fixed : spinning beachball on extremely slow MacBook Pro from 2012

Question :

I have a MacBook Pro from 2012 (maybe 2011) and it has gotten slower and slower each year, and now it’s even so slow that I constantly shows a spinning rainbow-ball and apps keep bouncing in the Dock : everything from opening apps to opening files takes forever… the response time to what I type on the keyboard is extremely slow… even though I am sure I haven’t even used 50% of my hard disk space…

What can I do to resolve this ?

 

Answer :

If you have a MacBook Pro ‘late 2011’ or ‘mid 2012’, and you have never upgraded the RAM, your MacBook may only have 4GB of RAM. Compared to current standards, that’s very little… especially if you are running macOS 10.13 High_Sierra or newer (macOS 10.14 Mojave will not run on the ‘late 2011’ model, only on the ‘mid 2012’ model).

There are various possible causes for your Mac running slow, to name a few :

  1. your hard drive is too full (not in your case as you stated, but still worth mentioning)
  2. you have too many processes running at once, so you’re short on RAM
  3. over time some things have gotten messed up on your Mac

So, start tackling these potential problems one-by-one :

  1. check your free hard drive space and free it up if needed :
    • go to the Apple-icon (top-left in the main menu bar)
    • from the pulldown-menu choose About This Mac
    • in the window that opens, click on the Storage tab
    • an info bar shows up :
      • if you have more than 25% of space available, you’re okay
      • if you have less than 10% of space available, you should free up space as soon as possible
    • to free up space on your hard disk, you can :
      • move files you do not use regularly to an external drive
      • delete apps you never use (apps from the Mac App Store you can delete, since you can re-download them if you need them in the near future ; other apps you should backup to an external drive if you want to be sure you will be able to re-install them in the future)
      • click on the Manage-button in the window you were in (About this Mac -> Storage) and follow the suggestions to free up space on your internal hard disk
  2. check your available RAM and shut down background processes :
    • go to the Apple-icon (top-left in the main menu-bar)
    • from the pulldown-menu choose About This Mac
    • in the window that opens, click on the Memory tab
    • if you only have 4GB of RAM, it would be a good idea to upgrade your RAM (but if you do not use your MacBook intensively or intent to buy a new one within about a year, it’s not a very cost efficient solution, so you can choose not to)
    • if you want to upgrade your RAM, you could ask your local Apple-dealer to do so for you, or you could do it yourself if you are a little tech savvy and have the right tools :
      • for a Late 2011 MacBook Pro you need PC-10600 (1333 MHz) DDR3 SO-DIMM, either 2x4GB or 2x8GB
      • for a Mid 2012 MacBook Pro you need PC3-12800 (1600MHz) DDR3 SO-DIMM, either 2x4GB or 2x8GB
    • whether you upgrade your RAM or not, you should also open the Activity Monitor app (that is in the Utilities folder within the Applications folder)
    • in the window that opens, you can see which apps and background processes take up the available RAM capacity
    • if you encounter any app in top-10 of the list that is either running slow or that you don’t need, you can Force Quit the app by selecting it from the list and then clicking on the 8-sided-X-marked-button top-left ( NOTE : only do this with apps you know, do not do this to processes from the list that you do not recognize, or of which you do not exactly know of what they do… it’s far safer to keep one process too much running than one process too little ! )
    • then, go to the Apple-icon (top-left in the main menu-bar)
    • from the pulldown-menu choose System Preferences
    • in the window that opens, click on Users&Groups
    • in the window that opens, click on the current user in the list on the left
    • then click the Login Items tab
    • there, make sure to only leave iTunesHelper there, so delete all other background-apps listed by selecting them from the list and clicking on the Minus-button bottom-middle ( NOTE : background-apps that are known to slow down your Mac extremely if you have little RAM are SpotifyHelper and Dropbox (DropboxHelper), so make sure you delete both of them if you are not planning on using Spotify or Dropbox regularly )
    • then restart your MacBook Pro ( go to the Apple-icon top-left and select Restart from the pulldown-menu )
    • after the restart, check to see if the background-app you had just deleted are really gone from the Login Items list, if they haven’t, delete them again, restart & check again
  3. if your Mac is still slow after doing all of the above, reset the PRAM/NVRAM/SMC by doing the following :
    • disconnect all cables from your MacBook Pro ( also disconnect from all USB-devices )
    • restart your MacBook Pro ( go to the Apple-icon top-left and select Restart from the pulldown-menu ) to ‘zap the PRAM’ :
    • when the screen goes black, immediately press this key-combo on your keyboard : [P] + [R] + [ALT] + [CMD] and hold all of them until you hear the second startup chime (sound), then release
    • then also ‘reset the SMC (Software Management Controller)’ :
    • make sure your MacBook Pro’s power adapter is disconnected
    • restart your MacBook Pro ( go to the Apple-icon top-left and select Restart from the pulldown-menu )
    • when the screen goes black, immediately press this key-combo on your keyboard : [SHIFT-left] + [ALT-left] + [CMD-left] and press the [POWER]-button at the same time for 10 seconds or more, then release
    • then press the [POWER]-button again to start-up your MacBook Pro

