The Geekly Guy

This blog contains information regarding all things Linux, although any computer technology subject matter fits within the realm of this blog.

Friday, May 09, 2003

A coworker passed along a Knoppix CD that he got from somewhere (I forget where he said). I currently use something similar called the Linux Bootable Toolkit (LBT) that has a VERY small footprint, enough to fit on a 180MB mini-CD. It even includes a GUI (Blackbox). This'll be the first time I try Knoppix. I have a version of Knoppix as an ISO that I got from last month's LinuxFormat magazine DVD. Sure, I don't need it as I already have a few live CDs and actually use my laptop under Linux almost exclusively (though it dualboots between Linux and Windows XP). I just like anything Linux and who knows when I'll actually need a live CD to use as a rescue disk. I'll keep my LBT since it can fit in my pocket. :o)

I'll be moving this blog to in the near future, so I can get rid of this hosting provider....been having too many technical problems with them lately. I still haven't received any mail since before the beginning of May and its really starting to tick me off. Anyways, it was a bit hard for me to set up this blog using my webhost as a medium. We'll see how the transfer goes. I'm going to cross my fingers.

Two days ago, I decided to fool around with a bit of multimedia. Specifically, copying a DVD into a DIVX .AVI file. I decided to use 'mencoder' and followed the FAQ/HOWTOs on the Mplayer pages. It took quite awhile for 'mencoder' to encode the file as I had to make 3 passes, establishing a sound file for the first pass, a video file for the second pass, and the third pass combined the two into the last and resulting DIVX .AVI file. It was quite exciting (though slow). In the past, I'd created VCDs from VHS tapes, which was an even slower process, as I used a capture card to capture the movie while it was playing. Once that was done, I had to find the right tools and HOWTOs, tools that were spread across the internet. I then had to wait while Windows 98 processed the copied VHS tape into its format. This particular system used a 400MHz Celeron CPU with 196MB of RAM and the file compilation was glitchy. I ended up repeating the process multiple times until I knew how to get the file not to show artifacts and warping. I did this by shrinking the view size. When I copied the DVD the other day, I did it on a system that contained 768MB of RAM and an Athlon XP2000+ under FreeBSD. The files I needed, the HOWTOs and such, were all on one page, I had the software already installed on the system and everything was fine on the first compile of the file. Just plain awesome! Of course, now I'll be doing this to other movies so I can watch them from files instead of the DVD itself. I'm quite impressed.

Well, work calls (I'm at work). G'night.

Thursday, May 08, 2003

Trying out the Phoenix web browser in FreeBSD....very very nice.

Anyways, I thought I'd drop by to throw a few notes to some people who may not know how to mount MSDOS partitions in FreeBSD. I did use Google to attempt to find out how to do this but saw more questions than answers. The FreeBSD handbook (which I bought, the actual book) didn't cover how to mount MSDOS partitions and the manual pages didn't either.

Here's how you do it. You use the 'mount_msdosfs' command, like so:

/sbin/mount_msdosfs /dev/ad0s1 /mnt/dos1
/sbin/mount_msdosfs /dev/ad2s5 /mnt/dos2
/sbin/mount_msdosfs /dev/ad2s6 /mnt/dos3
/sbin/mount_msdosfs /dev/ad4s5 /mnt/dos4

Insert the partition (or 'slice', as FreeBSD people say) you'd like to mount. You can also add those slices to your /etc/fstab file, like so:

# Device Mountpoint FStype Options Dump Pass#

# Mounting Windows Partitions
/dev/ad0s1 /mnt/dos1 msdos rw 0 0
/dev/ad2s5 /mnt/dos2 msdos rw 0 0
/dev/ad2s6 /mnt/dos3 msdos rw 0 0
/dev/ad4s5 /mnt/dos4 msdos rw 0 0

I'm posting all this here in the chance that it may help someone. In fact, I'm also going to use this blog as a notetaking tool. I go to my blogs from time to time when I forget how I'd done something or what command I'd used to apply something in Linux/Unix.

OK, I'm calling it the night. Oh see some of my digicam pics, go to
I was playing around and there are 2 pictures of my computer rig that start with the letters "DSC". They are big so if you're on dialup, this is your warning. :o)