Q: My Boston Acoustics BA735 digital speakers came with a previous computer, but I’d like to connect them to my MacBook Pro. The speakers and the Mac both use the same 3.5-millimeter jack system, but the speakers are digital and the Mac only outputs an analog signal. Is there some kind of analog-to-digital converter I can use to make the speakers compatible with the MacBook?
—Rick Boudiette, New Orleans
A: You don’t need to convert anything, because the term “digital speakers” is a misnomer. All speakers are analog, whether they connect to a computer or a stereo system. Because your speakers have their own power source and use a 3.5-millimeter connecting jack, you can plug them into the analog “audio out” port on your MacBook and they should work.
If the speakers aren’t getting any sound from the Mac, make sure the Mac’s sound is on and clean the audio port with a paper clip to remove lint. If that doesn’t work, try restarting the Mac.
If those things don’t get results, perform an “NVRAM reset” (see tinyurl.com/3jpepmpb). NVRAM (nonvolatile random-access memory) is a computer chip that stores Mac settings. Resetting it will return the Mac’s audio and video to their default settings, which should enable your speakers to work properly.
Car connectivity UPDATE: In a column two weeks ago (see tinyurl.com/frr35pcs), Jonathan Griebel of Maple Grove said that his Android Phone and his 2016 Toyota RAV4 had stopped communicating.
I blamed an outdated version of the Android Auto program, and suggested a software update for the car.
But longtime automotive writer Mark Houlahan of Lakeland, Fla., said the 2016 car probably uses non-Android Auto software and older hardware, which could stop connecting when a phone’s software was upgraded.
If he’s right, the car needs new hardware and software.