Thursday, July 22, 2021

DPD app set to porch - DANGER!

Public service announcement about the DPD app!

If you have the DPD app make sure what you have set as your 'safe place'. I had a £430 package stolen from my doorstep a few weeks ago. DPD pointed out that I had 'porch' set as the 'safe place' in the DPD app on my phone. 

There is flat-out no way I would have ever chosen 'porch' as my safe place. DPD won't be drawn on whether 'porch' is the default safe place, but if you have the DPD app I recommend you check.

So why do I know I did not set 'porch' as my safe place?

Not only do I not have a front porch or a front garden, having lived on my street for 20 years I also know that the people who travel through my street will nick anything that's not screwed down. Or in the case of the brass numbers that were stolen from my front door, actually being screwed down is no deterrent.

I contacted DPD and asked what they tell their drivers to do if the safe place is set to porch, but the driver arrives and there is no porch. The answer is they leave the parcel in the street. If it gets nicked, then tough shit, DPD consider themselves to have done their part of the job.

Please don't reply to this post offering advice, believe me, I have tried everything. My only option at the moment is that the thief gets arrested and I am compensated by the thief via a conviction / the courts. The same person who stole my package stole £50 worth of food from our doorstep a few days later.

TL:DR Check what your DPD app has declared as your safe place. If it is set to a part of your property that does not exist (like your porch) then you could find yourself losing out in a big way.

Thursday, February 04, 2021

Google Meet can't find camera but I can see it

 Here's a fun thing. I can see myself when using Google Meet but nobody else can see me. I can see myself in the top right hand corner during Google Meet sessions. But a Google meet error is telling me that I have no camera connected. 

I can test my camera settings in Google Meet, but after the recording test (during which I can see myself) I am shown the error message 'Recording isn't available. Turn on your microphone and camera.

Here are the things I have checked:

  1. Does the camera work? Yes, all software can see and use the camera. Google Meet can see the camera but will not broadcast the image to other meeting participants.
  2. Is another bit of software using the camera and blocking Google Meet from using it? No. I have even rebooted several times and checked running processes to ensure no other software is using the camera
  3. Is the camera disconnected? I have two cameras, one is USB, the other is a part of the screen on my Macbook pro. The cameras are definitely there (see point 2 above)
  4. Are the security settings in Google Chrome blocking the camera? No. I have checked in the Chrome settings and the fact I can see the camera image prove the camera is not blocked
  5. Is the camera blocked in Mac OS (Big Sur) settings? No it is not.
  6. Has anything changed since the Google Meet could last use the camera properly? Yes, I had to install Microsoft Teams. I have since uninstalled Microsoft teams.
For now I'm abandoning Google Meet and will use Zoom instead. This is far from ideal.

I'll post again when I fix this.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

How to FIX Action required: There’s an issue with your Trello account

The Trello / Atlassian one email, two accounts problem

I received a notification alerting me that my email address was being used for two different Trello accounts, warning me that I will lose data if I don't take action, but taking action appeared to be challenging.

Like a lot of people I have been using Trello for years. When Atlassian bought Trello they wanted to everyone to migrate their Trello account to be an Atlassian account. Somewhere in this process I ended up with two accounts. One was empty, one was not.

On the 15th January I received an email with the title 'Action required: There’s an issue with your Trello account'.

"You or an organization admin changed your Atlassian + Trello account email to (redacted business Google workplace email address). This email address is already in use by a different Trello account that is not linked to Atlassian. This means there are now two separate Trello accounts that use the same email address to log in.

This situation can cause account access and content permission problems. To prevent these issues, you can do a few things:

  • Change the email address associated with either your Atlassian or Trello account
  • Transfer your Trello boards from one account to the other
  • Delete either account, if you no longer intent to use it

If no action is taken, the email address of the Trello account that is not linked to Atlassian will change, which could result in possible loss of access. For help with logging in or other questions, visit our help page."

The problem

If I tried to log in using my Google-linked workplace Google Workplace business domain I got through to all my Trello boards (via Atlassian).

If I tried to log into my 'other' Atlassian account with the same email address so I could merge accounts, I was shown an error message stating 'This account doesn't have a password set - perhaps you normally log in with Google or SSO? If you're stuck, choose 'Can't log in?'

The problem I faced was figuring out how to log in using my Google-linked workplace Google Workplace business domain email address when it was linked to my active Trello account.

The fix

I opened a different browser that wasn't logged into my workplace Google account and tried to log in at 

I entered my email address but no password and clicked the login button. It's important to note that I did not follow the 'log in with a Google account' prompt that popped up.

The login failed because I didn't enter a password. This failure is a part of the process. So I clicked the 'can't log in' link and was taken to a password reset page. Here I again ignored the 'sign in with Google' prompt and entered my email address.

When the password reset email arrived I copied the link and went to another new browser. I pasted in the link and was prompted to enter a new password, which I did. After I logged in with the new password I went straight to account settings and changed the email address on the account.

This appears to have fixed the problem. So I still have two Trello accounts, but will ignore one of them.

This solution works well because it is a bad idea to delete the secondary account in case any permissions or card features rely on it. These kind of work arounds can be a bit of a nightmare, so I hope I've helped with this blog post.

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Saturday, November 07, 2020

Diecast Cars - introducing Diecast Cat!

 My nine year old daughter and I both LOVE Diecast Cars, and all miniature diecast toys, so we have launched our first ever joint project -

Diecast Cars website
Our Diecast Cars online store

We have been collecting, sorting and cataloging diecast cars for some time now, so it feels good to get the site up and running! Go take a look, we think it's cool!

