Economics Has Become a Spiritual Thing: How David Byrne Predicted Open Source and Startups

Here’s a post off-the-cuff (and not what I usually write): True Stories is one of my favourite movies that never gets talked about. It’s got everything – Talking Heads songs done better than the album, observing the state of the American suburbs of the 1980’s, and bizarre monologues. What’s not to love?

The scene I want to talk about the most though, is the scene where Byrne has dinner with a local businessman (the kind revered for contributions to their local and small community) and his family. It’s one of the most amusing scenes, but also the most prophetic – particularly for people in the computer business.

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Fixing Overwatch voice chat after upgrading to Fedora 33

After upgrading my system to Fedora 33, I realized voice chat in Overwatch didn’t work. The symptoms included:

  • The microphone worked in other applications, and there was no permissions issues involved
  • When joining a voice chat (like a group), the message saying that you’re in a voice chat would never appear, and you would never hear anyone else
  • The microphone icon in the game was forced to mute

Switching the WINE audio system from Pulse to ALSA didn’t work. What did work was changing the system cryptography policies:

$ sudo update-crypto-policies --set LEGACY

No reboot is required. This is an awfully big hammer though – I’d like to know what exact ciphers or protocols that Overwatch needs that are disabled in the stock crypto policies.

“xcrun altool” not found on macOS

I needed to attempt a notarization of a Mac app (currently still in the middle of that long story), but I wasn’t using Xcode, so I had to run tools manually. Unfortunately, I couldn’t use xcrun altool, as it couldn’t find the command. I had upgraded the version of Xcode I was using, so I guess I had some stale links somewhere. Running xcode-select -r did the trick and fixed it.

Cursed MinGW cross-compiling techniques

I tend not to like cross-compiling, but sometimes it’s just the simplest solution, particularly if Windows and autotools come into the mix. Recently, I wanted to build xz for Windows, and build it in some particular ways.

windres (the GNU Windows resource compiler) will eat CPPFLAGS, but it won’t process most of them the same way. I often like to use it as a shorthand for both C++ and C compiler options (like -O2), but if windres is in play, only put preprocessor related things. As an example, if you enter -O2 for CPPFLAGS, you get unknown format type `2'.

If you need to target pre-Windows XP, be sure that the compiler is before 7.3. This patch has a hard dependency on a symbol that exists only on XP.

The end result is now I have a cursed xz for an even more cursed operating system:

xz 5.2.5 on Windows ME

Can’t add email accounts in macOS (stuck on final step)

When I tried to add an Exchange account (but it seemed to affect IMAP accounts too) in macOS (I was running High Sierra, but it affects other versions too), from either the Internet Accounts preference pane or Mail.app, it would let would let me add an account right until the final step where it asks what kind of services you want enabled on the account, then the Done/Next button just does nothing. You might get a throbber for a second, but it subsides and does nothing.

There’s a lot of somewhat convulted steps posted on the internet, but the simplest is to just reset your keychain from the Keychain Access application (Application Menu->Preferences, it’s one of the options there) and reboot. You’ll have to enter your passwords again (including iCloud), but I had no trouble adding mail accounts after that.

Streaming a virtual machine to Twitch: my setup

Every so often, I do a stream of some odd 1990’s software. I usually run this in VMware, because streaming from an old operating system is either incredibly challenging or just downright impossible. However, VMware isn’t exactly a game, and I wish to do other things on my computer while I stream (if it’s something like a music stream), so I end up having to create a little ceremony to do so. These are the steps I take, and they might prove to be useful for others.

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