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Posts Tagged Fedora

How to rip a DVD to m4v (mp4) or mkv using HandBrake in Ubuntu, Windows, or Mac

After writing my previous post about ripping DVD to avi using k9copy (and the ddrescue workaround), I found HandBrake. After doing a little reading on it, the general consensus is it does a better job at reading DVDs, even those with some issues. I was able to get HandBrake to completely convert my DVD easily and, although it is a little slower than k9copy, it is quite capable. Another nice thing about HandBrake is it’s cross-platofrm support — it’s available for Windows (exe), Mac (dmg), Ubuntu (PPA/deb), and Fedora (rpm).

This comes with the same general disclaimer as the previous post: Notice: This walk-through is not intended to encourage or facilitate piracy. It is the user’s responsibility to observe all applicable licensing and copyright laws.

That said, on with the how-to.

Installing HandBrake

You can either install HandBrake via the HandBrake Releases PPA (Ubuntu) or the HandBrake download page (Windows, Mac, Fedora).

PPA for Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic) or newer (Recommended): Open a terminal and enter the following three commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:stebbins/handbrake-releases
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install handbrake-gtk

Direct downloaders: Download your installation file from the download link above and follow the installation procedure for your operating system.

Using HandBrake – Ubuntu Linux

HandBrake has a lot more flexibility (and therefore a lot more options) but only a few need to be changed to get the best rip possible. You can find HandBrake in the launcher after installing it.

After starting up HandBrake, click the Source button in the top left.

In the new window that opens, go to the bottom and find the “Detected DVD devices” drop-down box. Select the device appropriate for your system and click the Ok button.

After a few moments of scanning your DVD, the summary tab will populate with information.

On the video tab, click the “Target Size (MB)” radio button. The default value of 700 is correct.

Go to the chapters tab and uncheck “Chapter Markers”

Click Start to begin the ripping process.

Using HandBrake – Windows

Windows usage is similar to the above, but with some slight modifications. Also, the below is based on the latest version (0.9.8).

First, go to Tools > Options > Output Files and make sure a directory is selected for Default Path.

hb_tools_options_outputfiles

Next, insert your disc and click the Source drop-down, and select the disc.

After a few moments, select your preset on the right (based on the intended playback device — if unsure, use Regular > Normal).

Then, click Chapters and uncheck Create chapter markers.

Now, click Start to rip the DVD.

For more information, see the HandBrake Users Guide.

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Logitech Devices on Ubuntu Linux (and others)

A friend presented me with an issue a while back where certain buttons on his Logitech keyboard, specifically the zoom bar, didn’t work properly under Ubuntu. After some searching, I found a site that codes Linux drivers for these devices, and directed him to it. They have drivers for Debian, CentOS, Fedora, Mandriva, Mint, RedHat, Suse, and Ubuntu. The full list of supported devices is below.

After testing, he came up with a set of instructions (originally posted at another site) and I have rewritten them here in a [hopefully] more accurate process.

  1. Head over to HIDPoint
  2. Fill in the requested information on the download page (mouse/keyboard/OS/etc…), you can ignore the email field if you wish and select download. Make sure you select correctly if you’re using a 64-bit or non-64-bit OS.
  3. On the next screen, select the link “Download Now“, and save the file to your hard drive.
  4. Navigate to wherever you downloaded the file to.
  5. Right click on the file, and go to Properties > Permissions and check the box for execute.
  6. Double click on the file and select “Run In Terminal“. Type “Y” then hit “Enter”.
  7. Follow all on screen prompts.
  8. After Installation is complete, you will need to reboot.

