Deep Down You Want the Best ... Address Planners

Please allow me to introduce a brand new PAYDI deep diver exercise: the /128 ft address planning expert. It's going to replace all those existing toy exercises.

Deep down you want the best ... address planners, that is.

Anyone who has done this on the surface will agree that's a hell of an impossible  exercise down at 128ft/40m with plain air. But then, I will never understand why anyone would do this at all even at 0m/0ft...?!

Maybe the IETF wants to step in with a new RFC...

E-Paper for Screencasting ... Sort Of

Real e-paper ;)
There are sooo beautiful things to be found in this dark, filthy, intelligence-ridden Internet, such as real paper textures at Lost&Taken. One out of the bazillions of uses for paper textures is in my screencast projects. So real paper goes «e-paper», at least sort of.


3x Speedup Transcode Job for Kdenlive

Somehow Ffmpeg is the Chuck Norris of video processing, not least for speeding up raw video footage. However, better tame it through Kdenlive's transcode jobs. This way, speeding up video footage is only a single click away. And it is neatly integrated into the Kdenlive project workflow.


Fast Forward ... Using Ffmpeg

In my screencast videos about technical things I regularly face this situation: showing slides is boring, so watching an illustration develop is more interesting. Yet developing an illustration in real-time is boring, similar to watching paint dry. Just using a swipe transition from beginning to end looks again like Powerpoint presentations, yuk. Luckily, speeding up the drawing process works much better. And Kdenlive does come with a speed effect, right...?


Shuttle Crash: X11 & Qt 5.4

I've recently upgraded my Kubuntu installation to 15.10 ... just to find out that pressing any button of the ShuttlePro crashes Kdenlive. After some digging I found out that Qt 5.4 in combination with X11 are the culprits here. The ShuttlePro gets integrated as a pointing device by X11, then Qt dumps core trying to dispatching Shuttle events happily into the great void...


Audio Post in Audacity for better Screencasts

Screencasting: audio works...
A good screencast is not only about good video, it's also about good audio too. So in post I do not only work on cutting raw footage into something pleasing. I also need to process my raw audio recordings, so they get pleasing too. Luckily, there's a great open source tool for free to do this: Audacity. But what audio processing needs to be done?


Win Apps: Share to ... Disk!

Since I purchased my Surface Pro 3 almost a year ago, I'm constantly pulling my hair at exporting data from Windows 8 Apps. In particular, I need to export PDF files from my illustration app Squid on a regular basis. For whatever reason Microsoft did totally miss to include a share to disk functionaliy: nope, how needs this anyway...?!"

Rejoice, there is help!


One Year on the Surface: Screencasting Resume

The first anniversary of my Surface Pro 3 for screencasting and note taking is nearing. So it's time for a real-world usage review.


Kdenlive 15.x, Kubuntu, and the Contour ShuttlePro

ShuttlePRO v2
Roughly one-and-a-half year ago I got myself a nifty ShuttlePro v2 for editing video. In the meantime, the video editor Kdenlive as well as the system platform (K)Ubuntu have both undergone a lot of updates and changes. In particular, Kdenlive has now moved to the recent KDE Framework 5 (KF5) platform (as of this writing). A recent disk hiccup allowed me to install my video & audio station from scratch. So how do I get my ShuttlePro v2 working again?


Recording Screencasts for Technology Training

So my Hauppauge HD PVR rocket HDMI recorder turned out to be a really useful little screencast recorder. Works like a charm without the need for a Windows host. I'm using the HD PVR rocket for recording illustrations for technology trainings. These are then used for my day job.

The HDMI recorder records raw screencast footage as H.264. I next do the voice over recording completely separately from the screen recording. I'm doing the audio recording in Audacity. My audio equipment consists of an analog Shure quality voice microphone connected to a Behringer QX1202USB mixer that doubles as a quality USB soundcard. Please, no USB podcaster microphones: they're ridiculous expensive, are often of questionable quality, and they often can't be used with a separate post. After the voice recording session I apply noise reduction and level normalization.

Raw screencast footage then gets edited in Kdenlive according to the voice over audio. That is, scenes of stepwise appearing illustrations with intermediate stills. One reason for this offline voice over recording is that I find it difficult to keep a good speaking performance while having to correctly draw illustrations at the same time. Doing it simultaneously heavily sucks, both in illustrative quality and voice.

There's even another benefit of doing video and voice separately. I can easily add in video footage later in case I recognize the need for it during voice recording. And I can also easily edit out voice sections when the overall projects turns out to get too long.


Quest for Screencasting Tools

My quest for screencasting tools takes another level: what is so difficult about creating decent screencasts? There are now several Android/iOS/Windows tablet whiteboard apps available, so no need for an HDMI recorder anymore, right?


Wireless Diva

Microsoft diva(tm)
Microsoft's wireless display adaptor is like a diva: having it stored securely in its bag together with other video adaptors and cabling I recently wanted to check its firmware status. To my dismay I couldn't connect to the wireless display adaptor. Not really the first time this diva turns a back on me...


Kdenlive for Fun ... and Profit

So far I've worked with Kdenlive only on my hobby projects. But lately I could put my experience gained at home to good use at my day job. To better and simpler explain a research project me and my colleagues are working on I decided to go for a short video instead of the usual slide presentation.


White New Year's Eve Diving

Ending 2014 with a quiet dive is a pleasant thing to do: the world above the waterline was covered with some snow resulting in nice scenery. Doning the full face mask...

...and then submerging into the cold waters, experiencing again the silent world below the surface was really relaxing. It's such a pleasure to know that there's only 4°C outside the mask, as opposed to feeling these 4°C.

In case you wonder ... always take that backup set of fins with you, just in case. Safe diving also in 2015!

Display Beaming Woes in the 21st Century

Beaming display content over standard WiFi LANs has been with us for some time now. Unfortunately, there are still several slightly incompatible standards for wireless display functionality. While on Android things at least work to some extent, Windows support is rather new and Microsoft obviously has some homework to do, especially when there is VirtualBox involved...