fixed : which version of Java do I have ?

Question :

I would like to know which version of Java I have installed on my Mac, since the software I want to use will only run on Java 7 or higher.

How can I check (and update) ?

 

Answer :

Java is a free software platform which is operation system independent (so Mac & PC) created and maintained by Oracle. Despite it always having been a very reliable way of making cross platform games & applications, Apple has restricted the use of Java to ‘only when needed’ by default in the latest versions of OSX and macOS, because of the security risks involved in using Java and similar software that can run autonomously on your Mac next to macOS.

To find out which version of Java you have installed, do the online check that’s on this official website :

https://java.com/en/download/installed.jsp

Just follow the instructions given and the result of the check will be shown : you will either have the latest version installed, or you won’t… in that case update instructions will guide you to getting the latest version available for your Mac.

enjoy 😉

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fixed : iOS app cannot be moved or deleted – is instead renamed “Home”

Question :

I installed the iOS-app called “FaceApp” on my iPhone a few days ago, and now suddenly it’s on a screen-page I don’t want it on. The way I normally use to move it to another screen-page doesn’t work however : if I hold the icon for a long time, the icon’s doesn’t start shaking and no X-label does appear either.

I managed to get the shaking icons and the X-labels in the end by just holding my finger on another app a little longer… but now, the “FaceApp” doesn’t want to move either when I put my finger on it…

I finally managed to move it by moving another app in front of it, but I still can’t get it to another screen-page…

So, I tried to delete the app by clicking on it’s X-badge, that seemed to work at first, but the “FaceApp”-icon immediately reappeared, only the name has now changed to “Home”, and there is no X-badge on it… so I still can’t delete it…

What is wrong ? What can I do ?

 

Answer :

Don’t worry.

  • First, exit the ‘shaky mode’ by clicking on the (physical) MENU-button (the front one, just below the screen
  • Then, open the AppStore.app
  • Click on “Updates”
  • Then click on “Purchases”
  • There, you’ll see that the “FaceApp” is listed, but with the “cloud&arrow”-icon next to it (so the “redownload from the AppStore-cloud”)
  • Then, click on the “cloud&arrow”-icon to reinstall the app
  • Exit the AppStore.app
  • On the main screen-pages you’ll now see that the name of the app has changed back from “Home” to “FaceApp”
  • Now, click&hold the FaceApp-icon until all icons start shaking and you’ll see that the X-badge will also appear on the FaceApp-icon
  • Then, click on the X-badge and the FaceApp.app will be deleted from your iPhone, or move the FaceApp.app to the place you want to have it on your screen-pages

That’s it – enjoy !

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fixed : my Mac can’t unzip this file I’ve downloaded

Question :

Someone just sent me a file over WeTransfer. After downloading it turns out to be a .zip-file, but when I double-click on it to unzip as usual, the Archive Utility does start the unzipping but ends in an error each time, claiming the .zip-file is broken.

I’m pretty sure the .zip-file isn’t broken… what can I do ?

 

Answer :

Even though OSX/macOS’s built-in Archive Utility is your default choice for zipping and unzipping files and folders, it turn out not to be the best choice for unzipping. (Especially .zip-files created on Windows PCs seem to be problematic every now and then…)

The solution is simple : just use an other app to unzip.

There are various payed alternatives like Stuffit Expander and WinZIP, but there’s no need to buy an app for this as most FREE apps ( like The Unarchiver ) will do just fine.

To install & use another app to unzip do this :

  • download a FREE zip/unzip-app from the Mac AppStore
  • after installation, lookup the .zip-file on your Mac ( it will probably still be in your Downloads folder or on your Desktop )
  • right-click on the .zip-file’s icon and select “Open with…” from the pop-up menu
  • then choose your zip/unzip-app from the list
  • …and wait for the file to unzip

That’s it ! enjoy 😉

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fixed : quickly free up disk space on MacOSX 10.6.8 Snow Leopard

Question :

My son alarmed me today that his ‘good old’ Mac gives a “your startup disk is full” warning at startup. He has our old Intel CoreDuo MacBook that can only run MacOSX 10.6.8 Snow Leopard.

What is the easiest way to free up the much needed harddrive space ?

 

Answer :

There  are various programs that can do the job of identifying which files are cluttering your harddrive and deleting unneeded files.

