Category Archives: How To

How Quality Options work in YouTube, Twitch and Mixer streams

When we watch a video online, we usually get an option to pick a quality/resolution at the bottom right of the player. It’s often represented by a little gear icon that lets us choose either “auto” or a specific format like 480p or 720p.

But when we watch a live stream, those options might vary or be completely absent.

In this article I’ll discuss why that is and how different services deal with Quality Options in Live Streams.

Continue reading How Quality Options work in YouTube, Twitch and Mixer streams

How to find your Followers on Twitch

Twitch is a little weird in that it doesn’t provide a menu accessible link to a list of your current followers (as of April 2019). After all, if you’ve had a nice conversation with somebody, and you’d like to see when they’re live next, you may want to follow a follower.

Thankfully though, there’s a quick URL hack that’ll show us just the same. Amend this:

where user is your user name. You may need to be logged in for this list to come up properly. For example, you can see who’s following me on Twitch like this:

Hope this helps!

How to add files to a ZIP archive on the Command Line

Before submitting ZIP files to various third parties, I often have the need to ether remove superfluous files from my archives. Until today I’ve never had the need to add a file to such archives. Had that happened in the past, I would have probably just deleted the whole archive and crated a new one from scratch.

Today I felt adventurous and researched a way to add files to existing ZIP files and found a (not-so-obvious) solution to this puzzle, using the -r switch.

Let me show you how it works:

According to the man page, the r switch actually replaces an existing file in the archive, so this command can be used to update files in the ZIP file too. I’ve added the v switch for convenience (it means “verbose” and can be omitted.

Works on Linux and macOS.

How to copy Windows.old to an external drive

After a recent Windows 10 Refresh, I found myself with most of my data missing from my installation – a bit of a surprise, having done Windows refreshes before and seeing that I selected the option to “keep all my data”. Ah well…

However, Windows was kind enough to preserve much of my previous configuration in an folder called Windows.old. As such, I could at least go back to some of the system data that I needed. Thank you, Windows 🙂

Before moving on with major re-installation work, I thought it would be wise to preserve the Windows.old folder on an external drive and make some room on my main SSD. I thought it’s just a simple matter of dragging the folder over – but that was not the case. When I tried, only perhaps 1GB of the total 30GB the folder contained was copied over.

What’s going on here? Why is this happening? My user name is exactly the same as before, why can I not create an exact replica of the whole folder somewhere else?

Continue reading How to copy Windows.old to an external drive

How to use OBS Studio to record your screen

In this episode I’m going to show you how to use the excellent free OBS Studio for screen recordings. This is an open source, cross platform tool with amazing capabilities, yet it can be a little daunting to get started with it. While OBS Studio is commonly used for live streaming, it can do simple screen captures too. I’ll show you how to do that.

I’ll begin by explaining the interface philosophy, then I’ll show you how to add a desktop to your scene, how to add a webcam as an overlay, how to add audio, and finally how to pick the right preset and file format for your capture. When we’re done, you’ll be good to start editing your recording in your favorite application.

Any questions, please let me know.

How to find your Twitch Stream Key (2019)

The Twitch web interface changes what feels like every two months, which means I can never find my Twitch streaming key (granted, we only needed when setting up a new package). So for February 2019, here’s how to find it:

Login to Twitch.tv and head over to the top right corner and click on your User Name and Icon. Choose Dashboard.

On the right hand side, you’ll see a list of options. We’re looking for one called Channel, underneath the Settings Headline. It’s towards the bottom of the list.

Once selected, you’ll see a big box at the top reading Stream Key and Preferences. Your key is hidden by default, and you can either display it or copy it to your clipboard. You even have the option to reset it from here, should the need ever arise.

There. Quick and to the point. If this procedure ever changes, please let me know and I’ll update this article accordingly.

Happy streaming 🙂

How to download videos from YouTube in 1080p

When I do live streams on YouTube, I frequently forget to record my programme locally. I guess there’s just so many buttons to press in the heat of the moment.

Hence I was looking for a way to extract full 1080p HD footage from YouTube, ideally both for my own files as well as those from other users.

Right now (February 2019), YouTube only allows me to download a 720p version of my own clips, and a YouTube Premium subscription is required to download other users’ footage. Either way, my desktop streams are usually 1080p, and that’s what I’d like to download for local archiving. 

I hunted around for a solution, and doing a quick Google search presented several contenders – many of which no longer work since YouTube have once again re-jigged some aspect of their operation. Most solutions, online and offline, can handle 720p for free, but again that’s not what I was looking for.

Thankfully I found a Firefox Add-On by a developer named Dishita, called Easy YouTube Downloader. It’s available for free from the Firefox Add-Ons repository.

Easy YouTube Downloader in action
Continue reading How to download videos from YouTube in 1080p

Disassembling my PlayStation 3 to apply new Thermal Paste

My Playstation 3 console started making a super loud fan noise the other day. Research indicates that this is likely due to a combination of dust and dried out thermal paste inside the console. So I took it apart and made a time-lapse while I was at it.

In this episode I’ll talk you through the specifics and explain what I’m doing and mention pitfalls of what to expect once inside the PS3 Super Slim. The whole procedure was not as difficult as I had imagined, and I’m very happy to say that since I’ve replaced the paste, my console is nice and quiet again.

I’m following this teardown guide from iFixit:
https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/PlayStation+3+Super+Slim+Teardown+-+Video+tutorial/24914

You’ll need a regular #1 Philips screwdriver and a specialised Torx T8 screwdriver for tamper proof screws (it’s the one with a little hole in the middle).

Here’s thermal paste I’m using (it’s called Arctic MX-4):
https://amzn.to/2EhuKbN

The Jan Beta video I’m mentioning is here: