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/v4l2sink.so $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 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NAa088SDn9E
 NAa088SDn9E: Downloading webpage
 NAa088SDn9E: Downloading embed webpage
ERROR: Unable to extract JS player URL; please report this issue on https://yt-dl.org/bug . Make sure you are using the latest version; see  https://yt-dl.org/update  on how to update. Be sure to call youtube-dl with the --verbose flag and include its complete output.

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Ubuntu 20.10 Install Feature Image

Ubuntu 20.10: Groovy Gorilla Install

It’s been a while since I’ve included the actual install process itself in my notes. This is what works for me, and I’ll try to explain why at each step.

I try to do a fresh install on my laptop each version of Ubuntu that comes out (every 6 months). This keeps my laptop clean and keeps me on my toes with my backups. This article contains my notes for this install. The following articles will have the steps I take to get everything just right.

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