solved : Matter-compatible Smart Thermostats that are already for sale

Question :

I am considering buying new Smart Thermostats for my home, but now I heard that an all New cross-platform standard for home automation called “Matter” will be introduced later this year, I am thinking about postponing my purchases… even though I should start using Smart Thermostats as soon as possible since energy prices ar rocketing…

Now I heard that some of the Smart Thermostats that are already available right now will be upgradable for integration with Matter, but I can’t seem to find any… which ones are sure to work with Matter ?

Answer :

Yes, Matter (formerly known as Project CHIP – Connected Home over IP) will be the new communication standard in home automation. Matter will unify all new home automation by Apple (HomeKit & Siri), Google (Google Home & Nest), Amazon (Alexa), Samsung (SmartThings), Comcast, CSA – Connectivity Standards alliance (formerly known as The Zigbee Alliance), IKEA, Huawei and Schneider. Others like Philips HUE, EVE Home, WiZ and TP-Link (Kasa & Tapo) are working on Matter-certification, and more and more brands will follow.

At the moment of writing (January 2023) only 2 Smart Thermostats that are already available on the market are confirmed to be Matter-compatible / Matter-upgradeable :

We expect to update this list soon when new Matter-compatible Smart Thermostats are confirmed.

fixed : manually update firmware on Samsung SmartTV

Question :

I have my Samsung SmartTV set to automatically do its software updates (actually, these should be called automatic firmware upgrades), and when I let my TV search for new software updates, it tells me no new updates were found.

However, on the internet I found info that suggests that newer versions of the firmware are available for my Samsung SmartTV, just not in my region for some reason.

Is there any way to get these upgrades anyway ?

 

Answer :

If you want to upgrade the firmware on your Samsung SmartTV manually, do this :

  • turn on your TV
  • press the MENU-button on your remote control
  • in the window that opens, on the left, select Support
  • on the right, scroll down entirely and select Contact Samsung 
  • on the page that opens, at the bottom, the Model Code is displayed : write this down ! ( eg. “UE50JU6400” or “UE32J5200” )
  • then ‘arrow to the left’ on your remote control
  • then, on the left, select Support
  • on the right, select Software Update
  • now, on the right, the Current Version is displayed : write this down ! ( eg. 1530 )
  • now, on your Mac (or PC), go to https://www.samsung.com/uk/support/search/
    • note : for unknown reasons, go to the UK website, not the US website, to find the latest firmware upgrades
  • there, typ your model number in the entry field and press the ENTER-key
  • all available firmware upgrades for your TV will now be displayed
  • if the latest version that is available for download is newer than the version listed at Current Version on you TV, download the latest version from the website
  • when the download is done, macOS will automatically unzip it for you to a folder with the firmware upgrade in it
    • if your download turns out to be a .exe-file, use TheUnarchiver.app (available for FREE on the Mac AppStore) to unzip it
  • your firmware upgrade file should now be a folder named “T-….”, and have a folder named “image” inside it
  • plug an empty USB-stick into your Mac
    • the USB-stick must be FAT32 formatted (as nearly every brand-new USB-stick will be)
  • then, drag&drop the folder with the firmware upgrade onto the USB-stick
  • when the copying is done, select EJECT to disconnect the USB-stick from macOS
  • then, you can safely unplug the USB-stick from your Mac
  • now, you can plug the USB-stick into your TV
  • then, turn on the TV (if it wasn’t already on)
  • wait for about 2 minutes, then press the MENU-button on your remote control
  • in the window that appears, on the bottom left, select Support
  • then, select Software Update from the list
  • in the next window, select Update Now
  • now, a pop-up window should display “Do you want to search the connected USB device for update files?”
  • if so, click YES
    • if not, make sure your USB-stick is properly plugged into your TV (if that still won’t work… go back to your Mac and check if your USB-stick is okay)
  • when the TV finds valid firmware files on the USB-stick, the text “A new software version is available. Update from version **** to version ****?” will be displayed
  • then, click YES to start the firmware upgrade
  • a window with a progress bar will be shown now
    • note : during the upgrade process, do NOT unplug the USB-stick or turn the TV off !
  • when finished, the TV will shut down and restart by itself
  • just to make sure if the firmware upgrade was successful, click the MENU-button on your remote control
  • then, select Settings, then Support, then Software Update
  • check if the version listed at Current Version is newer than the version you previously had

That’s it… you’re done !

enjoy 😉

fixed : SPL-C ERROR page printed by Samsung printer

Question :

when I tried to print to my Samsung printer via my Home-network today, the spooling process was very slow, then hung, and then a printed page rolled out of the printer with this text only :

SPL-C ERROR – Disconnected from Host. Please check the connection and try again.

