Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tiny Upload, a great help for sharing files

I stumbled upon this wonderful service some time ago, downloading a file I needed for a project I was working on.

I have used it several times myself, and since it's so easy to use, I will be using it in the future.

There are no download or upload limits, you can save a file up to 50 megabytes, downloaded files are hosted forever, and it's 100% free to use.

It's very easy to use the website, just choose a file from your computer, and then click the upload button.

After hitting the upload button, you will see a progress bar and then be given a URL, like this one for instance:


After you get your TinyUpload URL,  give it to your Facebook friends, forum, through email, etc.

They can easily put it in their browser and download your file.

When your friends do go to the link you provided, this is what they will see:

To download the link, you click on the yellow file name, pointed out here by my rather crude looking arrow.

In this case, the thing you click on is the yellow "1.sav" file name.

Now you might be asking yourself, "What use would I have for this service? The file limit is small".

It's amazing how many traded files are only 50 meg or less.

office documents
video game saves
and on and on...

I use this service 4 or 5 times a year, it's very very handy.

Check it out: TinyUpload.com

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

KDE takes a swing at the tablet market

When it comes to graphical user interfaces on tablets, the first thing that comes to mind is Android, IOS or Ubuntu's Unity.

So when I read that KDE has already tossed their hat into the tablet ring, and has a tablet already being looked over by quality assurance engineers, I was ecstatic.

Aaron Seigo, a KDE developer, wrote on Google+ "The first Vivaldi tablets, new dual-core engineering boards and the custom EOMA68 developer workbenches we commissioned have all been shipped out. Don't get too excited: the tablets are pre-certification (EC/FCC) and are on their way to us so we can verify the Q/A targets we set out."

While there have been delays, this is a big step in seeing KDE based Linux tablets on the market in the not too distant future.

Here's a glimpse at what the KDE desktop environment will look like on the Vivaldi tablet:

Monday, July 22, 2013

Turning a FLV video into an mp3 (or ogg vorbis)

I was asked a while back to take the audio off of an old flv video file and then make an mp3 out of it.

After some digging, I found a powerful yet simple to use program called FFmpeg.

Using the terminal emulator, I ran the command ffmpeg -i (name of flv file) (name of created mp3 file.)

I gave this file to the customer. A day later he said he couldn't use it, because even though the file was only 4 megabytes, the audio program he used showed it to be more than 40 minutes long.

I installed another app called Audacity, to see what the problem was.

Audacity showed it to be only 4 minutes long.

I found through some digging that the audio tracks on flv files are not ended properly.

That was ok though, thanks to Audacity and the LAME plugin.

Using Audacity I "re-created" the mp3 file, and then exported it.

This solved the open ended mp3 error, and made the track register as it's proper length, just over 4 minutes.

You can get all of these programs through the Ubuntu Software Center, Synaptic, or apt-get.
This code will install all three using apt-get: sudo apt-get install audacity lame ffmpeg

* as of the writing of this, the ffmpeg program will be replaced by "avconf" in the future. If this happens avconf should function very similarly from ffmpeg.

Windows versions can be attained for all of this software, so check the links above for more information. (The pictures.)

I'm going to now walk you through the steps with screenshots.

The first step is to enter the terminal emulator (such as Terminator, pictured here).

Then find the folder the flv file is in. In my screenshot above the flv file is named gas.flv, and it is in my /home/user directory.

Then I ran the ffmpeg command, like this ffmpeg -i gas.flv gas.mp3

This made ffmpeg take the flv file in the folder, and make a mp3 named "gas" out of it.

If I would have added ffmpeg -i gas.flv /home/user/music/gas.mp3, then ffmpeg would have put it in my music folder.

(User here means your username, for me it is /home/denny/, it is different for everyone.)

Here you can see the created mp3 file, shown via the command ls.

Now I went into my file manager (I use thunar), and right clicked the newly made mp3 file and choose "Open with Audacity".

once Audacity was opened I clicked on edit, and then "select all". I then went to "file" and  then chose "export selection".

I was then given the option to choose my format. I chose mp3 for the customer, but you can choose wav, ogg vorbis and other formats. 

I was then given this screen, where I filled in the tag info. This is an option, not necessary.
If you don't do this however, you will not see this information on audio programs or cd/mp3 players.

Monday, July 15, 2013

The 99 dollar Ubuntu computer

Compulab released this week a $99 dollar arm based computer that will sport Ubuntu and Android as operating system choices.

"The Utilite will be equipped with a Freescale i.MX6 MPCore processor, based on ARM's Cortex-A9. Users can pick between single-core, dual-core or quad-core setups. Along with this, the Utilite will have 4GB of RAM and an mSATA SSD. On the connectivity side of things, the Utilite will have Wi-Fi b/g/n and Bluetooth 3.0. It will have HDMI and DVI-D outputs, four USB 2.0 ports, a micro USB port, standard 3.5 mm audio jacks, a microSD XD card slot and two ultra-mini RS232 interfaces." -tech2

The power supply will be amazingly lite, 8 WATS max usage, with a 10-16 volt power supply.

