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Mac Wireless & Airport Connection Problem Troubleshooting: The Basics

Mac’s are amazingly reliable and have few problems, but it’s not incredibly unusual to run into problems connecting to a wireless network. If you’re having problems connecting your Mac wirelessly to an Airport or other WiFi router, check out this guide and try out these troubleshooting tips to fix your wireless internet connection.

* Turn Airport on & off – You can do this via the Airport menu bar or from the Network Preferences. This is the first thing you should try when troubleshooting Mac wireless problems.

* Reset your router – This is the second thing you should try doing. You can fix a surprising amount of wireless problems just by resetting the airport/router. All you need to do is turn the thing off for a few seconds and turn it back on.

* Reset your Cable/DSL modem – You’ll usually want to reset this in combination with your wireless router. Reset this first so the DHCP information will be pulled to the wireless router properly.

* Change Wireless Channels – sometimes your router’s wireless broadcast channel will interfere with a neighbors, be sure you have your router set to a unique channel. Even if it’s a weak signal there can still be interference.

* Make sure Wireless/Airport card software & firmware is up to date – This is usually done just by going to the Software Update menu, if there are any updates available for your Mac or Airport, install them.

Mac Wireless Troubleshooting: Intermediate

* Change wireless security protocol – You shouldn’t be using WEP anyway for security reasons, but sometimes changing from WEP to WPA/WPA2 or WPA to WPA2 can resolve wireless connection difficulties.

* Make sure router firmware is up to date – Check your router manufacturers website for firmware updates, if there are any available, install them.

* Delete and recreate connection – Try deleting and recreating/reestablishing the wireless connection, sometimes a setting can be corrupted and this may fix it.

* Create a new Network Location – Similar to the above suggestion, try creating a new and different wireless network location to see if it resolves the connection problems.

* Change DHCP auto settings to manual – sometimes there is a problem with the DHCP server, and if you manually set an IP address on the network you can be fine. Remember to set the IP to a high number so it wouldn’t interfere with other DHCP machines. As long as you have the subnet mask, router, and DNS settings configured manually as well, this shouldn’t be a problem.

* Disable “Wireless G/N/B only” mode – Sometimes a setting is selected that only broadcasts your wireless signal in Wireless B, G, or N mode (depending on the routers abilities). If this is set, try disabling it.

dscacheutil -flushcache

Mac Wireless Connection Problem Troubleshooting: Advanced

* Zap the PRAM – Reboot your Mac and hold Command+Option+P+R during restart until you hear another chime, let the Mac boot as usual.

* Delete Wireless Config files – Delete com.apple.internetconfigpriv.plist and com.apple.internetconfig.plist files from ~/Library/Preferences and reboot

* Trash your home directories SystemConfiguration – Remove all files within ~/Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/ and then reboot your Mac.

* Reset your Mac’s System Management Controller (SMC) – For MacBook and MacBook Pro’s: Shutdown the MacBook/Pro, remove the battery, disconnect the power, hold the Power Key for 15 seconds. Replace the battery, reconnect power, and zap the PRAM and wait for 2 chimes before letting the keys go. Let boot as usual.

Many of these tips are from our fixing dropped wireless airport connection problems in Snow Leopard article.

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The Beginner’s Guide To Gaming On Mac

Gaming on macOS has never been a huge selling point. And considering how small the Mac market is in comparison to the PC market, few developers have provided native support for macOS. But macOS has more power as a gaming platform than its reputation would suggest. There are five major ways you can game on your Mac.

1. GeForce Now Cloud Gaming

GeForce Now is the newest offering on the list, and it’s incredibly cool. It uses high-end video streaming and virtualization tools to let users play games on Nvidia’s hardware. This hardware, camped in data centers around the country, processes your input and sends back high-end graphics. This means your computer only needs to be capable of rendering YouTube videos to support high-end gaming on brand-new titles.

You might think you’d experience a ton of lag, but that’s far from the case. The only downside is that very slight input lag can make precision aiming in competitive shooters slightly more challenging.

But you get to play games like Overwatch and PUBG on a Mac. Better yet, the service is currently in a free open beta. You provide the games, and Nvidia provides the hardware. Learn more and install GeForce Now from Nvidia’s website.

2. Emulators

If you want to pay the newest games, GeForce Now is your best option. But if you have fond memories of older-generation console games, you can use emulators to play a ton of games for free. While you do technically need to pirate the games, it’s often considered a moral grey area by users that have purchased the game previously.

