Wednesday, February 29, 2012

picture in picture with avisynth

Here is a nice recipe for doing p-in-p using avisynth:
Basically using the Overlay function.

Using this for creating intro video, a white background with a picture frame of 1080p resolution around a 320x240 video.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

unlimited bandwidth hosting options

Interesting thread on slashdot,

1. []
FDCservers has had great support. They are absolutely the cheapest per-megabit in North America, with rates of <$150 for 100Mbps unlimited bw, which you can easily push with even a mediocre server. Their plans also don't require you to build or buy your own servers, which is great.

2. []
In Europe, you can look into Leaseweb. Based in Amsterdam, they have great rates (<$150 too for 100Mbps unlimited bw) for their dedicated servers, slightly worse support than FDCservers, but still pretty good service. They're based in Amsterdam, and have pretty decent North American data transfer rates despite their location.


Toshiba AC100 trials

Got a Toshiba AC100 for just Rs. 10,000, wanted to try and play the Planetarium shows from it since it had an HDMI out and is supposed to be HD capable. It played the 6 Mbps Xvid videos without hiccups, but the HDMI out was not stable. Pausing the video would cause the HDMI to be interrupted, so that the projector would show a black screen. Also, there seemed to be no way to play a playlist of multiple videos one after the other.

Moboplayer was supposed to be one of the players for Android which supports playlists. Since the Toshiba AC100 does not have the Android Market, downloaded and installed it from But it appears that the playlist support needs the menu, which needs to be accessed by a swipe on the touchscreen, and the AC 100 does not have a touchscreen! Foiled!

Tried installing Linux on the device instead of Android. But the players in Linux were disappointing. The default movie player in Ubuntu and vlc both were quite unable to play the 1080p 6 Mbps movie files - played like a slide show, only updating the frame when seeking etc. mplayer was better, but was still dropping frames. So, restored Android.

Tried an android port of mplayer. Unfortunately it skips frames when playing the 6 Mbps 1080p XVid movie files.

Then tried mvideoplayer, downloading from some download site - I think mediafire. It works reasonably well, playing all the files in one folder sequentially like a playlist. It is supposed to support playlists, but I have not been able to make playlists with it yet, it says "No playlists found" even when m3u pls and asx files are in the usb disk.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Installing and running Linux on the Toshiba AC100

Since my main purpose was to use the Toshiba AC100 for screening 1080p HD movies at 6 Mbps or more, I did not do too many benchmarks or other tests. But the installation procedure was as follows.

This link provided tips on taking a backup of the factory boot-loader. Since I run Kubuntu as a dual boot on my laptop, I could install nvflash as given here, with dpkg.

After installing nvflash,
whereis nvflash gave the location  /usr/lib/nvflash for fastboot.bin which was the included bootloader. So, the command I used for backup of the Toshiba's bootloader was
nvflash --bl  /usr/lib/nvflash/fastboot.bin --read 6 partition_6_backup.bin --go

When I tried it the first time, I had got the path wrong, a typo. After retyping the correct path, it took a very long time, and didn't seem to be doing anything. Just for testing out, tried putting off the device, and again putting it in recovery mode with Ctrl-Esc pressed down while power on. Then tried
nvflash --bl /usr/lib/nvflash/fastboot.bin --go
nvflash -r --getpartitiontable partitiontable.txt

nvflash -r --read 2 part-2.img


as suggested at , worked in seconds. So, made a backup of partition 6 as given above.

Then followed the instructions at for the install.

The system was fairly OK with Ubuntu 11.10, though a bit sluggish with its 512 MB RAM. Firefox opened in 10 seconds. Boot time was around a minute. xubuntu loaded with apt-get, and with an xfce desktop, it felt more responsive.

Anyway, since the video was not playing without frame-drops, went back to Android by restoring the boot loader,
nvflash --wait --bl /usr/lib/nvflash/fastboot.bin --download 6 partition_6_backup.bin --go

Sunday, February 12, 2012

why did the server crash

There was an outage for a few hours yesterday. Reason was that the server had stopped responding. All services seemed to have crashed. Audio streams from around 11 am, Apache from around 3.50 pm. No ssh also. But a remote reboot worked and solved the issue.

Checking out logs, Apache's access log and error log both stop at around 3.50 pm till the restart around 50 minutes later. Not much info except some lines in Apache logs which say possible SYN flooding, which may or may not be a real DoS attack. If there is a tuning issue with SYN flooding, this might be a possible solution,

ebook readers on iphone redux

In my previous post, I mentioned that Bluefire reader is working fine. But... while using, found that sometimes it becomes very slow. Slow to load, 2-3 minutes to start; slow to change pages, sometimes taking 2-3 seconds or more. Looking around for other options, found this post, and also this comparison wikipedia page.

Tried out BeyondPrint, ShuBook and uBooks.

BeyondPrint - interface looks very similar to BlueFire reader, has similar limitations. But also supports PDF.

ShuBook - is quick and responsive, but can only load books from the online sources built-in with the free version. The paid version has the option for us to load our own books etc.

uBooks - Can upload books with wifi using its own web interface. Web interface doesn't work with Firefox which complains about some incompatibility, but works fine with IE. Has a slightly different interface - not the paginated interface of other ebook readers, but allows continuous scrolling. Also jumps to "next page" with a tap on rhs of screen.

So, as of now, using ShuBook for books from Gutenberg et al, and uBooks for others.

Friday, February 10, 2012

PHPlist - issues with spaces in words

PB found a possible solution for the problem where the SI messages when sent by email had spaces inside random words. Basically it seems to be due to the MTA adding carriage returns or line feeds or CRLF in the middle of large lines.

For the time being, the SI people are using a workaround, of pasting the message into the PHPlist compose box again after copy-pasting the entire html message. Perhaps that adds CRLF and has the same end result.