The size of the unit is also very small, at 5.3 x 3.9 x 0.8 inches.

Compulab's website stated that the box would be an "elegant zero-screws" box.

Utilite's ability to decode H.264 1080p multi-stream videos will make it a decent media box. tech2 hinted to the possible use of XBMC, which would make it a gorgeous looking media/internet box.

It will also support OpenGL ES, OpenVG and OpenCL EP.

With all of this power in a small package, Compulab's Utilite has what it takes to take on some of the x86 models.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Verizon shows support for Ubuntu Touch

Updated July 16th, 2013, notes below
Verizon showed interest in Ubuntu Touch this week by joining the CAG, or Carrier Advisory Group run by Canonical.

Before Verizon there where no U.S. carriers in the CAG.

While this does not mean that Verizon will create a Ubuntu Touch device, it does give us hope that there will be one here in the continental United States.

As I posted here, Ubuntu Touch now runs natively on Android devices. What this means is that most current Android based phones could be given a native Ubuntu Touch install, and then sold via Verizon.

As an Ubuntu fan boy, I would love to have a Ubuntu Touch phone, but the reason non Linux lovers would want this phone is the way Ubuntu is thinking. This operating system will be very similar to the desktop/laptop version.

Most of the enhancements and applications available pc side will transfer to the phone and vice versa.

July 16th Update: MTN has also joined the CAG this week. To better illustrate the members of CAG, here is a little image for you:
This shows all of the members as of July.

MTN is based out of south Africa.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Linux powered pen intended for saving handwriting

The German company Lernstift has created a pen that vibrates when you make grammatical errors or hand writing ones.

The purpose is to help people to be better at spelling, but mainly to save the dying art of handwriting.

The pen itself has a special version of Linux on board.

While the pen's software will be closed source, the API will be open sourced so others can write software for the pen.

Here's a picture that shows the guts of the pen:

Besides it's educational properties, the pen also can save handwritten notes as computer images and can also save them as text for future use.

Here's the story behind the pen's birth:

"Lernstift inventor Falk Wolsky explains that the idea was born out of frustration with his oldest son’s homework mistakes. Wolsky says his son was too often distracted, and would make small, preventable errors.

“My wife said: ‘I wish the pen would give him an electroshock or something to make him think about his spelling,’” Wolsky says. “I thought, an electroshock wasn’t so good, but a vibration might work.”" -Wired.com

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Suse Enterprise Server gets a boost!

Novell's Suse just launched Service Pack 3, and with it came support for UEFI secure boot, larger server systems, new hardware.

"The release adds support for the latest Intel processors, such as the forthcoming "Ivy Bridge" Xeon E5 processor family and the fourth generation Intel Core, as well as the latest IBM eight core processors, the Power 7+.

Larger systems can now run Suse Linux, with the service pack adding support for up to 16TB of memory in addition to the 4,096 CPUs introduced by SP2.

Visualization performance gets a boost with commercial support for the latest open source hypervisors KVM 1.4 and XEN 4.2 and a top up to the size of virtual compute and memory pools supported by guest systems. The update also supports hardware features to improve the visualized workload efficiency delivered by the Intel's Haswell and AMD's 4000 and 6000 Series processors.

There's also new file system support, with the addition of the Oracle Cluster File System 2 (OCFS 2) to ext3, ReiserFS 3.6, Xfs and Btrfs already supported.

Suse systems with shared storage will be able to scale-out workloads more effectively thanks to about 70 driver updates — for example, the new Open Fabric Enterprise Distribution driver will support faster connection speeds and easier fabric management.

The release also introduces LVM thin-provisioning and a new iSCSI target (LIO) for better storage virtualisation and management." -ZDNet

The reason why this is so good for us humble folk not using server farms with terabytes of data and processing horsepower is, that OpenSuse, the open source version of Suse gets hand me downs from time to time, so I hope this is some of those hand me downs.

In either case this bodes well for us Linux users. The technology continues to grow in leaps and bounds.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Ubuntu Touch goes native

"Pre-release test images of Ubuntu Touch now launch an Ubuntu system directly, with the Android userland environment, used to run Android applications under Ubuntu Touch, running in an LXC Linux container within Ubuntu.

This inverts the situation in previous pre-release versions of the operating system for the smartphone and tablet market." - The H

This is good news for us tablet users who have been foaming at the mouth for a true Linux and/or Ubuntu experience.

Especially for us hackers/tweakers, as intomobile stated.

I personally am looking forward to some of this touch technology Canonical is working on funneling back into the desktop/laptop pc version.

Especially if they could release a much lighter option for unity.