fixed : can’t remove floating promo-video from sight on Amazon

Question :

Every time I am browsing Amazon, whenever I look at a product page that has a product’s promo-video on it, the video will open automatically in a separate ‘floating’ window and start playing. However, there’s no button to close the window, and even though I am able to drag the video window, I can’t move it outside of the visible part of my browser (Safari). As a consequence, I’m not able to have a useful look at the product page, as the video-window is blocking off a huge part of the screen…

This is getting extremely irritating. What can I do ?


Answer :

This is a problem that occurs when using Safari with the AlterVideo plugin enabled when visiting video-featuring pages on the Amazon website, but it might also occur in other cases with different browsers, different video-plugins and different websites.

The way to fix this is rather simple :

– in Safari, click on “Safari” in the top menu bar

– in the drop down-menu that opens, click on “Preferences…”

– in the Preferences window that opens, click on the ‘blue puzzle piece’ tab entitled “Extensions”

– there, click on “AlterVideo” in the list on the left

– then, make sure there is NO check-mark in front of both “AutoPlay (Only for First Video on Page)” and the “Aggressive Detection (You may see a ‘floating’ video player)”

– after that, just close the Preferences-window by clicking on the red bullet top left

…now, try visiting Amazon again and everything should work properly

That’s it !

enjoy !


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fixed : where are my Office 2011 AutoRecovery files ?

UPDATE : the updated version of this post for Office 2016 / Office 365 (Word 15 / PowerPoint 15 / Excel 15) can be found here :

fixed : where are my Office 365 AutoRecovery files ?

Question :

I accidentally messed up the Office documents (Word/PowerPoint/Excel) I was working on, and I didn’t save it before, so I wanted to get the auto-saved version from the AutoRecovery-folder as I’ve done before in Office 2008 and 2004.

I forgot where to find the AutoRecovery-folder, so I used Office 2011’s build-in Help-option to get a hint. It told me I would be able to find the folder via this path :

~/Users/username/Documents/Microsoft User Data/Office 2011 AutoRecovery

But when I open that folder I have a “Office 2004 AutoRecovery” and a “Office 2008 AutoRecovery”-folder, but there’s no such folder for Office 2011…

I checked in the Office 2011 Preferences to make sure Auto-saving is switched on, and it is… so where did the folder go ? where are my auto-save documents ?


Answer :

You might have guessed : there’s a fault in the Office 2011 Help file. Nowadays, the AutoRecovery-folder is located in an entirely different location on your Mac. The correct path is this :

~/Users/username/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Office/Office 2011 AutoRecovery

But there is yet another tiny hurdle to get to it : in the current version of OSX, the user’s Library-folder is a hidden folder. So if you want to access it, the easiest way to do so is :

– in the Finder, click on “Go” in the top menu bar

– when the pulldown menu appears, press the ALT-key on your keyboard (a.k.a. OPTION-key) and an extra option named “Library” will appear in the pulldown menu

– while holding the ALT-key, click on “Library” and your personal (hidden) Library-folder will open in the Finder

– there you can navigate to Application Support–>Microsoft–>Office to find the “Office 2011 AutoRecovery”-folder you are looking for

That’s it.

Enjoy !


Note : It is not clear if this problem is due to OSX 10.9 “Mavericks” or that it is occurring with all installations of Office 2011 for Mac. Either way, the solution is as mentioned above.


it turns out that there’s a bug in Excel 2011 for Mac : even though the Autosave does save  a file with an .xlsx file extension, it’s not a true .xlsx file ! trying to open it will lead to an “Microsoft cannot open this file”-error. The solution is to change the file extension to either .xlsb (Excel binary format) or .xlb (older Excel backup format), to enable Excel to recognize the file and enable it to open.

[ a big Thank You to Paul Preston for noticing this problem and for Bryan P for posting the solution on ]

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fixed : PowerPoint presentation too large for eMail

Question :

I just made a beautiful PowerPoint presentation which I want to eMail to my friend. When I tried to eMail it, that seemed to work okay at first, but a few moments later I got an error message saying that the eMail could not be sent.

How can I fix this ?


