Yearly Archives: 2019

Fixed: Can’t connect PlayStation to EPIC Games Account

Funny story: a few weeks ago I’ve signed up for an EPIC Games account, so that I can play with the Unreal Engine, and to play some of their games. Last week I went through my profile in more detail and came across the section that allowed me to connect various other accounts, like GitHub, Twitch, Xbox and PlayStation.

They all connected fine, except for the PlayStation account. I always got the error message that “this PlayStation account has already been connected to another EPIC account”. Being 200% sure that I did not have another EPIC account, I did some research and it turns out that the problem as actually Fortnite.

I know this sounds crazy, but some months ago, my wife as playing Fortnite on our PS4. To track progress, the game needs to store its data somewhere, and by default it does so in an EPIC account. We didn’t have one, never signed in or created one, but the game worked anyway. As it happens, under the hood a so called “nameless” EPIC account is created in such circumstances only with your PSN ID and nothing else. It doesn’t even have an email address associated with it.

What I had to do to unravel this thing was the following:

  • head over to epicgames.com and logout of your “real” account
  • login with your PlayStation credentials (using the PlayStation icon)
  • the system will find your PSN ID and prompts you to create a new EPIC account
  • go ahead and do this
  • let’s call this one the “fake” EPIC account
  • use a different email address than on your “real” EPIC account
  • verify this email address (important)
  • now head over to “connected accounts” and see that your PlayStation account is already linked
  • select “unlink account” and confirm every option in the long list

This will essentially reset whatever progress you’ve made in Fortnite on this account, but free up the PlayStation ID so that you can now connect it with your “real” EPIC account. Your email address on the “fake” EPIC account must be verified for this procedure to work.

When done, login to your “real” EPIC account and link your PlayStation account. You can now delete the “fake” EPIC account if you like.

How to remove chatters from your Twitch Stream

Every open platform attracts its trolls, and I’ve had my fair share of them. Since I stream to multiple platforms, I have to remember the “ban” commands for each one, as they work slightly differently. Perhaps that’s an idea for another article.

I’m used to dealing with Mixer’s /ban command, which immediately kicks a viewer out of the chat for good. I can reverse that decision in the web interface at a later time. Twitch also has a /ban command, but it does not remove the user in question from the chat, it merely hides their replies in my own feed.

To ban a Twitch user in the same way as we do on Mixer, we need to use the /block command. This is followed by just the user name without the @ sign, like this

To reverse this decision at a later time, we can use /unblock in the same way. So to bring SchlonzMeister back, we do this:

A less extrem option is the /ban command on Twitch. It does not remove users from the entire stream, instead it will hide their responses from your chat feed. You’ll still see an entry in that place, but it just says it’s a “hidden message”. Twitch calls such users “ignored users”. You can /unban people just the same.

Sadly though, Twitch does not currently have the ability to show a list of blocked or ignored users in one place, like Mixer or YouTube do. There is a third party open source tool that can display ignored (banned) users. I’ve not heard of such a tool for blocked users – if you know of one, please let me know.

Fixed: EPIC Games Launcher does not show games

I had signed up with EPIC a few months ago, to try out that amazing UNREAL Engine. To install it as well as the assets that came with it, I had to download the EPIC Games Launcher. It’s a central place to keep track of your own UNREAL Projects, latest updates to the engine and the latest software updates to any of its related parts.

As the name suggests, the Launcher also keeps track of your EPIC Games, so no matter if you’re an UNREAL Engine user or a gamer, we’ll all deal with the same place to install and launch our games. When I bought the Control Game from the EPIC Games Store, it too offered to install itself with the Launcher. Great I thought, let’s go and do that!

To my surprise however, my $60 purchase did not show up in the Launcher. I certainly had been billed, and the website shows I owned the game, but I was perplexed that there was seemingly no way to install it now. How rude indeed!

Turns out my configuration files for the Launcher were corrupted. Even thought I had just downloaded the latest version, and it had been applied, I had to manually clear out some cache files in the following directory:

  • C:/Users/you/AppData/Local/EpicGamesLauncher

There are two folders in there, Intermediate and Saved. Delete both of them, with the Launcher closed, then launch it again. It’s like you have to “launching the launcher”… When you do, you’ll be prompted to login again, and hack in a configuration code you’ve been sent via email (this is known as two-factor authentication).

Once I did that, the whole interface had changed, and I saw all the games I owned, alongside any UNREAL Engine assets in the same window.

UMLAUTBOARD: Easy access to Umlaut Characters from anywhere

I’ve just released UMLAUTBOARD, a super simple single-page mobile friendly website that allows anyone to copy German Umlaut characters to their clipboard. Let me tell you a little about why I made this, how it works, and how ya’ll can expand it if you want. And here’s what it looks like:

What is UMLAUTBOARD?

The idea is very simple: it’s a fixed page with umlaut characters at the bottom. Click on one, and the respective character is copied into the current device’s clipboard. Now navigate to where you need that character and paste it in. This works irrespective of your operating system, mobile/desktop device or keyboard/language settings.

All you need to remember is this short URL wpguru.tv/ub. Works on any OS, anytime and anywhere.

Continue reading UMLAUTBOARD: Easy access to Umlaut Characters from anywhere

How to find the URL to a Facebook Post

I wanted to share a quick screenshot with a viewer on YouTube, and come to think of it, I didn’t know where to put it. My Facebook Page sprang to mind, since it’s not doing much of anything, so I pasted it there with the intention of sharing a link to the post.

However, every available share option on Facebook doesn’t give yo a direct URL. It’s all meant to stay “within the platform” and all, and direct URLs are not something they’d like to you discover easily. It’s Facebook after all, the people from the Cambridge Analytics scandal in 2018.

