Winamp on Macs

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Yes, this has been a long time coming as Winamp seems to have stalled in development for many years. However, even though it’s recently been picked up again I’ve found a solution that will keep (or start) your love of Winamp again if you are using a mac. #win!

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Firstly, I must point out that using the built in WineBottler version of Winamp caused issues for me on El Capitan with a Wine error of “ntlm_auth cannot be opened because of a problem”.

screen-shot-2016-11-17-at-23-29-47

So, for whatever reason unfortunately that wasn’t an option. Instead what I did was find a copy of Winamp 2.91 and downloaded it. I tried the most recent release of 5.666 redux and just just failed.

So, the secret to this working…

Download WineBottler from Mike’s site. Install it in to your Application Path. Make sure you grab and install the Wine app as well.

Then, run the WinAmp setup file.
http://download.oldapps.com/Winamp/winamp291_full.exe

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After the normal setup process, you should then be able to run Winamp…

The exe file will probably be in /Users/{USERNAME}/Wine Files/drive_c/Program Files/Winamp/winamp.exe

Double Clicking on it should probably give the prompt above, and it should run. If not, I’m sure you can figure out how to make it work there… right click, Open With… etc

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However, in this modern world, you’ll probably want to play .m4a files too (thanks iTunes). So, grab this file as well and run it using Wine.
http://ncu.dl.sourceforge.net/project/faac/MP4%20plugin/in_MP4%202.0%20RC3/in_mp4-2.0-rc3.exe

Execute that install file and then you should be able to add the .m4a files.

You may find issues because of the stupid Mission Control program Apple has installed… but, to get the menu up (such as searching), you should be able to hit “Option-F3” or “Option-J” etc.

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The skins are a bit quirky and I’m happy with the standard one. Give it a go on others and let me know how you go! 😀

Enjoy! 😀

Mouse and keyboard – Virtual KVM

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Hey, if you’ve got a few computers that you need connected to each other on a network and only want to use one keyboard and mouse for all of them, you can use VNC connections, a KVM switch or… software!

Check out Synergy.

I found an older version of the software that still works well.

I’m currently trialing this out. So time will tell if I stick with it long term.

Using 2 StationPlaylist computers over a network

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So, sometimes you have a few computers and you want to run a radio station and be able to use them both. Well, you can with StationPlaylist.

We run the software in a unique method, where by we use it in a network situation. This  can create problems, but can create also redundancy and you can do more with two computers over one. We use two computers as a complete system.

One computer is used for play-out, and the other for scheduling. Both computers have the same drive letters mapped to the same locations, so they see the same thing. M Drive for Music, Programs and the Imagining and S for SPL specific things such as the main log.

This way, everything talks well, and the scheduling computer can be set up to do voice-tracking while you still have another person live in the studio.

As for redundancy, in the case where the main playout computer goes down, you can simply remap the network drives to your backup NAS (for example), and be up and running again off the scheduling computer until the studio computer is rebuilt – or the other way around. But, backing up the data is the key thing.

There are of course down sides to doing this method as well. You can only schedule from one computer and not both – unless you do some form of special database sycronisation, in which you’ll probably mess up your registration details anyway.

Another downside is if all the audio is stored only on one of the machines and you have no backups. But, you’d never do that would you?

We have successfully used the redundant method to bring a schedule computer back to being the master, while the studio computer was being repaired as it died. It’s not ideal, but in the circumstances, it was the best option, and it was fixed remotely too.

As will all radio station computers, your biggest single failure are your hard drives, and as such, you must be prepared in the instance that a drive will fail. They do, and they will, so make sure you have a backup plan that will save you.

Also, with the backup plans, test out your theory. It may also be worth having a second computer ready to go with a pre-made selection of songs, programs and ids that you can run while you are bringing your computers back online.

So, while StationPlaylist is not specifically designed for network use, you can use it over a network.

For a new product that will actually let you do basic control of StationPlaylist over a network, try my newest software pisk-lite.

