Solving the iTunes Store “blank page” Issue

Just wanted to share this as it took me ages to work out why this was happening but only a few minutes to actually fix it.

So the symptoms…

> On opening iTunes, and selecting the iTunes Store, the home area would be sporadic bits of content with large gaps of nothing.
> When clicking through the tabs there would be nothing or just one or two bits of random content
> The App Store, Podcasts and iTunes U had absolutely nothing – just a completely white blank page

So I have spent a good amount of time wandering around the internet to see if I could find anything to help me. Apparently a LOT of people have had this issue (-_- ; )

Some people had quite extreme solutions like resetting keychains and putting through lots of commands and processes and deleting things as root. Others suggested changing the date or time or language.

However!

The one page that caught my eye and actually ended up solving this straight away was actually from Apple Support. But it was to do with issues signing in with your Apple ID.

Screen shot 2016-07-10 at 13.15.03

It had nothing to do with blank pages in the iTunes Store.

So why did it catch my eye?

Because it mentioned Safari, root of all evil and program of death and mayhem. (Oh, you are thinking that perhaps I am being mean, harsh, unfair? Read this post and then judge me.)

After having said issues with Safari before, I pretty much blocked everything I possibly could in the Safari Preferences.  However, I did not delete it. For this reason:

APPLE WILL ALWAYS FIND SOME WAY OF MAKING YOU REGRET DELETING ITS OWN PRODUCTS

evil Apple

There will always be something; some reason that you need some default Apple program to run other things.

And I was right. Because what the Apple Support page says is…

If you’ve blocked cookies in Safari, you might be asked to sign in repeatedly when you try to view your account information in the iTunes Store.

And I thought, this has nothing to do with my problem. I can sign in fine. It can’t work… Surely… I mean, iTunes has nothing to do with Safari. I don’t even use Safari. How can that possibly change anything…? And other people have deleted and reset all sorts of complicated things. Can Safari really be that annoying? Can it really have that much destructive power inside my system that it stops iTunes working?

Of course the answer is

YES!!!

I went into the Safari Preferences and in the Privacy tab reluctantly changed Block Cookies from “Always” to “From third parties and advertisers“.

Screen shot 2016-07-10 at 13.06.05

Closed Safari. Restarted iTunes. And yes, everything worked! It all loaded. EVERYTHING. I could browse Apps and Podcasts galore.

So yes… Now it works.

Nevertheless, I reserve the following space to rant about how annoying stupid stupid Safari is!!!! WHY DOES IT KEEP AFFECTING THINGS THAT HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH IT??!?!?! AAARRGHHHHHHH!!!! STUPID USELESS PIECE OF LESS THAN RUBBISH!!!! AT LEAST SOME RUBBISH CAN BE REUSED AND RECYCLED!!!! *GODZILLA STOMPS ALL OVER SAFARI*

If you want to look you can find the original Apple Support message here:

https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT203381

I hope this helps.

Categories: Mac & OS X | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Solutions for: I downloaded the Wacom bundle for OS X but now I have Windows! Help!

I started writing this in response to someone asking for help with this, but my reply got so long I thought I’d just make it a post.

The Problem.

  • You downloaded the Wacom tablet bundle which was appropriate to your system at the time.
  • Your system crashed/broke/failed, essentially just died a horrible death.
  • You bought a new system but now your old downloads are not compatible with your new system.

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Bad News first…

I am sorry to be the bearer of ill news, but you can’t switch between dmg and exe downloads.  The choice you made on your first download is fixed and permanent.  The reason being (apologies if this is obvious) that the software is provided by separate companies (not Wacom) and therefore the license agreements are for one piece of software. It would be like buying Adobe Photoshop Elements for OS X and expecting Adobe to send you a Windows version when you get a new PC.
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The Good News.

