just another web log

28 Sep 2021:
petrol petrol everywhere but not a drop to drink
45 minutes in a queue for petrol to finally get the the station and find they only have fuel I cannot use.

Similar thing at a different station but not quite such a long wait to be let down.

Both places proudly displayed the the fuel price on there boards, even though they had none!

I did eventually manage to get a small amount. They were limiting the maximum you could put in so I couldn't fill up completely.

Now I need fuel again. Not to worry the government says the shortages have eased. But not at anywhere I have checked.

Back in 1999 I did actually run out of fuel and was stranded due to a "run" on the petrol stations :(
25 Sep 2021:
nothing important
Today is the day after yesterday.

Welcome to the future.

Be careful what you wish for.
11 Sep 2021:
deep dive into the vr scene inspector in blender
So I was bit hand-wavy last time with "I can switch into VR mode and see my scene"

What you need to do is go into the Preferences/Add-ons and enable the VR Scene Inspector.
This is one of the few global add-ons, so you will not have to enable it in each scene.

Now when you expand the Property Panel (toggle with "N")

screen capture of blender properties panel with vr scene inspector

You can click "Start VR Session" to use the headset.

Now, why is it called "VR Scene Inspector"?
Because you are expected to walk around the environment with your own two feet (or equivalent) there is no interaction with the controllers :(

And reading the documentation implies that's all there is at the moment...

But reading through developer notes, commits and some other random places I have found three key things;

1: The Blender "VR Scene Inspector" experience is expected to be operated by two users. One using the headset and the second controlling the scene/camera on the host machine running Blender
2: In the headset you cannot jump to landmarks via the controllers, but you can press SPACE on the keyboard (if you can reach) to teleport to the next landmark in the list in when in "fly navigation". OR I cannot **
3: "fly navigation" ( SHIFT + "`"), TAB turns gravity on and off. You can navigate around with keyboard WASD-EQ(up down)

For "fly navigation" to work you must be in the camera view when you start VR or the VR user will be unaffected.

You can also hold down SHIFT when pressing WASD-EQ to move fast or hold down ALT to go slow.

Your ground must be a Physics object. Ideally Rigid Body to avoid falling through the flour when you turn gravity is turned on.

Once gravity is turned on you can no longer use QE (up/down) but you can use "V" for JUMP!

** I do not think landmarks work when SPACE is pressed in "fly navigation" even though "Teleport" is an action listed. It seems to jump you to the 3D cursor's position.

You can create teleportable "landmarks" at locations or cameras, more information is in the 2.90 Release Notes

I tried a all the different landmark creation options, but they all required the Blender desktop operator to click the little Activation circle next to the landmark name to work.
11 Sep 2021:
no webxr in vr desktop
So with Virtual Desktop running you would have though a web browser on the host machine would be VR aware?



That only works on the Oculus browser and the Firefox VR edition browser that are installed and run directly on the Quest 2 headset.
11 Sep 2021:
blender in vr blender in vr
After a bit of fun getting the Oculus Quest 2 ready
(see previous post) VR Virtual desktop black top fix

I was now poised to just run Blender and bask in the VR glow of my own scenes...

All you need is a recent build of Blender (anything since 2.83) and navigate to the folder where it is installed
(mine was C:\Program Files\Blender Foundation\Blender 2.93\)
and run blender_oculus.cmd (double click)
and for me that didn't work :(

screen capture file explorer blender oculus command files

but a little bit of investigation shows that this VR support is in Beta and I have to manually update the link to folder where the Oculus software is installed.
In the Blender folder is a file called oculus.json
edit the path in that to where the Oculus LibOVRRT64_1.dll file is
when edited mine was
"library_path": "D:\\Oculus\\Support\\oculus-runtime\\LibOVRRT64_1.dll"
(notice the double slashes)

and now running blender_oculus.cmd and doing a dance to "Press any key" (while wearing the headset a couple of meters away from the desk with the laptop) Blender loads and I can switch into VR mode and see my scene.

Screen capture Blender in VR

Word of WARNING : Don't try and set the view to Cycles, the frame rate tanked. But Eevee or workspace views work just fine.

Another post will go into the Blender VR scene inspector in a bit more detail.
11 Sep 2021:
oculus vr desktop app not that one
I have been using the Oculus Quest 2 Air Link without issue at home. This allows a PC to run PC VR games (Rift and Vive) and the Quest 2 is just a passive headset. Lots of people have had problems with Wifi issues, so Oculus have kept it in Beta to avoid complaints. I had no problems and worked really well ... until

I was at a different location with twitchy Wifi. Should not be a problem, just plug in a USB C cable from the PC to the headset. This is called Oculus Link and I had used it before without issue. Except it didn't want to work.
Long story short, you must EXPLICITLY disable the Air Link (which is hidden in the Experimental settings) before the old Oculus Link will work with a cable.

