Converting video files from one format to another has always been a pain. You’re dealing with large files, tons of different formats and software that offers more settings than mere mortals can possibly comprehend. Programs like Handbrake work well and offer useful presets, but Miro Video Converter goes one step futher. It offers the simplest possible user interface, making transcoding as easy as it possible can.
More Miro Video Converter strips it down to the basics
I’m writing this post hoping it’ll save someone the trouble I went through last night. After I’d installed my new Linksys E4200 router yesterday, all of my gadgets connected to it as expected, except one. My wife’s HP Compaq Presario C700 laptop would connect, it accepted the WPA2 passphrase, but connectivity would be limited to “local only”. I assumed it was having trouble connecting to the new wireless-n network, so I tried to see if there was a driver update for the Compaq’s Atheros network card. And thus, I entered the incomprehensible maze called hp.com…
More Quick tip: Atheros AR5007 wifi and Linksys routers
Influential dutch technology website Webwereld recently posted an opinion piece in which the author outlines the VLC/Apple App Store situation. As you may know, a video player based on VLC popped up in Apple’s iOS app store a while ago, only to be removed a little while later. Unfortunately, the author of the the article, Job Spijker, had the whole thing backwards. He argued that people involved in open source software should “get with the program” and jump on the App Store bandwagon. Thankfully, this can never happen.
More Why VLC will never be in the iOS App Store
Just look at the image below. The left version is the bottom right corner of my Chrome browser window (version 8.0). This logo appears on every new empty tab, and I can’t help but wonder why Google didn’t spend 15 seconds making it look nicer. The version to the right literally took that long to make. I added a little padding, made it more subtle and changed the way the text aligns with the logo.
Looks much better, doesn’t it? I think it went from “Hey, there’s room for a logo there” to “all this awesomeness os powered by Chrome”. If I were a company trying to promote a new browser, I’d try to get these things right. And it’s not like they can’t afford it, right?
Last week, I finally switched my main work PC from Vista to Windows 7. Installation was easy enough, and I really enjoy the subtle improvements in 7. One thing I’m not too fond of is the Windows 7 artwork. The default wallpaper is a little too bright and blue for my taste, and while you can easily change it once logged in, it persists on the logon screen.
I know this is a minor gripe, it takes only seconds to log in, but it turns out there’s a really easy way to fix it. There are plenty of guides to be found online that walk you through the neccesary registry tweaks, but there’s really no need to get your hands wet. Tweaks.com offers a very easy to use utility that lets you change the logon screen wallpaper in a few clicks. No need to install, simply run the executable, select an image and go.
I don’t make a habit out of “reblogging” or linkdumping, but since a lot of WordPress people seem to be finding their way to my blog, I wanted to write about this. I got an email regarding a new WordPress plugin called BlogPress SEO this morning. Normally, I would have considered reviewing it, but fortunately I’d already read Joost de Valk’s review-of-sorts. And so should you. BlogPress SEO is spam. It’s a link farm, and goes against every rule Google and other search engines have about linking. Read all about it on yoast.com.
I was approached by Mastiware, a new game development studio founded by four French students, to take a look at their first game, “Joe the Worm – Escape or Die”. As a casual gamer, currently hooked om a poorly made but very addictive Bust-a-Move clone on the iPod Touch, I’m absolutely not a gaming expert. But I decided to take a look anyway, and now I wish I hadn’t.
In “Joe”, your task is to keep a little worm alive. this wouldn’t be very hard if not for two complicating factors. First, Joe is very hungry. You need to point it to fruit scattered around the screen. But at the same time you have to keep him away from two intersecting “beams” that move across the screen randomly. This means our little worm is either constantly hungry, or in risk of serious harm. Fortunately, there are several powerups, which you get when you complete a “recipe”. Certain combinations of fruits unlock things like increased speed, or the ability to stop the beams temporarily.
More Helping Joe the Worm escape is not easy
I’ve been following the development of Google’s Chrome OS for a while now, and have played around with some of the early builds that have been floating around online. It’s well on its way to becoming a stable and usable operating system, but I’ve been getting the feeling recently that it may have been been surpassed by that other Google OS, Android. Especially since Android comes with a very good browser.
More Does Chrome OS still make sense?
There’s been a lot of controversy over Apple’s decision to ban Flash (and Java for that matter) from the iPhone since the day it was released. Now, with the iPad about to hit retail, there’s been more debate on whether this was a technical decision or not, and whether it’s a severe limitation for the devices, or a blessing. Being both a Flash developer, an iPhone OS user an open source advocate, I thought I’d weigh in on the conversation.
Before I get started though, let me point out that I’m not a fan of Flash. I think it’s a real shame that there’s no open, official standard that lets web designers do the things Flash can. Adobe has the web in an awkward stranglehold right now, and I’d love to see that change. But the reality is that Flash is an integral part of the web today.
More My thoughts on Flash and the iPad
It’s been a while since I blogged about Chrome OS. Things have been pretty quiet around the Google-supported operating system for netbooks and tablets. But Hexxeh, a 17(!) year old developer who’s been supplying pre-built versions of the OS for a while now, released an new version yesterday, and it’s a lot more polished than earlier builds. It boots in seconds and runs pretty smoothly for a pre-alpha OS. If you’re curious about Chrome OS, this is the perfect opportunity to give it a try.
Not only is the ‘Flow‘ build very easy to use, there are complete setup instructions as well. The OS is installed on a USB stick or an SD card (provided your target computer has a card reader it can boot from). It runs off of that drive, so nothing is left behind on the computer’s hard drive. Simply take out the SD card and boot up to get back to Windows or whatever you were using before.