fixed : which version of Java do I have ?

Question :

I would like to know which version of Java I have installed on my Mac, since the software I want to use will only run on Java 7 or higher.

How can I check (and update) ?

 

Answer :

Java is a free software platform which is operation system independent (so Mac & PC) created and maintained by Oracle. Despite it always having been a very reliable way of making cross platform games & applications, Apple has restricted the use of Java to ‘only when needed’ by default in the latest versions of OSX and macOS, because of the security risks involved in using Java and similar software that can run autonomously on your Mac next to macOS.

To find out which version of Java you have installed, do the online check that’s on this official website :

https://java.com/en/download/installed.jsp

Just follow the instructions given and the result of the check will be shown : you will either have the latest version installed, or you won’t… in that case update instructions will guide you to getting the latest version available for your Mac.

enjoy 😉

Advertisements

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 !

Donate Button (MacManusNL)

fixed : install OSX 10.11 El_Capitan on unsupported Macs

Question :

I read somewhere that it is possible to install the latest version of OSX 10.10 Yosemite on my Mac, even though the official installer refuses to install.

Can you give me any directions ?

 

Answer :

Installing newer versions of OSX on slightly older Macs that do not meet the official system requirements can be done using MacPostFactor (MCPF).

MacPostFactor also supports installing OSX versions up to OSX 10.10 Yosemite on older Macs. And a new version that supports installing OSX 10.11 El_Capitan is in the works.

For more info (and downloads), go to the info page on MacRumors.com :

http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/os-x-yosemite-on-unsupported-macs-guide.1761432/

or see the (less readable) official page of the MacPostFactor team :

http://osxhackers.net/MCPF/

…in short :

!!! THIS IS FOR (RATHER) EXPERIENCED MAC-USERS ONLY, AND SHOULD NOT BE DONE ON YOUR ‘ONE AND ONLY’ MAC !!!

!! REMEMBER : DO FOLLOW THE COMPLETE INSTRUCTIONS THAT CAN BE FOUND HERE : MacPost Factor info page on MacRumors.com

…that should be it !

enjoy !

😉

Donate Button (MacManusNL)

fixed : install OSX 10.10 Yosemite on unsupported Macs

Question :

I read somewhere that it is possible to install the latest version of OSX 10.10 Yosemite on my Mac, even though the official installer refuses to install.

Can you give me any directions ?

 

Answer :

Installing newer versions of OSX on slightly older Macs that do not meet the official system requirements can be done using MacPostFactor (MCPF).

MacPostFactor (MCPF) also supports installing OSX versions up to OSX 10.10 Yosemite on older Macs. And a new version that supports installing OSX 10.11 El_Capitan is in the works.

For more info (and downloads), go to the info page on MacRumors.com :

http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/os-x-yosemite-on-unsupported-macs-guide.1761432/

or see the (less readable) official page of the MacPostFactor team :

http://osxhackers.net/MCPF/

…in short :

!!! THIS IS FOR (RATHER) EXPERIENCED MAC-USERS ONLY, AND SHOULD NOT BE DONE ON YOUR ‘ONE AND ONLY’ MAC !!!

!! REMEMBER : DO FOLLOW THE COMPLETE INSTRUCTIONS THAT CAN BE FOUND HERE : MacPost Factor info page on MacRumors.com

…that should be it !

enjoy !

😉

Donate Button (MacManusNL)

test : Albert Heijn (a.k.a. iClever) Apple-imitation bluetooth keyboard

The official Apple Bluetooth keyboard looks really cool and works smoothly, but it’s expensive… a little too expensive for most purposes people say…

Of course there have been lots of alternative wireless keyboards available, but none really got the looks of a genuine Apple one (for some that is a must). That’s probably the reason why some unknown asian company has made an un-branded ‘white label’ all-plastic knock-off imitation which – at first glance – looks nearly identical to the aluminum Apple bluetooth keyboard. This imitation keyboard is available under a wide variety of brands, like the iClever-brand in most of the world, but for instance also under the dutch supermarket Albert Heijn’s own private label.

