Thursday, December 30, 2010

Google Chrome and Zygna games

I have this conspiracy theory... Zygna might be aligning with some companies because you can hardly play their games using Google Chrome.... 8-O lol

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Testing out "Monetize"

Testing out the Adsense stuffs on this blog... regardless whether there is anyone reading my blog... 8-O lol

I never knew what the URL of this blog's feed was... apparently, now...

Verification method

Tried to create another gmail account to test some and got stuck at the following page...

The lament of a ludite who insists on not getting a cellphone... 8-O

So I went to yahoo instead. 8-O lol

At the same time, wow... Google is going big brother... now it reminding me of... Microsoft. 8-O

Chrome on Ubuntu with Cafe world

It's been about 4 days since I started to get back to this linux machine.

Firefox has been crashing... especially ever since I tried to get back to my facebook game such as Cafe World by Zynga.

Amazingly, with the help of Cafe World, I was able to crash Chrome in less than 1 minute...


My accomplishment of the day, I guess... 8-O lol

Ubuntu as a Microsoft product 8-O

Came across this following piece of news from Linuxologist....

Was gonna show you the pix here except for the person did not allow for external linking to his contents.

Apparently it was some kind of a typo on Dell website.  But, for a moment and before I read the contents... I went...


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Learning to use Ubuntu

I came back to use this Ubuntu machines these past two days.

So I thought there is no need to be learning anything new... I was wrong...

One problem I have been encountering is that, when you press the enter key, sometimes the cursor would appear to locate at the beginning of the sentence you were typing rather than at the beginning of a new paragraph.  Other times, it would stay at the end of the sentence and does not move at all.  It is not until when you start typing again would you know where the true location of the cursor is.  In addition, sometimes the cursor would move to the beginning of some other random paragraphs as if it really has its mind.

Although I have no solution to this program, I suspect this might be mainly an issue associated with either the blogger interface or blogger-like design.

Another issue that was really bugging the hell out of me is that I was having such grieve switching between English and the ibus Chinese input methods (e.g., Chinese chewing input method).

I had better luck switching to the Chinese input methods when in OpenOffice; however, I kept on having problem getting the Chinese input to work when inside of a browser.

Finally, by exploring the preferences window... I found out...

Dumb dumb...  all that I needed was to press down control+space to switch among these different input method.  Of course, one can also go on and do whatever customization one's heart desires.  For me, control+space is good enough for now.

Read the manual next time.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

On learning to type ㄅㄆㄇ

There is something really interesting about learning to type ㄅㄆㄇ.

It is very unnatural... 8-O lol

At least from the perspective of someone who is trained to use the ABC keyboard.

The matter of the fact is that, for years, I only have to worry about moving my fingers around in 3 main rows.  All of a sudden, with the ㄅㄆㄇ keyboard, I have to move my fingers to control 4 rows.

In case you wonder what the Chinese phonetics look like and their matching keys...

At this state, I am still trying really hard to both physically and mentally map the location of my fingers with the associated phonetics. Still really rusty with my skills but I think I can now type much faster when comparing to back a couple days ago if not weeks or months ago.

When doing my everyday walk, I would even stare at them store signs and move my fingers to the relative locations... as practice exercise.

Come to think about it... the process of learning to type is sort of like learning to play guitar or piano... I guess?

I don't know how much longer it will take before I am as good a typist in Chinese as in English. Hopefully... the day will come soon!

Some people, such as my sister, prefer to use the Ping-in input method since she, like me, is already familiar with the ABC keyboard.

Why do I choose to go with ㄅㄆㄇ?

I don't know. Just do it. I guess? Maybe I will come back to try out Ping-in one day. For now, I am experimenting with ㄅㄆㄇ.

My preferred now is the traditional Chinese Phonetic Input method that came with the Windows OS. The benefit of it is that it will also automatically show you the plausible selection of the next word to save you some typing time.

The problem with the word selection process is that, in Chinese, sometimes you have a whole lot of words with the same pronunciation and you have to scroll down and down till you find what you want.  With the suggestions automatically provided by the program, sometimes the list is so long that it might take longer time for you to find the next words than simply to get it type out.

The scrolling thing is also the reason why I started with the Ping-in input method and decided to go through the process of relearning the ㄅㄆㄇ keyboard.  It is because, with the ㄅㄆㄇ system, you can specify the tone of the word you are typing and the resulting word list would get shorter, which would totally help you cut down the time needed to browse through a world of plausible words.

For instance, if I intent to type "打滾", after I type out the word 打, it will show me a list of words that could follow this word.  In order to get to the second word "滾," I have to click 7 times on that scrolling bar in order to locate the specific word.  In that case, it might be much faster simply type the word out than using the suggestion functions.

