Tag Archives: convendro

Convendro, Soliendro

So, the last couple of weeks, I’ve finally decided to push for a 1.0 release of Convendro (Google Code downloads, Github code): the reason being that I thought it was getting obnoxious that it was still in ‘beta-ish’ mode. After what, 2 years? Come on, pal.

That being said: I’ve mainly focused on clean-up and creating two separate installers for 32 and 64-bits architectures.The irony is that twhe development tool chain literally forced me to deliver two separate installers: First, VS (and the Express edition) has a funny bug (right-oh-here) that kicks in when ever you want to target a full project to 32-bits. My alternative choice, SharpDevelop, does not like targeting 64-bit as ‘there is no x64 debugger yet’. Tough luck and tough shit as a famous rapper once proclaimed: we just change the build to fit the 64-bit dlls and create new installers. Whatever.

So 1.0 out and what’s next? I have no idea, yet. I wrote Convendro because I got tired of WinFF and some other unspecified ‘ad-supported’ conversion tool. I’d love to be able to support more recent versions of ffmpeg. Clever-er parsing of output. Support for other encoders/decoders. How or what, I just don’t know yet.

This is 2010?

In 2010, nobody blogs anymore: Most likely the main reason for this are other distractions like the social networks Facebook and Twitter, where people can selectively ‘opt others out’ of their ‘personal friend lists’ and pump 148 characters messages out every second. Guilty as charged too, but having blogged for many years, there goes nothing above a three paragraph piece of text. So, what was 2009, again:

  • Convendro: I’ve never liked WinFF and knowing that it’s just a front-end of the almighty ffmpeg (earlier on xsamplex), I thought it was time to write something myself. I eventually moved the code to Google Code, mainly because I couldn’t get myself to touch SourceForge again. I’ve seen people using my code as a reference for extracting data from ffmpeg’s (error) output. Interesting to see how that piece of code eventually spread over the Internets. It’s also interesting to find out how 3rd party software listing sites have been hosting the main installer. As a word of caution, the official means of distribution is via Google Code.
  • At one time we were back in Truro, NS and it felt like returning to a place where time has stood still. Every time I returned to Deventer, The Netherlands, I had that same sort of feeling.
  • I’d never thought I would get so attached to a dog. This is particularly significant knowing that as kids we never really had pets (as in cats or dogs). I’m pretty certain my dad didn’t mind dogs (and obviously, he seemed to have had his share of dogs when he was younger) but I guess, there was never room for pets in our parental ‘enclave’. Katy the Wunderdog died at age 18, which is an amazing age for a dog.
  • Every time the identical other makes it over to Canada, it always appears to be time for putting everything on the back burner and do some recharging.

So, 2010, then. It will probably be like one of those other years (2007, 2008, whichever), with hopefully (and I say this every year) more programming to be done. Maybe less writing. Who knows.

Ice, Ice, Maybe (part 2)

I finally figured out why help is skimpy on Wix (the Windows Installer XML toolkit): that’s mainly because the original designers of Wix don’t want you to use Wix. It’s that simple: Wix’s learning curve is so steep, I wouldn’t even recommend it if you’re not willing to spend time at it. Additionally, don’t bother looking for sample templates (that is if you can find them) or help for the cryptic warning and error messages.

On the good side, there are a couple of good tutorials that should give you some leeway in your custom install script: There’s Gábor DEÁK JAHN’s (excellent) basic tutorial on Wix, which is probably the first site you should take a look at. Additionally, for more advanced application and use of Wix, you should probably check out Alex Shevchuk’s pages: his articles are highly technical and you may actually pick up some stuff regarding the inner workings of Microsoft’s Setup Installer SDK.

Anyway: if you just figured out that you need to add an additional data directory to your application setup program and you ran into a roadblock of cryptic messages (don’t bother going in here if you’re not interested):

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Sardines, cans, computers

A couple of daysSardines in tomato-sauce ago, I was watching Planet Earth (BBC’s award winning documentary) and I noticed one of the documentary’s crew member trying to though out a can of sardines (see photo). We used to eat that stuff too, that is, on white bread and that. I don’t recall seeing it too often in our kitchen, so I wonder if it was (regularly) part of my dad’s yearly ‘Christmas package’1. It’s not that bad as it looks like. Seriously.

I have been running Windows Vista (64-bit, represent!) lately (the last three months or so) and don’t have really much to complain about except for that, yeah, it doesn’t run some of my old stuff (Delphi 7) and it generally feels ‘unorganized’ or ‘inconsistent’. My biggest pet peeve is Vista’s Reliability Monitor: its concept makes totally no sense. What is that saying again? Lies, damn lies and statistics?

A couple days ago, I marked ‘Fandro’ as a legacy project. I have not looked at the program’s sources for months and I’m not even sure if I still remember how it exactly works. I’m currently considering in changing the license for the program, provided that I can find a way to properly clean up the code and that. After all, my Delphi 7 copy doesn’t run under Vista 64.

I’ve been steadily working on Convendro (my FFMPEG front-end). I was planning to do some extra stuff this weekend, but decided against it and started up cleaning and reorganizing the code. There are still some open things I have to set my brains on: for example, I’m considering supporting other encoders, which will require changes to the way some of my Preset objects work. But yeah, I’ve been converting older avi files to mp4s (for my iPod Touch), just to see how it holds up against WinFF, Videora and others.

1 During Christmas, Dutch employers give their employees a box of ‘goodies’.