dns-323, mediatomb, the ps3, and “The data type is not supported”

always, always problems with the d-link dns-323, mediatomb, and the ps3. it appears that for some of the xvid AVIs that i get, the ps3 just refuses to play them. i suspect the culprit here is that whatever encoding is being used is something that the ps3 just doesn’t quite understand. the files play fine on any computer.

this problem isn’t that big of a problem, but it does creep up from time to time. it seems to be particularly problematic on older encoded files. i suspect that old versions xvid or divx aren’t backwards compatible enough, but whatever the problem is, the solution is not particularly elegant.

i tried to get ffmpeg running on the dns-323, but whenever i try to re-encode with ffmeg on the dns-323, i get errors on the encoding. if i was using a more powerful streaming server, i could re-encode on the fly, but since that isn’t an option, the only other thing to do is re-encode these files elsewhere. i know, it sucks, it’s awful, but i just can’t think of anything else.

there are plenty of free encoders out there, one that i particularly like is handbrake. it’s not very easy to batch many files, but if you have one or two, it’s great. there’s a command line version of it too, so you can use that to script it if you want. i’m thinking about making some kind of web service that will let me copy a file over somehwere, encode the video, and copy it back…

but for now, i’m just remote desktop’ing into another machine and doing it by hand. so long as you can batch the job, it doesn’t seem to be too big of a problem.

finally transferring over to godaddy.com

my domain registrar used to be directnic.com. they were great at the time because their pricing was pretty competitive, but over the years, big registrars like godaddy.com have come and their pricing is hard to beat. i have finally used up the last of my credit at directnic, so i’m moving my domains over to godaddy. so far the process has been pretty painless, but i’m just waiting for directnic to relinquish control of the domains and move it over. i haven’t had to talk to anyone yet, the process seems pretty well managed online.

let’s see how long it takes to transfer over.

media center died!

the media center in the rarely-used upstairs tv has died. this comes with great regret as i had high hopes for it and rarely ever used it. but not all bad things come with no good news, this gives me an opportunity to get a new media center solution. i started to think about what i was going to get, but i realized that i have an idle xbox media center lying around. all i needed was to get a wireless ethernet adapter, but when i started to look online, they were going for $50-80! ridiculous!

it’s actually cheaper to buy a cheap dd-wrt compatible router, flash the firmware, and make it work as an ethernet bridge than to buy an ethernet bridge. so i was going to go do that, but it turns out that paul had a spare router he wasn’t using, so i picked it up and now i have the xbox setup and working fine. my wireless network at home has become increasingly more and more complex. i was worried that it wouldn’t be able to handle the bits that i’m throwing around, but it seems fine, albeit, slow. =P

damn you, add n edit cookies

probably one of the most useful firefox add-on tools i use is add n edit cookies. it has been invaluable and has made my life so much easier. but today for a few hours i could not figure out why some of my code was failing.

it turns out that when viewing cookies through the add n edit cookies add-on, the add-on urlencodes the cookie before displaying it. this wasn’t terribly obvious to me today because i was trying to manipulate a gzipped, base 64-encoded cookie. it looked like gibberish to me to begin with, so i didn’t realize what was going on for a long while.

why? why add n edit cookies would you do that to me?

and more importantly, why am i still working at 4:45PM on the day before thanksgiving!?

this is why we are called that

dardy affectionately calls us the “bowling gang” and last night we did just that: bowled. it’s been forever since we last went bowling and it was good to be out there again and have some fun. though it was a long time since we last went bowling, it was pretty easy for me to get back into the groove. we all went out bowling to celebrate dardy’s real birthday, though we already had celebrated his birthday over the weekend.

at the end of the evening, i think we had 8 people on one lane. playing two games took nearly three hours and i didn’t get home until well past midnight…on a school night! i’m tired now and i think that i may have tweaked my back just a little bit, but it was worth it because i bowled a 181 and a 195. that’s probably the highest average i’ve bowled ever. usually if i have a good game then i’ll have a bad game so i usually average around 130ish.

