gxine

xine is a free (gpl-licensed) high-performance, portable and reusable multimedia playback engine. xine itself is a shared library with an easy to use, yet powerful API which is used by many applications for smooth video playback and video processing purposes.

xine is capable of playing CD, DVB, DVD, VCD and VCD0 formats. gxine also handles formats such as AVI, MOV, ASF, DivX4 video and MP3 audio, MPEG2 video and AC3 audio, etc. xine is fast, extensible and reusable.

gxine in the other hand, is a xine video player with a GTK+/Gnome user interface. gxine works with DVD menus, a feature lacking in Totem’s movie player.

gxine is available in Ubuntu in a repository called Universe. To install gxine in your latest Ubuntu release (Hardy Heron), just open your Terminal and type:

sudo apt-get install gxine

Access the gxine player from the Menu (Applications – Sound & Video – gxine).

It’s also available as a Mozilla plugin for Firefox users. To install:

sudo apt-get install gxineplugin

Audacity

Audacity is a free software for editing and recording sound. The software is available for the Mac OS, Microsoft Windows and in GNU/Linux operating systems. The latest software release is 1.3.5 Beta. There is a more stable version available in version 1.2.6. Audacity main features are its ability to:

  • Record live audio.
  • Convert tapes and records into digital recordings or CDs.
  • Edit Ogg Vorbis, MP3, WAV or AIFF sound files.
  • Cut, copy, splice or mix sounds together.
  • Change the speed or pitch of a recording.
  • And more! See the complete list of features.

Did I mention it is FREE. Audacity is developed by a group of volunteers and distributed under the GNU General Public License (GPL).

I have been using Audacity in my little radio show for my Yahoo Fantasy Football League. Here’s a sample of last year’s Week 11 show. I’m using a WordPress Audio Player plugin to play this recording.

Screenshot:

Give Audacity a try!

gPHPEdit

Gnome is a desktop environment for GNU/Linux or UNIX computers. Gnome comes standard with a handy text editor called Gedit. The Gedit text editor is simple and easy to use, but it lacks the features essential to be a programming editor. Introducing gPHPEdit, a PHP, CSS and HTML development editor. It comes with syntax highlighting, coding assistance, syntax checking, code navigation and integrated help.

gPHPEdit will recognize PHP and HTML files and will color highlight the file during editing. It recognizes all PHP functions up to and including PHP 4.3.0. gPHPEdit will also recognize CSS files and will color highlight the file during editing. It highlights valid CSS classes and descriptors. gPHPEdit also recognizes SQL files and will color highlight the file during editing.

You can learn more about the features of gPHPEdit from its website.

To install gPHPEdit, simply run this command from the terminal:

# sudo apt-get install gphpedit

The only thing I found annoying at the outset was the right hand edge guide, but I was able to remove it by editing Preferences. I also activated WordWrap as a matter of preference since I don’t like using horizontal scroll bars.

Black-Letterhead 1.5

I’ve just released Black-Letterhead 1.5 which now includes gravatar support. The new theme will display gravatars or globally recognized avatars when visitors leave a comment on your blog. No more gravatar plugins needed.

I made some CSS style changes to fix the IE formatting issues in the comment section. IE and Firefox displays are now identical. I also updated the footer section to reflect the 2008 copyright.

I’ve decided to discontinue the use of Theme Toolkit in 1.5 to simplify maintenance of several versions of the code. If you still want to use the Theme Toolkit, it is still available for download in version 1.4.

The Black-Letterhead 1.5 is now available for download here.

For support, please visit the Support Forum.

Running Linux on Playstation 3

Anyone brave enough to install Linux on a Playstation 3? Popular Mechanics has an article detailing the installation of Ubuntu Linux on a PS3 and making it a dual boot system; one for gaming with the PS3 game console and the other for computing using Ubuntu Linux. The article highly recommends backing up your data first, then swapping out the standard 40/80 GB hard drive with a high capacity 250GB drive. Interestingly enough, you can run Linux legally, but not Windows and OS X.

PS3 can’t run Microsoft Windows or Apple’s OS X but it can run Linux operating systems. There are many Linux varieties, but our favorite is Ubuntu. And it turns out that the open-source community has created a program called kboot that helps load Ubuntu onto the PS3.

Ultimately, it really means you can run Blu-Ray movies on Ubuntu Linux.