Archive for the ‘software’ Category

Converting video for my DVD player

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

The movies i shoot with my digital camera have to be converted to play on my TV using my DVD player (using the USB functionionality of the DVD player).
My DVD player accepts video encoded in DivX and audio in MP3. The movies shot by my digital camera are encoded using Motion JPEG and the audio is PCM (yes even PCM is not supported!)

Digital camera output format

Digital camera output format

To convert the video to DivX and MP3 i use the following tools:

Before converting make sure the DivX codec is installed.

Converting video’s is done in two steps:

  1. Converting the audio to MP3
  2. Converting the video to DivX

This could be done with VirtualDub only but for some reason i could not encode the audio to MP3 (using the default Fraunhofer MP3 codec which is installed on Windows). I also tried the Lame MP3 codec without results. The codecs show up when you select the audio compression but you have to check the ‘show all formats’ checkbox to see the different output modes.  If they don’t show up without checking it (in my case), encoding will not work.

I have installed WinFF, which is a frontend for ffmpeg but also installs ffmpeg.

The first step in decoding is converting the audio to MP3. This is done using ffmpeg on the commandline:

C:\Program Files\WinFF>ffmpeg.exe -i input.avi -vcodec copy -acodec libmp3lam
e -ar 11025 output.avi

This will convert the audio to MP3 with a output sample rate of 11.025KHz (the same as in the input file) and will not touch the video stream (just copy it).

After that start up VirtualDub and open the video file  (File->open).
VirtualDub might give a warning that the audio has a variable bitrate. If it does we will also rewrite the MP3 stream. First we are going to change the video codec. Make sure that Video -> Full Processing Mode is selected. After that go to Video -> Compression…

A popup will apear with the video compression options.
Select DivX Codec from the list. To change any options, click configure.
In my case this was not nessesary. Finally click OK.

VirtualDub Video Compression Options

VirtualDub Video Compression Options

If VirtualDub gave a warning that the audio has a variable bitrate we also change the audio.

Make sure Audio -> Full Processing Mode is selected (not by default).

Click Audio – > Compression…

A popup will apear with a list of codecs. Select ‘MPEG Layer 3′ and select one of the output formats in the list at the right. Hit OK when done.

VirtualDub Audio Compression Options

VirtualDub Audio Compression Options

Now we can start converting the file.

Click File -> Save as AVI… and start converting…

Result after converting

Result after converting

Nokia 6100 display driver (PCF8833 controller) for XMOS processors

Friday, December 25th, 2009

I have created a driver for the Nokia 6100 (knockoff) display using the NXP PCF8833 controller.
This driver is targeted at the XMOS processor architecture.
This driver is largely based on Jamie P. Lynch’s driver.

For more information and downloading the project see my project page on XCore Exchange, the community for XMOS processor enthusiasts.


Color test

Real-time Minix 3

Friday, December 25th, 2009

I’ve been working on a real-time Minix 3 distribution as i have posted about a while ago.

The results of this project can be found on the following website:

In short the following was accomplished:

  • Rate-Monotonic scheduling
  • Earliest Deadline First scheduling
  • Run-time switching of real-time scheduler
  • Prioritized message passing
  • Semaphores

Running Minix 3 on a Neoware Neostation 3000

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

I’ve installed Minix 3 on my Neoware Neostation 3000.

My Neostation 3000 is equiped with a 233MHz AMD Geode processor, 32MB SD-RAM in the SO-DIMM slot, one normal SD-RAM DIMM which was empty during installation ,one IDE interface and RTL8139 network chip (which is supported by Minix). Installing an Operating System on the Neostation is less easy than on a regular PC.  First it does not have a build-in optical drive, but it does have an IDE interface. According to this site the Neostation has problems with two devices on the IDE interface. So you can’t connect both a harddrive and an optical drive at the same time. My ‘harddrive’ is a 4GB Transcend Compact Flash card connected to a CF->IDE converter. I’ve connected my CF card with the converter on an other machine and installed Minix from an optical drive. At the installation i choose to use the RTL8139 card even though my system does not have one. After installation it might hang for a while on not finding the ethernet card but you can skip it by pressing control+c. After the installation was done i’ve removed the CF card and put it in the Neostation and it works fine. I’ve put 256MB extra RAM in the free DIMM slot but onfortunately it only supports 128MB per slot, so only 128MB is usable.  Some other ways to consider installing an OS on the neostation is using an USB drive or copying the image to your drive using an other system.

Neostation 3000 with a Transcend 4GB 133x card on an CF->IDE converter

Neostation 3000 with a Transcend 4GB 133x card on an CF->IDE converter

We don't want a short-circuit do we?

We don't want a short-circuit do we?

Perfboard design software

Monday, February 9th, 2009

When creating a perfboard design you sometimes want to plan out where to place components and wires before you start with it. Doing this on the old way with pen and paper is frustrating. I have found 2 applications in which you can design your perfboard: DIY Layout Creator and Lochmaster.

DIY Layout Creator is free and is java based so it should run on most operating systems.

Lochmaster is not free, you can download a demo to evaluate lochmaster (The demo has limitations.)

One of the most important features of such an application is the abbility to define your own components. Components are safed in .xml format in DIY Layout Creator. There is no tool available to create components. Thus creating new components in DIY Layout Creator is. Lochmaster has some limited capabillity to create new components. I did this by breaking an existing component in parts and modify it. After i’m done with that i can generate a new component to safe my modifications.

Due to the lack of creating components in DIY Layout Creator i have chosen to use Lochmaster.

One of my results:

OpenLaserFrag sensor node in Lochmaster

OpenLaserFrag sensor node in Lochmaster


OpenLaserFrag sensor node implementation on perfboard

Running MOH:AA on recent nVidia cards

Friday, December 26th, 2008

I have tried several times to run MOH:AA the last couple of years and it always crashed and returned to the desktop immediately. The difference with my old system on which i used to play mohaa is newer hardware and newer Windows XP (XP no SP -> SP2) The problem seems to be related to the graphics driver. I found the following solution:

Install nHancer.

Run nHancer and let it scan your PC.

I’m not sure if this is enough.

I also clicked tools -> write all profiles to registry.

At least make sure ExtLimit is 11a8.



White wallpaper after malware infection

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

I’ve got infected by some malware yesterday that also changed my wallpaper (Windows XP machine).
After removing the malware i couldn’t change my wallpaper.
I had the following symptoms:

  • Can’t change wallpaper, it stays white.
  • The icons on the desktop are blue shadowed and the text underneath the icons have a blue background.
  • You can’t click on the icons itself, only the text underneath the icon.

I was looking for the problem in the registry but couldn’t find it.

The fix is surprisingly simple:

  • right click on your desktop and select ‘properties’.
  • Select the ‘Desktop’ tab.
  • Click on the ‘Customize Desktop…’ button. A new popup window opens called ‘Desktop Items’.
  • Select the ‘Web’ tab.
  • Make sure the ‘Privacy Protection’ option is not checked.
  • Click on ok. The window will close and click on apply settings on the properties window.