Archive for the 'Services' Category

best Linux screen capture settings of the day

Friday, June 23rd, 2017

ffmpeg -thread_queue_size 128 -f alsa -i default -f x11grab -isync -r 30 -ac 2 -s 1920×1080 -i :0.0+0,0 -vcodec libx264 -preset veryfast -pix_fmt yuv420p -acodec libmp3lame -ar 44100 -ab 192k -threads 4 -y Desktop.mp4

Update: w/ VAAPI e.g. for Intel’s QuickSync:

ffmpeg -hwaccel vaapi -vaapi_device /dev/dri/renderD128 -thread_queue_size 64 -f alsa -i default -thread_queue_size 64 -f x11grab -isync -r 30 -ac 1 -s 1920×1080 -i :0.0+0,0 -vf ‘format=nv12,hwupload’ -threads 8 -aspect 16:9 -b:v 12500k -vcodec h264_vaapi -af “lowpass=f=7000″ -acodec aac -ab 192k -threads 8 ~/Desktop/`date ‘+%Y%m%d-%H%M%S’.mp4`

The miserable High Sierra install experience

Wednesday, June 7th, 2017

Apple just released the first macOS 10.13 “High Sierra” Beta. Actually I’m quite surprised of the lack of inspiration in naming. They switched from nice cat names, to boring California landmark names, only to go form Sierra to High Sierra? Is there nothing else more investing to name it? Also this results in rather poor google experience when you google for high sierra issues and one get’s overloaded with old Sierra stuff, … Maybe they are just too high in their Cupertino UFO spaceship these days, …

Anyways, the install experience, oh my, god, where should I even start. Why the heck can they not publish proper, good old installer disk images? And with this High Sierra Beta they reached a new sad point of annoyance. So first some “macOSDeveloperBetaAccessUtility.dmg” packages has to be downloaded (150k or so), after some system fiddling (btw, what exactly?) You get a “Install macOS 10.13 Beta.app” int the AppStore like with previous macOS versions. But instead of including all the installer image, it is only 5MB in size.

Starting that app does some Apple authorisation (again), think preventing Hackintosh’s, and then starts downloading the installer disk images into /macOS\ Install\ Data/, like InstallESDDmg.pkg.partial, and such.

So the problem will all this error prone steps is that the first time the download got stuck at some 4.8 GB. Restarting this stupid loader app wiped all the data and stated from scratch!!! :-/ So some hour and another 5GB wasted in the internet later, it rebooted the system just to tell me I would not have enough space. Wait what? It could not determine that before all the wasted time and data? And only offer to reboot, ..!

Guess what? At that point the f*cking installer thing again removed all the 5GB+ installer image from /macOS\ Install\ Data/ !!!!1!!!

So instead of me being able to plug in other external disk or whatever for installation. I now again need to wait an hour or two, and load the 5GB+ of data, again, and again.

Why do they have to re-implement this crappy, error prone downloader, when the App Store already has a download facility that may be more stable, continue stopped downloads and would also leave the installer image where it was for the next test install.

Each year the whole install procedure feel more like a hidden, user unfriendly labyrinth maze that you would expect from Microsoft in Windows, but not from a cleanly structured Unix kind of system we expect macOS to be.

Unfortunately it looks like Apple is giving up on this clean structure for the sake of making Hackintoshs harder thru obscurity.

Sad. Just so sad :-/

What’s up at Apple? Make UI great again!

Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

While traveling abroad the other day I needed to save bandwidth and download an SD video of an HD TV series season pass in iTunes. A long search of hidden easter eggs - but I finally found it:

Why do the companies need to change their UI so often, make things more difficult and hide in the least expected corners? Why can this not be simple, context options where one would expect it?

tcpdump IPv6

Friday, March 31st, 2017

tcpdump -i eth0 -v ip6

Latest Mac’s build in hardware test

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

Historically there was an Apple hardware test that you could boot to check if your Mac’s hardware is all good.

It came to a surprise though, that with newer Macs simply holding the ‘d’ during power on it runs some simple hardware diagnostic, too.

One should probably more often read Apple’s support pages, ..

TEAC HR Audio Player for iOS

Thursday, January 5th, 2017

This thing, when you buy a Teac HA-P50 for some Hi-Res Audio testing, and the matching iOS app (you know, for hi-res, FLAC and such, …, sigh) produces extremely audible clicks and pops that sounds like buffer under run / overflow / whatever - on a recent iPhone 6s no less.

What the heck are the vendor’s thinking to ship such crap to their premium paying customers?

Funny thing, other apps, such Apple’s own Music.app do not have this clicks and pops, … ???!!!

Judging from the App review an at least one year old problem:

PS: And why the heck do they sell the Teac HA-P50 for US$199 in the states, and for 299€ in Europe?

Random cloud changes

Friday, October 21st, 2016

For a while I already watched some other business struggling with workflow inefficiency by using cloud services that randomly (like monthly) change some user interface, options etc. and thus waste hours and hours of the time of workers to actually get their work done.

While we protect our data and investment by not using cloud services for anything productive (exception like Google Adwords, …) today we hit a similar issue. I automated invoice generation from our online store PayPal email notifications. Some days ago on October the 15th PayPal deviced out of the blue sky that it would probably be nice if they modernized their email templates.

Well, great for them, no so for our nicely script automated invoice generation. But even for the users:

Before the PayPal notifications where: Content-Type: multipart/alternative; with a Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8 and a Content-Type: text/html; charset=UTF-8 and about 20 kB in size.

Unix veterans could still nicely read the text/plain part in pine, mutt or wherever. The new emails did away with the text/plain part, and only send a Content-Type: text/html; charset=UTF-8 and the designers even blew that up to now consume a whooping 90kB.

Worst of all as of today they still send us a mix of old a new template based emails. Obviously awesome for some reliable processing, …

So this is what the silicon valley companies call progress? :-/

Update: Most of the size increase is actually mobile optimization CSS. WTF optimization is that? I rather have a smaller, plain text email than a 80kB CSS monster when I’m on the go :-/

Can the tech industry please stop messing with everything and thereby actually making things worse? :-/!

Screen on a serial port

Friday, September 16th, 2016

Although I use and develop on Linux for a very, very, very long time it never had the idea to use screen as a terminal emulator on a serial port for an embedded board.

Turs out that is very well support and just works:

screen /dev/ttyUSB0 115200

Getting tired of permanent MacBook battery failure

Friday, August 26th, 2016

So this stupidly smart Apple MacBook batteries set a permanent failure bit once they are simply discharged by sitting on a shelf for a month or two. With this permanent failure bit the controller will not charge them again, even when the cells are brand new and otherwise perfectly fine. Another day I need to try sending a reset sequence or otherwise rewriting some flash cells, sigh:


Some notes for now:

Battery Firmware Hacking

MacBook battery (Rom) cycle reset

Amazon BuyVIP

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

Recently Amazon started to spam my email account regarding their http://de.buyvip.com rebranding / “microsite”. I really wonder about Amazon’s benefits in this case, why not simply run this from their main site, … Lure those people back who are not satisfied with the Amazon experience by using another brand? Or some special mass promotion sales contracts?