Sunday, March 27, 2022

Zoom Cannot Start Video With Older Webcams in Windows 10

I've had a Logitech QuickCam Fusion webcam since around the time Windows 7 was still mainstream. Other than from my work laptop I don't do online meetings so the camera largely went unused on my home desktop, even after upgrading to Windows 10. 

Then, one day my wife and I installed Zoom and wanted to test it out prior to her joining some Zoom calls with some of her old high school classmates. While her setup with Windows 10 and a relatively new (ca. 2021) webcam worked flawlessly, mine did not. Repeatedly Zoom would complain whether in the video settings or upon joining a meeting, "Cannot start video":

My solution took some trial and error but ultimately worked. First, unplug your webcam from its USB port, and then open Device Manager, and under Imaging devices, right-click on Logitech QuickCam Fusion (or whatever your older webcam is):

Ensure "Delete the driver software for this device" is checked so that whatever driver Windows may have initially used is removed, then click Uninstall and follow any prompts to remove the drivers:

Next, download and install the latest available drivers you can find for your old webcam, ideally for Windows 10, but at least for Windows 7. With some older webcams it's entirely possible you won't find any drivers let alone ones for Windows 7 or newer. If that's the case, skip the following.

Otherwise, on Logitech's site, upon searching for QuickCam Fusion, you'll notice the default operating system is set to Windows 11. Click and choose the only other option, Windows 7, and you'll be prompted to download the newest Windows drivers. 

Plug the webcam into a free USB port, and Windows will proceed to install either the driver you found and installed, or a compatible driver included with Windows. Assuming all goes well, from the Start menu type "Camera privacy settings" and ensure "Allow apps to access your camera" is set to On:

Further down the screen, ensure all apps (except Zoom, if listed) are set to Off:

Now, ensure "Allow desktop apps to access your camera" is set to On:

If you haven't already, install the latest Zoom desktop client. Before you proceed, go ahead and restart your PC to let Windows complete any post-configuration or housekeeping stuff that may linger. Then, once back at the desktop, create a system restore point to preserve things in case something blows up (unlikely, but always a possibility; my system decided to BSOD at least once during the process, better safe than sorry).

That's it. Upon opening Zoom and going into Settings => Video, you should see your face or whatever your webcam is currently seeing, and in meetings with video enabled things should proceed just fine.

Friday, December 24, 2021

R.I.P., Reddit User /u/DarthContinent

I can't say Christmas and the 2021 holiday season have been reason for me to be remotely festive.

In May of 2020 I lost my mom (granted, MAGA "Democrat hoax" believing mom). This past year, I lost two beloved dogs in quick succession to nightmarishly aggressive cancer. Allow me to introduce them!

Miles, my longtime "fren" and drinking buddy, left. Ava, my dear, sweet, gentle girl, right.

Both of them now live only as memories in the tapestry of our lives, and as ash in a couple of rosewood boxes on my dining table. No telling when my wife and I will be able to summon the courage to properly bury them with some of our other late furry friends in our backyard.

Oh, and as an aside, my 16 year old Reddit account was permanently suspended recently. In the AskReddit subreddit, I made a joke about, and I quote, "Sex with a miner." Miner, as in adult who spends their days working in the coal or other mine. Not by any means an underaged child.

Given Reddit quietly announced their upcoming IPO, in a perverse way it makes sense they'd want to essentially sanitize their user base. People speaking out against things like censorship, the Tiannenmen Square massacre, China variously exploiting and exterminating the Uyghurs?

Going forward, this is the new face of Reddit in my mind. The wildly popular meme of Xi Jinping as Winnie the Pooh, given China has invested considerable assets into Reddit and its ilk.

Today, fascism and censorship and casting human beings away like offal is the new normal, apparently. I'm far too lazy and unmotivated to battle the nowadays deplorable Snoo and its pals. I'm not about to invest thousands upon thousands of dollars to set up a smartly cloud-based platform to rival Reddit, a longtime platform that filled in the vacuum in the wake of the tragic Digg exodus.

A wise mentor once said, "Keep small things small and simple things simple, for as long as you can." Sage advice! 

If I despaired over some faceless, deplorable miscreants essentially upending the sand mandala that was my 16 years on Reddit, contributing my life experiences personal and professional, even my money in buying their "awards" for dropping dollar bills into their coffers, I'd consider myself in a bad space.

Serendipitously, however, this whole moist sac of nonsense lately has for literally days taken my mind off the devastating grief that I presently shoulder in the wake of the loss of our dogs. It's become a watershed realization for me, that hey, maybe the whole sand mandala thing being upended and destroyed once the work is done isn't such a bad thing!

I'm starting from scratch, and I plan to lurk incessantly on Reddit because I'm motivated to help people and leverage my intellect, expertise, and experience to do so. No petty bunch of cash grabbing, visionless plebes will keep me from doing so.

Please, today's Reddit, accept a hearty FUCK YOU. You more than deserve it. 🙂

Monday, November 1, 2021

Mouse Back/Forward Buttons Stop Working in Windows 10

Recently, inexplicably, my wireless bluetooth iClever mouse decided that its thumb buttons used for stuff like forward and back in browsers and Windows Explorer and other applications should no longer work.

No idea if a recent Windows 10 update was the culprit or what, but I found a very simple solution via a post on Reddit. Simply unplug the mouse's little USB transceiver and plug it into a different USB port on your PC. 

That's it. That's the post.

I'd already tried removing all bluetooth devices from Device Manager including hidden ones and rebooting, no joy. No clue if should this happen enough times if I might eventually run out of USB ports my mouse deigns to allow control of it.