fixed : quickly create GIF from QuickTime or MP4 video

Question :

For my social media I regularly want to create a .gif-animation from small clip out of an .mp4-video file that I have, but I don’t have a lot of video-editing skills or specialised software.

Is there a simple way to do this ?

 

Answer :

There are lots of ways to do this. And no video-editing skills are required to do the most basic, but with some editing you can quickly get better results.

I would recommend buying the $5 GIF Brewery 3 from the Mac AppStore and doing the editing in QuickTime (or iMovie).

The recommendations for a good GIF-animation for most social media are (suggested by .gif-database GIPHY) :

  • duration of about 6 seconds (shorter is better)
  • file size close to 8MB (smaller is better)
  • video resolution of 480 pixels (or 720 pixels maximum) on the shortest side (depending on either landscape or portrait view, or square, or any custom size)
  • total number of frames of 100 maximum (less is better)

If you just want to turn part of an existing video into a GIF, do this :

  • get GIF Brewery 3 from the Mac AppStore ( the $5 price tag is worth it if you plan on doing this more frequently )
  • first, open the video source in QuickTime.app
  • then, in the top menu bar, click on “Window”
  • then, in the pulldown menu, click on “Movie Inspector”
  • then, check out the number that is at “Encoded FPS” and remember it (you need this later)
  • then close QuickTime.app
  • now, open your source video in GIF Brewery 3
  • then, in the video slider below your video, slide the green slider to match the first frame of your desired GIF
  • and slide the red slider to where you want your GIF to end
    • click on the PLAY-button (black triangle left of the video slider) to preview your GIF
    • if the preview-length is not okay, readjust the green and/or red slider to improve your clip
  • now, in the editing window, click on the Resize-button top left
  • then, in the popup window, make sure “Maintain aspect ratio” is checked
  • then, move the Scale-slider until either Width or Height is 480px (if the clip size is less than 5 seconds, you could also stop the Scale-slider at 720px)
  • now, in the editing window, click the Settings-button top right
  • then, at “Frames Per Second” set the fps to match the “Encoded FPS” of the original video
    • again, click on the PLAY-button (black triangle left of the video slider) to preview your GIF
    • if the preview-speed is too slow, adjust the Speed-slider to a higher value (anything less than 110%, even 103%, will usually do)
    • if the preview-speed is too fast, adjust the Speed-slider to a lower value (anything over 95% will usually do)
  • then, make sure there’s a checkmark at “Optimize GIF colors”
  • then, adjust the ColorCount-slider to 48
    • again, click on the PLAY-button (black triangle left of the video slider) to preview your GIF
    • if the preview looks okay, leave the ColorCount-slider at 48
    • if the preview looks too dark or otherwise odd, adjust the ColorCount-slider to a higher value like 96, 128, 216 or 256, but make sure to set it as low as possible
  • then, click the “Create”-button (at the bottom, slightly right of the middle, with a beer glass in it) to generate the GIF
  • then, click on the Save-button (bottom right)
  • in the popup window, type the name you want your GIF to have, set the location where you want it stored and click the Save-button
  • then, browse the Finder to find the GIF’s icon and ALT-click on it
  • first, select “Get Info” from the popup menu and check if the file size is 10MB or less
    • if the file size is over 10MB, go back to GIF Brewery 3, lower at least one of the values you have set there and create an extra version of your GIF that has a file size of 10MB or less
    • as mentioned before, the main values you can adjust are :
      • Length of the clip
      • Scale / Resize (might make the picture more grainy)
      • Frames Per Second / FPS (might make motions less fluent)
      • Color Count (might make the colors less vibrant)
  • then, ALT-click on the GIF’s icon again and select “Open with” from the popup menu and select your internet browser (probably Safari) to preview the animated GIF
  • If you are happy with the end result, you are ready to post the GIF on your social media
    • if not… redo your editing and try again

That’s it !

enjoy ūüėČ

 

fixed : macOS Big_Sur installer hangs at 95%

Question :
I just downloaded the new macOS 11 Big_Sur on my Mac mini (2018) and started installing. But even though it said that installing would take about 28 minutes, it’s now about 40 minutes and the installer hangs, the screen is black with just the white Apple-logo and an installer bar that hangs at about 95%.

