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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fixed : quickly free up disk space on MacOSX 10.6.8 Snow Leopard

Question :

My son alarmed me today that his ‘good old’ Mac gives a “your startup disk is full” warning at startup. He has our old Intel CoreDuo MacBook that can only run MacOSX 10.6.8 Snow Leopard.

What is the easiest way to free up the much needed harddrive space ?

 

Answer :

There  are various programs that can do the job of identifying which files are cluttering your harddrive and deleting unneeded files.

If you have an older Mac that can not run the latest version of OSX, I would suggest using the DiskWave application to do so, because of 4 reasons :

  1. DiskWave is very small in size (only about 1MB), so you can even install and run it on an extremely full harddrive
  2. DiskWave is able to manage external drives, so you can also run it on a newer/faster/other Mac and connect the problematic Mac as an external drive [ in so called “Target Mode” by restarting the problematic Mac with the T-key pressed and connecting it to the other Mac with a FireWire-cable ]
  3. DiskWave is available for various old versions of MacOSX
  4. DiskWave is FREE to download and use

Using DiskWave is rather straight forward. A quick instruction video can be seen here :

DiskWave instruction video

Getting hold of DiskWave might be problematic however, as the developer’s website (Aymeric Barthe) seems to be down :

Aymeric Barthe website

And the DiskWave app is NOT available from the Mac AppStore either… [ beware not too be fooled into thinking it’s the same as the iDiskWave app ! ]

A secondary problem is that the best available version (DiskWave 0.4) does not support any pre-Core2Duo. For now, all (older) versions of DiskWave can be downloaded here :

download any DiskWave version at Mac.FileHorse.com

Note that DiskWave 0.3.2 is the latest version of DiskWave to run on PowerPC (G3/G4/G5) Macs and 1st generation Intel (CoreSolo and CoreDuo) Macs.

And if those links stop working also, you can download DiskWave 0.3.2 here :

DiskWave_0.3.2

[ !! after downloading, replace the .doc file-extension by .dmg to get the installer !! ]

Enjoy !

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tip : get the latest versions of Word, PowerPoint and Excel for FREE, legally

If you are looking for a FREE (and legal) version of the latest version of MS Office, you just might be in luck :

Microsoft is offering the newest version of MS Office for FREE to students and staff of schools and universities that have licensed MS Office.

This program has run in the US since 2013 under the moniker “Student Advantage”, and is now available in the Netherlands also.

What you get is a FREE one year license to Microsoft’s online cloud service “Office 365”, in the “Pro Plus”-version, including FREE downloads of the latest versions of Office to be installed on maximum 5 Macs or PCs and on maximum 5 Android or iOS devices (like iPhones and iPads).

These latest versions are Office 2011 for Mac and Office 2013 for Windows, both including Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, OneNote, Skype and OneDrive (Microsoft’s cloud-drive formerly known as SkyDrive).

In the Netherlands, these FREE versions are available for two specific groups :

1- (parents of) students of the primary schools [“basisschoolleerlingen” in Dutch] https://www.surfspot.nl/officeleerling

2- students of (some) higher education [“Hogescholen en Universiteiten” in Dutch] https://www.surfspot.nl/officestudent

The procedure to get this (nearly) FREE software, is quite complex, but it’s well worth the hassle :

– first you need an account at Surfspot.nl (the website for educational discounts)

– then, you need to ‘buy’ the FREE version of Office 365 Pro Plus

– with that, you’ll get a voucher (which might take several days due to popular demand)

– using that voucher, you can activate Office 365 at Microsoft, and you will get FREE download-links to the latest versions of Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, OneNote, Skype, OneDrive, etc.

–  those apps you can install on maximum 5 Macs or PCs and 5 iOS or Android devices

 

…as mentioned : it’s a hassle, but it’s well worth it !

Enjoy !

😉

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fixed : transfer game progress in iOS (without Game Center)

Question :

I want to transfer the game progress from our iPhone to our iPad, but since it’s our children’s iPad I don’t want to activate Game Center (and some games don’t even support Game Center).

I can’t find a way to do so in iTunes, since iTunes doesn’t seem to back-up game progress…

…is there any way to do this without jailbreaking my iOS-devices ?

Answer :

Yes !

Even though Apple’s Game Center app (and service) is a probably the easiest way to sync your game progress (and in-app purchases) among your iPhones and iPad, there may be various reasons why Game Center is no option for you (e.g. since not all iOS-games have Game Center-support).

