fixed : where can I get an Ancient Greek keyboard ?

Question :

I am learning Classical Greek (a.k.a. Ancient Greek) in school, and since I am home-schooling now, I would like to have a Greek keyboard.

Where can I get one ?

 

Answer :

For Ancient Greek, you would preferably use the so called “Greek Polytonic Keyboard” setting on your computer, which is slightly different from a regular / modern Greek keyboard layout.

To enable the “Greek Polytonic Keyboard” on your Mac or PC, see this post :

https://macmanus.nl/2019/02/14/typing-ancient-greek-text-on-mac-or-pc/

However, you are asking for a piece of hardware, a physical keyboard. If you want to buy an actual Greek Polytonic Keyboard, your options are extremely limited and really expensive, especially if you want a real Mac-keyboard (not a Windows-keyboard). You could of course use a modern-day Greek Keyboard instead, but getting yourself one if you’re not living in Greece is rather difficult (and expensive). So I would suggest one of these :

  • …or you can make some stickers yourself, using small round 12mm multi-color stickers and a marker (that you can get in most supermarkets and bookstores)

…and stick those onto an old USB- or Bluetooth-keyboard that you are not currently using. Here’s an example of the layout (yellow & blue are regular keys, white are shift-keys)

If you need an affordable new keyboard, buy the Logitech K120 keyboard (or something alike). Even if you are using a Mac, this Windows keyboard will do since you will be stickering the keys :

 

That’s it !

enjoy 😉

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 😉

 

fixed : “Convert to APFS” option greyed out in Disk Utility (in Catalina Patcher)

Question :

I am trying to install macOS 10.15 Catalina on an unsupported MacBook Pro that I have lying around. I downloaded the Catalina Patcher from dodsude1.com and watched the instruction video. I am following the instruction video to the letter and everything seemed to work okay so far, but now I have to reformat my internal HD to APFS, using Disk Utility, I can’t do so because the “Convert to APFS” is greyed out…

What am I doing wrong ?

 

Answer :

Nothing maybe… is your MacBook (Pro/Air) already running macOS 10.13 High_Sierra ?

If your Mac is running macOS 10.13 High_Sierra, your disk format may already be APFS !

To check, in Disk Utility, select your internal disk in the list on the left and if in the middle, under the disk’s name, it says “APFS Volume • APFS”, your disk is already formatted as APFS… so in that case you can skip the ‘APFS formatting’ step and proceed with the next step of the instruction video…

If it doesn’t say “APFS Volume • APFS”, try the options lined out here :

https://iboysoft.com/mac-data-recovery/convert-to-apfs-option-not-available-or-greyed-out.html

 

That’s it !

enjoy 😉

fixed : installer error 16GB USB-stick not large enough for 10GB Catalina Patcher

Question :

I am trying to install macOS 10.15 Catalina on an unsupported Mac using dosdude1.com’s Catalina Patcher. I have a SanDisk Cruzer 16GB USB-stick plugged in. I have just reformatted it as per dosdude1.com’s instruction video. But when try to install the Catalina Installer onto it, I get an error saying that the selected media is not large enough because it needs at least 10GB of free space.

The USB-stick is 16GB so that shouldn’t be a problem. What can I do ?

 

Answer :

Some versions of Disk Utility seem to have trouble (re)formatting disk volumes. Could it be you tried this with Disk Utility on a macOS 10.13 High_Sierra Mac ?

The solution is rather simple: format the USB-stick from Disk Utility on a different Mac that runs another version of macOS (preferably an older version of MacOSX / OSX). Make sure you (re)format the USB-stick as “Master Boot Record” in “HFS+ Case-sensitive (Journaled)” (a.k.a. “Mac OS Extended”) format.

Then retry in Catalina Patcher.

That’s it !

enjoy 😉

 

tips : which affordable display is best for working from home with a MacBook Pro ?

Question :

I need to work from home and I am looking for an affordable display to hook up to my MacBook Pro, to make my work a little easier.

Do you have any recommendations ?