The iClever wireless keyboard can be purchased from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk when you want a regular QWERTY-layout, and from Amazon.de if you want a german QWERTZ-layout.

Anyway, the main question is : is it any good ?

Simple answer : Yes, but…

Let me clarify : Yes, it’s a really nice keyboard to have and to use, with an interesting price tag below € 25 (sometimes even in the € 15 region). But it comes with a few flaws, so to quickly round up the verdict :

It’s an ideal low-budget wireless secondary keyboard for use with any Apple device that has a primary keyboard built-in.

To be more specific :

it’s a great low-budget wireless keyboard for use with an AppleTV

it’s a very nice low-budget wireless keyboard for use with an iPad or iPhone (but there might be quite a few handier options, like a iPad-cover with built-in keyboard)

it’s a good low-budget secondary keyboard for use with a MacBook (Air/Pro), for instance when your MacBook is closed and connected to a bigger screen

it’s a handy, but slightly tricky keyboard for use with a Mac mini, iMac or Mac Pro (for these Macs I would advice to keep an regular USB-keyboard at hand for emergencies)

Why ?

NOTE (*) : the top-left key (the one with the open square) on this keyboard is the [HOME] key

– it doesn’t have an Escape (ESC) key, so when any program on your Mac hangs, you will not be able to Force Quit the application with this keyboard…

UPDATE (*) : to [ESC], use this key-combo : [FN] + [HOME]

so, to Force Quit, use this key-combo : [CMD] + [ALT] + [FN] + [HOME]

– it doesn’t have an Eject key for the DVD/CD-drive, so when this is your only keyboard, you will not be able to get any CD or DVD out of your Mac easily… you will need to do the annoying drag-to-the-trash move using your mouse each and every time…

UPDATE (*) : to Eject, use this key (not a key-combo) : [F5]

– it doesn’t have any option to set the (energy saving) auto-disconnect function to a longer interval… which means that when your Mac also goes into (energy saving) sleep mode, the  keyboard has a lot of problems waking your Mac… (e.g. you will need to press any button for a prolonged time, but doing so also makes your Mac see that as input for any application that was still open… you might mess up your open Word-document with an enormous line of spaces in doing so…)

UPDATE (*) : to Wake From Sleep, use this key (not a key combo) : [HOME]

– the keyboard is often recognized too late when starting up your Mac, so you can’t use it to type your password during login, so you can’t start using your Mac… this is possibly only a problem for older Macs and/or older versions of MacOSX, but still…

I have tested this keyboard with Apple devices only, so I can’t tell about the compatibility with other devices, but I would think it will be similar : good to great for use with smartphones and tablets running Android and Windows Mobile, but rather troublesome for use with a Windows-PC…

😉

(*) special thanks to Arjan de Boer for these not-so-obvious, but very useful key-combos

fixed : use internal SATA hard drive in LaCie “Mac mini”-form factor housing

Question :

I have an old, square-ish Mac mini (2005 through June 2010), which back-ups to a LaCie FireWire 400 harddrive with the same square-ish form-factor. This morning however, the harddrive inside the LaCie mini has died…

I could just get a completely new external hard drive (with a different design) for my backups now, but I really like the square-ish housing of the LaCie mini together with the Mac mini, so I’ve decided to replace the internal hard disk.

However, it turns out that the internal hard disk of the LaCie mini is an IDE (ATA) hard disk, which are increasingly harder to get than the current Serial-ATA (SATA) hard disks, and generally even more expensive.

Is there a way to use an internal SATA hard disk inside the LaCie mini housing ?

Answer :

Yes, there is.

