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Nov 29 2013

Mirror video with ffmpeg

category: knowledgebase author:

I had a video of a group that I wanted to learn the moves of, but the video was taken from the front, and my brain doesn’t cope with mirroring in my head that quick, so I thought I would mirror the video file.

Thankfully I already had everything I needed – the video file and ffmpeg.

Kind of simple when you know how:

>ffmpeg -i orig.avi -vf "hflip" flipped.avi

Then I just needed to put the flipped file back into my Movies folder for Plex to pick up, et voila I was moving with the best of them!

May 10 2013

OSX Burning VIDEO_TS folder to DVD

category: knowledgebase,osx author:

Learnt a new trick today. Previously, I thought that the only way to burn a VIDEO_TS folder to DVD was to use a commercial product – Roxio Toast or similar. Seems there are open source solutions!

I downloaded DVD Image Utility and it works like a charm.

Firstly, download, and open the zip file, moving the executable to a pertinent place – Applications folder perhaps?

Then, make sure your VIDEO_TS folder is setup correctly – the folder structure should be like:

DVD Name
      ---video files

AUDIO_TS and VIDEO_TS are case sensitive!

Then, click the DVD Name folder, and drag to the DVD Image Utility icon. It will ask you where to put the image, so choose a folder with enough space.

Once that is done, click the .img file and drag onto the DVD Image Utility icon again. It will now ask you to insert a DVD and it will write to it.

You have to make sure the .img file is smaller than the Disk size limit of your drive as it doesn’t auto compress or anything, but it works a treat.

Apr 14 2012

OSX MySQL setup for phpMyAdmin

category: knowledgebase,osx author:

Seems I can still be a noob at this game after all these years. Spent hours on this, trying all sorts of combinations and getting so frustrated, I started making mistakes…

Anyway I figured I should share.

When connecting to the MySQL setup by default on OS/X, the settings are kind of weird. In the config.inc.php for phpMyAdmin (which you need to create if installing for the first time – copy the config.sample.inc.php in the phpMyAdmin root directory) the settings should be:

$cfg['Servers'][$i]['host'] = ''; /* localhost DOESN'T work */
$cfg['Servers'][$i]['port'] = '';/* leave blank, we're using sockets */
$cfg['Servers'][$i]['socket'] = '/tmp/mysql.sock'; /* the socket */
$cfg['Servers'][$i]['connect_type'] = 'socket'; /*tcp is disabled */
$cfg['Servers'][$i]['extension'] = 'mysqli';
$cfg['Servers'][$i]['auth_type'] = 'cookie'; /* easiest way to set it up */
$cfg['Servers'][$i]['user'] = ''; /* leave these two blank */
$cfg['Servers'][$i]['password'] = '';


The thing that knocked me about was I kept using localhost. For some reason (that will probably get explained to me at some point) localhost and are not the same thing in this scenario, even though the /etc/hosts file says they should be!

One for the knowledgebase, so when I am configuring my next Mac, I’ll have a reference!

Apr 14 2012

open-mesh, an update

category: knowledgebase author:

My last post detailed the problems that I was having getting open-mesh working at my house. Turns out, there was a firmware update that was (eventually) available, and it fixed the problems. Have been working beautifully for a while now, just forgot to update my blog! Thanks open-mesh!

Jan 18 2012

open-mesh – great idea, but having some problems

category: knowledgebase author:

So, I decided that I needed to extend my wireless network, since the signal wasn’t stretching far enough. After looking at other AP’s I was pointed to open-mesh.com, a provider of mesh solutions for apartments/hotels etc and at $59 an access point, was very cheap solution.

Other benefits are things like: the ability to sell access to the network built-in (great for our Granny flat that gets rented out!), a online dashboard that gives you control of all your devices, and some neat tricks that I discovered after setting it all up, like it just acting as a bridge to my wired network and having a selection of AP’s to connect to giving a stronger overall signal.

So, I set it all up, creating a Private network bridged to the wired one, and a ‘public’ network, throttled to 512kb with open access that you can buy full access to. So far so good. Then I moved my office from the kitchen (where I had good signal on the original network) to the lounge (where the signal was flakier) and an access point is right next to my machine. First test – beautiful!

Then I went and got a drink, came back and my wireless connection had gone. Sorry? WTF? So I connected it again, and bingo – a few minutes later, dropped.

This has continued for a while, and after swapping back to the original AP to get a stable connection, have been doing some reading. Changed the Wifi channel? Still does it. moved the AP closer? Still drops out. Threatening it with bodily harm? Disconnected!

It’s weird since, when it connects, it will hold the signal, give me an IP address, and I can use it fine, but then it will just drop. Have tried different Wifi logging apps to see if anything is giving me a hint, but no…

Very frustrating!

No solution yet… will plough on, and update this when / if I get a solution…

Stay tuned

Aug 16 2011

Audio Brain retraining with SonicVitamins

category: Health author:

I’ve just been trying out the products from Sonic Vitamins and can say that I am quite impressed. The first one I tried was the SublimeSleep. After having some difficulty sleeping recently with the daily stresses of a full on job, and family life, I thought that a little help would be beneficial. Rather than go the ‘pop a pill’ route, I decided to try the ‘pop an audio pill’ route instead. So iphone in the cradle next to the bed turned it on and don’t remember anything after the first 10 minutes! It (supposedly) goes for an hour.