Emulators are available for just about every console up to the Playstation 3, but not every emulator works with macOS. Emulation requires such tremendous CPU power, and emulators must be written for the base OS’s code.

The process of using an emulator tends to vary for each platform, but the basic concept is the same for all. Run the emulator to create a virtualized environment that matches the console’s specs, then load the games from a separate file. Keep in mind that even with a newer system, you might not get awesome frame rates for newer games.

OpenEmu is a macOS-compatible combined emulator for many classic gaming platforms. Emulators for individual platforms can be downloaded at Emulator Zone.

3. Wineskin

Wineskin is a tool for making macOS ports of Windows software. It’s primarily used for games, but it can be used for non-gaming software, too. It works by creating “wrappers” that run concurrently with Windows programs, spoofing the operating environment the program is expecting. When you use Wineskin Winery to create a wrapper for each application you want to run, each game will have its own .app file in your Applications directory.

Wineskin is a free software project, and it’s regularly updated, but it doesn’t necessarily work for every game. As the Wineskin manual says, “It’s not always easy, and the same methods might not work for different programs.” It does tend to work best with older, less complicated games that use well-known software libraries. Right now, the platform only officially works on older versions of macOS, making support sketchy.

4. Steam

There’s a surprising number of games that are natively available for the Mac or ported to the platform. You can install Steam on any Mac, or take a look at their Mac games directory online. The depth might surprise you! Natively-supported games tend to lean towards strategy games and Valve’s own games, but there’s a wide variety of games available.

5. Boot Camp

Finally, you can always install Windows on your Mac with Boot Camp. It’s the most expensive option and one of the most complicated to set up. But once you get it running, it’s basically trouble-free.

Of course, You might find your a rig a little underpowered for the newest games at the highest quality settings: Macs are optimized for high-end gaming. However, you won’t have to worry about compatibility, emulation or support by a third party.

Conclusion

The most reliable tool for gaming on a Mac is Boot Camp, but it’s also resource- and time-intensive. GeForce Now is an amazing secondary option for Mac gamers who don’t want to split their hard drive in half for Windows. Retro gamers can emulate most classic games, and Steam offers native Mac support for a variety of games. Wineskin is something of a last resort but can often get older games and those no longer supported running on macOS. If you really want a Mac that can run games like the best Windows machines, build a high-end Hackintosh and dual-boot Windows.

Alexander Fox

Alexander Fox is a tech and science writer based in Philadelphia, PA with one cat, three Macs and more USB cables than he could ever use.

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Problems Linux Enthusiasts Refuse To Address

I like to think of myself as a relatively long time Linux enthusiast. In fact, I feel like a fish out of water when asked to work on a Windows box or with a Mac.

Like most of you, I can certainly make the adjustment for a day, but I always come away feeling a little stranger from the experience. Guess this happens when you’re bound to a single way of doing things for an extended period of time.

Now let’s flip the coin for a moment. Despite the many successes seen from the desktop Linux camp over the years, there are some areas that continue to be left largely unchecked. Rather than automatically painting my findings with a negative brush, instead let’s examine each issue closely.

Let’s see if there is in fact a real problem at all. In this article, I’ll tackle specific concerns I’ve noticed and focus on whether these issues present any real concern for us in the long run.

User adoption – the good, bad and the ugly

Most people agree that desktop Linux adoption is up. We just don’t really know by how much. And with new people making their way into the Linux way of doing things, there comes many questions and plenty of new user frustrations. Many of the concerns expressed by new users are easy enough to overcome.

One of the simplest ways to overcome new user issues would be to purchase PCs with a little sticker attached that says “your distro here.” Don’t laugh, they exist.

Yet oddly we still see many new users wanting to try and make their “made for Windows” computers work instead. I suppose one can hardly blame them, what with a tight economy and the desire to get the most out of the computers they already own.

But what I find frustrating about the entire process is that nearly all of the Linux distributions targeting new users don’t bother to explain the challenges that exist with using “made for Windows” hardware combined with their distro. Sure, for you and I it’s a snap. For a new Linux user, however, this is not clearly spelled out. Often, selecting video or wireless chipsets can provide hours of unneeded frustration.

Distro developers have done their jobs well. So have those who are working to promote their distributions throughout the various channels, for the most part. But where I see the ball being dropped early on is with clear guidelines as to what new users should expect.

I’m sorry, but I think in 2011 we have outgrown statements like “it’s not Windows” and “visit the forums for help.” Providing a simple notice on the distribution websites indicating that self-installation is to be an “as is” type of deal, would provide some much needed reprieve for newbies everywhere.

