Archive for September, 2011

Canon EOS 550D Rebel T2i: First Impressions

September 18th, 2011 1 comment

I’ve recently purchased one of these cameras and I must say that I am very impressed with it. I am not a good photographer but now that I own my own DSLR, there are no more excuses not to improve my skills.

I bought the body only of this camera, and my mate Leonid gave me his EF-S 18-55 lens which he no longer needed since upgrading his lens. This lens is fine for the beginner and therefore a very good starting point.

So far, I have not taken the camera out of the ‘full auto’ mode (still too scared to), but I have downloaded and read many pdfs which basically suggest that this is a crime, so no doubt I will be adventuring into all of the features/functions that this camera has to offer in the coming weeks.

Here are a couple of my first photos taken with this camera (first one photoshopped, second one untouched).


Callistemon (Bottlebrush)

Taken with a Canon EOS 550D Rebel T2i

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Synology adds MKV transcoding support for PS3 with firmware 3.2-1922

September 9th, 2011 3 comments

I don’t have an HTPC at home. Back when I bought my Synology DiskStation DS410 NAS in May, it was either that or an ASRock NetTop ION 330HT.

I bought the NAS over the HTPC as I had more use for it thinking that the NAS would stream anything to my PS3 anyway. Boy was I wrong. It took me a while to find the settings to enable FLAC and APE transcoding for music files, but MKV support was simply inexistant.

I tried many different workarounds, PS3 Media Server and MediaTomb mostly, but these struggled at best and therefore nothing was watchable. I had finally found a working solution by converting all mkv files to m2ts files, but this was a pain to have to do. Built-in transcoding from the NAS was what I needed. And now I have it!

Synology have added this in their latest firmware and I have tested two mkv files, one 12GB and one 8GB in size. Although they are slighty slower to start than say, an avi, they both played nice and smoothly. The scene search thumbnails didn’t work but that doesn’t bother me at all as I only use scene search to skip to a time where I know I stopped watching something.

So if you are missing mkv support on your Synology, head on over to the Synology Download Center and upgrade to the latest firmware. Alternatively, login to your unit and upgrade via DSM Update.

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SSH configuration: single host, multiple users.

September 5th, 2011 No comments

A colleague of mine recently reminded me of the per-user ssh config file the other day, which typically lives at ~/.ssh/config or /home/user/.ssh/config

In this file you can define multiple ssh connections that you frequent and this becomes even more useful if you have many hosts/accounts to connect to.

Consider the following:

ssh [email protected] -p2222

Sure, it’s easy to remember, but what if you have many hosts, each with different ports?

Whilst reminding me about the config file however, he complained that you can’t define 2 different users for the same system. This isn’t true, and this is how it’s done:

Host user1
User user1
Port 2222

Host user2
User user2
Port 2222

That’s all! Now, when using ssh, you can just type “ssh ” and the first few characters of a Host and then hit tab to get a list of all available accounts. The autocompletion comes from the “Host” definition. Inside any Host profile, you can basically use any other parameter documented in `man ssh_config`. Definition for Host as follows:

Host Restricts the following declarations (up to the next Host keyword) to be only for those hosts that match one of the patterns given after the keyword.  If more than one pattern is provided, they should be separated by whitespace.  A single ‘*’ as a pattern can be used to provide global defaults for all hosts.  The host is the hostname argument given on the command line (i.e. the name is not converted to a canonicalized host name before matching).

Edit: As pointed out by Leonid, you will need `yum install bash-completion` or its equivalent for host autocompletion to work.