tirsdag den 30. december 2008

iMovie'08 and dvd's.

I have a Sony harddisk recorder and I have until now been using Handbrake to pull recorded shows into my iPod (with a two-pass encoding which makes transitions nicer), but then I had to do the show editing on the harddisk recorder which was rather tedious.

It then turns out that iMovie 08 understands how to pull off movies from a DVD-based camcorder, which happens to be the same as inserting an unprotected DVD in the slot-in drive, which is great! Unfortunately iMovie'08 apparently very frequently crashes when reading such DVD's and it also happened for me when trying.

The stack trace looks like:
0 com.apple.MPEG2PSRADPlugin 0x1ab531a5 0x1ab51000 + 8613
1 com.apple.Foundation 0x969f1a07 -[NSObject(NSKeyValueCoding) valueForKey:] + 135
2 com.apple.proapps.MIO 0x1a14e8ed -[MIORADClipDataSourceContainer clipID] + 61
3 com.apple.proapps.MIO 0x1a140d04 -[MIORADClip valueInMetadataFileForProperty:] + 158
4 com.apple.proapps.MIO 0x1a13d9d4 -[MIORADClip inTC] + 56
5 com.apple.proapps.MIO 0x1a13e1c5 -[MIORADClip durationTC] + 41
6 com.apple.iMovie7 0x00027812 0x1000 + 157714
7 com.apple.iMovie7 0x00027736 0x1000 + 157494
8 com.apple.iMovie7 0x00025ebc 0x1000 + 151228
9 com.apple.iMovie7 0x0001ecf8 0x1000 + 122104
10 com.apple.Foundation 0x969cdf1c _nsnote_callback + 364
11 com.apple.CoreFoundation 0x956448da __CFXNotificationPost + 362
12 com.apple.CoreFoundation 0x95644bb3 _CFXNotificationPostNotification + 179
13 com.apple.Foundation 0x969cb080 -[NSNotificationCenter postNotificationName:object:userInfo:] + 128
14 com.apple.Foundation 0x969d48c8 -[NSNotificationCenter postNotificationName:object:] + 56
15 com.apple.iMovie7 0x0000fffb 0x1000 + 61435
16 com.apple.Foundation 0x96a4de94 _NSSetObjectValueAndNotify + 164
17 com.apple.iMovie7 0x000122cb 0x1000 + 70347
18 com.apple.Foundation 0x96a4eb0e NSKVONotify + 62
19 com.apple.Foundation 0x969cafd2 -[NSObject(NSKeyValueObserverNotification) didChangeValueForKey:] + 546
20 com.apple.CoreFoundation 0x956ccdd9 -[CFXPreferencesPropertyListSource setValue:forKey:] + 73
21 com.apple.CoreFoundation 0x956ceb06 _CFXPreferencesSetValue + 102
22 com.apple.Foundation 0x96a27a91 -[NSUserDefaults(NSUserDefaults) setObject:forKey:] + 113
23 com.apple.iMovie7 0x0000f502 0x1000 + 58626
24 com.apple.iMovie7 0x001540a9 0x1000 + 1388713
25 com.apple.AppKit 0x94d5753b -[NSApplication sendAction:to:from:] + 112
26 com.apple.AppKit 0x94d57478 -[NSControl sendAction:to:] + 108
27 com.apple.AppKit 0x94d572fe -[NSCell _sendActionFrom:] + 169
28 com.apple.AppKit 0x94d56957 -[NSCell trackMouse:inRect:ofView:untilMouseUp:] + 1827
29 com.apple.AppKit 0x94d561aa -[NSButtonCell trackMouse:inRect:ofView:untilMouseUp:] + 541
30 com.apple.AppKit 0x94d55a64 -[NSControl mouseDown:] + 888
31 com.apple.AppKit 0x94d541a3 -[NSWindow sendEvent:] + 5381
32 com.apple.AppKit 0x94d20d49 -[NSApplication sendEvent:] + 2941
33 com.apple.iMovie7 0x00031cda 0x1000 + 199898
34 com.apple.AppKit 0x94c7e69f -[NSApplication run] + 847
35 com.apple.AppKit 0x94c4b8a4 NSApplicationMain + 574
36 com.apple.iMovie7 0x00005474 0x1000 + 17524
37 com.apple.iMovie7 0x00002e92 0x1000 + 7826
38 com.apple.iMovie7 0x00002db9 0x1000 + 7609

The method names in the stack trace indicates that there was a problematic key-value pair in the data stored about the movie snippets which from visual inspection appears to happen when creating miniatures in the scan process.

I then did some trial-and-error and found that
  • Removing menus did not influence the crashing.
  • By splitting up a recording in pieces - thinking that the length of the movie was the troublesome meta data- iMovie didn't crash while scanning and allowed me to pull in the pieces.
  • The "create miniatures" post processing then hanged. The progress bar kept moving from about 65% to 70%, and then jumping back to 65%. Right-clicking on iMovie and telling it to "Stop" made the process finish without stopping iMovie.
Right now I believe that it is only in some places that the problem is present, and that the splitting caused the miniature generation to look in untroubled locations allowing me to finish. If it is a missing value for a given key, or an unexpected value of a given key, is too early to tell yet.

