Digital Camera Debacle

So, now that I'm going to Sydney, I want to preserve some of my memory's of the place by capturing them on a camera, which by now you have probably guessed, that I don't have one :P

I was looking to purchase a Pentax Optio A30 (the "A" series is the most advanced of Pentax's Optio range), but since it's near impossible to get one due to the announcement of it's successor (A40) which is due out some time in February, I am stuck with a very difficult buying decision...

Do I buy the older A30 or do I risk it with the newer A40 model, which could be potentially unavailable (I need this by 6/02/2008)?

My friend has already bought his (not so practical, but awesome) camera, and he is trying to convince me to buy the A30.

Because of this, I feel a bit boned...

UPDATE: 19/01/2008 @ 1219
I have decided to buy a JVC GZ-HD3 video camera instead :)
I just hope it arrives in time for me to configure it (play around with it) before Sydney...


HOWTO: Encode single-file (CD) to FLAC with embeded CUE sheet

I finally remembered how to do it (hence the reason for bloging about it)

This is intended as a rough guide on how to do it manually (I am still looking into automating this process with abcde):

  1. Rip the audio CD as RW_RAW using cdrdao or some other program that can generate a compatible cuesheet and/or tocfile. I used the following command to do this (For more information on command syntax please read the cdrdao man page):

    cdrdao read-cd -v 3 --device=x,y,z --driver generic-mmc \
    --read-raw --read-subchan rw_raw --datafile image.bin \

  2. Convert your tocfile that was created in the previous step to a cuesheet (cdrdao comes with program 'toc2cue' that can generate a very simple cuesheet). If you already have a cuesheet, then move onto the next step.

  3. Encode the raw image. I used the following commandline to encode mine.
    flac --cuesheet=image.cue -8 image.bin --endian=big \
    --channels=2 --sign=signed --sample-rate=44100 --bps=16

    NOTE: The --sign and --endian options may differ for you (especially if you use PPC or something like that).

NOTES: the --ogg option doesn't seem to work when using the --cusheet option and flac exits with the following error (this will probably happen to you if you try to use that option as well):

image.bin: 100% complete, ratio=0.895
image.bin: ERROR during encoding

I have included my command-line usage for reference purposes only! So, don't come crying to me if you just copied and pasted those commands at it doesn't work!


I miss my KDE...

Since I'm stuck up north on yet another shift I'm beginning to have withdrawals from some of the nifty little features that makes KDE so awesome. Stuff like temporary focus-grabbing on the Kmix dock icon (being able to adjust the volume without having to change window focus is very neat... now that I realise it's missing :P ) and virtual desktops... by default!

I forgot to mention (until now) that I managed to get sound working on the XPS M1730 although doing so confirmed my suspicions somewhat. It seems that alsa in the latest kernel has broken snd-hda-intel (stac92xx) support.

I Still haven't gotten WiFi working yet either (ran out of time last RDO due to Portal), so this beast is glued to the one (hot) spot in the house for now. Maybe this heat will force me to get wifi working so that I can enjoy some nice cool aircond offered in the lounge room?