Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Convert ogg to mp3

My sister is here for the holidays. Unfortunately her mp3 player only supports mp3 and no ogg. :-(
I helped her to convert their ripped ogg files from her kubuntu system into mp3 files. The following command transforms the whole directory from ogg in mp3.

for i in *.ogg; do sox "$i" "${i/.ogg}".mp3; done

(sox old.ogg neu.mp3 is the basic command to transform ogg to mp3.)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Microwaves playing "Jingle Bells"

If you thought the purpose of microwaves is to heat meals, you might be wrong. Watch this little video from a PR-company.

Marry Christmas!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Unison: Permission error with FAT32 USB-drive

Syncing my Linux (etx3) directory with a Windows USB-stick (FAT32) unison produced the following error:
Error in setting permissions:
Operation not permitted [chmod(/media/storage...
The permissions were set correctly. Here I found the solution.

Unison stores sync profiles in ~/.unison/*.prf. Edit the relevant prf file, and add a line 'perms = 0' and it will always ignore permissions for that profile.

See also the unison documentation:

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Installing Linux with KDE 4 on a Thinkpad R61

After removing Vista from my new Thinkpad R61 I decided this time to install OpenSUSE 11.0 with KDE 4.1 (I run Kubuntu at the office, and I wanted to try another distribution.)
It took about 15 minutes until it was finished. Then I downloaded the online updates, added some programs and adjusted the desktop (plamoids and KDE4 composit desktop effects).
Network, WLAN, 3D-effects, sound (in and out), suspend to disk when the battery is low, ... worked fine out of the box. Congratulations to the whole open source community! Excellent work!

Only a few things don't work properly.
  • The fingerprint reader is not recogniced (but I don't need it).
  • I could aktivate bluetooth (after installing some bluetooth packages and the activation of bluetooth in YAST) but it is not possible to connect with my mobil phone (Nokia) longer than 3 seconds. I will work on that later.
  • Sun Presenter screen couldn't be installed. I will post on that later.
  • WLAN is connecting only in one out of 10 times. (Works pretty good now.)
  • Highspeed USB-stick is not recognized. (I have to deactivate ehci with "sudo /sbin/modprobe -r ehci_hcd")

More Variations of System Settings

Original, Background for headline

Original, Background for the category


Line above, background for the headline

Line above, background for the category

Line above, no background

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Mockup KDE4.x System Settings Dialog

Another alternative for the System Settings dialog of KDE4. Keep it elegant and make it clearer!

Follow the discussion about design and UI in KDE4 at:

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Marketing lecture and meet the news

Yesterday I had the pleasure to teach marketing for about 40 people studying a BA in Engineering. It's always a challenge to speak in front of students who like engineering and have to listen to crazy management folks. But it was amazing. They were very interested and the results were really well. I hope it wasn't only fun for me, but also for them. Perhaps a little bit.

What I didn't know. Most of them used to work for a big German company. Yes: They used to. I remember that I heard it in the news that the company would close one of its branches because it is not (enough?) profitable anymore. A few thousand employees would lose their jobs. And now those people, excellent people by the way, were sitting in my classroom. Those anonymous thousands loosing their jobs suddenly had names, faces, families, fears, ... complete lifes.

There's a great difference if you only hear the news or if you meet those people in real life. This time it was me who learned something in my lesson. But I hope the students did, too.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Extract mp3 from flv

Tonight I tried to rip the audio track from a flv file. First I wanted to convert it into ogg but as the audio track is a mp3 stream itself I decided just to rip the mp3 data into a file (same quality as in the video file. A higher samplerate would only increase filesize).

UPDATE: Today the audiostream is often aac (not mp3 anymore). That means, you have to use mp4 instead of mp3 with ffmpeg ... -f mp4 ... .mp4).

One of those commands will do the job:
mplayer -dumpaudio in-video.flv -dumpfile out-audio.mp3
ffmpeg -i input.flv -f mp3 -vn -acodec copy output.mp3

To convert all files (*.flv to *.mp3) in the directory use one of the following commands:
for i in *.flv; do mplayer -dumpaudio -dumpfile "${i/.flv}".mp3 "$i"; done
for i in *.flv; do ffmpeg -i "$i" -f mp3 -vn -acodec copy "${i/.flv}".mp3; done

#ffmpeg: -f mp3 => force mp3 format, -vn => novideo, -acodec copy => stream-copy
# ${i/.flv} is cutting the filename $i from ".flv"

UPDATE: As the files are not always in the same format and my portable music player couldn't play mp4 I decided to convert them to ogg.
ffmpeg -i input.flv/mp4 -vn -acodec vorbis output.ogg

This script will transform all flv files in your directory into mp3 files.

1. Create a new file e.g. with kate and name it

for i in *.flv
echo "$i"
# Alternative 1
# mplayer -dumpaudio -dumpfile "${i/.flv}".mp3 "$i"
#Alternative 2
ffmpeg -i "$i" -f mp3 -vn -acodec copy "${i/.flv}".mp3

2. Change the right of this file:
chmod +x

3. Goto the directory and run the script

Saturday, November 15, 2008 is down!

I'm shocked.

The German site of wikipedia is down due to a court decision forced by a member of parliament.

I doubt that this was the right way from Mr. Lutz Heilmann (Die Linke) to prevent the world from knowing something written in the wikipedia-article.

I'm looking forward to the reactions of the community.

More information: (german) (german)


BTW: You can support Wikipedia!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Hello World!

I bought a Thinkpad R61 and installed Linux (KDE4) on it. My intention starting this blog is to publish my experience. Perhaps this helps another user with his problems.