Thursday, August 31, 2006

vox and others

Looked at Vox and others like Odeo to get ideas for podcasting, hosting of "private" pix and audio etc. Need registration etc. Yahoo photos is easier to use...

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

telephone cable cut

It is not too many people who run radio stations who get their telephone cables cut by a pet elephant!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

installing egroupware for PDS

Trying to use egroupware for PDS work assignments, using the Trouble Ticket system - TTS. Lets see if it works out.

extracting files from tar.gz file

tar -zxvf ezfoo-extension-1.0.tar.gz

Must remember at least such basics!

Edit: and for tar.bz2,

tar -xjvf ezfoo-extension-1.0.tar.bz2

Monday, August 21, 2006

bulb change

Changed the Planetarium instrument's star lamp xenon bulb assembly. Whole process of taking out old one, finding spare and replacing took 90 minutes! The good part is that now KR (M) can do it himself also - replacing the assembly (after a trial with an old bulb which turned out to be bad) was done by him.

writely and other web tools

Google has put put as a beta. A had sent me the link to writely just before Google bought it. Seems good. I'd like to have an "export to UTF-8 encoded text-only" option...

And a review of website change-detection services...

Perhaps a bit dated.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Busy days

Morning 6.30 to night 10 - recording, editing, etc - Ati Rudra Maha Yagnam...

And tonight troubleshooting colinux smbfs problem - permissions change on loading MS update? Followed by tomorrow's scheduled recording start at 5 AM...

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Windows Media quality

I'd told G that even with Windows Media 9, there is no substantial improvement in the video quality for our streaming services. And my test runs also showed the same. Today, while trying WM9 for transporting video from Studio to Planet, saw that for "Download and play" option, VBR is available, while for the streaming server option, only CBR is available in WM Encoder. And VBR makes a substantial improvement! Unfortunately we cannot use it...

Monday, August 07, 2006

mail server blacklisted

Our gateway server got blacklisted on

Blocked port 25 as they suggest for all NATed machines (could have viruses/spyware on them) and allowed only the legit mailserver to connect to port 25 on internal network. Checked it by using nmap with spoofed ip address of internal machine: nmap option -S

Sunday, August 06, 2006

MD Deck audio sync test

There was some suspicion if the newly repaired MD deck MDS-S50 has some audio timing drift, esp. since now it has been converted from 100 V to 220 V. Checked out with a test recording onto the 100V deck, played back and recorded from the repaired deck, the 100V deck and also the new 220V deck. All three recordings sync'ed perfectly after half an hour - used multi-track mode in Cool Edit Pro to do the comparison, recording track by track on Sathya. The portable MD player is yet to be tested this way.

more on Coral Cache

After my last post, some more digging at led me to this post on their mailing list, and a bug-report on the wiki which might explain things:

Also some nifty near-real-time views of the Earth!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Coral Cache problems in the US

Confirmation for G's report that the Coral Cached link on H2H was not working for him:,_Anyone_Have_a_Mirror_

So the problem was only in some places, as the comments on the post show.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

choosing a video capture card

M wants a video capture card to archive his old VHS tapes.

Based on the shootout at The Desk Top Video Handbook On Line ver 14.0 and Video Capture Card Round-Up VIII March 2004 update (now supplanted by Video Capture Card Round-Up March 2005 update) which he sent me, here's my recommendation.

First, check if the system has USB2. For this, Open Device Manager and expand the Universal Serial Bus section. There should be an "Enhanced" USB host controller present.

In case you want to try DV also, note the Hard disk's number from Device Manager - google will tell whether it is 7200 rpm or not.

Plextor ConvertX PX-M402U $149.95 would be good if the system is a P4 or faster than 1 GHz and has USB2. But availability in India is doubtful.

Pinnacle MovieBox USB 9 $188.00 is known to be available and is a good product for writing VCD/DVD.

Pinnacle Studio Deluxe 9 $188.00 is a better buy if the hard disk is 7200 rpm - can be used for DV also along with analog.

screen commands in brief

Some useful commands:
screen by itself starts a new screen terminal
Within screen, ctrl-a is the prefix for commands to screen.

So, Ctrl-a d to detach the screen
screen -x to re-attach to detached screen - it prompts you if more than one screen instance is running.

Within screen,

Ctrl-a c to create a new screen terminal
Ctrl-a w to list all screen terminals (on the title bar)
Ctrl-a 2 to go to the second terminal on screen
Ctrl-a n to go to the nth terminal on screen

Simple Ctrl-d (or exit) will log out of a screen terminal, or in case it is the only screen terminal, screen exits.