LUG Community Blogs

Jono Bacon: Community Leadership Summit 2014 Announced!

Planet WolvesLUG - Fri, 10/01/2014 - 07:10

I am delighted to announce the Community Leadership Summit 2014, now in it’s sixth year! This year it takes place on the 18th and 19th July 2014, the weekend before OSCON at the Oregon Convention Center. Thanks again to O’Reilly for providing the venue.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the CLS, it is an entirely free event designed to bring together community leaders and managers and the projects and organizations that are interested in growing and empowering a strong community. The event provides an unconference style schedule in which attendees can discuss, debate and explore topics. This is augmented with a range of scheduled talks, panel discussions, networking opportunities and more.

The heart of CLS is an event driven by the attendees, for the attendees.

The event provides an opportunity to bring together the leading minds in the field with new community builders to discuss topics such as governance, creating collaborative environments, conflict resolution, transparency, open infrastructure, social networking, commercial investment in community, engineering vs. marketing approaches to community leadership and much more.

The previous events have been hugely successful and a great way to connect together different people from different community backgrounds to share best practice and make community management an art and science better understood and shared by us all.

I will be providing more details about the event closer to the time, but in the meantime be sure to register!

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Surrey LUG Bring-A-Box 11th January 2014

Surrey LUG - Thu, 09/01/2014 - 23:25
Start: 2014-01-11 11:00 End: 2014-01-11 17:00

We have regular sessions each month. Bring a 'box', bring a notebook, bring anything that might run Linux, or just bring yourself and enjoy socialising/learning/teaching or simply chilling out!

Our first meeting of 2014 is at the Red Hat offices in Farnborough, Hampshire on Saturday 11th January - thanks to Dominic Cleal for hosting us..

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Aq: Pretending to type like a Hollywood hacker in Sublime Text 2

Planet WolvesLUG - Thu, 09/01/2014 - 17:34

Christian Heilmann has just drawn my attention to a neat trick for automating typing into a text editor, from William Bamberg at Mozilla. Basically, when you’re doing a screencast, popping up a screen full of code is disorienting and hard for your users to take in, but if you actually type the stuff live on air then everyone gets to see all your typos and your mic makes it sound like a herd of wildebeest sweeping majestically across your keyboard.

Bamberg’s solution is to have an AppleScript which reads the file of your choice and then sends keypresses to your editor to “type” the file in, and it’s a neat idea. However, that’s Mac-specific so I can’t use it, and it doesn’t (as Chris notes) work in Sublime Text 2 (my editor, and his) because ST2 does autoindenting and so on and that sods you up.

Conveniently, I needed a script to do precisely this for some screencasts I’m about to work on, so I thought: I shall write it as an ST2 plugin. And lo, I have done so. It’s only about 30 lines: in ST2, do Tools > New Plugin, then paste the Python from https://gist.github.com/stuartlangridge/8336771 and save it as TypeFileOut.py in the ST2 User folder (which should be default).

You then need a way of running it: I added a keybinding for it in Preferences > Key Bindings -- User so that file now looks like

[ { "keys": ["ctrl+shift+."], "command": "type_file_out" } ]

so I can press ctrl-shift-fullstop.

What it actually does is: when you run it, it removes all the text in the current editing tab, waits two seconds, and then types it back in, character by character. The two second wait is to give you a cut point for the screencast, so you enter or load the code you want into ST2, then start your screencast showing slides or whatever, switch to ST2, then press ctrl-shift-. and it’ll type the text back in. When you’re editing your screencast, cut the part between switching to ST2 and the 2 second break.

There’s probably a way of packaging this up so other people can download it with a click, but I don’t think I know how to do that.

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Dick Turpin: Free upgrades for life!

Planet WolvesLUG - Thu, 09/01/2014 - 15:47
Me: "You need to make sure you are all running the same version of Office tbh."
Customer: "Yeah but I bet you have to pay for the upgrades?"