POSITION : 0x3dc5 (252981)

SYSTEM : src_5.59/os_hook

LINE : 1978

VERSION : SPL-C 5.59 05-04-2012

So I restarted the printer, made sure there wasn’t any paper stuck, and tried again. This time I the spooling process was very slow again, hung again, and a similar page rolled out of the printer with this text :

SPL-C ERROR – Disconnected from Host. Please check the connection and try again.

POSITION : 0x15ea5 (89765)

SYSTEM : src_5.59/os_hook

LINE : 1978

VERSION : SPL-C 5.59 05-04-2012

So despite the difference in ‘position’, the problem remained.

What can I do to solve this ?

 

Answer :

This seems to be a weird bug popping up on some Samsung printers connected to Macs once in a while. To solve this problem, do this :

  • quit any printing jobs that are active
  • shut down the printer (take the power cable out)
  • on your Mac, go to System Settings > Printers & Scanners
  • there, delete the problematic printer (by selecting it in the list and clicking the minus-button)
  • then, restart your Mac
  • switch the printer back on (reconnect the power cable)
  • login on your Mac
  • go to System Settings > Printers & Scanners
  • add the printer to the list again (by clicking on the plus-button, and selecting it from the printers found)
  • then close the System Preferences and try printing your document again

That’s it !

enjoy 😉

fixed : MacBook’s external monitor screen stays black

Question :

In my office, I am using an external monitor as my main screen for my MacBook Pro. Today, the screen didn’t respond when I connected my MacBook however : the screen stays black and nothing appears on-screen. So I opened up my MacBook and used the built-in screen to figure out what’s wrong, but so far I haven’t found any indication in the Displays Preference Panel that my MacBook even detects the second screen…

What can I do ?

 

Answer :

In such situations you should always do this first :

Remedy #1 :

  • if you are using a MacBook, MacBook Air or MacBook Pro, make sure you have the power adapter connected
  • if your laptop is on battery power, the external screen will go black whenever you close the lid of your laptop (when on battery power, all connections are powered off when you close the lid to save energy)

if this works, you’re good, if not, try Remedy #2

Remedy #2 :

  • make sure your monitor is switched ON
  • then hit the SPACE-bar on your external keyboard several times (maybe once, usually about 5 to 10 times…)
  • the monitor should now appear and show the inlog panel to unlock your screensaver
  • then login

if this works, you’re good, if not, try Remedy #3

NOTE : if you have a Benq monitor (especially the BL2420TP), try this first :

fixed : Benq monitor stays black when MacBook is switched on

Remedy #3 :

  • unplug all cables between the monitor and your Mac ( DisplayPort / Thunderbolt / HDMI / DVI / VGA  and also USB, UTP, FireWire and PowerAdapter )
  • shut down your monitor
  • shut down your MacBook
  • reconnect all cables and double-check if they’re properly connected on both the Mac and the monitor
  • switch on your MacBook
  • switch on your monitor

if this works, you’re good, if not, try Remedy #4

Remedy #4 :

  • on your MacBook, open Apple [main menu bar top-left] –> System Preferences
  • in the System Preferences window, select “Displays”
  • in the Display Preferences window, see if there is a button marked “Gather Windows” bottom right
  • if there is no “Gather Windows” button, press the ALT-key on your keyboard and a button marked “Detect Displays” appears ; click on it when it appears

if this works, you’re good, if not, try Remedy #5

Remedy #5 :

  • on your MacBook, open Apple [main menu bar top-left] –> System Preferences
  • in the System Preferences window, select “Displays”
  • in the Display Preferences window, see if there is a button marked “Gather Windows” bottom right
  • if there is a “Gather Windows” button, click on it
  • then you will see 2 Display Preference windows on your MacBook screen
  • select the Display Preference window that has 3 tabs on it marked “Display”, “Arrangement” and “Color” (not the window that has “Display” and “Color” only)
  • first, press the ALT-key on your keyboard and a button marked “Detect Displays” appears where the “Gather Windows”-button used to be ; click on it when it appears
  • if your monitor switches on, you’re good, if not…
  • click on the “Arrangement”-tab and in the next window put a checkmark at “Mirror Display”
  • if your monitor switches on now, uncheck the “Mirror Display” option again and close your MacBook… you should be good now…

if this didn’t work, try Remedy #6

Remedy #6 :