An interesting manifestation of this thing called having to stop my thinking because I can not find the word... 8-O

Come to think about it and since I almost type as fast as I can think... and... reminiscing da not so far away past going from 2-3 words...

For one to be able to type out their writing directly, one really need to have a working memory with larger than the 2-3 words capacity.  I suspect, when I was in the state of being able to read 2-3 words, by the time I finish recognizing the first option, I would have already forgotten my own thoughts... Just wondering...

Life is interesting... always something new everyday....

(This is originally posted in Ratology Reloaded)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Oh.. Chinese version... Where Art Thou?

When preparing for a talk on Ed Tech today, I came across this most obscene technical problem I have ever encountered in my entire... what one might call... Ed Tech career...


"Oh.. Chinese version... Where Art Thou?"

I have tested out many a concept mapping software in my life so far... all in English.

Since this talk is to be delivered in Taiwan and since it is the traditional Chinese being used here, of course, yours truly have to test them software out again using traditional Chinese.

After I found out that Inspiration, Kidspiration and Cmap... all three do not support traditional Chinese, I had the feeling that half of my black hair just turned grey...

FreeMind does support traditional Chinese except for... could use some help on the beutification department.

Finally, I landed on XMind... a savor for my tornment... in search of a concept mapping software that takes in traditional Chinese character.

Ended with the following diagram... my mental model about the components involved in processing "消防演習公文" or fire drill related paper work in Taiwan.  8-O lol

Of course, my mental model can always be wrong... lol

Back to the key point, if you are looking for a relatively easy to use concept mapping software or shareware that works with traditional Chinese, my recommendation would be XMind for the time being.

In other words, 如你再找繁體中文版的概念圖軟體... 試試 XMind

Rip audio from a movie file

I know I did it before or maybe blogged this before..

How do you rip audio tracks off a movie file?

Went googling around earlier... with this feeling in the back of my mind...  I did it before... therefore, let me get back to what I already have on this machine.

After playing around with itune, quicktime and windows media player... I finally landed on Real Player SP...

Ended up, what you have to do is to mouseover the movie and you will see "Convert" as one of the edit options.

Once you click on convert, you can play around with the settings and decide what file type to convert to and where to save the file... as I have documented in an earlier post... Strip with Real...

Man... I am surely getting old.... 8-X

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Learning to type

Through out the years... I preach the importance of literacy and digital literacy skill.

I have even taught people how to type... computer lesson 101...

My digital pursuit of the day... learning to type. 8-O lol

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Hello China!

I kept on getting visits from China.

Too lazy to go through the proxy thing today...

Visitor(s) from China, can you please post a comment to the blog so that I know whether it is google stats getting the region wrong or there really are places in China where you can access  Unless, is unblocked now...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Showing child note for tree codes in Nvivo 8 SP4

What do you do the child nodes of your tree nodes look like the first image below... showing you only the first letter or two of the child nodes?

How are you gonna know which code is what? 8-O lol

Wouldn't it be nice if you could show the entire name for the code?

The solution is simple.. click "View" and check "View Child Node Headers."

Then, you will be able to drag the bar at the end of the name column to change the column width.

Friday, October 8, 2010


Found this old posting of mine from Feb. 14, 2005 about VX2...

My finally solution for this issue... I wiped all things out and rebuilt the machine from scratch.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Blogger stats not working: There was an error while fetching stats. Please reload page.

Caught the error message saying Blogger stats on strike...

Sometime later... the stats came back on its own...

Though... only for Technologies in Ratology was affected but not for Ratology reloaded through out the whole time...

Same account, same browser (Chrome) on the same computer for two blogs...

The only conclusion I have... there ain't no nothing on your end. It's blogger's doing.

Security Update for SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 3 (KB970892) failed on Windows 7 and Nvivo

For the longest time, I would be staring at this thing alerting me a new windows update is available.  In addition, when shooting the computer down every night, I would see the machine trying to install some update again and again... night after night...

Somehow, the Security Update for SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 3 (KB970892) keeps on failing on me...

I tried all things out... to no avail...

Until yesterday, with some combination of key words, I arriving at either one of these posts...  Miracle: SQL 2005 server security update on Winows... or SQL server 2005 security updates failed and Nvivo...

8-O How did a google search bring me back to Technologies in Ratology? 8-O lol

Then, it occurred to me... no wonder... among the limited number of traffic on this site, SQL server 2005 security updates failed and Nvivo ranked number 5.  This gotta be the way people feel when they landed on my page.

However, I don't have the software with me thus don't want to uninstall Nvivo unless necessary..

After a whole lot of circling around chasing my own tail...

I contacted this friend of mine who gave me the suggestion in the first place...

"Is there a workaround if I don't want to have Nvivo uninstalled."

His reply was... this is the safest way to do it rather than playing with SQL.

So I took the expert opinion and uninstalled Nvivo 8 SP4.

