Monday 26 January 2009

Google Docs

Over the last few days I have been guest editing the journal Cockroach Studies. This has required getting various people to proof-read and correct papers. Instead of the usual e-mailing to-and-fro and then amalgamating comments and corrections I have given the appropriate people to edit papers using Google Docs. This has saved time, and also has the advantage of automatically saving revisions. I can also watch people edit documents in real-time. Overall I'm very impressed!

Monday 12 January 2009

gTwitter vs Twitux

In an effort to reduce the number of 'always open' tabs that I have in Firefox I have been looking for a desktop Twitter client. The two most popular Ubuntu (and other Linux system) solutions are gTwitter and Twitux.

At present gTwitter is still in beta, and has the advantage of being able to read others' updates and update your own from one window. However you can only see the full text for one message at a time. This isn't a major problem, but isn't the interface I prefer.

Twitux annoyingly requires you to update Twitter from a second window, but I still prefer it. I can see the full text of all updates at once, and the graphics seem to be that little bit cleaner.

Thursday 8 January 2009

Largest Value Banknotes

Hyper-inflation does strange things for the denominations printed on banknotes. There has been some talk of the recent Zimbabwean crisis creating world record denominations on bank notes, and in all fairness 50billion and 100billion are unusually large. The record, however, as far as I am aware, is a 500billion denomination banknote from the dying days of Yugoslavia.

50billion denomination Zimbabwe

100billion denomination from Zimbabwe

500billion denomination from Yugoslavia

Friday 2 January 2009

Rip YouTube videos on Ubuntu

Ripping videos from YouTube using Ubuntu is a pretty easy process. First of all download youtube-dl from the Universe repository.
sudo apt-get install youtube-dl
Next get the URL of the video you wish to download.
youtube-dl http://
This will download the video you require in Flash Video (*.flv) format. If you want to convert this to MPEG then you will first need to install ffmpeg.
sudo apt-get install ffmpeg
Then get ffmpeg to do the conversion.
ffmpeg -i input.flv output.mpg
Incidentally I quite like using Tilda to manage consoles - I'd reccomend you take a look too.
sudo apt-get install tilda.