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 : where to get an OSX driver for Griffin iMate USB to ADB adapter

Question :

I came across an old Mac gamepad that has an ADB (Apple Desktop Bus) connector and I was wondering if it would be possible to use it with my current Mac.

I also found a ‘Griffin iMate USB to ADB adapter’ that enables me to connect the gamepad to my USB-port. Unfortunately, when I connect it, only the joystick directions work, but not the buttons.

Is there anywhere I can get drivers for the Griffin iMate that would work for OSX ?

 

Answer :

Luckily, the WaybackMachine has a rather good backup off the original Griffin website, and most downloads still work. You can find it here :

Griffin iMate Software @WaybackMachine

This includes iMate-drivers for both MacOS9 and MacOSX (both support MacOSX Classic mode, which is MacOS9 running from inside MacOSX).

for MacOS9 driver version 2.7 and earlier versions are available

for MacOSX driver version 1.5.2 and 1.5.3beta are available

Since these are really old drivers, you will have to try if you can still run in your recent version of OSX / macOS.

If they don’t run, you might even be able to use the iMate OS X SDK (Software Development Kit) to create your own 😉

For Windows PCs there are no drivers needed, but keyboards, mice with extended functions will only be partially supported.

enjoy !

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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fixed : easily collect lots of studs in LEGO Batman 3 “Beyond Gotham” game

Question :

My children are really exited about playing the LEGO Batman 3 “Beyond Gotham” game.

Now they keep asking me how to collect as many studs (money-points) as possible quickly and easily.

Can you help me ?

Answer :

Probably the best place in the entire game to collect stud-money easily is in the “Lantern Menace”-level. There you should electrocute the tentacles on the left side. Then there will be fire. To collect studs, extinguish the fire using a character that has ice-breath (like any version of Superman, Supergirl or Superboy) or an ice-gun (like Captain Cold, Mr. Freeze, Geoff Johns and Batman in Arctic Suit). Note that this can be done extra quickly when playing the game with two players instead of just one, since simply switching players enables you to continuously collect studs, either through player 1 or player 2.

Using the Red Bricks for “Studs x2”, “Studs x4”, “Studs x6”, “Studs x8” and/or “Studs x10” will of course multiply your collection of stud-money even more…

That’s it.

Enjoy !

😉

Note : don’t forget to also check out these posts :

fixed : unlock Green Loontern minifig in LEGO Batman 3 “Beyond Gotham” game

fixed : unlock Bat-mite minifig in LEGO Batman 3 “Beyond Gotham” game

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