 

Answer :

When buying an external display and having only a few hundred euros of budget*, look at these specs mainly, and decide which order of priority they have in your specific case :

*= this is for people who do not have a budget of €500 or more

  1. HDMI or DisplayPort :
    • what ports does your MacBook (Air/Pro) have ?
      • if it has USB-C (or Thunderbolt 3) only, get a display with HDMI-input and get a USB-C-to-HDMI-cable that can handle 4K@60Hz
      • if it has a miniDisplayPort (or Thunderbolt 1 or 2) and regular sized USB-ports, get a display with DisplayPort(v1.2)-input and a get a miniDisplayPort-to-DisplayPort-cable
  2. number of pixels (is preferrred over screen size) :
    • in any home office or home schooling situation, you will not be more than 60cm away from your screen (note : the front of the screen will be about 10cm in front of the wall, because of the display stand) : so there’s no need for a huge screen :
      • when you are about 40cm from your screen, go for a 21″ to 24″ display
      • when you are about 50cm from your screen, go for a 24″ to 27″ display
    • any display with 1920×1080 (1K/HD) pixels or more will do just fine
      • 1920×1080 looks great on 21″ or 24″ 16:9 screen
      • but 1920×1080 looks fuzzy on a 27″ 16:9 screen
      • 2560×1080 looks okay on a 27″ wide screen
      • but 2560×1440 looks great on a 24″ 16:9 screen
  3. IPS display :
    • for home office work or home schooling, get an IPS display – it has better color representation and is easier on the eyes when using it for extended periods (hours and hours of continuous working)
    • for gaming, you might consider getting some other type of display, like TN, that enables you to get higher refresh rates for a tighter budget, but you shouldn’t use those for anything other than gaming
  4. refresh rate :
    • for home office work, a refresh rate of 5ms @60Hz is perfect
    • for gaming, get as close to 1ms @144Hz as your budget can afford (3ms @100Hz or 2ms @75Hz is okay for budget gaming)
  5. adjustable height (and orientation) :
    • because of ergonomics, it is important that you adjust the height to make sure top of the display is at the same height as your eyes when sitting straight up
    • because light reflection on the screen will be extremely annoying, make sure the display has the option to slightly tilt
    • only if you are working on a lot of text documents you will benefit from the option to twist the display’s orientation from landscape (regular) to portrait mode
  6. integrated multi-port USB3-hub :
    • this is an essential ! make sure that there is a USB-multipier in the display and that it’s USB3.0 or USB3.1 based
      • since there aren’t many USB-ports on your MacBook (Air/Pro), you will need extra USB-ports (especially if you have a USB-C MacBook (Air/Pro), since you will need one USB-C port to connect the screen)
      • a USB-port on your screen will enable you to connect a USB3-to-GigabitEthernet-adapter which will outperform your WiFi connection, and your MacBook (Air/Pro) will instantaneously be connected to fast wired internet the moment you connect it to your display
    • 2 extra USB-ports on the Display is the bear minimum : you should prefer 4 or more USB-ports, so you can connect these if you need to :
      • a USB-mouse
      • a USB-keyboard
      • a USB-to-Ethernet adapter (preferably USB3-to-GigabitEthernet)
      • a USB-printer
      • a USB-scanner
      • a USB-flashcardreader (for photo camera memory cards)
      • a USB-to-TV adapter (e.g. an EyeTV stick, to watch picture-in-picture TV)
      • connect or charge your iPhone or iPad
      • an external harddrive or backup drive
    • for a keyboard or mouse (or even a wired joystick/joypad) you don’t really need a USB3.0 or USB3.1 connection, but for data transfer it will save you a lot of time
  7. price :
    • do not go for ‘lowest budget’ if you need to use the display for working from home or home schooling, find a display for €200 to €250 : even though you cheaper displays are available, do not buy any display that was under €200 when released : most of the time, you will be better of getting a slightly older (up to 3 years) display model that used to cost €300 or more
      • make sure you also take into account the extra headphone, sound system, ethernet-adapter, mouse, keyboard and alike when deciding on your budget for the display
  8. integrated webcam :
    • if you need to do video-conferencing, make sure you get a webcam with your display – an integrated webcam will turn out to be very convenient (an integrated webcam cannot compete with a high-quality webcam, but if you use an external webcam, make sure to get a display with a USB3-hub with enough ports in your display)
      • added bonus of most integrated webcams is that de webcam is either pop-up or slide-to-open, so you can easily prevent being ‘accidentally’ exposed to webcam viewers
      • make sure the integrated webcam is 1.2 megapixel (1.2MP) or more : the FaceTime HD webcam that is built into a MacBook is at least 1.2MP (in an iPhone X the selfie camera is even 7MP)
  9. integrated microphone :
    • if you have the need for a webcam on your display, make sure you also have a microphone – an integrated microphone will turn out to be very convenient (an integrated microphone cannot compete with a headphone with integrated microphone, a gaming headphone or a separate directional of voice microphone)
  10. integrated speakers :
    • most displays do not have integrated speakers, but having the option to watch home schooling lessons or YouTube-videos without a headphone are very convenient, even though audio quality of most integrated speakers is okay but not impressive (if you do not already have an audio systemconnected to your MacBook, these integrated speakers might even turn out to be essential)
  11. bezel thickness :
    • the bezel (the edge around the actual screen) is really important if you want to set multiple displays side-by-side, but most of the time it is only a matter of taste in design : about 15mm is okay, especially if the display will be placed in front of a distracting environment (like a window, fancy wallpaper or a hallway)