That should do it !

enjoy 😉

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fixed : internet on wireless but not on LAN according to AirPort Utility

Question :

Lately I have had a bad and unstable internet connection. I have a Mac and it has been working fine for years. My internet provider is Vodafone-Ziggo.

I tried to find out what was wrong using the AirPortUtility.app on my Mac, and I found something strange : when selecting my wireless WiFi-network, my internet connection is presumed working, but when selecting my wired LAN-network, I get an error message saying there is no internet connection.

If it would have been the other way around, I could think of an explanation… but having wireless internet connection from my router and not LAN-internet just doesn’t make sense…

I’ve tried numerous resets of the Ziggo-modem, of my TimeCapsule and of my Mac. Nothing helps.

Do you have any suggestions on fixing this ?

 

Answer :

Even though you’ve tried most of the available options already, there is one other thing I would suggest to try :

  • make sure the UTP/Ethernet/LAN-cable is correctly connected into both your Mac and the ‘local network device’ (be it a TimeCapsule, a router, a modem, a network-switch or a wall-socket)
  • then, on your Mac : click on the Apple-icon (top-left on your Mac’s desktop screen)
  • in the pulldown menu, click on “System Preferences”
  • in the window that opens (“System Preferences”), click on “Network”
  • in the window that opens (“Network”), click on “Ethernet” in the list on the left
  • in the info that appears on the right, check if it says “Status : Connected”
  • if it doesn’t, your UTP/Ethernet/LAN-cable isn’t connected properly, so check all network-cables again until it says “Status : Connected”
  • then, click the Advanced-button
  • in the window that opens, click on the DNS-tab
  • in the info that opens, at “DNS Servers:” make sure that you have at least included one of the following DNS Servers : 8.8.8.8 (Google), 8.8.4.4 (Google), 208.67.222.222 (OpenDNS) and/or 208.67.220.220 (OpenDNS)
  • if none of those DNS Servers are listed yet, add them by clicking on the +/Plus-button bottom-left
  • then click on the Proxies-tab (of the elongated TCP/IP-button)
  • in the info that opens, make sure to remove the check-mark at both “Web Proxy (HTTP)” and “Secure Web Proxy (HTTPS)”
  • in case both were already switched OFF, I would suggest to switch both of them to ON
  • then leave the rest as is, and click on the OK-button
  • in the previous window that appears, click the “Apply”
  • now check the AirPortUtility.app again, and you should see that the internet connection is back up for both the wireless and wired/LAN connection
  • also check by opening Safari (or another internet browser) and refresh the page by clicking on the circular arrow in the address bar

That’s it !

enjoy 😉

fixed : new iPhone photos not showing up in macOS Photos.app

Question :

I am trying to get my photos from my iPhone onto my Mac. But after connecting my iPhone using USB the Photos.app does start up in macOS, but the newest photos I’ve made with my iPhone never show up my Mac.

Disconnecting and reconnecting my iPhone doesn’t help. Restarting the iPhone doesn’t resolve this problem, neither does restarting my Mac.

What can I do to solve this ?

 

Answer :

Even though you are encountering a very annoying problem, it’s rather easy to solve :

  • disconnect your iPhone (or iPad) from your Mac
  • open the Photos.app in iOS (on your iPhone/iPad)
  • click on the Photos-button (bottom-left ; the icon consisting of a double rectangle with the text ‘Photos’ below it)
  • select one photo one of the newest photos
  • then click on the Share-button (bottom-left ; the icon consisting of a square with an arrow pointing upward)
  • select all photos that are not showing up on you Mac, by swiping the photos to the left and right and tapping the bottom-right circle of each individual missing photo (the circle will turn into a blue checkmark)
  • then swipe in the row of app-icons to the Shared Albums icon and click it
  • wait while the clock says ‘Preparing’
  • then click Cancel (top-left)
  • now connect your iPhone (or iPad) to your Mac
  • open the Photos.app in macOS (on your Mac)
  • unlock your iPhone (or iPad) using your fingerprint/face-scan/screen-unlock-code
  • then, on your Mac, in Photos.app goto the left side bar and at Devices, click on your iPhone/iPad
  • then wait for the photos to appear as New Items
  • and click on the Import All New Items button top-right (or select only the photos you want to import and click on the Import Selected button)

That’s it !

enjoy 😉

fixed : quickly create a printable grayscale picture from a color photo using Preview.app

Question :

I often have color pictures (like photos) that I would like to print in grayscale, but I don’t have a grayscale printer.

