Friday, July 24, 2009

Watermark your Videos

fsp:Creative Series

Have you ever wanted to watermark your video with your name or company or whatever? I mean like how YouTube stamps its logo an all videos, it is easy that I thought. I have been working on it for a good one hour and guess what it works and its not rocket science, even I can do it.

Platform: the tools used
  • platform: Ubuntu Jaunty (9.04)
  • media player: mplayer
  • image editor: gimp
  • watermarking tool: ffmpeg using the vhook library
NOTE: The default ffmpeg on the Ubuntu repository does not have vhook enabled. You may have get the source code and compile it with vhook enabled.

Compiling ffmpeg
  1. Download the ffmpeg
  2. Untar it: tar jxfv ffmpeg-xx.xx.tar.bz2
  3. Get into the untared folder: cd ffmpeg-xx.xx/

  4. Configure with the vhook enabled: ./configure --enable-gpl --enable-nonfree --enable-vhook. Run ./configure --help to get a full list of options. NOTE: the . in the commands above is part of the command, so put it there.
  5. Compile and Install: make && make install
  6. vhook files will be located in the /usr/local/lib/vhook
Ingredients: the verges and spices
  • video to be watermarked:
  • the image to watermark the video. NOTE: the image background must be of color: #808080 and of the same size as the video.
Creating the watermarking images
  1. Play the video from the console/terminal to get the size of the video: mplayer thetrain.mpg
  2. Read the size of the video from the info displayed when mplayer loads the video, see the image below.
  3. So the create an image with the same size as the video, in this case it is 640x480 pixels. Remember the background of the image must be #808080, then add all that you want. Here is mine.
  4. Now we set, its time to cook

Cooking: frying and boiling
  • To make it easy, put all the ingredients in on pot, oops sorry, in one folder. The naviget on the terminal to that folder. Here is the generic structure of the command to watermark: ffmpeg -sameq -i original-video -vhook ' -f overlaying-image' output-file. The sameq force the ffmpeg to maintain the same quality in and out. There is my cooking: ffmpeg -sameq -i thetrain.mpg -vhook '/usr/local/lib/vhook/ -f overlayer.png' thetrain.fsp.mpg.
  • Prepare the table and save the food. Use mplayer to try your newly watter marked file

Delicious: what goes to the table

See what we served on the table

Try It and tell me! Have fun guys!.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Linux threatens giants in the smart phone arena

If you do not have one and you are CEO, the your company is a start up and we understand. What is it? It is a smart phone. According to Wikipedia, a smart phone is a mobile phone offering advanced capabilities, often with PC-like functionality. Today these come in all shapes and sizes. With features ranging from touch screen to office document applications, smart phone as moved office into people hands.

But what of under the hood, what is happening there? In a much as the normal user will not bother about what goes in the hood, at times its good to see who are the major players there. For a while Mac with the iPhone series rules that area. But it was not long before BlackBerry, HTC, Nokia and others join the race and made it very difficult for me to choice a smart phone. This is why I am still sticking to my “cellphone”.

If you are like me, if its not open source then its not for me. This philosophy has kept with the SonyEricson K320i for a years. I have been looking and following what is happening out there and now I can say I have options that are good enough to make iPhone and friends work overtime.

Openmoko is a project dedicated to delivering mobile phones with an open source software stack. Openmoko is currently selling the Neo FreeRunner phone to advanced users and will start selling it to the general public as soon as the software is more developed.

I have had the privilege of playing around the the model before the FreeRunner, Neo 1973. I liked it, but it was a bit heavy. But I saw the terminal and we could run Linux commands on it.

A few months after I started working at FreeCode, I saw Nokia N810 running on Debian. I was so impressed to see that Linux is getting some where. I spent a lot of time looking, despite the fact that it was a bit slow when you start heavy application, but it work.

