lunes, 29 de enero de 2018

Fun with Video, DVDs, and More

These past weeks I've been using an interesting list of tools for video editing, DVD authoring, DVD burning, and more.

It all started when I wanted to make some videos.  I learned how to use Openshot.

Then, I used HandBrake to add subtitles and then transcode the video I had made.

Later, DVDStyler was in charge of creating the DVD.

I had a problem burning it, though.  DVDStyler told me everything was fine, but the DVD would not play. 

Thus, I used that application to make an .iso image instead.  My plan was to burn it using something different.  I chose K3B to burn the iso image into a DVD.

The disc worked on my laptop, using VLC to play the video.  I still have to play it on a real DVD player, though.

I am glad that when I hit a wall, there was always another tool to help me continue going.

viernes, 29 de diciembre de 2017

Video editing, Open Source, and Community

This year my job kept me away from the developing cycle of MX Linux 17.  When I realized, the new release was already available.

I installed it in my ThinkPenguin laptop because the latest Ubuntu did not play nicely with it.  To me, that was quite a shock since that laptop went from Yakkety Yak to Zeisty Zapus without problems, but Artful Aarvark was another story.

MX-17 ran almost perfectly.  The only problem I saw was OpenShot; when trying to render animated titles, the video editor kept asking for a blender version 2.62 or up.  That was a requirement that my system met (it has 2.78a), but Openshot threw the obnoxious "No frame was found in the output from Blender" error.

I tried several fixes from different forums to no avail.  Then, I asked for help in MX forums, but nobody seemed to have a solution.

Then, I went to the page of OpenShot and downloaded an appimage of Openshot 2.4.1.   It worked flawlessly!

Thus, I went to MX forums and told them about Openshot 2.4.1, hoping to help other people in the future.

Ah, but I had forgotten the community sense that distinguishes Linux and particularly MX users and developers.  One of the lead developers asked me "Do you want to place a package request for Openshot 2.4.1?"

I did it and in about a day, the great packaging team had the new version of the video editor!  I downloaded it from the repos and it does everything without any problem.

It's great to see how people help each other in the community of free software.

Thanks a lot!

viernes, 15 de diciembre de 2017

MX-17 Horizon Is Here!!!

I installed MX-17 (Horizon) today and, in fact, I'm using it to post this entry.

The installation process was simple and quick.  I did notice that the icons became flat, following the new trends...

Interestingly, after installing, some updates popped up and I applied them right away.  Then, I did notice that I could not unmount the live USB and that my other partitions were out of reach.  Of course, one of the updates was MX-system.  I could not turn the system off and had to do a hard reboot.

I had no problems with GRUB.  All my other partitions were there, by the way.

Upon logging in again, the problems I had were gone.  ^__^

Then, I realized I had no sound.  Well, that has been pretty consistent with every distro I install on this old 32-bit system (by the way, thanks to the devs for still giving us a 32-bit distro!), thus I knew what to do:  opening a terminal and typing "alsamixer" to uncheck the "auto-mute" option.  That gave me sound.

But then, I realized that YouTube videos were soundless, too.  After a short fiddling with the mixer settings, I enabled sound on YouTube.  No big deal, really.

So far, those are the only issues I've seen.  Actually, I'm impressed by the big amount of improvements and new tools they've added.  MX-17 seems to follow the path of great performance and constant improvement that has characterized it from the start.  I'm eager to test it in more demanding environments.  

viernes, 24 de noviembre de 2017

Hello, Artful Aardvark!

Yesterday, I booted my Zeisty Zapus Ubuntu on my ThinkPenguin laptop with the intention to play a Steam game.  I was greeted by the software updates notification.  It asked me if I wanted to upgrade to the new Ubuntu version.

Since I had upgraded in the past from Yakkety Yak, the laptop's original Ubuntu, to Zeisty Zapus without any issues, I decided to go for the newest release.

It took a while to download.  That was not a surprise, considering the quantity of new packages that were to be installed.  When the upgrade finished, I rebooted and was greeted by a login screen.  Interesting, previously, Ubuntu got to the desktop automatically.  Artful Aarvark seemed to bring a couple of changes, judging by that.

After logging in, I realized that Unity had been replaced by Gnome.  Well, I'm not a particular fan of either, so that was OK with me.

