Saturday, December 31, 2011

CSV list for phplist mailing list

H wanted a new mailing list, for which he supplied email addresses in an excel sheet. The easiest way to import these into phplist, since he did not want any customization, was as a simple list of emails, one per line - phplist can import such a list with minimum of fuss. Unfortunately, even that took a while - the list had many typos, so phplist was barfing it up. After H did cleanup using some tool, tried the 18,000 email list at once, phplist did not respond. Then cut it up into smaller pieces - upto 6000 emails per file was imported without any problem.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

More CDNs

A follow-up to my CDN roundup.

Akamai offered minimum commit of Rs. 1.5 lakhs per month.
$2000 for 2000 GB, around $1 per GB till 10 TB.

Internap offered a free unlimited streaming account till Dec 30th, but pricing was minimum commit $1000 with traffic charged at $2 per GB. Also, using their test account, found:
  • the sample flash player provided by internap was crashing in Safari
  • the sample flash player also did not allow the hiding of controls - controls were always visible onscreen
  • we were unsuccessful in getting jwplayer to work with the internap stream, even after the suggested setting of rtmp.subscribe flashvar to true.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

converting stereo wav files to mono

A wanted some advice on converting interview audio files recorded in stereo to mono.

In Sound Forge: To mute only one channel, move the cursor to the top quarter (or bottom quarter) of the screen. The cursor will get a small subscript of L or R (for left or right channel). Select the area you want to mute - only the L (or R) side will get selected. Now if you choose Process -> Mute, only that channel will get muted.

After going through this process of muting out unnecessary parts in L and R channels separately, you can bring the whole wav back to mono using Process -> Channel Convertor. You should use the built-in preset
Stereo to Mono use both channels 50% (no faders)
in the Channel convertor drop-down list for this.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

shutting down a Windows server remotely

H & N wanted a method of shutting down their server from the client machine at the counter. Client running Windows XP, server running Win2003 server. From Microsoft documentation, an example batch file (contents shown below), which can be put on the desktop, and double-clicked to shutdown the server. You will need to change the servername in the batchfile for this to work, and of course rename it as something.bat .
type "Are you sure you want to shut down the server? Press any key to continue"

shutdown -m \\servername -t 10 -c "Shutting down server in 10 seconds"

To start up the server, I mentioned Wake up On Lan to them, but their BIOS had another option for timed startup, so that is what they are using - starts up at a particular time.

Monday, December 12, 2011

counting number of files in folder

While doing server migration, needed a method for counting number of files in folder from the Linux command-line. Found this post, where in the comments this method was listed:
ls -lR | grep ^- | wc -l

Saturday, December 10, 2011

capturing DV on old PowerMac G5

Resurrected a retired PowerMac G5 (1.9 Ghz, 3 GB RAM) for playback of Planetarium video. It was not fast enough to play full HD movies at 30 fps - coming to only 15 fps for a 12 Mbps HD video. So, relegated it to DV capturing duties for archive work - Hi8 to DV using a Sony TRV330E Digital8 camera.

iMovie for MacOS X 10.4 Tiger - iMovie HD (obtained with a torrent) seemed to be the last working version - iMovie 8 did not run on this machine.

iMovie was capturing the video as .dv files, and the files were being hidden inside the project "file" which was actually a "Package" - so in Finder you right-click and "Show Package Contents" to see the Media folder inside. To convert .dv to .mov without re-encoding, used MPEG Streamclip.

Edit: Finally this solution was abandoned - the .mov produced in this manner still needed rendering on FCP at the Studio. Then tried capturing in an old version of FCP, that worked without rendering.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

stream not working with jplayer

After doing some tests for changing the default player on our website to jplayer, AfriStream stopped working with the jplayer based player, all over the site! But only from my work computer. So, guessed it was some cache problem. Cleared the cache, and it started playing again.