iMovie 11 fix for iCubie webcam

For those that can’t get iMovie to show the iCubie webcam, the helpful guys from Ecamm. This also applies to most any video source that refuses to show up in iMovie.


sent me these instructions that worked a treat…


1) Quit iMovie.

2) Open the Terminal app, which is in Applications/Utilities.

3) Copy and paste this line into the Terminal window and press return:

defaults write allowUnsupportedWebcams -bool YES

4) Re-open iMovie.


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Flying and airports are an epic fail

Here’s a mad thing I wrote about my trip from Barcelona to San Francisco. I and my two collegues were going to run a workshop and we had the misfortune of booking with Continental Airlines……

As consummate professionals, we had planned every last detail. To ensure we sat next to each other, I had set an alarm to remind me to check-in 24 hours and 5 minutes in advance.

I had already spent time on the seat-guru website weighing up the options and reading about the relative merits of each setting area {yes I know, borderline Aspergers}.

It’s not as easy as you think. How about the great seat with the extra leg room, but it’s a notorious place where mother stand nursing their screaming babies? Or the convenient seats near the front, but you have the disadvantage of ‘bathroom odour’ as sweating businessmen, on their return from India, enjoy their first liaison with ‘Delhi belly’. Choices, choices.

With nano seconds to spare I braved the mid-1990s pre Steve Krug interface of Continental’s online checkin process. I focused on my target like a F16 pilot, chose my seats, the command went out ‘we were weapons hot, I repeat weapons hot’. One click later, the deed was done and there was no turning back.

A few screen-grabs later, my email went out to Aldo, who was coiled as tight as a spring (I think we all know his cat like reflexes). He followed where I had led and booked a strategic position that would form our perfect triangle of aisle seats. This would ensure we were close, but not too close you understand.

Let me elaborate, elbow room battles have ended many friendships. We had spent hours in the Claro bunker situation room running simulations using complex factors such as elbow room, snoring and dribbling, annoying English person, Lebanese garlic ‘fragrances’ and’ Dutch ‘liquorice breath’. The Beowulf computer-array groaned under the weight of the problem. Hours later and teraflops of computational effort yielded the perfect combination, 3 isle seats in. 2-1 combination. This combination was the love child of Ronaldo and field commander Rommel.

Once the seats were booked the machine, which is the Johnson packing system, went into action. Underpants were counted and recounted, socks were matched to the expected weather fluctuations of the next 7 days, a taxi was ordered, shirts were folded, gadgets were charged, and bad sci-fi movies were loaded onto my iPad.

With monk like devotion I went to bed early on Saturday night and awoke to two alarms and one backup. One standard cup of British tea was imbibed and, as it was a special occasion, a chocolate biscuit was eaten.

The taxi arrived exactly at 8.29am and the journey took 16.4 minutes. Each second of which, the driver rattled on about the football match which I had stated I wasn’t interested in.

With a shiver of anticipation of joining a queue that only and Englishman could enjoy, and 15 minutes ahead of schedule, I joined the other travellers for Continental airlines checkin desks. This is where the wheels started to come off…

Firstly the website had instructed me that if I couldn’t print out my boarding pass then I should use the Continental checkin machines at the airport. Errr, except they don’t have any in Barcelona So I stood with all of the Luddites who no doubt had all had a great Saturday night and hadn’t lost 50 IQ points wrestling with the Schizophrenic online checkin.

Comforting myself in the knowledge that I was ahead of schedule I made my way to the front of the queue. Only three paces to ‘checkin nirvana’ and then onto a tasty breakfast! Suddenly like a rabid meerkat shooting from its hole the US immigration official intercepted my trajectory!

What was this, I’m a innocuous looking English man with a small pot belly and Apple hardware. I must be so far down the terrorist suspect list that even Jesus and Santa Claus are bigger suspects than me!

The overly jolly man wearing a false smile ‘only’ wanted to see printed proof that I worked at Claro partners. Couldn’t I show a business card? Why didn’t I have any company stationary? Why hadn’t I flown from London? Couldn’t I understand that it was ‘irregular’ that I chose to fly via Barcelona rather than my home in London?

Feeling the anxiety levels rising I grabbed for proof of my authenticity in the form of Mandy who had just arrived. “don’t worry, I’m with that woman”, “which one?” said the sceptical official. “the Arabic looking one!” I’m sure that gave me street cred with the security boyz. No doubt a drone loaded full was being scrambled before the last syllable left my lips.