I downloaded the trial Nvivo SP4 software from the website and uninstalled Nvivo SP4.  (Please make sure you take down the license key for your existing copy before uninstallation.  You can get the license number by clicking on Help-> About once you are in the Nvivo program.)

To ensure I really have Security Update for SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 3 (KB970892) installed, I went to  Microsoft website to download the standalone installation file and have it manually installed again.

After restarted the computer.  The windows update message no longer shown and that red flag telling you an update will be installed when shutting down also gone.

I, then, reinstalled Nvivo SP4 and did some simple query stuffs with the program.  Seems to be running fine.

When double checking to see whether the update is really installed, I also found KB970892 elegantly sitting among the rest of the updates.

All seems to be fine on the East side...

Two virtues I practiced today... listen to my own suggestion and that of the expert as well... lol

Now I can go look for a husband.  8-O lol

How to change the default maximum number of coding stripes in Nvivo 8?

Been playing with Nvivo...

This really stupid question came up... some documents are as long as an old lady's foot wrap (老太婆的裹足布)... and many postings might contain more than 7 codes...

How do you change the default maximum number of coding stripes in Nvivo 8 from 7 to a different number rather than having to change it each time you open a new internal document?

Spent the entire day or two trying to figure it out... and googled the entire world to no avail...

Since googling didn't take me too far, I decided to go back to the program again and take a better look at them menus...


Go under tool and select option.

Once the Application Options window opens, click on the Display Tab... Look for the section about Coding Stripes and this is where you can change the Maximum number of stripes.

One more step away from repeated stress syndrome... 8-O lol

大目新娘... (big eye bride... a Taiwanese expression making fun of people who can't find things in easy-to-find locations)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Prepare to analyze a huge blogger blog with Nvivo 8- Again

I spoke of my attempt to import my ratology blogs into nvivo to take a look at the words I have typed out so far in Prepare to analyze a huge blogger blog with Nvivo 8.

At that point, I have already converted all documents from Pdf to word... with a task left to be tackled... cleaning up the word file... in batch...

I woke up the second morning and decided to take my own advice...

Restarted the process of document preparation... and now all documents have been imported into Nvivo.

What I did:

First, collected all documents from my blog onto my hard drive.

You could either download the entire blog or save the files by month....  Some of you might want to simply copy and post the texts into Nvivo... then... there is no need to read more... I guess...

Please be reminded, though, that blogger might not show you all postings on the same page and you might need to click on Show older posts link like what is shown below a few times if you have many postings per months.

In addition, the number of postings shown is dependent on the template that you have selected.  I actually exported the entire blog in XML format using blogger's export function and imported the blog as a new blog so that I could select one of the simplest template to minimize the amount of cleaning up I have to do....

The most minimalist template is "Simple II."

If you are comfortable with coding, you could also edit the template directly by going to the "Design Tab" or "Template Tab" and click "Edit Html."

Following are some of the tags you could consider taking off:


The stylesheet and, of course, da blogger icon, might be something to consider as well.

Second, batch edited HTML files.

Regardless how you managed to save all the HTML files on your hard drive, by default, some extra stuffs will also be saved.  To make it easier for myself, I used software programs such as dreamweaver to batch edit out these type of info.

This is the reason why, the fewer gadgets you added to the blog, the more convenient it would be for yourself during the cleaning up process.  You might need to have some basic knowledge about how to read the tags in order to find out what to take out.

Following is a screenshot showing you the interface to focus on when intending to batch edit source codes for a folder or an entire website.

The dropdown associated with search allow you to specify whether it is source code, text, etc to search.
The dropdown next to Find in allows you to select the folder or the site
In this scenario, I specify to search a specific code in the source code for the entire site.
Third, batch conversion of HTML files to Word document.

I have used the Convert Doc program to convert HTML files to word files.  Other than the fact that the program doesn't support Chinese.  It works relatively well even with trial version.

Fourth, importing files as internals.

It is very easy to import multiple files as internals in one time.  Essentially, when the import source window is open, select all file that you want to import and the program will even add the names automatically for you.

If you are going to play around with the template for your blogger blog, I highly recommend you to create a new blog using a copy of your blog exported through blogger.

Batch conversion from HTML to word

A good program that does a good job in converting HTML to word is Convert Doc.

After quite a few trials, I finally find the workable setting.

  • Make sure you specify the input file format as HTML.
  • The conversion method that worked for me was "Use MS Word." 
  • If you are converting files in an entire folder, make sure you doublecheck to see whether the extension of input file matches with that of your files.  For instance, if your file is html file, make sure the extension for input file is specified as html.
  • In addition, after you have the input and output info specified, make sure you click on the Add button to the job list.  

Otherwise, you could click on the convert button till the cows come home but nothing would happen.

