April 2007

Undefined color: "black"

Recently, I started having a problem with remote X sessions over VNC. This is using TightVNC version 3.3.tight1.2.9. One day emacs refused to load. It said only Undefined color: "black". This was odd because I had black in the window manager. So, I tried vi instead, except there was black on black text in some places I couldn’t read. Then I installed XEmacs to see if that was any better. It complained Warning: Color name "Black" is not defined as well as a handful of other colors before spouting a fatal error message and seg faulting.

A little digging turned up posts about rgb.txt being in the wrong place. Fedora Core 6 has it in /usr/share/X11. Some people fixed this problem by putting a soft link to it in /usr/lib/X11. I wasn’t so lucky. Another post mentioned looking for errors in the X log: grep -i rgbpath /var/log/Xorg.0.log. Since I’m having trouble with VNC, for me the log is ~/.vnc/hoover.faber-net:2.log. I got nothin’, so I looked at the file and right at the top was Couldn't open RGB_DB '/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/rgb'. I put a soft link in /usr/X11R6/lib/X11 to /usr/share/X11/rgb.txt and restarted the VNC server. Then it was happy. How did this happen? Could be because I’m running a locally compiled version of TightVNC from 2003 :-p Time to upgrade…

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Authoring a DVD

I’m using DVDStyler to create a DVD of video I shot in Florida on vacation with the kids. DVDStyler (or any authoring software) needs a temporary directory:

# qtparted
Create 50 GB partition (/dev/hdb2)
# mkfs.ext3 -c -L temp /dev/hdb2
Add this line to /etc/fstab:
/dev/hdb2 /mnt/temp ext3 defaults 0 0
# mkdir /mnt/temp
# mount /mnt/temp

I edited the videos in Kino and output individual MPEG files for each chapter. I grabbed frames to use in the menus in DVDStyler. I have four sub-menus under the “scenes” menu. On the main scenes menu, I took one frame from each of the submenus as a button. On each submenu, that same frame was used as a background. So it didn’t get in the way of the buttons, I edited the frame in Gimp, set a grey (R=G=B=128) background and put the frame in a foreground layer with 25% opacity.

Each button is a rectangle with the image in it. The border is set to be normally transparent, but yellow when selected.

DVDStyler will either generate the DVD structure, an ISO or burn the DVD. I used the first while checking my menus, then the second when checking the DVD in a standalone player. I had trouble with the DVD player using a DVD+RW disk. My Sony DVD/VCR combo said:

This disc cannot be played.

Playback prohibit by area limitations.

DVD_ERRLOG5 00DF5108000000000007
05040728000800000100A7

That made me think the disk was generated with a non-US region code. Here’s a page on how to check the region code. I took the dvd.iso file and did this:

# mount dvd.iso /mnt/loop -t udf -o loop=/dev/loop3
$ cd /mnt/loop/VIDEO_TS
$ emacs VIDEO_TS.IFO

In Emacs, switch to hex mode with M-x hexl-mode RET. At offset 0×23, if the value is 0, there’s no region set. That’s what I saw.

$ cd /
# umount /mnt/loop

Thinking it must be the DVD+RW disk, I burned a DVD+R:

# growisofs -dvd-compat -Z /dev/dvd=dvd.iso

That failed too. The standalone player showed the same error. I found a bug in DVDStyler 1.5b6 and earlier that causes this on NTSC players. The workaround notes a page that doesn’t exist anymore, but there are files attached at the end of the bug report.

Then I got this error:

**ERROR: [mplex] Can't find next AC3 frame: @ 72192 we have 0a20 - broken bit-stream?
Error executing of command: mplex -f 8 -S 0 -M -V -o "/mnt/temp/florida-2007/dvd/menu1-0.mpg_bg.mpg" "/mnt/temp/florida-2007/dvd/menu1-0.mpg_bg.m2v" "/usr/share/dvdstyler/data/silence.mp2"

I found a page with instructions to generate silence.mp2:

$ arecord -f dat -twav -d 1 silence.wav
$ mp2enc -r 48000 -o silence.mp2 < silence.wav

That fixed the problem.

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Camcorder to DVD update

It’s been a while since I uploaded video from my camcorder. Of course, Kino didn’t work any more. This was because the files were hand-built in 2003. Since then, the project has mainstreamed and everything is available in RPM’s. So to make it work again, all I had to do is this:

# yum install dvgrab
# yum install --disablerepo=livna transcode
# yum install --disablerepo=livna kino

All was fine except there was no audio from Kino. To fix that, on the menu, choose edit/preferences. Under the Audio tab, change the audio device from default to /dev/dsp.

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