  • unplug all cables between the monitor and your Mac ( DisplayPort / Thunderbolt / HDMI / DVI / VGA  and also USB, UTP, FireWire and PowerAdapter )
  • shut down your monitor
  • shut down your MacBook
  • reconnect your Mac to your monitor using a different type of cable then you normally would choose (e.g. if you normally use a DisplayPort/Thunderbolt-cable, use an HDMI or DVI cable now)
  • switch on your MacBook
  • switch on your monitor
  • if your monitor wakes from sleep now, open Apple –> System Preferences
  • in the System Preferences window, select “Displays”
  • in the Display Preferences window, see if there is a button marked “Gather Windows” bottom right
  • if there is a “Gather Windows” button, click on it
  • then you will see 2 Display Preference windows on your MacBook screen
  • now, remove the monitor-cable that you have just used to connect your MacBook to your monitor
  • then, reconnect your MacBook to your monitor using all cables you normally use to connect the two
  • if your monitor now wakes from sleep, you’re good
  • if it doesn’t, restart your monitor
  • it that doesn’t help, restart your Mac

normally your issue should be resolved by now…

if still the monitor stays showing a back screen, I’m sorry to inform you that your screen probably has a hardware problem… if so, get an authorized Mac-repair-centre to fix it, get the Apple Store support-crew to fix this…

that’s it !

enjoy 😉

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 😉

enjoy !

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fixed : print iOS note to a wireless non-AirPrint printer

Question :

I have some iCloud Notes on my iPhone and I would like to print them on my wireless printer (a Samsung CLP-365W wireless color laserprinter), but it’s not an AirPrint-supported printer…

…how do I do that ?

Answer :

First make sure your wireless printer is set-up for use with iOS (iPhone/iPad).

For instructions to do so with a Samsung CLP-365W, click here.

Then make sure you have the wireless printing app installed that works with your pinter, you will probably be able to find one in the iTunes App Store, either released by the printer manufacturer or a general one that is compatible with your printer.

For use with the Samsung CLP-365W, you will need the Samsung Mobile Print app.

Then follow these steps :

1- open “Notes” on your iPhone/ iPad

2- select the note you want to print

3- when the specific note is opened, double-tap on the screen and choose “Select All” from the popup, then select “Copy”

4- use the Menu-button to go back to the main screen and there, select the Mobile Print app, when it opens, select “Clipboard”

5- then select your wireless printer and click “Print”

…that’s it !

Enjoy !

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tip : which scanners are compatible with OSX 10.9 Mavericks ?

Question :

Which scanners will work with OSX 10.9 Mavericks ?

Answer :

Just like with previous versions of MacOSX, the built-in compatibility with older scanners is rather low…

…in the specs of OSX 10.9 Mavericks there isn’t any indication of extended scanner support, so it is expected that “wireless scanning” (over WiFi/AirPort) isn’t supported either, just as was the case (or should I say “problem”) in previous versions of MacOSX…

Apple hasn’t published a list of pre-installed scanner-drivers either, so there’s nothing official on this…

…there is however, a (very short) list of supported scanners pre-installed in OSX 10.9 Mavericks itself :

CanoScan 5600F             find it in the US, UK or Germany
CanoScan 9000F             find it in the US, UK or Germany
CanoScan LiDE 100         find it in the US or Germany
CanoScan LiDE 110         find it in the US, UK or Germany
CanoScan LiDE 200         find it in the US, UK or Germany
CanoScan LiDE 210         find it in the US, UK or Germany
CanoScan LiDE 700F       find it in the US, UK or Germany

This list can be found in :

/Library/Printers/Canon/IJScanner/Resources/CIJIcons

…strangely, there are no such icons installed for scanners from other brands like EPSON and HP… so support for those scanners is either not included (yet) or left up to the individual manufacturers…

NOTE #1 : in MacOSX 10.7 Lion, OSX 10.8 Mountain Lion and OSX 10.9 Mavericks scanner-compatibilty can be extended by installing the SANE-scannerdrivers, as outlined here.

NOTE #2 : if you are a professional and/or heavy user, you could also try using the SilverFast 8 scanner-suite, which adds support for these scanners to OSX 10.9 Mavericks (since even the cheapest version, SilverFast SE 8, will cost you €50, this only is a relevant solution for professional and/or heavy users…)

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