Note : make sure you also think about these :

  • you need to use an external keyboard and mouse (or trackpad) :
    • any mouse or keyboard that suits you will do, so if you have an old mouse and even keyboard around, use those
      • for work, USB, Bluetooth and RF (wireless connection from a dedicated USB-to-wireless-plug) will all do
      • for gaming, only USB is advisory as any wireless connection might get laggy during intensive use
    • if you need to buy a new keyboard, think about these :
      • get a ‘Designed for Mac’ keyboard with the Mac key-layout, so with a COMMAND/CMD-key (and not a WINDOWS-key : only if you can typ blindly without any restrictions, you can get a Windows-layout keyboard and remap the keys in macOS)
      • get a keyboard that suits your main language : usually that is a QWERTY-layout, but for French it is AZERTY-layout and for German it is QWERTZ-layout (this will also help when you need to use accents in texts)
      • if you need to typ a lot, get a keyboard mechanical keys and spacing between all keys
      • if you need to input a lot of numbers (if you’re in accounting or working with Excell sheets) get a full-size keyboard with an integrated numeric pad (on the right of the keyboard)
      • a keyboard with an integrated trackpad can be beneficial for some, but make sure you get one with a Mac key-layout
      • an ergonomic keyboard can be really beneficial, but there are very few ergonomic keyboards with a Mac key-layout
    • if you need to buy a new mouse, think about these :
      • a mouse with a right and left button and a scroll-option will do for most purposes
        • most people have no need for a fancy gaming mouse with more than these 3 functions
      • consider using a trackball or ergonomic mouse
      • a Bluetooth or RF-wireless mouse does have downsides :
        • it will need to be charged (Apple’s Magic Mouse 2 is problematic in this respect…)
        • it easily gets lost
        • when the battery is down, you will need to open your MacBook and use the built-in trackpad until the mouse is recharged
    • if you need to buy both a new mouse and a new keyboard, have a look at the mouse & keyboard combo offerings by renowned brands like Logitech,
  • make sure your MacBook (Air/Pro) has it’s power adapter plugged in when using an external display, else you cannot use your display with the MacBook’s lid closed and your MacBook will quickly run out of battery
  • if your MacBook has USB-C (Thunderbolt 3) ports, and your Display doesn’t have a built-in multi-port USB3-hub, consider getting a USB-C Docking-hub
  • if your MacBook has regular USB ports, and your Display doesn’t have a built-in multi-port USB3-hub, consider getting yourself an additional USB3-hub
  • if your mouse is on a very reflective surface (like a glass table) or a wobbly surface (like a rustic wooden table), your mouse will not work reliably, so it is advisory to use a mouse mat (or a plastic placemat or even a sturdy-covered magazine)
  • to minimize the clutter of cables, you can use a cable hose to keep your cables together (budget option : use tie-ribs, or even ‘the pieces of plastic covered metal wire’ that you get with nearly every cable or electronic device you buy, to tie your cables together)

