Sunday, November 8, 2009

Latte art 29 & 31

These are fairly old, but I'd forgotten to post them, and randomly decided to go ahead and do that.


Latte art 29 -- Rosetta

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Latte art 27

Poured 27 Sept 09 -- Rosetta.

I finally have my camera, so after a long break I was able to snap a shot of some latte art. Great timing, because this might be my best one yet :)


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Start your Mediatomb transcode where you want!

One issue with using Mediatomb and transcoding to watch videos on the PS3 is that, if your network cuts out, the video stops, and you have to start all over again. Oh yeah, and Mediatomb doesn't support fast-forwarding for transcoded files.

Luckily, both programs I've been using to transcode support a "start offset" setting. For VLC, the commandline flag is "--start-time" and for mencoder it's "-ss".

Sure, we could edit our transcoder script every time we want to start somewhere other than the beginning, but that's a pain in the butt, especially if it's in a write-protected directory and you have to sudo.

Mediatomb + Mencoder

In my previous post on Mediatomb, I was using VLC to transcode the videos with the subtitles attached. This works the vast majority of the time, but sometimes the subtitles contain non-standard symbols, such as the curly quotes (They are the ones that are curved inward toward the text, unlike the standard quote symbol which is strictly vertical; I'm not sure what these are actually called) or an ellipses character, that you might see when using Microsoft Word. Unfortunately, VLC doesn't seem to support these characters (at least, my version doesn't) and instead of silently ignoring them, it leaves off any line containing them. Consequently, some shows end up with lots of un-subtitled parts, which can be a problem if I watch a Korean show, for example, as I don't know much more than the very basics.

What I'd been doing was using a script to temporarily strip out these characters into a separate file, keeping a copy of the original to be replaced fifteen or so seconds later, once the fixed file had been read. This works pretty well, but then of course you're often missing quotes, apostrophes and ellipses. Furthermore, this also sometimes failed miserably, resulting in the subtitle file being completely erased. In addition, I came across several videos that VLC simply refused to play.

My solution? Switch to mencoder. It was temporary at first, but now that I've uncovered the subtitle options and gotten them to display as I like, I'm much happier. So far, I've had no problems with videos not getting playing, and it even reads the characters that VLC choked on!

Enough talking, let's get down to business!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Using Thinkpad Dock Events

I've been using this for a while, but I always seem to forget to post up my coding stuff, so I thought I'd go ahead and throw this one up now.

If you don't know, I use a Thinkpad T61 laptop with one of their docks, into which I plug my external harddrives and mouse, etc. The nice thing about this is that it's really easy to just take out my laptop when I need it for class -- I don't have to unplug the ethernet cable, the usb drives, etc. one by one. The downside is that when I take it out, all of the entries in the Mediatomb database disappear! (I mentioned this in an earlier post when I discussed my Mediatomb config file.) Since I have the directories saved in the config file for Mediatomb, I need only restart the server to have it add them back in. But, it got to be a pain to call up a terminal and reset the server, so I decided to look into automation. Check out what I found after the break.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

SHRPG - Major update

I've just posted the biggest update on my SHRPG project over at the SHPRG Development Blog. It's some pretty exciting stuff, as it means the game will soon be in a privately testable state. Check out the post, if you're interested.

In other news, I just got back from a vacation with my family to Deep Creek in Maryland. It was a blast, but I'm glad to have internet again. It's not that I really missed it -- I was having a lot of fun hanging out with my parents and siblings and playing with the nieces and nephews -- but I'm still glad to be able to check my email and stuff again!

Probably the most memorable thing we did was a Kayak trip on (I think) the Savage River Reservoir. It was about four hours, with a break in the middle for a picnic lunch. I'm not usually a fan of picnics, because you have to be eating with the bugs -- and we were, let there be no doubt -- but I still managed to enjoy it, and the food was actually quite good. Right after lunch, before going back out on the water, the guide took out his spotting scope and showed us a bald eagle's nest. One of the eagles was waiting right there next to it -- how cool is that?