What can I do ?

 

Answer :

Just wait for about 15 to 20 minutes more, and it might just finish the last 5% of the installing process. If it doesn’t, press the power button on your Mac mini until it shuts down completely. Then, restart your Mac mini by pressing the power button again.

Note : this will probably work for any Mac, but it has been tested only on Mac mini (2018).

That’s it !

enjoy ūüėČ

 

fixed : installing macOS 10.15 Catalina on an unsupported Mac

Question :

I would like to get all Macs in my network on macOS 10.15 Catalina. I have some older models (like a MacBook Pro 13″ Late 2011, a white MacBook 13″ Late 2008 and a Mac mini Mid 2007) that are officially unsupported.

Is there any option to get macOS 10.15 Catalina running on unsupported Macs ?

 

Answer :

Yes, there is.

It is possible to install macOS 10.15 Catalina on various officially unsupported Macs using the Catalina Patcher by dosdude1.com :

http://dosdude1.com/catalina/

But before you do so, make sure that you :

  1. do not do this on your primary Mac !! as this is unsupported by Apple, do not do this on any Mac that is vital to you for your work or study !! using this software is not entirely hassle-free, only do this on Macs that are your secondary computer !!
  2. have a 16GB USB-stick that you can reformat for this
  3. have a stable internet connection (preferably an Ethernet-cable network connection to an internet modem with a high-speed internet connection)
  4. read this post : fixed : installer error 16GB USB-stick not large enough for 10GB Catalina Patcher
  5. and read this post : fixed : “Convert to APFS” option greyed out in Disk Utility (in Catalina Patcher)
  6. read the additional info on dosdude1.com
  7. follow the instruction video by dosdude1.com
  8. see if your Mac is listed as a ‘Catalina Patcher supported’ Mac before you even consider doing this

Shortlist of ‘Catalina Patcher supported’ Macs (see sosdude1.com for in-depth specs) :

  • any Mac released since 2009 ( iMac / Mac mini / Mac Pro / Xserve / MacBook / MacBook Air / MacBook Pro)
  • all desktop-Macs released in 2008 ( iMac / Mac Pro / Xserve )
  • most laptop-Macs released in 2008 :
    • all MacBook Pro models 2008 and newer
    • any aluminum-MacBook
    • nearly every MacBook Air ( any MacBook Air, except the ‘1st Generation’ / ‘Early 2008’ )
    • only the last generation white-MacBook ( Early 2009 )

…so, in your case :

  • yes, this Catalina Patcher can be used on a Late 2011 MacBook Pro
  • no, this Catalina Patcher cannot be used on a white-MacBook 13″ Late 2008, only on newer white-MacBook models
  • no, this Catalina Patcher cannot be used on a Mid 2007 Mac mini, only on newer Mac mini models

That’s it !

enjoy ūüėČ

 

fix : send iOS Pages document as Word document from iPad

Question :

I have MS Office running on my Mac, but it’s not Office 365, so on my iPad I can’t unlock all editing features of Word, PowerPoint and Excel for iOS …so I only have the option to open, view and read Word documents, PowerPoint presentations and Excel sheets.

At this moment, I only have my iPad available and not my Mac. Is there any way to quickly do a little editing on a Word document on my iPad, even though I don’t have Office 365 ?

