fixed : using a Nintendo Switch on an HD-ready TV without HDMI-input

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the solution outlined below is your best option for all devices that have an HDMI port as their best or only video output, including (but not limited to) gaming consoles like Playstation PS3/PS4, Xbox 360 & Xbox One, Nintendo Switch & Wii-U and all versions of AppleTV

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Question :

I just bought a Nintendo Switch gaming console and I want to connect it to my old flatscreen 26″ LCD-TV that doesn’t have HDMI.

Even tough the TV is able to display HD-video up to 1080i and computer-display resolutions up to 1280×768 pixels at 60Hz, it does not have an HDMI input, neither a digital audio input (a.k.a. “Toslink”).

The only input options are :

– DVI digital video + 3.5mm (a.k.a. “jack”) analog audio

– VGA analog video + 3.5mm (a.k.a. “jack”) analog audio

– Component YPbPr analog video + stereo analog audio (5 plugs, a.k.a. “RCA” or “tulip”)

– S-video analog video (S-video plug) + stereo analog audio (a.k.a. “RCA” or “tulip”)

– SCART analog video + audio (SCART plug)

How do I connect my Nintendo Switch to this TV-set ?

 

Answer :

Even though it might seem the most obvious to connect the Nintendo Switch’s HDMI-output to the TV’s DVI-input, since HDMI and DVI are 100% video-compatible, this comes with 2 problems :

– DVI has no audio, so you will have to connect the audio separately ; in this case that would require a DAC (digital-analog-converter) for your audio since your TV has no digital audio input

– DVI does not support HDCP-encryption as HDMI does, so any ‘copyright-protected’ HDMI content will be blocked when connected to DVI…

So… do not try to use the DVI-input, but use the Component YPbPr connection, especially since the digital-to-analog video-conversion gets rid of the HDCP-limitations for you also !

This converter cable is the most elegant option that will do the trick for you :

LogiLink HDMI to YPbPr & Audio Converter Cable (2m) [Amazon.com]

LogiLink HDMI to YPbPr & Audio Converter Cable (2m) [Amazon.co.uk]

LogiLink HDMI to YPbPr & Audio Converter Cable (2m) [Amazon.de]

…it turns out that the HDMI-output of the Nintendo Switch is supplying enough power to  power the built-in converter, so you don’t need to connect the USB-power cable.

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If you have an HD-Ready flatscreen TV and you want to connect an AppleTV or a gaming console (Nintendo Wii-U, Nintendo Switch, Playstation PS3/PS4, Xbox One or Xbox 360), your best option is to use the HDMI-to-YPbPr converter-cable mentioned above.

But… in some cases these might also be interesting :

An HDMI-to-VGA&stereo converter-cable :

LogiLink HDMI to VGA & Audio Converter Cable (2m) [Amazon.com]

LogiLink HDMI to VGA & Audio Converter Cable (2m) [Amazon.co.uk]

LogiLink HDMI to VGA & Audio Converter Cable (2m) [Amazon.de]

An HDMI-to-HDMI&stereo converter-cable : [so this splits the audio from the HDMI-video signal and converts it into a separate analog stereo (2x RCA) signal, but beware that the output video signal is 720p, 1080p and 1080i only, which is problematic for most HD-ready flatscreen TVs, especially when combined with an HDMI-to-DVI converter] :

LogiLink HDMI to HDMI & Analog Audio Converter Cable (2m) [Amazon.co.uk]

LogiLink HDMI to HDMI & Analog Audio Converter Cable (2m) [Amazon.de]

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fixed : What to do with a winmail.dat attachment ?

Question :

I recently received an eMail that should include various attachments, but it only included one : a winmail.dat file.

When I try to open it, OSX tells me there is no app on my Mac that can handle this file.

What can I do ?

