Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Manually add libdvdcss.dll to Handbrake on 64-bit Windows 7

I was looking for a process that would allow someone to manually add  libdvdcss.dll to a 32-bit Handbrake version 0.9.6 install on 64-bit Windows 7.  After a bit of web searching the process that seems to work for many is:
1. Download GStreamer WinBuilds v0.10.6 GPL (x86) (GStreamer-WinBuilds-GPL-x86.msi ) from OSSBuild Downloads.
2. Install GStreamer.
3. Navigate to C:\Program Files (x86)\OSSBuild\GStreamer\v0.10.6\bin
4. Copy libdvdcss-2.dll to C:\Program Files (x86)\Handbrake
5. Rename libdvdcss-2.dll to libdvdcss.dll

Check Handbrake Windows 7 64-Bit DVD Ripping for a 64-bit oriented guide.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Digital Curation / Digital Asset Management TTPs for digital forensics artifacts

Started looking into Digital Curation / Digital Asset Management techniques, tactics and procedures.  I’m mostly interested in curating and preserving digital forensics artifacts -- hard drive images, memory images, network trace captures, event log files, etc.—to support team oriented forensics analysis and annotation of large scale digital corpora.  I prefer to use open source technologies. Fortunately for me, professional digital archivists are already working the issues!

The Council on Library and Information Resources provides an overview of the challenges in their December 2010 report  titled “Digital Forensics and Born-Digital Content in Cultural Heritage Collections”.  A bit on the lighter side…the “Preserving Virtual Worlds Final Report” from IDEALS investigates preservation of video games and interactive fiction.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Netzob–Reversing protocols

Just saw Netzob on free(code) today.  It looks like it combines protocol format recovery (vocabulary) and control flow recovery as automaton.  They use grammar inference (specifically Angluin L*)  to generate a modified Mealy machine.  Very cool!  I previously did some work inferring protocol control flow as FSM  using a few GI algorithms.  I’m off to the netzob code repository to have a look…

Storage Virtualization for home use

I have several odd size SATA drives that I might be able to put back to work…so I’m looking for a storage virtualization system.  At the moment it looks like Windows 8 Storage Spaces or the Linux based Greyhole might be the best fit for my home use scenario.  Greyhole is the storage pooling system used in Amahi.

IQEmu–Launch Windows apps in a VirtualBox sandbox on Linux host.

IQEmu launches  Windows applications in a virtualized sandbox on Linux hosts.  Currently works best with VirtualBox for the virtualization backend.  Source is available via github.

Alternatives to Objective-C that target iOS

While some have fun with Objective-C and despite neat features like automatic reference counting I have no deep love for the language.   So I started looking for some alternatives to target iOS devices.  So far my list is very short:
  • RubyMotion – based on MacRuby is a Ruby implementation built in Objective-C.  The backend is a LLVM derived compiler that emits iOS native code.
  • MonoTouch – from Xamarin, the developers of Mono, it’s a version of C# that targets iOS.  They also have developed Mono for Android so there is the possibility of sharing some code between platforms.
  • RoboVM - translates Java bytecode into native ARM or x86.  One advantage RoboVM has over RubyMotion and MonoTouch is that source is available at GitHub robovm/robovm.
WikiPedia has a longer list of platform development environments in a  Mobile application development article.  Also, Simone D’Amico summarizes several cross-platform mobile development SDKs.  Finally, there are some mutterings around about developing with other languages, besides MacRuby,  then emitting iOS binaries via the LLVM middle-end optimizers and LLVM back-end code generators.

Monday, April 23, 2012


I forgot about this one…SCIgen - An Automatic CS Paper Generator.   The generated papers are rather fun.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Slashdot Alternatives?

I was a long time Slashdot reader but, in my opinion, the site is on a death spiral since it was sold to corporate overlords.  I’m looking for some alternatives.  So far it seems that Hack A DayIEEE Spectrum and OSnews might scratch my geeky news itch.  The Daily WTF can fill in the techy humor gap.
Google Trends shows Slashdot's declining search volume index and, of course, what post like this would be complete without a link to Quit Today!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Learning From Data course material

Caltech Professor Yaser Abu-Mostafa is allowing online live access to Learning From Data lectures April-May 2012.  The Learning From Data book is available from Amazon.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Technic– Minecraft launcher with mod pack support

Technic - finally a Minecraft launcher with support for some of the big mod packs.  At time of writing it supports: Technic, Tekkit,  Vanilla, VoxelMODPACK, and YogBox.   The only quirk I’ve run into so far is that it requires a 64-bit JRE on 64-bit OSes.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Kid-friendly Multi-Player games (Console)

Another rainy weekend… Tried out several PC oriented games over the last couple weekends with varied success.   This weekend it was time to hit the “bargain bin” at Amazon for “Lego video games” and Zelda for the Wii.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Kid-friendly, Open Source, Multi-Player/LAN games

I was looking for some kid-friendly, free, open source, multi-player/LAN oriented games that will work on Windows and Linux boxes.  Kept having my kids friends show up after school to play online games.  Hopefully, this will spark some interest in “how” the games were made.  My main criteria were: support multi-player; multi-computer - prefer LAN server over Internet server;  and most-important a low initial learning curve.  I wanted a mix of: real-time and turn-based; 2D and 3D.
Here’s a few that I’ve installed.  I still have to see how the group responds  to the games :
  • Armagetron – real-time Tron light-cycle arena clone in 3D.
  • Bitfighter –  real-time 2D space combat game with dual-axes controls.
  • BZFlag – real-time 3D tank battle game.  This one can be a bit frantic.
  • Domination – turn-based 2D “risk” like strategy game that supports alternative world maps.
  • Hedgewars -  turn-based 2.5D strategy, artillery, action and comedy game.
  • Scorcehed3D -  turn-based 3D artillery game.
  • WarMUX -  turn-based 2D Worms-like game.
Here are some that I might try.  Depends on how the games above work out:
  • Aeron – a combat flight simulator.
  • Freeciv -  turn-based civilization like game.
  • FreeCol – turn-based strategy game like civilization.
  • JSettlers2 – web-based version of Settlers of Catan.
  • SuperTuxKart – a kart racing game that supports up to four players on one PC. Unfortunately, no LAN play at this time.
If you are looking for a streamlined way to find and install other open source games check out the games available via and the Game Downloader.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Extract files from executable installation package/Windows installers

I needed to extract a couple of files that were embedded into an executable installation package.  After a few fruitless googles on recording Windows installers, and automated software removal I finally came across Universal Extractor.  I used it to extract the files from an InstallShield  package in an .exe file.