fixed : “iPad could not be activated” error on old iPad with empty SIM-slot (or iPad showing “black screen with time only” error)

Question :

I have an old iPad that I want to give to my children, but when I switch it on, there’s only a black screen showing the current time (not sure if it’s actually the correct time).

I left the iPad alone for some time, and when I switched it on again, I get an “iPad could not be activated” error.

Now, whenever I switch on the iPad, I either get the “iPad could not be activated” error or I get the black screen displaying the time only… I can’t figure out a way to get anything els from it…

What can I do ?

 

Answer :

For some unknown reason this problem appears on old iPads with an empty SIM-card slot. To get your iPad working again, follow these steps :

  • make sure the iPad is charged at least 20%
  • take the SIM card tray (holder) out of the iPad
  • vacuum the SIM card slot using a vacuum cleaner
  • if you have one, put a SIM-card in the tray (even if it’s an old inactive SIM-card), if not leave the tray empty
  • put the SIM card tray back into the iPad
  • reset the iPad by pressing the Home-button and the ON/OFF-switch at the same time
  • press both buttons until the white Apple-logo appears
  • then release the ON/OFF-button, but keep pressing the Home-button
  • when you keep the Home-button pressed long enough, you will get a “connect to iTunes” message
  • when an error message (or anything else) appears, repeat the reset
  • plug your iPad’s USB-cable into a Mac (or PC) that has iTunes on it
    • a newer Mac with Apple Music app might also work, but iTunes will probably work easier since this is an old iPad…
    • if you don’t have a Mac, you can probably use a PC with iTunes for Windows also (this wasn’t tested though…)
  • in iTunes you will get a message that the software on the iPad needs to be updated, click OK to go ahead
  • make sure your Mac (or PC) is connected to the internet, so it can download the update
  • this will take quite a long time 
  • you will only see an “iPad recovery mode” screen in iTunes, with no indication of progress
  • on your iPad you will see the Apple logo and an empty progress bar
  • if you do not touch anything long enough, the progress bar will suddenly start moving after 10 or 15 minutes (maybe longer)
  • wait for the progress bar to complete and disappear 
  • then you will get an “entry code protection” error in iTunes
  • open your iPad with the screen unlock code
  • on the bottom of the “Choose a Wi-Fi Network” page that automatically opens, you will now see a “connect to iTunes” option, select that
  • if your iPad is recognized correctly now, you’re okay
  • else, redo the entire procedure and choose “Erase” instead of “Repair” (“Recover”)
    • note : if you need to choose “Erase” you will loose all content that was on the iPad (the only way to get your content back after that is to import it from your iCloud backup or iTunes backup – if you ever made one manually or automatically)
  • follow the instructions and you will also be guided through instructions import a backup (if you have made any previously)

That’s it !

enjoy 😉

fixed : use old iPad as an extra screen for your Mac (or PC)

Question :

Since we are working from home a lot (and the children are home schooling), and we have several old iPads and iPhones lying around gathering dust, we were wondering if it would be possible to use them as second screens on our Macs and Windows PCs to make our work and homework easier by being able to do this (and more) :

  • manage our music playlist (iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify) on our old iPad/iPhone whilst running  MS Office on our Mac/PC without switching apps
  • use our old iPad/iPhone’s touchscreen to put a signature under a PDF-document whilst typing it on our Mac/PC
  • use our old iPad/iPhone as a drawing tablet for our Mac/PC
  • videochat or view an online presentation onour Mac/PC whilst making notes on our old iPad/iPhone using a full-size keyboard (and easily swapping the two around when needed)

We noticed Apple has introduced this great feature called Sidecar that enables you to use your iPad (or iPhone) as a second screen for your Mac. But when I looked at the Sidecar requirements on the Apple website, I found that our older iPads/iPhones aren’t supported.

Is there any way to use Sidecar (or something similar) on our old iPads/iPhones ?

 

Answer :

Yes, even though you cannot use Sidecar on any unsupported iPad, iPhone or Mac, there is an alternative that works just as great for any old iPad (or iPhone) and is not limited to a Mac, but does support Windows PCs also… and best of all : it’s FREE.

