fixed : animated GIFs not playing in

Question :

For my work I regularly get animated-GIF for online advertising campaigns send to me offline. As it turns out I can only view them in the Finder’s preview, but when I double-click on them, they open in as a static picture…

What can I do ?


Answer :

As any .gif-file is considered as a picture by OSX, both static and animated GIFs will be opened in by default. Too bad, but can only display static pictures, no movies, nor dynamic pictures…

The solution is simple ; just make OSX by default open all .gif-files in an application that can handle animations, like your web browser.

to do so :

  • locate and select any of your animated .gif-files in the Finder
  • then press the [cmd]+[i] key-combo on your keyboard (a.k.a. “get info”)
  • in the info-window that opens, scroll down to “Open with:”
  • make sure the triangular arrow in front of “Open with:” is pointing down
  • if the triangular arrow is¬†pointing to the right, click on it
  • just below “Open with:” you will see “Preview (default)”
  • click on that, and change it to “Safari” (or any other application that can handle animated GIFs, if you don’t see the application you’re looking for listed, select “Other…” and select the one you prefer from you Applications folder)
  • then, don’t forget to click on the “Change All…”-button also

…that’s it, from now on, any .gif-file on your Mac will be opened in Safari (or your chosen alternative) by default, and you will see all animated-GIFs opened as animations when you lick on them.

enjoy !


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fixed : PowerPoint presentation too large for eMail

Question :

I just made a beautiful PowerPoint presentation which I want to eMail to my friend. When I tried to eMail it, that seemed to work okay at first, but a few moments later I got an error message saying that the eMail could not be sent.

How can I fix this ?


Answer :

eMail providers have set¬†a limit to the attachments’ file size per eMail to prevent cluttering the eMail traffic and flooding the recipient’s eMail inbox. For most providers this limit is set to about 5MB of attached files per eMail message. Some providers have expanded this limit to 10MB, and providers like Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo! even allow you to attach up to 25MB of files to each eMail.

But if your PowerPoint presentation is even larger than 25MB (which might easily occur if you have done your best to make it a beautiful presentation), you will probably do the¬†recipient ¬†a pleasure if you send a smaller file, especially if they are planning on viewing it on a mobile device. The easiest way to ‘shrink’ the size of a presentation is to convert it into a PDF-file. (a PDF-file is even more versatile than a PowerPoint-presentation, as it also can be viewed by people that don’t have¬†PowerPoint software installed)

To convert your PowerPoint-presentation into a PDF-file, do this :

In MacOSX :

– open your presentation in PowerPoint

– then go to “File” in the upper menu bar and select “Print” from the pulldown menu that appears

– in the “Print” menu that appears, adjust everything as desired, then click on the “PDF” button (bottom left)

– in the pulldown menu that appears, choose “Mail PDF” and a new eMail message will be made for you including your Presentation as an attachment

…or you can choose “Save as PDF…” to first save the PDF-version of your presentation to your Mac so you can attach it to any eMail later on

Note : the above procedure also works in other OSX programs like Word, Excel, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, etc.

For Windows users, the general idea is similar but slightly different :

If the standard conversion of your PowerPoint into a PDF still turns up with a PDF-file that is too large to eMail, you can adjust the conversion settings, as described here :

How to create even smaller PDFs in OSX

You might also want to try the “Reduce File Size” that is in the “File”-tab of each Office 2011 application (so in Word, PowerPoint and Excel). This option will only reduce the size of the pictures inside the document. The smallest this option can reduce to is 96ppi¬†a.k.a. “Best for sending in e-mail”. This is an interesting option,¬†but converting to PDF usually leads to even more file size reduction.

And if the recipient insists on getting the original PowerPoint-file, you could do as a lot of professionals do, and send your presentation trough the FREE WeTransfer service :

that’s it !

enjoy !


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fixed : changing the name of a Time Machine backup .sparsebundle-file

Question :

I have transported my user account from my old Mac to my new Mac (using the Migration Assistant application) some weeks ago. Yesterday, I happend to click¬†on the Data-drive from my TimeCapsule in the Finder, and I noticed that the TimeMachine backup-file (.sparsebundle-file) is still named after my old Mac… the name hasn’t changed to the new Mac’s name…

I find this utterly confusing. Is there something I can do to change the name of the .sparsebundle-file ?


Answer :

Yes there is, but it appears not all versions of the TimeMachine software are happy with changing the name of the .sparsebundle-file by the user.