Answer :

There are various ways of solving this. (or rather : ‘handling this’, as fixing the actual cause isn’t something an end user can do)

But first, a little insight into the cause :

Long ago, when eMails were still text-only without layout and attachments were added as plain files, a lot of eMail-client makers wanted to improve their user experience and provide their users a layout-option for eMails. Microsoft then developed TNEF as a protocol for communication between their Outlook eMail-clients. But TNEF never made it into an eMail-communication industry standard. HTML (the web-layout protocol) was adopted as the industry-wide standard. MS Outlook never fully adopted regular HTML as it’s eMail-layout protocol. So, even though Outlook calls them HTML-eMail, they are actually being sent as TNEF-eMail, which is HTML-ish, but still MS Outlook-only…

Sometimes (in the chain of eMail-servers involved in eMail-communication) the sender’s Outlook-app (or MS Exchange client) sends out a TNEF-eMail, not a regular HTML-eMail. All receivers of the eMail that use Outlook (or MS Exchange) will not detect any irregularity, but any recipient who’s not using Outlook as their eMail-client will receive it as a text-eMail with only one attachment : a winmail.dat file.

So… this is not a Mac-problem, it isn’t even a problem for all non-Outlook users, it is just that the only way to prevent this from happening to you, is to use MS Outlook…

…but for most non-Outlook users, using Outlook is not an option…

Anyway… the solution …or rather the various options for solving this, as either the sender can prevent this from happening, or the recipient can find ways to open the windmill.dat file anyway :

Microsoft provides 2 options for the sender who wants to prevent this :

1. set Outlook to only send ‘Plain Text’-eMail to any future recipient :

in Outlook, choose “File” (or “Tools”), then “Options”, then “Mail” (or “Mail Format”), and then in “Compose in this message format”, choose “Plain Text”, then click “OK”

2. set Outlook to only send ‘Plain Text’-eMail to this specific recipient :

in Outlook’s Address Book, double-click on the recipient’s eMail-address, then in the “SMTP – Address” field choose delete (un-click) the check-mark at “Always Send To This Recipient iIn Microsoft Exchange Rich-Text Format”, then click “OK”

More info can be found on Microsoft’s website :

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/290809

Even though prevention is the better option, there are alternatives : if you are a recipient using OSX, you can find various apps to unpack winmail.dat files in the Mac App Store. Too bad, there are no free apps for this in the App Store, but there is a FREE one available here :

TNEF’s Enough

If you prefer an automatically updated app from the Mac App Store, and don’t mind paying for it, consider this one, which will unpack faster and has a more comprehensive and visually nicer interface :

Winmail Extractor

If you also need a winmail.dat unpacker-app for your iPhone and/or iPad, you can consider this one :

Klammer for iOS & OSX

There are FREE services available online also, that will convert your windmill.dat for you instantly. Just keep in mind that by using them, you are enabling these services to view the contents of your eMail and it’s attachments, so you are willingly giving up your privacy in suing them. An example :

winmail-dat.com

But, again : even the windmill-dat.com service itself advices you to prefer a dedicated (offline) winmail.dat conversion app (on your Mac) over the use of their service.

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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 : need to reinstall an app from the Mac AppStore

Question :

I used to use Microsoft’s SkyDrive without any problems in recent months. Recently Microsoft has changed the name of the app and the service to OneDrive, so I have ‘upgraded’ the app from the Mac AppStore, and it has run okay, but with various connection problems (maybe because I renamed the SkyDrive folder to the new OneDrive folder, so I didn’t have to move or duplicate files and pictures).

But that’s least of my worries. When I try to startup the OneDrive app now, I get an error message, indicating that I need to reinstall the OneDrive app. As this app is downloaded from the Mac AppStore, I looked up OneDrive in there, and it indicated “INSTALLED”, but there’s no option to reinstall…

How do I reinstall this app ?

Answer :

The solution is rather simple, but you might not consider it ‘obvious’ or ‘well documented’ in OSX :

– open the “Applications Folder”

– find the corrupted app you need to reinstall and drag it to the Trash

– open the “(Mac) App Store”-app, and find the app you need to reinstall

– when you’ve found it, you will see that it now indicates “INSTALL”, so just (re)install as usual

…that’s it

Enjoy !