If you have an older Mac that can not run the latest version of OSX, I would suggest using the DiskWave application to do so, because of 4 reasons :

  1. DiskWave is very small in size (only about 1MB), so you can even install and run it on an extremely full harddrive
  2. DiskWave is able to manage external drives, so you can also run it on a newer/faster/other Mac and connect the problematic Mac as an external drive [ in so called “Target Mode” by restarting the problematic Mac with the T-key pressed and connecting it to the other Mac with a FireWire-cable ]
  3. DiskWave is available for various old versions of MacOSX
  4. DiskWave is FREE to download and use

Using DiskWave is rather straight forward. A quick instruction video can be seen here :

DiskWave instruction video

Getting hold of DiskWave might be problematic however, as the developer’s website (Aymeric Barthe) seems to be down :

Aymeric Barthe website

And the DiskWave app is NOT available from the Mac AppStore either… [ beware not too be fooled into thinking it’s the same as the iDiskWave app ! ]

A secondary problem is that the best available version (DiskWave 0.4) does not support any pre-Core2Duo. For now, all (older) versions of DiskWave can be downloaded here :

download any DiskWave version at Mac.FileHorse.com

Note that DiskWave 0.3.2 is the latest version of DiskWave to run on PowerPC (G3/G4/G5) Macs and 1st generation Intel (CoreSolo and CoreDuo) Macs.

And if those links stop working also, you can download DiskWave 0.3.2 here :

DiskWave_0.3.2

[ !! after downloading, replace the .doc file-extension by .dmg to get the installer !! ]

Enjoy !

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fixed : animated GIFs not playing in Preview.app

Question :

For my work I regularly get animated-GIF for online advertising campaigns send to me offline. As it turns out I can only view them in the Finder’s preview, but when I double-click on them, they open in Preview.app as a static picture…

What can I do ?

 

Answer :

As any .gif-file is considered as a picture by OSX, both static and animated GIFs will be opened in Preview.app by default. Too bad, but Preview.app can only display static pictures, no movies, nor dynamic pictures…

The solution is simple ; just make OSX by default open all .gif-files in an application that can handle animations, like your web browser.

to do so :

  • locate and select any of your animated .gif-files in the Finder
  • then press the [cmd]+[i] key-combo on your keyboard (a.k.a. “get info”)
  • in the info-window that opens, scroll down to “Open with:”
  • make sure the triangular arrow in front of “Open with:” is pointing down
  • if the triangular arrow is pointing to the right, click on it
  • just below “Open with:” you will see “Preview (default)”
  • click on that, and change it to “Safari” (or any other application that can handle animated GIFs, if you don’t see the application you’re looking for listed, select “Other…” and select the one you prefer from you Applications folder)
  • then, don’t forget to click on the “Change All…”-button also

…that’s it, from now on, any .gif-file on your Mac will be opened in Safari (or your chosen alternative) by default, and you will see all animated-GIFs opened as animations when you lick on them.

enjoy !

😉

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fixed : use unsupported scanner in OSX 10.11 El_Capitan

Question :

I have a Canon CanoScan LiDE 20 that used to work perfectly in MacOSX 10.6 Snow Leopard. But now I’ve bought a new Mac which runs OSX 10.11 El_Capitan, I can’t seem to install it, since Canon doesn’t update the drivers anymore.

What can I do ?

Answer :

In OSX 10.7 Lion, 10.8 Mountain Lion, 10.9 Mavericks, 10.10 Yosemite and 10.11 El_Capitan, any TWAIN-supporting scanner can be used without any additional software.

A list of supported scanners for OSX 10.9 Mavericks can be found here.

Here’s a quick step-by-step instruction :

– connect your scanner directly to your Mac using a USB-cable

– open the System Preferences

– then click on “Print & Scan”

– then, just below in the list of printers on the left, click on the “+”-sign

– that will bring up the “Add”-window, which enables you to add a new printer or scanner

– if your scanner is TWAIN-supporting, it will show up there, and you just need to select it and click on the “Add”-button

– then it will be listed in the previous (“Print & Scan”) System Preferences window, and if you select it (and you put a piece of paper or a photo in the scanner), a Scanning Preview window will show up, allowing you to scan your document to file or eMail or something else…

but…

…for some printers, like the Canon CanoScan LiDE 20 and LiDE 30, the TWAIN-drivers are not included in OSX. In that case, you will need to install some generic (FREE) TWAIN-drivers :

IMPORTANT : do not forget to read this entire post, even all the notes at the bottom ! e.g. if you have an old CanoScan scanner, you might have to reinstall TWAINbridge.app also !