So that option is not open to you. However, I do have some advice as to what I would do in your situation. These are my solutions in order of preference (^-^)
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1. Set up OS X on an external drive
External drives are really cheap now. I have a backup clone of my system on one of mine. The drive is about 1TB cost me £60-70 and that was a few years ago. I think the OS X partition is about half that…
I personally would just buy a copy of OS X from Apple (Snow Leopard/Lion/Mountain Lion are only £14 now). I would recommend Snow Leopard as it is widely considered the most stable of all the OS X systems and it takes up the least install space. However, you should buy what is best for you. But there is a link below just for reference.
http://www.apple.com/uk/shop/product/MC573Z/A/mac-os-x-106-snow-leopard
You can find tons of tutorials about how to install OS X on to an external drive.
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2. Try using a virtual machine
I have used VMware on my Mac to successfully run several virtual Windows systems (obviously my tablet worked fine too) so I would recommend it (although I haven’t tried running OS X on a Windows system). But I know there are many different virtual machines for Windows you can try for free. VirtualBox is one I have heard good things about but I’m afraid I’ve never tried it personally.  Nevertheless, you would (again) be able to find tons of info on the internet about setting up an OS X system using Virtual Box. You would again need to purchase the OS X system, but what is £14 in the grand scheme of things?
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Note. An alternative to buying OS X, if you know someone with a Mac…
If you have owned a mac which died/stopped working, you legally own a copy of OS X, which through no fault of your own you now cannot use.  Therefore, if know someone with a working Mac you could just ask them to download the newest OS X (currently Yosemite) on to a USB for you, as technically it would be available to you if your mac was working. It is free after all. I think it is about 16GB (or possibly more) so you would need a suitable USB stick (or external drive partition). You would need to format the USB first, but that can all be done using Disk Utility. As ever, there are loads of walkthroughs on how to do this. In fact, it would be easiest to actually install OS X on the external drive using the Mac too, by booting into the Boot Manager (hold down Option when you hear the chime). Just remember NOT to click install straight after you have downloaded the installer as this would probably wipe the Mac you are using!

Once you have one of these up and running, simply redownload the bundled programs and install (of course you’ll need to install your tablet drivers etc).  It should all work fine.
Both these solutions would also work the other way (although you would have to buy Windows unless you have an install disc lying around. I have an old XP disc. Classic!). As I say, I have used VMware on my Macbook to run Windows and used my tablet (yes, with pressure sensitivity) so I know that it can be done.

But yes, that’s all from me. Hope this helps. Any questions, feel free to leave a comment below. I do try and get back to people eventually…
Good Luck (^-^)b

Categories: Art & Design, Art & Design Software, Graphics Tablets | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Solution for Solving OS X System Font Issues

So if you are reading this I assume you are plagued by OS X’s inability to cope with having more than one copy of the same font installed. 

You can easily tell if this is your issue as you will be constantly annoyed by capital A boxes.  See the example below ↓

Screen shot 2014-07-07 at 21.12.56
I was quite worried when I first saw this but actually it is a very minor problem in terms of fixability.  I had been installing a lot of custom fonts earlier in the day so it wasn’t difficult to put 2 and 2 together as to what was causing it. 

Two things must ye know of this issue…

(Blackadder Season 2 quote – I couldn’t resist – the wise woman  conversation is one of the best scenes in the whole show)

First… Macs make a fuss if you install multiple versions of the same font.

Second… The default Mac font is Lucida Grande, so this is generally the culprit for the vast majority of issues.

So with this knowledge in hand let us continue.

Surprisingly, you don’t actually have to delete or uninstall anything (or at least I didn’t) to solve this problem.   You do have to ensure that you resolve the conflicting fonts though to ensure that the problem doesn’t keep reoccurring.  But don’t worry, my solution is pretty simple.

 

Step One: Resolving conflicting font issues

The easiest way to do this is by using Font Book.  Because Font Book is a default OS X install straight from Apple it will tell you exactly what your Mac is unhappy with.  So…

1.)  Fire up Font Book

Applications > Font Book

2.)  Make sure you have selected the All Fonts list, then go down the font list until you come to a font that has an issue – any font with a clash will have a yellow triangle next to it. 

