Raul Suarez's blog

Video editing using ffmpeg and ImageMagick

Sometimes, you want to edit multiple videos in a similar way. For that, I've found that the best way is to create a script that you can run consistently on those videos and get a consistent ouptut. For example, recordings from a conference or a day by day video log of your family vacation.

I have created some scripts using ffmpeg and ImageMagick for my some of my videos, saving me hours in the process.

The main advantages I've found are:

  • Consistency: I don't have to remember what I did to a video. It is all in the script

Using an Android Phone as an Asterisk extension

Think about using your Android phone, connected through 3G or through WiFi as a telephone extension.

What do you need?

  • An Asterisk server (can be set up very easily)
  • A DID (VoIP phone line which usually costs very little)
  • An Android phone (or multiple phones)

Why?
Of course, Android is a phone, but using the cellular network costs money. If you configure your smart phone to register to Asterisk, the calls to your home/office are free and the calls to other numbers cost the same as if you were calling from the home/office.

Integrating Asterisk and Ekiga.net behind a firewall

Asterisk is an open source telephone switch (PBX). Although it can be used in complex environments, it can also be deployed for simple home use.

I was planning on Describing the set up and configuration for my Asterisk server, but I found that there are many good tutorials that already cover the general steps. For example, this one from our fellow KWLUGer and Linux trainer extraordinaire rpjday
http://www.crashcourse.ca/wiki/index.php/Asterisk_on_Kamikaze

Configuring Mandriva 2010.1 Spring Free

On my previous Mandriva review I had concluded that Mandriva wasn't for me, but someone at KW LUG convinced me to give it a chance. I started reviewing Mandriva 2010.1 Spring and had exactly the same complaints as my review of the 2010 version so I decided that, instead of a negative review I would write a positive "How to" configure the Free version.

Disclaimers:

Removing old sound device from KDE 4,x

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When you connect a sound device to a KDE 4.x system Phonon recognizes it and allows you to assign priority. Many people, including me have found that once you remove the device, the entry does not go away and phonon shows a message indicating that the device is not working.

I found this after I plugged in some borrowed USB speakers. They worked but after I returned them. I got the phonon message every time I logged in.

The solution was to edit the file ~/.kde/share/config/phonondevicesrc

and delete the entry that corresponds to the device you no longer have.

Recover Windows passwords, unlock accounts and more with Linux and chntpw

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Today, Linux saved the day... again.

My dad called me to ask me what to do when his Windows computer didn't let him log in.

He has a single account and a blank password.

I searched the internet and found a post explaining a great little utility that allows to reset passwords, unlock accounts, etc.

The command is chntpw

The instructions in the following link use the Linux rescue CD but you can easily use your favourite Live CD and install the utility from the repositories.

Linux Mint Isadora KDE i386 first impressions

This time I decided to install Linux Mint Isadora KDE version. This may sound unfair based my previous review of Mandriva as I've been using Linux Mint for several releases but this is the first time I will use the KDE version, though.

I promise I'll try to be as picky and as unbiased as I possibly can.

The first thing that surprised me is that, although for the Gnome version there is a Live CD which is just 674 MB and a Live DVD which is 763, There is only a DVD version for KDE a whopping 1.3 GB. Still better than other distributions which are 2 to 4 GB.

Mandriva 2010 First impressions

A week ago someone at the KWLUG was talking about Mandriva, and I mentioned that I never warmed up to it.

That conversation left me intrigued so today I decided to give it a try once again.

This will be a play by play impression while I go through the install. Some of my comments may sound picky, but as first impressions count:

I'm all pumped up and ready to be wowed.

On inserting the disk I remembered why I hadn't been able to fully test it: the DVD is not a live version. No live DVD. Why? Do I need to download the CD to see if I like it and if I do then get the DVD?

-1

USB Webcam mistery under Ubuntu Lucid Linx

Maybe someone with better knowledge of USB can shed some light here:

I have an USB camera that I knew was working several Ubuntu versions ago. But under Karmic and Lucid it refused to work.

I knew that it was listed as supported; but after hours trying things I couldn't make it work.

Then I saw in a forum that someone said that as a final test he disconnected the USB hub and plugged in the camera directly to the computer. After that it worked, so he suspected the hub.

Writing easy How-to's

While preparing my Programming for Linux presentation I had to install the sun-java packages. I am using Kubuntu Lucid but couldn't find the packages.

I Googled and got here:

http://www.tolaris.com/2010/06/10/installing-sun-java-on-ubuntu-lucid

Besides learning how to install Java, I got a lesson in writing a "How-to".

From now on, if you see me doing it differently, just remind me of that how-to.

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