Answer :

eMail providers have set a limit to the attachments’ file size per eMail to prevent cluttering the eMail traffic and flooding the recipient’s eMail inbox. For most providers this limit is set to about 5MB of attached files per eMail message. Some providers have expanded this limit to 10MB, and providers like Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo! even allow you to attach up to 25MB of files to each eMail.

But if your PowerPoint presentation is even larger than 25MB (which might easily occur if you have done your best to make it a beautiful presentation), you will probably do the recipient  a pleasure if you send a smaller file, especially if they are planning on viewing it on a mobile device. The easiest way to ‘shrink’ the size of a presentation is to convert it into a PDF-file. (a PDF-file is even more versatile than a PowerPoint-presentation, as it also can be viewed by people that don’t have PowerPoint software installed)

To convert your PowerPoint-presentation into a PDF-file, do this :

In MacOSX :

– open your presentation in PowerPoint

– then go to “File” in the upper menu bar and select “Print” from the pulldown menu that appears

– in the “Print” menu that appears, adjust everything as desired, then click on the “PDF” button (bottom left)

– in the pulldown menu that appears, choose “Mail PDF” and a new eMail message will be made for you including your Presentation as an attachment

…or you can choose “Save as PDF…” to first save the PDF-version of your presentation to your Mac so you can attach it to any eMail later on

Note : the above procedure also works in other OSX programs like Word, Excel, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, etc.

For Windows users, the general idea is similar but slightly different :

If the standard conversion of your PowerPoint into a PDF still turns up with a PDF-file that is too large to eMail, you can adjust the conversion settings, as described here :

How to create even smaller PDFs in OSX

You might also want to try the “Reduce File Size” that is in the “File”-tab of each Office 2011 application (so in Word, PowerPoint and Excel). This option will only reduce the size of the pictures inside the document. The smallest this option can reduce to is 96ppi a.k.a. “Best for sending in e-mail”. This is an interesting option, but converting to PDF usually leads to even more file size reduction.

And if the recipient insists on getting the original PowerPoint-file, you could do as a lot of professionals do, and send your presentation trough the FREE WeTransfer service :

that’s it !

enjoy !


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test : Albert Heijn (a.k.a. iClever) Apple-imitation bluetooth keyboard

The official Apple Bluetooth keyboard looks really cool and works smoothly, but it’s expensive… a little too expensive for most purposes people say…

Of course there have been lots of alternative wireless keyboards available, but none really got the looks of a genuine Apple one (for some that is a must). That’s probably the reason why some unknown asian company has made an un-branded ‘white label’ all-plastic knock-off imitation which – at first glance – looks nearly identical to the aluminum Apple bluetooth keyboard. This imitation keyboard is available under a wide variety of brands, like the iClever-brand in most of the world, but for instance also under the dutch supermarket Albert Heijn’s own private label.

The iClever wireless keyboard can be purchased from, when you want a regular QWERTY-layout, and from if you want a german QWERTZ-layout.

Anyway, the main question is : is it any good ?

Simple answer : Yes, but…

Let me clarify : Yes, it’s a really nice keyboard to have and to use, with an interesting price tag below € 25 (sometimes even in the € 15 region). But it comes with a few flaws, so to quickly round up the verdict :

It’s an ideal low-budget wireless secondary keyboard for use with any Apple device that has a primary keyboard built-in.

To be more specific :

it’s a great low-budget wireless keyboard for use with an AppleTV

it’s a very nice low-budget wireless keyboard for use with an iPad or iPhone (but there might be quite a few handier options, like a iPad-cover with built-in keyboard)

it’s a good low-budget secondary keyboard for use with a MacBook (Air/Pro), for instance when your MacBook is closed and connected to a bigger screen

it’s a handy, but slightly tricky keyboard for use with a Mac mini, iMac or Mac Pro (for these Macs I would advice to keep an regular USB-keyboard at hand for emergencies)

Why ?