The program, again, does have its constraints.... It doesn't support Chinese or maybe other kinds of foreign languages.  Hopefully, one day, we will see supports for other languages.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Lenovo thinkpad sl410 ethernet connection problem

This has been something I have to to deal with... might have been since I started using this new babe... Lenovo thinkpad sl410.

Once every so often, my eithernet connection would disappear out of no where... mostly when the machine was first started and, sometimes, when I went away and came back.

Sometimes it would appear as if there is no problem with the Internet connection at all and other times it would show you that there is limited connectivities.

At the beginning, I had a hypothesis... maybe it might have something to do with the Internet connection at home since this is where this machine has been used... could be I am connecting directly to the modem, perhaps?

Regardless, I have found my way to adapt... I would disable the ethernet connection and reconnect.  Sometimes it doesn't solve the problem, so you try again and again and again until it finally works.

Last Thursday, I decided to see whether I could find a better and, perhaps, permanent solution for this connection problem.

Couldn't quite find much info after googling around, to be honest, though I did manage to find the mentioning about "Fixed an issue where the ethernet disappeared after reboot or resume from Standby" at the BIOS update utility page for ThinkPad L410, L510, SL410, SL510.

Ended up, I decided to update the BIOS for this machine... despite of my unwillingness to play with BIOS update, especially when the update was released less than a month and a half ago.

After the BIOS update was first applied, the problem remained that morning... still same old same old... I thought... perhaps, not fixed... Whatever...

Then, every morning since then... Friday, Saturday, Sunday and today... amazing grace... the machine connected smoothly to the Internet through ethernet without my intervention!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Prepare to analyze a huge blogger blog with Nvivo 8

(Finally got all files imported.  Please check update posting on how I got the entire blog and more imported to Nvivo 8 SP4.)

This problem I am trying to tackle now... and since yesterday....

How do you analyze a blog with over 1500 postings with Nvivo 8 SP4? (A price I have to pay for having this congenital disease called verbal diarrhea... 8-X lol)

After a whole lot of trial and errors, this is what I have gotten so far these past two days.

Gathering all documents on my hard drive:

I downloaded the entire Ratology Reloaded blog using HTTrack.  Apparently, one can also use Adobe professional to convert the entire site into Pdf files directly; yet, since I already had the entire site downloaded and I didn't want to convert all external links into Pdf files, I didn't go through with the Adobe professional to download the whole site.

Converting documents to word/text files: 

Before you want to analyze anything with Nvivo, you need to be able to get the info in.  If there were fewer number of postings, such as something like 100, now, I would consider simply copying and pasting.  Yet, since I have 1500 something postings, I have to find ways to batch process documents into something Nvivo could handle.

Nvivo 8 doesn't support html files.  Thus, you either have to find a program to convert html files directly into word documents or you have to find a program to convert html files into Pdf then into word documents.

Partially having to do with the fact that I couldn't really find a free/trial software that allow me to batch file conversion from HTML to word and retain the pictures, I had converted all files from html to Pdf using the batch conversion option of Adobe professional last night.... 

Unfortunately, this morning, I found out that... oops... I had problems importing pdfs into Nvivo while, apparently, Nvivo 8 doesn't quite handle Pdf all that well.  Most importantly, it would be crazy to import all 1500 pdf files into Nvivo anyways... duh... lol

What I have accomplished so far is to test out various programs (trial version) that allows for batch conversion of files from Pdf to word.  Although others might have their preferences, I find my preference to be DeskUnPDF.... as I am typing out this... file conversion in process in the background.

Clean up the files

Some of stuffs on the files could have been cleaned up in batch at html phase.... which I would recommend you to do.

However, I didn't come to the realization until after all files have been converted into Pdfs.  These might include info such as the title of the blog and other stuffs that gets added by blogger and service providers alike automatically to your post.  Programs such as dreamweaver would allow you to edit out most of them out in batch.

In my scenario, I would have to find a software that allows me to batch edit things out of the word documents... including the notes added by DeskUnPdf to show that the file conversion was conducted using their trial version... 8-O

To Be Continued... since still in the conversion phase.

Batch conversion from PDF to Word for Nvivo 8

One task involved in using Nvivo 8 to take a look at the Ratology Reloaded blog is... document preparation... including... file conversion.

Following is my experience so far with some of the software programs that performs batch conversion from PDF to Word:

DeskUnPDF: My favorite so far is DeskUnPDF.  It retains some of the format and pictures as well. Although it concerts files with Chinese title, it doesn't convert Chinese.

For trial version, it has the restriction of converting only the first 3 pages or so.   Two things really annoying about its trial is that... it adds texts to the end of your document to remind you that the file conversion was conducted using their trial software.

