The One Where My Macbook FaceTime HD Camera Joined the Romulan Star Empire

There’ve been many to prognosticate Apple’s fall of late. Few have accurately predicted just how far.

Romulan Warbird

Today, my MacBook (15-inch, 2016) Pro’s built-in FaceTime HD Camera didn’t activate when I began one of what are typically many Google Hangouts in a day. Given my history with Hangouts, I reloaded the page assuming it was a networking or runtime issue with hangouts itself. That failing, I opened up Photo Booth to see something like “No available USB camera devices”. “I must have lost my mind and not realized this newer Macbook doesn’t have a camera”, I thought. But the hardware design synecdoche that is the FaceTime HD Camera was right there. It’d simply disappeared from my system’s recognized internal “USB” devices, rendering remote work-life much more difficult.

A sudden disappearance of this sort has only been recorded in encounters with the Romulan Star Empire, so I catiously moved forward on that hypothesis.

I’d obtained a leak of Section 31 intelligence on Romulan starship network protocols and decided to give some of its incantations a try. BOOM! One of them deactivated the cloaking device and brought the cam back into the fold. I really shouldn’t be telling you this, but here’s the command to run in Terminal or iTerm2:

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sudo killall VDCAssistant

Next time your MacBook’s camera decide to cloak, run that command first and ask questions later.