fixed : use old iPad as an extra screen for your Mac (or PC)

Question :

Since we are working from home a lot (and the children are home schooling), and we have several old iPads and iPhones lying around gathering dust, we were wondering if it would be possible to use them as second screens on our Macs and Windows PCs to make our work and homework easier by being able to do this (and more) :

  • manage our music playlist (iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify) on our old iPad/iPhone whilst running  MS Office on our Mac/PC without switching apps
  • use our old iPad/iPhone’s touchscreen to put a signature under a PDF-document whilst typing it on our Mac/PC
  • use our old iPad/iPhone as a drawing tablet for our Mac/PC
  • videochat or view an online presentation onour Mac/PC whilst making notes on our old iPad/iPhone using a full-size keyboard (and easily swapping the two around when needed)

We noticed Apple has introduced this great feature called Sidecar that enables you to use your iPad (or iPhone) as a second screen for your Mac. But when I looked at the Sidecar requirements on the Apple website, I found that our older iPads/iPhones aren’t supported.

Is there any way to use Sidecar (or something similar) on our old iPads/iPhones ?

 

Answer :

Yes, even though you cannot use Sidecar on any unsupported iPad, iPhone or Mac, there is an alternative that works just as great for any old iPad (or iPhone) and is not limited to a Mac, but does support Windows PCs also… and best of all : it’s FREE.

This is ideal for working from home and home schooling since you can do all this (and more) :

  • manage your music playlist (iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify) on your iPad whilst running  MS Office on your Mac/PC without switching apps
  • use your iPad/iPhone’s touchscreen to put a signature under a PDF-document whilst typing it on your Mac/PC
  • use your iPad/iPhone as a drawing tablet for your Mac/PC
  • videochat or view an online presentation on my Mac/PC whilst making notes on my iPad/iPhone using a full-size keyboard (and easily swapping the two around when needed)

This FREE alternative for Apple Sidecar is Splashtop Wired XDisplay. It enables you to use any iPad/iPhone running iOS 7 or newer as a second or third (touch)screen for any Mac running OSX 10.9 Mavericks (or PC running Windows 7) or newer.

This means that all these iPhone / iPad / Mac models are supported :

  • iPhone 4 or newer
  • iPad 2 or newer
  • any iPad mini
  • any iPad Air
  • any iPad Pro
  • any aluminum iMac (iMac “Mid 2007” or newer)
  • any iMac Pro
  • Mac mini “Early 2009” or newer
  • Mac Pro “Early 2008” or newer
  • white MacBook “Early 2009” or newer
  • any aluminum MacBook
  • MacBook Air “Late 2008” or newer (2nd gen MacBook Air or newer)
  • MacBook Pro “Mid 2007” or newer

To install, do this :

  • install the Splashtop Wired XDisplay app on you Mac/PC
    • you can download Splashtop Wired XDisplay for Mac or Windows here
  • install iTunes on your PC if you have done so yet
    • you can download iTunes for Windows here
    • on a Mac you don’t need additional software for your iPad/iPhone to be recognized
  • install Splashtop Wired XDisplay on your iPad/iPhone
    • you can download Splashtop Wired XDisplay for iPhone here
    • you can download Splashtop Wired XDisplay for iPad here
  • then, plug your iPad/iPhone’s USB-cable into your Mac/PC
  • then run the Splashtop Wired XDisplay app on your Mac/PC
  • then run the Splashtop Wired XDisplay app on your iPad/iPhone
  • then goto the Settings on your Mac/PC, find the Screen Settings and arrange your screens the way you like
    • you can choose “Mirror Screen” to see exactly the same on your MAc/PC and your iPad/iPhone
    • you can choose “Extend Screen” to arrange the iPad/iPhone as an add-on for your desktop
    • if you already have a second screen attached to your Mac/PC, you can use your iPad/iPhone as an additional third screen also

That’s it !

enjoy 😉

fixed : cannot print PDF form from macOS Preview.app

Question :

I have received an eMail from a vendor that includes a dispatchnote PDF that I need to print.