 

Answer :

There are several options to do so. You could use Google Docs or Office 700 (an OpenOffice version for iOS), but you probably have Apple Pages already installed on your iPad, so that is most likely the quickest solution :

  • open Pages.app on your iPad
  • under “Locations” find the Word document you want to edit
  • you will see that the Word document is opened as if it were a Pages document
  • now edit it as you wish
  • when finished, click on the button top-right (the button that looks like a circle with three dots in it)
  • in the menu that appears on the right, click on “Export”
  • in the pulldown menu that appears, click on “Word”
  • in the popup window, click on “Save to Files”
  • in the next window, select a location to save the Word document, then click “Save”

That’s it !

enjoy ūüėČ

fixed : need to replace batteries in new Magic Mouse

Question :

I am using my friends iMac at this moment, and I get a message “Mouse Batteries Very Low – Replace or recharge the batteries soon.”. So I turned this Magic Mouse upside-down and now it turns out that the bottom side is different from my own Magic Mouse… I can’t find the lid to open the Magic Mouse and get the empty batteries¬†out…

What is wrong ?

 

Answer :

The Magic Mouse you have yourself is a 1st generation Magic Mouse that does have a battery compartment with normal AA-type (rechargeable) batteries in it.

The Magic Mouse you are holding now is a Magic Mouse 2 (2nd generation) that has a rechargeable battery pack built-in. There is no battery compartment you can open, there is no lid. You just have to take out the Lighting cable from the iMac-keyboard (or get a Lightning-cable equipped USB-charger from your iPhone or iPad) and plug it into the small oblong hole in the bottom of the Mighty Mouse 2 and it’ll start recharging.

That’s it.

ūüėČ

fixed : deleting photos to free up memory on your iPhone

Question :

I have a 16GB iPhone running iOS10, and it freezes whenever I want to take a photo… I get an error message that there’s no memory left on my iPhone so I can’t continue…

I checked and it turns out that I have literally 1KB (yes, only 1KB, not even 1MB…) left as free memory… and most of my 16GB is occupied by Photos.app (about 12GB)…

How do I free up space without deleting valuable photos and videos ?

 

Answer :

The best way (if not the only) to free up space on your iPhone will be to delete a lot of photos and videos, in your case. The way to do that without running the risk of throwing away photos and videos that you would have liked to backup it this :

  • connect your iPhone to your Mac using a USB-cable
  • open the Photos.app on your Mac
  • click on your iPhone, which is listed on the left side
  • now, in the main window, go to the photos that are displayed as ready to import (photos that aren’t on your Mac already are automatically filtered out by Photos.app
  • from that selection of (un-imported) photos and videos, select ONLY those photos you want to keep
  • import that selection onto your Mac
  • first check if all photos and especially all videos (as those are not being transferred automatically through iCloud syncing) you selected have been imported
  • then unplug your iPhone’s USB-cable
  • then delete all video’s you can, and if that isn’t enough, delete¬†all photos¬†older than about one year from your iPhone
  • Please, note that iCould will only contain the most recent photos (usually not the videos)
  • now, restart your iPhone by simultaneously pressing the two main physical buttons : both the menu-button (just below the screen on the¬†front side) and the ON/OFF-button (top side or right side)
  • then check¬†if¬†you have enough free space on your iPhone now
  • if not, delete more photos from your iPhone (in the way explained above)
  • …then restart your¬†iPhone

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fixed : get UK/NL/FR/ES/DE-PAL special edition Wii-U LEGO Star Wars The Force Awakens with Finn minifig

Question :

My children have a Wii-U game console, but they want to get their hands on the special FN-2187 (a.k.a. Finn First Order Stormtrooper) LEGO minifigure that comes with the Special Edition version for Playstation and Xbox.

Is there any English (or Dutch) Wii-U version that includes it ?

 

Answer :

Yes there is, and you can get it here :

LEGO Star Wars The Force Awakens Limited Edition for Wii-U incl. FN-2187 (Finn) minifig

Please note : This is the¬†European PAL-version of the Wii-U game. This Special Edition that includes the LEGO 30605 polybag¬†(FN-2187/Finn) minfig was specially issued for Amazon.de only, and is therefore called “Das Erwachen der Macht” so¬†the packaging and Quick Guide paper manual are in German only… but the game itself is exactly the same as the one sold in the UK, so the software and electronic manual are in English (EN), German (DE), French (FR), Spanish (ES), Italian (IT), Dutch (NL) and Danish (DA).

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