Friday, October 21, 2011

In response for the Font Hipsters

Today I read the article “Font Hipsters” by Daring Fireball and have to comment on the last 3 sentences:

We criticize Android for being poorly designed because it’s poorly designed. We favor iOS because it’s better designed. That’s it.

My reaction is:

We criticize iOS for being totally controlled by Apple because you will need to jailbreak your device to run your own apps. We favor Android because it’s open. It’s you who controls your device.

Anyway, the article was actually about the new Android system font Roboto. Personally I really like the font.


Click here to download it.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Batch converting with ffmpeg in Windows


As mentioned in my earlier post, ffmpeg is the best tool to convert media files. However sometimes you need to convert a collection files in one go. Of course you can use various gui tools for ffmpeg, but I like to  keep things simple (or complicated, depending on the context).

avs, converter, s icon

Basically ffmpeg can only process 1 file at a time from the command line. Linux/Mac users have powerful bash script at their disposal, but do not underestimate Windows Smile

You probably already have a batch file to convert a single file (which contains all the required parameters for ffmpeg). What we need to do is add an additional batch file which will call “converting” batch file.

So, say you want to convert all .mov files in a folder to .mp3. Let’s start by our converting batch file.


IF EXIST "%1.mp3" GOTO exit

@echo Conversion for %1 started on %DATE% %TIME%
ffmpeg -b 128k -i %1 %1.mp3

@echo %1.mp3 already exists

What does it do: Checks if output exists, if not then converts the input file to .mp3 using ffmpeg.

Next step is to create the batch file which will call the above batch file.


for %%i IN (*.mov) DO (convert-to-mp3.bat "%%i")

As you can see this is a simple for loop calling your converting batch file.

To just convert all the .mov files to mp3, start startconvert.bat and you will be fine.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Lessons which can be learned by playing Angry Birds

Playing angry birds is actually a lot of fun and besides being fun, without even realizing, we train ourselves in the daily business practices as:

Before you start playing the game, you look how the pigs are located and protected to determine the best strategy would be to beat the level as you should so do in real life: doing an inventory on the obstacles and the possibilities.

As you have limited birds with different abilities having their strengths and weaknesses, you have to be efficient with your resources to beat the level or as in business: get the job done with the resources you have.

Minimum effort, maximum output
The game gives you bonuses for the birds you have not used. By doing a good planning and by being efficient you can achieve the goal with the minimum effort.The game actually somehow forces you to be smart. Same applies in business.

Patience and Perseverance
As you progress in the game the levels get harder and mostly you will not succeed the first time you try. However by trying again and re-evaluating your tactic, you will succeed. By having patience and retrying each time you will be successful.

As you get more and more experienced the game becomes easier. You will start to see the patterns and develop tactics which you can use to achieve the goal. Your tactics will become more complex as you know how your resources act and even at some point be able to use your resources in a way you initially would not have thought of.

Luck factor
Sometimes you are just plain lucky. Your tactic did not work as you had thought but still you were able to achieve the goal. This is the same in business, sometimes you get lucky and sometimes not. Combined with experience you can even predict if you are going to be lucky and it can be even be integrated in your tactics with a backup plan if you were not lucky as expected.

I believe the success of Angry Birds is due to the fact that the game involves what we do daily (even some of us do without knowing) in a fun way.