IT’S GEEK TO ME: Fellow Geek lends a hand to answer readers’ Mac questions

Geek Note: Well, once again it’s Mac Week here at It’s Geek to Me, as I address some problems that readers are having with their Mac devices. Since I am by no means a Mac guy, I turned to my friend and fellow Geek, Brian Walton, who provided me with most of the information in this column’s answers. Brian is also the owner of Birddawg Computers, through which he sells and services a full line of both PC and Mac hardware. You’ll find him online at Brian is also my #1 assistant at my annual light show build.

Question: Your consummate competence in this space leads to the question: My Macbook Pro now only types in Uzbek, without any conscious prodding of my own. My attempts to sidestep this in settings has been fruitless. Can you help?

– Steven B.

Niceville, Florida

Answer: Well, Steven, although I appreciate your grandiloquent display of ostentatious verbiage, please allow me to elucidate that I would have answered your question even without such florid and bombastic expressions.

Ow. I think I hurt myself. Whew – I’ll be okay, just give me a moment.

So, Steven, the simple answer is that major operating systems such as Windows, MacOS, etc., are designed to be operated by people worldwide, regardless of language or location. To accomplish that, the vendor either must release dozens, or even hundreds of language-specific versions, or they must include an ability for their product to interact in different languages. If it’s not already obvious, the latter choice, being the most cost effective, is the method of choice. In your case, “something” happened on your computer to switch it out of English mode.

This is a simple setting in the keyboard, which you can correct by performing a few simple steps. These steps apply to the latest version of MacOS, Sonoma, so the location of specific items may vary slightly if you’re still on an older version. Choose the Apple menu > System Settings, then scroll down to find and click “Keyboard” in the sidebar. Under “Text Input” click “Edit.” Click the Add (plus) button and search for the language you want and select it. Select one or more input sources to associate with the language and click “Add.” That should set things right for you.

Q: Trying to correct email processing on my iMac. Cox email messed up when cox changed security system several months ago. Email still works okay on my iPhone. Cox

webmail chats unable to fix, and said problem was my iMac OS out of date/unsupported. I’ve upgraded OS to High Sierra (still supported), but still unable to get emails in or out on iMac. Tried cox webmail chats again, but still unable to fix. They suggested that problem may be the Apple Mail App still Mail version 11.5 3445.9.7

Incoming server port 143

Outgoing server port 143 or 587

Do you think I should try to download new macOSMail App?

– Jerry J.

Mary Esther, Florida

A: If there’s a newer version available, I almost always recommend downloading and installing it. That includes not just software, but drivers and system files as well.

In your case, Jerry, I think your problems have more to do with the age of your machine, your installed operating system version, and your server settings, rather than the actual version of the macOSMail application.

If you accurately described your computer in your submission, it’s over 10 years old. Apple generally backs off support for hardware older than 8 years. That could be why you’re running a version of MacOS that seems to be at least six versions behind what is current. If Apple won’t let you upgrade, you’re probably stuck where you are.

However, what concerns me most are errors in your server settings. When you insert a colon after an IP address, as you have done with both your server IPs, this designates a port number to be used. Entries for mail server settings generally have a separate place to enter the port number. It looks like you are also showing that, but information you are using appears to be invalid.

Try removing the “:993” and “:465” from your server IPs, and provide those values in the “Port” field for each of the servers. Don’t use 143 or 587 at all.

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