FONT ISSUE

3.)  Right click on the font and from the drop down menu choose Resolve Duplicates.

Screen shot 2014-07-07 at 22.15.39

If the issue is successfully fixed the multiple versions of the font will be turned off. 

Screen shot 2014-07-07 at 22.15.49
Step Two: Making your Mac realise that you have solved the font issues

So in order for your Mac to actually acknowledge that you have sorted out your conflicting font issues you need to empty your font cache.  A simple restart does not do this (yes I did try it as I always prefer not to use sudo commands unless I have to).  Your Mac will not notice all your hard work resolving all the font conflicts except under duress.  So…

 NOTE: You need to be an Administrator in order to use a sudo command so change users if you are not currently logged in as one.

1.) Open a Terminal window.

Finder > Go > Utilities > Terminal

Screen shot 2014-07-07 at 23.06.25

Screen shot 2014-07-07 at 23.08.25

2.)  Close all the apps that are running then type or copy and paste the following command:

sudo atsutil databases -remove

Screen shot 2014-07-07 at 23.17.54

 

3.)  You will be asked for your admin password.  Type it in.  The cursor will not move as you type so be careful.

4.)  Once the command has run (you will see several lines of script) close Terminal and restart your computer.  It is important that you do this straight away.

And that’s it!

Hopefully you will now find your OS X all happy and font issue free!  Hooray!

Categories: Mac, Mac & OS X, Macbook Pro | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

How to Stop iDevices Syncing Automatically

This is a stupid thing to set on default.  Why should my Apple devices automatically do this without me asking them to?  It’s a bit like someone who you have invited to your house randomly going through your stuff without asking and then chucking some of it out of the window. 

Yes, it’s true, all sorts of things can get deleted or overwritten through an automatic sync. 

So stupid… GRRR…

Anyway how to prevent this happening is a useful thing to know so I thought I’d write a quick post about it.

 

So, to ensure that iTunes does NOT sync devices automatically…

1.)  Go to the iTunes Preferences

2.)  Under the Devices tab tick the box that says:

Prevent iPods, iPhones and iPads syncing automatically

devices menu

3.) Click OK.

Yes, it really is that simple.  Of course, if you find later you want your iDevice to do this just untick the box. 

 

NOTE: if you want to use software that is not iTunes to access your iDevice it is better to tick this box just in case.

Categories: iPhone, Mac, Mac & OS X, Macbook Pro | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kobo Touch Crash Fix

I am not having a good week with technology – my Mac HD failed (again) and my Kobo just crashed. My Mac I got fixed using AppleCare, which I found out expires tomorrow!! Yes, I’m living on the edge, cutting it pretty fine!!! (x_x;)

But my Kobo was another story.  It has never crashed before and I felt a bit at a loss.  But then practical thinking kicked in and I actually managed to fix it in less than 10 minutes.  My solution is at the bottom of the page, but one of these other less violent methods may work for you.

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Symptoms

So the symptoms were as follows:

  • Kobo Touch stuck on one page
  • No response from touching the screen
  • No response from pressing the Home button
  • No response from sliding the Power button for 5, 10 or 30 seconds
  • No response from connecting to power supply (just green charging light)

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Methods to Try

I tried these things first, as recommended by many users.

1. A Basic or Standard Reset

This will just reboot the device. 

(You are meant to turn your device off before doing this but generally the reason you are doing a reset is because the device won’t respond.  The people who write these instructions probably didn’t think that far.  Anyway.)

To do this:

1.) Turn off (if you can).

2.) Locate the tiny reset button which is either at the top near the power button or on the bottom of your Kobo.

3.) Use a piece of wire or a paperclip or a mechanical pencil and press the button down until you feel it click.

4.) Your Kobo should restart.