Reseting Printer Cartridges

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I have a laser printer. It’s a Brother FL-3170CDW. It’s good. It works (usually).

These are the main details:

Model Name               Brother HL-3170CDW series
Serial no.               E71877G5J8XXXXX
Main Firmware Version    1.25
Sub1 Firmware Version    1.05
Memory Size              128MB

But this printer has a problem. If the toner gets low or empty, (so it thinks) it stops printing. (I also have to switch it on and off between print jobs too because Mac OS X El Capitan can’t seem to connect to it, but that’s another story.

I hate it when printer companies do this. However, today, I thought I’d try something.

After following these instructions I got my printer going again and it now thinks that the black toner is full once again.

As per the fix I found, this is it.

The Solution:

The secret behind the continual use of the toner cartridges is the ability to reset the counters so the printer thinks the cartridges are new again.  I will continue to do this until print quality decreases.  Below are the steps to reset the counters.  I always reset all cartridges…just to save myself time.

  1. Open the top lid of the printer and leave ajar.
  2. Press and hold the “Secure” and “X Cancel” buttons.
  3. Use the arrow keys to select the cartridge model you would like to reset and press “OK”.
  4. Press the UP arrow to reset the cartridge.
  5. Once reset is selected you will see “ACCEPTED” on the screen.

After you perform the reset for the needed cartridges just close the printer lid and hit “X Cancel” to exit back to the main menu.  DONE!

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As you can see, the Black cartridge is now “full” again.

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And… I just did the other 3 cartridges too. TA DA! 😀

Strangely enough, clicking on their “Visit the Genuine Supplies Website” button, doesn’t even give me an option to purchase. It’s just marketing crap. Ridiculous if you ask me.

All I can say is I’m glad the tricked worked, because this toner is very expensive. They want $391 AUD for a 4 pack. Just to print.

TN251BK (Genuine) Black X1
TN251C (Genuine) Cyan X1
TN251M (Genuine) Magenta X1
TN251Y (Genuine) Yellow X1

I hope this works for you!

Afterwards, this will be my next test.

Dealing with Large Media sets after traveling

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I have recently come back from a trip to Israel, and in doing so, I took thousands of photos and hours of video. Some of these ranged from quick happy snaps, time-lapses and some panoramas.

The photos, video and audio were recorded on several media devices, namely Canon 7D MkII, LG V10, GoPro Hero 4 Black, Olympus TG 4, Panasonic DMC-FZ100, Atomos Ninja 2, Rode Video Mic and a Zoom H4N. The optics I used was a Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8 L, Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 EX DG and the Canon EF-S 10-22mm f3.5-4.5.

One such project of managing all the media, is to handle it correctly. Of the nearly 600Gig of data (300GB on the Ninja2 alone using QT ProRes 422 LT) I’ve got much processing to do.

Part of the problem with the organisation of this amount of data is to keep everything in a chronological order so that it all be located later and to make editing easier, as much of it will be edited in Photoshop or Aperture (give me some bucks and happily use Capture One).

I first organised the filing system and moved the video and images in to their correct areas. The biggest problem is keeping the directories synced so they have the same names. The question is how do you copy just a directory structure, but not the file names? Well, Opening up the Mac Terminal and entering the following will give you the result you want (or similar):

$ rsync -a "/Volumes/Media1/Israel 2016/organised/Photos/" "/Volumes/Media1/Israel 2016/organised/videos/" --include \*/ --exclude \*

The syntax is this:

$ rsync -a /path/from/ /path/to/ --include \*/ --exclude \*

Of course, if you have spaces in your directory paths, you’ll need to put them in “quotes”.

 

One of the processes to do is that of stitching the panorama photos together. While Adobe Photoshop CC 2015.5 is great at doing simple stitching, it often doesn’t work for more complicated stitches, such as where there are multiple columns and rows involved.