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fixed : set IMAP eMail for Hotmail.com, Live.com and Outlook.com in MacOSX Mail.app

Question :

I’ve always though it was extremely annoying that Microsoft only allowed POP eMail for Hotmail.com for MacOSX, but I kept my Hotmail-account alive for al these years since I actually liked it, even after I switched to Mac…

Recently I heard that Microsoft is finally allowing IMAP access to Hotmail.com eMail, but I can’t figure out how to set it up on my Mac…

Can you please help ?

Answer :

Yes, you’re correct : IMAP eMail has finally come to Hotmail.com, Live.com and Outlook.com eMail.

Setting it up in MacOSX is not as straight forward as one might have hoped however…

The tricky part is that MacOSX will automatically set-up a POP-account if you are setting up a new account in Mail.app using a Hotmail.com, Live.com or Outlook.com eMail-address.

note : instructions for setting-up Hotmail/Live/Outlook-eMail on iPhone/iPad can be found here.

That being said…

If you follow these steps, you will be able to succeed anyway :

( if you are on OSX 10.9 Mavericks, read this first )

1- in OSX Mail.app, go to Preferences, then to Accounts and (if you have one) select your current POP-setup for Hotmail/Live/Outlook from the list, then go to the Account Information tab, and there un-check the “Enable this account” option

2- then use the Plus-button (bottom left) to add a new account

3- in the pulldown-window “Add Account” that appears, fill in your Full Name, type a fake eMail address ( e.g. nobody@blabla.com ) and leave the Password blank, then click on Create

4- in the next window, set the Account Type to “Exchange IMAP” (only if you don’t have that option choose “IMAP”) and use the following info, depending on what eMail-address you have :

for Hotmail.com-eMail, use :

Description : Hotmail IMAP ( or if you perfer your eMail-address, make sure to add “IMAP” or something like that to it, else it will conflict with your previously set-up Hotmail POP )

Incoming Mail Server : imap-mail.outlook.com [ will automatically select Port 993 ]

User Name : username@hotmail.com [ replace “username” by your own username ]

Password : ••••• [ your Hotmail-password ]

Outlook Web Access Server : m.hotmail.com

for Live.com-eMail, use :

Description : Live.com IMAP ( or if you perfer your eMail-address, make sure to add “IMAP” or something like that to it, else it will conflict with your previously set-up Live.com POP )

Incoming Mail Server : imap-mail.outlook.com [ will automatically select Port 993 ]

User Name : username@live.com [ replace “username” by your own username ]

Password : ••••• [ your Live.com-password ]

Outlook Web Access Server : m.live.com

for Outlook.com-eMail, use :

Description : Outlook IMAP ( or if you perfer your eMail-address, make sure to add “IMAP” or something like that to it, else it will conflict with your previously set-up Live.com POP )

Incoming Mail Server : imap-mail.outlook.com [ will automatically select Port 993 ]

User Name : username@outlook.com [ replace “username” by your own username ]

Password : ••••• [ your Outlook.com-password ]

Outlook Web Access Server : m.outlook.com

5- then click “Continue”, and if you get an error-message, just click “Continue” again

6- in the next window put a check-mark in front of “Use SSL”, set Authentication to “Password” and click “Continue” again

7- in the next window, use these settings :

for Hotmail.com-eMail, use :

Description : Hotmail SMTP ( or anything you like )

Outgoing Mail Server : smtp.live.com [ will automatically select Port 25 or Port 465 ]

you can check “Use only this server”, but it’s not obligatory

do check “Use Authentication”

User Name : username@hotmail.com [ replace “username” by your own username ]

Password : ••••• [ your Hotmail.com-password ]

for Live.com-eMail, use :

Description : Live.com SMTP ( or anything you like )

Outgoing Mail Server : smtp.live.com [ will automatically select Port 25 or Port 465 ]

you can check “Use only this server”, but it’s not obligatory

do check “Use Authentication”

User Name : username@live.com [ replace “username” by your own username ]

Password : ••••• [ your Live.com-password ]

for Outlook.com-eMail, use :

Description : Outlook SMTP ( or anything you like )

Outgoing Mail Server : smtp-mail.outlook.com [ will automatically select Port 587 ]

you can check “Use only this server, but it’s not obligatory

do check “Use Authentication”

