Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Converting mod video files + deinterlace

Posted on the October 26th, 2013 under Uncategorized by

FFMPEG is deprecated. You need to use aconv.

avconv -i MOV047.MOD -c:v libx264 -crf 18 -preset medium -filter:v yadif -c:a copy MOV047.avi

This adds the deinterlace filter:  -filter:v yadif

wkhtmltoimage crashing at 25%

Posted on the April 13th, 2013 under Uncategorized by

I’ve had to turn off this functionality till I could find a fix. Sometimes, it worked, sometimes it didn’t. One URL in particular I had difficult fixing was:

Console Results

xvfb-run –auto-servernum –server-num=1 wkhtmltoimage –disable-javascript –use-xserver -f png -n ‘’ /var/www/docprogress_temp/1365305896.png
Loading page (1/2)
Rendering (2/2)
^C==============> ] 25%

Thought came in my mind, maybe it’s because there page is either big or long. Let’s try cropping the height:

xvfb-run –auto-servernum –server-num=1 wkhtmltoimage –disable-javascript –use-xserver -f png –crop-h 6000 -n ‘’ /var/www/docprogress_temp/1365305896.png
Loading page (1/2)
Rendering (2/2)

Wallah, that seems to fix it. I gradually increase mine to 6000 which is more sufficient in my case. Suggestion, try adding –crop-h {a height}, and see if this fixes it.

SWFRIP – Rip Resources in SWFs

Posted on the November 6th, 2007 under Uncategorized by

SWFRIP is a Macromedia Flash resource extractor and editor. It can save resources in various formats, including SVG conversion from the flash vector format, decompile ActionScript, and remove the protect tag from SWF files.

Works with WINE on Linux (which others couldn’t) and is FOSS!

Gnome vs KDE – doesn’t matter

Posted on the May 7th, 2007 under Uncategorized by

Gnome vs KDE is a stupid debate. Usually the choice is based on what programs are available for GNOME vs KDE. Choose the one with the most programs.

THe good news is that this doesn’t matter with Ubuntu and if you use Synaptic. let’s say I’m running GNOME and want Kivio which is like MS Visio and only runs under KDE (supposedly). If you install it via Synaptic, Ubuntu will install Kivio + some of the KDE libraries it needs to run Kivio – and this under GNOME nogal.

I can’t believe how useless the GNOME vs KDE debate is. BTW, I prefer XFCE, it’s faster, and I like Thunar over Galeon

Cortado Ogg Video Applet – The missing documentation

Posted on the March 4th, 2007 under Uncategorized by

Trying to better integrate Ogg Vorbis Video in Chisimba’s file manager, I found this applet called Cortado from Flumotion. But the documentation is non-existent, and worst of all, the experience is shocking based on the structure of their website.

Before giving you the solution, I’m going to note this experience given my inclination for usability, and as a personal lesson on how NOT to do thing.

On their website, they say: You can download the source, or the pre-compiled Java applets. I don’t know how to compile, so I choose pre-compiled.

