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 : how to unzip downloaded .zip-file that appears as .exe-file ?

Question :

I have just downloaded some zipped archives from a support website, and even though most of them were .zip-files that were automatically unzipped by macOS, some are .exe-files which I can’t open or run on my Mac…

What can I do ?

 

Answer :

Sometimes, Windows computers create self-extracting Windows .exe-files instead of .zip-files or .rar-files when creating compressed archives to transport over the internet or using external drives or USB-sticks…

The built-in Unarchive.app in macOS cannot extract these kind of .exe-archives, but various other unzip-apps can.

Just go to the Mac AppStore, find TheUnarchiver.app, download it and use it for FREE ; the .exe-archives will now be extracted as if they were regular .zip-files or .rar-files

enjoy 😉

fixed : (re)format a drive in FAT32 MBR using macOS

Question :

I need to reformat a USB-stick in FAT32 MBR.

Is it possible to do that on a Mac ?

 

Answer :

Yes, you can.

To (re)format a drive, like a USB-stick, external HardDisk or external SSD in FAT32 MBR (MBR = Master Boot Record) do this :

  • plug the drive (USB-stick) into you Mac
  • make sure that there are no files or documents you need to keep left on the drive (USB-stick)
    • copy all files and documents you are not willing to lose to your internal disk space, or to another external drive
  • goto Applications –> Utilities –> Disk Utility
  • double-click on the application’s icon to startup Disk Utility
  • in the window that opens, click on the View-button (top-left) and select “Show Alle Devices”
  • then, select the drive (USB-stick) from the list of drives on the left
    • it should be listed in the “External” chapter
    • make sure you select the drive itself, not the formatted partition that is on it
      • drives are listed entirely on the left (and have a small triangle in front if they are formatted)
      • partitions are listed shifted slightly to the right of the devices list
  • then, click on the Erase-button (top-center, just below the Disk Utility name)
  • in the pulldown window that opens, select these settings :
    • Name : Untitled [ …or any name you prefer, the choice is up to you ]
    • Format : MS-DOS (FAT)
    • Scheme : Master Boot Record
  • then click on the Erase-button
  • now, wait for the process to complete
  • then, click on the Eject-icon (underlined triangle) next to the name of the drive (USB-stick) in the list on the left
  • when de drive (USB-stick) disappears from the list, you can unplug the USB-stick (or external HD or SSD)
  • close the Disk Utility app

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 : 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 !