We needed lately videos that were compatible with Microsoft Powerpoint. From what I understood it seems that Powerpoint supports natively only MPEG1 and WMV video codecs. After some testing I figured the options for mencoder in order to produce videos that would work with Powerpoint. Here the command line hoping that this might help other people in the future:

mencoder video.avi -o video.wmv -of lavf -oac lavc -ovc lavc \
-lavcopts vcodec=wmv1:vbitrate=1500:acodec=wmav1

Update: I added the audio codec, this should help to make audio work in Powerpoint. And thanks a lot for pointing out that file names (including the full path) should not be longer than 128 characters in Powerpoint.

September 11, 2009 Development, Linux

I have had my iBook G4 for quite a while now, but it got slower over the time (and with the new versions of Mac OS X). About time to get a new machine! Instead of continuing with Macintosh or saddling over to Windows, I chose freedom: A Samsung NC10 netbook together with the Ubuntu Linux distribution:

I’m free! No viruses, no need for proprietary software, no control, and instead plenty of free software a mouse click away for installation. I migrated my data and I have been working with now for some weeks, it feels very good. Ubuntu is a great distribution.

Looking through the net, I found a lot of music software for Linux, wow! I’ll put a list of useful applications online at a later point. I was also very happy to see that my Edirol Audio/MIDI USB interface worked right away with Ubuntu (9.04). So I can get back to home recording!

Of course Linux is not perfect so far. The duration of the battery of my Samsung NC10 is under Linux only about 4h15. Power consumption under Windows is super-optimized – there it ranges around 6h. Another issue are stability issues when waking the NC10 up, in 10-15% of the cases Linux hangs and the system needs to be restarted. This might get solved in the future, we’ll see. Otherwise it runs great.

September 7, 2009 Linux, My Life

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