anyhow, it was fun to bowl and maybe i’ll make more of an effort to go bowling more often. at $2 a game, it’s still cheap entertainment.

joan baez

i went to the joan baez concert last night. who is joan baez? thank you for asking! i don’t know. but christi’s dad has wanted to see her perform all his life and she has a new album out. this year marks 50 years of her singing professionally and she seems to be quite the political folk singer.

the concert was about what i expected for a folk singer. i didn’t recognize any songs, but christi’s dad had a blast.

when it comes to video…

i am completely spoiled. after finally finishing the investment into my home theatre setup, it seems that my standards for video have become outlandish. i don’t even watch normal lowly DVDs anymore. i can’t stand it. who would want to watch the poor quality DVDs when you have the gorgeous views of blu-rays?

my pet peeve, of course, is that the library of blu-ray discs available is still quite limited. is blu-ray going to turn into the way of the dvd and become a standard or is it going to only appeal to the niche high end movie enthusiasts? i had thought that dvds were a thing of the past, but i guess that’s not quite true.

i was talking to a friend who was saying that they would be willing to spend $1-2 a disc for dual layer DVDs so that they can make full copies of DVD releases. i had thought that the price of a disc had gone down significantly so that’s actually not that bad, but then my next immediate thought was, “who wants dvds??”

ugh, i am officially spoiled with the ps3’s beautiful blu-ray player. now, if only some of my favorite movies would get transferred to blu-ray, i’d buy them. serendipity and bring it on! go to blu-ray, go!

safeway, diet coke, and my admission

i went to safeway during my lunch break and as i am wont to do, i went to check to see if diet coke was on sale. the safeway in san mateo/foster city had a sale on diet coke. buy 2, get 3 free. $6 per pack of 12. so for $12, you can get 60 cans of diet coke. that’s 20 cents a can! so, of course, i did what any other person would do. i grabbed two 12 packs, then three more.

i looked at the shopping cart and it looked like it could hold more, so i grabbed two more 12 packs, then three more.

the shopping cart was kind of heavy at this point. i think that it is usually around the ten 12 pack cases that i start to make my way to the registers, but there was something stirring inside my soul. maybe it was the call of the diet coke, maybe it was the call of the deal, but whatever it was, whenever i can buy diet coke for less than $3 a 12 pack, i usually stock up.

so i did the unthinkable. i grabbed two more 12 packs…and then three more. 15 cases were in my shopping cart as i made my way to the cashier. i told her i had 15 cases, she rang it up, and then there was a delay. apparently the safeway machines have some kind of limit on savings that once you exceed this limit you need manager approval. so a manager came and looked at my shopping cart and scanned her card and i proceeded to make my purchase.

the trunk of my car is now full of diet coke.

do i have a problem? i’m not sure. but the one thing i do know is that the refrigerator will stay well stocked with diet coke.

facebook stalking…

with social networking sites so popular these days, it’s easy to stalk people online. you know, people that you know only well enough to want to know what’s going on in their lives, but not enough to actually talk to them? yeah, that’s what makes social networking sites like facebook, friendster, or myspace so popular. i mean, sure, it’s also to keep in touch with you friends. yeah, uhh, that’s why i use it.

an interesting consequence of these social networking sites is that you will learn where you stand in a particular person’s life based on how information about their lives are communicated to you. for example, i was recently made aware of a friend’s engagement through facebook. something made me think of an old friend and i did some digging around. it turns out that they have recently become engaged! craziness, i say. i had no idea that they were even dating anyone. of course, we have fallen out of touch, not so much because we had a falling out as much as our lives had just diverged.

so, yes, facebook is a great medium to get reconnected with people, but it’s an even better way to stalk people. i’m pretty bad when it comes to keeping in touch with people, maybe i’ll stop facebooking them and start reaching out to them.