So how do we find that URL to a post? Let me show you. Hover over the time of the post, in the item that says “just now” or “4 days ago”. That’s actually a powerful menu. Right-click on it to reveal it (courtesy of your browser).

One of the options you’ll see is “copy link location”, which will give you the direct URL you can share anywhere so people can view the post.

And that’s it – you’ll end up with a hugely long URL like this one: https://www.facebook.com/wpguru.tv/photos/a.342467492449157/2796419980387217/?type=3&tn=-R, but it’ll work just fine.

Note that the post you’re sharing needs to be public for everyone to see it, otherwise people will only see a “login to Facebook” screen. Not everybody has Facebook (anymore), nor is this a guarantee for logged-in users to see the post.

Hope this helps!

How to type German Umlauts in Windows with a US/UK Keyboard

For years I’ve had several keyboard layouts installed on my systems. Switching between them makes it easy for me to quickly hit the correct keys to type in English and well as German. A handy keyboard makes it easy to switch between them, and a little icon in the Windows task bar shows me what’s currently in use.

This setup worked fine when I mainly worked on a single system and wrote in two languages, but nowadays I work across so many systems and it’s cumbersome to install a second (or third) keyboard layout on each one of them. So I was looking for a way to write out those pesky Umlauts like ä, ö and ü, not to mention the ß (Eszett we call it, rather than “little B”).

macOS has implemented a super easy solution for this: you simply hold down the letter you need an accent on, and an overlay menu pops up that lets you select one for any Western language you can think of. On Windows however… the situation is rather sad. NO native solution exists, and many suggestions I read about offer hack implementations that I’ve not been able to get working.

Until I came across Nancy Thuleen’s website with the following super easy table of ASCII codes:

ALT 0223  =  ß
ALT 0228  =  ä
ALT 0246  =  ö
ALT 0252  =  ü
ALT 0196  =  Ä
ALT 0214  =  Ö
ALT 0220  =  Ü

To use them, hold down the LEFT ALT KEY on your keyboard, while typing out the number on your NUM PAD. Num Lock should be enabled for this, and as soon as you let go of the ALT key, your magic letter shall appear.

Thanks for sharing, Nancy!

How to make Gutenberg Galleries link to Media File by default

When you drag more than one image into a WordPress Post, the Gutenberg editor is nice enough to arrange your pictures as a gallery. By default however, the link target of the thumbnails it generates is set to “none”, which means that when users click on your images, they’re not seeing a full size version. Instead, nothing happens.

That’s probably not what 99% of all users expect to happen.

It is possible to change this in the sidebar to either Media File or Attachment Page, however if you’re like me and tend to forget that you need to make this change, or if you’re uploading a large number of galleries, it would be handy to have Media File as the default behaviour.

Thankfully there is a way to enable this with a little hack, courtesy of this Stack Exchange post by Tomas. By adding the following function to your child theme’s functions.php file, Gutenberg will behave slightly differently.

I’m saying it’s a “slight hack” because Gutenberg will now start with a gallery module at the top of your post, with the new default link behaviour set to Media File. Ordinarily the first module is a paragraph module that allows you to start typing, so if you’d like to write some text before showing off a gallery, you’ll have to manually insert one.

It depends on if this is what suits your needs, but I came across this solution and tested successful, thought it might come in handy in the future and sharing it with you and my future self at the same time. There are some other interesting ideas in that post too if you’d like to have a fiddle.

Happy Gallery Linking!

How to remove the cursor overlay in OBDUCTION

I like grabbing video footage from OBDUCTION for holding loops and phenomenal backgrounds from time to time. However, by default, the big white cursor circle is in the middle of the picture. That’s handy for interactions of all kinds, but for a full screen video capture, I’d rather it would be switched off for a few seconds.

I had done this successfully a few weeks ago and have since forgotten (of course). Now that I’ve just remembered through trial and error, I thought I’d best make a note of it.

  • enter the game’s Settings Menu
  • select Controls
  • switch Cursor Mode to Unlocked (my default was Locked)

Now when you move the camera round, the cursor will disappear when you stop moving. Switch it back to Locked if you’d like to keep playing the game.

If you’re using a game controller, you can also temporarily switch these two stats by pressing the right thumb stick in. Once done, move your character with the left thumb stick and the cursor will disappear.

How to revoke active Discord Invites

Discord invitations can either be set to expire automatically after a given amount of time, or they can be set to “never expire”. The latter ones are great if you give the link to select users only, however sometimes you might just want to disable them manually.

Here’s how to do that in Discord for Desktop (Windows and Mac).

Right-click on your server’s title and choose Server Settings. I mean the strap at the top above all the channels, not the server icon on the left hand side.

In here, on the sidebar at the bottom left, find the Invites section, under User Management.

This will show you a list of your currently active invites. Hover over the one you’d like to revoke and click the little red X icon in the top right corner.

That’s it! Once removed, the invitation link is no longer valid, and users trying to join your server that way will receive a message.

Using Scene Collections in OBS Studio

A while ago I made a video about how to use OBS Studio for Screen Recordings. If you’re new to OBS, I recommend watching it to see how this thing works. I’ve been meaning to make an update to this and explain how to switch from one scene to another, but since it’s a complex process I decided to write this article instead. It might be easier to follow in words and screenshots.

Scenes are collections of items that appear on your (captured) screen. They allow you to craft something you’d like to show to your viewers, for example your desktop and an inset of your webcam. From time to time you may want to show something else, such as a video, or your web cam in full screen, or a zoomed-in portion of your desktop. That’s where scenes can be helpful, because each scene can show something different. You can then seamlessly switch between them with ease.

Let’s take a look at how we can make such magic happen.

This one’s for you, Rod!

Continue reading Using Scene Collections in OBS Studio