EOSWebcam utility causing problems with Zoom video

For several years at our church we’ve been using Zoom to live stream our church services, using a Canon digital SLR camera as a webcam connected via an Elgato video capture interface. Recently we started having problems where the video feed would randomly stop during the Zoom meeting. The indicator at the bottom of the screen would show that the video was stopped, and clicking on it would start it again. This would happen at random intervals, sometimes every few minutes.

At first I thought it might have been the length of HDMI cable we were using between the PC and the camera causing an unreliable signal. I tested with the camera located adjacent to the PC with a short HDMI cable and the problem persisted, so it wasn’t the cable.

I checked in the Windows event log and discovered an “Information” message from EOSWebcam was appearing at the same time that the video had been cutting out.

A quick Google revealed that the EOSWebcam utility is software from Canon that allows the camera to be used a webcam by plugging the camera directly into the PC with a USB cable. As we were connecting via HDMI into an Elgato capture device, we didn’t actually need the EOSWebcam driver. After uninstalling it, the problem of the random dropouts of video during our Zoom livestream was solved.

Changing the iCloud account on an iPad Mini

I just had a slightly confusing experience changing the iCloud account on an iPad mini. I was helping out a family member who had recently changed their Apple ID email address recently, due to a change in ISP/email provider. In the iPad settings the ID showing in the “iTunes and App Store” section was correct, but the ID showing in the iCloud settings was the old ID. This wasn’t a problem until recently when the iPad started prompting for the password for the iCloud account every 30 seconds, rendering the device unusable.

It wasn’t at all clear how to change the iCloud ID. Clicking on the ID at the top of the page only gave the option of entering the password for the old incorrect ID, with no ability to change the ID.

Eventually I discovered that I needed to scroll the page up to reveal the “Sign Out” button at the bottom of the page. After signing out, I was then able to sign-in with the new correct Apple ID. Simple once you know what’s going on.

Muting the LG MS2596OW Microwave

When the microwave we had been using for several years failed recently, a family member passed on to us an LG MS2596OW microwave to use. The microwave is fine except for the mind-flippingly irritating electronic tune that it constantly plays when cooking finishes.  The user manual provides no assistance in disabling the sound, but thanks to a suggestion from a review site, I learned that it is possible to mute the sound on this microwave by holding the Clear and Keep Warm buttons for 5 seconds. Peace at last!

You can repeat the procedure to turn the sound back on again, but the only reason you’d want to do that is to demonstrate how annoying the sound is when a visitor asks why the microwave doesn’t beep.

Note that if the power to the microwave is disconnected, the mute setting doesn’t stick, so you have to mute it again when the power is reconnected.

Programmable buttons on the TF200 phone

A relative with low vision recently needed a landline phone with programmable buttons, so they could easily call family members with just the press of one button. In my cupboard I had an old Alcatel TF200 phone (from Telecom Australia) that had 10 programmable buttons. I couldn’t find a manual for this phone online, but with experimenting I found that programming the buttons was a matter of lifting the handset then …

  1. Press the “Store” button.
  2. Press the digit buttons for the number you want stored.
  3. Press the programmable button that you want the number stored in.
Alcatel TF200 touch phone.

Renaming is not a fix

Despite the fact that I specifically wrote myself a blog article as a reminder to myself to never turn on iCloud music syncing on my phone, Apple tricked me with the latest iOS update. After updating to iOS 13 the music app displayed a warning that “Library Syncing is Off. Turn On”. In my haste to dismiss the message I tapped “Turn On”, then moments later realised that this was the dreaded iCloud sync under a different name.  I quickly turned if off again, but not before the sync had removed the star ratings I had applied to hundreds of my tracks. 🙁

Dear Apple, you may have removed the name “iCloud” from the sync, but it’s still crap.


Apollo 11 50th Anniversary

Thanks to the fabulous work by the people at Apollo 11 in Real Time, I’ve enjoyed the weekend reliving the excitement of the Apollo 11 mission, minute by minute.

I was only 5 years old when it all happened back in 1969. Because of timezones and other constraints I didn’t see the moon landing or Armstrong’s first steps live, but I well remember the general excitement of the time, and seeing the replays on the television.

Well done to all!

The Woes of iCloud Photos

I’ve blogged before about how Apple’s iCloud is a disastrous mess when it comes to managing your music library. What about photos?

Until recently I had been using Flickr to upload my iPhone photos to the cloud. Flickr is about to enforce a 1000 photo limit for free accounts, so I thought I’d give iCloud Photos a go. In the settings page on the iPhone it proclaims that iCloud Photos will …

Automatically upload and safely store all your photos and videos in iCloud so you can browse, search and share from any of your devices.

Nice promise, but largely unfulfilled. I’ve been using iCloud photos for about a month, and I’m somewhat gobsmacked at how badly a global tech giant like Apple can mess up a basic function such as uploading photos to the cloud. I’ve experienced numerous problems over the last month. Yesterday was a prime example of the inadequacies of iCoud. I went bushwalking and took about 50 photos. When I arrived home and connected to Wi-Fi, iCloud uploaded the most recent 7 photos and then resolutely refused to upload any earlier, or subsequent photos.

When you do a Google search on iCloud sync issues, you get hundreds of results, but all the suggestions are various permutations of “Have you tried turning it off and on again”. (Yes I have. It turns out that turning it off and on again doesn’t stop iCloud being rubbish.)

In the interests of truthfulness and transparency, Apple ought to update the message in the iCloud Photos Setting to

Automatically Intermittently and unpredictably upload and with a false sense of safety safely store all some random subset of your photos and videos in iCloud so you can browse, search and share from any some of your devices (because the Windows PC iCloud client is rubbish.)

[Update: In a cruel twist, moments after I hit Publish on this blog post, iCloud uploaded the remaining photos from yesterday, some 17 hours later. I guess that just reinforces the point that uploads are intermittent, unpredictable, and ridiculously slow.]

Soniq TV Factory Reset

Problem. We have an old Soniq E32W13A-AU TV whose remote control was broken.

No problem, we just bought a Huayu RM-L1130+8 Universal Remote Control as a replacement, and it was a simple matter of entering code 103 into the remote to get it working with the TV.

But there was a problem … the TV was displaying subtitles, and the Huayu remote did not have a button to control subtitles, and using the buttons on the TV there was no way to control subtitles.

No problem I thought, I’ll just do a factory reset of the TV and set it up again. That should get rid of the subtitles.

But there was a problem. How do you do a factory reset on a Soniq TV? The instruction manual had nothing to say on the matter. Much Googling led me down a few blind alleys until I finally found an article that explained how to do a factory reset.

  1. Turn on the TV
  2. On the remote press Source
  3. On the remote key in 200912

This brought up the Factory Settings menu where I was then able to choose “Restore Factory Default (All)”. After setting up the TV again, subtitles were gone. No problem!