This is especially true when followed up with a list of links where they can purchase Linux pre-installed desktops and notebooks as an alternative.

The state of Linux pre-installed

If you’re someone who purchases their computers online, finding computers with popular Linux distros installed is fairly easy. If however, you’re among those who have never even heard much about Linux on the desktop, you can thank the lack of visibility in local big box stores.

Now I’m not saying that this is a show-stopping issue and that it’s going to create a massive problem for existing Linux users. Fact is, that’s not going to happen. But I do think this lack of local pre-installed availability is a crying shame and really stacks the deck against non-geeky adoption.

Now I think it’s awesome that there are a small handful of reputable vendors selling desktop Linux PCs online these days. Unfortunately this does nothing for the casual user who will never discover it. Up until recently, Dell was the closest shot we ever had with a big brand retailer. Visit chúng tôi today, however, and behold a complete lack of any actual products offered running Linux on the desktop.

It’s truly sad that Dell dropped the ball like this. There was a time when Ubuntu PCs were even seen in Dell circulars! Well, it was fun while it lasted.

Now many of you will be “chomping at the bit” to point out how various community groups and so forth are fulfilling the need for local Linux marketing. I would respond by stating that this is nonsense and further point out that out of 100 random people familiar with OS X and Windows, I’d bet my left kidney that none of them even know what Linux is.

Offer an experience, not just another OS

Accepting the reality that we may never see a foothold at the local big box level has me pondering about what the alternatives may be to a necessary evil at this juncture. I believe another approach is in order.

Remember the concept behind Zonbu? Clever idea with a horrid execution that wasn’t planned out very well. What Zonbu did right was the idea of selling people a worry-free PC that just worked and also happened to keep all personal data safe “in the cloud.”

Where Zonbu completely dropped the ball, however, was in selling cheap computers that had no long term value. Users couldn’t even operate a scanner with Zonbu, for Pete’s sake! It was really poorly thought out.

How To Reset Chrome Sync To Fix Problems

Google Chrome is excellent at syncing browser data between desktop and mobile devices. The integrated Chrome sync functionality, which helps make that happen, works efficiently behind the scenesn.

Over time, though, you may run into issues where Chrome fails to make your browsing data available across devices. In such instances, resetting Chrome sync is a fix that can help.

Table of Contents

What Happens When You Reset Chrome Sync

Chrome uses the Google servers to upload and sync changes to browsing data among devices. A Chrome sync reset allows you to start again from scratch.

The reset starts by deleting the browser data stored within Google’s servers. It then logs you out of Chrome on all your devices. This disables Chrome sync everywhere.

Chrome assumes the data present on the first device that you sign in with as the most recent. While you can use any of your devices to reset Chrome sync, you must enable it again on a device that contains a complete version of browsing data. If not, you may end up syncing obsolete data among devices.

Why You Must Reset Chrome Sync

Below, you can find several scenarios that can call for a Chrome sync reset.

You Can’t Sync Your Data Between Devices

If you are sure that you’ve set up Chrome sync correctly, you can try resetting it to set things straight. After deleting the data online, sign back in with the device that has your most recent browsing data.

You Keep Running Into Performance Issues

Do you keep running into performance issues in Chrome? If you’ve already gone through the recommended troubleshooting fixes for Chrome crashes and freezes, you can wrap that up by performing a Chrome sync reset.

You Forgot Your Sync Passphrase

A sync passphrase allows you to encrypt the data on the Google servers. That prevents anyone from reading your browsing data if you end up compromising your Google Account credentials. 

If you forget your sync passphrase, however, you can’t sync your browsing data to newer devices. In that case, a Chrome sync reset can help you get rid of it. You must also do that if you want to change your sync passphrase.

You Deleted Passwords or Bookmarks Accidentally You Have Privacy Concerns

Do you feel uncomfortable having your browsing data stored on Google’s servers? If you want to stop using Chrome sync altogether, resetting it can help you get rid of the online data. Aside from that, you may also want to look into deleting your Chrome web activity.

How to Reset Chrome Sync

Resetting Chrome sync is a straightforward affair. You can perform it on any device (desktop or mobile) that you’ve signed into with your Google Account. You do not have to repeat it on other devices.