I still woke at 5 in the morning (thanks to my 3yo) but fell asleep quickly again, without the audio pill. It seems to last a while.

So, happy with my first trial, thought I would try some others. Instead of meditation the other day, I tried the InstantZen. Admittedly, I was feeling a bit crap with the ‘flu, so meditiation was probably not what i needed – sleep probably was. How do I know? I fell asleep! (lying down with eyes closed with something slowing down your brain waves would do that I suppose). Next time, I’ll stay upright, seated.

Next was BrainSharp – waking the following morning with a fuzzy head (I should have tried the AMBuzz), I headed off to work, and parked about a 30 minute walk from the office, giving me an opportunity to try the 30 minute BrainSharp. You know – I think it worked. Certainly got an awful lot done that morning!

So that’s all I’ve tried so far, but there are a few more there to try. X-Cite, EinsteinFactor and SiestaShot also look well worth it.

Would love to know if anyone else has tried them?

Aug 05 2011

Adding a second VOIP number to iiNet’s BOB2

category: knowledgebase author:

After spending a few hours last night finally getting this second VOIP number working on the BOB2, I figured I would write it out, and hopefully help someone!

At first, when reading about the BOB2, I got the impression that we could get 2 DID (Direct Inbound Dialing) numbers for the BOB2 from iiNet. This isn’t the case (at the moment at least!) as their policy is that they will only give one DID with a bundle, and won’t sell DID’s on their own. So the lovely help desk there told me to look elsewhere…

We have our old handset, and the one that comes with BOB2, so the plan was to have our existing home number (also voip) going to the BOB phone, and a new number going to ‘Phone 2′ which we would use for our home business. All this over our existing naked installation.

So, I looked. And because I’m kind of new to the whole VOIP thing (as far as setting one up is concerned), I took a few miss-steps on the way to Nirvana. There are a few providers out there willing to connect you to a SIP for free – allowing free calls to anyone also on a SIP, but pretty much unusable from the BOB2 point of view. Using SIP from a phone, requires dial-out, and, if you want to receive calls on it, a DID. So after signing up for 2 services – bbgGlobal don’t seem to work, and sip2sip works fine but doesn’t have access to DID numbers.

So, back to the drawing board, where I found PennyTel who not only set have a nice easy free setup, but provide a DID and to my surprise very reasonable call charges.

So, once you have signed up to PennyTel, or some other provider that you are happy with – how do you make the BOB2 work with it?

Log in to the modem (by default IP is, passwords are in the documentation, or on the screen if it is still the default (probably a good idea to change that, you think?).

Click on 3.Set up my VOIP. You should see the details for your phone 1 voip service. Don’t touch these. Then click on 2. Set up phone line 2 in the left menu.

On this screen, enter your VoIP number (NOT the DID number, but the ‘username’ provided by your supplier, and enter your password.

I left ‘enter the state you are in’ as WA – where I am – as I didn’t know what effect this had. VoIP SIP domain (if using pennytel) is sip.pennytel.com, VoIP SIP server I left as sip.wa.iinet.net.au, and display name I don’t think does anything, so I put in my DID number.

Proxy IP: sip.pennytel.com on port 5060, registrar IP: sip.pennytel.com on port 5060.

Click save (top right) and then go to the 1.wizard page (top menu)

With luck, you will see Line 1 [VoIP Registration: Up] and Line 2 [VoIP Registration Up]

If that is all good, then by default, if you call your home number, from your mobile, then both phones should ring (assuming phone 2 is plugged into your BOB at this point!). Calling your DID should also ring both phones. Now, click on 3.Set up my VoIP again. and select 9.Phone Mapping from the left menu. If you now point the DECT phone to VOIP1 and the FXS phone to VOIP2 (just click on the radio buttons you want turned off), then you can call from your mobile, and the home number will go to the BOB phone, and the DID to the other phone. Another test – call the DID from the home phone. It will ring, and you can answer – you now have 2 lines into the house. For the grand sum of $25 (to pennytel) and some time.

Hope you have the same success.

Edit: I forgot to mention, thanks to http://www.ozinternetphones.com/ who pointed me to Pennytel.

Aug 15 2010

Learn something new everyday… Eject CD from command line

category: knowledgebase,osx author:

Obviously I am still new at this OS/X thing… apparently you can eject a disk that hasn’t mounted from the command line using drutil.

>drutil eject

Wonderful stuff. Was trying everything I could think of, thanks Google! and snipplr

Aug 10 2010

New site live : TerraWines

category: Corestar,website author:

Terra wines website has gone live. Thanks to Design Design Graphic Management for the design!

Terrawines website thumbnail

Aug 10 2010

And a BIG Solar plant in California is about to start construction

category: Energy,Solar author:

Bright Source Energy are on the verge of getting approval for the development of a nearly 400MW power plant in the Mojave Desert in California. Using a ‘Power Tower’ technology, where mirrors focus the sun onto a central tower that then uses the heat to generate power, the power plant will be the largest solar plant in the world.