Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Opinion: Debian - It Just Works


I will preface this little cheerleading session with a couple of comments:
  • if you can run Linux, you can run Debian.
  • if you understand the basic Linux 'way of doing things' - that is, package managers, installing software, going to the community for answers to questions, a bit of terminal magic in the odd sticky moment - then you can run Debian.
Why would you? It's Linux. It's Open source. It's non-commercial. It's community supported. It just works.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Opinion: The End of the Affair


The affair that began with Dapper Drake in 2007 is over. The big switch-over is complete. I no longer have a machine running Ubuntu. Everything is now running Debian 7 Wheezy.

The disillusion has been a while brewing, but the truth became apparent early this year: Ubuntu as a distro no longer has anything I need.

I can't say it's been any one thing. Lord knows (although I am an atheist - I don't believe in Mark the Apostle) I tried to love Unity; I really did. The neat idea that began in Ubuntu Netbook remix as a cool small-screen interface just never matured in the way I wanted. Unity kept getting in the way. Unity kept making me type stuff. Unity was never as configurable as I wanted. It wasn't finished or ready back then and now the quick menus and live icons have arrived too late for me.

Saturday, 1 June 2013

How-to: Clean Up Video Soundtrack using ffmpeg, Audacity and Openshot


Clean Up Video Soundtrack using ffmpeg, Audacity and Openshot
Let's say I have some HD video shot on my Samsung Galaxy SII: for a phone it's a good video camera and ordinarily picks up pretty good sound, but, thanks to the venue (your typical tin-shed sports centre) and the other activities (toddlers on bouncy castle, bless 'em) the sound quality was terrible.

I'm not planning to broadcast this in HD any time soon, but as it's educational material, it would be good if folks could hear what the instructor has to say. Most video editors (certainly on Linux) have limited capability for sound. You can chop it, splice it, remove it - but clean it? No. But it is possible to clean up the sound track using a sound editor.

I believe in using the right tool for the job, so I lifted out and cleaned the audio track in Audacity, then put it back with the original visuals using Openshot.