(This didn’t work for me.  My Kobo power light just flashed blue twice and then the light went dark again.  The screen was still stuck on the same page.)

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2. A Factory Reset

This wipes your device and restores it to the Factory settings.

To do this:

1.) Turn off (if you can).

2.) Slide the Power button and press the Home button at the same time. The Power light should start flashing blue.

3.) Keep holding both buttons until you see your device screen restarting itself.

(As above, this didn’t work for me. My Kobo power light just flashed blue a few more times and then the light went dark again.  The screen was still stuck on the same page.)

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3. Connecting to a Computer

Sometimes this can jump start the device, shocking it into responding.  Just connect using your cable and see if anything changes.

(As before, this didn’t work for me. My Kobo didn’t even acknowledge the connection and neither did my Mac.)

o

4. My Solution

Sometimes all your device needs is a good kick up the backside. 

At this point I got a bit annoyed and disconnected my Kobo from my Mac. And then proceeded as follows:

1.) Connect your Kobo cable to your laptop (PC, Mac, whatever computer you have available) but not to your device.

2.) Get a good grip on your device and push the cable connector into the Kobo with a certain amount of force (but obviously not so much it damages the device).

3.) Hold the cable connector and continue to apply pressure (but again not so much it damages the device).

My device responded after about 10 seconds and went to the usual “do you wish to connect to this computer” screen.
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NOTE:

After I ejected my Kobo and disconnected from my Mac, the screen locked for a few minutes and went completely blank.  However, I slid the power button to turn it off and then turned it back on again and it was fine.

It seems OK now. Turns on and off, sleeps, all my books are still there and responding, my home button works…  A very strange glich. 

However all’s well that ends well (^-^)b
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AND AN EXTRA NOTE IF ALL ELSE FAILS…
Recently I was actually given a Kobo Touch to fix that failed with all of the above. However I managed to jump start it by using my solution above but connected to a mains socket rather than a computer. 

I would only recommend this method if all other options have failed as it could potentially kill your device completely. 

I used the usb plug adapter that came with my iPhone and a surge protected plugboard.  The device took much longer to respond (maybe up to 40 seconds of pressure) and a few attempts (although this may just be that I did not try for long enough at first). But yes, if you are willing to take the chance give it a whirl.  The owner said all her books were still there and it has been working fine ever since, so could be worth it.

P.S. If you have gone through this and managed to recover your ebooks, I recommend you back up your books using Calibre.  You can use Calibre to make a library of the ebooks on your Kobo and store them on your computer.  Plus you can then back up the whole library to an external drive so you have them saved if your HD fails.  If you are interested have a look at my post (btw Calibre is freeware):

https://thoughtsviewsopinions.wordpress.com/2012/11/04/free-ereader-software-calibre/

 

Categories: e-Books & e-Readers, e-Readers, Kobo Touch | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

How to Move/Delete Photos and Pictures to and from your iPhone in Bulk

This is actually more difficult than it should be.  It really is.  Seriously, where is the “use as USB” option??  Why must the iPhone be so closed off and annoying to get into???

But yes, there are various methods to do this.  There are also ways not to do this.  Like iPhoto.  I never ever use iPhoto as it is the most terrible, horrible, totally illogical, mind-bogglingly useless and just generally one of the worst programs I have ever used. Or possibly the worst, I can’t think of one I hate using more right now but possibly there are one or two.

Anyway, this is the way I go about moving/removing photos or pictures to and from my iPhone. 

Just FYI, I have not jailbroken my phone and I only use free programs.

Also, I have stopped my iPhone syncing automatically

This stops it doing things I haven’t asked it to, which is nice… 

…although why it syncs on default is beyond me. It’s like Apple have said “quick, let’s make the iPhone do lots of things as soon as the unsuspecting owner connects it to a computer with iTunes installed.  And let’s make it do super annoying things before they can stop it like syncing (deleting) photos and contacts in default locations. Yay!” Curse them and their default-syncing ways!!  If would like to stop your Apple devices doing this have a look at my post HERE.

