Howto easily update GPS-A data on a Sony Alpha 65/77/99 and others on Linux/Mac

In order to speed up GPS locking on a Sony Alpha 65 (or similar) SLT camera, it's possible to update the GPS-A data (also called almanac data). Like on any other modern GPS device, the almanac data is used to give the device a hint where the satellites are located. The data usually is valid for only some weeks,then it needs to updated again.

Using OpenSUSE's snapper on ArchLinux to manage btrfs snapshots

Today I created a PKGBUILD for OpenSUSE's snapper utility which allows creating and managing BTRFS snapshots. You can find it on AUR here.

Snapper is a quite handy tool to manage BTRFS snapshots. On OpenSUSE it comes with a YaST2 plugin, so it even has a GUI. On Arch you can still get the command line version though.

SOHO Mailserver with Postfix + Postgresql + Dovecot + SpamAssassin + Roundcube

This HowTo describes my Home-Mailserver Setup. Basically this is a sum-it-all-up article from various resources on the net. 

Used Software:

  • Arch Linux OS
  • Postfix MTA
  • PostgreSQL database backend
  • Dovecot IMAP Server
  • Roundcube Webmail + Apache Webserver
  • Spamassassin junk filter
  • Server-side filtering with Sieve
  • fetchmail (for pulling all spread accounts in this one place)

Preconditions in my setup:

Howto create a youtube video from mp3/ogg audio using a picture

If you want to create a youtube video from an audio file, here is how to do this.
All you need is the audio file, a single picture, and ffmpeg.

First find out the lenght of the audio file in seconds, you'll need it. Here is an example with a 420 seconds file:

ffmpeg -loop_input -i picture.jpg -vcodec mpeg4 -r 25.00 -qscale 2 -s 480x360 \
-i audiofile.mp3 -acodec libmp3lame -ab 128k -t 420 video.avi

This will create a Hi-Res MPEG-4 video with 128k audio. The trick here is to use that one picture and loop it for -t seconds.

Howto print text between tags or characters with awk or sed

Took me a while to figure out this one. All I wanted to do is to print the text between two tags/characters/strings.

The IMHO nicer Awk way:

$ echo "bla(foo)"|awk -F'[(|)]' '{print $2}'
$ echo "bla=@@foo@@"|awk -F'[@@|@@]' '{print $3}'

 and with sed:

$ echo "blah(foo)"|sed -n 's/.*(\([^ ]*\))/\1/p'
echo "aaafoobbb"|sed -n 's/.*aaa\([^ ]*\)bbb/\1/p'


Howto import SAR data into a PostgreSQL database and create graphs in

This is a walkthrough on how to get SAR data into a database, and use to create nice graphs using a JDBC connection to that database, and SUN Report Builder to do the graphs.

In this example I will use SAR's CPU utilisation data.

Software used: