fixed : replace keyboard keys (keycaps) on MacBook Pro 2020

Question :

I have a 2020 MacBook Pro and some of the keys on the keyboard are completely unreadable since sweaty and greasy fingers have ‘eaten’ away the black and white paint. The MacBook Pro is still working great, so is there any way to replace just the keys / keycaps and not the entire keyboard ?

Answer :

Yes there is !

And it is actually very simple, if you know how to do it.

First, you will need new keycaps. You can get them from a broken MacBook Pro 2020 of course, but you can also buy new ones ( note : if you are fine with just replacing the letter keycaps since the rest of the keys are still okay, you don’t have to worry about the keyboard layouts ( like QWERTY, AZERTY, QWERTZ ) of the keycaps you’re buying, but if you also need specific irregularly shaped or printed keycaps, you have to pay attention to the keyboard layout of the keycaps ) online at Amazon e.g. :

US keyboard keycaps for MacBook Pro 2020 (Amazon affiliate link)

US keyboard keycaps for MacBook Pro 2020 ( affiliate link)

DE keyboard keycaps for MacBook Pro 2020 ( affiliate link) ; can be rearranged to QWERTY or AZERTY

To get a keycap off, do this :

  • slide your fingernail ( note : if you have artificial and/or weak fingernails, use a spudger-tool ) under the top right edge of the keycap
  • then slide your fingernail (of Uspudger-tool) to the top left edge of the keycap
  • the top of the keycap will now loosen
  • now, flip the keycap toward you and it will pop out

note : since you now have the keycap off, you now have the opportunity to clean out any debris (like dust, hairs and bread crumbs) from under the keycap – just make sure you don’t accidentally break the key’s mechanism

To place a new keycap back, do this :

  • hold the keycap in a slight angle compared to the keyboard
  • place the bottom of the keycap in place first
  • then, gently press the top the keycap back into place (you will hear/feel a soft click)
  • now, check if the keycap is in place as intended – if not, take the keycap off entirely (using the above instructions) and do a new attempt to place it properly

That’s it !

enjoy 😉


fixed : broken power adapter for Umax SOHO ethernet switch

Question :

I have an old Umax SOHO 1OHO8 ethernet switch that I would like to use in my LAN-network, but the power adapter has a very strange problem : one of the pins that go into the wall power outlet has come loose, and now ‘retracts’ whenever I plug the power outlet.

I already tried gluing the pin back into the power adapter with superglue, but I can’t fasten it, so it keeps coming loose. I also tried using an adapter plug, but I couldn’t find one that enabled me to keep the pin from retracting…

What can I do to fix this ?


Answer :

Just buy a new one.

You probably won’t be able to find the original one, but you will be able to find a new generic one with the correct specs.

The specs of the Umax SOHO 1OHO8 power adapter are :

  • AC input 230V (so 100-240V will do)
  • DC output 7.5V 1A (= 1000mA)
  • output plug/pin 5.5×2.1mm (= 5.5mm outside diameter & 2.1mm opening diameter inside)
  • output plug/pin polarity : MINUS outside & PLUS inside

You can get a US-version replacement here : US power adapter 7.5V 1A 5.5×2.1mm

You can get a UK-version replacement here : UK power adapter 7.5V 1A 5.5×2.1mm

You can get a EU-version replacement here : EU power adapter 7.5V 1A 5.5×2.1mm  (note that this one actually has a 5.5×2.5mm plug that is compatible with 5.5×2.1mm)

enjoy !

tip : IDE harddrive replacement alternative for iBook G3 & G4

Question :

I am happily using my iBook G4 running MacOSX 10.5 “Leopard”, but it is getting slow because my hard drive is too full. I have looked into buying a new ATA (a.k.a. IDE or PATA) hard drive, but they are rather expensive compared to the current SATA hard drives (mainly in regard to their storage capacity) and they are harder to find as time goes by now… isn’t there any alternative ?

Answer :

Yes ! you do have an interesting alternative…

…it’s far easier to install (you don’t have to open your iBook, which would be quite a hassle)  and you will get lots more GBs of disk capacity for the same price (compared to  IDE-drives) and your iBook will still slide easily in it’s sleeve bag or carrying case…

The solution : get yourself a micro USB-stick !

The type of micro USB-stick I am talking about is any USB-stick similar to the Memorex and Intenso ones, sometimes referred to as “Leave-In” or “Netbook” USB-sticks (which are becoming available in 32GB and 64GB around this time) :

To install :

– just plug in the micro USB-stick in one of the USB-ports

– start up your Mac (or rather : your iBook) and open the Disk Utilities application

– reformat the micro USB-stick to “Mac journaled” format

– then make a complete backup of your Mac (use TimeMachine for instance)

– then copy over all your video (your Video folder), audio (your iTunes folder) and documents (your Documents folder) onto the micro USB-stick

– check if your data has been properly and completely copied, then delete the files from your Mac

– create aliasses (= link-files) of the folders on the micro USB-stick and place those in the original folders where their originals came from (if you’ve done so, you can

– open iTunes pressing the ALT-key and when iTunes ask you where to find your iTunes database, point it towards your micro USB-drive

– that’s it…

Notes :

1- I would normally recommend you to leave just MacOSX and your applications on your internal hard drive, and move all other files onto your micro USB-stick (which reminds some of us to the way a Windows 95 PC would normally be separated into an (C:) and (D:) drive

2- even if your hard drive has crashed, you can use a micro USB-stick to replace your hard drive and use it as your bootable hard drive, by installing MacOSX on it and transferring all your data to it


– to avoid/prevent accidental disconnection of the USB-stick (which might cause serious data-loss), I would recommend to stick a few inches of Scotch-tape over the USB-stick and USB-port

– to be able to neatly place the piece of Scotch-tape, you should take out the iBook’s keyboard for a moment (which is easy to do because of the small keyboard locking sliders on the upper row of keys)