Timelapse DSLR, Ubuntu 10.10 gTimelapse and eeepc how to

I’ve played around with gphoto2 quite a lot and I knew there was a simple way to get my DSLR camera to take a photo every 10 seconds and copy it to anywhere I’d like. When googling how to do this I found a really nice application with a gui call gTimelapse. It amazes me that programmers just decide to write these programs and share them openly on their websites including the source code. gTimelapse is written by Tim Nugent, its a really nice program for doing timelapse, really simple to set up and easy to use. I like the preview and thumbnail preview of all the images it captures as it goes along in real time. Big thanks to Tim for this awesome program.

I thought I’d document the extra packages I needed to install to make it easy for other Ubuntu users to compile the program. Basically download it from the link on the page at Tims site then extract it somewhere and run the following commands.

$ sudo apt-get install build-essential libgphoto2-2-dev libwxbase2.8-dev libwxgtk2.8-dev gphoto2
$ configure;make;sudo make install
$ gtimelapse

The program will start and the rest is fairly straight forward. You probably want to change the max frames to 0 so that it records till you press stop. The other tip I would suggest that if you stop and start capturing make sure you set a new “Working Directory” in-between otherwise you will just overwrite the images you just captured.

I was pretty lazy and left a comment asking Tim for his mencoder command to put together the images at the end, his response was really quick which was nice.

Hi Chris, I think there should be a script in the src directory with some decent mencoder settings? Ah here we go, will make a 720p HD vid for Vimeo etc:

mencoder mf://*JPG -vc ijpg -mf fps=8 -vf scale=1280:720 -ovc x264 -x264encopts bitrate=5000:keyint=30 -o timelapse_1280x720_x264_8fps_5000.avi

Though I found that too jerky for my needs, Im sure its fine for his party video but I wanted moving clouds in mine so I changed the fps=8 to fps=25 and it was fine.

The other thing was that I shot in jpg normal which is 2144x1424px and I wanted my video to be 720p so I used David’s Batch Processor Gimp plugin to resize, crop and sharpen them a little before using mencoder. That gimp plugin worked really fast, its great.

It seems time consuming to capture the images, when I captured every 5 seconds for 30 minutes then encoded at 25 fps it only gave me around 14 seconds of video. So be prepared to spend a few hours to get a decent video. I think with my eeepc and nikon d90 with battery grip going outdoors I can capture for around 6 or 7 hrs.

When I went out to try this the weather was really crappy but it didnt turn out too bad, you can watch my video below or watch Brisbane Morning Time-lapse Test on youtube.

GNU/Linux Extract JPG from RAW, NEF, CRW using terminal, Nautilus, Digikam

[youtube_sc url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGeHGTuOJy8 width=640 rel=0 fs=1]

A common question by photographers who shoot in RAW is how to get a jpg the same as the one the RAW image file produces from the camera by using the RAW image file and a software package. In the screencast I talk about how to do that. Watch it above and you can also watch GNU/Linux Extract JPG from RAW NEF CRW using terminal, Nautilus, Digikam on youtube.

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Geotagging, Ubuntu and Nikon NEF with Digikam

Geotagging
Geotag

I haven’t made a screencast in a long time but I decided to share some info mostly about geotagging. I own a Nikon D90 and plan to buy a GPS unit that will write the global position system data to the exif metadata of my photographs and make them more manageable for me and allow me to do some cool things for visualising a map of my photographs.

I’ve been using a lot of programs to manage my photos but Im starting to settle for using DigiKam at least while using my best computer. The other program I talk about in the video is geotag.

A platform independent program to geotag images(use GPS data to store location information with the image).Uses external maps to fine-tune locations.

Anyone can use geotag to tag their photos very easily. Watch my video below.

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Understanding Free and Open Source Software

GNU-Free-as-in-Freedom

There are many misconceptions floating around about free and open source software (foss). The purpose of this article is to address them and to better inform people.

The first response I seem to get when I discuss ‘free software’ is, oh but you have to pay for quality, or maybe, well how can developers afford to give away software for nothing. Well in the first instance, free refers to liberty rather than cost. Freedom to copy, change and modify software and indeed you may actually pay for access to free software, although this is generally not the case. Software code is like any other type of knowledge; it should not be hidden from the user.

Another frustrating and misleading idea is that foss kills innovation. If anything free software is the key to innovative creation, we only need to look at Firefox web browser or WordPress blogs to see non-proprietary software flourishing.