What you need is this :

– a high-capacity internal 2.5″ laptop SATA harddisk (it is possible using a 3.5″ desktop SATA harddisk, but that is not recommended as explained at the bottom of this post), like a Hitachi TravelStar 1TB SATA harddisk

– a 2.5″ to 3.5″ bay converter-frame, or preferably just the Digitus 2.5″ to 3.5″ bay converter-brackets or alike

– a Wintech SAK-65 bi-directional SATA-to-IDE converter (because of the limited space inside the LaCie mini housing, most other IDE-to-SATA converters will be too bulky too fit in one direction or another)

Note : the Wintech SAK-65 comes with all cables to connect a SATA hard disk to the LaCie mini IDE/ATA-internal

When you have all these parts, the build-in is rather straight forward, especially if you use the manual provided with the Wintech Converter. In short :

1- unplug the LaCie mini form the power and FireWire cables, then remove the white plastic triangular feet from the LaCie mini housing (the are sticker-type feet, so temporarily stick them to a clean smooth surface to store) and unscrew the  screws you find beneath them

2- gently open the housing, unscrew the broken iDE/ATA-hard drive, and take it out

3- gently disconnect the ATA-to-ATA cable, and take it out also

4- then put the new SATA-hard drive in and screw it into place

5- then connect the Wintech converter as outlined in the instruction manual (so, set it’s switch to “Device” and do not forget to connect it to the power using the provided Molex extension cable that includes an extra power connector for the Wintech connector)

6- then connect both Wentronic cables to the hard disk on one end and on the other end to the Molex cable and the Wintech connector

7- then make sure the Wintech connector is slightly twisted in such a way that it is a flat on the hard drive as possible and gently close up the housing (don’t forget the plastic feet)

8- reconnect the power and FireWire cables, and then the LaCie mini will be recognized as and ‘unreadable’ drive by your Mac mini

9- use OSX’s Disk Utility-app to format the drive to “Mac Journaled” format, and it will appear as a healthy drive on your Mac (ready for use, for Time Machine backups or alike)

That’s it

😉

—————————

If you really want to build a 3.5″ SATA harddisk into this LaCie mini housing, it can be done, but it will fit so extremely tight that it comes with some extra things you need to address :

1- you will NOT need the 2.5″ to 3.5″ converter brackets

2- the provided cables will not fit in such a way that the housing can be properly rebuilt, so you will also need :

– a Wentronic 4p-Molex-to-angled-15p-SATA power cable (none of the cables with a regular straight SATA-connector will fit, and even most of the angled SATA-connectors will be too bulky too fit, and even this one leaves less than a mm of room for the housing) to extend the “Molex-with-an-extra-power-wire-for-the-converter”-cable

– a Wentronic SATA-to-angled-SATA data cable (most of the other angled-SATA connectors will be too bulky, but the Belkin SATA-to-angled-SATA data cable will fit as well), but you will even have to strip a little extra off the angled connector to enable the cable to make a ‘near-360’-corner

3- the Wintech SAK-65 bi-directional SATA-to-IDE converter needs to be used stripped of it’s plastic housing as it’s too bulky, and you will need to extend the IDE Master/Slave-cable (the wide and flat cable that looks like a lot of tiny wires next to each other) by opening the connection on the converter and putting the original one from the LaCie mini housing in it’s place (after having taken off the connector of that one also)

4- make sure you don’t adjust the 3.5″ SATA harddrive using the screws, just put it ‘on the floor plate'(to make a little extra space)

5- …and then you will have to puzzle quite a bit to fit all of that into the housing

As mentioned before : using a 2.5″ SATA harddrive is far more convenient and straight forward !

Whichever solution you choose :

Enjoy !

😉

Donate Button (MacManusNL)

fixed : install OSX 10.8 Mountain Lion on unsupported Macs

Question :

I read somewhere that it is possible to install the latest version of OSX 10.8 Mountain Lion on my Mac, even though the official installer refuses to install.

Can you give me any directions ?

Answer :

Updated answer :

MLPostFactor has been succeeded/replaced by MacPostFactor, and is now being updated by a new crew of programmers. MacPostFactor also supports installing OSX versions up to OSX 10.10 Yosemite on older Macs. And a new version that supports installing OSX 10.11 El_Capitan is in the works.

