So I gave up on
MacPorts.. I've now removed both programs.
ssh communications, I just use
terminal command line interface program.
For USB to FTDI serial communications I'm using a program called Cornflake. It seems to work just fine. (settings = device with USB in the title, baud: 115200, packet: none-8-1 and flow: none) Hint: You want to have the USB/FTDI device plugged in with
Cornflake running BEFORE you power up the Raspberry Pi.
Update: So Cornflake worked fine, kinda, sorta. It didn't hide my login password which is not normally a problem, but I'm teaching others realtime with screen broadcast. Any command line tool that does fancy stuff (e.g. nano) fails in Cornflake.
Instead I've now migrated to using the native command line terminal and the
screen command, per this reference.
$ ls /dev/tty.* # to see all available ports.
You can now use the screen command to to establish a simple serial connection.
$ screen <port_name> <baud_rate> # to create a connection.
In my particular case:
$ screen /dev/tty.usbserial-AE00BS5L 115200
This works quite well.