The second-easiest way to transfer your game progress from one iPhone/iPad to another is via your Mac (or PC), using either iExplorer or DiskAid. Using either of both works nearly the same, and both can be used in FREE-mode, so here’s an explanation for using DiskAid only :

1- download and install DiskAid from this link (or iExplorer from this link)

2- make sure that every game that you want to transfer game progress file for is installed on both iDevices

3- startup DiskAid on your Mac (or PC) and connect both your iPhone and your iPad (or other iDevices) to your Mac (or PC) using the USB-cable

4- in DiskAid, select the iDevice you want the game progress you want to copy from (from the list on the left), click “Storage”, then “Apps”, then the app you want to copy the game progress from [note : even though all apps are listed alphabetically, the naming might be slightly different from the regular name, so you might not immediately find what you’re looking for where you would expect it…)

5- when the app’s folder opens, select all files displayed, then click the “Copy to Mac” button in the menu bar

6- in the pulldown screen that opens, click the “New Folder”-button to create a folder (for instance on your Desktop) where you want the game progress files to be ‘back-upped’, and call the folder something like “iOS game progress files”, then inside that folder, create another new folder (by clicking “New Folder” again) and give it the app’s name

7- repeat this process until you have folders with game progress back-ups for all games you need

8- then select the iDevice you want to copy the game progress files to (from the list on the left), click on “Apps”, then on the app you want to transfer the game progress files to, and then click the “Copy to Device”-button from the menu bar

9- in the pull-down window that opens, browse to the location where you have the game progress files on your Mac and select all of them, then click “Select”

10- then, check if the game progress files a now visible on your iPhone/iPad from DiskAid ; if not, right-click (or CTRL-click) on the app’s folder in DiskAid and select “Refresh” from the pulldown-menu (you might even have to do this a few times before they will appear)

…that’s it !

enjoy !

note : personally, I like the concept of the ‘both iDevices side-by-side’-layout, and the fact that the transfer is not going through a folder on your Mac, that can be found in the specialised AppTrans (and AnyTrans) app, but I think their pricing is extreme, even with their ‘regular’ discount of about 60%… and I found that they don’t include sales-taxes in their advertised price, so they will charge you about 20% above their price-quote (which I do not regard very transparent, nor consumer-friendly)

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tip : get Keynote, Pages & Numbers for FREE with OSX 10.9 Mavericks

Question :

I heard that you can get the new versions of Keynote, Pages and Numbers for FREE when you upgrade to OSX 10.9 Mavericks.

Is that true ? And how do I get them ?

Answer :

Yes, it’s true !

But… there is a tricky part in this… BEWARE !

This can ONLY be done BEFORE you upgrade to OSX 10.9 Mavericks, as it is a (deliberate) loophole in the OSX 10.9 Mavericks upgrade process :

Apple is shifting all installations of it’s software to the Mac App Store, and the OSX 10.9 Mavericks installer therefore checks for all previous versions of Apple app’s that you have installed on OSX 10.8 Mountain Lion…

all versions of Keynote, Pages, Numbers and Aperture (!) will be ‘upgraded’ to the latest Mac App Store versions of the same apps.

note : even trail-versions and illegally copied versions will be ‘upgraded’ to full legal versions for FREE !

So, get an old version of the iWork apps (and/or Aperture) installed before you upgrade to OSX 10.9 Mavericks, and you get the new versions for FREE.

Enjoy !

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tip : FREE bundle of 9 MacOSX apps

There’s a new, completely FREE bundle of 9 MacOSX apps available from MacUpdate :

https://deals.macupdate.com/freebundle

Note : this is a time limited offer.

These apps are included :

Backblaze : online backup service

Grappler : download nearly every music, audio or video file from the  internet

ColorStrokes : color adjustment and manipulation

LightFrame : add photoframes to your photos

PhotoBatch : adjust, resize and crop groups of photos

Video Rotate : rotate videos (e.g. the ones filmed in portrait on your photo camera)

DataGuardian : top-secure 448-bit data encryption

MacCleanse : delete and erase your digital trails to protect your privacy

SnapNDrag : simple, one-click screen capturing

 

…and if you promote this freebie bundle on Twitter, you will also get :

Processes : view & manage running all processes on your Mac

https://deals.macupdate.com/bundle/freeapp

 

tip : play some Angry Birds on your Mac for free [2]

I’ve found some new FREE versions of Angry Birds for Mac for you to play :

There’s a FREE download (demo) version of Angry Birds Rio for MacOSX available here :

http://riodvd.angrybirds.com

And if you’re using Facebook, you can play some Angry Birds Star Wars online also :

https://www.facebook.com/angrybirds/app_229005017191889

Note : please be aware that playing games on Facebook comes with some ‘unpleasant obligations’ that some of us might even consider breach of privacy :

“This app may post on your behalf, including your high scores, tournaments you unlocked and more.”

Enjoy !

If you haven’t seen my previous post on playing some Angry Birds games on your Mac for FREE, you should have a look here :

https://macmanus.nl/2012/05/05/play-some-angry-birds-for-free/

…it’s full of links to other FREE Angry Birds games for your Mac !

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