NOTE (*) : the top-left key (the one with the open square) on this keyboard is the [HOME] key

– it doesn’t have an Escape (ESC) key, so when any program on your Mac hangs, you will not be able to Force Quit the application with this keyboard…

UPDATE (*) : to [ESC], use this key-combo : [FN] + [HOME]

so, to Force Quit, use this key-combo : [CMD] + [ALT] + [FN] + [HOME]

– it doesn’t have an Eject key for the DVD/CD-drive, so when this is your only keyboard, you will not be able to get any CD or DVD out of your Mac easily… you will need to do the annoying drag-to-the-trash move using your mouse each and every time…

UPDATE (*) : to Eject, use this key (not a key-combo) : [F5]

– it doesn’t have any option to set the (energy saving) auto-disconnect function to a longer interval… which means that when your Mac also goes into (energy saving) sleep mode, the  keyboard has a lot of problems waking your Mac… (e.g. you will need to press any button for a prolonged time, but doing so also makes your Mac see that as input for any application that was still open… you might mess up your open Word-document with an enormous line of spaces in doing so…)

UPDATE (*) : to Wake From Sleep, use this key (not a key combo) : [HOME]

– the keyboard is often recognized too late when starting up your Mac, so you can’t use it to type your password during login, so you can’t start using your Mac… this is possibly only a problem for older Macs and/or older versions of MacOSX, but still…

I have tested this keyboard with Apple devices only, so I can’t tell about the compatibility with other devices, but I would think it will be similar : good to great for use with smartphones and tablets running Android and Windows Mobile, but rather troublesome for use with a Windows-PC…


(*) special thanks to Arjan de Boer for these not-so-obvious, but very useful key-combos

fixed : changing the name of a Time Machine backup .sparsebundle-file

Question :

I have transported my user account from my old Mac to my new Mac (using the Migration Assistant application) some weeks ago. Yesterday, I happend to click on the Data-drive from my TimeCapsule in the Finder, and I noticed that the TimeMachine backup-file (.sparsebundle-file) is still named after my old Mac… the name hasn’t changed to the new Mac’s name…

I find this utterly confusing. Is there something I can do to change the name of the .sparsebundle-file ?


Answer :

Yes there is, but it appears not all versions of the TimeMachine software are happy with changing the name of the .sparsebundle-file by the user.

So if you want to change the name of a TimeMachine backup-file (.sparsebundle-file) but wish to minimize the risk of corrupting your entire TimeMachine backup-file (one thus loosing all your data), follow this procedure :

1- make sure you are operating your Mac from a user account with administrator rights

2- go to Apple –> System Preferences –> Sharing

3- there, change the “Computer Name” to a name that identifies you new Mac (and the .sparsebundle-file)

4- then, go to the TimeMachine-icon in the Finder’s top menu bar and select “Back Up Now” from the pulldown menu

5- wait for the TimeMachine backup has finished (this might take longer than normal), and check to see if the .sparsebundle-file has been renamed (go to your TimeMachine backup drive using the Finder to do so)

The above will probably be sufficient if you are running MacOSX 10.7 “Lion”, OSX 10.8 “Mountain Lion” or OSX 10.9 “Mavericks”, and if it works, it’s the preferred way for changing the name of the .sparsebundle -file, as it minimises the risk on corrupting your backups. So, always try the above procedure first !

If you are running MacOSX 10.6 “Snow Leopard” or earlier (probably even Mac OSX 10.4 “Tiger” and even PowerPC Macs with G4 and G5 processors that can run the Time Machine software), and the above procedure didn’t change the name of the .sparsebundle-file, try this :

– duplicate your .sparsebundle-file to another harddisk, or select a new backup harddisk to make an entirely new TimeMachine backup to  (to make sure you have a backup in case you accidentally mess up ; if your sparse bundle-file is your one-and-only and irreplaceable backup, make sure you do this !)

– make sure the .sparsebundle-file is operating correctly by testing it using the “Enter TimeMachine”-option from the pulldown menu that appears when clicking on the TimeMachine-icon in the Finder’s menu bar

– make sure you are logged in as a user with Administrator rights

– click on the TimeMachine-icon in the Finder’s top menu bar and select “Back Up Now”

– after the backup has finished, go to your (primary) TimeMachine-drive in the Finder, click on the .sparsebundle-file and change it’s name

– then, go to the TimeMachine Preferences (either through the System Preferences or through the pulldown menu from the TimeMachine-icon in the top bar of the Finder)

– there, switch off TimeMachine and exit the System Preferences

– then, open the TimeMachine Preferences (within the System Preferences) again, and switch TimeMachine back on, then exit the System Peferences

– then, go to your (primary) TimeMachine-drive in the Finder again, and check if the name of the .sparsebundle-file has changed

– if the name has changed, check if the TimeMachine-backup works (try to access it by clicking “Enter Time Machine” from the pulldown menu that appears under the TimeMachine-icon in the Finder’s top menu bar), if that works, that’s it, you’re done !

