Xine performance

Now playing with Gentoo as my latest Linux of choice (I got fed up with RPM dependancy problems, and Gentoo being source-based solves my other issue with binary-based distributions, where I felt like a 2nd-class citizen when using or accessing source code).

So, I’ve got Xine working, but can only use shared memory for the video decoding. This is great if I want to capture screen shots, but not for high-speed movies such as The Matrix, or even just reading the credits on The Lord of the Ring. So need to “fix” the performance.

I used to have Mandrake running v4l + xv, but I can’t have installed it right in Gentoo because, although xv is loaded, the performance is glacial if I try to use it.

I found this old How-to with some advice to try… but I might also want to look at the FAQ…. probably I haven’t built something into the kernel.

Also while reading around, I discovered Mplayer. This looks like it’s worth a download…

“Get into the habbit of reading source docs”

The great thing about Linux is that all the definitive documentation (including the source code) comes with the OS.

You know, I’m finding that for a lot of the “beginner” linux distro’s, this is not true. Yes, the source is available but it doesn’t come with the OS.

Granted, not everyone wants to fill their harddrives with source tarballs or SRPMs on the off chance they might want to read them, but only a few distro’s I know come with source, and those are not necessarily for noob’s. the main example that comes to mind is Gentoo (since it’s a “ports”-like distribution). This is not to wax lyrical on the benefits of Gentoo for learning Linux (Gentoo has many weaknesses in that regard too, among its inappropriateness as a general OS for noob’s), just that it’s the only one I’ve found where the source comes with the OS.

Other distro’s with source “available” are Debian and Fedora (on extra CDs you have to download, and Fedora locks the source into SRPMs which is another learning hurdle to leap over, especially bad if all you want to do is read the source comments, or documentation not included in the binary RPM). It makes me feel like a 2nd-class citizen, that the source is somehow “open” but you have to know the secret handshake to get at it.

All of this, just to say: while reading source docs is a laudable habbit and I share your wish to encourage it, I can also see how it is difficult for most Linux noob’s to form this habbit so long as the source doesn’t actually come with the OS, which for a great many distro’s it does not. The extra steps to download (and in many cases extract from SRPMs) the source are probably enough of a deterrent to forming this habbit.

unfortunately, hacker habbits require hacker motivation 😦


Flickr looks pretty cool. I’ve set up a profile in it: username sinewalker74 (which required a Yahoo! profile of the same name). So far, so good.

I found out about it on the Blogger help pages. Apparently they work well together, so it should be a good place for putting baby photos in for family to see. But I couldn’t figure out how to make a link to the actual .JPG files in Flickr after you upload them. So things like my Blogger profile pic have to be stored on my ISP web site. Maybe I should look into fixing my ISP web site too.

Blogging on blogging

Well it’s been a little while…

I’ve set up a new blog to trace our new baby’s progress for family and friends who are interstate. It was fun playing with the template, I might try “fixing” this blog’s template also, so the width is not fixed…

Having fun trying to find relevant links in the other blog. Not a lot out there that I could find on fatherhood, which surprised me. Maybe I need to search harder though.

“Cyber” security

I wish USA would stop calling it “cyber security”. It’s just stupid. The word “cyber” was coined by AI researchers for the ability of computers to interact with humans, either via a human interface, or by acting human. Later, it turned more towards embedding computers into humans as a form of prosthetic (a la “$6 millon man”) or to build composite computer-humans (cyborg).

Lately I think the US “cyber security” push has one of these aims:

  • To control cyborg’s access to the net?
  • To curb “cyberterrorism” — the attack on America by those cyborgs?
  • To promote safe use of teledildonics within federal agencies, a sort of “Monica Lewinsky” protocol aimed at avoiding future political embarrasments.

Obviously, the most likely of these is the third aim… 😉