Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Convert OGV files to AVI files in Ubuntu.


If you use a desktop recording software such as gtk-recordmydesktop, you can make cool screencasts relatively easily. These screencasts are saved in the Ogg Video *.ogv container, with theora used for the video, and vorbis for the audio. 99 times out of 100, I think that it's awesome to use open formats.

The problem arises when you attempt to upload this video to a service such as Blogger, which does not recognize ogg video as a legitimate format. The video submission window looks like this:
For those of you that can't see images, the window says:

We accept AVI, MPEG, QuickTime, Real, and Windows Media, 100 MB maximum.
To perform the conversion, simply type this command:
mencoder -idx input.ogv -ovc lavc -oac mp3lame -o output.avi

Where "input.ogv" is the file you wish to convert, and "output.avi" is the file that you wish to convert it to. The original file is not changed or deleted in this process.

Here is a video that shows the process (note- this video was converted using this process):

Thanks to Ederico of the Ubuntu Forums for posting the solution on the Ubuntu Forums.

Other services, such as Vimeo, will do the file conversion for you. I did have to rename my *.ogv file with an *.ogg extension for it to be recognized for upload, but I didn't have to do any other conversion. The same video is shown below, in Vimeo:

Looking at both files, it appears that Vimeo is better at the conversion process than I am ;)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Phoronix releases Phoromatic 1.0!

Phoronix, ever on the leading edge of cross-platform benchmarking, announced today that they are releasing version 1.0 of Phoromatic, an innovative remote test management system used in conjunction with the Phoronix Test Suite.

Among the new features in Phoromatic 1.0:
  • Generation of composite graphs (showing geometric mean, harmonic mean, and aggregate sum for all test data on a particular day).
  • Narrowing down the graphs that are visible
  • Viewing information about Phoromatic test systems in real-time
  • Creation of an automatic RSS feed for test results
  • Feature rich results tables
  • Integrated system log viewers (such as this one).

Along with the announcement of Phoromatic 1.0, Phoronix has announced a partnership with Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu Linux, to provide daily updates on the performance of the most recent daily builds of Ubuntu packages (10.04 as of now). It is called the Phoromatic Ubuntu Tracker. Daily Ubuntu benchmarks are provided on three systems- a Core 2 Duo Mac Mini, as well as two Atom 330 NetTops. This automated testing and benchmarking will provide much-needed insight into the development process, as there will be a great deal of test data available when changes are made to packages in the Operating System.

To reinforce Phoromatic's focus on cross-platform benchmarking, they mention that this benchmarking is available on Linux, any of the BSD-based OSes, Mac OSX, and OpenSolaris. They are also working on support for Windows Operating Systems, as well.

For companies that are looking to perform internal benchmark testing, Phoronix offers PTS Commercial, which offers enterprise-level support to the benchmarking process.

For those of you with an eye towards the horizon, Phoronix is working feverishly on Phoronix Test Suite version 2.6, code-named "Lyngen", and plan to release version 2.6 in May of 2010.

Happy Benchmarking, everyone!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Open Handhelds Presentation: CeBIT 2010 - with English subtitles

Michael Mrozek, better known as EvilDragon, presented a wonderful talk about Open Source handhelds at this year's CeBIT, one of the more prestigious computer and electronics shows in the world. He mentions the humble beginnings of open source handhelds, and the latest developments of consoles such as the Open Pandora Console, which he is co-developing.

Many thanks to fishbong for translating these videos from the original German and putting subtitles into the videos.
Without further ado, here are the videos:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

Part 5:

Friday, March 12, 2010

Adding Shoutcast client (and other scripts) to Amarok

Let's say that you're a user of a newer version of Amarok (which no longer has a default SHOUTcast client) , and you want to listen to SHOUTcast streams. How do you do it?

Well, start by downloading the SHOUTcast service Amarok script (116823-shoutcast_service_1.0.amarokscript.tar.bz2) from It is a compressed file, but you don't have to worry about uncompressing it.

In Amarok, Under the "Tools" menu, select "Script Manager".

Click "Install Script" in the lower left hand corner.

Go to your Downloads directory, and select the file (116823-shoutcast_service_1.0.amarokscript.tar.bz2) that you downloaded. Choose "Open".

Amarok shout ask you to restart. Do it. When you restart Amarok, The Shoutcast service will be installed, but not activated.

Go back to "Tools--->Script Manager" and Select "SHOUTcast Service tralala". Check the box on the left., then click "OK".

You should now be able to select SHOUTcast under "Internet".


Thursday, March 4, 2010

Ubuntu releases updated logo, theme, and wallpaper for Lucid Lynx (10.04)

The Ubuntu wiki recently released some images that reflect the new "Light" theme which will replace the current "Human" theme as Ubuntu's default theme. This change reflects the first major thematic change in Ubuntu's color palate since 2004.

Per the wiki page that announced this change, the explanation behind the change to the "Light" theme is described as follows:
We're drawn to Light because it denotes both warmth and clarity, and intrigued by the idea that "light" is a good value in software. Good software is "light" in the sense that it uses your resources efficiently, runs quickly, and can easily be reshaped as needed. Ubuntu represents a break with the bloatware of proprietary operating systems and an opportunity to delight to those who use computers for work and play. More and more of our communications are powered by light, and in future, our processing power will depend on our ability to work with light, too.

The default wallaper looks like this:

Here are two of the default logos:

The community logos will follow this new artistic style, encouraging a sense of unity and community amongst the related projects.

Here are the new GTK themes that are available. One has dark menus, and the other has light menus:

The boot splash screen has also been updated:

Here is a mock-up of the color palate that could be used in promotional materials and CD covers, providing a design that stands out from the other operating systems that are available.

The Ubuntu websites will also be receiving a face-lift in this update. Here are some images that show how the sites may appear in the future:

It should be fun to see the new color palate when Lucid Lynx is released. For those that cannot wait until the official release, OMG!Ubuntu! has announced that the new theme has already made its way into Ubuntu 10.04 Alpha 3. Feel free to continue following OMG!Ubuntu! for Ubuntu updates, as they are quite interested in Ubuntu, as their name suggests.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

New information about the Pandora Console OS

EvilDragon recently released some news on the continuing development of the Pandora's Operating System, and has posted several videos of him interacting with the console.
The videos are posted below:

Theme changes in the OS:

Demonstration of PyGame:

Internet access with the Pandora: