Getting microphone to work with Steam on macOS

Ran into this problem yesterday, where the microphone works fine for other apps but won’t work in Steam at all. The problem is Steam doesn’t have permission to use the microphone, and doesn’t know to ask for it. This is on macOS Catalina. You can fix by giving it permission manually:

Open the Applications folder, and move (Cmd+Drag) Steam to the Desktop – this makes it temporarily not “protected” and avoids having to mess around with crsutil and rebooting multiple times.

Open a terminal, run:

sudo sqlite3 ~/Library/Application\ Support/com.apple.TCC/TCC.db "INSERT or REPLACE INTO access VALUES('kTCCServiceMicrophone','com.valvesoftware.steam',0,1,1,NULL,NULL,NULL,'UNUSED',NULL,0,1551892126);"

(when asked, give your mac password)

Then run:

/usr/libexec/PlistBuddy -c "Add NSMicrophoneUsageDescription string" ~/Desktop/Steam.app/Contents/Info.plist
/usr/libexec/PlistBuddy -c "Set :NSMicrophoneUsageDescription Using voice chat" ~/Desktop/Steam.app/Contents/Info.plist

Finally move Steam back to the Applications folder.

Absurd that Valve haven’t fixed this, it seems to have been an issue for a long time.

Source: https://steamcommunity.com/discussions/forum/2/1631917609749377397/

Productivity Challenge Timer achievements

For several years now I’ve been using the Pomodoro technique as a way to battle procrastination and increase my productivity. There’s no shortage of apps designed to help with this, but without doubt my favourite one is Productivity Challenge Timer for Android. It does everything I could want from a Pomodoro app, plus has a bit of a sense of humour to it.

There are a bunch of fun achievements and ranks to work towards, but I couldn’t find a single list describing them all. So I made one. Continue reading Productivity Challenge Timer achievements

Reviewing presidential candidate 404 pages

For the uninitiated, a 404 page is what you see when trying to view a page on a website that doesn’t exist. By default they’re pretty boring error pages, but it’s easy to customise them. And it turns out a lot of the 2016 US presidential candidates have done so, to varying degrees of success. So, let’s review them!

Disclaimers:

  • Being a Brit, I don’t know too much about American politics. Hence judging candidates based on 404 pages, rather than policies and track records and all that boring stuff.
  • After I started writing this post, Google told me it had been done several times already. However those were all written about 6 months ago, when there was a sudden outbreak of interest among journalists. 6 months is an eternity in Internet time, and a few things have changed.
  • I based my list of candidates off this one which was about the first that came up in Google. Apologies if your favourite is missed out. Also I think some have since dropped out because of the Iowa caucus thing.

Continue reading Reviewing presidential candidate 404 pages

Walk the Lines: The London Underground, Overground

Walk the Lines coverWalk the Lines: The London Underground, Overground by Mark Mason

Full of great London trivia as you might expect, but also surprisingly deep philosophical insights into what makes the city (or indeed any city). I suppose walking over 400 miles gives you a lot of time to think about these things, and it shows. Also Bill Drummond makes a surprise appearance, which is never a bad thing.

★★★★★ 5/5 stars

Bulgeium

Having just visited Brussels for the first time, I’m mystified as to how the Belgians aren’t the fattest people in the world. Their national cuisine apparently consists of:

  • Fries
  • Various exciting sauces for the fries, often based on mayonnaise
  • Chocolate
  • Waffles
  • Waffles covered in chocolate
  • Beer

All of which are delicious, but hardly healthy.

10 years

Wikipedia-logo-v2.svgHot on the heels of Saturday’s 10 year college reunion, today marks 10 years since I registered a Wikipedia account and made my first edit with it (there were a few anonymous edits before that, but they’ve been lost to the mists of time). Ironically given recent events, that first edit was defending Jeremy Clarkson!

It was impossible to imagine what that start would lead to. Since 2005, I’ve racked up around 75,000 more edits on the English Wikipedia (not counting the forays into other Wikimedia sites). Far more than that: I’ve learnt a huge amount, travelled to exciting places, and best of all met so many fascinating and fantastic people. Now I’m even fortunate enough to have a job supporting the project I love.

Here’s to another 10 years!