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 : compress video for WhatsApp (or eMail)

Question :

I would like to send a small piece of a video I just shot at a birthday party to a group of friends on WhatsApp, but it’s too big to upload.

How can I compress it for easy viewing on Whatsapp ?

 

Answer :

If you have shot the video on your iPhone you can send it right away, and iOS will do the compression for you.

However, if you already have the video on your Mac and you want to compress it before you send it using WhatsApp Desktop (for macOS), do this :

  • make sure you trim down the length of the video to a clip that only includes the most relevant part of the video
    • you can do this in QuickTime Player (included in macOS for FREE)
  • use Smart Converter (FREE from Mac AppStore) and choose ‘for iPhone or iPod’, then click ‘Convert’ to convert
    • this will convert to an .mp4 video with 1280×720 resolution at 30 frames per second and AAC sound (file size ca. 10MB per 10 seconds)
  • use Handbrake (FREE from handbrake.fr) and choose ‘Presets’ > ‘Gmail Large 3 minutes 720p30’, then click ‘Start’ to convert
    • this will convert to an .mp4 video with 1280×720 resolution at 30 frames per second and AAC sound (file size ca. 2MB per 10 seconds)

Note : even though the frame rate and screen size are the same, the ‘Gmail’-ready file will be much smaller than the ‘iPhone’-ready file, even though (or rather ‘because’) this comes with the downside that quick-moving objects will blur in the ‘Gmail’-ready video (compared to the ‘iPhone’-ready video that hardly has any blur and is similar in size and quality to the ‘Fast 720p30’ preset in Handbrake) 

That’s it !

enjoy 😉

fixed : quickly rotate a movie file in macOS 10.15 Catalina

Question :

I have a movie-file that was shot on an iPhone in portrait-mode, but I think it will look better  when viewed in landscape-mode. It’s a video of you cat playing on the carpet, shot from above, so both portrait-mode and landscape-mode are okay for viewing, but as we prefer to view video’s on out TV it would make more sense to have it in landscape-mode.

How do I do that ?

 

Answer :

In MacOSX and OSX rotating photos was easily done in iPhoto or Photos.app, but rotating video couldn’t be done in iPhoto or Photos.app – that had to be done in video editing software like iMovie, or a dedicated video-rotation-app.

In macOS 10.15 Catalina, rotating video 90 degrees can be done extremely simple in the Finder :

  • open the Finder (click out of all apps until you have only the Desktop to look at)
  • open a New Finder Window by typing CMD and N keys on your keyboard simultaneously (or goto Finder > File > New Finder Window)
  • locate the video-file (if you know it’s name, typ it in the Search-bar, else browse to the file if you know where it’s located)
  • then click on the file name to select it
  • the video preview will now come up on the right side, with various info and some buttons below it
  • to rotate your video 90 degrees counter-clockwise, click on Rotate Left
  • to rotate your video 90 degrees clockwise, press the ALT key on your keybord and click on Rotate Right (in the same spot where the Rotate Left button used to be)
  • then wait for the processing to end…

…and you’re done 😉

That’s it – 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 : get very old iPhoto Library to open in macOS Mojave Photos.app

Question :

On my old PowerPC G4 (or G5) Mac I found some old photos in iPhoto.

Is it possible to copy the database and open it in the Photos.app on my new Mac that runs macOS 10.14 Mojave ?

Or do I have to import the photos as just photos and lose all additional info and edit that was done in iPhoto long ago ?

 

Answer :

Of course, the easiest and quickest way to get the original photos into your new Photos.app would be to just import all the old photos into Photo.app. But… as you already mentioned, you will loose all additional info and edits that you added in iPhoto back in the days.

The best way to get as much info and edits into Photos.app as possible is to do the following :

  • connect an external HD, external SSD or USB-stick with plenty of GBs to your old PowerPC G4 or G5 Mac
  • go to Users –> [your account name] –> Pictures –> iPhoto Library
  • copy the iPhoto Library (or even the entire Pictures folder) onto your external HD/SSD or USB-stick
  • when done, eject the external HD/SSD or USB-stick (by dragging it’s icon to the trash or clicking the eject-icon besides it’s name in the Finder) and disconnect it from your old Mac
  • then connect the external HD/SSD or USB-stick to your new Mac
  • download the iPhoto Library Upgrader software from Apple :

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202358

  • install the iPhoto Library Upgrader Tool
  • go to Applications –> Utilities –> iPhoto Library Upgrader Tool
  • run the iPhoto Library Upgrader Tool
  • in the window that opens, click on the Choose Library button
  • then select the iPhoto Library that is now on your external HD/SSD or USB-stick
  • then click Continue
  • when done, exit the iPhoto Library Upgrader Tool
  • then go to Apple-menu (Apple-icon top-left in the Finder) –> System Preferences –> iCloud
  • make sure you are Signed In into iCloud
  • then, in the list on the right at “Photos” click on the Options button
  • then make sure that there is a check mark at “iCloud Photos”
  • then exit System Preferences
  • now, double-click the Photos.app while holding down the [ALT]-key on your keyboard
  • now, while starting up Photos.app will ask you which Photos/ iPhoto Library to open
  • then choose the iPhoto Library that’s on your external HD/SSD or USB-stick
  • now, Photos.app will start converting the iPhoto Library to an up-to-date Photos Library
  • when done, Photos.app will display your old iPhoto photos
  • then, in Photos.app, goto Preferences, then General-tab and at Library Location click the ‘Use as System Photo Library’-button, to (temporarily) make the old iPhoto/Photos Library the one that syncs with iCloud
  • then Photo.app will start uploading the old photos to iCloud
  • now, in iCloud, these photos will be merged with the ones that were already in iCloud and they will be sent out to your iCloud (or rather iCloud Photos) connected devices
  • when the uploading is complete, you can quit Photos.app
  • now, double-click the Photos.app while holding down the [ALT]-key on your keyboard
  • now, while starting up Photos.app will ask you which Photos/ iPhoto Library to open
  • then choose the iPhoto Library that used to be your main Photos Library previously (usually the one that is in your current user’s Pictures folder)
  • then, in Photos.app, goto Preferences, then General-tab and at Library Location click the ‘Use as System Photo Library’-button, to make make your main Photos Library the one that syncs with iCloud again and be the one that opens when you startup Photos.app
  • then wait for the ‘new’ (additional old) photos to sync from iCloud and you will have an integrated Photos Library of old and new Photos and iPhoto’s databases

that’s it !

enjoy 😉