Desktop (Windows/macOS)

1. Open the Chrome menu and select Settings.

2. Select Sync and Google services.

3. Select Review your synced data.

4. Scroll down the Data from Chrome sync page and select Reset Sync.

5. Select OK.

Mobile (Android/iOS)

1. Open the Chrome menu and tap Settings.

2. Tap Sync and Google services.

3. Tap Manage Sync.

4. Tap Manage synced data (Android) or Data from Chrome sync (iOS).

5. Scroll down the Data from Chrome sync page, and tap Reset Sync.

6. Tap OK.

How to Enable Chrome Sync

After you’ve reset Chrome sync, you can sign back in and reactivate it on your devices. Since you’ve already signed into the browser previously, you do not have to re-enter your Google Account credentials again.

Desktop (Windows/macOS)

1. Select your profile icon to the right side of the Chrome address bar.

2. Select Turn on sync.

3. Select Yes, I’m in.

Mobile (Android/iOS)

1. Open a new tab and tap the profile icon to the top-right of the screen.

2. Tap Sign in to Chrome.

3. Tap Yes, I’m in.

Fix Issues With a Chrome Sync

Troubleshooting Green Tinting On Google Pixel 4Xl Phones

Gamma calibration seems like something that should be left to NASA or even “Star Trek,” but Google Pixel 4XL users know very well that gamma calibration is the cause of their screen tinting problems. Ever since Google released its new Pixel lineup in 2023, 4XL users have reported the presence of a green-tinted screen whenever their phone is set to a low light level.

The problem lies in the display’s gamma calibration. Gamma calibration is how the system lights up your screen. Unlike Google’s standard Pixel 4, which uses an LG display, the 4XL uses the Samsung display. The Samsung display’s gamma calibration is not fully compatible with the 4XL’s 90Hz refresh rate. Therefore, when the light is low, users get a green tint. That is your underlying “why.”

Fixing the problem, therefore, requires a total recalibration to make the Samsung display work with the 90Hz refresh rate. You shouldn’t have to sacrifice your refresh rate for the sake of a tint, so c’mon, Google! Fix the issue!

Green Tint Patch from Google

Okay, okay, they did!

In January 2023, Google announced that it developed a patch for the Pixel 4 and 4XL that ultimately resolves the green tint problem. If you haven’t updated your Pixel since 2023, you can download the OTA files here or update wirelessly on your phone. Users of the Pixel 4 aren’t experiencing the green tint problem like 4XL users are, but Google wanted to cover its bases and make sure the patch was available for both devices.

Try Using the CleanSlate Custom Kernel to Fix Green Tinting Problem

If you don’t trust the Google update or already use the CleanSlate custom kernel, XDA Recognized Developer by the username of tbalden took the green tint issue into his own hands. He has fixed this problem with a new version of his CleanSlate custom kernel. The update applies gamma corrections to the 90Hz calibration based on the 60Hz refresh rate calibration.

Other Troubleshooting Options to Fix Green Tinting Issue

Maybe you don’t want to download the patch because you just want to get a new phone? Perhaps you can live with the green? Perhaps you misheard that the Pixel 4 and 4XL are being discontinued?

If you want a new phone, then go get one. No reason to download the patch! If you can learn to love the green tint, more power to you! The green tint won’t harm your phone. And if you misheard about the discontinuation of the Pixel 4 models, it’s actually the Pixel 3 models that are no longer being made.

If, for whatever reason, you do not want to download the update that will solve your green tint problem, you can continue to troubleshoot.

Turn Off Night Light

Night Light is a feature on Pixel 4XL that makes it easier for your eyes to view the screen at night — or when it’s dark. The hue change can give the appearance of a color tint since it does tint the screen.

Tap Schedule. If you are running Night Light on your phone, you should see scheduled start and end times when it will activate/deactivate.

To disable Night Light, tap None next to Schedule.

Change Your Refresh Rate

Changing your refresh rate doesn’t necessarily troubleshoot the green tint problem, but rather hides it. The other benefit of improving the refresh rate on your phone includes more extended battery life. A higher refresh rate demands more power from your phone and can quickly drain the battery. Dropping it down to 60Hz is plenty of a fix for both problems.

In Smooth Display, you should see a toggle switch that controls the refresh rate. If it is toggled to the right, then the 90Hz refresh rate is enabled. Tap the switch to turn it off and bring it back down to 60Hz.

Now you’ve not only hidden the green screen tint, but you’ve also preserved your battery life!

Wrapping Up

It’s not easy being green, but luckily you don’t have to live with it. There are two great patches from which you can choose to solve the problem. And if you don’t want to download them, then, well, here’s to imperfect gamma calibration!