Also, the trial version only allow you to convert 30 files in one setting and it takes forever to close out all the Pdf files after the conversion process is done.  Every time I tried to close all 30 files together, the program would simply hang there for some time as if it has crashed.... and... it moves... actually thought the program crashed for the first few times... After a while, you know.. well.. so it stops...... so it stops... 8-O lol

However, much lighter a file to be imported into NVivo 8 and hasn't crashed the Nvivo 8 yet during the import process.  This is why I decided to stay with this program.

Some other programs I have tested out as well.  Before DeskUnPdf, I actually was debating between PDF Ripper and Convert Doc... until I realize that files converted through convert Doc crashes Nvivo often during file import process:

PDF Ripper: The trial version gives you 15 days and it also allows you to specify an entire folder to convert.  It only allow you to convert files into rtf format but not word format.  In addition, one big problem I have with this program... but maybe be no problem to others.. the software doesn't recognize foreign characters such as Chinese.  When conducting batch processing by specifying a folder to convert, the program stalls when it encounters a file with Chinese file name.  Even if you change the file name to English, the converted file would still be all scrambled...

Convert Doc: Convert Doc works and tries its best to retain the layout when converting PDF to Word.  Unfortunately, too many graphics here and there.  In terms of HTML to other file types, have not been able to get it to work.  When trying to import the converted files into Nvivo 8 SP4, at least 3 out of 4 trials failed... and crashes the program.

PDFtoWord: For the trial version, you could only convert 1 file at a time with the max of 5 pages.  The resulting file is huge... 19 mb for a 2 page document with 2 pictures or so.  I won't recommend it.

AAA PDF to Word Converter 2.0: Installed the software but it wouldn't even launch.

123File Converter: Maybe it is file the trial version, the batch processing option either can't be found or doesn't exist.

A-PDF Word to PDF: Doesn't run on 64 bit windows.

Monday, September 27, 2010

A problem concerning exporting blogger blog to Nvivo

This problem I am trying to tackle now...

How do you export a blog and analyze it with Nvivo?

Nvivo 8 on Windows 7 problem?

Encountered a problem loading Nvivo 8 SP4 on windows 7 x64 earlier...

I tried twice and still showing me error loading kind of thing...

So, I right-click to "Run as administrator."

Problem solved.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Embed youtube clip in flash and Captivate 5 with Actionscript3

Was trying really hard to embed youtube in Captivate 5 with Actionscript 3... since Adobe got rid of actionscript 2 in Captivate 5....

Big issues for people who have been doing development using Actionscript 2 all these years.

One thing I could tell you is that... the simple script I used worked for embedding youtube clip in flash and, after embedding the flash file as an animation in Captivate 5, it also works in the library window... 8-O lol

Although the final product DOES allow me to see the clip stream for 3-5 seconds.. sort of like ships passing in the sea.... following is the product of my defective trial... (8-O lol).

Would like to share with you the simple codes etc I used... but... wait for another day... time for beauty sleep... especially when it was yesterday when, thinking about it, I really had to do something with it...

Since captivate 5 is still relatively new, I will just wait till them experts to cook up some resolutions since thinking too much might speed up my aging proces! lol

Seriously... experts... help!

Update: FYI-- Please check postings in the following Adobe Forum for a potential solution: Unfortunately, no longer do I have a copy of the software on this machine; thus, I haven't gotten the chance to try it out myself. Hope the solution provided in the forum will help solving your problem.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Youtube Video Editor

Trying out the Youtube Video Editing function as I am watching TV...

It works... including patching your youtube clips together, trimming the clips and even adding some simple transition effects...

Assign a file name and click publish...

Except for... after applying transitions, if you try to preview the clip you are making, you might get the following error message...

DivXLand Media Subtitler caption software tutorial and problem

I did a simple tutorial for DivXLand Media Subtitler caption software.... also published activate notes to go along with it.

It took me 2 seconds to got the software going but it took me almost the whole day to get this tutorial up... mainly due to technical problems related to the video file at the end of the tutorial...

Could have gotten it done better... but... enough work for the day... time for TV... 8-O lol

The one DivdXLand related issue was that sometimes the "preview" function of the software doesn't work.  You might try to preview it but it simply doesn't show.  One way to workaround it is to close out both the caption and the video files and reload both.  This should solve the problem.

And, by the way, yes, this software works on Windows 7 64 bit.

(I know I am an expert in crashing things... but... with a clip or two shorter than 30 seconds and transcriptions these many words.... that's some special talent.. I guess... 8-O lol)

Youtube caption technology again

Just updated the captions for the clip:

The caption is much more synchronous now with the speech...

Not that I spent another night fine-tuning it...

Rather, I spent a few minutes recreated an srt file using a caption shareware "DivXLand Media Subtitler" and replaced the new file with the old caption file I used for this clip on youtube.

Easy to use GUI interface, the fact that I already had all transcription ready made the process even faster because I could simply import the transcription.... shortening hours of work (literally) into minutes.

