• What Is oEmbed and Why You Should Use It – WordCamp Orange County 2016

    At WordCamp Orange County 2016 I spoke about something that I thought was going to be very simple, oEmbeds. What I found was that oEmbeds are very complicated under the hood yet make things super simple for the end user.

    What is oEmbed?

    oEmbed is a format for allowing an embedded representation of a URL on third party sites. The simple API allows a website to display embedded content (such as photos or videos) when a user posts a link to that resource, without having to parse the resource directly.

    Sources:

     

    After my talk at OCWC I was the judge of the 2nd annual Plugin-a-Palooza, a contest for plugin developers

    We had so much fun with last year’s event that we’re doing it all again: join us for Plugin-a-Palooza 2016. We want everyone to come together in the spirit of competition, show off your mad developer skills, and create a plugin that will impress the judges.

    Plugin-A-Palooza – WordCamp Orange County

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BHsq7GFh5V2/

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BHsrfBygFOy/

     

  • Google Hangouts On Air – 3 ways on how to invite people

    I get this question a lot about how to invite other people to be on a Google Hangouts On Air call; I thought I’d share with you how I go about doing this on my YouTube channel WPwatercooler. As you may or may not know Google Hangouts is a way to get up to 10 people on a video call and interact with one another. Google Hangouts On Air is a way for you to stream the conversation you are having on YouTube for others to see.

    As I have shared with you in a previous article there are ways to Create Google Hangouts quickly with these easy URLs that will help you with creating a Google Hangout or a Google Hangouts On Air, check the link on how to make that happen.

    Once you have a Google Hangout On Air started you can invite people. There are three ways to do this that I know of. Email based Google Hangout On Air invites and Link-based Google Hangout On Air invites

    1) Email based Google Hangout On Air invites

    One is to input the participants email addresses into the box provided when you start the hangout and it will notify them of the link needed to join the call.

    Google_Hangouts-invite-url

    Depending on if you are in a Google Apps organization if your organization allows for Google Hangouts to occur inside or outside the organization you’ll be able to invite people via email to join the call. The participant you email will receive an email from google indicating that they should click a link to join the call.

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    2) Link-based Google Hangout On Air invites

    If the call ahs already started and you want to add more people you can do so by clicking the chain link icon on the right side of the screen. You’ll be greeted with a link to send to people or a way to email them the link.

    Google_Hangouts-link

    If all else fails…

    Google tends to change things at a moments notice. If you end up having a resort to a different method of sending the link to someone you can try sending the URL of the page you are on.

    Google_Hangouts-url

    You’ll notice that the urls are a bit different one with the hangouts// and the other with /call/ depending on how the wind is blowing over at Google these urls may make a difference. Replacing /hangouts// with /call/ may be your best bet to getting a URL that will work for your call participants.

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    3) Scheduling a call using Google+

    On WPwatercooler I use Google+ to schedule my calls ahead of time. This allows me to have a YouTube url for me to share with others and make it easy for me to set up all of the settings on YouTube way before the call starts.

    Google doesn’t make this very easy but as a Google+ Business Page I do the following:

    Click on the avatar on the upper right side of the site and select Google+ page from the drop down menu

    WPwatercooler_-_Google_

    On the left side of the page click on Google+ Page drop down menu then select Google Hangouts

    WPwatercooler_-_Google_-Hangouts

    You’ll be greeted with this page, click Hangouts On Air

    Note: Be sure to bookmark this page for quicker access.

    You’ll end up on this page, from there click on Create a Hangout On Air button.

    Google-hangout-on-air

    A modal box will appear asking you to specify the name, info about it and what time it will start. The audience is not the people participating but rather a way for Google+ to help you promote your Google Hangouts On Air session.

    Google-hangouts-on-air-setup

    You’ll end up with a screen that looks like this

    Test_Session_-_Google_

    You can edit the event, add a trailer to the event, collect the public links to the event and invite more viewers. I’ll discuss this in a later article but for now, click Start when your event is going to go live and follow the instructions above on how to invite people to be on your Google Hangout On Air event.

