Here is a command line to encode to low-resolution Flash video for publishing on a web server (that isn't a streaming server).
cat FASTING/VIDEO_TS/VTS_01_*.VOB | /usr/local/bin/ffmpeg -i - -f flv -s 320x240 -acodec libmp3lame -ar 22050 -ab 64k fasting.flv
What this does is dump all the .VOB files into ffmpeg, which is told to take input from standard input.
Once again, a break from tech to do some politics.
Remember H. Ross Perot, founder of Perot Systems and EDS? When he ran for President, he played the American people like a fiddle. Said that NAFTA would send jobs away, which it turned out, it did, in a big way, and hurt a lot of workers.
Well, in 2006, his company set up shop in Mexico, to help American companies outsource tech support.
This is an awesome tutorial on how to kill this annoying process that forces the owner to run SBS as a domain controller.
It's also a great howto about permissions in Windows.
A few years back, my co-worker Josh and I came to the conclusion that we didn't like the Smarty templating system. Not that there's anything wrong with Smarty - it's just that we didn't like the fact it was this software system that didn't seem to do anything except behave like a subset of PHP, and required a lot of extra code.
So, we did some thinking, and thought a bit about Cold Fusion, a really nice language that gets little respect because it looks like HTML. There are a few things CF does to make life easier for HTMLers (but makes it a lousy development language for regular programmers). Some ideas bubbled to the top.
1. All variables are globals.
2. Most data is in arrays.
Been working on a parser for ICS files, and it's done in an OO style - so that parts of the data become instantiated as objects, and the parse tree is a hierarchy of objects.
1. Get some kind of anti-virus software. Consumer Reports recommends PC-Cillin, which is cheap and doesn't bog the system down.
2. Start using Mozilla Firefox. It's attacked less often than Internet Explorer.
3. Avoid clicking on attachments. Avoid using MySpace. Avoid Yahoo Instant Messenger.
4. Get a copy of the Ultimate Boot CD for Windows, and learn to use it to clean the system of most viruses. What UBCD doesn't catch, the other antivirus software should catch.
Beyond Logic has a great SMART disk tool. It's only 18K, and dumps the data. Everyone else's is up over 250K.
Here are two outputs:
$ smart SMART & Simple for Windows NT/2000/XP V1.01 Copyright 2001-2003 Craig.Peacock@beyondlogic.org Opened Drive \\.\c: . . SMART Enabled : Yes Model Number : IC35L090AVV207-0 Firmware Version : V23OA66A Serial Number : VNVC02G3DAEXZT Drive Size : 80.000 GB ID Attribute Type Threshold Value Worst Raw Status ---- -------------------------- ----- --------- ----- ----- ---------- --------  Raw Read Error Rate Prefailure 60 100 100 0 OK  Throughput Performance Prefailure 50 153 153 238 OK
The notebook computer says:
free ~ # smartctl --health /dev/hda smartctl version 5.37 [i686-pc-linux-gnu] Copyright (C) 2002-6 Bruce Allen Home page is http://smartmontools.sourceforge.net/ === START OF READ SMART DATA SECTION === SMART overall-health self-assessment test result: FAILED! Drive failure expected in less than 24 hours. SAVE ALL DATA. Failed Attributes: ID# ATTRIBUTE_NAME FLAG VALUE WORST THRESH TYPE UPDATED WHEN_FAILED RAW_VALUE 5 Reallocated_Sector_Ct 0x0033 001 001 050 Pre-fail Always FAILING_NOW 1023
Yikes! That's the first time I've seen FAILING_NOW. No wonder I get error messages.
He even laid down some insight into pain and anger, and oxycontin. He said oxycontin (aka, hillbilly heroin) got him angry for no reason at all. Thing is, regular pain also gets you angry and depressed, and your body releases natural "drugs" to ease the pain, and these drugs are similar to heroin. There might be a connection.
Gripe: VBA syntax is difficult. The object system is a little confusing too. It's just very hard to use. To make things even more difficult, the sample code out there is kind of *weird*. Maybe there's some good reasons for doing things their way, but, it just seems verbose, error prone, and hard to write, to me.
Here's some code that is the start of a library to work with Outlook's folders. It's based on some code samples from the web, refactored into something resembling a library.
The best feature is the function OLGetSubFolder, which returns a MAPI folder object for a given path. Totally useful.
Sick of tYPING lIKE tHIS? Wish you could press Control-C without contorting yourself? If you're on Ubuntu, there's a feature to help you out:
On KDE (on Gentoo at least), it's under Control Center -> Regions and Accessibility -> Keyboard Layout -> Xkb Options, in the list.
Read this site: http://www.noooxml.org/
A site objecting to Microsoft's political promotion of their "open standard" years after the establishment of Open Document Format (ODF), a similar open standard used by the freely available OpenOffice and some other programs.
In response to the promulgation (and relative success) of the ODF formats, Microsoft is pushing OOXML, the confusingly named Office Open XML -- note the order of the two "O" words -- as an international open standard.
ODF is safer than OOXML, because the OpenOffice suite of programs is available in source code. The most popular parser for the ODF formats is always accessible to programmers, so they don't have to puzzle over the subtleties of the ODF.
The Nerd Handbook, at Rands in Repose.
One way to stay in control is to get the computer to tell you to stop working. Work Rave break enforcer.
I've been seeing RoHS all over. Finally found out it is the European anti-poison law. It's what prevents lead from getting into China-sourced goods in Europe. Our lack of a similar law leaves Americans eating lead and roofies. Nothing like a little NAFTA-esque reduction of anti-business regulations to poison the populace. Thank you, spirit of Ronald Reagan.