So if you want to change the name of a TimeMachine backup-file (.sparsebundle-file) but wish to minimize the risk of corrupting your entire TimeMachine backup-file (one thus loosing all your data), follow this procedure :

1- make sure you are operating your Mac from a user account with administrator rights

2- go to Apple –> System Preferences –> Sharing

3- there, change the “Computer Name” to a name that identifies you new Mac (and the .sparsebundle-file)

4- then, go to the TimeMachine-icon in the Finder’s top menu bar and select “Back Up Now” from the pulldown menu

5- wait for the TimeMachine backup has finished (this might take longer than normal), and check to see if the .sparsebundle-file has been renamed (go to your TimeMachine backup drive using the Finder to do so)

The above will probably be sufficient if you are running MacOSX 10.7 “Lion”, OSX 10.8 “Mountain Lion” or OSX 10.9 “Mavericks”, and if it works, it’s the preferred way for changing the name of the .sparsebundle -file, as it minimises the risk on corrupting¬†your backups. So, always try the above procedure first !

If you are running MacOSX 10.6 “Snow Leopard” or earlier (probably even Mac OSX 10.4 “Tiger” and even PowerPC Macs with G4 and G5 processors that can run the Time Machine software), and the above procedure didn’t change the name of the .sparsebundle-file, try this :

Рduplicate your .sparsebundle-file to another harddisk, or select a new backup harddisk to make an entirely new TimeMachine backup to  (to make sure you have a backup in case you accidentally mess up ; if your sparse bundle-file is your one-and-only and irreplaceable backup, make sure you do this !)

– make sure the .sparsebundle-file is operating correctly by testing it using the “Enter¬†TimeMachine”-option from the pulldown menu that appears when clicking on the TimeMachine-icon in the Finder’s menu bar

– make sure you are logged in as a user with Administrator rights

– click on the TimeMachine-icon in the Finder’s top menu bar and select “Back Up Now”

– after the backup has finished, go to your (primary) TimeMachine-drive in the Finder, click on the .sparsebundle-file and change it’s name

– then, go to the TimeMachine Preferences (either through the System Preferences or through the pulldown menu from the TimeMachine-icon in the top bar of the Finder)

– there, switch off TimeMachine and exit the System Preferences

– then, open the TimeMachine Preferences (within the System Preferences) again, and switch TimeMachine back on, then exit the System Peferences

Рthen, go to your (primary) TimeMachine-drive in the Finder again, and check if the name of the .sparsebundle-file has changed

– if the name has changed, check if the TimeMachine-backup works (try to access it by clicking “Enter Time Machine” from the pulldown menu that appears under the TimeMachine-icon in the Finder’s top menu bar), if that works, that’s it, you’re done !

– if somewhere along the procedure, something didn’t work as expected, restart your Mac and try again

– if it name change still won’t stick after several tries, make sure the “Computer Name” of your Mac is named exactly as you like¬†in the Network Preferences (within the System Preferences) and then create an entirely new TimeMachine-backup : add¬†a new drive for TimeMachine-backups (or remove¬†the existing drive and then add the same one again) in the Time Machine Preferences (within the System Preferences),¬†then click “Back Up Now” from the pulldown menu when you select the TimeMachine-icon in the Finder’s top menu bar… and wait…

That should be it.

Enjoy !


Note : the .sparsebundle-file extension might not be visible ; you can turn it on (or off) in the file’s “Get Info”-window (accessible when right-clicking on the file’s icon in the Finder)

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tip : using Evernote on an iBook G4 or iMac G5

Question :

I have Evernote running on my iPhone, my iPad and my MacBook, but I would also like to use it on my old Mac which has a Power-PC (G4/G5) processor.

On the Evernote-website I can only download the latest version of Evernote, which is Intel-Mac only…

How can I use Evernote on my old iMac G5 and iBook G4 ?


Answer :

If you are running MacOSX 10.5 “Leopard” on your PPC-Mac (G4/G5), you can use the previous version of Evernote, which can be found here :

If you are still running MacOSX 10.4 “Tiger” (or newer) your only option is to use the online version of Evernote, which can be accessed here :

tip : IDE harddrive replacement alternative for iBook G3 & G4

Question :

I am happily using my iBook G4 running MacOSX 10.5 “Leopard”, but it is getting slow because my hard drive is too full. I have looked into buying a new ATA (a.k.a. IDE or PATA) hard drive, but they are rather expensive compared to the current SATA hard drives (mainly in regard to their storage capacity) and they are harder to find as time goes by now… isn’t there any alternative ?

Answer :

Yes ! you do have an interesting alternative…

…it’s far easier to install (you don’t have to open your iBook, which would be quite a hassle) ¬†and you will get lots more GBs of disk capacity for the same price (compared to ¬†IDE-drives) and your iBook will still slide easily in it’s sleeve bag or carrying case…

The solution : get yourself a micro USB-stick !