– if somewhere along the procedure, something didn’t work as expected, restart your Mac and try again

– if it name change still won’t stick after several tries, make sure the “Computer Name” of your Mac is named exactly as you like in the Network Preferences (within the System Preferences) and then create an entirely new TimeMachine-backup : add a new drive for TimeMachine-backups (or remove the existing drive and then add the same one again) in the Time Machine Preferences (within the System Preferences), then click “Back Up Now” from the pulldown menu when you select the TimeMachine-icon in the Finder’s top menu bar… and wait…

That should be it.

Enjoy !


Note : the .sparsebundle-file extension might not be visible ; you can turn it on (or off) in the file’s “Get Info”-window (accessible when right-clicking on the file’s icon in the Finder)

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fixed : photo delete-button greyed out on iPad

Question :

On my iPad, I want to free up some memory space by deleting some old photos, but when I go into the Photos-app, and select the photos I want to delete, the Delete-button is greyed out. At first I thought it might have something to do with restrictions I had set on my iPad, but I couldn’t find any restriction option regarding the deleting of of photos.

When I investigated a little further, it turns out that the Delete-button is available for my newest photos, but not for the older photos… that’s where things get confusing…

How can I make the Delete-option available for all photos ?


Answer :

The exact cause of your problem is not known, but the solution turns out to have something to do with photos that are supposed to be kept in-sync with your Mac (or PC).

The solution is the following :

– connect your iPad (or iPhone) to your Mac (or Windows-PC) using the USB-cable

[note : the computer you connect to should be the one that you have set as the primary computer to connect to when you originally set up your iPad/iPhone from iTunes on MacOSX or Windows]

– on your Mac or PC, open iTunes and go to the iPad/iPhone’s settings and click on the “Photos” tab

– if you’re on a Mac, make sure that there is NO checkmark at “sync to folder” or “sync to iPhoto”

– if you’re on a Windows-PC, make sure there is NO checkmark at “sync to folder”

– wait for the iTunes syncing proces to finish, then disconnect your iPad/iPhone

– when you open the Photos-app on your iPad/iPhone now, you will see that all photos now have the Delete-button available

That’s it !

Good Luck !

Enjoy !


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fixed : alternative for replacing MacBook (Pro/Air) keyboard

Question :

I have a MacBook (Pro) with a back-lit internal keyboard, that has been used for a few years now. The reason why isn’t exactly clear to me, but somehow some some (three to be exact) of the keys have lost their upper coating so the letter they represent can no longer be seen on the keyboard. So even though the MacBook’s keyboard appears to be (nearly) intact, while in use the keyboard feels like missing some keys.

Isn’t there any good, but cheap alternative to opening up the entire inside of my MacBook (Pro) and replacing the keyboard ? Especially when having the keyboard replaced by Apple that’s very expensive…


Answer :

If your MacBook (Pro/Air) is out of warranty, having the internal keyboard replaced by Apple is not a ‘bang-for-your-buck’-option.

Replacing the internal keyboard yourself is an option, but primarily, getting a matching replacement keyboard might turn out to be rather difficult, especially if your MacBook (Pro/Air) does not have the regular US-keyboard layout (the US-keyboard has an ENTER-key with a different shape than on the keyboards of various other languages, so the holes for the keys in the top case won’t match). And secondarily, the keyboard is the part of the internals that is deep-deep down, so getting to it is about the most complex repair-operation one can think of…

But you didn’t spill any water, any drink or other fluid on your keyboard and only a few keys are broken or missing, there is a far easier and cheaper option :

Just get some (new or second hand) individual keys, and replace them yourself.

There are some websites that sell individual keyboard-keys :

The only thing that’s tricky is that there are various versions of the keys, and it takes some investigation to find out which are the ones of the type you need. But apart form that, it’s really straight forward. Various instruction guides can be found online (it’s a simple repair-operation), for instance here :

MacBook keycap removal & fitting guide.pdf

That’s it.

Enjoy !


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