Windows than on Mac. First off they have included Chrome, Firefox and IE bookmarks sync, which they don't have on the Mac side (trying to force you to only use Safari I am assuming), but I didn't even have to erase my bookmarks to get it to work, I just downloaded my good bookmarks from X-Marks, installed iCloud Control Panel and iCloud extension for Chrome, and on my Mac, my bookmarks updated with my good X-Marks bookmarks and they showed up on my iOS devices. WTF!

Apple you need to fix this issue, because not everyone has parallels installed on their mac!

iCloud Bookmark Sync is just completely broken!

I have already posted about Apple getting rid of direct bookmark sync in iTunes and only being able to use iCloud sync to get your bookmarks to iOS 7 devices, well this would be great if iCloud sync worked at all!

As I have said before I cannot get my iCloud bookmarks to clear and they are completely messed up. Apple needs to do what every other sync company does, and what they used to do and allow you to choose to merge or overwrite your iCloud bookmarks instead of having no controls whatsoever!

I have been turning off iCloud sync on my Mac, iPad and iPhone and then manually deleting all bookmarks on my mac, then turning on sync, and manually deleting all bookmarks that show up. And repeating until no bookmarks show up at all, assuming that my bookmarks would then be clear.

I then downloaded my clean bookmarks from Xmarks (I currently use Chome as my browser of choice on my Mac, with Firefox as a backup), and turned on iCloud syncing. There was no Merge message as I assume the bookmarks were clear on iCloud, but when I then turn on Safari syncing on my iOS devices, my bookmarks on my iOS devices remain bank. What the hell?

And after a little while my Safari bookmarks get screwed up again from the iCloud sync, my Favorites Bar bookmarks moving to a BookmarksBar folder, and my Bookmarks getting all messed up, with dividers all moving to the bottom and things moving around, many folders become empty and some are dulpicated! WHAT THE HELL!


On forums I can see that you can get your iCloud bookmarks clear if you have 2 Macs, but I do not! I have one Mac and am pretty technically inclined but just cannot get my Bookmarks to clear on iCloud!

Mac Performance on Apple's iCloud being broken like I have been saying!

MacPerformance Guide has a great article on Apple's iCloud being broken for him, just like it is broken for me!

I have been talking for some time about how my iCloud Bookmarks are completely messed up and I can't fix them! There is no option to wipe out what is on the server, and my server bookmarks are screwed up! Now it may have something to do with me using X-Marks, but that is how I keep my bookmarks synced between Chrome, Firefox and Safari, but my Safari bookmarks constantly were screwing up the mix, so I had to turn off iCloud for bookmarks and just manually sync my bookmarks if I want them to end up on my iPhone and iPad.

I first posted about my problems on May 20th of 2012, and again on March of this year!

Arstechnica on Developers problems with iCloud, and my own personal issues with it.

Arstechnica has an interesting article on problems of working with Apple's iCloud.

It is really interesting to hear that developers are having so many problems with iCloud, since as a user I have completely given up on iCloud because I have found it to work so incredibly badly.

My first issues were with bookmarks and iCloud. I use X-marks to sync my bookmarks between browsers, since Chrome (and formerly Firefox) is my browser of choice, and I don't use Safari at all, but since Safari is what syncs to my iPad and iPhone I needed it to have my bookmarks.

And every time X-Marks overwrote them it worked fine and they were correct until they went to the cloud. The cloud ones had become corrupt and would overwrite not only Safari on my mac, but also on my iPhone and iPad. And there is no way to get rid of the bookmarks! Now most companies would create a way to overwrite either on your computer or online, but not Apple. Their simplified iCloud bookmarks have no way to get rid of the bookmarks from iCloud, so I had to turn off iCloud syncing and just do a direct sync via itunes, which directly brings Safari's bookmarks to my iPad and iPhone.

My Second issue cropped up when I moved from an iPad 1 to an iPad 3. I had been a Mobile Me user, so I got 25GB of space on my iCloud (necessary to backup an iPad, and not enough for both my iPad and iPhone), and had 3 months previously moved to iCloud backup. When I attempted to move everything to my new iPad, it would not work. None of the apps would install. They started to download, and then stopped there, for days! And I could get no help on the issue, so I ended up going to my 3 month old previous backup on my home computer and have been syncing with my computer every since.

Why should I even try putting stuff on iCloud when I have no control over it? And it does seem to get corrupted often! So why not just leave everything on my Mac and use Dropbox or Sugarsync or or even my Synology NAS to sync to. They all actually work and don't seem to screw up all the time, like iCloud does.

iCloud at the very least needs basic controls to allow overwriting of items on the cloud or on your computer (though they could probably get away with just overwriting iCloud, since that is where the glitches happen!).


iCloud and the dumbing of Apple Products

For years I have lamented the dumbing down of Apple products for the masses, especially when OS X is build on the so powerful UNIX operating system, but it has certainly gotten much worse of late. Just look at Lion. It now hides you Library folder where all preferences and other user system files are stored, and it even password protects your Utilities folder. This may be fine for an average user, but for a power user they are just frustrations that add steps to the normal things we do every day, but that is not the worst of it. The worst part is when they dumb something down too much and it doesn't function right. It is not like Apple has good customer support, unless you want to go into an Apple store, and I am not brining in my tower, ipad and iPhone to get iCloud to work right!

A little explanation is necessary here, but I use both Firefox and Google Chrome as my primary browsers, not Safari, but I do have an iPhone and iPad, and like them to have the same bookmarks as my main browsers, so I use X-Marks to sync my bookmarks between all browsers, but recently it stopped syncing my bookmarks correctly to my iPhone and iPad. I looked on Apple's forums, and tried all sorts of methods to clear my bookmarks off of iCloud, which seam to have become corrupt, but nothing seems to work. With iSync you could always set to overwrite the bookmarks in the cloud, because these things happen (and you can do it in X-Marks), but they have dumbed down iCloud to the point where it has basically zero controls, so when something like this happens you are just SOL!

And I already had to give up cloud syncing for my iPad and iPhone as when I moved from my trusty iPad 1 to my the New iPad, I tried syncing my iPad from the cloud and it basically hung every time, and I had to revert to my last backup from iTunes, which was 4 months old, but at least that worked. Now I don't trust iCloud at all, and use iTunes to backup and sync bookmarks as that actually seems to work with some consistency (though don't even get me started on how old and out of date iTunes is).

Now unfortunately iCloud is completely useless to me as it is broken on two fronts, and I have no way to reset things in the cloud to make them better. No way to see those files, or delete them and start over. Maybe if I went into an Apple store I could get them to do it, but honestly I don't have time. And for files i have moved away from the now defunct Mobile me to services from SugarSync, DropBox and as they work and won't have features pulled as I continue to use them, only get better.

I have been an Apple man for years and years, since I was a little kid and got an Apple IIC, but really the company is making many stupid decisions and I think a lot of them will end up biting them on the ass, like the whole killing Final Cut Pro 7 thing. I continue to like Apple products, have have never been a fan of windows, but have been considering getting a windows machine to edit and do graphics on, and possibly that will mean that my only Apple products are my iPhone and iPad, and the computers I so loved will no longer matter to me, but I sure hope that doesn't happen.

Apple you are not perfect and your products are not either, please restore a modicum of control to us users to fix thing when they do have issues.
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