fixed : budget friendly OBD2 dongle for my car

Question :

My car’s on-board computer system sometimes gives unexplained, rather random, error messages. Up until now, I went to the dealer garage to have my car’s on-board computer system be analyzed and reset. Recently I heard that I could buy an OBD2-dongle myself and read and erase error messages myself. That would be a real time (and money) saver.

Is there any budget-friendly OBD2-dongle that I can use with my iPhone ?

 

Answer :

Yes there are several OBD2-dongles available that can do the job for you. Just make sure that you keep these things in mind when choosing one :

  • make sure the OBD2-dongle is compatible with iOS (as some are only compatible with PCs or Android-devices)
  • make sure the OBD2-dongle’s connection is over Bluetooth LowEnergy a.k.a. BLE (since that’s the only way to be able to connect your iPhone to your regular WiFi-network (internet) and to the OBD2-dongle at the same time)
  • make sure the OBD2-dongle is based on the original ELM327 chip (most cheap Chinese knock-offs are based on problematic, unreliable clone chips)
  • make sure the OBD2-dongle is compatible with the software you are planning to use with it (not every OBD2-app connects equally good to every OBD2-dongle & if you need to erase the error messages, most FREE versions won’t do so you will usually need the Pro version)

One of the cheapest reliable OBD2-dongles I’ve found is the TONWON OBDII Pro Bluetooth BLE4.0 for about €26,- ;

buy it on Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.de

And do not forget to get an accompanying iOS-app :

most interesting for the budget-wary is Car Scanner ELM OBD2 Pro for about €5,50

(or the more expensive OBD Fusion at about €11,- or even the €20,- OBD AutoDoctor that even has an additional Mac-version)

…so buying into this DIY-solution is cheaper than having your car’s on-board computer system reset only once !

enjoy !

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fixed : play Windows-only Steam games on Mac

Question :

I have installed Steam on my Mac, and have played several games on it. It’s great, but now I’ve found that some of the games I want to play are Windows-only, even on Steam. I get a “not supported on this platform” error.

Is there any way to play Windows-only Steam games on my Mac ?

 

Answer :

Yes there is.

Probably the easiest way to be able to play Windows-only Steam games on your Mac is to download and install NVIDIA GeForce NOW Cloud Gaming for Mac. At this moment of writing the service is in (FREE) Beta and only available in Europe and North America, but that will change in due time.

Do do so, just do this :

  • download the NVIDIA GeForce NOW app here
  • then install it and run it on your Mac
  • first you need to login by creating an NVIDIA account (or using your Google or Facebook account, which will also share your personal user data with those parties and their associates)
  • then you will need to test the speed and reliability of your internet connection, to do so, click on your username in the upper right corner and select “Test my network” from the pulldown menu
  • only if your internet connection is reliable and fast enough you will be able to proceed (sorry… this is one of the few disadvantages of cloud-computing…)
  • if you need to optimize your internet connection, you can use a direct Ethernet/UTP-cable from your internet modem to your Mac, and adjust or shut down your Firewall (that’s about the only thing you can optimize, full instructions can be found here)
  • now, inside the NVDIA GeForce NOW app, you will be able to log into your Steam account and browse for games as usual
  • you will now see that even the Windows-only games are available for you to run on your Mac

That’s it !

enjoy 😉

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 😉

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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