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Setting up VLANs with a Mikrotik Cloud Router Switch CRS125-24G

My network uses a Unifi Dream Machine and implements VLANs. I needed a managed switch for some Ethernet devices and I had a Mikrotik Cloud Router Switch CRS125-24G from a few years ago. Previously I never used it for VLANs, and there’s no guide on how to do this except for a video on YouTube: “How To Configure Mikrotik Cloud Router Switch VLAN’s CRS1xx…” – the good news is that it the UDM and Mikrotik seems to work together.

Hope it helps if you’ve got one of these switches.

Fixing “Your Mac was unable to communicate with your Apple Watch”

After reseting an iCloud password, every Apple device that uses the iCloud account will need to authenticate again. For an Apple-centric user, that would be an iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Macbook and may be a few other devices. All seemed to go well except the Apple Watch no longer unlocked the Macs. Even unpairing and re-pairing didn’t fix the issue with various errors including “Your Mac was unable to communicate with your Apple Watch” after re-pairing the watch to the phone. But thanks to this tip from user stoska992 on Apple Communities, the problem is solved. Steps:

  1. Open “Keychain Access”
  2. In “View”, enable “Show Invisible Items”
  3. Search for “Auto Unlock”
  4. You should see a whole bunch of application passwords for “Auto Unlock: XXXX’s …”
  5. Select all records and delete (this will reset/disable auto unlock on other Macs if you use multiple Macs)
  6. Whilst still in “Keychain Access”, search for “AutoUnlock” (no space)
  7. There should be 4 entries for “tlk” “tlk-nonsync” “classA” “classC”
  8. Select 4 records and delete (don’t worry if they re-appear, the system repairs this automatically)
  9. Open “Finder” and navigate to “~/Library/Sharing/AutoUnlock”
  10. There should be two files “ltk.plist” and “pairing-records.plist”
  11. Delete both files
  12. Open “System Preferences” and try enabling auto unlock. You may need to enable it twice, the first attempt will fail. [And you may need to restart your Mac as well before enabling Auto Unlock.]

Regenerating Thumbnails in Lightroom

When you import another catalog into an existing one, or when the preview cache file is not available, Lightroom is unable to show the thumbnails of the photos in the catalog. The catalog will just have grey rectangles like the image on the right when Grid View is selected. This makes it impossible to browse the catalog.

As you scroll through the grey thumbnails Lightroom will regenerate the thumbnails. The issues is if there are thousands of images, you will need to scroll through the whole catalog by tapping on the Page Down button and waiting for thumbnails to be generated for every screen. There is no automatic way to tell Lightroom to do this. Note, this is not the same as generating a Preview for your images. Generating a Preview doesn’t automatically generate a thumbnail.

To simplify the task, I wrote a short AppleScript that will automate this task and allow you to not have to tap the keyboard manually. Just enter this code via the Script Editor and click on the Play/Run button.

repeat 40 times
   activate application "Adobe Lightroom Classic"
   tell application "System Events" to key code 121
   delay (5)
end repeat

You can customise the number of times to repeat the page down, and how long to delay depending on how fast your Mac is and how many thumbnails you can display on your screen. Hint: Choose the smallest thumbnail size and hide the left and right panels to maximise the number of thumbnails.

EOS R6 and Tennis Sports Photography

Here are some sample photos of the EOS R6 with a 400mm f/2.8 v3 + adapter, the RF 70-200mm and the RF 100-500mm. They were all shot using Servo AF, Case A, with People/Eye Detect enabled.

Australian Open with no fans

Here’s what it was like covering the Australian Open during a snap 5-day lockdown with no fans in the stands. A moment in time, recorded. Let’s hope it never happens again.

February 13, 2021: A match being played with no public crowds on Rod Laver Arena at the 2021 Australian Open as the state goes into lockdown due to an outbreak of the Covid-19 Corona virus from a hotel quarantine worker. After 5 days of tennis being played in stadiums with crowds the tournament is permitted to continue by the government without spectators. The match between 25th seed Karolina MUCHOVA of the Czech Republic and 6th seed Karolina PLISKOVA of the Czech Republic in a 3rd round match on day 6 of the Australian Open is the first match since the lockdown began at midnight today in Melbourne, Australia.