     

  • Tips for optimizing live broadcasting from your Mac

    When streaming audio or video out to the Internet be it a podcast, a Google Hangout or just talking to your mom over Facetime from your computer you want to have the highest quality you can get sent from your computer to the Internet. Aside from asking the bandwidth hogs in your family to stop streaming NetFlix and 4K YouTube videos while you are broadcasting online (my family knows when I go upstairs to record to only watch local content) I wanted to share some tips that I have for optimizing the broadcasting bandwidth potential from your computer.

    Interestingly enough I’ll be sharing this with current and future guest on WPwatercooler as a way to make sure they don’t end up with 1980’s Super Mario blocky looking video.

    Buy more bandwidth from your ISP

    If you broadcast video from your home you should have the ability to contact your Internet Service Provider and ask them about upgrading your bandwidth to a higher package. If you are using DSL, it may be time to give up the old copper connection from your phone provider and call up your local cable company and get with the times. If you live in an area where Google Fiber is AtlantaAustinCharlotteKansas CityNashvilleProvoRaleigh–DurhamSalt Lake City & San Antonio along with some cities they are thinking about rolling it out to on their expansion map (at the time of this writing) you should really think about switching to them and get more bandwidth than you’d ever need.

    Don’t use wifi, go hard wired

    May I have a cup of wifi?

    This is a no brainer for hard core geeks but isn’t something that most non geeks ever think about “I have Internet access in my home what’s the problem with wifi?” Lots of stuff, from microwaves and other radiating devices dropping your signal to chicken wire in your plaster walls (hello Mr. Faraday, nice cage you got there!) going hard wire is the BEST way to go.

    Going wired!

    So what are your options for going wired?

    • Measure how far the run is from your router to your computer, Go to Monoprice.com and buy yourself some CAT6 cable. They come in every size, share color, indoor, outdoor, weather proof, with boots without boots. Find the length and run the cable.
    • Hire someone to run the wire into your office, they can put the jack in your room and run a wire between your router and your office.
    • Relocate your networking equipment to your office. I wouldn’t do this if your home is LONG and your putting your wifi router in that room, depending on the size of your home you may end up with dead spots. Grab a copy of NetSpot for the Mac and run some tests on the layout of your home and where you should put your wifi access point.
    • When all else fails you can try a powerline adapter, the TP-LINK TL-PA4010KIT is a 2 device kit that you plug one near your router where the Internet comes into your home and another in your office where your computer is, you plug them into your wall outlet and it will use the wiring in your home to provide you with a replacement for a hard wired CAT5 CAT6 connection. The only thing about these is they can only be used if the adapters are on the same circuit, I’m no electrician so keep your receipt handy if this doesn’t work out for you and you can return it.

    Turn off data hogs both in your home and in your computer.

    TripMode squad

    If you’ve been listening to your IT friends that keep harping on you to use  services like CrashPlan, Carbonite or BackBlaze for online and off site backup you may want to turn these off during your streaming session. Also things like Google Drive, Dropbox  etc can be to blame for bandwidth. Instead of turning off each of these (I use CrashPlan, Dropbox and Google Drive, Flickr, iCloud Photos they all suck bandwidth) you can download one simple app called TripMode their tagline is “Use TripMode to stop data hungry apps when connected to a mobile hotspot.” which is in fact one use for this awesome little app.

    How does it work? What it does is lives in your menu bar and by default disables all apps from connecting to the Internet it then gives you a list of apps you would like to allow for connecting to the Internet. If you are doing a Google Hangout I’d suggest selecting the web browser you are using currently. By doing this you are blocking the Internet from the other apps on your computer from getting out and using your bandwidth! In the end of your session it will show you how much data it blocked so you can get a good idea how this app worked in your favor. And like the tagline says, it’s great for travel when you have limited data or are paying for data.