This is ideal for working from home and home schooling since you can do all this (and more) :

  • manage your music playlist (iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify) on your iPad whilst running  MS Office on your Mac/PC without switching apps
  • use your iPad/iPhone’s touchscreen to put a signature under a PDF-document whilst typing it on your Mac/PC
  • use your iPad/iPhone as a drawing tablet for your Mac/PC
  • videochat or view an online presentation on my Mac/PC whilst making notes on my iPad/iPhone using a full-size keyboard (and easily swapping the two around when needed)

This FREE alternative for Apple Sidecar is Splashtop Wired XDisplay. It enables you to use any iPad/iPhone running iOS 7 or newer as a second or third (touch)screen for any Mac running OSX 10.9 Mavericks (or PC running Windows 7) or newer.

This means that all these iPhone / iPad / Mac models are supported :

  • iPhone 4 or newer
  • iPad 2 or newer
  • any iPad mini
  • any iPad Air
  • any iPad Pro
  • any aluminum iMac (iMac “Mid 2007” or newer)
  • any iMac Pro
  • Mac mini “Early 2009” or newer
  • Mac Pro “Early 2008” or newer
  • white MacBook “Early 2009” or newer
  • any aluminum MacBook
  • MacBook Air “Late 2008” or newer (2nd gen MacBook Air or newer)
  • MacBook Pro “Mid 2007” or newer

To install, do this :

  • install the Splashtop Wired XDisplay app on you Mac/PC
    • you can download Splashtop Wired XDisplay for Mac or Windows here
  • install iTunes on your PC if you have done so yet
    • you can download iTunes for Windows here
    • on a Mac you don’t need additional software for your iPad/iPhone to be recognized
  • install Splashtop Wired XDisplay on your iPad/iPhone
    • you can download Splashtop Wired XDisplay for iPhone here
    • you can download Splashtop Wired XDisplay for iPad here
  • then, plug your iPad/iPhone’s USB-cable into your Mac/PC
  • then run the Splashtop Wired XDisplay app on your Mac/PC
  • then run the Splashtop Wired XDisplay app on your iPad/iPhone
  • then goto the Settings on your Mac/PC, find the Screen Settings and arrange your screens the way you like
    • you can choose “Mirror Screen” to see exactly the same on your MAc/PC and your iPad/iPhone
    • you can choose “Extend Screen” to arrange the iPad/iPhone as an add-on for your desktop
    • if you already have a second screen attached to your Mac/PC, you can use your iPad/iPhone as an additional third screen also

That’s it !

enjoy 😉

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 : how to retrieve Safari Strong Password from iCloud

Question :

I am setting up an app (ToDoist.app in this case) to work across my devices. I have set up the app (ToDoist.app) on my iPhone about a week ago, and now I am trying to set up the app on my Mac. The problem is I need to login to my ToDoist-account on my Mac, but since I have used the password that was automatically suggested I have no recollection of the password I have set…

Is there any way to retrieve the password from iCloud ?

 

Answer :

Yes, there is 😉

To make the actual password visible, do this :

  • make sure that both your iPhone and your Mac are logged in with the same iCloud-account
    • on your iPhone, goto Settings.app > [your name] (listed on top) > iCloud
    • on your Mac, goto System Preferences > Apple ID (grey tile with the white Apple logo, top right)
  • then, make sure that iCloud’s password backup is switched on
    • on your iPhone, in Settings.app > [your name] (listed on top) > iCloud > “Apps using iCloud” > Keychain should be ON
    • on your Mac, in System Preferences > Apple ID > “Apps on this Mac using iCloud” there should be a check-mark at “Keychain”
  • if it wasn’t, restart the app on your iPhone
  • then, on your Mac, goto Safari > Preferences > Passwords
  • then, login on the window that opens ( using your Mac’s screen unlock password )
  • in the next window, scroll down the list and select the appropriate website
  • then, left-click on the dotted-out password ( so the actual password will be shown )
  • then, right-click on the password and select “Copy Password” from the pop-up list
  • now, paste the password into the app’s login-window

…this will unlock the app 😉

enjoy !

fixed : typing a spiritus asper in an Ancient Greek text on Mac or PC

Question :

I am learning Classical Greek (a.k.a. Ancient Greek) in school, and I want to typ words on my computers (both Mac and PC) to improve my vocabulary.

