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

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

Converting RAR to ZIP in Linux


A partially open zip on some denim clothing

As ever, mostly notes to myself. RAR is a silly and proprietary format. I prefer free software and I find that ZIP files are smaller and decompress faster. Not everyone agrees, and that's fine. Assuming you've downloaded a RAR file and want to convert it to ZIP, what's the easiest way? Install P7Zip sudo apt-get […] Read More

Reducing the filesize of complex 3D .OBJ models


Reducing model complexity.

Loading large 3D Models in the browser is extremely resource intensive. 2D images are trivial to resize and resample with negligible loss of perceived quality. 3D resizing is complex. As part of my "Pirate Museum" I wanted to display 3D scans of statues using WebVR. The only problem is, these files are huge. Take The […] Read More

BMW *are* complying with the GPL


The good news follow-up rarely gets as much attention as the original bad-news story. Earlier this month I accidentally kicked off a minor kerfuffle over whether BMW was respecting the GPL. Their i3 car contains a huge amount of Open Source Software and there was some confusion as to BMW's compliance with the licence terms. […] Read More

Cheap BlueTooth Buttons and Linux


Selfie sticks - like most modern inventions - are utter tosh. But they've rapidly brought down the price of Bluetooth buttons. So who am I to complain? Let's take the venerable AB Shutter 3 - You can find it on Amazon for around £2 including postage - or around $2 on AliExpress. Frankly, that's stupidly […] Read More