Am I really living an an alternate reality?
Categories: LUG Community Blogs

MJ Ray: Request for West Norfolk to Complete the PCC Consultation

Planet ALUG - Thu, 09/01/2014 - 14:19

Please excuse the intrusion to your usual software and co-op news items but vine seems broken and as part of my community and democratic interests, I’d like to share this short clip quoting Norfolk’s Deputy Police Commissioner Jenny McKibben about why Commissioner Stephen Bett believes it’s important to get views from the west of the county about next year’s police budget:

http://www.news.software.coop/wp-content/blogs.dir/6/files/2014/01/depNorfolkPCC-consultation.mp3

Personally, with a King’s Lynn + West Norfolk Bike Users Group hat on, I’d like it if people supported a 2% (£4/year average) tax increase to reduce the police’s funding cut (the grant from gov.uk is being cut by 4%) so that we’re less likely to have future cuts to traffic policing. The consultation details and response form are on the PCC website.

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Jono Bacon: Ask Me Anything on Monday

Planet WolvesLUG - Thu, 09/01/2014 - 02:36

On Monday 13th Jan starting at 6pm UTC (10am Pacific / 1pm Eastern) I will be doing an AMA on Reddit. For those unfamiliar with this – this is where you can ask me anything on Reddit, and the most popular questions and responses are up/down voted.

The post will go live about 30mins before that time so you can start adding questions.

I welcome questions about absolutely anything to do with Ubuntu, Canonical, community management, working in the Open Source industry, writing books, podcasting, free culture, heavy metal, moving from England to America, or anything else. Let’s have some fun!

For those of you who are unfamiliar with my work, I work at Canonical as the Ubuntu Community Manager, I am the author of The Art of Community by O’Reilly, founder of the annual Community Leadership Summit, and have spoken around the world about community leadership and encouraging people to get together to create awesome things.

Outside of my work, I co-founded the Bad Voltage, Lugradio, and Shot Of Jaq podcasts, founded the Creative Commons metal band Severed Fifth, wrote an archive of Creative Commons music, built the BBQ website BBQpad, write for various magazines (Linux Format / Ubuntu User), and have contributed to various Open Source projects.

I will follow up on Twitter/Google+ with a link to the thread when it is published.

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Steve Kemp: Interesting times

Planet HantsLUG - Wed, 08/01/2014 - 17:04

In November I resigned from Bytemark.

In December I started working for a local company, here in Edinburgh, in a real office (rather than working from home).

Unfortunately today I resigned from that new job, meaning I'm currently unemployed.

I plan to take a 1-2 week vacation, then look for another job as a matter of some urgency. (I can live off savings for the next half-year, or so, if I need to, but I'd go crazy if I had nothing to do for that long.)

It is unfortunate to have to resign from a new job after only five-six weeks, but much more honest to do so now than pretend everything was OK and do it at the point I'd passed my probationary period (of three months).

The people were lovely, the office was lovely, the coffee machine was excellent, the work was interesting, but the nature of a large corporate job with the associated beaurocracy made it a less good fit for me than it looked on paper.

I shall pretend that the next week or two of down-time is our honeymoon ;)

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Andrew Savory: Multi media

Planet ALUG - Tue, 07/01/2014 - 22:39

My movie collection is a bit of a mishmash, a bunch of different file formats all sat on a Drobo. In the early days I would create AVI, MKV or MP4 rips of my DVDs depending on how and where I wanted to watch them. Sometimes the rips would be split across multiple files. More recently I just copied the DVD wholesale, for conversion later. As a result, ensuring a consistent set of files to copy onto my phone or tablet is a bit of a pain.

With the arrival of the RaspBMC media server, I decided to clean everything up. Some constraints I set:

  • I want to avoid loss of quality from source material (so no re-encoding if possible, only copying).
  • I should be able to do everything from the command line so it can be automated (manipulating video files can be a slow process even without encoding).
  • I want to combine multiple DVDs where possible for easier viewing.
  • My end goal is to have MKV files for most things.
Here’s what I’ve got working so far. Bug fixes and improvements welcome.

