Category: Online Services

Switching to Joplin from OneNote

OneNote works great for the most part. I use(d) it on Linux through the browser and on Android. But, I just can’t rely on it:

Sometimes, I’ll get this message:

I can refresh the browser page, and it’ll go away, but it seems to just get worse and worse. It’s frustrating. I’ve finally reached the point that it is time to look for something else.


I ran across Joplin. It has an Android app that will synchronize, and it also allows pasting screenshots. Those were my two big feature requests in a note-taking app.

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Setting Up OBS for Teams

I’ve been wanting to level up my meeting look and sound for a while. I’ve been hearing about how you can output OBS Studio as a virtual camera so that you can use it as your webcam in Microsoft Teams. So, here are my notes on how I set it all up.

Installing Virtual Camera

First, I Installed the loopback camera module from the Ubuntu repository:

sudo apt install v4l2loopback-dkms

Originally, I had some issues with the plugin installation, so I might have taken a few extra steps here. But, it works, so I don’t have any complaints.

To make it automatically load on boot, I added this line to the end of /etc/modules:

sudo bash -c 'echo v4l2loopback >> /etc/modules'

Then, I added this line to the modprobe conf file:

sudo bash -c 'echo options v4l2loopback video_nr=5 card_label="vcam" > /etc/modprobe.d/v4l2.conf'

Finally, to use it the first time (without having to reboot), I ran the modprobe command. I’m not sure if this was necessary.

sudo modprobe v4l2loopback

Now, the OBS plugin makes starting and stopping the stream easier. I downloaded the plugin deb package from the github release page. Then, I installed the deb from the commandline:

sudo apt install ~/Downloads/obs-v4l2sink.deb

For some reason, the Deb package apparently places the files in the wrong place. I copied the files into my user plugins directory (which I had to create first).

cd ~/.config/obs-studio
mkdir plugins
cd plugins
cp -r /usr/share/obs/obs-plugins/v4l2sink/ .
mkdir -p $HOME/.config/obs-studio/plugins/v4l2sink/bin/64bit 
cp /usr/lib/obs-plugins/ $HOME/.config/obs-studio/plugins/v4l2sink/bin/64bit

After that, the plugin shows up in the tools menu.

DroidCam OBS

On my new setup, I have my laptop off to the side. That means that the webcam built into the laptop isn’t in the best position. Instead, I’d like to use the camera on my phone as the camera for the meeting. The best way I found is with the DroidCam app/plugin.

First, I installed the app on my phone. it’s DroidCam on the play store.

I downloaded the plugin from Dev47Apps. I extracted the zip file to $HOME/.config/obs-studio/plugins

After installing, you can add a “DroidCam OBS” source to your scene.

OBS Setup

To make it work, I opened two different instances of OBS. The bottom is for the webcam, and the top is for desktop sharing.

On the bottom one, I opened a Windowed projector. I right clicked on the preview, and selected “Windowed Projector”.

Then, in the top window, I was able to add a “Window Capture” source.

Then, I started the virtual camera on the bottom window so that Teams could use that one. You can find it in the menu at Tools > v4l2loopback.

You just have to hit Start and then you can close this window.

Finally, in the Teams device settings, I selected “vcam” as my Camera device. That pulls in the output from OBS:

Lastly, Teams has not given me the option to share a single window. It only allows me to select one of my desktops. So, I can use the top OBS window to control what shows. I just output that OBS on my 3rd screen that I can share on the Teams call. I can do that by right clicking on the preview window and selecting Fullscreen Projector (Preview) > Display 3.


Youtube-dl doesn’t work

I installed Youtube-dl on my new Ubuntu 20.10, but I failed to test it. On my first download, it didn’t work. I got this:

$ youtube-dl
 NAa088SDn9E: Downloading webpage
 NAa088SDn9E: Downloading embed webpage
ERROR: Unable to extract JS player URL; please report this issue on . Make sure you are using the latest version; see  on how to update. Be sure to call youtube-dl with the --verbose flag and include its complete output.

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OneNote, I’m Done With You?

Long ago, I was using a Google Notebook that has since been killed by Google and migrated into Google Docs. Then, I switched to Evernote for tracking all manner of information. When Evernote decided to limit the number of devices you could use, I switched to OneNote. I was already paying for the Office 365 subscription so it just made sense to me rather than paying for another product from Evernote.

OneNote has never worked on Linux. The saving grace is that they have a webapp that works just fine. I simply pin my work notebook and my personal notebook tabs in Chrome. It gets the job done. Plus, I have the android app so that I can access the information from my phone while out and about.

What’s changed? I’ve gotten frustrated with sync errors. It’s at the point that OneNote is unreliable, and I can’t depend that it will actually save. I left a question mark on the title of this article because I want to change, but I’m unsure of what to change to. So, the decision isn’t quite made yet.

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Installing Zoom Client

Some of my co-workers have been using the Zoom Conferencing Service.  Unfortunately, they haven’t had a Linux client.  That means that I’ve had to start a Windows virtual machine for each meeting.  If I want to share anything on my desktop, I’ve got to get it on my VM.

Well, today, I was given access to the Linux beta client.  It took several emails.  Apparently, I’m not the only one wanting a conferencing solution for Linux.

I followed the directions from Zoom Support.

Here are my notes…

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Documenting Technically

Many times, I find that I need to create a document that includes either code or output from a command-line.  I haven’t found that either LibreOffice or Microsoft Word provide good styling to make that code or output look nice in a technical document.  Below is how I created some Paragraph styles in both programs to display the code.  I would love feed back on how I can improve the look.  Please Comment Below.

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Office Online Apps in Chrome

Recently, Microsoft’s Online applications have come to the rescue.  I’ve learned that I can edit Word documents on my Linux OS without needing Wine or a Windows VM.  I don’t have the full feature set, but it’s close enough for basic editing.  One big issue that I have is that I can’t create Styles.  I’m not sure that I can adjust tab stops either.

So, when I ran across the Chrome store apps for Office Online, I was excited.  Maybe Microsoft is showing Linux, or at least Web-based users a little more attention?

Here are the links to the Apps in the Chrome Web Store:

Unfortunately, these apps didn’t help me much.  Anytime I click on one of the apps, it requests my email address.  Then, it takes me to an Outlook page.  I’m not sure if it is because I am using my company account which is has a Sharepoint corporate account associated.

I was hoping that these apps might help me with some major bugs that I have been experiencing.  First, in Word documents, Chrome deletes my selection when I press Ctrl + C.  If I try to right click and ask it to copy, I just get a message saying the browser doesn’t have access to the clipboard.  Second, in Excel, Chrome seems to get in this mode where it deletes the contents of cells when I navigate to them with the arrows on the keyboard.

Both of those are serious issues, so I have taken to using Firefox for the time being.  At least this shows that Chrome is on the radar for supporting the online applications.


OMG Chrome: Microsoft Brings Office Online Apps to Chrome Web Store