But look what this gives you:
cortado-mmjs-0.0.1.jar 30-Nov-2004 13:50 34K
cortado-mmjs-0.1.0.jar 24-Dec-2004 18:15 43K
cortado-mmjs-0.1.2.jar 22-Apr-2005 16:08 46K
cortado-mmjs-debug- 14-Sep-2006 16:55 104K
cortado-mmjs-debug-0.2.0.jar 19-May-2006 15:38 103K
cortado-mmjs-debug-0.2.1.jar 14-Sep-2006 16:55 104K
cortado-mmjs-debug-0.2.2.jar 26-Oct-2006 17:28 113K
cortado-mmjs-stripped-0.2.0.jar 19-May-2006 15:38 103K
cortado-mmjs-stripped-0.2.1.jar 14-Sep-2006 16:55 104K
cortado-mmjs-stripped-0.2.2.jar 26-Oct-2006 18:10 88K
cortado-ot-0.1.0.jar 28-Dec-2004 12:59 93K
cortado-ot-0.1.2.jar 22-Apr-2005 20:01 97K
cortado-ov-debug- 14-Sep-2006 16:55 198K
cortado-ov-debug-0.2.0.jar 19-May-2006 15:38 197K
cortado-ov-debug-0.2.1.jar 14-Sep-2006 16:55 198K
cortado-ov-debug-0.2.2.jar 26-Oct-2006 17:28 208K
cortado-ov-stripped-0.2.0.jar 19-May-2006 15:38 197K
cortado-ov-stripped-0.2.1.jar 14-Sep-2006 16:55 198K
cortado-ov-stripped-0.2.2.jar 26-Oct-2006 18:10 151K
cortado-ovt-0.0.1.jar 30-Nov-2004 13:50 163K
cortado-ovt-0.1.0.jar 24-Dec-2004 18:15 172K
cortado-ovt-0.1.2.jar 22-Apr-2005 16:08 175K
cortado-ovt-debug- 14-Sep-2006 16:56 254K
cortado-ovt-debug-0.2.0.jar 19-May-2006 15:38 253K
cortado-ovt-debug-0.2.1.jar 14-Sep-2006 16:56 254K
cortado-ovt-debug-0.2.2.jar 26-Oct-2006 17:28 264K
cortado-ovt-stripped-0.2.0.jar 19-May-2006 15:38 253K
cortado-ovt-stripped-0.2.1.jar 14-Sep-2006 16:56 254K
cortado-ovt-stripped-0.2.2.jar 26-Oct-2006 18:10 193K

Now WTF. Do I download ALL of these, or am I supposed to choose one. Which one?

So my next step is to search the Internet for examples, and see what others are using. I came across this site, which came me another dillema:

< archive=”cortado.jar” code=”com.fluendo.player.Cortado.class”>

Here again, it only refers to cortado.jar, doesn’t tell me which one to download. BTW, this site does not allow you to copy and paste (JavaScript), just to give me more grief and delay progress.

It is also at this point that I realise that apart from this site, there is NO other documentation on how to USE the APPLET – – TOTALLY DISGUSTING!!

So the next step is to get hold of the applet code (remember the site wouldn’t allow me to copy), and download one of the applets (cortado-ot-0.1.2.jar) – which still didn’t work – which led me to search for a new applet – which led me to JOrbis – which also still didn’t work

Finding Answers:

Just see how ‘brilliant’ Open Source Developers can be:

The website says: Cortado currently include Java decoders for Ogg Theora, Ogg Vorbis, Mulaw audio, MJPEG and our own Smoke codec.

Once I re-read this and start to think about it, I realised that there are different applets for different decoders/formats. Why didn’t they tell me that in the first place AND tell me which applet to use. The cortado-ot-0.1.2.jar was for Ogg Theora which is audio (learnt something new).

The one we should be using is: cortado-ovt-0.1.2.jar. Cool, first step solved.

Now comes an even more atrocious part. Where is an example of the applet code and parameters, the one on top clearly didn’t work. And don’t expect the code to be in the demos, because the applet is in an iframe. Another classic example of Open Source Brilliance.

Back on the page that didn’t allow me to copy from it, it says: Documentation taken from current Read Me file contained within the Cortado source code. This isn’t brilliant. It is F*CKING F*CKING F*CKING BRILLIANT. To learn how to use it, you should download the entire source code as well, which you won’t use or know how to use, but you just need one file in the archive!

The Solution:

To use the Cortado applet to present Ogg Vorbis Video files:

  1. Go to the pre-compiled applets page at, and download the latest cortado-ovt-###.jar applet. The latest one for me was cortado-ovt-0.1.2.jar.Avoid the debug or stripped version. I don’t know that this means, and don’t have the time to find out.
  2. To embed the applet in your page, add the following code:< code=”com.fluendo.player.Cortado.class” archive=”cortado-ovt-0.1.2.jar” width=”352″ height=”288″>
    < name=”url” value=”http://localhost/tests/ogg/tuesday_1150_gaming.ogg”>
    < name=”local” value=”false”> < name=”keepAspect” value=”true”>
    < name=”video” value=”true”>
    < name=”audio” value=”true”>
    < name=”bufferSize” value=”200″>
    < /applet>

    Note: There are spaces between the <>

The entire Readme.txt file on how to use the applet can be found here:

Preview Photoshop Brushes – Free Tool

Posted on the February 18th, 2007 under Uncategorized by

Here’s a cool tool i found on the web. This piece of software allows you to view the brushes in a .abr file. It’s called ABR Viewer:

There are lots of wonderful brush sets for photoshop in the web… too many to install them all just to see what they look like! now you can have the preview of a set without having to install it… without having to run photoshop! You can even adjust thumbnails size and you can have the preview of the actual size of the brush… you can also try it out!

people who publish brush sets on their personal websites need to provide users with previews. This software is able to generate images for every single brush and can also generate the general image from the panel of the thumbnails you have visualised. I think it’s great, don’t you? 😉

Download at: BTW, it is free.