~

AVI files

You can glue AVI files together (concatenate them) and then run mencoder over the joined up file to fix up the indexes:

brew install mplayer cat part1.avi part2.avi > tmp.avi && \ /usr/local/bin/mencoder -forceidx -oac copy -ovc copy tmp.avi -o whole.avi

This forces mencoder to rebuild the index of the avi, which allows players to seek through the file. It encodes with the “copy” audio and video codec, i.e. no encoding, just streamed copying.

~

MKV files

MKV is Matroska, an open source open standard video container format. The process is similar to AVI files, but the mkvmerge tool does everything for you: 

brew install mkvtoolnix /usr/local/bin/mkvmerge -o whole.mkv part1.mkv +part2.mkv

This takes the two parts and joins them together. Again, no re-encoding, just copying.

~

DVD rips

I started using RipIt to back up my DVDs; it can automatically encode DVDs, but once I got my Drobo I opted to keep the originals, so I always have the option to re-encode on a case-by-case basis for the target device without losing the best quality original.

I don’t need to touch most of the DVD copies, but a number of my DVDs are split across several disks, for example Starship Troopers and The Lord of the Rings.

One option would be to encode each DVD at the highest possible quality and then merge the AVI or MKV using the mechanisms above, but I want to avoid encoding if possible.

It turns out that the VOB files on a DVD are just MPEG files (see What’s on a DVD? for more details), so there’s no need to convert to AVI or MP4. We can glue them together as we did with the AVIs, then package them as MKV. The basic method is:

cat *.VOB > movie.vob

The problem is that we need to be selective about the VOB files that are included; there’s no point including DVD menu and setup screen animations, for example. A dirty hack might be to select only the VOB files bigger than a certain threshold size, and just hope that the movie is divided into logical chunks. Something like this, run in a movie directory:

find -s . -name '*.VOB' -size +50M

There’s a catch: the first VOB (vts_XX_0.vob) always contains a menu, so we need to skip those, and we don’t want the menu/copyright message (video_ts.vob):

find -s . \( -iname '*.VOB' ! -iname 'VTS_*_0.VOB' ! -iname 'VIDEO_TS.VOB' \) -size +50M 

We can then use ffmpeg to copy the output of find (a list of our VOB files) into an MKV file. So far we’re assuming we only want the first audio stream (usually English), and I haven’t investigated how best to handle subtitles yet. The command is:

ffmpeg -i - -vcodec copy -acodec copy foo.mkv

There’s a couple of issues with this:

So our final command is:

find -s . \( -iname '*.VOB' ! -iname 'VTS_*_0.VOB' ! -iname 'VIDEO_TS.VOB' \) -size +50M -exec cat {} \; \ | ffmpeg -fflags +genpts -i - -f matroska -vcodec copy -acodec copy -c:s copy foo.mkv

The output should be an mkv file roughly the same size as the constituent .dvdmedia directories. You can test it using mkvinfo foo.mkv, which should output information on the mkv file. For some reason, using ‘file foo.mkv’ does not recognise it as an mkv file, only as data.

~

Putting it all together

Now we know how to handle several individual file formats, we can script the whole process.

The next step is to trawl through a disk full of movies and to normalise them into one format. At this point, we’re well into XKCD territory (The General Problem, and Is It Worth The Time?), so that’s left as an exercise for the reader

~

References

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Tony Whitmore: A message for fans of Sherlock (spoilers!)

Planet HantsLUG - Tue, 07/01/2014 - 21:36

For fans of Sherlock, I’d just like to make it clear that although I am a wedding photographer, I’m not a psycho murderer dude. And I almost never use flash during the daytime. I just do stuff like this…

These photos are from Stuart and Zoe’s fantastic wedding in Greece last autumn. I will be writing more about it soon!

Pin It
Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Dick Turpin: I just knew you'd say that.

Planet WolvesLUG - Tue, 07/01/2014 - 11:18
Prospect: "I've had your email so we must be on your mailing list?" (No shit Sherlock!)
Me: "OK"
Prospect: "I'm interested in three of the Dell i5 machines, I see they are refurbished can you tell me the history of them and what has been done to them?"
Me: "I'm afraid not......................"