How To Discover Dns Server Problems In Android

Have you ever tried to access a site on your Android phone, but got a DNS server error instead? And did you think it was because of the website’s server problem? Or weak signals from your Wi-Fi?

Well, you are not alone. Many Android users give up in trying to access the website when they stumble upon an error. They either think the site is down, or the Wi-Fi has bad signals and try later — only to get the same error.

Today, we will discuss how to discover and solve DNS server problems in Android.

What is a DNS Server?

When you are trying to access a website on the Internet, your first step would be to type the address in the URL bar. Do you think our Android system, or your PC for that matter, knows exactly what to do when you type chúng tôi Well, it does, but with the help of a DNS server.

The Domain Name System (DNS) is basically like a phonebook of the Internet. It stores all the addresses or domain names with respect to their actual IP addresses. So, when you type chúng tôi the DNS server will map the domain to its corresponding IP address and will show you the website information.

Various other servers come into play to access the webpages. However, the DNS server makes it happen by handling all the DNS queries.

DNS problems in the older versions of Android

Most DNS server problems go unnoticed in Android because let’s be honest — we don’t really pay much attention when a website doesn’t open up. We simply think it’s an issue with the Wi-Fi and leave it at that.

However, in most cases, your DNS server might be the culprit. It does get challenging to pinpoint the cause, especially in mobile platforms like Android. Internet problems like no connectivity, unable to open websites, connection timed out error messages occur due to DNS server slowdown and other issues.

Since there isn’t a proper notifying mechanism about DNS server errors in the older versions of Android, these problems mask themselves as Wi-Fi problems. Maybe you wanted to play cool online RPG games, but now you can’t because your connection doesn’t seem to be working.

To discover DNS problems on Android, first, check whether the Internet is working or not. If it’s not working, you might have to call your ISP. If the Internet is working and you can’t access certain websites, it could be a DNS server error. The giveaway is when these websites don’t open on your device but are working properly on other devices.

How to fix DNS issues on Android

Now that you know how to identify a DNS server, it’s time to learn how to fix it too. Here’s how you can fix DNS server errors in Android.

Enable/Disable the Internet

Sometimes, the easiest fix is to refresh the router. If you are connected to Wi-Fi, turn the router off, wait 10 seconds, and restart. Further, if you are using a mobile internet connection, try disconnecting and then reconnecting.

If this step doesn’t fix the issue, move on to the next step.

Change your DNS server

There are lots of options for public DNS servers, and switching to these servers normally fixes the issue. So, how do you do it?

The settings differ upon various phone models. Here, I changed the DNS server on Android Pie (Android version 9) on Samsung Galaxy A50.

Here are the steps:

Open Wi-Fi settings on your Android device

Tap once on your network, and go to Advanced settings

Change IP settings to Static

Write the DNS server IPs to DNS 1 and DNS 2 (For Google’s free DNS, DNS 1 is 8.8.8.8, DNS 2 is 8.8.4.4)

Tap on save

Disconnect from the network and connect again

Now try opening the websites that didn’t work before. This should fix the issue. Moreover, using Google’s or Cloudfare DNS servers will boost your internet speed as well.

Some free DNS servers:

Alternate DNS: 8.8.4.4

Alternate DNS: 208.67.220.220

Alternate DNS: 8.20.247.20

Alternate DNS: 1.0

Restart your Android device

When you restart a computerized device, it gets refreshed. So, sometimes when a DNS server error pops up and the steps mentioned above don’t work, this should do the job.

Update Google Play Services

Many apps require Google Play Services to run. Sometimes, an error of “dns_probe_finished_no_internet” pops up when your Play Services aren’t up-to-date. So, updating Google Play Services will likely solve the DNS server issue.

Android 11 will show DNS server problems on Wi-Fi

Lately, Android 11 has been making news about all its cool new features. And rightfully so, as Android users will finally be getting a screen recorder, scrolling screenshots, and many more. But the most useful feature,  in our opinion, is going to be showing a detailed explanation when a network doesn’t work. This is especially applicable in cases of DNS server errors.

The older versions of Android simply showed “can’t connect” or “no internet” error. Or, you had to check the private DNS setting in order to find out what went wrong.

However, in Android 11, this information will be displayed right under the Wi-Fi network, making it easier to troubleshoot connectivity problems. This version will reportedly also send a notification with DNS server error in case you didn’t open the Wi-Fi settings page.

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