What is the simplest way to do so ?

 

Answer :

Having a color printer is great, and the easiest way to print grayscale pictures is to just select the grayscale-option before printing :

  • open the picture (ussually a .jpg) in Preview.app
  • in the top-bar, go to File and select Print from the pulldown list ; or press the [CMD]+[P] key-combo on your keyboard
  • in the pulldown window that opens, click on Preview and select Graphics from the pulldown menu
  • then, at Color Mode, select “Grayscale” (instead of “Color”)
  • then click the Print-button and see what comes out of your printer
  • Note that if you would make a PDF now, that it’s not going to be a grayscale picture…

Sometimes this will do just fine, but often that isn’t enough, and you will need to do a few extra steps to get an acceptable result out of your printer :

  • open the picture (usually a .jpg) in Preview.app
  • click on the “Show Markup toolbar”-button (the circle with the pen-point in it, just left of the Search-bar top-right)
  • first, crop the image if needed :
    • then, click on the DashedSquare-icon (top-left) and select the “Rectangular Selection” option
    • on the picture, select the area you want to use (click the top-left of the envisioned area, than botom-right) and the selection area will be displayed
    • if you need to, adjust the selection area by dragging it’s edges
    • then, in the top-bar, go to Tools and select Crop from the pulldown list ; or type the [CMD]+[K] key-combo on your keyboard
    • now the picture will be croped to the smaller ‘selection only’ size
  • then, in the top-bar, go to Tools and select Adjust Color from the pulldown list ; or type the [CMD]+[ALT]+[C] key combo on your keyboard
  • in the AdjusColor-window that opens there is a ‘histogram’ (a picture with red/green/blue (a.k.a. RGB) graphs) with an AutoLevels-button, a list of 9 sliders and a ResetAll-button below it
  • attached to the base of the histogram, there are 3 slider-pointers (a.k.a. histogram-sliders)
  • set the middle histogram-slider lower (a little to the left)
  • then set the right histogram-slider lower (a little to the left)
  • then set the Exposure-slider higher (a little to the right)
  • set the Contrast-slider higher (a little to the right)
  • set the Sepia-slider in the middle
  • set the Sharpness-slider higher (a little to the right)
  • see if the (color) picture’s look is now clearer …if not go back and adjust the sliders until it is a brighter picture with more detail
  • then, in the top-bar, go to File and select Print from the pulldown list ; or press the [CMD]+[P] key-combo on your keyboard
  • in the pulldown window that opens, click on Preview and select Graphics from the pulldown menu
  • then, at Color Mode, select “Grayscale” (instead of “Color”)
  • then click the Print-button

that’s it !

Note : if you would make a PDF now, that it’s going to be a color-picture, not a grayscale picture… if you need a grayscale picture digitally, you will need to use Photoshop  or something similar…

Important extra note : once the picture is a PDF, you can no longer adjust the colors

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 : where to get an OSX driver for Griffin iMate USB to ADB adapter

Question :

I came across an old Mac gamepad that has an ADB (Apple Desktop Bus) connector and I was wondering if it would be possible to use it with my current Mac.

I also found a ‘Griffin iMate USB to ADB adapter’ that enables me to connect the gamepad to my USB-port. Unfortunately, when I connect it, only the joystick directions work, but not the buttons.

Is there anywhere I can get drivers for the Griffin iMate that would work for OSX ?

 

Answer :

Luckily, the WaybackMachine has a rather good backup off the original Griffin website, and most downloads still work. You can find it here :

Griffin iMate Software @WaybackMachine

This includes iMate-drivers for both MacOS9 and MacOSX (both support MacOSX Classic mode, which is MacOS9 running from inside MacOSX).

for MacOS9 driver version 2.7 and earlier versions are available

for MacOSX driver version 1.5.2 and 1.5.3beta are available

Since these are really old drivers, you will have to try if you can still run in your recent version of OSX / macOS.

If they don’t run, you might even be able to use the iMate OS X SDK (Software Development Kit) to create your own 😉

For Windows PCs there are no drivers needed, but keyboards, mice with extended functions will only be partially supported.

enjoy !