Photo Corners

A   S C R A P B O O K   O F   S O L U T I O N S   F O R   T H E   P H O T O G R A P H E R

Enhancing the enjoyment of taking pictures with news that matters, features that entertain and images that delight. Published frequently.

Solving Our Own Problems Share This on LinkedIn   Tweet This   Forward This

21 March 2022

Recently we hit a couple of software brick walls that seemed to doom us to an unhappy fate. One involved our email application and the other our text editor. Both mission critical.


The first brick wall we hit was after we updated our Postbox connection security setting for our Gmail account from a simple password to OAuth2.

We access email using the POP protocol rather than IMAP for a few long-standing reasons. And that works well for us because we simply don't do email on multiple devises.

Or it did until we switch our logon method for Gmail. Suddenly, we stopped getting Gmail.

We could get emails from Google when we launched Postbox and when we manually clicked the Get Mail button. But even though we'd set it to check Gmail every 10 minutes, it simply never did.

Postbox support was responsive but there was no quick fix and we just weren't free to do the backups and diagnoses to move things along as quickly as we needed. Days went by between emails to them. Meanwhile we just clicked the Get goodMail button to retrieve our Gmail until we could pursue a fix.

A small annoyance but not life threatening.


When BBEdit released an update to version 14.1.1 we had been happily using version 14.1 without any problems. We sometimes run the beta if the fixes relate to anything we're doing because we've found them to be solid.

But we didn't this time. And when we downloaded the update, BBEdit refused to launch with a code signing error.

We've seen this before on Catalina. And our hardware is only running Catalina thanks to Jim Collins's patches. In short, our configuration is unsupported. Which BBEdit support reminded us when we asked what was up with 14.1.1.

We tried a number of different ways of opening BBEdit and checked to make sure it had Full Disk Access in the Security system preferences. Did a few incantations, too. Nothing worked.

So we reverted to the previous version and got on with our work. Everything we write here is keyboarded into BBEdit.


But those workarounds were not solutions.

Postbox should download new emails unattended. And as a paying customer, the latest version of BBEdit should run on our hardware if anything does.

But clearly we were going to have to solve our own problems. And the tool we used in both cases was Keyboard Maestro.

We've call it indispensable macOS utility software and once again it came through for us.


In addition to the Get Mail button, Postbox has a menu command to download new messages for the current account. And it has a keyboard shortcut.

Postbox Fix. Send the menu command to check email in the background.

So we used a simple Keyboard Maestro action to send that keyboard shortcut to Postbox if it's running.

The action doesn't bring Postbox to the front or otherwise disrupt what we're doing. It just tells Postbox in the background to retrieve new email from the accounts listed in our Active Accounts group.

And when the Mac is asleep, Postbox won't bother looking. Which is fine with us.


The solution for BBEdit was to disable Gatekeeper for the application. There are one or two other applications that have exhibited the same behavior and when they're updated, we no doubt will have to apply the same solution to the updates.

BBEdit Fix. Disable Gatekeeper for the application.

But it's an arcane Terminal command we aren't likely to remember:

xattr -dr /Applications/

So we wrote a Keyboard Maestro macro with two actions: 1) a prompt for the application via the Finder so we don't have to remember how to write the full path and 2) the full Terminal command with the application name tacked onto the end.

Bingo, version 14.1.1 launched with no error.


We're not quick to call unexpected or even unhelpful behavior in software a bug. Our Postbox problem could be an issue with Google, after all. And BBEdit's behavior on our system isn't something the company is obliged to support.

But we launch both programs whenever we restart and we never quit either of them before we shut down. So if we can resolve any issue that makes it hard to use them, we're in.

And with Keyboard Maestro, we have the tool we need to do what we otherwise couldn't. Which is our definition of "indispensable."

BackBack to Photo Corners