MacBook Pro 2012… no video camera?

MacBook Pro 2012… no video camera?

For the first time in two years, I needed to use my in-built video camera today… but it wasn’t working.

Turns out that with the update to MacOS Sierra, many in-built camera ended up switched off. Lè sigh!

On to Doctor Google!

The issue stems from an issue with a piece of software called VDCAssistant, which has been part of Mac OS X for a few revisions. For some reason, it’s not activating the camera when needed.

2016 MacBook Pro FaceTime HD Camera Not Working? November 24, 2016 by 

The writer of the blog-post had a brand new shiny out of the box 2016 MacBook Pro and was annoyed to find out that he had to tweak the OS to get the built-in camera operational. Fair enough!

The solution is to stop and restart this daemon. To do this, open Terminal and type the following:

sudo killall VDCAssistant

It will ask you to authenticate with your password (sudo gives you administrator privileges) and will then kill and restart the daemon. After this, your webcam should work fine. And you shouldn’t need to do this again.

2016 MacBook Pro FaceTime HD Camera Not Working? November 24, 2016 by 

HATE using Terminal… even though I started my computer journal writing BASIC in the 1970’s and recording on magnetic tape, I don’t like messing about with the OS on a deep level.

I did it anyway and got the use of my in-built camera immediately.

Thank you Stephen Foskett!

Posted in editorial rant, gender & other differences, society, Society-Culture

‘Kitten-Break’ part two – goats & chickens

Two weeks ago I took a ‘kitten-break’ from posting social justice issues on Facebook. 

For 24 hours, when a (lack of) social justice post or meme occurred in my Facebook timeline, I posted a picture of a kitten and the tag #kittensnotviolence. I got to 29 kittens. There is a post about the experience here : My ‘Kitten-Break’

One of the 29 pictures of kittens
So many posts about abuse come up in my timeline because I am so engaged with social justice – particularly around disability, gender, and sexuality. I share injustices about rapists being set free, companies protecting their executives,  governments not taking care of the elderly, mentally or physically ill, organisations ignorantly stomping over workers rights, … things of that ilk… and I share how change can happen.

It’s emotionally exhausting!

I decided I needed another ‘kitten-break’ this weekend and for 24hrs I posted pictures of baby goats and bantam chickens with the tags #goatsnothate, and then #goatsnothate => #chickensnothate.  There were 38 replacements this time.

The switch from goats to bantams occurred after a friend alerted me to her fear of goats — it wasn’t difficult to change, and because I’m a big fan of reducing anxiety I wasn’t going to cause any.

I can report the same effect as last time — I feel lighter and ready to keep up the fight!

Want to see the cuteness?

Full disclosure – no photos or goats or bantam chickens are mine… 

Posted in editorial rant, EdTech, Moodle, Technical stuff, user interface design

Moodle UX: The Naked Moodle

Boost is the default theme for Moodle 3.3 (and the upcoming 3.4) installations. If you’ve been Moodleing for a while, you might find the navigation to be confusing at first… and you’ll either love it or hate it. I’m personally not fond, but hey, not everything is about my personal preferences. Apart from that, its nice and clean, and gives you a fresh look.

Let’s have a peek and get a little content in here…

The Naked Moodle

fresh naked moodle - home
Naked installation of Moodle – Boost Theme

A Naked Moodle is one of the scariest things you will ever see. It has so much possibility in it, but it looks unfriendly and unyielding. From the thumbnail, you can see that its not going to be scary forever. As soon as we begin to add in our own elements, such as colours, logos, text… we can tame it!

If you have an installation of Moodle that was put together by a Moodle Partner, such as My Learning Space (who I work with), they will often do this initial work for you on your Live Moodle. but because we are playing with an installation on your laptops, you don’t get to leap ahead to something friendlier.

TIP: Run Moodle on your Laptop

I used the Moodle4Mac  (Moodle4Windows is also available) which came with a virtual server filled with everything I need to run Moodle offline ONLY on my laptop – no-one else can access this Moodle.

You might also have access to a ‘test Moodle’ or ‘sandpit Moodle’ which IS on the server, but only for trying things out – it won’t have students/staff, and it won’t be running current courses.

If you are going to mess about with Admin Settings, or even build new Courses, this is a fantastic way of doing that and finding out the problems BEFORE you touch the Live Moodle on the web server that all users have access to.

I’ll be mostly talking about playing with the Moodle on your laptop (or desktop or test/sandpit Moodle installation); but if I need to talk about the Moodle on the web server, that likely has courses already running and users added, I’ll refer to that as your Live Moodle.

Let’s add some logos

Before we look at what is available in Theme Settings, there is a place in Site Administration to add some Logos to the site. I got all inspired and made a video…

TIP: Logo Sizes, Shapes, and File Formats

Unfortunantley, Moodle doesn’t give us exact sizes for what might look good on the site and that seems to be so you are in control and you need to think about what screens will be seeing your Moodle.

Moodle does give you a hint that the Logo would be better as a wide shape, and the Compact Logo is more square shaped “…such as an emblem, shield or icon. The image should be clear even at small sizes.”

Of the two file formats accepted, JPEG and PNG, I’d use the PNG most of the time. PNG makes vectors (lines and plain colours) beautiful, and that’s what you need when you are talking a little graphic with a shield or similar. JPEG/JPG is better at photos and pictures with blended colours. Maybe use JPEG for the wide Logo if you need it.

Next… we’ll look at what we can do using the Theme Settings for Boost

Fangirling: Tom Peters

It was the early 2000’s when I first fell for Tom Peters and his brash, bold style of management and self-management. My first book of his was ‘The Brand You – 50‘, quickly followed by ‘The Professional Service Firm – 50‘. 

I’ve keep an eye out since then and happily followed Tom on Twitter [@tom_peters] as soon as I could.


source: Twitter

“O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”

– Jabberwokky by Lewis Carroll