How-To

Video editing using ffmpeg and ImageMagick

Sometimes, you want to edit multiple videos in a similar way. For that, I've found that the best way is to create a script that you can run consistently on those videos and get a consistent ouptut. For example, recordings from a conference or a day by day video log of your family vacation.

I have created some scripts using ffmpeg and ImageMagick for my some of my videos, saving me hours in the process.

The main advantages I've found are:

  • Consistency: I don't have to remember what I did to a video. It is all in the script

Installing LAMP on Ubuntu 11.04 aka The Natty Narwhal

As new user with Linux using Ubuntu 11.04 I was in the "now what?" moment.
Then I recalled Khalid's presentation on LAMP.
Exploring with the Google I found the following tutorials.

http://tuxtweaks.com/2010/04/installing-lamp-on-ubuntu-10-04-lucid-lynx/
http://tuxtweaks.com/2010/01/how-to-uninstall-lamp-in-ubuntu-9-10-karmic-koala/
http://tuxtweaks.com/2009/07/how-to-configure-apache-linux/

There were tuts going back a few revs but I thought 10.04 tut was close enough to 11.04.
And! Success! I now have a Linux webserver running LAMP.

Using an Android Phone as an Asterisk extension

Think about using your Android phone, connected through 3G or through WiFi as a telephone extension.

What do you need?

  • An Asterisk server (can be set up very easily)
  • A DID (VoIP phone line which usually costs very little)
  • An Android phone (or multiple phones)

Why?
Of course, Android is a phone, but using the cellular network costs money. If you configure your smart phone to register to Asterisk, the calls to your home/office are free and the calls to other numbers cost the same as if you were calling from the home/office.

Integrating Asterisk and Ekiga.net behind a firewall

Asterisk is an open source telephone switch (PBX). Although it can be used in complex environments, it can also be deployed for simple home use.

I was planning on Describing the set up and configuration for my Asterisk server, but I found that there are many good tutorials that already cover the general steps. For example, this one from our fellow KWLUGer and Linux trainer extraordinaire rpjday
http://www.crashcourse.ca/wiki/index.php/Asterisk_on_Kamikaze

Configuring Mandriva 2010.1 Spring Free

On my previous Mandriva review I had concluded that Mandriva wasn't for me, but someone at KW LUG convinced me to give it a chance. I started reviewing Mandriva 2010.1 Spring and had exactly the same complaints as my review of the 2010 version so I decided that, instead of a negative review I would write a positive "How to" configure the Free version.

Disclaimers:

Removing old sound device from KDE 4,x

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When you connect a sound device to a KDE 4.x system Phonon recognizes it and allows you to assign priority. Many people, including me have found that once you remove the device, the entry does not go away and phonon shows a message indicating that the device is not working.

I found this after I plugged in some borrowed USB speakers. They worked but after I returned them. I got the phonon message every time I logged in.

The solution was to edit the file ~/.kde/share/config/phonondevicesrc

and delete the entry that corresponds to the device you no longer have.

Recover Windows passwords, unlock accounts and more with Linux and chntpw

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Today, Linux saved the day... again.

My dad called me to ask me what to do when his Windows computer didn't let him log in.

He has a single account and a blank password.

I searched the internet and found a post explaining a great little utility that allows to reset passwords, unlock accounts, etc.

The command is chntpw

The instructions in the following link use the Linux rescue CD but you can easily use your favourite Live CD and install the utility from the repositories.

Securing Secure Shell

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Secure shell is the de facto standard method of accessing remote and local systems. It also has a great number of other administrative uses too. Surprisingly SSH hasn't been very secure lately because in its default configuration SSH uses passwords. Brute force attacks look for common login names and passwords in an attempt to guess a valid combination and gain access to your computer. If SSH on your system is accessible from the Internet you are almost certainly being attacked every day.

Installing WebHuddle

This will be the shortest post from this series.

To install WebHuddle I followed the instructions from the WebHuddle User Guide

There you will find all the steps in detail and a wealth of extra information regarding the WebHuddle configuration.

I did my installation on a minimal Debian install and the instructions worked for me.

Installing OpenMeetings on Debian Lenny

On the previous post I showed you what you could do with OpenMeetings. Now it's time to describe how to install it on your own server.

Although you can install it in any version of Linux provided you have access to the proper dependencies, I decided to do the set up on a minimal installation of Debian 5.03 "Lenny", that way I could ensure I identified all the components needed. This will also ensure that if you want to install it in a different Distribution, you have all the elements to do it.

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