A large project I wanted to do was stitch 137 photos on the view of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem  using Hugin as the stitcher. It took about 2-3 hours, using about half an hour  used just to find the point matches in the photos. My MacPro4.1 is worked on overtime with all 8 cores working to the max (so glad it’s multi-threaded), so there’s some serious number crunching that happened.

After trying several attempts to stitch the photos and multiple failure attempts at full res, which was over 90,000px wide, I dropped it to about 9k and it worked. The stitching itself worked, but I had an extra hat in the image from a person standing in the way. I guess it’s hard for the software to figure out everything sometimes… So finally after trying, I dropped the resolution to it’s maximum recommended  and after trying multiple times… it didn’t want to work.

I guess I try something else another time.

Back to editing!

 

 

Backing up a VPS

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One of the biggest problems with servers is that if they either crash, or are hacked.
These things happen but you can do things to prevent them from happening.

I have a NAS, and there are so many options to backing my NAS to the cloud, but, trying to find a solution of backing up a VPS to a NAS… well, the resources out there at the moment suck.

I’ve searched in web, and there many many options but they just don’t do what I want them to do.

All I want is an incremental back up a VPS, to my home that I can use as a backup to restore any problems on the VPS.

So far, what I can do is this:

rsync -arvz -e 'ssh -p XX' --progress --delete USER@XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX:/PATH_FROM_THE/REMOTE_SERVER/ /PATH_TO_SAVE/THE_FILES/TO_AT_HOME/

Does it work? Well, kind of. At this stage to do a back up, I need to enter my SSH password, which I would prefer to not have to do (but that can come later).

I want to be able to automate this functionality, so that each day, a new backup is done and I can revert or restore from a backup. Surely it isn’t that hard??

There are some downsides to this method. If you don’t have ssh access, or your ssh user doesn’t have the correct access, then you won’t get all of the files. You can also bog up your server with this method too and stop it from working. Or, you can get yourself banned from your own site with fail2ban. All of these fun things in a VPS…

So where to from here?

Well, that command up there basically gets all the files I need for a back up in the future – I think.

Does it do incremental backups of just the changed files? No. However, (and I’m yet to do this) but I’m wondering if it’s worth doing this and putting the newly created “backup” in to a GIT repository. This way, after that backup command is run, it gets all of the latest. Then, after the backup, and “commit” is done, and thus only stores the changes. It would allow for files to be visually seen and modified and therefore hacked, to be able to know where to go in and make the changes to bring a system back on-line.

Thoughts anyone? Is this a good idea or not?

Maybe a combination of this script in the future, coupled with GIT, or similar could be a solution?
http://raphael.kallensee.name/journal/how-to-backup-an-external-server-with-a-synology-nas-via-rsync/

Google Maps and “Director free version”

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I’ve been developing a website for a long time, and recently decided it was time to change the UI, and so I’ve changed over my UI to “Director free version”. It’s a great UI, and as with all template systems, you always need to tweak things yourself a little here and there to accommodate for your own needs.

You can download the template from here:
http://web-apps.ninja/director-free-responsive-admin-template/

It’s got some great features, with the Twitter Bootstrap and bunch of graphs with examples, jquery and a bunch of things.

However today I decided to add a Google Heatmap, and to say the least, didn’t have much fun loading it. The maps were missing! Ehhh???

https://developers.google.com/maps/documentation/javascript/examples/layer-heatmap

Screen Shot 2016-09-05 at 17.55.11

The fun was in the hunt of finding the source of the problem. Was it CSS, or was it a JS conflict?

Well, it turns out it was a simple CSS problem.

In the styles.css file around line 170 was this part. Comment it out, as shown and your maps will work.

/* This kills Google Maps */
 /* All images should be responsive */
 /*img {
 max-width: 100% !important;
 }
/*
*/ END Google Maps Killer */

Once I did that edit, it worked again as in the example! – Except Opera Dev.

Screen Shot 2016-09-05 at 17.57.57I’ll eventually get an Opera fix. But this will do right now for development.