So you may ask why do we need to concern ourselves with free software if proprietary software works and can offer stability? In modern society computers, televisions and mobile phones are commonplace; indeed we have come to rely upon them. The software controls and transmits our sensitive information; we should be in control of this software and have a better understanding of how it works in order to maintain our liberty and control.

Other frustrating misconceptions about foss include political aspects. People at times assume that foss is akin to communism; this is a falsity. You can indeed have private ownership over free software, you can modify at will and can reap the rewards of its use. A free software licence only requires that if you do redistribute the software, that you must keep it free; allowing others to modify and redistribute. Or if you wish to keep your modifications private, you must ensure that the original free software is kept separate and that your addition does not contain the original work. The free software license is simply a legal and ethical contract between the programmer and the end-user.

I feel that whilst this information is relatively basic it is all to often taken for granted or misunderstood, so if this sounds repetitive then humour me please. Oh and Happy New Year!

How to install Tux Paint stamps

I’ve talked about Tux Paint on this blog over the years and produced an informative and slightly humorous Tux Paint demonstration video back in 2006. The video has been downloaded 1,066 times from internet archive.org and viewed 31500 times not including the 14000 views from the version with low quality audio which Ive deleted.

The most common question I get asked is “how do I get the stamps?“. All of the people who have asked are on the windows platform, I believe this is probably because on Debian/Ubuntu systems the stamp packages are installed with Tux Paint. So rather than continue to reply to all the email and comments I decided to write this howto and perhaps someone will do the screencast version.

Getting Tux Paint stamps for windows and mac osx

The steps are the same, visit the Tux Paint website, chose your operating system then download and install the optional stamps package.

tuxpaint_website_dos_dl
Chose OS then download and install stamps

Some of the people that asked me about the stamps must have been too excited at the time they downloaded Tux Paint and didn’t notice the optional stamps package or perhaps they didn’t install Tux Paint. If you’re having trouble you might need to ask an adult for help, if that fails just go colour.

Tux Paint stamps on Ubuntu

Ubuntu software package managment
Ubuntu software package managment

On Ubuntu we have advanced packaging tools, software management programs and remote software package repositories. Pretty much all the software on my system has been installed this way, its easier and more user friendly then installing software on other systems and the amount of top quality software you can install is amazing. Using search its easy to find cool new programs, for example if you’re a social media guru you might search for twitter, facebook or blog software, if you need a web server running a wiki you might simply install mediawiki and enjoy watching all the system dependencies get met. The two programs I’ll mention are the Ubuntu Software Center and Synaptic.

Ubuntu Software Center

The Ubuntu Software Center is new in Ubuntu 9.10, some people may not have upgraded so we will also look at Synaptic. Synaptic is usually installed on most versions of Ubuntu.

The Ubuntu Software Center is available from the Applications menu.

Ubuntu Software Center
Ubuntu Software Center

Simply use search, type tuxpaint and click the arrow and your done.

Ubuntu Software Center - Search
Ubuntu Software Center - Search

Synaptic

Synaptic is available through System Administration menu.

Again simply use Quick Search and type tuxpaint, Synaptic gives us more information about the packages, to install/uninstall software you tick the box and hit apply.

Synaptic - tuxpaint
Synaptic - tuxpaint

Tux Paint still reigns as the best educational paint software. Usually people are having too much fun with Tux Paint to think of it as an intelligent tutoring system within a highly interactive learning environment.

Tux Paint is available for free and as free software and you can also purchase the CD. It makes a great gift.

96% of public sector in France is using open source

opensource
Unixmen.com report that almost the entire public sector in France, 96 percent, is using open source, according to a  market survey. The most used applications are database management systems and content management systems.

A research firm, Markness, presented a summary of its report on the use of open source in France on 17 September in Paris. It is based on an on-line survey during in the summer months followed-up by interviews with 160 IT project directors, heads of procurement and other IT decision makers, half of which are employed in the private sector and the other half representing the public sector. Another fifty interviews were held with IT vendors.

Using open source requires firms and organisations to seek technical assistance and support, said 54 and 44 percent of the respondents. It also requires changes to their IT maintenance, said 38 percent. The research firm says that half of the respondents say that the current financial crisis is not a reason to switch to open source. However, to 39 percent this did make it more of an option. In 2011, open source will take up less than 20 percent of the IT budget of public sector institutes. Markness expects the French open source IT market to grow by more than 16 percent in 2011.

Happy Birthday to GNU

Happy birthday GNU 🙂 Thank you to all the GNU hackers that write free software, thank you for giving me so much freedom when I use my computer and thanks from my friends who I share it with 😀

Check out GNU and FSF audio and video repository to learn more.

