Using YouTube to Transcode Videos to DASH on the Command Line


The YouTube Logo

This is part of my redecentralisation efforts to liberate my videos from YouTube. MPEG-DASH is a simple method of streaming videos which doesn't require any specialised server software. You convert a high resolution video into a series of smaller resolution videos. You chop each of the videos up into several chunks. As the video plays, […] Read More

Previewing Circular Avatars


The same photo - but with a red circular guideline superimposed

Play with the demo I was lucky enough to go to Number 10 Downing Street for a meeting a few weeks ago. A perfect opportunity for a photo of me by that famous door. Being the vain man that I am, I wanted to set it as my avatar photo. But Twitter and other social […] Read More

Fixing Broken Zip Files from Bandcamp - File name too long


Amy Pond, from the TV show Doctor Who, is strapped into a chair. She is saying "OK, kid, This is where where it gets complicated"

I recently downloaded an album from Bandcamp. On trying to extract the zip file using Ubuntu, I got the error "File name too long." This is a known problem with Bandcamp. If you have a problem with long filenames in zip files, here's how to fix it. Quick Solution unzip -p -c whatever.zip "filename.ogg" > […] Read More

Amazon Alexa and Solar Panels


A listing of every possible subject object verb combination

I can now query my solar panels via my Alexa Amazon Dot Echo thingie (why so many names?). I flatter myself as a reasonably competent techie and programmer, but fuck me AWS Lambdas and Alexa skills are a right pile of shite! Sorry if that sounds a bit harsh, but they're a pain in the […] Read More

Converting filenames to Title Case in Linux


A cute penguin - the official mascot of Linux

Here's a simple bash one-liner to convert mixed-case filenames into Title Case: rename 's/(\S+)/\u\L$1/g' * This forces the file extension to lower-case as well. Use rename -n to test the command without changing anything on the filesystem. (Adapted from this PerlMonks FAQ.) Background I have a bunch of inconsistently named files like: HERE COMES THE […] Read More

Sort Folders Into Alphabetic Sub-Folders


A cute penguin - the official mascot of Linux

Scratching my own itch. I have a bunch of directories which I want moved into alphabetic sub-directories. This is handy is you have a bunch of MP3s, books, or other catalogued files. This bash script moves a top level directory (and all the files and subdirectories under it), to a folder based on the (upper-case) […] Read More

Add date metadata to MP4 videos


A cute penguin - the official mascot of Linux

As ever, notes to myself. I hope you appreciate this future me! Photographs often contain EXIF metadata - really useful for finding out when a photo was taken. It turns out that you can add similar metadata to MP4 format videos. Here's how to do it with ffmpeg on Ubuntu Linux. The magic option is […] Read More

Replacing IFTTT - Part 1: RSS & Tumblr


I've grown to loath IFTTT. What started out as a cool way to plug internet things together has being an opaque an uncommunicative company with no real interest in customer service. That's not surprising, I suppose, its paying customers are the companies who can't be bothered to develop a proper API and so just shove […] Read More