Supported devices:

Keyboards: Mice: Mice:
  • Logitech Comfort Keyboard
  • Logitech Cordless Desktop
  • Logitech Cordless Elite
  • Logitech Cordless Ultra-Flat
  • Logitech DiNova
  • Logitech diNovo Edge
  • Logitech diNovo Mini
  • Logitech EasyCall Keyboard
  • Logitech EX 100 Keyboard
  • Logitech EX 110 Series
  • Logitech LX 300 Keyboard
  • Logitech LX 500/501 Keyboard
  • Logitech LX 710 Keyboard
  • Logitech Media Keyboard
  • Logitech Media Keyboard Elite
  • Logitech MX 3000 Keyboard
  • Logitech MX 3200 Keyboard
  • Logitech MX 5000 Keyboard
  • Logitech MX5500
  • Logitech Numeric Pad
  • Logitech S510 Keyboard
  • Logitech S520 Keyboard
  • Logitech Wave Corded
  • Logitech Illuminated Keyboard
  • Logitech Wave Cordless
  • Logitech Cordless Click!
  • Logitech Cordless Click! Plus
  • Logitech Cordless Mini Optical Mouse
  • Logitech Cordless Mouse
  • Logitech Cordless Mouse for NoteBook
  • Logitech Cordless Optical
  • Logitech Cordless Optical TrackMan
  • Logitech Cordless TrackMan Wheel
  • Dell BT Travel Mouse
  • Dell BT/XPS M2010 Mouse
  • Logitech diNovo Edge
  • Logitech G1 Optical Mouse
  • Logitech G3 Laser Mouse
  • Logitech G3/MX518 Optical
  • Logitech G5 Laser Mouse
  • Logitech G7 Cordless Laser
  • Logitech Laser Corded Mouse
  • Logitech Laser Tiltwheel Mouse
  • Logitech LX3 Optical Mouse
  • Logitech LX5 Cordless
  • Logitech LX6 Cordless Optical
  • Logitech LX7 Cordless Laser
  • Logitech LX7 Cordless Optical
  • Logitech LX8 Cordless Laser
  • Logitech Marble Mouse
  • Logitech Media Play Cordless
  • Logitech MX 1000 for Bluetooth
  • Logitech MX 518 Optical Mouse
  • Logitech MX 600 Cordless Mouse
  • Logitech MX Air
  • Logitech MX Revolution
  • Logitech MX Revolution Bluetooth
  • Logitech MX1000 Laser
  • Logitech MX1100 Laser
  • Logitech MX310 Corded
  • Logitech MX320/RX1000 Laser Mouse
  • Logitech MX400 Laser Mouse
  • Logitech MX510 mouse
  • Logitech MX600 Cordless Laser
  • Logitech MX610 Laser Cordless
  • Logitech MX610 Left-Handed
  • Logitech MX620 Laser Cordless
  • Logitech MX700 Cordless Optical
  • Logitech MX900 Cordless
  • Logitech NX80
  • Logitech Optical Tilt-Wheel Mouse
  • Logitech Optical Wheel Mouse
  • Logitech Optical Workstation Mouse
  • Logitech RX250 mouse
  • Logitech RX300
  • Logitech RX650 Cordless Optical
  • Logitech TrackMan Wheel
  • Logitech UltraX Optical Mouse
  • Logitech USB Optical Wheel Mouse
  • Logitech V200 Cordless
  • Logitech V220 Cordless Optical
  • Logitech V270 Bluetooth Mouse
  • Logitech V320 Cordless Optical
  • Logitech V400 Laser Cordless Mouse
  • Logitech V450 Laser Cordless Mouse
  • Logitech V450 Laser Mouse
  • Logitech V470 Bluetooth enabled Mouse
  • Logitech V500 Cordless
  • Logitech V550 Nano
  • Logitech VX Nano
  • Logitech VX Revolution
  • Logitech Wheel Mouse
  • Logitech Workstation Mouse

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Why aren’t you backing up your data?

Would you only ever have one house key? Car key?

Would you only get one picture of your child? Your spouse?

Then why would you not treat your computer data the same way?

Being a computer technician, I can’t tell you how many times (a day!) I hear “Will this affect my data/hard drive/information/etc…” You know who I always hear that from? People who don’t have backups.