Anyway, that's about it. Maybe I'll post more about the trip later, but probably not. Oh well ;)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Series Tracker update

I've finally gotten around to uploading a .tar.gz file with the latest version of my SeriesTracker to the google code page. Head on over there if you're interested.

This latest version brings a new templating system that seems to work (I've been using it without problems for a few weeks!) and a slew of bug fixes. The new download includes the default css file, as well as the default template files, all in one convenient package.

I also starting writing up a description of the templating system that I used, for anyone who wants to try their hand at making their own. I recommend just customizing the css file, but I'm sure there are some enterprising people that like to fiddle with stuff, so i thought I'd show people how.

That's about it for now. I started work on monday, so I've generally been too busy/tired to make any real progress on my own projects. We'll see what happens.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

SHRPG back from the dead

Just a quick post about my SHRPG project.

SHRPG (SilverHearts RPG) is an online, browser-based game that I'm developing. It plays like an old-school MUD, but will have some interface conveniences using Web2.0 technology. The goal of the game is to be able to create a character of any type (Jedi? Shinigami? Saiyan?). Basically, I was frustrated because it is really impossible to find a game that has exactly what I want. With this game, I hope it will be possible for everyone to create exactly the sort of character they want to play.

It's been about four months since I last posted an update on the blog, but I definitely have NOT given up on it! This post, and the one on that developer blog, are mostly just to prove that :)

Check out the (currently almost completely empty) website here, or head straight to the developer blog here.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Mediatomb -- Making it work

After I dual-booted my laptop with Linux Mint, there was just one thing that kept me booting back into Windows on a fairly regular basis. That is, I really enjoy watching Asian dramas. But, rather than watching them on my little laptop screen, I would much prefer to stream them to my PS3 so I can watch on my TV. In Windows, in combination with my SeriesTracker program, I would accomplish this using TVersity. In Linux, however, I just couldn't get anything to work right. I tried FUPPES with no luck whatsoever, and MediaTomb would stream, but wouldn't put the subtitles on for me like TVersity would.

Fortunately, after several tries, I discovered a solution. To save anyone in a similar situation to myself, I thought I would post my full settings, so nobody will have to surf Google for hours and mess around a lot like I did. Check it out after the break

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Series Tracker shows images!

Well, I just put it up today and I've already made an update. The SeriesTracker server software now sends images properly, so if you want to play with the .css file to change the appearance, you can now have images in the background if you like!

Series Tracker -- Now on Google Code

Now that I'm finally done with finals, I got around to making a Google Code project page for my SeriesTracker. On there you can find more info about the project history, and I'll try to post up a download sometime soon.

Check it out here:

Friday, May 8, 2009

Latte art 23 & 24

Both poured on 7 May 09.


It's a bit crooked, but otherwise looking good :)

Part 2 after the break.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Latte art 22 -- Rosetta

Things are starting a bit slow around here because it's Finals time at my college, but I randomly decided to go ahead and start things off with a piece of latte art. While obviously this is the first piece of latte art on here, I've decided to stick with the actual name of the file for the title here -- this is the 22nd bit of latte art that I have a picture saved of on my computer.

Anyway, enjoy!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Series Tracker

This is the first post about my Series Tracker project, one of my oldest and most updated/redone programming projects.

I watch a lot of Asian shows ( And, I have a tendency not to pick one series and watch it all the way through before moving on to the next. Therefore, instead of trying to write down what episode I'm on for each series I'm watching, and then have to go through the folders to find it and load it, I decided to write a program to take care of all that for me.

I won't go into the history of this project just now, but I will mention that the Series Tracker is currently in its 5th iteration. More information (and possibly downloads) to come later.


Well, this is my first post here at daAPL. Here you can expect to see me talk about some of my more interesting programming projects, such as my series tracker, a web-based mmorpg I'm working on, wii homebrew projects, etc. Also, you can look forward to me posting pictures of some latte art that I make as I progress in the learning process. Maybe I'll even talk about random stuff, but I suspect that may be a bit more rare.

I'll try to tag each post with the appropriate project name, so if you're interested in any particular project, you should be able to just click on the link under "Tags" over there on the sidebar.