Rotate iPhone video and convert to h.264 video

First things first: grab the required packages for the program avconv. For Ubuntu, these packages are libavcodec-extra-xx (where xx is a version number) and libav-tools.

For single file, run: avconv -i in.MOV -c:a copy -c:v libx264 -crf 18 -preset veryfast -vf transpose=1 out.mkv, where in.MOV and out.mkv are the input and output files, respectively.

To convert all files in a folder, run:

find . -name “*.MOV” -exec avconv -i ‘{}’ -c:a copy -c:v libx264 -crf 18 -preset veryfast -vf transpose=1 ‘./{}.mkv’ \; && rename “s/.MOV.mkv/.mkv/” * &


Blocking the OTA update notifier on the Samsung Galaxy S4

This one is a piece of cake. Using an app like Titanium Backup, freeze the program “SDM.” Bam! No more popups.


Subverting’s manual IP updating for free accounts with Python is popular provider of static to dynamic host names. Their service allows those of us with dynamic IPs to have a static host name by use of a client that periodically updates the ip address the host name points to. Recently, sites like dyndns and no-ip have started requiring their free users to log in and perform a manual update of their hosts through the provider’s website. Failing to do so at regular intervals will result in a suspension of the domain. Knowing that I would almost certainly forget to update my hosts, I wrote a quick and dirty python script to take care of that for me. I have my linux box run this once a week as a cronjob and it has run successfully for the last few months. Note that if any of the URLs change the script will need to be altered. Continue reading


How to store Google Play Music on your external SD card

Google Play Music is a nice app, but it lacks the ability to store music on anything but internal storage. Here’s how to trick the application into storing your cached files on your external sdcard and free up that valuable application space. Note, you will need root access to do this as the application stores its files in a protected location. Continue reading


Automatic charging and wireless hotspot in the car

A friend gifted me an Qi-based inductive cell phone charger that worked sporadically. I opened it up and found a couple bad solder joints to the power connector and cleaned them up. My cell phone, a Samsung Galaxy S4, supports wireless charging with an addon receiver coil. I picked one up off Amazon for cheap, slapped it in the phone and used the charger for about a week before I got irritated at how slow it charged compared to the stock 2A wall wart. The phone reported 640 mA during wireless charging and a whopping 1.8 amps when plugged into the wall.The wireless thing is clever, but positioning is critical, the range is pretty bad (<5 mm) and at less than half the output of a traditional plug it isn’t terribly useful. The one place it would be useful would be on the road. Continue reading


Adding auto-shutoff turn signals to a motorcycle

I always use my blinkers when I drive. Always. If I won a billion dollar powerball jackpot, I would use 900 million to form death-squads to hunt down meandering jerks who casually change lanes without even a hint of their actions to their fellow travelers. Bikers get a pass, though. Many motorcycle riders opt to use hand signals for several reasons; one of the more common being that motorcycle turn signals do not automatically cancel after a turn. It is easy to ride for miles, blissfully unaware that your blinker is on. Full face helmet riders are particularly prone to this riding faux pas as the lower portion of the helmet often obscures the dash display.

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Cosmetic upgrades on a 2006 Suzuki DRZ 400 supermoto

A buddy of mine bought himself a DRZ 400 supermoto. We changed out the rear brake light and blinkers with an integrated brake/turn signal and installed an angled license plate holder. On the front end we replaced the stock headlight fairing with a smaller, more streamlined model and swapped out the gigantic stock indicators for a set of less-obtrusive LED blinkers. The stock handle bar had been swapped out previously and prevented the use of the stock ignition switch bracket. We opted to trim down the old bracket and attach it to the top of the fork assembly.