Apr 06 2015

How To: Twitch Past Broadcasts on iOS Devices

Category: G&S,geekandsundry,Technology,TVRobert McGovern @ 1:04 am

Geek and Sundry has branched out from doing shows on Youtube, to producing daily shows on Twitch. There is a lot of great content on the G&S Twitch channel, the problem is they broadcast between 4pm-10pm PDT. As I live in Germany that means the stream starts at 1am CEST and finishes at 7am CEST; not particularly practical for me 🙂

This means I need to rely on the Past Broadcasts to see the shows I’m interested in, but there is the catch. At present G&S are not showing the previous broadcasts on their website. So I need to watch the past broadcasts on Twitch, unfortunately for reasons unknown, Twitch do not make it possible to watch the past broadcasts in their Twitch app and you cannot watch them on an iOS device via Safari as the Twitch.tv website uses a flash-based video player.

Today I discovered that there is a work around, which involves using the TwitchCast project.

Requirements

  • iOS web browser like Safari or Chrome
  • Video app capable of playing Internet Streams, for instance VLC for iOS or nPlayer

Links

TwitchCast Project site: https://github.com/Arxk/TwitchCast

TwitchCast “live” http://bit.ly/tcviewerweb

GeekandSundry Past Broadcasts page in TwitchCast: http://cdn.rawgit.com/Arxk/TwitchCast/916a5c26f3e9b6ea59a7120c9edf258999aff75a/www/index.html#/nav/broadcasts/geekandsundry/GeekandSundry

nPlayer: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/nplayer/id539397400?mt=8

VLC for iOS: https://itunes.apple.com/app/vlc-ios/id650377962

Steps

1. Go to the “Live” site of the TwithCast project on your iOS device.

Screen Shot 2015-04-05 at 16.42.132. Select “More …”

Screen Shot 2015-04-05 at 16.42.24

3. In the textfield above the “Streams”, “Games” and “Channels” buttons type “geekandsundry” and then press “Channels”

Screen Shot 2015-04-05 at 16.42.40

4. Select the Channel you are interested in; here it is the top result.

Screen Shot 2015-04-05 at 16.42.54

5. Select “Past Broadcasts” (shortcut link)

Screen Shot 2015-04-05 at 16.43.06

 

6. Select the Past Broadcast you are interested in. For this example we are choosing “Gather Your Part: Just Dance 2015 with the G&S”.

Screen Shot 2015-04-06 at 00.17.09

6a. If you don’t see the broadcast you want, scroll down the list and select “Next” (or “Previous” if you need to go back a page)

Screen Shot 2015-04-05 at 16.44.17

7. When you select a broadcast you are presented a page with buttons which open the Stream directly in Safari. Instead we are going to copy the link for the Quality of the stream we are interested in. Before you can select the link you must tap in the textfield that holds the link, you can then tap and hold to select text.

Screen Shot 2015-04-06 at 00.35.07

8. Now that you’ve copied the text, open up the app you are going to watch from. (For demo purposes I am going to use VLC for iOS as its free. However it isn’t a great experience as it doesn’t pull the correct times for the stream, or really allow you to fast forwards into a stream (or rewind). Personally I use nPlayer, which I demo further down.)

IMG_4492

9. Select the “Cone” icon in the top left of the screen. It opens a sidebar

IMG_4493

10. Select “Open Network Stream” which opens a page allowing you to enter the URL of the stream. If you have a URL in the pasteboard it is auto pasted.IMG_4494

11. Select “Open Network Stream” just below the URL and your video will start

IMG_4496

As I mentioned above, I prefer nPlayer because its a better video player and because it correctly picks up details about the stream. For instance in the shot from VLC above, the time for the stream is shown as –:– as such you can’t move around in the Stream.

1. Open nPlayer (this is the first screen)

IMG_4497

2. Select “Network” from the tab bar below

IMG_4498

3. Select “Direct Streaming URL” and you’ll see a page similar to this (ignore the existing URL’s, I was streaming earlier 🙂 )

IMG_4499

4. Select the + symbol in the top right which opens a dialog to paste the URL, as with VLC if there is a URL in the pasteboard then its auto pasted. Tape the tick at the top of the dialog.

IMG_4500

5. You are now returned to the previous page, with the URL added to list. (Last one is the example stream)

IMG_4501

6. To start the Stream, just tap the URL (note the length of the video visible at the top of the pic)

IMG_4502

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Oct 13 2014

Moving Home …

Category: Personal,Site,TechnologyRobert McGovern @ 12:31 pm

Not physically of course, but the server that hosts the blog & my email is moving away from Linode and on to a dedicated server in France.