If you’ve ever lost an important file because of a system crash, hard drive failure, or mistakenly deleted it, or even worse — suffered at the hands of a theft or destruction from a computer virus or malware, then you’ve likely already learned this very important lesson (rather painfully, no doubt).

If you’re working on something that is so important you’re worried about it, why wouldn’t you keep a second copy of it?

I’ll tell you exactly why: Because it takes time and effort.

But for something so important, there really are very simple (and inexpensive) solutions.

You could burn a CD or DVD. CDs only hold about 700MB of data, and most people have far more than that. Dividing up folders and folders of pictures and music over 700MB CDs is frustrating at best. Download movies? Most won’t even fit on a 700MB CD. There’s DVDs, sure. However, one of the biggest drawbacks to optical media is their shelf life (5 years or so, often times much less). Optical media degrades with exposure to light, heat, and may warp if stored vertically. Rewritable media has an even shorter shelf life, as every write cycles “burns” the disc and degrades it further. That leaves you with a very real possibility that when you go to reach for your data, it won’t be there.

You could use an external hard drive. External hard drives are just as inexpensive (per MB/GB) as optical media (sometimes more so), and have a longer shelf life. They are a great backup destination for large amounts of data, and can be backed up to quickly and easily. Unfortunately, magnetic media can’t be exposed or stored near strong electrical or magnetic fields. They are also fragile while powered on, they too do degrade over time, and can sometimes fail without warning. You could spend some money on a RAID array and have a nearly fail-safe solution… but it doesn’t protect against fire or theft.

You could backup to a flash drive. Unfortunately flash drives are actually the smallest capacity and the highest cost of any removable media. They are great for carrying around a small amount of data (some files back and forth from work, for example), but as a backup solution, they are impractical.

I prefer the set-it-and-forget-it approach of online backups, and I really encourage you to try the same.

Online backups charge you a small fee (usually monthly or yearly) and store your files on a remote server in case of a disaster. All you need is a reasonably fast internet connection. Storage and retrieval are limited to the speed of your internet connection, but this really takes the effort out of it. Backups are done routinely in the background and happen automatically. If disaster ever strikes in the form of a lost file, you simply connect to the online service and re-download your file.

So here’s a few suggested services and the last pricing structure I recall them having and my thoughts on each:

CrashPlan (Windows, Mac, Linux)

Cost: Free if you’re backing up to an external drive or a friends computer (even off site); $59/yr for one computer or $100/yr for all your computers to back up to their storage center (“CrashPlan Central”).

Pros: Inexpensive, unlimited storage space. Easy to use application. Supports local destinations for rapid backups and restores. Supports encryption. Cross-platform. Data de-duplication reduces upload size on changed files.

Cons: Requires payment for the service term up front. Minor display issues related to GDK_NATIVE_WINDOWS under Linux. Some features require additional “CrashPlan Pro” license.

My thoughts: If you’re a Linux user this is the service for you. Slightly cheaper than Mozy for a single computer for the year; much cheaper for multiple computers.

Mozy (Windows, Mac)

Cost: Free for the first 2GB of storage; $5/mo per computer for unlimited.

Pros: Inexpensive for a few PCs. Easy to use application. Option to display icons on files to show what is backed up and what is pending. Easy to use options. The option to order restore DVDs is available for disaster recovery, but it is expensive.

Cons: No plans for a linux client. Slow transfer speed.

My thoughts: For Windows-only users this is a great service. Automatic monthly payments make the cost easy to budget.

JungleDisk (Windows, Mac, Linux)

Cost: $2-5 per month and $0.15 per GB. Transfer rates apply with storage on Amazon S3, or no transfer fee with storage on Rackspace.

Pros: The price structure is fair — pay for what you use. A very reliable infrastructure in the two providers. Encryption. Multiple datacenters to assure your data is safe. They’ve been around for a while. Inexpensive for small amounts of data. Data de-duplication reduces storage space, cost, and upload size.