I found I can add a Greek keyboard layout (on both my Mac and my PC) so I now am able to all Greek letters, but it turns out that this these are Modern Greek letters… these are generally the same, but Modern Greek doesn’t have any of the accents I need in Classical Greek. I especially need to be able to typ the ‘spiritus asper’ (a.k.a. the H-sound accent) and the ‘iota subscriptum’ (a.k.a. the I-sound that can be added to e.g. an Omega).

Is there any way to ‘switch on’ typing Classical Greek on my Mac (and PC) ?

 

Answer :

To be able to typ the accents of Classical Greek, you need to enable the ‘Greek Polytonic’ keyboard.

in macOS, you can activate the Greek Polytonic keyboard by doing this :

  • go to Apple-menu (Apple-icon top-left in the menu bar) –> System Preferences –> Keyboard –> Input Sources (tab)
  • on the left, your currently installed keyboard-layout(s) is/are listed
  • click on the +button just below the list of installed keyboard-layouts
  • in the window that opens, in the Search Field, typ “greek”
  • on the right, two keyboard-layouts will be listed : “Greek” and “Greek – Polytonic”
  • choose “Greek – Polytonic” and click the Add-button
  • then make sure there is a check-mark at “Show Input menu in menu bar”
  • then exit System Preferences
  • now, whenever you want to typ Ancient Greek, go to the little flag-icon top-right in the menu bar and select “Greek – Polytonic” from the dropdown list
  • and after you’re done typing Ancient Greek, go to the little black flag with the Epsilon top-right in the menu bar and select your regular keyboard layout from the dropdown list

in Windows 10, you can activate the Greek Polytonic keyboard by doing this :

  • go to the Start Button bottom-left and typ “region and language” in the search field, then press Enter
  • in the window that opens, at Languages, click “Add a language” and typ “greek” in the search field
  • then, select “Greek”
  • then, at Languages, select “Greek” and click “Set as default”
  • then, at Languages, choose “Greek” and click the “Options”-button
  • now, at Keyboards, click “Add a keyboard”
  • then, choose “Greek Polytonic”
  • to simplify things, I suggest deleting other Greek keyboards from the list of activated keyboards
  • then exit
  • now you can switch between your main keyboard-layout and the Greek Polytonic keyboard-layout by pressing the {WINDOWS}+{SPACE} key-combo on your keyboard

To get the ‘spiritus asper’ (a.k.a. the H-sound accent) in your Classical Greek text, typ this : {SHIFT}+{ ‘ } to get the ‘spiritus asper’, then the A/E/R/V/Y/H/I/O-key to get the Alpha/Epsilon/Rho/Omega/Upsilon/Etha/Iota/Omicron-letter you need underneath the ‘spiritus asper’.

To get the ‘iota subscriptum’ in your Classical Greek text, typ this : {SHIFT}+{ [ } (in which { [ } is the [-key on your keyboard) to get the ‘iota subscriptum’, then the V-key to get the Omega-letter you need above the ‘iota subscriptum’.

To get the ‘regular sigma’ in your Classical Greek text, typ { S }

To get the ‘word-ending sigma’ in your Classical Greek text, typ { W }

to get the ‘Greek question mark’ in your Classical Greek text, typ { Q } which will give you the ; (semi-colon) which is Classical Greek for a ? (question mark).

That’s it !

enjoy 😉

 

fixed : Birthdays not showing in macOS Calendar.app

Question :

I just did a clean install of macOS on my Mac and everything works fine. Except for one thing…

The birthdays of my contacts are not showing up in Calendar.app even though they were properly showing in Calendar.app on my previous version of macOS and they are still showing up properly in Calendar.app on my iPhone.

I’ve already tried unchecking and re-checking the checkmark at “Birthdays” in the list of available calendars (at “Other”), login out of iCloud and back in, restarting my Mac, adjusting some birthdays in Contacts.app, etc. Simply put : I’ve tried any solution I could think of…

How can I fix this ?