September 2, 2008 by Bradley M. Kuhn – SFLC

Twenty-five years ago this month, I had just gotten my first computer, a Commodore 64, and was learning the very basics (quite literally) of programming. Unfortunately for my education, it would be a full eight years before I’d be permitted to see any source code to a computer program that I didn’t write myself. I often look back at those eight years and consider that my most formative years of programming learning were wasted, since I was not permitted to study the programs written by the greatest minds…Read more

Mike Linksvayer, September 2nd, 2008 – Creative Commons Weblog

One of the movements and projects directly inspired by GNU is Creative Commons. We’re still learning from the free software movement. On a practical level, all servers run by Creative Commons are powered by GNU/Linux and all of the software we develop is free software.

So please join us in wishing the GNU project a happy 25th birthday by spreading a happy birthday video from comedian Stephen Fry. The video, Freedom Fry, is released under a CC Attribution-NoDerivatives license…Read more

Sahana wins the 2006 social benefit award

Sahana wins the 2006 social benefit award

Sahana, an entirely volunteer effort to create technology for managing large-scale relief efforts, is the recipient of the 2006 Free Software Foundation Award for Projects of Social Benefit.

Colombo, Sri Lanka and Cambridge, Massachussets—March 26, 2007—Sahana, an entirely volunteer effort to create technology for managing large-scale relief efforts, is the recipient of the 2006 Free Software Foundation Award for Projects of Social Benefit. Sahana was created, in the wake of the tsunami that devastated Southeast Asia in 2004, to compensate for the devastating consequences of a government attempt to manually manage the process of locating victims, distributing aid and coordinating volunteers.

The Free Software Award for Projects of Social Benefit is presented to a free software project that intentionally and significantly benefits society through collaboration to accomplish an important social task.

Speaking at the award ceremony, the Sahana project leader Chamindra de Silva said, “We are deeply honored to receive this award and were so excited we traveled half way around the world from Sri Lanka to attend the ceremony today. The Sahana project is all about a cohesive disaster response between multiple agencies and bringing them together to help victims. None of this would have been possible without the work of the wider free software community, and we would not have been able to bring benefit to the victims and the people who help the victims without that. It is a credit to the whole community.”

Richard Stallman, President and Founder of the Free Software Foundation, in presenting the award said, “We were inspired to create this award when we heard of the tremendous good the Sahana project was able to achieve through the use of free software. With this award we give recognition to their efforts.”

The founding team, made up of Sri Lankan technology workers, worked around the clock for three days to produce the first release of the software that was quickly adopted by their country’s government. The software resolves common coordination problems that arise during a disaster and thus facilitates the search for missing people, aid and volunteer management, and victim tracking across refugee camps. Read more…

EdNA Online and GNU/Linux in Australian education news

From EdNA Online News Feed(ICT in Curriculum Recent Items)

Ubuntu

Ubuntu is a complete Linux-based operating system, freely available with both community and professional support. “Ubuntu” is an ancient African word, meaning “humanity to others”. The Edubuntu community is built on the ideas enshrined in the Edubuntu Manifesto: that software should be available free of charge, that software tools should be usable by people in their local language and despite any disabilities, and that people should have the freedom to customise and alter their software in whatever way they see fit. These freedoms make Edubuntu fundamentally different from traditional proprietary software: not only are the tools available free of charge, but users have the right to modify software until it works for them the way they want it to work.

From EdNA Online News Feed(Higher Ed Recent Items)

Linux.com

Linux.com is an independent Web site that provides Linux information, news, tips, and reference material. Linux.com represents a community of Linux users that share and contribute knowledge of the Linux and make such information freely available.

From LinuxWorld.com.au

RedHat sticks Canberra feather in its cap

The Red Hat empire is spreading with Canberra TAFE signing up as the latest academic institution to partner with the Linux vendor to offer training to its students and prepare them for the Red Hat Certified Technician exam (RHCT).

Lots of good news. The thing thats special about this for me is that EdNA Online is a joint initiative of the State and Territory governments, and the Australian Government, through their education departments. Back in early 2005 a very nice teacher librarian gave me the opportunity to share my work with professional educators using a free service called EdNA Groups that uses a libre software called moodle.

EdNA Groups is a free service for communication and collaboration between members of the Australian education and training community. Why not register to join an existing group or start your own online group!

My group is called Libre Software and Libre Knowledge in Education. Teaching people about libre software and libre knowledge is very diificult and challenging. Recently I’ve disbanded from all other groups and unsubscribed from their mailing lists so I’m just going work on superuser projects and contribute to the EdNA group when I can. Thanks for your help.