Now I had a chance to do something that I could not get working before. Virtual Desktop (not Virtual Desktop the app*), the option built into the Oculus software on the PC.
When I tried it I would just get a blank window (hovering in 3D space). What was weird was that if I move the pointer sometimes I would see it change to a resize or text input icon, as if there was something hidden in the blackness.

Turns out lots of people have had this issue, but they all had something in common. A gaming laptop. My Alienware laptop has two graphic adaptors, an in-built motherboard chipset Intel HD 530 and a NVidia GeForce GTX 970M. For some reason this combination freaks out the Oculus software.

The fix is to change the graphics card that is used when the Virtual Desktop is run.

Go into Windows Graphic Settings

screen capture windows GFX settings

Browse and find the OVRServer_x64.exe
Usually in C:\Program Files\Oculus\Support\oculus-runtime\
but mine was on the D drive

screen capture file browser Oculus OVR server

and set the options to Intel Power saving (which seems an odd choice)

screen capture Windows GFX added options for Oculus

Restart the Oculus software and it just works!
(though I did get an error message and had to restart the computer and then it worked)

You can watch a video (swearing from the outset) detailing each step.
vr oculus graphic settings video fix

Now I had Virtual Desktop (not Virtual Desktop the app*) working I could try out Blender in VR !

*I have bought the 3rd party Virtual Desktop app which was the is way of doing Steam VR with the Quest. It also enabled some features that Oculus even rolled out on the Quest 2. No regrets.
11 Sep 2021:
usb heats up your a quest
Another(*) quick Oculus Quest 2 tip.

Please use a USB C to USB C cable with NO ADAPTORS when charging!!

I tried using my long USB A to USB C cable to charge the Quest and it got VERY HOT! (It was only charging for an hour)

I have seen some people melt the casing on the headset, but believed that was an after market charger to blame.

It appears the Quest 2 uses the USB C correctly and negotiates power requirements. When I used a USB A source connector that negotiation was ignored.

* Posting out of sequence :D
11 Sep 2021:
project fifty percent of the wifi
A nice non-Apple related tech incident I was involved in investigating.

Residential Wifi 80Mbps

Test one: (Next to the hub) Phone on Wifi speed test
Result: near enough 80Mbps

Test two: (Near a ISP provided signal booster) Laptop speed test
Result: 39Mbps

(from here on all tests are done next to the signal booster and are speed tests)

Test three: Same Phone on same Wifi
Result: Full speed.

Test four: laptop again
Result: Half speed

Test five: unplug everything from laptop (it had a lot connected; printers, drives, mice, keyboard, USB hubs and more!)
Result: Full speed

OK, so we need to plug each item back in and test ...

Test six: Plug-in power and external HDD
Result: Half speed

Ah ha! I hear you say it must be the external HDD !

Test seven: Un-plug external HDD
Result: Half speed

Uh Oh!

Double check everything, same results.

Test (lost count): Un-plug power
Result: Full speed

Double check everything, same results.

Tried a different wall socket, even though it was in a surge protected one.
Result: Half speed

Tried a spare PSU (never been opened).
Result: Half speed

Tried another laptop (mine) on the same power socket
Result: Full speed

Checked all the Windows 10 settings related to Power and updated Wifi drivers.
Result: Half speed

Hours of searching and I find a single mention of "Projecting to this PC". Never heard of this before, but we had exhausted all other avenues.

screen capture of the windows 10 settings

screen capture of the windows 10 settings Project to this PC

Turned it off and ... that fixed it !

Apparently if a laptop is powered then this function does something "funny" with the network bandwidth and when it's on battery it does not.

Possibly it "reserves" bandwidth for screen sharing.

The user was confused, because what they wanted to do (a while ago) was share photos from the laptop to a smart TV and this "Projecting" option was the only related thing they could find.
11 Sep 2021:
another bad apple
I often proclaim my visceral hatred for Apple products, but I cannot seem to stop anyone else from using them.

So it was just the other week when a Mac Book owner asked me for help. The mouse pointer would move around the screen but they could not click on anything or type.

Sure enough the mouse was moving around but something else was happening. The screen was acting as if the left mouse button was down and it was stuck in the middle of doing a drag selection.

I suggested rebooting and it was then that they informed me that it had done something similar only a few days ago and rebooting had not helped. It had only resolved itself after being off for a day.

Pondering my limited options and being blamed for causing the situation, I suggested that the Apple (magic) mouse might be interfering, as they were currently using the track-pad. They quickly explained that the mouse was in a different room and that it was DEFINITELY turned OFF.

Having seen device interference like this back in the distant past I suggested looking for other electronic items that may be causing the issue. And I left it at that.

A few hours later I check in and everything is working perfectly. They had found the mouse in the bottom of a bag and ... Yes it was switched on with the left button pressed by other objects.

Don't trust user input, especially when they speak it!
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