Since I have been playing with captivate, I did come up with a tutorial for the DivXLand Media Subtitler software.

Following is the updated caption file downloaded from youtube:

You must be listenting right.

It is very bright here

But where you are is too dark.

I can't see you.

Please don't hide where I can't see.

Come to where I can see.

Please allow me

to see you.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Youtube caption technology

Tried out the youtube caption technology recently...

Theoretically, if you are lucky and the video is in English, it seems like you could simply upload the captions. According to Youtube, they has implemented some sort of voice recognition technology to synchronize the texts with the voice.

Unfortunately, the clip I selected was in Korean and yours truly have to prepare a text file containing things like the following. By the way, please bear with this Taiwanese English translation. To be honest, I don't know a word he said... translated based on the Chinese translation I found from a different clip 8-O

You listenting?!
It is very bright here
But where you are is too dark.
 I can't see you.
Please don't hide where I can't see.
Come to where I can see.
Please allow me
to see you.

When upload it using the type specifying "caption file (include time code)".

A pain in the back task (and pain in the back is a very very bad thing...)

Despite of the imperfection, I finally gave it up... because more details you have to go into than getting a dissertation done... (should be ideas... ideas... 8-O lol oops...)

I also put up with this error message that kept on showing up after the file is loaded since the captions seem to sort of work anyways. (8-O lol)

Error message in English
Error message in Traditional Chinese
Granted, there is a whole universe of caption software all over the planet.. 

What good do I see in the Youtube caption technology?

First, it is free.

Second, it is platform independent... for instance, the clip below was the "usability testing" I did making my mom using the ubuntu machine... since she will be the person using the machine...

Back to the topic, not only did I edited the clip using da ubuntu machine, I also completed the caption for this clip using the same machine...

What I meant by... platform independence... as indicated by the conversations over grandma on ubuntu.... with the music of garbage pick-up truck downstairs in the background.... 8-O lol

Third, it is independent of the file type (e.g., .fla, .avi, .gt)... as long as it is "youtube-compatible". 8-O lol

The process is also simple... after you get the caption or transcription ready, which, of course is one huge task, it involves nothing more than a bit of clickings.... clicking to upload the caption file and to delete the old caption file in case you want to upload a new file.

The cons?

I guess... more user friendly kinda GUI interface will eventually be rolled out.

Also... a tip for you... after the caption file is uploaded, if you want to see whether the updated caption file is working fine, remember to refresh the browser because the video on the page is cached and your changes won't be shown this way.  Cache or not cache?  A trade-off I guess... Yet, so what?  Didn't your teacher tell you to refresh the browser to see the updates every time you change the codes in your, say, HTML 101 class? 8-O lol

Educational implications?  For one thing... instructional supplement... I guess...

Monday, September 20, 2010

How to make Google Doc folders and files public to the web

In the following clip, I created a folder titled "Ratology: Down with Meds" and made the folder "Public to the web"

Hope this tutorial helps!

Gigabit network... how I miss thee...

Been trying to download some files to clean up my account... no more than 160 MB .... and it's been over an hour....

So I thought...

Gigabit network... how I miss thee... (of course, above and beyond the people...) lol

(actually, only 35 mb took me over 2 hours...) 8-O

Blank page for Google docs shared folders - public to the web?

Haven't touched google docs for a while...

If I remember correctly, months if not years back, google did not allow users to upload pdf files.

When I took the blog down in Feb. 2008, blogger still did not have the option of "Exporting" your entire blog.  At that point, all that I could do was to save my postings by month and in html format... and later, converted them to pdf files.

I had tried to upload the files to other free file sharing places... unfortunately, that service requires the user to log back in something like every few weeks or months... By the time I remembered, the account was deactivated and them files cleaned out.

This is why I was so excited when finding out google docs allows people to share and work with pdf files.... although... only had the chance to test out the sharing part.

So, I created a folder in google docs and uploaded my old blog Ratology: Down with Meds, with them pdf files nicely filed into subfolders (e.g., 1/2007-6/2007).

Since the intention is to share the docs back to the public, I decided to set the viewing level of security to the most relaxed level... "Public to the Web."

However, there is no "apply it to all subfolders and files" option, as a result, I had to apply it to all subfolders and files and make them all "Public to the web."

So all things went well and fine when using the browser that I am logged in to... shared folders, subfolders and all files loading and showing.

So perfect that it almost felt like paradise...

Then, I used IE to test it out... trying to load the main folder of "Ratology."

Oops... nothing but a blank page.

I tested out using Firefox... same thing.

So, with IE, I decided to log in to another google account of mine, and, found all things fine, and, it also went fine when loading the url into yet a different google account using Firefox.

I, therefore, came up with the conclusion... regardless of the browsers, if you would to load a URL for shared folders, you will have to log in to a google account; otherwise, you would be staring into a blank page.