 

Some suggestions (no single display is optimal on all requirements) :

for office & graphic work : BenQ BL2420PT display : 23.8″ / 16:9 / 2560×1440 (2K/QHD) / 5ms / 60Hz / IPS / HDMI v1.4 & DisplayPort v1.2 / adjustable height & orientation / 2x USB2.0 out / no webcam / 2x 1W stereo-speakers / audio minijack out / 15mm bezel

for videoconferencing & office work : Philips B-line 241B7QPJKEB / 23.8″ / 16:9 / 1920×1080 (1K/HD) / 5ms / 60Hz / IPS / HDMI v1.4 & DisplayPort v1.2 / adjustable height & orientation / 3x USB3.0 out / pop-up 2MP webcam / 2W stereo-speakers / audio minijack out / 2mm bezel

for gaming : BenQ Zowie XL2411P display : 24″ / 16:9 / 1920×1080 (1K/HD) / 1ms / 144Hz / TN / HDMI & DisplayPort v1.2 / adjustable height & orientation / no USB out / no webcam / no speakers / audio minijack out / 15mm bezel

miniDisplayPort cable : Rankie miniDP-to-DP-cable : miniDisplayPort in / DisplayPort out / up to 4K/UltraHD (3840×2160)

USB-C to HDMI cable : Uni USB-C HDMI cable : USB-C in / HDMI out / up to 4K/UltraHD @60Hz (3840×2160)

USB3.0-to-Ethernet-adapter : TP-Link UE300 Gigabit LAN adapter : USB3.0 / RJ45 LAN / Gigabit (10/100/1000Mbps) Ethernet

USB-C-to-GigabitEthernet-adapter : AmazonBasics USB-C Gigabit LAN adapter : USB-C / RJ45 LAN / Gigabit (10/100/1000Mbps) Ethernet

USB2.0-to-Ethernet-adapter : TP-Link UE200 LAN adapter : USB2.0 / RJ45 LAN / 10/100Mbps Ethernet

USB3-hub : Vogek 6 port USB3.0 hub : powered hub / 6x USB3.0 out

office keyboard : Logitech K380 keyboard : full-size keys / wireless RF & Bluetooth / no numeric pad / macOS printing on-key / no trackpad

high-end office & design keyboard : Logitech MX keyboard : full-size keys / wireless RF & Bluetooth / numeric pad / macOS printing on-key / no trackpad

keyboard with trackpad : Logitech K400 Livingroom keyboard : full-size keys / wireless RF & Bluetooth / no numeric pad / no macOS printing on-key / trackpad

ergonomic mouse mat : Comfort Gel Wrist Support Mouse Pad

cable hose : Neoprene Cable Tube

 

 

fixed : can’t edit cells in Numbers

Question :

I made an extensive table in Numbers yesterday and saved when I was ready for the day. Today I want to work on it again, and it opens without a problem, but I can’t edit any cells… I can’t click in any cell, I can’t type anything inside it and the 1-2-3 numbering of the rows and the A-B-C ‘numbering’ of the columns doesn’t appear either…

The only thing I can edit are three cells at the top of the page…

What is wrong ?

 

Answer :

The solution might be rather simple :  probably, you have accidentally entered the Printing Preview mode.

You can see you are in Printing Preview mode when there are 2 buttons visible at the bottom the Editing pane on the right : “Done” and “Print…”

If so, just click on the “Done”-button to leave the Printing Preview mode and go back to the main Editing screen.

That’s it !

enjoy 😉

fixed : how to connect an external display (or iMac) to my new USB-C only MacBook Pro ?

Question :

I have to work from home right now, so I would like to connect my MacBook Pro to an external display, but I have a new MacBook Pro that only has USB-C ports…

How do I do that ?