Monday, October 19, 2020

Epomaker Skyloong SK64S Mechanical Keyboard manual in English

 Following on from my previous post about the Epomaker Skyloong SK64S Mechanical Keyboard I decided it might be useful to post the English version of the manual. It's pretty slim; just a small single sheet of paper, but it does contain some key combinations that are essential to getting started.

Click the images of of the manual to view the larger versions.

The entirety of the side of the 'manual' that is printed in English (sort of)

A closer look at the bottom half of the English SK64S manual
A closeup of some more of the essential keyboard shortcuts you'll need to use this great little keyboard

If you found this blog post helpful please consider buying me a pint...

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Epomaker Skyloong SK64S Mechanical Keyboard on a Mac OS

Why have I bought a mechanical keyboard for my Mac?

If you don't care about why I bought the Epomaker Skyloong SK64S Mechanical Keyboard scroll down to get to the setup and Mac OS troubleshooting information.

If you found this blog post helpful please consider buying me a pint...

I learned to type on a huge old Microsoft Natural keyboard, many moons ago. Since making the switch to Mac about ten years ago I've never really got on very well with either the kebyoard on my Macbook Pro or the Apple Magic Keyboard I use for my Mac Pro (Cheesegrater). After typing on a 'big' keyboard my whole life trying to use the Mac keyboards felt horribly claustrophobic.

So recently I have been trying out different keyboards. I tried the Logitech MX Keys Advance first. The keyboard was wonderful. Brilliantly responsive and smooth in every way. Even the keys felt smooth to the touch, it was gorgeous. But there was one problem I just could't get past. Because my Mac Pro is a 2011 model I couldn't connect the MX Keys using Bluetooth. It did not work at all. So I connected using the Unify dongle. The Unify dongle worked great... most of the time.

I can type fast. Really fast. Getting into a 'flow state' while typing is really important. So having the keyboard disconnect for even a few seconds is a real problem. It interrupts my work and I lose that crucial flow state. So after about a week. I had to send the keyboard back. It's a lovely product but not right for my application. 

The problem I then had was that having seen the way forward with regards to bigger, more reactive keyboards going back to my Apple Magic keyboard made it feel even worse than it had before. The edges of the device and the keys are so abrupt and sharp. It feels bad. Considering most of my work involves typing having this 'contact point' that felt horrid is a problem.

Given that wireless connectivity is known to be a problem on all old Mac Pro computers I decided flow state and a reliable connection was more important than a lack of wires. So I made the decision to buy a wired keyboard.

So I looked for a new keyboard. This is when I fell into the rabbit hole of mechanical keyboards. After much shopping around and reading of reviews I decided I wanted to buy the Epomaker Skyloong SK64S Mechanical Keyboard. 

Epomaker Skyloong SK64S Mechanical Keyboard
The Epomaker Skyloong SK64S Mechanical Keyboard I use on my Mac

Epomaker Skyloong SK64S Mechanical Keyboard - lessons learned

I made this choice even although I couldn't find much info on how well the SK64S performed on Mac OS. I could see reviews on The Epomaker Skyloong SK64S on Amazon, written by Mac users. So I figured things couldn't be all that bad for us Apple users.

This mechanical keyboard is Bluetooth capable, but I partly choose this model because it can also be used as a wired keyboard, and was delivered with a USB C style lead.

When the device arrived I fell at the first hurdle; I couldn't even get my Mac to recognise the keyboard. That's when I found out the control software on the Epomaker website support pages is for Windows only. So I tried my next logical place to hunt for information, the mechanical keyboards sub on Reddit. I didn't find a ton of joy there either. 

I've got the Gateron Optical Brown switch option and I'm amazed with how wonderful this keyboard is to work with. I want to keep it. So I decided to write this blog post so that when I solve the problems I'm having then other Mac users who buy this keyboard will hopefully find answers easily than I have.

The 'manual' that came with the SK64S is a single sheet of paper that appears to cover almost every keyboard made by the manufacturer. So no joy there either.

Problems (and some fixes) for the Epomaker Skyloong SK64S

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Ableton latency even with no plugins loaded

Ableton latency problem

I am posting this here in the hope that when I solve this latency problem Ableton others will find this post and be able to also solve the latency problem for themselves.

I have exhausted the knowledgebase on the Ableton site and the user help section is now closed. I'm at the stage that if I can't fix this I'll have to abandon Live and go to Logic, which is not what I want to do.

I have an infuriating latency echo, even on a brand new project with no plugins loaded at all. I have been using Live for years but have not had this problem before. No hardware or software changes have happened recently.

Here's where I am:

  • Ableton 10 Suite
  • macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 
  • Mac Pro (mid 2010) 
  • Memory 32gb 1333 MHz DR3 
  • 1tb SSD system drive 
  • Graphics NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 2048mb
  • 2nd gen Focusrite 6i6. I have updated the control software, the drivers and the firmware.

I have tried all buffer sizes.

Latency does not exist in any other bit of software on my computer, all of which route out through the Focusrite interface.

I have tried reinstalling Ableton.

The problem persists regardless of the size of the sample I'm playing, the device I'm using (hardware and software) and also happens with live microphones.

I have installed the Focusrite latency software they make available at

The Ableton setting 'reduced latency when monitoring' is activated but appears to make no difference whether on or off.

I'm running out of ideas :(