However, the next question came to my mind was, "What about individual files?"

I logged myself out of google for all three browsers and tried to load the url for one of the shared files and it worked fine for all browsers.

Thus, until the time when google get it fixed... if people can't see the Google Docs folders that you made public to the web, tell them to log in to a google account and it should work...

Strip with real

Not I go stripping for real.... especially when... ain't like I am wearing all that much in this picture anyways... 8-O lol


Strip with real... or stripping music off video files using real converter...

For what purpose?

Since no intent for self-incrimination... well... with this skill, you can download all of the videos I uploaded to my youtube account, strip the sound tracks off all my videos and put them on whatever player you have..

Except- I have no idea why anyone would do a thing like this.... unless...

8-O lol

Sunday, September 19, 2010

youtube bug? No "張根碩" or "장근석" only "Jang Keun Suk" 8-O

A strange bug I found on youtube...

I tried to create a new playlist using "張根碩" or "장근석"... neither worked... I had thought the create new playlist might had stopped working... until finding out... "Jang Keun Suk" worked.

No foreign characters in playlist?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Audacity 1.3.12 on Windows 7 x64

I tried to use the built-in sound recorder to record my voice these two days.  However, the sound level is really low and I could hardly hear my self calling myself あちまコンクリート (阿達媽konkuri) or あちまショト (阿達媽秀逗 or the head is short-circuited)...  (which might be God's will? 8-O lol)

Anyways, it would be a bit too boring for me to be listening to myself saying things like... "testing, testing, 1 2 3..."

Ended up, I downloaded Audacity 1.3.12 beta and the program seems to be doing fine on Windows 7 x64.  In addition, the Lame MP3 Encoder also works fine.

After I exported the recording into files of .wav and .mp3 format, I use the Windows Live Movie Maker to make a simple movie file embedding either of the audio files and uploaded these files up to youtube... using the upload function provided by Windows Live Movie maker.  All things went smoothly as well.

Audio in .wav format (file size: 378kb)

Audio file in .mp3 format (file size: 35.5 kb)

Guess... now I have the audacity to say that... even あちまコンクリート (阿達媽konkuri) might have some utility to it?!  A lesson I learned after listening to me repeating this same phrase over and over again.... 8-O lol

Also, I was replaying and rerecording the same phrase so many times that... at some point, my mom made a point of telling me.... "You are learning Japanese, right?  You know you are not supposed to call people... あちまコンクリート (阿達媽konkuri)?!"  8-O lol

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Them screenshots...

One thing funny about them screenshots I took from this ubuntu machine is that...

Chinese everywhere.... because this install... is Chinese.

Funny enough, since I hardly use any OS in Chinese... not to mention ubuntu.... sort of really awkward at times....

Like... this stupid question I had earlier today....

The 影片 directory is equivalent to the "my video" directory...

Should I put down the path as ./影片 or ./my video? (the answer, is, apparently, ./影片... 8-O lol)

On a second thought... well, the texts are in English but pictures in Chinese only...  Seems to be failing on the usability kinda department...

Ended up, I went ahead and took some screenshots using the English version of ubuntu to go with those of the Chinese version.

Converting ogg file to avi in ubuntu

The process of converting an ogg file to an avi file is fairly simple... although you do need to use command line syntax...

To launch the terminal in Gnome...

Launch terminal in Chinese version of ubuntu.

Launch terminal in English version of ubuntu.

Unless you already have mencoder installed, otherwise, the first thing you have to do is to install mencoder after launching the terminal.

You need to type the following "sudo apt-get install mencoder" after the command prompt.  After you press the enter key, a second line will appear asking for your password: "[sudo] password for chang:".  After you type in the administrative password, the installation process will begin.


Second, you will need to figure out where the ogg file is located and how to switch to that directory.

To figure out where you are currently, you can type in the "pwd" command and press enter key...

chang@chang-desktop:~$ pwd

In the above two lines, I typed in "pwd" after the command prompt.  After hitting the "enter" key, the second line appears "/home/chang"-- telling me that this is the directory I am in.  You could also type in the "ls" command to list all items in the "chang" director.

In this scenario, the "usable" movie file in ogg format is located under 影片 (my video) directory.  Since I know that the "影片" directory is a subdirectory of "chang," when writing the command line code to run mencoder, I could either switch to the "影片" directory first or include the path info in the command line as well.

By the way, "usable" in the command line is the file name of my ogg file and "usability.avi" is the file name I assigned to the output file.   In other words, you can replace usable with the name of your file and "usability.avi" with whatever output file name you desire.

Switching to the "影片" directory before running the command to convert the file.
You can also provide the path info directly.

