Lair Of The Multimedia Guru

September 30, 2007

Flowers and bees

Pictures from my balcony to fullfill mikes request of wasting more bandwidth ;)



I bought one of these a few years ago and now my balcony is full of them … so I for one welcome our new plant overlords and iam sorry that the ixus overexposed your mighty petals ;)

if only thouse bees would wait until i got out of the sun to be able to see anything on the display of the ixus30 then navigated through 2 menus to set the EV and went back …

This one would have been nice if it where focused properly

properly focused this time

Fluffy ball ;) is moving too fast for the 1/200 shutter, why did ixus choose f/5.6 here instead of f/2.8 with a shorter exposure? and why doesnt it support aperture priority :(


Filed under: Nature,Pictures — Michael @ 2:12

Recent changes in ffmpeg

Maybe you wonder what is currently happening in ffmpeg development, no nothing special i just thought to summarize what i remember and maybe i or someone else could/should write some weekly whats new report from now on? :)

  • heaps of flac encoder optimizations by loren
  • a H.264 PAFF patch, so dont give up hope yet, maybe we soon will have that in svn
  • amv audio and video support
  • IPv6 related fixes by ronald
  • some minor h.264 optimizations by andreas
  • some experimental h.264 multithreading code which splits entropy coding into its own thread by andreas, though dont expect that in svn in the near future
  • a MMS patch ohh darn i just realize i forgot about that one :(
  • various improvements and bugfixes in the rt(s)p code by the luca brothers ;) (sorry couldnt resist)
Filed under: FFmpeg — Michael @ 0:48

September 28, 2007

Potato goulash

To continue the late series of totally off topic postings and to waste some bandwidth with big images ive recorded what ive cooked today (no still with my canon ixus 30 as ive got no new cam yet …)

First an onion and the mandatory safety goggles one needs to work with onions

After peeling and washing the thing:

After choping it up in cubes and realizing that its a little more than i expected: (i wish i had an image stabilizer or would have checked the image or have taken more as both i took turned out blured)

A choped up halfed and fried onon:

1kg potatos, well almost:

Iam hungry, better more than too little :)

Peeled, washed and choped up potatos in the cauldron with the onions …

Added water, putting it on the fire. And now as i see it cursing that i thought the ixus 30 could take images at iso100 a meter under a 100w light bulb, besides that why is the damn thing not displying the shutter speed, if i knew it was 1/8 sec i would have done something about it …

Sausage (extrawurst in that case), lord ixus though focused on the wrong end and yes i did try to focus on the other side, dont ask why i didnt check half of the images right after taking them …

Sausage cut up in small cubes and added to the pot, again 1/8 shutter and all blurry. And normally one should fry the sausage unless one is afraid of nitrosamines …

Adding hot paprika made in hungary, majoran and a soup cube, lord ixus now choose 1/6sec and even though i took 4 images of this they are all blurred argh, next ill cook the ixus or maybe i should cook myself for being to stupid to not realize that iso100 wont work for this

mixed …

closed and the image is quite ok even though its 1/6sec handheld

15min later …

Finished :)

Filed under: Cooking,Pictures — Michael @ 1:26

September 26, 2007

Spam karma2

As you certainly have (not) noticed, ive enabled spam karma2, mike melanson worked hard on installing a few anti spam plugins for me, spam karma2 being one of them. thanks mike!

Until now spam was stoped by a simple word list and anything containing a link was as well blocked. On my side procmail sorted the large amount of moderated comments into certain spams and uncertain as well as non spam comments i then from time to time deleted spams which where missed and approved what was blocked incorrectly. That worked quite well actually … but you know if it aint broken then break it ;)

Spam karma2 should hopefully catch all spams and not block legitimate comments ;) It even has the ability to display a captcha if its not certain, just an hour ago it did that for a spamer who tried to sell some “herbs” for long “legs” it didnt help though i had to delete that by hand after the spamer or his script passed the captcha check

If you write a comment and it gets blocked with no captcha or other tests then please send me an email!

Comments welcome!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Michael @ 21:10

September 23, 2007

Which digicam should i buy?