The PDF opens fine in Preview.app, but when I try to print it, everything seems to work fine, only the print doesn’t come out of the printer…

I can’t find the problem : the PDF appears in the printer’s Job List, the status bar fills up completely, the printer makes some noise to indicate that it is receiving data, the print job is deleted from the Job List, and nothing comes out of the printer… there are no error messages, no indication what so ever that something went wrong… the pint just won’t come out of the printer…

I checked to see if there is something special about the PDF-file that might be causing this, but I can’t find anything special about it… the PDF is not locked or anything…

What can I do ?

 

Answer :

Even though it is not clear where this problem comes from, the solution is simple : use Adobe Reader (a.k.a. Adobe Acrobat Reader DC) or Adobe Acrobat Pro if you have it.

To do so, do this :

  • go to https://get.adobe.com/uk/reader/otherversions/
  • at Step 1, 2 and 3 set the right OS, language and version, then click the Download Now button to download Adobe Reader
  • when the download is done, install Adobe Reader on your Mac
  • then, open Adobe Reader
  • and open the hard-to-print PDF from Adobe Reader
  • as soon as it starts appearing on-screen, you can press [CMD] + [P] to get to the printing screen
  • from there, just try to print again…
    • note that this is not your regular macOS printing screen, so you might want to check if all settings are to your liking before you give the actual print-commando (you might have to set things like double sided printing again)

The fact that the file is not printing from Preview.app, but it is from Adobe Reader, might indicate that the PDF was created by Adobe Acrobat Pro on Windows and that there is a problem in the version of Acrobar Reader that was used that causes this problem to arise…

That’s it !

enjoy 😉

fixed : gmatevents prevented updates from being installed

Question :

I have auto-updating turned on in macOS 10.14 Mojave, but today I got an error message that “gmatevents” prevented updates from being installed”.

What is wrong and how do I fix it ?

 

Answer :

Gmatevents is an application that runs in the back of macOS when you install iTrash Ghost Mode. To get rid off it, do this :

  • go to Apple-menu (the Apple-icon top-left in the Finder)
  • open System Preferences from the pull-down menu
  • in the window that opens, click on Users & Groups
  • in the window that opens, click on the account of the person who is the Current User (on the left)
  • then click on the “Login Items” tab
  • in the list that opens, you will see “iTrashGhost”
  • select “iTrashGhost” then click the -(minus) button below the list
  • the “iTrashGhost” will now disappear from the list
  • exit System Preferences
  • you should no longer get the error message now

that’s it… enjoy 😉

fixed : where to get the OSX 10.8 Mountain_Lion installer ?

Question :

I have a Mac that can be upgraded to a more recent version of OSX (or macOS), but I never did so I’m still on MacOSX 10.7 Lion.

Today I need to install an application that needs a more recent version of OSX/macOS to run, so I need to upgrade.

I can find various new versions of OSX/macOS available for free through the Mac App Store application (which I have since I had MacOSX 10.6 Snow_Leopard), but I get an error saying that those won’t run.

Where can I get an official version of OSX 10.8 Mountain_Lion (or newer) ?

Answer :

If you have either MacOSX 10.6 Snow_Leopard or MacOSX 10.7 Lion installed on your Mac, your only option to upgrade your operating system to a newer version is to upgrade to OSX 10.8 Mountain_Lion first.

Here’s how to :

  • purchase OSX 10.8 Mountain_Lion from the official Apple-website here : www.apple.com/shop/product/D6377/os-x-mountain-lion
  • then wait to receive 2 eMails ; one including a PDF and one that includes a password
  • open the Mac App Store application
  • go to Featured –> Quick Links –> Redeem –> Redemption Code
  • typ the 12-digit Redemption Code from PDF in your eMail
  • then, wait for the download to complete (view in Mac App Store –> Purchases)
  • then, unlock

That’s it – enjoy !

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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