 

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Part One:

How to Move Photos from your iPhone to your Mac (no iTunes involved – hooray!)

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Using iFunBox

Screen shot 2014-02-12 at 23.13.29I always use iFunBox to backup photos from my iPhone on my Mac.  It’s really easy to use and you can just select the photos you want to move and drag them to a folder of your choice.  No fuss – it’s a quick clean job.  Just like any other USB device you locate the files and move them. 

You can download iFunBox for free here:

http://www.i-funbox.com/ifunboxmac/

There’s nearly always a downside when you are trying anything involving iPhones and connectability.  In this case the downside is that you can’t use iFunBox to do anything else with your photos.  Although iFunBox is advertised as being able to import things to your iPhone I have not had any success with it.  Sigh. 

IFUN BOXNever mind… Next one!

Using Image Capture

Screen shot 2014-02-12 at 23.54.04Image Capture is a pre-installed app that comes with your Mac.  You can use it to move photos on to your Mac by selecting them and clicking Import.  Or you can just import them all.

Screen shot 2014-02-12 at 23.38.40

Again you can’t use it to add photos to your iPhone.  Oh no, that would be far too easy!  Apple would never make things that simple. 

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Part Two:

How to Bulk Delete Photos from your iPhone (no iTunes involved – hooray!)

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Using Image Capture

Screen shot 2014-02-12 at 23.54.04You can also use Image Capture to delete photos from your iPhone in bulk.  This is super handy if you are like me and take thousands of photos and then dread deleting them one by one later to free up space…  To do this simply select the photos you want to delete from your iPhone and press the no entry sign at the bottom.

Screen shot 2014-02-12 at 23.49.25

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Part Three:

How to Move Photos from your Mac to your iPhone (iTunes sync involved – boo!)

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Using iTunes

Before doing this I suggest you backup all photos and pictures you may have on your iPhone using one of the methods above.  I really do think iTunes is one of the worst ways I have ever experienced trying to manage a mobile phone.  Seriously.  What is wrong Apple?  Why do you want me to spend hours trying to do things that should be easy and simple and not leave me screaming with rage and frustration and wanting to do a mass Godzilla rampage all over your stupid closed house ways???

So, after you have backed up, the only free way that I know of moving pictures and photos to your iPhone from a Mac is to use iTunes.  If you have not done this before I suggest that to avoid accidents you use an empty folder and put into it all the photos/pictures that you want to move to your iPhone.

NOTE: This does NOT mean your iPhone photos!!!  If you have backed up your iPhone photos to your “Pictures” folder, do not use that folder for this.  You will just end up having duplicates of everything!!  It is the curse of iTunes sync!!!

When you’ve done that fire up iTunes and connect your iPhone.  As I mentioned before my iTunes is set NOT to sync devices automatically, so if you aren’t sure check your iTunes Preferences before connecting your iPhone.  Once you have connected up, click on your iPhone from the Devices tab and click the Photos tab along the top.

TABS

In my case my “Pictures” folder was empty so I used that.  I created some folders inside my “Pictures” folder to separate the various things I wanted to add.  Your iPhone will automatically convert these into albums which is handy. You can select which folders within your chosen folder you want but I just click All Folders because it’s easier. 

IMPORT FOLDERS

When you are ready click Sync and wait while iTunes does other stuff you didn’t ask it to.  And a little while later it should tell you it has finished.

So that’s it. Hope at least one of these works for you. Good Luck!

FINAL NOTE: Before disconnecting your device always remember to EJECT it. You can do this in iTunes. Apple devices are always upset if you don’t eject first. And it is good to do this anyway. What ejecting means is that if either your device or the connected PC is still doing things it will finish up and then disconnect itself WHEN IT HAS FINISHED. This way you will not get errors or incomplete transfers. Which is definitely a good thing.