    No streaming for you!

    If you are broadcasting from home, ask the other occupants in your home to not stream videos or use any data on the Internet. If your router have QoS or quality of service settings you may want to change those to favor your computer and not the rest of the house. Linksys, Cisco, Asus & Netgear routers typically have this kind of setting, do some googling and see what you can come up with.

    Quit apps you don’t need

    Sometimes it isn’t data bandwidth but rather the lack of CPU or ram that is to blame, quit all the apps you don’t need, use a web browser that  doesn’t have 900 extensions installed (I’m looking at you Chrome) when doing a Google Hangout!

    Use another user account on your computer

    If it’s REALLY bad, you can create a new user account on your computer and use that for a totally clean experience. On the mac you can go to  > System Preferences > Users & Groups and create a new user account on your computer. Log off your normal account and login to your “broadcasting” account and enjoy a practically new computer!

    Run a speed test

    Whenever you change any of the above take a moment and run a speed test Ookla SpeedTest is my favorite, it will tell you how much bandwidth you have available by downloading some data from the Internet and testing it’s speed.

    In conclusion

    I hope these tips help you optimize your broadcasting experience and allow for higher quality audio and video broadcasts. Leave me a comment

  • Copying a VM from Parallels to another computer

    My coworker Philip and I have been working on getting a VM on each of our computers setup so we can do some work with Casper Suite’s Composer and get some apps pkg’d up and added into the JSS. I made a base VM and got it setup and ready to copy. When I sent him a copy of that file and he started it up and got things going, after it booted he installed QuickAdd.pkg then I noticed my computer was acting funny in regards to Casper. It ends up when we copied over the “OS X.pvm” file from my computer and ran it for the first time Parallels asked if we copied or moved the file, it ends up we chose Move. By indicating we moved it we told the software that we only have one copy of this and thats it, it also means it didn’t generate a new UUID and MAC address for the network card so what happened then is we have 2 of the same MAC addresses on the network and the same UUID. When we ran QuickAdd.pkg on the other machine it thought it was me and replaced my computer info with his.

    We could have of course spun up a new VM and called it a day but for science we did the research we found we can reset the UUID using the GUI or command line:

    http://kb.parallels.com/en/11197

    This fixed our problem or Move vs Copy, in the future we’ll pick Copy next time.

  • Organizing all of JAMF’s Casper Suite on the OS X dock

    My company recently purchased and implemented JAMF Software’s Casper Suite and I ended up putting all of the apps from the suite in the Applications folder. In a previous post I wrote how you can group items using OS X tags and then later do some saved searches to wrangle them all together.

    Tagging

    I tagged each of the apps in the Casper Suite with the “casper” tag. Just open the Get Info sheet for that application, click the white box and type in the tag and press enter.

    Casper_Admin_app_Info_and_Composer_app_Info_and_Self_Service_app_Info

    Building a saved search

    Once you have the items you want to wrangle tagged open a new finder window and click in the search box. In the search box type casper and then select the tag from the list.

     

    Searching_“This_Mac”

    If you have anything else tagged with Casper it will be listed in this tagged search too. I saved a bookmark of the Casper JSS from Chrome into my Documents folder and tagged it with “casper” so it would also be included. Press Enter and then press the Save button under the search box.

    Searching_This_Mac 2

    I named my saved search Casper Suite.savedSearch and then pressed Save.

    Displaying it in the dock

    drag folder

    Once you have the saved search you can add it to the dock using one of my favorite tricks. Click and hold on the icon in the window title bar and then drag it to the dock, now you can press the dock icon and have it show all the items you have tagged with “casper”

    Display in Grid View

    If you right click on the dock icon you can change the way the list is displayed. I’ve never been a happy with Fan view so switching it to either List of Grid is better for such as small list.

    Screenshot_6_25_15__8_10_PM

    Then it will end up looking like

    Screenshot_6_25_15__8_09_PM

     

     

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