A few days ago i came up with the idea of replacing my several years old canon digital ixus 30 with something newer and better. Maybe with a more recent canon ixus (called elph SD+somenumber outside europe), heres a summary of what ive found that has changed:

noise at same ISO? well iam not sure if it improved a little or not, the test images in various digicam tests on the web arent easy to compare due to different resolutions and likely different noise reduction used by the cameras …
ISOs the recent ixus/elphs suport 800 and 1600 which is nice though somewhat noisy, OTOH they lost 50 support which is a pitty and i cant help but wonder why noone has hacked the damn crap to support any ISO. Or has someone?
manual controls no, still not, we need to wait another 10years for canon to remove that #ifndef ELPH in their source code
wide angle 28-105mm on the SD800 and SD870 instead of 35-105mm which is nice but id be more happy if they had 18-55mm or something in that area
max aperture no still at f2.8 and thats the same for all compact cameras i found
weight seems to have gotten worse …
Really important things Face detection, yes really everyone dreamed of it and wanted it now finally we have it in every new camera ;) but seriously wtf. Is the industry totally insane? What is this nonsense good for … if at least it would recognize people and depending on who it is focus on something else :) then it might be usefull but …
Just remember the user of the camera knows what he wants to focus on, the camera does not and cannot, the user might even want to focus on different things in the same situation depending on his mood its not something a camera or another human can guess

So seems like 3 years isnt enough for canon to improve their (ultra) compact cameras. What about the powershot A series? well i had the A95 for a week but it was simply way too heavy and big also its light sensitivity was not any better than the much smaller canon ixus IIRC. Though at least it had manual controls so the camera did what i wanted. And the fuji F30/F31fd? Well fuji stoped producing them and their replacment the F50fd produces vertical stripes with a nice green magenta gradient over its images, making high ISO unuseable without some cleanup. (noise is one thing but stripes even if they are fainter than the noise just isnt something i want in my images) Also the f50fd is noisier than the f31fd though still significantly less noisy then anything produced by its competitors in that size and weight range that i found.

So suggestions welcome, but it looks like i wont buy any new camera. Capitalism has once again demonstrated that it doesnt work, its not as if the consumer would know which product is best and would thus force the industry to produce better products, its rather that the industry prints irrelevant numbers (megapixels) on the cameras and the consumer buys based on that ignoring all relevant parameters. So the industry just needs to exchange the CCD with one with more megapixels and paint the camera differently instead of improving anything relevant.

Filed under: Off Topic — Michael @ 3:35

September 2, 2007

Googles summer of code 2007

The company which tries so hard not to be evil, has this year again payed students, 900 according to wikipedia to work on free software. 8 of them worked on ffmpeg this year, luckily the results are less disasterous than last year where half the 5 students which where supposed to work on ffmpeg plain dissapeared, and just reapeared before the deadline to convince us that they where almost finished with everything so as to get payed …

But lets rather talk about this years SOC, first there where 19 students, submitting 37 applications about ffmpeg. To rate these 37 applications and to prevent the high failure rate of last year, we required students to do a qualification task, that is they had to make a not too insignificant contribution to ffmpeg to be accepted. What exactly they did was pretty much their decission though there was a list of suggestions. As a beautifull sideeffect of that, the qualification tasks led to some nice and new features for ffmpeg :).

9 of the 19 students submitted a qualification task, all thouse who submitted one passed, in addition 1 student was qualified through extensive past work on ffmpeg. From these 10 students, 2 sadly couldnt be accepted as they wanted to work on the same task as other students, well in principle it would have been possible to let 2 students work on the same task but it seemed silly. 1 wasnt accepted as his project appeared rather uninterresting and somewhat unrelated to video/audio. The 8th slot google provided was thus given to a student who didnt submit a qualification task. Also the actual decission of who would be accepted and who not was that of the mentors rating applications not of any single person …

So whats the current status?

  • Davids matroska muxer has passed review and should be commited to ffmpeg svn soon
  • Kostyas RV40 decoder looks pretty good and could probably be commited to ffmpeg svn soon, well actually if kosyta wanted he could commit immedeatly and continue work in ffmpeg svn
  • Marcos dirac decoder is also in good shape and theres not much keeping it from being commited, the encoder though needs more work
  • Kamils jpeg 2000 encoder and decoder, arent in good shape yet (only 2 out of 50 encoded images can be decoded by jasper, only 2 of 23 reference jpeg2k files can be decoded by kamils decoder), but then please dont forget that writing an encoder and decoder at the same time is harder then just one of the 2
  • Reynaldos QCELP decoder is missing a working postfilter, 1/4 and 1/8 decoding, so it needs more work as well
  • Bobbys avfilter is in quite good shape though its missing well working colorspace negotiation, also its missing actual integration in ffmpeg.c, only ffplay.c is there
  • Bartlomiejs EAC-3 decoder hasnt been reviewed by me yet …
  • xiaohuis mpeg-ts muxer itself also hasnt been reviewed by me yet, his patches though which where submitted and which ive reviewed need more work

I hope of course that all 8 students continue to work on their projects, free software in general and ffmpeg specifically!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Michael @ 22:55

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