 

Answer :

First, you need to know if your MacBook, MacBook Air or MacBook Pro has Thunderbolt 3  (TB3) or regular USB-C.  Thunderbolt 3 (TB3) and regular USB-C (USB 3.1 gen 2) connectors look exactly the same, but Thunderbolt 3 (TB3) runs at 40Gbps instead of 10Gbps for regular USB-C. Thunderbolt 3 (TB3) can handle a 5K-display or two 4K-displays at once, but regular USB-C can only handle one 4K-display.

The 12″ MacBooks from 2015/2016/2017 have regular USB-C (just like the iPad Program 2018/2020) that is NOT Thunderbolt 3 (TB3) capable

The MacBook Air from 2018/2020 and the MacBook Pro’s from 2017 and newer have Tunderbolt 3 (TB3)

Then, you will need a display-connector-cable that converts USB-C to something that your monitor can handle :

If your external screen is a 4K- or 5K-display with USB-C/Thunderbolt 3-input, use this cable (or something similar) :

Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 3 cable  [ buy from Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Amazon DE ]

If your external screen has an HDMI-input (e.g. if it’s a recent display or if it’s a TV), use this cable (or something similar) :

USB-C 4K@60Hz to HDMI cable  [ buy from Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Amazon DE ]

If your external screen has a DVI-input (e.g. if it’s a slightly older or more expensive display), use this cable (or something similar) :

USB-C to DVI cable  [ buy from Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Amazon DE ]

If your external screen has a DisplayPort-input (e.g. if it’s a slightly older or more professional display), use this cable (or something similar) :

USB-C to DisplayPort cable  [ buy from Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Amazon DE ]

If your external screen had a MiniDisplayPort-input (e.g. if it’s an old iMac with Target Display Mode* support), use this cable (or something similar) :

  • * = only few iMacs have Target Display Mode support :
    • iMac 27″ 2009 to iMac 27″ 2014 (MiniDisplayPort/Thunderbolt 1)
    • iMac 21,5″ 2011 to iMac 21,5″ 2014 (MiniDisplayPort/Thunderbolt 1)
    • note : iMac Retina 4K and iMac Retina 5K do not have support for Target Display Mode !
    • visit the Apple website for more info on Target Display Mode
    • newer iMacs can be used as an external screen using Wireless Screen Sharing when connected to the same WiFi network, but that could be laggy (where cabled Target Disk Mode will never have lag)

USB-C to MiniDisplayPort cable  [ buy from Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Amazon DE ]

If your external screen has a VGA-input (e.g. if it’s a really old computer monitor or a beamer), use this converter (or something similar) to connect to a regular VGA-cable :

USB-C to VGA adapter  [ buy from Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Amazon DE ]

 

When you have gotten hold of the right connection cable, do this :

  • shut down both your MacBook* and external display**
    • * = MacBook, MacBook Air or MacBook Pro that only has USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 ports
    • ** = external display, iMac or beamer
  • connect your MacBook* to your external display** using the proper cable mentioned above
  • switch on your external display**
  • switch on your MacBook*
  • make sure your MacBook* is connected to the wall power adapter
  • connect a mouse and keyboard to your MacBook** either using USB (with a USB-to-USB-C connector) or using Bluetooth
    • any basic USB-to-USB-C connector will do, here is a suggestion
    • if your MacBook* only has 2 USB-C ports, you either need to use a Bluetooth mouse & keyboard, or your need a USB-C port hub (port multiplier) like this :
  • if your external display** has various input options, make sure it is set to receive the input from your MacBook*
  • then, close your MacBook*’s lid, so your entire desktop screen will be visible on the external screen
  • usually, the macOS Display Preferences window will now be on-screen, if it is not, open the System Preferences (in the Apple-menu top left) and click on the Displays-icon to open it
  • in the Preferences window that is named like your external display, click on the Display-tab
  • then choose ‘Default for display’ (if you click on ‘Scaled’ once, you will see that macOS has automatically chosen the optimal resolution for your this external display** with your MacBook*, if that is not the maximum screen resolution listed, you might want to change this, but usually you just choose ‘Default for display’)
  • now you are good to go…

That’s it !

enjoy 😉