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Convert Ogg

Out of all the screencast tools for Linux I find recordMyDesktop to be the most stable one, however the output capture is in .ogg which is not supported by most editing software. The solution is to turn the .ogg file in to another format that is commonly supported like avi, what an irony.

First let’s install mencoder which will convert the files.

sudo apt-get install mencoder

I am assuming you have a previously created .ogg file in you home folder, now use the command below to convert the .ogg file in to an avi (change the file name if you need to).

mencoder out.ogg -o out.avi -oac mp3lame -ovc lavc

The output will be in form of an avi file, keep in mind that some quality loss will occur.

Explanation

out.ogg > the the original file

out.avi > is the format we want

mp3lame > audio codex

lavc > video codec

I support open formats but if the solution I am looking resides in proprietary I’ll use it.

Play encrypted DVDs on Ubuntu

This is fool proof How-To for playing protected DVD’s under Ubuntu, thanks to Medibuntu repository your Ubuntu Linux system can play the popular media formats. Support for audio and video formats will be added. Medibuntu offers a different repository for each version of Ubuntu, make sure to pick the repository that matches your Ubuntu version. Lucky you this How-To is mostly about copy and paste.

Repositories

First add the Medibuntu repository to the sources list using Wget. Choose the repository that matches your version of Ubuntu. Open a terminal window and type.

For Ubuntu 8.04 use the following repository.

sudo wget http://www.medibuntu.org/sources.list.d/hardy.list --output-document=/etc/apt/sources.list.d/medibuntu.list

For Ubuntu 8.10 use the following repository.

sudo wget http://www.medibuntu.org/sources.list.d/intrepid.list --output-document=/etc/apt/sources.list.d/medibuntu.list

After the repository is added

Add the GPG Key. When asked answer Yes to accept the package.

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install medibuntu-keyring && sudo apt-get update

After the repository is added we can add support for encrypted DVD’s (movies) using APT.

sudo apt-get install libdvdcss2

Add support for other media formats like Windows media, Apple Quicktime among many other formats.

sudo apt-get install w32codecs

Just to make sure all the changes go into effect restart the system, by the way my player is Totem Movie player.

Food for thought

Multimedia, Entertainment & Distractions In Ubuntu (Medibuntu)
Software in the free component are not distributed in the Ubuntu repositories because of legal issues with that software in certain countries. Some software such as Amarok and Kaffeine are distributed through the main Ubuntu repositories but with certain functionalities taken away, again because of legal issues. Medibuntu distributes these kind of packages with those functionalities in place.

Software in the non-free component are not distributed in the main Ubuntu repositories because of the licenses that these software are distributed with restricts how they can be distributed. The software in the non-free component are usually not needed for general use as there are alternatives or implementations in other open source licensed software. Some software, such as Google Earth and Adobe Acrobat Reader, are available directly from the company’s website that owns the rights to them.

For other versions of Ubuntu go to
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Medibuntu

Install VMware Player On Ubuntu 8.04

Update – If your version of VMware Player or Server fails to start after a regular kernel upgrade you have to re-run the “vmware-config.pl”.

Revised on Jun 20, 2008

Download VMWare Player latest version which is 2.0.4 from the VMWare site and choose “VMware Player 2.0.4 for Linux (.tar)”.

I would recommend installing the development tools first

sudo aptitude install build-essential linux-kernel-devel linux-headers-generic xinetd

After the download is completed untar the VMware Player download using

tar xzvf VMware-player-2.0.4-93057.i386.tar.gz

Move to the recently created directory

cd vmware-player-distrib/

and install

sudo ./vmware-install.pl

Follow and answer the configuration options like usual, when you are done start VMWare Player.

Your Idea Of Linux?

Over the years I have become active in different forums and by different I mean beginner to intermediate level and often I get to witness somebody new to Linux with no previous experience of any kind trying to use a distribution like Backtrack only to find themselves with out any idea on how to use it then blame Linux for the inability.

Linux in general has made great advances in providing a GUI but inside remains a command line based OS, which is a huge contrast when compared to Windows which provides a wizard for everything even simple tasks. Regardless of the Linux distribution it may require some level of user input to work around some of the problems created by proprietary software. I like to believe that the reason behind Linux existence is because some people want more that even themselves cant explain.

I don’t want to insult anybody but first you have to learn and understand what it means to use Linux. If you cant set the IP address statically then you really need to research networking in general. There is no reason to use Backtrack for other than penetration testing, I know that cracking WEP seems cool but by doing so without the proper understanding and asking on a forum only proves you are lame. It’s an insult to use a tool with out understanding what is for.

I guess my point can be proven by reading the reactions to threads asking for help in cracking the neighbors AP. This is the only time when I approve hostile reply s which later become a witch hunt. If you don’t know what file system backtrack uses then please back off.

My conclusion is don’t insult others by wasting their time, do your research and only ask for help when doing legitimate research. If all you want to accomplish is crack the neighbors AP then don’t waste your time and others by asking such questions, instead grab a networking book or search for online resources.

Before asking for help in a forum use Google
If you have no other option then I recommend Linuxforums.org

Slicehost Review

This is some what strange for me but I feel the need to let every one know of my experience with Slicehost for VPS hosting. Over the past five months I been hosting Linhost.info on slicehost, I got in back when there was a waiting line to use the Creme de la crème in hosting. I can’t say anything about their costumer service because I never had the need to contact them about any problem and thats a good thing in my opinion. Uptime has been impressive to say the least and is evident that they allocate the resources for every client.

