Sunday, 8 April 2018

ffmpeg and Nvidia GTX hardware encoding

ffmpeg video processing on an old linux/machine, like a i7 860, running Fedora26 can be painful if you only rely on the CPU. With a recent Nvidia card supporting NVENC (GeForce 6/7/8/10.x) ffmpeg can be compiled directly to support these cards.

Saturday, 10 February 2018

Another Well Regarded Legacy: Nikkor 28mm f/2.8 AI-S

The 28mm f/2.8 AI-S is a well regarded lens from the early 1980s that is still available new today. But what's the point of this compared to, say a 24-70mm f/2.8 zoom? And how does it fair for use as a walk-about or an environmental portrait lenses at/near wide open (f/2.8..f/5.6) apertures?

28mm f/2.8 AI-S

Saturday, 2 December 2017

How to distinguish AI and AI-S lenses

The old time manual Nikkors from circa 1977 had the designation of an AI lens and then sometime leading into 1981 the AI-S lenses replaced the AI; both AI and AI-S lenses will fit onto all modern day Nikon F-mount bodies with no issues and the lens are functionally identical.

With the release of the AI-S lenses however, there were some subtle changes external to the lens: the primary reason for AI-S was to use enable cameras to use program or shutter priority modes - this was important for the upcoming release of cameras with this function at the time and the AI-S lenses were designed to facilitate this. With this said, the lenses that had a AI and then an AI-S counterpart were typically optically identical.

But why does this matter to be able to distinguish between an AI vs AI-S lens, if the optical formulas were the same?

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Going Long: Nikkor 200mm f/4 AI

A 200mm can be a useful focal length in the bag, albiet a less frequently used length. However the modern and autofocusing xx-200mm zooms are heavy and expensive and therefore options to satisfy the 200mm can be better sourced from the legacy Nikkor AI/AIS catalog.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Going Wide(ish): Nikkor 20mm f/3.5 AI

The circa 1980 Nikkor 20mm f/3.5 AI lens comes with a reputation for being flare resistant and reasonably sharp as well as being very lightweight.

Nikon have failed to produce a (effective) wide and lightweight prime for their DX systems and the 20mm f/3.5 AI can potentially fill this gap (giving a 35mm equivalent FOV of 30mm) with the added benefit that the lens would not overlap with any 24-70mm focal lengths.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Upgrading Synology DS209 storage

As with all storage, there comes a time where you exhaust the storage and you need to move up. After many years of service, the disks in my Synology NAS need to upgraded and we'll see how we can repurpose the existing disks - but as you'd expect, there's a few bumps to be aware along the way.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Orico USB3.0 enclosure inactivity/disconnect fix

Many hardware (especially cheap) vendors will sell the same product but replace and gut the internal electronics. This makes finding compatible/previously successful devices a PITA. One such recent example is a cheap Orico external USB 3.0 enclosure for 2.5" harddisks that is readily available on place such as Amazon.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Smallest hostap RPi setup

The original 2011 Raspberry Pi model B (rev1) with its 256MB is dwarfed by it's younger siblings now but this can still be used a very cost effective board for projects such as a portable wifi access point.

Whilst this use case is nothing new, trying to create an access point with the smallest SD card sizes can cause a few problems.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Simple Web monitor/maintanence for RPi

Basic maintanence and monitoring for your RPi can obviously be achieved by ssh into the machine but sometimes there needs to be an easier way.

Saturday, 4 February 2017

RPi: bonding network interfaces

One of the big advantages of the Raspberry Pi is that it's form factor makes it so portable; I can have a RPi moved around the home depending on what I need at the time but it does mean I need to worry about which network interface is available to the RPi without having to log into the RPi, reconfigure to/from wifi to/from ethernet etc..

Friday, 30 December 2016

Setting up a RPi Zero

After jumping on the Raspberry Pi bandwagon, I wondered what could be done with the smallest/stripped down version of the RPi, the RPi Zero.

But with many things, theres always hurdles to overcome.

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

RPi: fixing Volumio to support Bluetooth

Volumio 2.0 (2.031/Nov 23 2016 build) on the RPi3 works as advertised but the build does seem to come with some annoyances if you want to use it in conjunction with other standard items. Here we will address how to fix bluetooth handling and to overcome the few other issues that bugged me and really should be fixed/part of the standard build.

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Booting physical Windows 10 installation/partition using VMware

No messing around: setting up VMware to boot a physical Windows 10 installation from a (GPT) partition from Linux.

physical installation of Windows 10 running under VMplayer 12.5 on Fedora 24

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Fedora 24 on Asus x202e/s200e-CT216

Recent successes in installing Fedora on a 2010 HP netbook and running virtualised WinXP and iTunes reminded me why I used to be a geek.

Whlist the HP netbook served its original purpose, of being a reasonably portable travel backup system, running applications such as VMware and then MS Word/iTunes on its limited 10"/1024x600 screen size started to be annoying. And during a bored conference call, I wondered if there was something a little bigger for my new requirement.

Yes indeed any recent ultrabook/MacAir would be satisfactory but the price point is ridiculous for something that would supplementary. So again, older machines were considered and the Asus s200/x202e became the front runner.

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Wired Apple keyboard on PC with Linux and windows

The wired USB Apple keyboard A1243 (MB110B/B)

Sunday, 30 October 2016

RPi3 media server with Volumio and Kodi

I have most my music now ripped to mp3/flac but these either live on my iPhone or on a NAS .. playing them easily through a proper amplifier/speakers has been an obsession of mine for many years. Recently, I discovered that the RPi3 could be enhanced with RPi DAC boards which meant a new avenue to explore.

Saturday, 15 October 2016

VM'ing: Copy music to/from IOS from Linux via VMs

Recently I've needed to spend more time using the Fedora installation on my aging 2010 Dell Vostro however I've found various occasions where I wanted to copy music files to my iPhone/IOS 9.x/10.x devices from Linux.

In years gone by Linux's recommended options for IOS music management included gtkpod, banshee and rhythmbox but none of these options work with my iPhone and Fedora. With my current Fedora 24 installation and IOS 9.x/10.x the only option would be to run a virtualised OS that supported iTunes via VMware or VirtualBox.

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Herman Miller Aeron: pitfalls of trying to buy second hand

The Herman Miller Aeron has been available on the market since 1994 and since then there have been a few subtle changes to the parts since then; the chairs have been referred to as the mark I (production runs from 1994 - ~ Aug 2004) and mark II (production after Aug 2004). All of this matters to avoiding some subtle pitfalls if you are looking at a second hand Aeron chair from various office clearance companies or ebay.

The chair has many options for configuring the type mesh and lumbar support but the main configuration that can't change involve the support for full front and rear tilts (fully loaded) or just rear tilt. The chair can also be configured to have no arms, fixed position arms or up/down adjustable arms: the arms can also be fixed or can be pivoted in 3 positions (in/out/middle).

Below are some of my experiences from trying to find my own Aeron chair which may be useful to anyone trying to determine if an Aeron bargain is worth the risk.

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Upgrading an Ancient FC14 to Fedora 24

Having successfully completed a recent Fedora 23 installation to an aging netbook, I started to grow frustrated with my ~6 year old aging Fedora Core 14 installation from 2010. The annoyances I faced with my 2010 desktop installation was the lack of upgrade paths for many of the useful daily software components and the aging desktop environment.

With the ease and painless install of Fedora 23, I wondered if the FC14 system could also be easily replaced. Obviously there were some complications.

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Custom EOG rating plugin

When using a low powered netbook as a travel companion running Linux, the Gnome EOG image viewer can be used to provide an initial review tool, with a little hacking.