fixed : Benq monitor stays black when MacBook is switched on

Question :

I have a Benq BL2420PT external monitor as a desktop screen connected to my MacBook using a Displayport-cable (actually a miniDisplayport-to-Displayport-cable). When my MacBook goes into sleep mode or the Ben monitor goes into sleep mode itself the screen goes black. But when I try to revive the monitor by moving my external mouse or pressing any key on my (external) keyboard, the MacBook starts up, but the Ben monitor’s screen stays black.

This same thing sometimes happens when I startup my MacBook and close the lid before the Benq monitor switches on.

What can I do to fix this ?

 

Answer :

The following trick might help for other Benq monitors, and maybe even for different brands of monitors also. This works for the Benq BL2420PT monitor if the screen stays black even when the connected Mac is turned on :

  • on the frame of the screen, bottom right, you see 5 indicator lights, next to the Power-indicator ; these are all touch-buttons
  • if the Power-indicator/button is steadily glowing in white, don’t touch it ; only if it has another color, touch it to switch on the monitor
  • if the Power-indicator still doesn’t glow white, check if all cables are connected properly and make sure the physical ON/OFF-switch on the bottom of the screen is switched ON
  • touch the one indicator light/button that is nearest to the centre of the screen (so the most left one)
  • if a message appears “No cable connected”, just wait
  • if a menu appears with 5 cable connectors to choose from, don’t touch anything, just wait
  • just wait (usually up to 30 seconds, sometimes even a minute) and the screen will switch on

NOTE : the most important thing is that you DO NOT¬†(neither accidentally nor intentionally) touch any other indicator/button ! as this usually screws up the monitor’s software setting that corresponds to the physical cable connection (to correct that, you should toggle around with the these touch-buttons until the menu with the 5 cable connectors reappears and you can then choose the one that corresponds to your physically connected cable)

If the above doesn’t work, look here for alternate procedures to revive your black screen :

fixed : MacBook’s external monitor screen stays black

That’s it !

enjoy ūüėČ

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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 ūüėČ

fixed : repair or replace broken 24″ Apple LED Display ?

Question :

Just a few hours ago, the 24″ Apple LED display that I have connected to my 13″ MacBook Pro (Late 2011) started smelling… the odor was giving me a headache as if something plastic or electrical was burning… now, my beloved Apple Display is not showing¬†anything on screen anymore : even though it’s¬†USB-ports, the MagSafe-power and the sound are still working, and my Mac still detects a connected external screen, the display stays black…

What can I do ?

 

Answer :

I’m sorry to bring you the bad news : your beloved Apple Display is a ‘total loss’… Even though this could probably be fixed by replacing the internal ‘motherboard’ of your monitor (99% chance some component on it burned, which is getting an increasingly common problem with these 8 year old monitors…), the fact that Apple does no longer supply any new components for these LED Displays makes that no official Apple repair station will do any repairs on it any longer, and even if you would be able to find a working second-hand replacement part, the replacement procedure is so delicate that it is not a do-it-yourself job… don’t go there.

So you want a replacement ?

Apple does no longer produce or sell any “Apple Display”-monitors. The only monitors available for sale on the Apple Store are LG-branded 4K and 5K monitors… these are said to be co-developed by Apple, but BEWARE¬†: these can only be connected to the most recent Macs that have Thunderbold3-over-USB3 !!!

For older Macs that have miniDisplayPort or Thunderbold (which is Thunderbold1-over-miniDisplayPort) you need something else…

If you just need a plain ‘extra screen’ of GraphicDesigner-quality, you could choose any monitor by Dell, Acer, LG, Samsung, etc. that gets good reviews by graphic designers and meets these specs :

  • IPS-type screen (which has a far better viewing-angle then the TN-type screens)
  • miniDisplayPort, DisplayPort or DVI input (not HDMI-only)
  • a black and/or minimal bezel around the screen
  • preferably as much or more pixels than your Apple Display (the 24″ Apple Displays had 1920×1200¬†and the¬†27″ Apple Displays had 2560×1440)
  • preferably an internal USB-hub (to connect an external USB-keyboard, USB-mouse or USB-scanner)

but for most of you, since you are still hanging on to your not-so-new MacBook, you will want an affordable replacement that will still be useful when you buy a new MacBook…

…then there is only one good option for you¬†at this current time¬†:

the BenQ BL2420PT monitor ; buy it at Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.de

with a StarTech 4K@60Hz miniDisplayPort-to-DisplayPort1.2-cable ; buy it at Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.de

BEWARE :¬†there is no displayPort-cable included with the BL2420PT monitor, so don’t forget to¬†add a 4K@60Hz capable miniDisplayPort1.2-cable

…okay, this is no way comparable to the sleek industrial design (the ‘box’) of your Apple Display… you won’t get MagSafe-power connection and an iSight webcam built-in, the screen is not high-gloss and it’s bezel is about .5cm thicker than the screen, the monitor speakers volume can’t be adjusted from your keyboard (you should do that on screen or use your Mac speakers) and you¬†won’t get the¬†‘one cable’ connection you’re used to…

…but, it’s non-intrusive black, the screen can be easily adjusted in height and can even tilt to portrait, it has the 27″ amount of pixels on a 24″ screen (admitted : even though that’s a PRO¬†for most, it might be a¬†CON for some), it has built-in speakers, it has special settings for CAD/CAM and AnimationDesign and it’s the highest value-for-money around…

…if you would mind that, you wouldn’t still be using such an old MacBook… right¬†ūüėČ

enjoy !

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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 !

ūüėČ

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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 !

ūüėČ

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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¬†‚ā¨ 25 (sometimes even in the ‚ā¨ 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…

ūüėČ

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

fixed : alternative for replacing MacBook (Pro/Air) keyboard

Question :

I have a MacBook (Pro) with a back-lit internal keyboard, that has been used for a few years now. The reason why isn’t exactly clear to me, but somehow some some (three to be exact) of the keys have lost their upper coating so the letter they represent can no longer be seen on the keyboard. So even though the MacBook’s keyboard appears to be (nearly) intact, while in use the keyboard feels like missing some keys.

Isn’t there any good, but cheap alternative to opening up the entire inside of my MacBook (Pro) and replacing the keyboard ? Especially when having the keyboard replaced by Apple that’s very expensive…

 

Answer :

If your MacBook (Pro/Air) is out of warranty, having the internal keyboard replaced by Apple is not a ‘bang-for-your-buck’-option.

Replacing the internal keyboard yourself is an option, but primarily, getting a matching replacement keyboard might turn out to be rather difficult, especially if your MacBook (Pro/Air) does not have the regular US-keyboard layout (the US-keyboard has an ENTER-key with a¬†different shape than on¬†the keyboards of various other languages, so the holes for the keys in the top case won’t¬†match). And secondarily, the keyboard is the part of the internals that is deep-deep down, so getting to it is about the most complex repair-operation one can think of…

But you didn’t spill any water, any drink or other fluid on your keyboard and only a few keys are broken or missing, there is a far easier and cheaper option :

Just get some (new or second hand) individual keys, and replace them yourself.

There are some websites that sell individual keyboard-keys :

ReplacementLaptopKeys.com

TheBookYard.com

PowerBookMedic.com

The only thing that’s tricky is that there are various versions of the keys, and it takes some investigation to find out which are the ones of the type you need. But apart form that, it’s really straight forward. Various instruction guides can be found online¬†(it’s a simple repair-operation), for instance here :

MacBook keycap removal & fitting guide.pdf

That’s it.

Enjoy !

ūüėČ

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