– for OSX 10.11 El_Capitan, download and install these files (in this same order) and restart you Mac after doing so, then your scanner will also show up in the “Print & Scan” System Preferences :

LibUSB for OSX 10.11

SANE Backends for OSX 10.11

SANE Preference Pane for OSX 10.11

TWAIN SANE Interface for OSX 10.11

for OSX 10.10 Yosemite, download and install these files (in this same order) and restart you Mac after doing so, then your scanner will also show up in the “Print & Scan” System Preferences :

libusb.pkg.tar.gz

sane-backends.pkg.tar.gz

SANE-Preference-Pane.pkg.tar.gz

TWAIN-SANE-Interface.pkg.tar.gz

– for OSX 10.9 Mavericks, download and install these files (in this same order) and restart your Mac after doing so, then your scanner will also show up in the “Print & Scan” System Preferences :

libusb.pkg.tar.gz

sane-backends.pkg.tar.gz

SANE-Preference-Pane.pkg.tar.gz

TWAIN-SANE-Interface.pkg.tar.gz

– for OSX 10.8 Mountain Lion, download and install these files (in this same order) and restart your Mac after doing so, then your scanner will also show up in the “Print & Scan” System Preferences :

libusb.pkg.tar.gz

sane-backends.pkg.tar.gz

SANE-Preference-Pane.pkg.tar.gz

TWAIN-SANE-Interface.pkg.tar.gz

– for MacOSX 10.7 Lion, download and install these files (in this same order) and restart your Mac after doing so, then your scanner will also show up in the “Print & Scan” System Preferences :

libusb.pkg.tar.gz

sane-backends.pkg.tar.gz

SANE-Preference-Pane.pkg.tar.gz

TWAIN-SANE-Interface.pkg.tar.gz

– if these files do not turn into regular .pkg-files when you click on them, you need unTAR-software like this :

The Unarchiver

– if you get an error-message telling you you can’t install this software (these drivers) since the are not from Apple-appoved developers, you need to :

– open the System Preferences

– then click on “Security & Privacy”

– then make sure the “General”-tab is selected

– click the padlock in the lower left corner and provide an Administrator name & password to unlock the padlock

– then at “Allow applications downloaded from:” select “Anywhere”

– and exit the System Preferences to make this setting stick

Note #1 :

TWAIN-supporting drivers (like SANE and the ones that come with OSX) will enable you to directly scan from within various applications like Photoshop, MS Word, GraphicConverter, OmniPage and OSX’s built-in Image Capture. [ please also read Note #7 and #8 for more tips on this ! ]

Alex Scheider has written a special SANE scanner app for OSX 10.7 and newer, you can download it here. A screenshot can be found here[haven’t tested it, so feedback on this is welcome]

Note #2 :

when using the SANE drivers, you will probably not be able to use the ‘one click’-buttons that are on the scanner itself…

Note #3 :

if your scanner lets you scan the first time, but after shut-down and restart scanning seems impossible because OSX can’t find the scanner, just plug-out the scanner’s USB-cable and plug it back in and everything should work again…

Note #4 :

if the “Scan”-button remains grayed-out, make sure that you have selected an area to scan… (put differently : if “Selection:” is set to “Off”, you will need to select an area to scan before the “Scan”-button will be ready to use…)

Note #5 :

if you get a distorted scan when scanning in landscape view (or any other rotated view), just scan normally in portrait view and rotate the scanned image afterwards (in Preview app or another image editing program, like Photoshop or Graphic Converter)

Note #6 :

if you are not able to scan as a JPEG (.jpg-flie), just scan as a TIFF (.tif-file) and convert the scanned image afterwards (in Preview app or another image editing program, like Photoshop or Graphic Converter)

Note #7 :

if your scanner doesn’t show up in Image Capture (especially in OSX 10.9 Mavericks), use this workaround :

go to System Prefecences –> Printers & Scanners –> [your scanner] –> Scan –> Open Scanner

Note #8 :

if your scanner doesn’t show up in Photoshop (especially in OSX 10.9 Mavericks), try this workaround :

go to Applications –> Adobe Photoshop CS# –> Adobe Photoshop CS# –> type “CMD” + “i” key-combo (on your keyboard) –> (in the Get Info window) select “Open in 32 bit mode” and exit Get Info

then open Adobe Photoshop (CS#-version) –> File –> Import –> SANE

Note #9 :

another option that might just work to get SANE drivers to connect with ImageCapture and Photoshop (especially if you have an older CANON scanner) is (re)installing the TWAINbrigde.app that Jan Egil has ready for download on his website.

for now, there is no version of TWAINbridge.app that runs in OSX 10.11 El_Capitan, the alternative seems to be to use the old CanoScan Toolbox 5.0 software that can be found on the Canon website or here

Credits :

Matias Ellert and the Open Source developers of the SANE project

…and a special thanks to Mónica, Jorge Blasio, torrealta, dencho, BobD and Jan Egil for Note #7, #8 and #9 ! [see comments below]

If you encounter any problems with these SANE drivers for OSX, try contacting Mattias Ellert directly as indicated here.

If you want to un-install the TWAIN SANE drivers, either use an un-installer application like AppCleaner or follow the instructions for manual un-install as outlined in Mattias Ellert’s FAQ (last question & answer).

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