User Name : username@outlook.com [ replace “username” by your own username ]

Password : ••••• [ your Outlook.com-password ]

8- then click “Continue” and if you get an error message, just click “Continue” again

9- in the next window, put a check-mark at “Use SSL”, select Authentication “Password” ( or “External (TSL client Certificate)” if you happen to have that ), and click “Continue”

10- in the next window, put a check-mark at “Take account online” and click on “Create”

11- then, back in Mail.app’s Prefecences, under Accounts, select your newly created eMail-account and click on the “Account Information”-tab and re-type your correct eMail-address in “Email Address:” (replacing the nobody@blabla.com you had originally entered) and check if all settings are as they need to be according to the above

12- then exit the Mail.app Prefecences (click the red button upper left) and click “Save” when the “Save changes” pulldown window appears

13- now, back in Mail.app itself (if you do not see the normal Mail window, go to File –> New Viewer Window), you will see the new Hotmail/Live/Outlook account has appeared, and it is looking for your old & new eMails on the Hotmail/Live/Outlook-mail servers

…most people will have lots of old eMails to import, so this might take some time (don’t be surprised if this takes 15, 20 or maybe even 30 minutes…)

14- if the import of the old & new eMails from the Hotmail/Live/Outlook-mail servers is complete, they will appear in the Inbox window and you’re done…

Congratulations !

…if you do not see your old & new eMails appearing, but you do see an “Unread eMails”-number next to the name of the Hotmail/Live/Outlook-inbox in the listing on the left, you have run into a bug in Mail.app that was only recently solved in OSX 10.8.5

to manually solve this problem, quit Mail.app, open Disk Utility (from the Applications –> Utilities folder), run “Repair Disk Permissions” on your Hard Drive’s main partition and when that’s finished, re-open Mail.app and all should be solved

Enjoy !

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fixed : export contacts database from AddressBook to Excel

Question [1] : I’m new to Mac, I just switched to my first Mac, before I only used Windows PCs. How can I import my contacts from my Windows PC into my new Mac running OSX ?

Question [2] : I’m a Mac user myself, but I need to share my contacts database from Apple AddressBook with WindowsPC-users I’m working with. Since there is no Apple AddressBook for Windows, this seems impossible. What can I do ?

Answer to both [1] and [2] : It’s possible, and it isn’t that complicated either.

There are (free) MacOSX-applications that can do this for you.

! BEWARE ! there are 2 applications around that are extremely similar (and therefore easily confused) both in name and features :

Address Book Exporter 2.1.2 (from 2003 ; with a space in the name)

http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/9312/address-book-exporter

AddressBook Exporter 1.0 (from 2005 ; without a space in the name)

http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/17501/addressbook-exporter

The first one (from 2003 ; with a space in the name) is the best one. That’s the one that still works properly with Apple AddressBook from MacOSX 10.6 “Snow Leopard”.

How to install :

  • download the application (from 2003 ; with the space in the name)

http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/9312/address-book-exporter

  • drag the application-icon to your Applications folder

How to use it :

  • startup the application “Address Book Exporter 2.1.2”
  • from the “Groups” list, choose “All” to start converting your entire AddressBook, or choose only the selection that you want to export
  • if you would like to convert / export a selection that is not listed, go back into your AddressBook and create a (temporary) group from your selection
  • now, in “Address Book Exporter 2.1.2” check the checkbox of “Export using current field settings”
  • click the “Configure Settings” button
  • in the pull-down menu that appears, check the checkboxes of everything that you would like to export, and click “OK”
  • click the “Export Address Book” button
  • if you like, you can change the name of the exported file
  • then choose a destination on your Mac where you will be able to easily find the exported file (e.g. “Desktop”) and click “Save”
  • quit “Address Book Exporter”
  • open “MS Excel”
  • drag the icon of the exported file (from the Desktop) onto the MS Excel icon in the Dock, to have it opened in Excel
  • and… here you are : all your contacts are in Excel now
  • from there you can “Save As” to have a .xls-file that you can share with WindowsPC-users