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Hacker's Diary

A rough account of what I did with Emacs recently.

April 30
I think the next thing to figure out is subtitles, but I probably also want to figure out a workflow that captures the transcoding command used for each DVD so I can regenerate them if I screew up.

Ha-HA! MPEG2-TS supports subtitles in a different format to DVDs! rapid typing, some swearing, more typing Ok, VLC is showing a subtitle track and enabling it... gives me subtitles. Nice. Share to the TV and ... the subtitle images are scrambled. Feck. More reading required.

Also getting ffmpeg's custom logfile working was a barrel of laughs. I eventually resorted to creating it locally with a "safe" name then renaming it to where I wanted it to be.

April 29
Abandoning the aspect ratio thing for a moment while I pursue a different thing: a DVD with 14 title sets and 27 titles. As best I can tell, everything except the main menu has two titles with slight variations - the first of each pair seems to have an extra chapter. Extracting these as individual tracks seems to be the way to go but I'm not quite sure what's going on. At lesat the aspect ratio of the resulting videos is fine so I don't have to play with that.

Also apparently ffmpeg is highly susceptible to parameter ordering, which is really annoying.

I'm using Video Station + Media Server on the Synology as the export mechanism and it's a bit hinky in places. Like, I've actually deleted the Music and Photo fileshares, but the DLNA view still includes them and I don't know how to tell it to cut that out.

Very strange, that DVD. Two copies of the main VOBs, with tiny differences in duration (e.g. 04:57.76 vs. 04:57.04). Must be an artifact of the transfer or something.

April 28
The rebuilt ffmpeg with dvdvideo support seems happy enough to losslessly repack my DVD rips as MP4 files, including bringing along multiple audio and video tracks if required. Now, I'm still wondering if there's a way to cope with the TV's built-in DLNA player - "MPEG-2 (PS format and TS format)" - since that'd mean I'd only need to turn on the TV and fire up its built-in player to watch something from the archives.

Ok, repacking as MPEG2-TS seems to have worked well enough, although for the one title I tried it looks like either it messed up the aspect ratio or the original aspect ratio was messed up in the transfer.

Weird. Same file, playing back on VLC vs. the built-in player in the TV: the TV player seems tightly wedded to the idea that it's a 4:3 picture and wants to stretch it or fill the sides with grey bars, while VLC seems happy to show it in something close to 16:9. It looks like the TV may be cropping with the grey bars as well; looking at the same scene on the TV and on VLC-on-Mac, the latter seems to have a little more around the edges. So now I'm learning about Source Aspect Ratio and Display Aspect Ratio, or at least enough to tinker.


April 27
I put All The Old Knives on the watchlist ages ago and forgot about it; we finally got around to watching it tonight. It's not bad, but it felt like it was lacking something. Also the restaurant where Newton and Pine spend most of the current-day part of the movie completely steals the show. (IMDb tells me it was a set with a massive digital backlighting setup!)

DVD archival status: all discs that were rippable without errors have been ripped, the drive array is happy, and I'm currently trying to figure out the easiest way to turn a couple of hundred archived DVDs into something palatable to the media toys which right now has me recompiling ffmpeg from source. Still gotta go back and check which of the unripped DVDs are actually damaged versus copy-protected through the deliberate insertion of a bad block.

April 26
Been a few since the last update. We watched The Pink Panther tonight which I think could best be described as "light".


April 14
First 8TB drive integrated into the array, so time to install the second... oh. Some damned fool locked the drive slot and then put the keys "somewhere safe". Fortunately the locks are susceptible to a simple screwdriver. Wonder where I put the keys, though? Anyway. The array is once again rebuilding itself to incorporate the drive and extend its capacity so in a couple of days it should all be back to full health.


April 13
Saoirse Ronan's performance in Mary, Queen of Scots was bloody excellent. Also funny seeing "River from Slow Horses" as a disgraced, ineffectual spy nobleman. The story was interesting enough and seems to have stuck reasonably close to history, other than the almost entirely theoretical meeting between the two queens.

April 12
Figured we couldn't go wrong with a Keanu Reeves movie, but, ah, Siberia certainly put paid to that idea. Starts out as a simple MacGuffin movie, then turns into... I'm not sure what. Romance in the boonies? And then finally when it seems like we might get some sort of interesting finale, it just ends. Like, stops dead, so to speak. It's like they ran out of money before they finished the movie or something. Do not recommend.

April 11
DVD count: 221. I've just gone through the mildly terrifying hard-drive swap dance to install one of the new 8TB drives. Now I have to wait for the array to rebuild, then I repeat the process for the second 8TB drive. Synology does not make this easy: the drive identification LEDs are laid out perpendicular to the actual drives, and there's no clear indication if the drives are numbered left to right, right to left, or (as an old piece of office hardware had it), 1-3-2-4. Spoiler: left to right. Also the current drives have between two years three months and two years nine months of runtime on them. I seem to recall the previous drives died off at around four years.

April 8
A second TRV went offline (one of the better-behaved ones, too) so I went through the painful rigmarole of shutting down OpenHAB, firing up OZWCP, identifying the dead devices sufficiently, replacing them, etc. While I was doing this, another TRV fell offline and had to be picked up again. This home automation stuff seems like a net work generator at this point.

DVD ripping: 207 discs ripped, about a dozen currently waiting for me to deal with Disney's "bad block" copy protection, and a pair of 8TB drives ordered.


April 6
Hadn't seen Rocky before, if you can believe that. It's... not much.

April 5
I don't know quite how long it's been since I last saw Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, but it's a lot less actually violent than I recall - most of the violence is off camera, or implied. It's also not as polished as it seemed at the time, but doesn't really suffer too badly for it.

April 3
Grr. Half my z-wave network appears to be offline, presumably in sympathy with the TRV which decided to stop working.

Exciting. I triggered a soft reset on the controller and ... OpenHAB crashed. Oooh, even better, it came back as a different device so OpenHAB can't find it. Sigh.

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Waider
Month 4, Come On In