 

Answer :

The solution might be simple, but easily overlooked :

in Calendar.app on macOS, go to “View” in the menu-bar and when the pulldown-menu appears, put a checkmark at “Show All-Day Events”, then click “Refresh Calendars”.

That’s it.

enjoy 😉

 

 

fixed : MacBook Pro hangs during final stage of macOS startup

Question :

I have macOS 10.14 Mojave installed on my MacBook Pro ‘Mid 2012’, but every time I try to start up my Mac, it hangs when the progress bar (on the white startup screen with the Apple logo) is at 99%…

On the TechRadar-website I found some startup key-combos to try : https://www.techradar.com/how-to/computing/apple/how-to-use-os-x-boot-options-to-troubleshoot-your-mac-1305645

I have tried the following, but it didn’t help :

  • restarting my MacBook
  • zapping the PRAM / NVRAM
  • running Disk First Aid in Recovery Mode
  • running Disk First Aid from another Mac while in Target Mode
  • reinstalling macOS Mojave from Recovery Mode
  • reinstalling macOS Mojave from a USB installer

So far, no problems where found, but the exact same problem keeps occuring :

When I startup my MacBook Pro, the progress bar goes quickly to 50%, then slows down but still keeps progressing up to 99% or even 100% and then hangs…

What can I do to solve this ?

 

Answer :

You have already tried most of the options that usually give success when you encounter these types of problems, so you have little options left to choose from.

——————- U P D A T E ——————-

If you get to see a progress bar while your Mac hangs, do as outlined below, but  if your Mac hangs before you see a progress bar below the Apple logo, have a look at this post first :

fixed : MacBook Pro sighs then hangs during startup without progress bar over and over again

——————- ORIGINAL POST ——————-

The first thing to try would be ‘Verbose Mode’ so you will be able to figure out what problems are encountered during startup :

  • shut down you Mac using the power button
  • startup your Mac in Verbose Mode by pressing the [CMD]+[V] keycombo on your keyboard during startup
  • now, your Mac starts up without a GUI (Graphic User Interface) but just displays lines of code (like in the Terminal.app and Console.app)
  • note that you might see a screen of code flashing by and than face your regular inlog screen… if so, just login and you will get to the Console-like black screen with white lines of code…
  • wait for the lines of code to halt and see what error messages are displayed in the final lines of code
  • if the error is “too many corpses being created”, use the solution outlined below (additional error terms are “Process”, “crashed:” and “opendirectoryd.”)
  • if you get any different error message : lookup the error message and the solution on the internet

The solution to the “too many corpses being created” startup-error :

  • shut down your Mac using the power button
  • startup your Mac in Recovery Mode by pressing the [CMD]+[R] key combo on your keyboard during startup
  • if FireVault is on, mount the HardDisk by clicking Disk Utility.app and then typing your password
  • then, go to Utilities in the top menu bar and click Terminal in the pulldown menu
  • in Terminal.app type this line of code (in which “Macintosh\ HD” is replaced by the name your have given your HardDisk ; the default name is “Macintosh HD”, and note that all spaces in the name of your HardDisk should be replaced by “\ ” (a backslash + a space) when typing these lines of code) :

cd /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD/var/db/caches/opendirectory

  • then press the [Enter]-key to run the code
  • when the cursor returns on the very next line you’re good, if you get an extra line in between, you’ve run into an error (e.g. “command not found” usually means you mistyped something, so you should just try again ; if you forgot to replace the space in your HardDisk’s name by “\ “ you’ll also get an error and you should just try again)
  • on the next line, type this :

mv ./mbr_cache ./mbr_cache-old

  • then press the [Enter]-key
  • when the cursor returns on the very next line you’re good
  • again, if you get an extra line in response, you’ve made an error and trying again with greater accuracy will probably solve it…
  • then, exit Terminal.app by pressing the [cmd]+[Q] key-combo
  • then restart your Mac by clicking on the Apple-icon top left in the top menu bar and clicking “Restart” from the pull down menu
  • now your Mac should startup without problems
  • note that the first startup will take a little longer, as all system settings need to be rebuilt

That’s it !

enjoy 😉