Apparently, everything works.  I need to test it more carefully, but I don't have much time currently as I am totally swamped with work and actually, the game I originally wanted to play was to keep my sanity.  Unfortunately, I could not play because I ran out of time, but I can play with my new Ubuntu later.

lunes, 9 de octubre de 2017

Linux Mint Spotted! (and How Many Septembers can there Be?)

Yesterday, I went to visit a little museum-market of aboriginal handcrafts.  I was amazed at the variety of items that aboriginal groups of my country had there.  I bought a shirt and several other crafts.

When I went to pay, I noticed that the computer was running LibreOffice's Calc.  Nice!

Then, upon further observation, I discovered that the PC was fueled by Linux Mint!  WOW!  (See?  Linux is FIT for business! :P)

I'll be buying from them again!  ^__^

By the way, if you read my entry about September's marketshare and the interesting (and little commented) change in the figures, I have more news:  Netmarketshare changed their numbers AGAIN!

Now Windows 10 has a solid 29% and Linux has gone down to 3%.  And you  can still see the disclaimer about the lack of reliability of those figures.

Really, 3 different figures for September?  How many Septembers could there be in a year?

And why aren't we hearing anything about this?

I'm glad that we are talking about honorable companies, otherwise one could suspect the worst.  Right?

domingo, 1 de octubre de 2017

September's Market Share: Windows 10 Drops, Linux Doubles and Is above Mac OSX

According to Netmarketshare, apparently, September was a bad month in terms of market share for Windows 10.  It dropped from 27.99% in August to 25.51%.   Windows 7 didn't do well, either.  It went down from 48.43% to 45.62%.  Windows 8 and 8.1 also saw reductions.

Mac OSX 10.12, however, went up from 3.59% to 4.11%.

And Linux?  Linux had seen a first time increase to 3.37% in August.  How about September?

I almost fell off my chair:  GNU/Linux DOUBLED its market share to a whooping 6.91%!  That means it went above Windows 8.1 and MacOS X 10.12.

Now, will Microsoft-friendly "tech journalists" trumpet this as they used to do all the time?

Or will Netmarketshare say it was another mistake?

I'll wait to see how they handle this.


Now I know how they handled that.  Netmarketshare silently corrected its figures.  With the new figures, Windows losses don't seem so bad and Linux is not the 3rd popular operating system anymore.

The report comes with a disclaimer that it has not been reviewed by Quality Assurance.  Nice!  Something seems fishy here.  But maybe it is all just a conspiracy theory. After all, we are talking about honorable companies and no tech reporter seemed to realize about the issue, much less write about it.

jueves, 21 de septiembre de 2017

Maybe I should Go Back to Windows...

I noticed that lately I haven't been blogging as I used to back in 2010, when my Linux adventure started.

I've witnessed incredible changes.  Windows has actually started trying to imitate Linux, and Linux has been trying to imitate Windows.

MS Office is trying hard to keep its user base while LibreOffice is increasing its number of users... and the later is also trying to imitate MS Office (Yuk! The hideous ribbon!)

I've literally seen lots of cases in which the great Windows 10 has failed miserably (to run, to enable video/sound, to connect to the Web), along with MS Office being unable to open documents made with other versions of MS Office (and then humble LibreOffice comes to the rescue).

I've seen other people using Ubuntu in a professional environment without any hassle...

All that has been very interesting.

Still, something troubles me.

All these years using Linux (my initial distro is well dead now, along with many other I liked the most) have shown me something about myself.

As a Linux user, I totally suck.

Let me say it again.  I suck.

And I suck big time!

Seven years using Linux and I still don't have a clue using the CLI!

I remember the days when I started.  I knew nothing.  All my Power User Super Windows Guru Knowledge was utterly useless.  I had to learn from scratch.  And each day, I kept repeating to myself: "Don't worry.  You'll pick up the pace pretty soon.  Next year you'll be a Linux power user" (because a Linux guru was and still is way out of my league).

A year went by and I did not become a power user.

"Maybe next year,"  I thought.

One more year passed.  I told myself the same:  "Surely next year!"

No dice.  Is that what the Linux year really means?

How come I am a perpetual newbie??

And on top of that, the penguin is running so well these days that I on the verge of forgetting the few tricks I managed to learn!  What a shame!!

I feel so bored!  My desktop computer has been running for months without being turned off and the only changes I see are the different DEs I log into not to die of boredom.

Meanwhile.  I hear that Windows users are getting all the fun.

Since I suck as a Linux user, maybe I should go back to Windows after all.

I'll think about it.