For more info (and downloads), go to the info page on MacRumors.com :

http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/os-x-yosemite-on-unsupported-macs-guide.1761432/

 

Original answer :

Yes, thanks to the guys from MLPostFactor, it’s now possible to install OSX 10.8 Mountain Lion (even 10.8.4) on these older Intel-Macs :

Early 2006 (and newer) versions of the iMac and Mac mini

Late 2006 (and newer) versions of the Macbook, MacBook Pro, Mac Pro and Xserve

Early 2008 (and newer) versions or the Macbook Air

…and I must say : “(in my case) it runs smoother than MacOSX 10.7”, but there are a few downsides, especially these ones :

– regular OSX updates are disabled, you can only use a special OSX-update routine

– some (but very little) software is not compatible due to various reasons ; e.g. PhotoBooth, Little Snitch

– the SMB client is not working properly (the SMB server is), so file transfer is crippled

– it’s provided “as-is”, so no support from anyone (neither the developer nor me), and no guarantee it will fully or even partially work in your case (especially not if you do not strictly follow all of the directions !!)

…in short :

!!! THIS IS FOR (RATHER) EXPERIENCED MAC-USERS ONLY, AND SHOULD NOT BE DONE ON YOUR ‘ONE AND ONLY’ MAC !!!

What you need :

– one of the Intel-Macs mentioned above (running MacOSX 10.7 Lion and at least 2GB of RAM)

– an official version of the OSX 10.8 installer, (re)downloaded from the Mac App Store inside your Applications Folder (sorry, pirated versions don’t work…)

– the 32-bit MLPostFactor v3.0 installer-patcher (should be put inside your Applications folder also) you can download from here :

http://www.osxhackers.com/Download.html

or alternatively :

http://mac.softpedia.com/get/System-Utilities/MLPostFactor.shtml

– a full backup of your current harddrive running OSX 10.7 Lion and all your personal files (simply put : “a Time Machine backup of your Mac”)

– a partition of 8GB to create the patched OSX 10.8 installer on ; according to the official directions this should be a partition on your main harddisk called “Install”, but it turns out that ‘if you dare’ you can also use an 8GB USB-stick or an 8GB partition on an external USB- or FireWire-harddisk for this [simply put, MLPostFactor does what Lion DiskMaker does AND includes a patch that’s needed for older Intel-Macs]

– a partition of at least 10GB called “ML” to install the new (patched) OSX 10.8 Mountain Lion onto ; this is will to be your final, ‘new’ harddrive for your ‘old’ Mac… it turns out that ‘if you dare’ you can assign this to your current MacOSX 10.7 Lion harddrive [provided you have a good (TimeMachine) backup]

Exact directions on how to install can be found here :

http://www.osxhackers.com/Installation.html

…or the video that HackerWayne (one of the MLPostFactor developers) has issued :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqMgrPKfrqM

You should follow the step-by-step instructions above, but just to give a quick impression of the routine :

– make a Time Machine backup and make sure both the OSX 10.8 installer and MLPostFactor are in you Applications folder

– run MLPostFactor to create the patched installer (8GB) for OSX 10.8.4 (or an other version if you prefer that one for some reason…)

– reboot from the patched installer and install the patched OSX 10.8 onto (the desired partition of) the internal harddrive

– this will either end in an error or a white screen (seemingly ‘hung’)

– reboot from the patched installer and run MLPostFactor from there onto the partition you have just installed OSX 10.8 on (= your internal harddrive)

– then reboot from the fresh OSX 10.8 partition (= your internal harddrive)

– if you get a “WiFi: No Hardware Installed”-error, get the KextUtility for OSX 10.8 and install the Edited Atheros Kext for Lion*3

!! REMEMBER : DO FOLLOW THE COMPLETE INSTRUCTIONS THAT CAN BE FOUND HERE :

http://www.osxhackers.com/Installation.html

or the ‘official’ video :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqMgrPKfrqM

…that should be it !

enjoy !

😉

Donate Button (MacManusNL)