Debian GNU/Linux [FSF Associate Member]
bye bye delicious
mercoledì, 02 febbraio 2011

And so the time came for another change.

I liked delicious, I used it, I told friends about it and finally I'm leaving it after many reported Yahoo! is shutting it down.

I looked for alternatives and I choose pinboard. It's easy to export bookmarks from delicious and into pinboard, it offers delicious v1 APIs, some added features and obviously also misses something. Fortunately nothing I care about, though.

Part of my switch over was updating this site's recent bookmarks and tag cloud from delicious' javascripts (v2 API) to pinboard's v1. I took the chance to learn something new and wrote everything in php, hopefully also making the whole process faster, since now it's the hosting Internet band being used, not the client's one.

###TAGS### en blog social bookmarks browsing php coding
CLI task management
mercoledì, 15 dicembre 2010

task management is something everyone does, I never found an easy and consistent way to do it, though

what I usually miss the most is quick access to the most recent data, everywhere I am, mostly at home and in the office.

usually I do everything I can in a CLI environment, in side screen on my home server, so I just need an ssh client and I'm few keypresses away from everything in there; therefore I've been waiting for a CLI tool to manage tasks and here it is: task warrior

setting up a consistent enviromnent was not hard work:

  • wanted version 1.9.3 (the latest) because it supports task dependencies and remote syncronization, so installed it in squeeze directly from sid (no problem) and backported it to lenny (just rebuilt the package)
  • configured task to my taste, using ~/.task as data path to have it consistent across intallations
  • tried remote sync and had no luck so turned to unison
  • cooked my own holidays file to have those show up in calendar view
  • setup a couple bash aliases to get a fresh task and calendar view the fastest I can
  • started to follow task warrior on identi.ca

the result looks good to me: a CLI app that goes by the name of "task" which can do some powerful management and with a steep learning curve

next stop, task warrior on the neo freerunner!

###TAGS### en cli tools data
compression tests
venerdì, 03 dicembre 2010

compressing large files is a time-consuming task and when it turns out the compressed file size is not much smaller than the original, the question whether it's worth the effort or not can be difficult to answer, especially with nowadays ever-growing storage availability

lrzip to the rescue! we no longer need to trade time for space. oh well, not as much as we used to :)

the idea is to find long-distance redundancy first and only afterwords compressing with a traditional tool, increasing overall speed and compression ratio. another brilliant idea by Con Kolivas!

I ran some tests, comparing time and size of the same file (a 1.8GB VirtualBox snapshot) compressed by gzip, bzip2, lzma and lrzip. every tool has been tested with default values and with maximum compression settings. lrzip uses lzma by default, but can optionally be used with LZO/gzip/bzip2/ZPAQ as second stage compression. it can even be told to just do stage one, which yields interesting results on its own! unfortunately ZPAQ compression (albeit running for an hour before failing) didn't complete, so I can't represent this super-slow method side-by-side with the other ones

below is a brief report about my findings, enjoy!

###TAGS### en compression
mercoledì, 24 novembre 2010

here's another one, this time squeezing some more frames out of xplanet :)

last time the idea was seeing the earth revolve for a full day with a fixed viewpoint, now the viewpoint moves, it's on the moon and there's time for a full moon phase, because this video covers the entire month of November! being a month such a long time-frame I put the huge frame count (8640) to use and accelerated the video using a 60fps frame-rate, enjoy the smooth playback! (fuck the crappy 25fps PAL)

november on the moon

by chance, the chosen time-frame contains a little added value and it's Mars passing by, so I realized a close-up on that moment with a slow-motion (10fps) render

mars passing-by in slow-motion
###TAGS### en nature
venerdì, 12 novembre 2010

yesterday I was tweaking my xplanet setup (I use it to update my wallpaper every 10 minutes) and I finally took the time to setup a bump-map (terrain elevation), a spec-map (ocean/land sunlight reflection) and a cloud-map (updated every three hours or so)

when I was done with the new wallpaper settings, I decided to put the new setup to some more use and make a video of yesterday's sun trip around earth (yes, it's not the earth moving, can't you see?!?)

so I created a dedicated config file, switched cloud-map off (it would have been static, I don't keep track of past cloud-maps) and started rendering the earth every 5 minutes

for HOUR in `seq -w 00 23`; do for MINUTE in `seq -w 00 5 55`; do xplanet -config customearth-noclouds -geometry 1280x1024 -num_times 1 -longitude 13 -latitude 46 -output suntrip/xplanet-${HOUR}${MINUTE}.png -fov 0,13 -label -date 20101111.${HOUR}${MINUTE}00; done; done

next step was making a video out of it and imagemagick (convert to jpeg), ffmpeg (mjpeg input video codec) and a bit of bash glue (naming jpegs sequentially) did the trick

here it is!

the result
###TAGS### en nature
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