Holidays starting in 3, 2, 1... you don't want me blowing kisses, so a helpful Santa helper will help:
I had the laugh of the day (of the week?) when bmbogdan showed me this:
This week-end happened a very ambitious project: the first edition of Blug*OS*Con, București Linux users group Open Source Conference, which proved to be some very large to fill by such a new project.
As this is the plan to create a monthly tradition with Întălnirile RLUG (RLUG meets) we had yesterday the December edition and it was, in my opinion, de best so far (well, being the second edition, that wasn't hard...)
We had a long track with Lucian talking about openSUSE, then after a break, a session of lightning talks (5 minutes long): Ovidiu sharing his experience about deploying Linux (Ubuntu) to non-technical users in his company, Adrian talking about improving Apache security with various modules, dserban presenting about Reverse VNC, cmatei speaking about kexec and me demoing some nifty graphic tablet uses in Fedora. At the end, rpetre informed us about a better way to buy O'Reilly books.
Of course I took a lot of photos:
Playing with my new video camera toy, I try to transcode all the clips from h.264/AAC .MOV to Theora using ffmpeg2theora with its default settings, however I find the size of the resulting file unpredictable: my first clip was filmed inside and was very short, so after the transcode the file size shrinked from ~24MB to 3MB. Excited by this, I tried the same transcoding with a large clip, filmed outside but much to my disappointment, the result was an expansion from ~421MB to ~570MB. Finally, a video of the fish tank shrinked from ~118MB to ~62MB. I can't see any pattern here, what I am supposed to to when uploading the next clip to something like YouTube? (I want the shortest upload time)
I was disappointed by the city lights for the holidays this year: is the first time when they reuse the lights for the previous years and they are fewer (naturally, since they are fragile and some broke), but after Sin posted a set of noisy photos (huge ISO, handheld camera), here are a few of my last weekend:
I found compelling the image quality/camera price when I saw Mo recent awesome 5 Fun things in Fedora 12 video and considering some opportunities to record useful stuff in the near future, is spite of the lackluster editing FLOSS tools, I bought one too. Yay! me haz a new toy! (a Kodak Zi8 Pocket Video Camera)
Well, the firmware in the camera was quite old (1.03, versus the current 1.06), so I proceeded to a firmware upgrade. Here is the story:
First, go to the manufacturer's website. It will identify the operating system (sort of, Unix, instead of Linux) and lie about not having any update for you:
Note: for those reading this post about internal Romanian politics in a FLOSS aggregator, please forgive me and skip it. I write such type of stuff less then once in a year (hopefully) and is not worth a special feed.
Am refuzat sa ma duc la vot in primul tur al alegerilor prezidentiale de anul asta, convins fiind ca orice candidat as vota, voi regreta mai tirziu. De asemenea, am incercat sa ignor pe cit am putut fenomenul mediatic generat de alegeri (ei bine, mergind pe strada sau asteptind RATB-ul nu m-am putut abtine sa nu studiez din punct de vedere tehnic, al fotografului, imaginile de pe afise, dar cam asta a fost tot).
Dupa cum afirma si Presedintele nostru de Onoare, domnul Ion Iliescu, imi doresc ca acest mandat sa fie unul al linistii, al impacarii tuturor oamenilor din tara noastra, a adevaratului consens care sa-i uneasca pe Romani in normalitate.1990 este all over again! Scary.
Much to my disappointment, among for the naming criteria for Fedora 13, we did NOT have "it must not be a ruler or religious figure" so a lot of obscure kings or emperors were advanced, but a queen is much better than that, more so when we are talking about a queen of the fairies. So my vote for the F13 codename was Gloriana.
A lot of people in the community are blogging about food making, Mo has a dedicated blog for that, but she's a slacker and don't keep it updated, tatica is a wimp, she tag the tasty stuff out of Planet, Charlie do awesome stuff but only on special occasions and so on. I guess is the time for me to join and since the winter is less than one week away, this is a season recipe: boiled wine (this is how we call it in Romania, you may call it mulled wine), something what will make a cold winter day pass easier. But I don't guarantee your programming skills will remain the same...
The pretty picture must say it all:
Even if this is pretty much a non-event for us, Fedora users who can make use of the development builds since before F11 (half a year ago), it is still a milestone and the developers deserve congratulation for releasing at last the new and feature packed Inkscape 0.47 (could you endure the wait?).
Yesterday due to some problems with the hosting provider, our local Fedora website went down completely. With a new hosting provided by RLUG/ProLinux and after some good late night hours spent by rpetre and ajoian, the website is up again and working better than ever.
Thanks guys, you absolutely rock!
When Mo was enthusiastic about tablet improvements in Fedora 12, this made me dust-off my own device, but only a few days later when Kaio pointed to the small and awesome MyPaint I got hooked, liking a lot how it feels like real drawing/painting.
And my first drawing with it, my first digital painting ever, is something I think is not entirely bad:
I know there is a famous quote saying that there is no such thing as bad publicity and one day after the release the news about PackageKit allowing unprivileged users to install packages without root permission made a larger number of [negative] comments than the release announcement itself on such sites as LWN or Slashdot, which I am not convinced is a good thing for publicity.
But surely I am glad I got to keep my public presentations about F12 in advance last week, so I didn't get laughed-out of the presentation for such a "feature", for which I wouldn't know how or care to defend.
Now I promise, my next post will be on a more positive note about the release!
Among the large number of new features in Fedora 12 there is Thusnelda, the new and improved version of the Theora encoder, which is supposed to bring either better-looking videos or smaller files at the same quality.
As the Theora videos I create are mostly screencasts made with gtk-RecordMyDesktop (image quality from Istanbul is unacceptably low), I have no idea how I can take advantage of any of those optimizations (probably one of them is active by default, without any control from me).
But what I can tell, is a decrease in quality: screencasts recorded now are jumpy, the image freezes for a bit, then jump forward, skipping some important frames. No ideea if this is caused by the aplication, libtheora, X.org, video drivers or something else.
Even if the release counter still says "Fedora 12 Constantine arriving in 2 days" (one day and a couple of hours by now), we already launched F12 in Romania, taking advantage by the invitations to speak at a couple of local events.
Now the photos are up in the gallery: those from the RLUG meet are a few and more serious, I was speaking and ave played more conservatively with my camera: