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!

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!