Most suppliers have between 20 - 20,000 units they come from all sorts of places and for all sorts of reasons. Some need new parts, some just need a clean and some are in pristine condition and need nothing doing to them. Basically I only trade in Grade A. The machines come into the supplier and are graded, tested and offered for sale with varying lengths of warranty. They don't have time to write a frigging Bio on every unit.

If you want a brand spanking new PC then "Pay the fooking price" if you don't want to pay full whack accept what you are buying then. 

Me: "So three units plus delivery plus VAT is £1285.00"
Prospect: "OK let me just look at that and come back to you."

Now how did I know you was going to say that?
Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Jono Bacon: Ubuntu Loco Team App Dev Schools – Volunteers Needed!

Planet WolvesLUG - Mon, 06/01/2014 - 23:37

2014 is going to be a great year for Ubuntu App Developers. We laid down some fantastic foundations in 2013, but this year we want to extend and grow our community in multiple directions…building a solid, empowered on-ramp for creating awesome apps for Ubuntu.

…but we can’t do this alone, we need your help!

One effort here is to work with our fantastic LoCo Team Community to run a series of Ubuntu App Developer schools across the world. We have one of the greatest advocacy communities anywhere, so this seems like a perfect match.

Fortunately, David Planella has already created some awesome slides and a good tutorial that these schools can work from (he did this for a previous event), and we are here to help provide help and guidance about how to run an event.

As such, we are looking for volunteers to run a local Ubuntu App Dev school in your area. Doing this is as simple as:

  • Find a place to run an event and pick a date when to run it.
  • Find some other folks in your LoCo who would be interested in helping.
  • Get the material and tune it for your event if needed.
  • Promote the event locally and encourage people to join.
  • Practice the material a few times before the big day, then show up, run the class and have fun.
  • Take lots of pictures!

The last step is really important as we would like to create a montage of the events.

So, if you are interested in participating, send me an email to jono@ubuntu.com and mention which LoCo team you are part of and where you would run the event, and lets make the magic happen!

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Meeting at "The Moon Under Water"

Wolverhampton LUG News - Mon, 06/01/2014 - 09:31


53-55 Lichfield St
Wolverhampton
West Midlands
WV1 1EQ

Eat, Drink and talk Linux

Event Date and Time:  Wed, 08/01/2014 - 19:30 - 23:00
Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Steve Kemp: A beginning is a very delicate time.

Planet HantsLUG - Mon, 06/01/2014 - 08:30

Recently I wrote about docker, after a brief diversion into using runit for service management, I then wrote about it some more.

I'm currently setting up a new PXE-boot environment which uses docker for serving DHCP and TFTPD, which is my first "real" usage of any note. It is fun, although I now discover I'm not alone in using docker for this purpose.

Otherwise life is good, and my blog-spam detection service recently broke through the 11 million-rejected-comment barrier. The Wordpress Plugin is seeing a fair amount of use, which is encouraging - but more reviews would be nice ;)

I could write about work, I've not done that since changing job, but I'm waiting for something disruptive to happen first..

ObQuote: Dune. (film)

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Adam Trickett: Bog Roll: Dithering

Planet HantsLUG - Sun, 05/01/2014 - 14:52

My desktop boxen are getting on. Over a year ago I started to think about replacing at least one of them: Twin Dilema. The boxen are even older now, really feeling the strain and I've still not done anything about it...

This autumn I ripped the hard-disk out of an old Sky+ box I had, and put that into my desktop PC. It is faster and larger than the original drive and as a result has bought some life back into my PC. However the writing is on the wall and it will need replacing this year.

Since I last thought about this, I have managed to get the gas boiler replaced and have the ancient windows done. That did cost a fortune, a lot more than the £1k of a decent desktop, but I will get some of that back in reduced energy bills. It looks like a ~ 10% reduction at the moment. If you assume a 10% annual energy inflation that adds up to a total saving over 30 years of around £16.5k which covers the cost of the boiler but not the windows and doors.

Categories: LUG Community Blogs
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