Also I will let you know that I used over 140GB of bandwidth in the past month and a half, I was expecting an email saying “Quit it this isn’t P2P”. Any way so far nothing bad has happened, if you are looking for a reliable, honest and affordable VPS company then look no further Slicehost is the company for you . I will be renewing soon for another 3 months of service.

4/1/2008 I am still a customer.

Hey, I Have Options

Not so long I manage to reach the point where I want to run Linux on every device I own, finally I am what others call an enthusiast. Back in 2007 I was looking for a mobile solution that made use of Linux and all the software associated. Palm had the solution I wanted in the form of the TX handheld, at the time Wi-Fi was the only attractive feature, but there was no Linux alternative to Garnet.

Four months I found Opie (Open Source graphical user environment for PDA’s) It’s like I died and went to heaven (Linux heaven) everything I was looking for in Linux for a mobile device was there. Back to 2008 and I no longer feel like buying anything Palm if I do it would be like feeding and giving hope to the dinosaur of the PDA industry that by now should be extinct.

And the feeling comes from the non-sense marketing Palm creates for it’s products, since 2005 the price for the TX has been at 300 dollars with the current competition the price should be below 150 dollars. They no longer have a significant share of the market or even trust in Garnet their own operating system. Apparently they have no problem in letting another operating system in their mobile devices like the Treo. I would love to see Palm become an open company that appeals to the Linux enthusiast at a reasonable price but I must be dreaming.

To be honest a device like the Palm TX would not be able to compete with the new options that I have in mind for example the Nokia N800 and ASUS eee. The Nokia N800 and ASUS eee are completely different devices but manage to make the TX look like an inanimate object. Whether you want a touch screen or keyboard the options are now available at an affordable price. The ability to run Linux is now a reality on competent devices. Makes me wonder about Palm and their business strategy, they went from innovators to being the dinosaur of the industry.

And that’s how I feel about Palm

How To Install TrueCrypt On Ubuntu

TrueCrypt is one of the best solution for file encryption in general and is open source. Recently the team in charge of TrueCrypt released TrueCrypt for Linux with a GUI previously the only way to use it was via CLI. If you use TrueCrypt for Windows you might notice that some of the features are missing in Linux, any way now you have the ability of mounting a TrueCrypt volume between platforms with out any major limitations. I use Kubuntu and Windows XP most of the time, this release is welcome.
At the time of the tutorial version 5.1a was available

Open the terminal and use the commands below

wget http://www.truecrypt.org/downloads/truecrypt-5.1a-ubuntu-x86.tar.gz

tar zxvf truecrypt-5.1a-ubuntu-x86.tar.gz

cd truecrypt-5.0/

sudo dpkg -i truecrypt_5.1a-0_i386.deb

TrueCrypt is now installed to use it open the terminal or ALT-F2 and type “truecrypt”. The previous installation should work with most distributions, if you have any question just ask me.

Winlockpwn And Whole Disk Encryption

After reading several comments about the release of Winlockpwn I could not believe the amount of people who did not get the importance of the tool. In the past months several high profile cases involving unencrypted data that was either stolen or lost brought attention to the way data is managed. The answer to the the problem was whole disk encryption, encryption has been used in servers but rarely in mobile devices for example laptops. Usually the entire hard drive is encrypted by means of software, for the data to be decrypted a password needs to be entered before the the Operating System loads. Solutions like TrueCrypt offer such protection, if a computer is lost or stolen the data in it would be protected.

In order to crack the password in a Windows machine a reboot would be required at some point, which in turns triggers the encryption software to ask for a password, getting the password for the encryption software would be nearly impossible when compared to the Windows password. Winlockpwn brings the ability of accessing a password protected computer with out the need for a reboot, undermining the previous layer of protection.

In my scenario a laptop is about to be stolen by a competitor, they know the target uses whole disk encryption on all of their laptops, a laptop that ask for a password to decrypt the contents is useless to them. The goal is to acquire a laptop that is powered “on” with the encryption password previously entered, if Windows ask for a password Winlockpwn should solve the problem. This method is easier than pulling the RAM out of a system and freezing it.

This post is a reaction to the following comments.

or you could just download hirens boot cd and boot off of it and remove all passwords within seconds…..
jeezus this seems like a lot of work just to get rid of a password..
hiren’s boot cd ftw!

terrible…. rather use ophcrack or cain this is a piece of trash. firewire????? .000001% of computers have firewire and .000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001% have a wire for it anyway.
worthless hack.

why would you want to waste your time with connecting to another pc or running disks to get around passwords on xp ,
jus got into safe mode and reset the password n reboot , sure thats damn site easier !!!

Risky Business podcast had an exclusive interview with the creator of Winlockpwn Adam Boileau.

Installing VMware Player On Kubuntu

This is a quick tutorial on installing VMware Player on Kubuntu Gutsy Gibbon same applies to Ubuntu Gutsy. For this tutorial I will be using VMware Player 2.0.2, I recommend downloading the tar.gz package.

Go to the VMware website and download the latest VMware player for Linux,

http://www.vmware.com/download/player/

Extrack the tar.gz package using (at the time of this tutorial the available version is 2.0.2)

tar xzvf Vmware-player-2.0.2-59824.i386.tar.gz
cd vmware-player-distrib

The package has been extracted, now we run the installation script

sudo ./vmware-install.pl

After the installation script starts you will be ask some questions, if you want the standard installation keep pressing ENTER.

clie

Congratulations the installation is complete, in Kubuntu you will find VMware Player under System > VMware Player. After VMware Player starts you will have to agree and accept EULA.