Escape closes popup window in Novell Groupwise 7 Webmail

Posted on the January 29th, 2007 under Uncategorized by

To achieve usability, you sometimes need to think on behalf of the user. And its amazing how sometimes its the smallest items that makes a difference

I was using my Groupwise account at UWC web based interface, and when I was finished with the email, I pressed [Escape] without much thought. But presto, the window automatically closed, which I thought was not a standard web browser behaviour, but probably standard user behaviour.?

It’s probably a cool feature to add, using JavaScript in pop windows. But as usual, here are some of my considerations:

  • It should only be for pop up windows
  • It should not be for main windows (window.opener’s)
  • It should not be used when the user is busy entering a form or something.

Nice one Novell!

function_exists in javascript

Posted on the January 26th, 2007 under Uncategorized by

Is possible:

Example: Determining whether a function exists

You can determine whether a function exists by using the typeof operator. In the following example, a test is peformed to determine if the window object has a property called noFunc that is a function. If so, it is used; otherwise some other action is taken.

 if ('function' == typeof window.noFunc) {
// use noFunc()
} else {
// do something else

Note that in the if test, a reference to noFunc is used—there are no brackets “()” after the function name so the actual function is not called.

"Breaking News" on IOL and M&G

Posted on the January 22nd, 2007 under Uncategorized by

I recall an incident in the mid 1990’s where Dr. Yaqub Zaki was visiting South Africa and remarked that he couldn’t wait to get back to Scotland? because he was so out of touch with the latest news (having spend a few weeks in South Africa).

Fair enough, the internet wasn’t yet a major hit that time, online things were still in their infancy. But I thought, what on earth is so wrong with the South African press.

Well, whether there is bias or not is speculative. But one thing for sure – they are deeeeelaayeeddd!

Take for example a story making headlines on IOL as well as the Mail and Guardian website.

I mentioned this on this blog 12 days ago, and even my post wasn’t timely. M&G calls their story ‘breaking news’. On the topic, I need to say that Yahoo! News is always a good source for latest news or topics that don’t make the news.

My other confidential sources are the Information Clearing House and Common Dreams.

When your enemies start praising you, be scared!

Posted on the January 11th, 2007 under Uncategorized by

Gaza chief brands Hamas murderers

Muhammad Dahlan

Muhammad Dahlan claimed Fatah had won back the streets of Gaza

Fatah strongman Muhammad Dahlan has branded the ruling Palestinian Hamas movement “murderers and thieves”, in a rising war of words between factions.

Mr Dahlan, an MP and former security chief and minister, organised Gaza’s biggest pro-Fatah rally on Sunday.

Or we can go to websites like the Palestine Information Center (

And by the way, the BBC story is a couple of days old in any case

Egyptian official charges Dahlan with inciting civil war

Cairo – An official Egyptian source has charged Palestinian MP Mohammed Dahlan with inciting civil war in his speech on Sunday in a rally organized in Gaza to celebrate his Fatah faction’s 42nd establishment anniversary.
Jan 9, 2007, 10:02

Abbas appoints Dahlan general commander of PA security apparatuses

Gaza – PA chief Mahmoud Abbas has appointed Fatah MP Mohammed Dahlan, the former chief of the notorious preventive security apparatus, as general commander of the PA security apparatuses at the request of the USA and Israel, according to local media.
Jan 6, 2007, 16:42

Abbas rejects calls, within Fatah, to dismiss Dahlan

Ramallah – The PA President, Mahmoud Abbas, has rejected calls by some members of Fatah central committee to dismiss Muhammad Dahlan as he stands accused of incitement within the Palestinian arena, according to Fatah well informed sources.
Jan 3, 2007, 14:15