Linux Blog

My Goals for 2009

Filed under: General Linux — at 7:56 am on Monday, January 5, 2009

Linux New Years Resolutions

As we enter the first REAL week in 2009 there are a lot of goals I have. I’m not one for resolutions just because if I weren’t to complete all of these tasks I would have broken the resolution, and there is no point in making one in the first place if its just going get broken. I’m not going to be bench pressing 200lbs or competing in the Ironman any time soon but these are some of the items of technical relevance.

Set up an Asterisk PBX
I subscribe to the Broadvoice VOIP service and have since 2005. I have been meaning to set up a PBX for quite some time but never quite got around to it. Asterisk running on Linux is a great way to get some extra functionality out of the ordinarily boring phone service. Since my mobile phone now has a SIP client I’d like to be able to use it along with my home phone. I’d also like for other family members to be able to share my international calling plan either with soft phones or analog telephone adaptors.

Learn basic electronics
I guess this is a rather broad topic but basically I would like to get better at basic electronics. Sure, I know my way around a circuitboard and can identify components, but I want to get into the nitty gritty and be able to etch PCB’s and make intelligent devices from the ground up without following plans. This relates to a few other projects I have planned and will be blogging about.

Learn to program and implement micro controllers
This task is very important to me. While I know how to program well, I’d like to be able to program micro controllers and actually implement projects from the project board without buying another basic stamp. This may mean I need to look into different micro controllers either way its something that I’d like to be better at.

Consolidate data
This one really should have been done a long time ago, but everybody knows backing up and organizing data is boring. This next year I hope to be able to better navigate and manage my data. Ultimately I’d like to be able to switch Linux distributions and be able to recover without loosing any data. This is also a safe guard from the inevitable drive failure that is sure to happen to me in 2009. This goal is somewhat complete as I set up a NAS with a script to copy data to a second drive, but is far from being organized.

Rip my CD Collection
Ripping my CD collection probably should be done right after I organize my data. I’ve been putting this off for years but think its finally time to ditch the old plastic and move into digital form. I don’t own an iPod or mp3 player but I should be able to stream them to my laptop or planned media center.

Get Certified
I’ve been collecting certifications for a while but in 2008 I did not get any. Perhaps it is because they are getting harder or maybe its because I’m lazy. Anyway in 2009 I hope to get Security+ certified and then see about some others. On the list are RHCE, LPIC, Cisco, Zend PHP, MySQL and a few other smaller ones.

Thats my list of things I’d like to achieve in 2009, does any one else have a list, resolutions or any comments

Rotating Videos in Linux

Filed under: General Linux,Linux Software — at 11:17 pm on Friday, August 24, 2007

Like many people I receive video media from family members and friends on line. Sometimes for I receive videos that are shot in portrait mode instead of landscape. I used to find this quite annoying until I figured out how to rotate a video under Linux. All that is needed to rotate the video is mencoder. It comes bundled with the king of media players MPlayer.

Command to rotate a video is:

mencoder -ovc lavc -vop rotate=1 -oac copy input.mpg -o output.mpg

The rotate=1 can be replaced with whatever option best suits your needs. Rotating video options are below:

0 Rotate by 90 degrees clockwise and flip (default).
1 Rotate by 90 degrees clockwise.
2 Rotate by 90 degrees counterclockwise.
3 Rotate by 90 degrees counterclockwise and flip.

I have broken down the command and options below for those that are interested.

-ovc Output Video Codec. This is what codec mencoder should use when creating the video. The command above uses the libavcodec. This is known for quality. “mencoder -ovc help” will display all of the video codecs available

-vop still works but has been replaced with -vf. It is used to setup a chain of video filters in our case it is used to rotate each frame. See the above table to find out what rotate mode you need. Up-side-down videos can be rotated by doing rotate=1 twice.

-oac Output Audio Codec. If you would like to specify an audio codec to use this is where it should be done. “mencoder -oac help” will show all of the available audio codecs. Choosing an audio time adds encoding time but it can greatly reduce or increase file size. I use the copy codec to copy the exact sound from the original first. Then if I wish to reduce file size I can reduce the quality or change the codec afterwards.

input.mpg is the input file and will have to be changed for the file that you wish to rotate. The -o option is used to specify the output file. This must not be left out or mencoder will give an error and your file will not be written.

Now that your done reading all about how to rotate a video with Linux you can give it a try. By having a command line application rotating a whole directory of images can be done in minimal time without human interaction. Try rotating a hundred movies without user interaction in Windows Movie Maker!