This isn’t happening because of any problems with Linode. Indeed their service has been excellent both in terms of support and getting upgrades over the years despite still paying $20 a month like I was in 2010 when I started using them. (Before that I used Slicehost, still paying roughly $20 a month for slightly fewer resources)

The reason I’m moving is that for the same amount of money a month I can have a dedicated box that is mine and mine alone. “Old” is the specs from Linode and “New” is the specs on the dedicated box from Online.net:

Old: 2GB Ram, 2 virtual CPU’s which I can use a bit, 48GB storage on SSD and 3TB of bandwidth

New: 8GB Ram, 1 CPU with 8 Cores, 1TB storage on HD (not RAID’d) and unlimited Bandwidth.

Quite the leap in terms of Hardware features. That said I lose in terms of software a little, Linode’s web interface is very slick compared to Online.net. Support is also a little tricky as English is not the primary language of the Online.net staff; which is fair enough given they are in France. The other loss is in terms of bandwidth, or rather access to bandwidth. On Linode with the 2GB plan, you get 40Gbit download speed and 250Mbit up whereas with Online.net its 1Gbit in and 150Mbit out. For me it isn’t an issue, but it might be for others.

Last but not least moving away from Linode I lose out on having easy backups. For $5 a month you basically had 4 snapshots of all of your data (3 automatically, 1 manual). With the dedicated server I get 100GB FTP space, just a 10th of the HD storage, and I have to set up backing up manually. I always paid for the backup on Linode for peace of mind, though I never had a hardware issue that force me to use a copy of the backs. Thinking about it I only ever used a backup once after I messed up upgrading something in Ubuntu.

Having 1TB of storage is very useful, it means that I can have online backups of various bits of data from my home computer (like photos, my music) so that if there ever where a disaster that wiped out my comps and my external HD backups, then I would still have one online backup. It also means that I can run OwnCloud to have access to bits where ever I am in the world rather than relying on Dropbox / whoever.

In terms of access being in France makes little difference to me from a Latency point of view and shouldn’t make too much difference to any one visiting the site / sending me email. It’s not like I have many visitors or a thriving website or anything 🙂

I should add that it may not be the last move in the coming future. I have since discovered the world of Low End Boxes, where you can pay next to nothing yearly for a box that would cover me email/website needs. Seriously, for instance with DireVPS £12 a year will get you a OpenVZ SSD VPS with 256MB RAM, 3.25GB SSD Storage, 1.6180339887TB monthly data transfer @ £12.00 GBP per 12 month(s) or $26.75 a year with XVMLabs for 1GB RAM, 100 GB SSD, 300 GB monthly data transfer.

With some of the deals out there it is really hard to justify spending $20 a month, trust me I spent a week agonising over the choice.

— Edit

Just a quick note I will post some details later about the setup as I ran into a couple of things setting up DKIM/DMARC/ADSP where I was unclear where exactly they go in the DNS Records, particularly using DynDNS’s interface.

As of now every email leaving my system is digitally signed using DKIM. Which any email server can check, and discard any messages that claim to come from Tarasis.net that don’t have a valid signature.


Nov 22 2011

The iPhone Screens

Category: Personal,TechnologyRobert McGovern @ 1:26 am

Now that my wife is back from a couple of days away I ended up comparing some bits between the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S, particularly download speed wise (with the SpeedTest app) and I noticed that the screen on the 4S was yellower/murkier than the iPhone 4 I used before.

Part of this evening I’ve been comparing the two screens and I struggle a bit over which I prefer, some colours look better on the yellower screen, at the cost of some detail in photos as its a bit more washed out, and others look better on a bluer screen, for instance I looked at the same photo on both a iPhone 4 and 4S screen and a purple/pink was much more striking on the bluer iPhone 4 screen than the 4S. However the grey and greens looked more natural on the yellower 4S. The other cost with the yellower screen is that the text of the App Icons isn’t quite as clear

I kind of forget the difference when I don’t look at the iPhone 4 but there is a part of me that is bugged knowing that some of the detail in pictures is lost / washed out and icon text is a bit harder to read.

Its not an unknown issue and also occurred when the iPhone 4 was released. Its quite varied, some like the yellower tint, some the bluer tint and the chances of getting exactly the one you want is slim unless you somehow convince Apple to let you swap lots of times.

Have a look at this photo by Jason Yeaman in the AppAdvice thread, which shows the variation in the iPhone 4 screens.

— PHOTO REMOVED – was no longer viewable —

When I got my original 3GS I loved its screen to death (I honestly think it was on the yellow side of neutral), but the casing (dock connector area) cracked and I ended up taking it to the Apple Store and they kindly replaced the phone. Then began a nightmare of 6-7 replacement phones which had varying degrees of problems (dead pixels, vibration unit and so on) including quite different degrees of screen colours; none though had as good a colour as my original 3GS had and I ended up with one that was quite blue, too blue even and so I gladly upgraded to the iPhone 4 when I could.

When I got the iPhone 4, the first one was quickly replaced because the phone had a strong green aura when taking photo’s of white surfaces and I had struggled with it compared to the 3GS; while camera shots were great outdoors I couldn’t trust the camera indoors; I still don’t. The replacement 4 was yellower than the original 4 but I went with it with the intention that I could change it down the line if I didn’t get on with it. Since then I’ve gotten used to the yellower look of the screen, but had to constantly ignore the fact that the top part of the screen (status area) was dimmer than the rest of the display (most noticeable on white pages in Safari, particularly if rotated horizontally). In the end I didn’t exchange it again as I didn’t want to go through what I went through with the 3GS.

And now we come to the iPhone 4S which is yellower again than the iPhone 4. At the moment it stands like this there is a:
2G which is reddish
3GS quite blue(red)
4 most neutral (to my eyes)
4S yellow

Excuse the photography, it is an iPad 2, but it shows the difference in the screen colours well enough in both this first side on shot. The dimist, on the left, is the original iPhone, then the 3GS, 4 and then finally the 4S.

Side on shot of our iPhone family. It shows the difference is the display panels.

Then we have a face on shot of the phones, again 2G, 3GS, 4 and 4S and it again shows the variation in the screens.

Face on shot of the iPhones, all on full brightness and auto Brightness off.

I’m not entirely sure how i will leave it, whether I will waste my time and Apple’s and try and change out the phone, part of me definitely wants to as I find the screen that little bit more yellow than the 4 and it makes the text a bit harder to read. On the other had, its not a big issue and I should learn to live with it how it is; particularly as I have no idea what the replacement will be like, it could be yellower or bluer. Its a lot of money, even subsided, and it irks when its not “right”.

There is the note that was said when the iPhone 4 came out, the part of the yellowing was actually the glue which hadn’t dried yet and that basically you just need to use the phone for a week, ideally at full brightness to help it finish the drying process. I will try that out but really that was suggested more for people who had yellow splotches on their screen, rather than their screen being yellower overall compared to another iPhone. (As some have noted in this thread)


Nov 21 2011

iPhone 4S thoughts

Category: Personal,TechnologyRobert McGovern @ 12:21 am

This was the results of my dictating part of this entry.

Just a quick couple of observations about the iPhone for S and quite impressed with itself on the camera is much improved as ROP upload speeds dancebeats on 3G network about three times Fastmap banners but three times faster than on the iPhone for Siri is amazing though struggles with my accent somewhat and OsmoPrep you raspy voice for instance

Which should, of course, have been (without the correct punctuation as I forgot to tell Siri to add any.

Just a quick couple of observations about the iPhone 4S. I am quite impressed with it so far the camera is much improved as are upload speeds and download speeds on the 3G network about three times faster than on the iPhone four Siri is amazing though struggles with my accent somewhat and also my raspy voice for instance

I’ll add more to this later.

(had one instance were diction failed, showed purple dots and then just stopped)

Siri doesn’t like how I say cold, he (UK English) tends to think I mean call or called, as you can see in the pic.

20111121-001914.jpg

Also my attempt at

Tea Earl Grey Hot

didnt really work out.

20111121-002016.jpg

There is definitely something amiss with battery life. Phone just sitting there and not being used is dropping % quite quickly. It was down about 3% in 20 minutes.

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Jan 19 2011

Thermomix Cooking

Category: Cooking,Personal,TechnologyRobert McGovern @ 12:08 pm

thermo_press
Photo is “thermo_press” by abby_luque, on Flickr

Last year Bob get herself a new toy for the kitchen called the Thermomix (DE site). To quote the UK site the device

Thermomix is a super fast food blender and processor that also weighs, cooks, simmers and steams!

It really does replace a bunch of devices in the kitchen, though in our case more only a Magic Mix food processor. You can cook a full in the Thermomix as it has a simmering basket (which can be useful for steaming rice) and whats called a Varoma which is used for steaming vegetables / meat / pasta. It so versatile you can make bread dough, soups, sauces, drinks, desserts and main meals.

Whats odd about the machine, is that you can’t simply go to a store and buy one. They are basically sold via demonstrators, who come to your house and for a couple of hours they come and show you what the machine can do and cook various dishes for you (for instance when Bob had a couple of demos the demonstrator made Wholemeal bread rolls, soup, a dip of some kind and I believe a jam).

You might think its a little dodgy that you can only get the machine this way but it honestly isn’t. Its an expensive machine and they don’t want you to simply discount it because of the price and they want you to truly see what the machine can do which if it sat on a shop shelf you never would (nor would you see how damn easy it is too clean).

You have to convert your recipes a bit to use it, something I do not feel comfortable trying to do yet but thats fine as there are tons of recipes on blogs on the Internet and in the rather busy and very friendly Australian Thermomix forums.

Given I’ve started to use it more, I’m going to (try) and blog the recipes we use with photo’s of what the final dish looked like. I suspect it will be a long time though before you manage to extract and original recipe from me (if ever!) 🙂

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