Pascal's TechBlog

Friday, May 26, 2006

Elephants Dream

Lately the Blender folks have released their short movie "Elephants Dream". The movie lasts for about ten minutes, but it really shows off what Blender is capable of. And it's very entertaining to watch.

You can download their HD formatted movie here, after you have downloaded the movie, it can be transcoded into a plain ol' DVD:

ffmpeg -i Elephants_Dream_HD.avi -pass 1 -target pal-dvd -aspect 16:9 Elephants_Dream_DVD.mpg
ffmpeg -i Elephants_Dream_HD.avi -pass 2 -target pal-dvd -aspect 16:9 Elephants_Dream_DVD.mpg
dvdauthor -o ed_dvd/ -t Elephants_Dream_DVD.mpg
dvdauthor -o ed_dvd/ -T
mkisofs -dvd-video -V "Elephants Dream" -v -o ed_dvd.iso ed_dvd

Transcoding the movie this way works fine, except that during the top-down scrolling bits of the movie it's not 100% smooth, this might be caused because the HD formatted movie uses a different framerate than PAL DVD. I'm not sure on how to resolve that yet.

Thursday, May 25, 2006 Lacking Professional Templates

Commercial office suites like Microsoft Office and Corel WordPerfect Office offer the normal user a wealth of document templates for all common document types. Clearly lacks these.

Ofcourse there's the OOExtras project, but to be plain honest, most templates offered by OOExtras look very unprofessional downto outright butt ugly.

I decided to give it a shot and fill this gap. The end result being three templates:
All the templates use the Bitstream Vera fonts as these fonts are supplied by OOo itself, and are the only fonts which can be relied upon to be present on all OOo installations. During the design of these templates I've tried to find a balance between making them esthetically pleasing, legible and generally professional looking.

I submitted them to the Issue Tracker as issue 65779 for inclusion into the default OOo install.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

NGC: Soul Calibur II

Guess what... It's possible to hang Soul Calibur II on an Nintedo GameCube, and I did last night. I don't seem to be able to reproduce the crash. It happened somewhere in weapon master mode, after rebooting everything seemed fine again.

Anyway I seem to have progressed quite a bit only having played a couple of hours, I completed 7 of the 10 chapters, unlocking most of the characters and arena's.

Friday, May 19, 2006

SANE 2006: Free Software Bazaar

I finally uploaded the Free Software Bazaar photo's I took at the end of the evening. I also started to actually manage my photo's, and quite frankly F-Spot rocks!!! The Flickr export feature works great.

The bazaar was actually quite fun to attend. I was introduced to's new 'Get Legal' campaign, which is a nice effort. Though I'm afraid it won't have that much of an impact, because most people just don't care whether they're using legal software or not. But let's hope for the best...

Another cool project which I first became aware of during the FSB was Simuze. It a great concept: a free distribution point for home made music. You really need to check out The Penis Song!

Leaked cover art for Dapper Drake!!!

Friday, May 12, 2006

Dots Per Inch

Calculating your screen's DPI rating is quite easy, first measure your screen's physical width and height (in inches), next divide your screen's native resolution by either your screen's pyshical width or height. For example:

Width: 1680px / 17.1" = ~98 DPI
Height: 1050px / 10.7" = ~98 DPI

After calculating your screen's DPI you can set it through System, Preferences, Font, Details.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

I (don't) hate Cisco Systems (anymore)

Last semester I took Cisco's CCNP7 course at school. During the course we weren't given the chance to take the Cisco CCNP7 final exam. After talking to my teacher about this, I was told that Cisco didn't offer our version (3) any more, and that version 4 wasn't available yet. Usually there is overlap between versions, but in my case there's a big gap. A crevasse of sorts.

Of course this is pure speculation, but version 4 probably covers more recent Cisco technology, which Cisco badly needs to sell. Basically the course is being prematurely ended because it doesn't advertise Cisco equipment enough.

So no certificate for me. I hate Cisco Systems.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Filip van Bel of Cisco Systems has clarified the situation for me, which basically boils down to a miscommunication issue. Please note that I (in my frustration) was quick to judge and I no longer hold the opinion expressed above!