eXTReMe Tracker
Jan 232009

The recently released Windows 7 Beta (Build 7000) has several improvements in its GUI. Many of these features have been discussed at length in several blogs. Among other things, there is a deafult option to stack all program tabs in the taskbar keeping it from running out of space.  There is a mouse-over feature that shows a preview of that program and brings that program to the foreground when the mouse is moved over that preview.

Then there is one tiny feature in the Windows Explorer that should have been implemented long time ago, but its good to finally see it in this release.

Organize >> Folder and Search Options >> View >> Use Check boxes to select items

Windows Explorer Checkbox Option

Windows Explorer Checkbox Option

Once that option is selected, a checkbox is displayed in front of the file each time the mouse hovers over it. This options overcomes the need to select individual files by keeping the ‘Control’ key press at all times.

Checkbox is displayed in front of file icon

Checkbox is displayed in front of file icon

This is one of the features I’d like to see ported over into Gnome for use in Linux distros.

Jan 212009

The norm has been to watch live streams over the internet if you are unable to watch a certain program on your TV at a scheduled time. The limitation of these live streams is that you can’t afford to miss anything, cause there is no way to rewind and replay.

Under Windows there are several tools that can capture live streams and save them to a file. These streams are usually broadcasted over the mms:// protocol. Oftentimes, this protocol is wrapped inside a .asx or .wmv wrapper. These wrappers have the information required to fetch the streaming media, either live or recorded.

There is an application in the Universe repository since Gutsy which enables us to store the streaming media as a local file. Its called mimms, and under Intrepid Ibex its running on version 3.2.1-1.

If your universe repository is enable, you can install mimms using aptitude:

$ sudo apt-get install mimms

Using mimms to record streaming media

Using mimms to record streaming media

Once the program is installed, you can do recordings of mms:// streams via terminal. The link of currently streaming video can usually be obtained by right-clicking on the video window and copy-link. To start recording type the copied mms:// link as an argument for mimms, which starts saving the streaming content to your /home/user folder.

$ mimms mms://cnnvideo.streamserver.asx

It displays the size of the output file in real time. You can stop the recording at any time by ctrl-c without damaging the file. This file can then be played using the media player of your choice.