From the satellite to the hard disk

May 9, 2012

For some years now I am using the great vdr software to watch TV and record my favourite shows.

I don’t want to talk about the interna of the vdr (which can be installed on a Mageia system out of the package repositories and does hardly need any configuration to work) but about what to do with the recordings, vdr writes on to your hard disk.

Vdr is writing the mpeg transport streams the dvb card receives (no matter if it’s satellite, cable or terrestrian) in a certain schema. And to save some space I normally convert those stream files into some mpeg4 based format.

This is a multi step procedure, since you first have to demux and remux the streams to get normal mpeg files (which can be done using vdrsync that is also available in the repos) and then convert the files into the desired format. This can be rather complicated, since the tools for this do have quite a lot of different options and reading the transcode, mencoder or ffmpeg man pages can be hard…

For this purpose I wrote a little helper called videoconvert. At the moment it is a very basic tool, that can either convert a complete vdr recording or a simple multimedia file into another format and I am considering what functionality to add.

So, if you are using vdr yourself, just fool arround with it a bit and let me know, what you are missing.


FOSDEM 2012 – it was worth it again

February 6, 2012

Last weekend I was at FOSDEM to represent Mageia there.
And even if the travelling was quite an adventure, I have to say it was worth it again. Just meeting all those fantastic people from mageia, but also talking to a lot of people from other projects and also visitors was very interesting and I did enjoy it.

But let’s first come back to travelling there. It sounded rather simple, get into a train here at 7 a.m., change trains in Stuttgart and Frankfurt and arrive in Brussels at about 1:30 p.m.
But I forgot to take “Deutsche Bahn” into account…

It all started with a delay of about 20 minutes in Frankfurt, which made me miss the ICE to Brussels, the alternative they gave me was travelling via Cologne and arriving in Brussels at about 2.50 p.m., but the train to Cologne never arrived in Frankfurt due to technical problems.

The next one was a direct connections again, arriving at 5.30 p.m., but actually, it never arrived in Brussels. Some kilometres out, the engine broke down and all passengers had to continue with some regional train on their own.

But let’s go on with FOSDEM itself. As ususal I was quite excited to meet people there, I only know from discussions in IRC or in the MLs. It’s rather interesting to see the faces behind the nick names and see if the people do fit your imagination of them.

Aside from many discussions with fellow Mageia people, talking about Mageia to visitors (we did hand out nearly 300 CDs, that’s quite a number) and chatting with people from other distros – mainly Fedora who were our direct neighbours – we also took part in the discussion and talk schedule.
Misc did some talk about our ldap infrastructure and the things surrounding it and joined around table discussion of distro project sysadmins and I myself joined a round table discussion about local communities.
It was really intersting to see what other distros do in that respect, since we don’t have a real organization there and we really should change that.

So what’s the resumee of this?

Let’s meet again at FOSDEM 2013!

Happy Birthday, Mageia

September 18, 2011

Mageia logo

Ok, it’s a year now, that Mageia was born.

And it really is a kind of magic, that surrounds that project in my eyes. No, there’s no hokus pokus involved, it’s the magic of the human heart that keeps so many people working together in their free time. So many contributors who do their share. Be it by developing, maintaining packages, writing news and so on.

But there are also all those people out there in the forums. Helping others solving their problems, discussing loads of things about the project and the direction it’s gonna go. And last but not least, stepping on “our” – the contributors – tows from time to time, showing us better ways of doing things.

But although we have a lot of dedicated contributors, a project of the size of a Linux distribution always needs more people. So if you feel in it your heart to become a part of all this, come and meet us somewhere. There are many ways to help, technical and non technical ones. Just have a look at the contributor page and join us. Not because it will get you any kind of fame, but because it is fun doing it and you can help us in making Mageia the best distribution out there!

So, see you arround and join the crowd!

The magic continues…

February 18, 2011

…for real!

It’s been a long time since my last (and initial) blog post.

Many things have happened that kept me from writing. Mageia was founded and I was deeply involved in it. But what should I write?

  • So many things happened so fast, I would most certainly have been too late to report about them.
  • I was no part of the founder group, just a little contributor out there. So I wasn’t too deep involved in the interna.
  • And the third point is: All interesting things were already reported on in the official Mageia blog, a source I couldn’t compete with

So I decided to stay quiet. At least here.

In the last five months, much work was done over at Mageia. The infrastructure and organization was set up and the distribution was bootstrapped so we now finally have a first alpha release. Next to that work many other things were done, most of the designated teams were created and I am an active member of the i18n and web team. I was elected substitute leader of the i18n team and am now substitute leader of the web team, too. I should start to keep my mouth shut but when Romain asked and nobody volunteered for some time, I stepped forward.

Never been easier to get some job before đŸ˜€

So momentarily we are trying to get all web tools online, most of all the forums and the wiki that have been asked for for a long time.

In parallel we are discussing about the usage of transifex, a shiny new toy for us translators, that is momentarily becoming less shiny due to some critical flaws we found. The most important of these is transifex habbit of loosing all comments in the po files, which makes it difficult to use. After all the fuzzy markings of strings are comments as well as the translation history in the po file header.

So we’ll see…

Hello world!

September 16, 2010

Now, “Hello world!”, that title wasn’t my idea. I just considered it not bad for a first post, which won’t have any real content. So why change it?

Because there are zillions of those posts out there in the web? No good reason, I think.

Since I’m not sure, what I will blog about in the near future – although it will most likely be Linux related – I can’t chose a better title for this post now.

Well, let’s see, what the next posts will be about. Until then I’m sure you will find lots of blogs with more interesting stories to read.

So long, and thanks for all the fish!