Having insufficient ‘dead tree’ proof with me. I was able to proffer my iPad. Showing legitimate correspondence from Intuit and ‘clocking’ the school boy looks of the respectable Mr De Jong, I was reluctantly allowed to check in, but forever to have the sigma of being as ‘irregular’ traveller hanging over my head.

Mercifully, security was straight forward with the small consolation of gliding through the metal detectors in the full knowledge that I was metal-free and could stare the suspicious security woman in the eye. I know what you want to do you evil woman, put your rubber gloves down and keep your lubricant to yourself, because I’m metal free!

We promptly made our way to the boarding gate. So far so good. A quick coffee later I decided to pop to the loo before enjoying breathing in avian flue virus for 7 hours. I hear you thinking hat a quick toilet stop isn’t an unreasonable action, however that is where you are wrong! That 5 minute encounter with mother nature cost us dearly.

With spring in our step approached the boarding gate. However, when we came to show our boarding cards the staff were wearing worried looks. We were told to wait. After a conversation in 5 languages, non being English, we were told that the flight would have to take a new route, which somehow impacted on him many people the plane could carry.

Even though we had paid full price, checked in 24 hours in advance and were on time there wasn’t; sufficient fuel on the aircraft to carry us! Silently, I blamed Mandy for eating too many chocolate croissants. Apparently Continental Airlines was about to depart with empty seats and due to poor fuel planning (Aldo’s theory) couldn’t carry it’s paying passengers.

This is where the conspiracy theory comes into play. Aldo was convinced that we were bing dumped for some nefarious people (read Belgium’s) that were hanging around that were on standby. Even as we were being escorted away Aldo couldn’t help cast furtive glances at the suspicious looking lot who were still hanging around.

By this time, I was in free fall! My plan, which was created to work with swiss clock precision was in array. My apps would have to be edited to reflect the changes. How were we to get to San Francisco? Where were our bags? OMG.

Of course nobody apologised to use or offered much of an explanation. We were herded through immigration and given a fist full of forms to fill in. I’m sure they wanted dental records at some point.

We were told that Lufthansa would carry us via Munich. Err isn’t that East and we want to go West? So we had to get new tickets. Of course the check-in machine I was using had a dud touch screen. In addition, they had found Mandy and Aldo’s bag, but my bag was on its’ way to Newark without me.

Another checkin queue awaited, followed by a please for decent seats. And guess what, no isle seats were available. We hastily braved, the joy that is, security again and made it to the gate.

We ate lunch in Munch airport, where I lost my brand new expensive pen. As I trudged toward the gate, clutching dozens of claim forms and reissued tickets, I envisioned sitting between a sumo wrestler and a Maori rugby player who had been attending a conference for people with anti-social behaviour and incurable body odour.

So here I am, actually sitting in an isle seat net to a charming french lady who’s ‘in semi conductors’. I’ve landed a bulk heat seat, far from the toilets with lots of leg room. Not so bad after all.

Aldo has just popped through the curtain looking good. The ‘look’ which is a combination of sleeping pills, alcohol and sleep deprivation really suits him. Mandy is fairing much better, but as she is only 16 years old nothing can phase her.

Okay, I don’t have any clothes and toiletries when I land, but so what personal hygiene is overrated anyway. By turning my underpants inside-out, then back to front I can get 4 days wear out of them. Thanks to Rich for that tip.

I can just picture us three now standing before the Intuit team tomorrow morning, fatigued, wearing two day old clothes, but somehow carrying off that post heroine chic style like Kate Moss at her best.

Wish us luck for the other three flights, that is if we don’t get diverted to Kazakistan.

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Xmas in Boston


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Off the beaten path


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The dinner of a lonely worker in a foreign land


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Xmas tree in Place Espana, Barcelona


Taken at Place ingles, barcelona

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The question of ageing – How to provide dignity through design?

I gave a talk on Ageing at UX Brighton 2011 where I tried to make everyone in the UX field more aware of including older adults in our reserach and design processes.

For those of us that are trying to convince people we work with that we should increase the age of your research participants pfeel free to use my slides. Please note that the slides are designed to support my talk, rather than being a stand-alone document.

The amazing illustrations were created by the talented Robert Andre. Check out his website




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