Archive for June, 2006

Girls are Evil

I’m just curious if my new paid Livejournal account will strip out non-HTML tags:

Proof that Girls are Evil

  1. Girls require time and money


    =
    t
    x
    $
  2. Time is money

    t
    =
    $


    =
    $
    x
    $
    =

    $
    2

  3. Money is the root of all evil

    $
    =



  4. Quid Erat Demonstrandum


    =

    $
    2

    =




    2

    =

Well, it leaves the tags, but I can’t serve the page as application/xhtml xml, so the MathML doesn’t render.

How about forms?

It looks like I still can’t do scripting. C’est la vie.

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Formattage

Broke my journal. Will fix it soon when I’ve got just a bit more time. Damned StumbleUpon.

  1. Went looking for a Firefox extension to show me HTTP traffic.
  2. Saw the StumbleUpon extension and installed it along with Tamper Data.
  3. Got stuck on trying to replicate a POST request and started piddling around with StumbleUpon.
  4. Ended up at last.fm which is sort of like Pandora except music recommendations are made on user submissions rather than an external sorting system: very Web 2.0.
  5. Music has been really big for me as of late, so I created an account and installed the monitoring agent, Audioscrobbler.
  6. This allows for the creation of a pretty playlist, so I thought I’d stick that in my journal.
  7. It was the process of playing with that, that I killed my journal.
  8. Since I spend a minimum of $20 when I go out drinkin’, I went ahead and got a paid account.

All I need now is time to fix the site. You’d not think that I was a professional web designer to look at my sites.

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Cuteness du Jour

Rabbit In Love

These sidewalk drawings are also awesome. Definitely going on this list of things to try and use when I try and make my house the coolest place on Earth.

Btw, I’m lovin’ on BitTorrent. I’m downloading the Fedora Core 5 ISO (so I can upgrade Amarok to support m4a). I’ve been pulling between 600 and 700 kilobits the whole time. It’s going to take about an hour and a half to download the 3gb file. If it were a DVD, I could be watching it in real time.

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H.264

More geekery. Today’s fun centered around videos and trying to get the damned things to play. The good songs DVD is part of a larger project to send a bunch of stuff off to Mauritania. Another bit of that is a couple DVDs, one with Scrubs and another with Coupling.

Through the magic of BitTorrent, I have all the episodes of both, but Coupling will only play in Xine. This isn’t a huge problem for me since I’m a geek and have Xine on my Linux box. It is a problem though for the non-geek people I’m sending this to. So, I needed to fix it. The only problem is I know diddly about video stuff.

Well, the file extensions are mkv, so I started there. It turns out that mkv stands for “Matroska video.” When you watch a video on your computer you are not just watching, you are listening as well. The computer needs information about how the audio and the video sync up in order to play correctly. Matroska is a format to describe that. Another container format that I’m sure most everyone has seen is Microsoft‘s avi format.

In looking on the Matroska site, VLC is one of their recommended players and MPlayer is supported as well and neither works. So, more digging is in order…

I found some tools for manipulating mkvs, and mkvinfo let me know that my files contained an Ogg Vorbis sound stream and a H.264/MPEG-4 AVC video stream. (Matroska looks to be a pretty intriguing format, supporting things like multiple audio channels and subtitles.)

This was interesting as as H.264 is pretty new and the only place I’ve seen it so far is in IPTV podcasting on hacker sites like Hak5 and FTS. I was pretty sure this was where the problem since Ogg is old.

Well, I wandered the internet trying to find someone else having a similar problem, but to no avail. So then I decided to reencode the files. If you’ve ever seen Multiplicity, you are familiar with the “copy of a copy” principle. Every time, some data is lost and you never do anything but get further from the original. I was pretty much stymied, so I figured I’d bite the bullet.

None of the tools on my Fedora Core 4 machine could encode H.264, so I decided instead to encode to MPEG-4. It took me a bit to figure out how to get FFmpeg to do it, but eventually, I got it working.

Lesson #1. Encoding video takes for freaking ever. The MPEG encoding is a two pass process where the first pass collect some statistics and the second uses those to encode the file. These episodes of Coupling and about 50 minutes and 688px x 400px. On my 1.7gHz processor it takes about 25 minutes per pass.

Lesson #2. Whoever created these files did some magic. The original file, which looks really good, is 205mb. My MPEG-4 was over 400. This is not an acceptable increase. If I hadn’t seen how little they could be, I’d probably accept it since I expect a two hour movie to be around 1.5gb. Since I know it is possible to do it in less space though, I am bound and determined to match that.

I’m currently running the video through x264 to see if I can’t get some better compression. In this one each pass takes about an hour and a half, so I’ve got some waiting yet to do. I’ll post the result.

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Chansons Passables

So, LiveJournal didn’t like me trying to post my whole song list for my good songs DVD. It’s fair since there are more than 1000 songs. Anywho, if anyone makes some good suggestions, I’ll send along a copy of the finished product. (No artist gets more than two songs.) The list is up on my site.

Or I would send you a copy if it was not illegal. In fact there’s no DVD at all. This is only the songs I would put on a DVD if I were trying to make a DVD of good songs. I don’t even have these songs. In fact, I don’t even know how to use a computer. And I’m deaf. What am I doing here? I’m going to find a nice book. Don’t sue me RIAA!

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Muchos Musique

Time wasting for the day was finishing up some stuff to get it send off to the RIM. I’ve got some misencoded Matroska files to deal with still, but the song DVD is fast approaching completion. I spent the morning piddling with a makefile to process playlists. Nothing major, but it does help me get a DVD burned.

I still need about another 50 songs, so if you’ve got time, feel free to peruse the list and make suggestions. No artist gets more than two songs. (Compilations don’t count.)

The song list is way too long to post here, (I can’t get more than five letters to a post) so I’ll put it up elsewhere shortly…

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Loups-Garous

D’accord, je vais essayer d’écrire un petit peu en français même si je ne l’avais pas fait depuis six mois. Je le fais grâce á aujourd’hui je me suis acheté un cadeau: Les Loups-Garous de Thiercelieux.

Pour les gens qui connaissent, Loups-Garous est un jeu comme “Mafia” aux États-Unis. Tout le monde fait semblant d’être les villageois de Thiercelieux. Ils dorment, se cachent leurs eux, puis les loups-garous se réveillent et égorgent quelqu’un. Le lendemain, les villageois restant choissent une entre eux de lyncher. Le cycle continue jusque soit tout les villageois sont morts ou tout les loups-garous.

Christ, this is hard. I know the words, but I don’t know where to put them.

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Ghetto

So, I suck. Some people are mentally retarded. Others are emotionally retarded. What’s the term for the capacity to get your shit together? What was that word from the spelling bee the other night? Poiesis: the capacity for creation. That’s not quite right. It isn’t that I don’t have the tools, I’m just too fucking dumb to use them.

Today I got out of bed at a reasonable Saturday hour, but then started watching some idiotic show and managed to miss my kickball game.

This sort of thing where I get distracted by something trivial and miss something important happens fairly frequently. It’s just so easy to get involved in something and forget about time. It’s why working twelve hours days is easy for me. It’s also though why at the end of a twelve hour day I discover I’ve accomplished something completely other than what I set out to do. (Note my second half of Friday.)

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