For now I am leaving this - I got the songs on the iPod I wanted :) - but I think that the next step would be to isolate a small clip with this problem, and then look into the MPEG stream to see if there is anything out of the ordinary.

OpenSolaris 2008.11

Now I had some time to play with OpenSolaris 2008.11.

  • Installs well on physical hardware (dual Pentium III) and VirtualBox under OS X (768 Mb RAM).
  • Does not install well under vmware as vmware tools goes haywire.
  • Eclipse 3.4.0 is available in the package system - whee! - but is not integrated in the menu - boo! - so you must run /usr/eclipse/eclipse manually and software updates are disabled, and no web browser setup. It is a start though :D
  • ssh logins are enabled as part of the install.
Danish is a supported language and the translations are ok. That's nice - Swedish somehow doesn't quite fit for Danes.

So next is looking at whether dtrace can be useful from within Java combined with logging.

tirsdag den 9. september 2008

Disabling ads in Windows Live Messenger

By adding this line rad.msn.com

to C:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts, Windows Live Messenger just show a nice image instead of various ads (after being restarted). A one-liner for cmd.exe:

echo rad.msn.com >> C:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts

søndag den 27. juli 2008

OpenSolaris woes

I have played around with OpenSolaris 2008.05 a bit, and found that the updates are still sub-standard (why must I manually update grub when doing "pkg image-update"?). Additionally the fonts get very very ugly so I went back to the original install, which is where I will stay for a while yet.

I reinstalled to get a clean system, and have found some more fun stuff:

  • If your system gets an address with DHCP, and the system for some reason cannot keep the IP address, it does not automatically come back online when the network connection is reestablished (but zones do as they are statically configured, unfortunately you cannot come to the global zone from "inside" so it doesn't help much).
  • Tried getting a usable VirtualBox instance on my laptop - for some reason it just doesn't work well. Perhaps I am stuck with vmware for this, abeit I'd rather use virtual box as Sun is VERY interested in having this work well.
  • The Xming X server runs very well with OpenSolaris (http://www.straightrunning.com/XmingNotes/) also with Windows 2000 (an older version).
  • Now I cannot get the Bonjour stuff to work, so no names for me, just new exciting IP numbers to remember.
  • The SVC stuff is a nightmare to figure out how to get a simple java process (Jetty) to run at boot time. Sigh sigh sigh.
So currently there is progress to be made.

New blogging tool...

Got a reference to ScribeFire. This is the first test. Looks very interesting.

lørdag den 7. juni 2008

OpenSolaris 2008.05

I got interested in the DTrace technology which might be very interesting for some AS/400 Java stuff we are having problems with (with the Java part running under OpenSolaris).

So after installing OpenSolaris on an old 2xPentium III machine with 1.5 Gb RAM and a new disk, I started playing with it to see what it does.

I had to do the following:

  • Enable BonJour/ZeroConf/Rendezvous annoucements with "svcadm enable multicast" - http://opensolaris.org/os/project/nwam/service-discovery/
  • Enable network access to the PostgreSQL database by editing the /var/postgres/8.2/data/postgresql.conf.
  • Enable ftp with "svcadm enable ftp".
  • Compile Emacs 22 with gcc.
  • Eclipse did not install from Blastware, sigh.
  • Putty works well as a ssh client.
I found the installation to work very nice.

Just for fun I created a lx zone, where the supplied tar-file fitted right in, and the Linux JDK 1.6 ran out of the box.

The Gnome based desktop is nice with just a few surprises:
  • the mounted disks do not show up on the desktop
  • no trash can available on the desktop

tirsdag den 8. januar 2008

Asus WL-167g on OS X 10.3

Summary: Only WPA with TKIP works, not WPA2 with AES

I have several iMac G3's and I have only one Airport card, so I have acquired an Asus WL-167G USB adapter which I now needed to work on one of the machines without an Airport card. The 54 Mbps doesn't matter much as the USB port is 1.1 only, but it is nice anyway as my ADSL provides only 200 kb/s.

This had worked before, but I had removed the drivers when setting up the airport card on this machine, so it should just be a matter of reinstalling the driver and plugging the adapter in. Unfortunately it didn't quite go that easy.

My wireless access point is an Apple Airport Express (which I bought solely for the Airtunes facility) and this combination has worked flawlessly earlier, but not anymore. As a Dell could connect effortless I strongly suspected driver problems., as my previous adventures with this indicated that it HAD to be exactly right to work.

Unfortunately both the latest driver from the Asus website, as well as the driver on the cd that came with the adapter failed utterly despite several reboots. The adapter was found, the very ugly interface window came up, the network preference pane showed the adapter but it assigned itself an IP-adress instead of getting one from DHCP.

After a lot of headscratching I noticed that the statistics pane showed that NO frames were received at all. This reminded me that I had changed some settings in the Airport Express some months back, so it ran both WPA and WPA2, and the software suggested WPA2 with AES as the authentication mechanism. Hmm, changing this to WPA with TKIP gave packets back AND a DHCP address.

Adding the RT2500Replug hack made this work also after a reboot.

Now it works well again, and hiding the status window and giving it a nicer icon helps a lot on the driver icon (why couldn't they just mimic the airport stuff instead, sigh).