Cons: Can get expensive with large amounts of data. The application is somewhat confusing at first.

My thoughts: Another good cross-platform provider. Although a bit more costly than CrashPlan or Mozy, the thought of multiple data centers is appealing to those with mission-critical data.

Symform (Windows, Mac, Linux [Beta])

Cost: First 10GB free, $0.15/GB/Month each additional (or free if you contribute)

Pros: Generous amounts of free space, and no limits on the amount of space you can earn if you contribute storage. Contribution is not required. Interface is simple, and setup is easy. Support can be paid by contributing space as well.

Cons: No option yet to select files to exclude, or for single file restores. Contributing requires setting up port forwarding.

My thoughts: Symform is a good, spacious alternative to other backup providers, and especially appealing for users who have space to contribute.

Bottom line: There really are no “perfect fit” backup solutions, but the best practice is to use one or more different methods and keep at least one at a second location (“off-site”). Worst case, your home could burn to the ground or be broken into, and your optical discs and external hard drives would be forever gone. Online backups do alleviate that fear, but rely on an internet connection to recover your data. I’ve found it best to keep one backup copy on an external hard drive (for accessing large amounts of data quickly) and use an online provider for worst-case recovery (the backup hard drive crashes, or fire or theft claims the backup). It’s all about how valuable your data is to you.

Comments and feedback are welcome, as always.

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The first things I changed in compizconfig-settings-manager (CCSM) in Fedora

  • Turned off “Static Application Switcher” and turned on “Application Switcher”
    Affects what you see when you ALT-TAB
  • Made sure Expo was turned on
    (Keystroke: WIN-E)
  • Turned off “Snapping Windows” (annoys me, personally)
  • Turned on “Shift Switcher” – This caused some conflicts in keybindings so I chose Resolve Conflicts and Disable Zoom Windows and Disable Exit Expo.
    Keystroke: WIN-TAB

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Getting all the “extra” screensavers in Fedora Linux

Fedora (and Ubuntu) Linux users looking for more screensavers should install the package xscreensaver-gl-extra via their favorite package manager:

Fedora

Use yumex, or via command line:
sudo yum install xscreensaver-gl-extra

Ubuntu

Use Synaptic, or via command line:
sudo apt-get install xscreensaver-gl-extra

Here’s the package description:

This package contains the rest of the 3D (OpenGL) screen saver
modules from the xscreensaver collection. This package is used
by both xscreensaver and gnome-screensaver.

This is the set of GL screensavers not shipped by default with
xscreensaver-gl: antinspect, gleidescope, glknots, atunnel, blinkbox,
bubble3d, circuit, cubestorm, glsnake, jigglypuff, lavalite, lockward,
mirrorblog, moebius, boebiusgears, molecule, morph3d, pipes, polyhedra,
polytopes, pulsar, queens, sierpinski3d, spheremonics, stonerview,
superquadrics, topblock, voronoi endgame, engine, flipflop, flipscreen3d,
flurry, flyingtoasters, gears, gflux, antmaze, atlantis, blocktube, boing,
bouncingcow, boxed, cage, carousel, crackberg, cube21, cubenetic, dangerball,
extrusion, fliptext, glforestfire, glhanoi, glplanet, juggler3d, klein, lament,
menger, noof, pinion, providence, rubik, sballs, sproingies, staris, starwars,
tangram, timetunnel.

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Bug in Fedora : Cannot change number of workspaces via workspace switcher properties

This occurs when Compiz is enabled — you need to change the number of desktops through the Compiz Config Settings Manager (CCSM)

Bug : https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=481275

To work around the issue, install ‘ccsm’, then under System->Preferences->Look
& Feel choose “CompizConfig Settings Manager”. In the new window choose
“General Options” and from the tab list choose “Desktop Size” and change the
top slider to how many workspaces you need. This may not change the number of
workspaces immediately – you may need to log out and log in again.

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