All along I had been reading and looking at the T-Mobile G1 running on Android. Android™ delivers a complete set of software for mobile devices: an operating system, middleware and key mobile applications. Now here was one smart phone that almost made me got to shop. It was slick, clean and open source. Mind you, Android is built on the open Linux Kernel. And because of this, Android is open source; it can be liberally extended to incorporate new cutting edge technologies as they emerge. And this can be seen in the the HTC Magic.

The HTC Magic, powered by Android™, is designed to turn heads with its chic looks, and command attention with its advanced list of capabilities.

After looking at features and reading reviews, its now a question of time before I visit the shop, actually I am broke at the moment.

But the list is not over, Motorola Evoke QA4 Motorola's EV-DO smartphone offers both a slide-out keypad and a virtual QWERTY keyboard. The Evoke QA4 runs Motorola's MotoMAGX Linux/Java stack, and is equipped with a 2.8-inch touchscreen, accelerometers, and widgets, as well as OK Labs' OKL4 embedded hypervisor. General Mobile DSTL1 General Mobile's dual-SIM, XScale-based Android cameraphone is based on a design by Yuhua (see entry above). The DSTL1 runs Android on a Marvell PXA-310 clocked to 624MHz, offers WiFi, Bluetooth, accelerometers, and a 5-megapixel camera, and is equipped with dual SIMs and dual baseband radios, enabling simultaneous reception for two different phone numbers. The list is long. See more at Linux Mobile Phones.

With big players such as Samsung, LG, Sony Ericsson, NVIDIA and Archos all working on releasing a handset for Android, soon there will be more options for you, especially is you like playing and fine ture your devices.

Open Minds use Open Source. Are you open minded? If yes, are using Open Source Technologies?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Free lecture notes, exams, and videos from MIT.

Unlocking Knowledge, Empowering Minds.”

I have been working on a database for an application that is to be used at my office for recruiting and after a while I decided to break on YouTube. If I am not on Education Channel then it will be Google TechTalk, just to be updated as to what the rest of the world is doing as far as IT and Science is concerned.

Today I landed on something I though of sharing with the rest of you. It is the MIT OpenCourse Wave (OCW). OpenCourseWare is a web-based publication of virtually all MIT course content. OCW is open and available to the world and is a permanent MIT activity.

After clicking around, I reallied that this can be a good resource especially to countries where we do not have access to update academic materials. What is more fascinating is that you can mirror the content. I can only imagine how this will be of use for universities in my home country, especially engineering courses where things change on a daily bases. I will be more than happy to work with any universities or colleges to try and figure out how to mirror this material. There is a number of countries in Africa that are already mirroring these materials. Let take advantage of this source of information.

One step further, the content can be localized to your language. As I was going through this site, I learned that there is so much in OCW than I thought. Please pay a visit to this site and see how you can take advantage of these open available materials.

“Unlocking Knowledge, Empowering Minds.”

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Kiswahili Language Pack Addon

Try it Now! then tell us what you think.

Its as easy as A-B-C

A. Download and install Firefox 3.5

B. Install in Kiswahili Language Add-On

C. Install the following add-on Locale Switcher and enable Swahili by selecting it from the Tools - Language Menu

Your comment and suggestions are most welcome.

A word from tzLUG

After six long and hard months of working tirelessly as the tzLUG community, we are finally done with our translation of Firefox 3.5. Actually we are not done, we are still keeping a close eye on the new strings on a daily bases.

We of course could not have completed this great task without the help and support of our mentors: IT+46, FreeCode and who have been with us throughout the duration of project.

Can you imagene what we would have to do if pocount refused to work? Lets the tools given to us by our mentors have been of great help.

Although the tzLUG single handedly did all the work on this translation project, from start to finish, we’d like to acknowledge the Kamusi Project and the Kilinux – translations which formed the foundation for our work.

Now that all the work is done, it’s now ready for you to test and review, we’d like to know what you think of our work and what we can do to improve on it. So please know that your comments and suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.