The type of micro USB-stick I am talking about is any USB-stick similar to the Memorex and Intenso ones, sometimes referred to as “Leave-In” or “Netbook” USB-sticks (which are becoming available in 32GB and 64GB around this time) :

To install :

– just plug in the micro USB-stick in one of the USB-ports

– start up your Mac (or rather : your iBook) and open the Disk Utilities application

– reformat the micro USB-stick to “Mac journaled” format

– then make a complete backup of your Mac (use TimeMachine for instance)

– then copy over all your video (your Video folder), audio (your iTunes folder) and documents (your Documents folder) onto the micro USB-stick

– check if your data has been properly and completely copied, then delete the files from your Mac

– create aliasses (= link-files) of the folders on the micro USB-stick and place those in the original folders where their originals came from (if you’ve done so, you can

– open iTunes pressing the ALT-key and when iTunes ask you where to find your iTunes database, point it towards your micro USB-drive

– that’s it…

Notes :

1- I would normally recommend you to leave just MacOSX and your applications on your internal hard drive, and move all other files onto your micro USB-stick (which reminds some of us to the way a Windows 95 PC would normally be separated into an (C:) and (D:) drive

2- even if your hard drive has crashed, you can use a micro USB-stick to replace your hard drive and use it as your bootable hard drive, by installing MacOSX on it and transferring all your data to it


– to avoid/prevent accidental disconnection of the USB-stick (which might cause serious data-loss), I would recommend to stick a few inches of Scotch-tape over the USB-stick and USB-port

– to be able to neatly place the piece of Scotch-tape, you should take out the iBook’s keyboard for a moment (which is easy to do because of the small keyboard locking sliders on the upper row of keys)


fixed : Flash 11 needed on PowerPC Mac (for BBC iPlayer, Facebook video, etc.)

Question :

I was a happy user of BBC iPlayer, but it has stopped working on my G4 (or G5) PowerPC Mac, since the new BBC iPlayer version requires Adobe Flash 11, and the latest version of Flash released is version Player

Isn’t there any way for me to view Flash 11 content on my PowerPC Mac ?

Answer :

There is an unofficial version of Flash for PowerPC that tells websites it is Flash 11 to enable you to view Flash 11 content. This works for BBC iPlayer, Facebook video, YouTube video, Adobe Kuler and various other web services.

This will enable you to access Flash 11 content on your PowerPC Mac, but please be aware that modern video will still be stuttering on a G4 Mac… even with this trick… for YouTube viewing you might be better of using MacTubes ; go here for more info :¬†‚Ķwered-g4-ibook/

Installing the unofficial Flash 11 is rather simple, but as always with ‘home-brewed’ software, using it is completely AT YOUR OWN RISK !

– first and foremost : BACKUP your Mac ; make a copy of your entire hard drive before you proceed (use TimeMachine for instance)

– after that, and ONLY after that backup being done, open Safari and download the edited Flash-plugin here :

Р then goto the download button in the upper right corner of Safari and click it

– then in the “Downloads” windows that opens, click on the folder named “FPforFBPPC”

– when the Finder opens, click on the alias folder named “Internet Plug-Ins” (this folder can also be found at [your hard drive] –> Library –> Internet Plug-Ins)

– inside that folder, right-click (= CTRL + mouse click) on the file named “Flash Player.plugin”

– in the popup menu that appears, choose “Compress Flash Player.plugin”

– you will now have a file named “Flash”, rename it to “Flash Player(original)”

– then right-click on the file named “Flash Player.plugin” and choose “Move to Trash”

– then quit Safari

– then go back to your downloads folder, click on the folder named “FPforFBPPC” once again, and right-click¬†the file “flash Player.plugin” that’s in there

– from the popup menu choose “Label” and a color that indicates to you that this is not an original file (e.g. red or yellow)

– then drag the file “flash Player.plugin” onto the folder alias named “Internet Plug-Ins” that’s right below it

– then click on the file “READ FIRST.rtf” and read the disclaimer that the maker (called SteelBin) has for you !

– now reopen Safari and goto this website :

– there you can check if you see the video (at STEP1) and if your Flash Player Version is recognized as (at STEP2)

– if that’s okay, you’re done (don’t bother about STEP3 and STEP4)

(if you get any older version of Flash listed… repeat the procedure,¬†and if that still doesn’t work, follow the instructions below for installing a web browser for PowerPC Macs that’s still being updated)

– Now you’re able to use BBC iPlayer and many other modern sites once again on you ‘old’ Mac !

Enjoy !

A big thanks to SteelBin for creating this, please donate to him if you wish to thank him for doing so…

…and a special thanks to Telford Moore for testing the BBC iPlayer with this trick


– if you have trouble using a website or web service because you still get an error that your browser is too old, start using a web browser for PowerPC Macs that is still being updated. You have two options :

Camino :

OmniWeb :

Note : even though it is suggested elsewhere on the web to combine the use of the unofficial Flash 11 plugin with the TenFourFox web browser, I would advice to not hack TenFourFox to do so…¬†

Yes, the big advantage of TenFourFox is that it is the closest you can get to the modern day Firefox, but the flipside is that it has plugins (like Flash and QuickTime) completely disabled for security reasons… they’re waiting for HTML5 to make plugins obsolete…

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