Fri, 27 Oct 2006
.: implementing ideas ::

I like getting around to implementing the various ideas that I bounce back and forth inside my skull.

One of those ideas that I had for a long time was to solder a PS/2->USB converter directly into an IBM Model M keyboard, along with a USB plug so that I could just swap out USB cables to plug the keyboard into the computer.

I have finally done that, after some inspiration from zevv, a few choice purchases at Fry's Electronics, and a few borrowed parts from my friend Cliff.

I have to say, this kicks way more ass than even I had hoped. (ajax, eat your heart out.)

Still on the list:

  • finish the Qt4 frontend for HandBrake
  • write my own email client that doesn't suck balls
  • write my own AIM client that doesn't suck balls
  • hack up some apps for Qtopia/Opie/whatever for my shiny new iPaq 3670

I know there's more than that, but those are the ones that are currently taking up the most brainspace, so I'm going to have to get to them sometime.

Due to United Airlines sucking balls, Dave Airlie crashed at my place last night after they called back and cancelled his flight from SFO to Sydney. I've said this before, although maybe not on this blog, but United are a bunch of cockbags. They have fucked up at least one leg of every single trip of mine that they've ever been involved in. In any case, I know far too many foreigners named Dave.

Also, I've been growing this out for the first time ever. Looks like I'm going to have to update my various avatars...

[07:02] | [tech] | # | G
Sun, 22 Oct 2006
.: screeching handbrake ::

I really love it when I can easily find something that bothers me in a piece of software, dive into the source, and start fixing things.

That's what I've been doing lately with this little DVD ripping app called HandBrake - it's a cross-platform GPL DVD ripper that makes it almost painfully easy to take a movie from a DVD and turn it into a file that you can watch whenever the need strikes you.

There are some problems, though. Right off the bat, there is the issue that (when ripping a DVD) libdvdread spews out hundreds of lines of output, warning me that a value isn't 0 and it should be. It's not fatal, but it certainly is annoying, so I whipped up this patch up to fix it.

Also, I don't have a video iPod at the moment, or a Sony PSP (and I don't see myself buying the latter anytime soon, but you know... if one were to fall into my lap, I'd probably use it and enjoy the hell out of it.) Anyway, not owning one of these devices, I'm more interested in HandBrake as a way to make high-quality compressed archives of my DVD movies that I can watch on the HDTV in the living room. There's a problem, though; HandBrake scales the picture by default as it transcodes it.

Not anymore, it doesn't. Now it has support for (optionally) embedding the anamorphic pixel ratio into the output file, and can preserve the original DVD video frames. Which means, with x264 at least, a reasonable performance increase of about 15%. Not too shabby!

Unfortunately, the only GUIs for HandBrake are on Mac OS X and BeOS. Now, I love BeOS. Haven't used it in years, though, and I don't even think it'll run on my hardware; Haiku still isn't quite there yet, either, but I'm keeping tabs on it. What I really wanted is a Linux UI for HandBrake.

So, I've been hacking on one.

Qt4 HandBrake UI

Stay tuned for more on this...

[09:16] | [tech] | # | G
Wed, 18 Oct 2006
.: aoe is hotness ::

I've been playing with ATA over Ethernet on my home network and I have to say, it is pretty damn sweet.

In fact, it would be absolutely perfect if I could use AOE to share drives to my media center, and then use ZFS on that machine. Unfortunately, Linux doesn't have ZFS, and OpenSolaris doesn't seem to have AOE yet. (The Coraid site has a Solaris driver, and they claim it works on Solaris 7+, but there is no source and I don't happen to have an OpenSolaris machine to test it on at the moment.)

But - the ability to pool together all of my disparate disks into one gigantic volume is awesome. It's like Voltron, but with hard drives instead of robots.

[05:03] | [tech] | # | G
.: insert the sound of a jaw dropping ::

Definitely picking up one of these.

[04:56] | [random] | # | G