Categories: iPhone, Mac, Mac & OS X, Macbook Pro | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mac OS X: Handy Tips, Tricks and Tweaks you may not know about… the Dock

Tip 1: Tweak your Dock

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Many people don’t realise that you can put any application, file or folder straight in to your Dock for easy access.  It’s really simple!

So (as many people already know) for applications you can either:

a.) Open your Applications folder and drag the app into your Dock (it must be on the left-hand side of the dotted dividing line)

or,

b.) When the app is open and running, right click on the icon that appears in the dock and select

Options > Keep in Dock

Screen shot 2013-07-19 at 15.13.40

And for files and folders:

Simply drag and drop them in to the Dock (they must be on the right-hand side of the dotted dividing line).

divide

o

Tip 2: Keep your Applications Folder handy

o Continue reading

Categories: Mac, Mac & OS X, Macbook Pro | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

How to add Brushes, Scripts and Presets to GIMP

A few days ago I realised I hadn’t reconfigured my GIMP app since reinstalling my system.  And as I was adding and installing the extras to GIMP, I remembered that it was pretty confusing the first time I tried to figure this out.  So here’s a quick post on how to install brushes, scripts and presets in GIMP if you are using OS X.

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Where to download Scripts for GIMP

You can download scripts all over the internet but this is a pretty good starting point:

http://registry.gimp.org/taxonomy/term/20

Screen shot 2013-08-05 at 12.55.53

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Where to download Brushes for GIMP

You can download brushes all over the internet too, but I recommend Continue reading

Categories: Art & Design, Art & Design Software, Mac, Mac & OS X, Macbook Pro | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Sync your iPhone to a new Mac without Erasing your Data (a complete step-by-step guide)

My Macbook Pro hard-drive failed recently.  It was only about a year and a half old and it just went down without warning.  No slowing of the system, no problems, no crashes.  It just died suddenly. 

Anyway, I had Apple Care so I got it fixed for free with a shiny new HD.  However, I lost all my settings including the data relating to my iPhone to iTunes sync.  I spent the last 3 months trying to get my iPhone and the new HD to talk to each other.  But every single thing I tried didn’t stop me getting the unbelievably irritating message:

iphone erase and restore

But my persistence has finally paid off and I have actually successfully synced my iPhone to my new HD.  And, I have of course beaten (and beaten deep into the ground) the stupid stupid annoying irritating erase and sync message. This fills me with a sense of pride and accomplishment.

While I was trying and failing to fix the problem I read many many different solutions and also many different ideas about which software to use and so on.  I also read countless times that it was not fixable and that I had to erase my iPhone.  Or that I had to jailbreak it.  In any case I did not find one clear cohesive step by step to solving this problem.

So I would like to share my solution in the hope that it will help other people get themselves out of this ridiculous situation.  This is my own complete and extremely detailed step by step guide to syncing an iPhone with a second/new Mac without losing/deleting/erasing any data. 

This solution does not require jailbreaking or anything of that nature, nor does it require you to erase anything from your iPhone.

And yes, this is EXACTLY what I did to get my iPhone to sync with my new HD and iTunes. Continue reading

Categories: Free Software, iPhone, Mac, Mac & OS X, Macbook Pro | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

A Solution to Problems with Skype Video Calling

This is just a quick post about some problems I had with video calling on Skype recently.

If you arent sure how to make a video call on the new Skype (version 6) please read the walk through on the Skype website here

So my problem was that, although I had previously tested my built-in Macbook camera was working (but not running in the background) and I could even see myself under the Audio/Video tab in Skype Preferences, every time I pressed the video call button it tried its best to switch to video and then reverted back to voice call. 

Screen shot 2013-05-18

I really didnt understand what was going wrong.  As usual I turned to the internet for help, but in the end I managed to solve it myself with a few pointers to the reasons causing the problems.  Continue reading

Categories: Free Software, Mac & OS X | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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