If you encounter messages like the following and you are sure that the file name is correct, you might have provided the wrong path:

chang@chang-desktop:~$ mencoder ./usable -oac mp3lame -ovc lavc -o usability.avi
MEncoder SVN-r1.0~rc3+svn20090426-4.4.3 (C) 2000-2009 MPlayer Team
File not found: './usable'
Failed to open ./usable.
Cannot open file/device.


Otherwise, if you see text like the following going on and on and on.... congrats!  Conversion might have been in process... and... good luck!

Hope this helps!

P.S. You can skip texts from this point on... this is but an example of the log..

chang@chang-desktop:~$ mencoder ./影片/usable -oac mp3lame -ovc lavc -o output_movie.avi

MEncoder SVN-r1.0~rc3+svn20090426-4.4.3 (C) 2000-2009 MPlayer Team
success: format: 0  data: 0x0 - 0x3710b7c
[Ogg] stream 0: video (Theora v3.2.1), -vid 0
[Ogg] stream 1: audio (Vorbis), -aid 0
Ogg file format detected.
VIDEO:  [theo]  720x576  24bpp  15.000 fps    0.0 kbps ( 0.0 kbyte/s)
[V] filefmt:18  fourcc:0x6F656874  size:720x576  fps:15.000  ftime:=0.0667

My first video production -- on Linux: "ubuntu usability testing"

I decided to do a simple usability testing... involving my mom and ubuntu...

I set up this machine for my mom cuz this guy could hardly move when running XP....  Therefore, I put ubuntu on it instead.

Then, as I was messing around on this ubuntu machine, I thought of puppy... I have always liked the baby blue color of the default puppy interface... at least that version I got...

So I thought... because it is so cute... it must be more usable for my mama.  (some logic here... 8-O lol)

Just before I wipe the machine out and put puppy on... I decided to do a "usability testing" on my mama using ubuntu...

End result: It worked perfect because I left only one icon on the desktop... all that she had to do is to turn on the computer, double-click on the Firefox icon, and, the Taiwanese stock market page of Yahoo will be loaded by default.  I was having some difficulties getting her to turn off the machine when trying to have her retest it again....  8-O lol

Regardless, the following really boring clip as the end product...

Step 1:

Importing the clips.  

When the camera is connected to the computer, you should see the pop-up window asking you which software program to use for further processing. 

If you select F-Spot, you should be presented with the next window.

Select the pictures to download... Chinese version.

Select the pictures to download... English version.

Once you selected the files you want to download, click "Copy."

When the process is done, you would see the window like the following...

Download complete window in Chinese.
Download complete window in English.

Editing the video 

I have used the PiTivi program to edit the video.  The process is straight forward... with the only trick... for reason known, on the desktop where I have installed the Chinese version of Ubuntu, to import video, you have to use the import icon that looks like a green cross.

However, when testing it out running the os directly from my usb drive using the thinkpad laptop, it did allow me to drag and drop the videos into the program...

The PiTiVi program that came with the ubuntu install.

Drag and drop videos into the PiTiVi program.

Drag and drop videos into the timeline in PiTiVi program.

Converting from .ogg file to avi file

Unfortunately, the output of the PiTIvi program is in ogg format.

After I uploaded the file to youtube, it would only play the sound but not the images.

As a result, I had to use the mencoder program to convert the .ogg file into an avi file.... after a lot of trial and errors, it finally worked...

(Please see my other posting on how to use mencoder to convert .ogg file to avi.)

Change Ubuntu Screen resolution

I was thinking of switching from ubuntu to puppy because I like the baby blue desktop of puppy....

Then, I thought... I am really あちまショト (阿達媽秀逗 or the head is short-circuited)...

Did some simple usability testing yesterday... asking my mom, the designated user of this computer, whether it is simple enough for her...

She thought it is fine...

Yet, on a second thought, at resolution this high, it might be more difficult for my mom to see and read things..

So, I decided to lower the resolution.

The process is simple and straight forward using the GUI interface:

The following screenshots are in traditional Chinese:

Click system and select preference. Choose "Screen" from the second level drop-down.

Screenshot on how to locate the monitor setting (Chinese Version).
Screenshot on how to locate the monitor setting (English Version).

This window will pop up...

The screen resolution window in Chinese version of ubuntu.

The screen resolution window in English version of ubuntu.

After you click on the current resolution (e.g., 1280x1024 (5:4)), you will get a list of all available resolutions in the dropdown.  I selected 1024x768 (4X3))

The screen resolution window in Chinese version of ubuntu.

The screen resolution window in English version of ubuntu.

And click Apply.

Another pop up would show up asking you whether you want to keep the setting.  In this scenario, I decided to keep the setting.

The confirmation window asking you whether you want to keep the new setting.
Chinese version.
The confirmation window asking you whether you want to keep the new setting.
English version.

After you close out the second pop up, the screen resolution window would still be open.  At this point, simply close out this window.