Quick Command Line Video Excerpt

Do you have a video file you want to extract a clip from?

I found it difficult to locate this information and learned a lot in the process. Most importantly, the order of options in avconv command matters. You can refer to the manual here.

avconv -ss [start time = hh:mm:ss] -i [input filename] -t [clip duration = hh:mm:ss or in seconds] -codec copy [output filename]

For example, to create a 79 second clip from a video file that starts at 58 minutes and 25 seconds in the original video:

avconv -ss 00:58:25 -i 1995-8mm-home-video.dv -t 79 -codec copy 1995-guinea-pigs-garage.avi

Lenovo Thinkpad Tablet 2 Reformat Guide

Check the end of the article for updated information about Windows 10.

Objective: Format the drive, install Windows 8.1, install minimum drivers and let Windows Update do the rest.

I bought the Tablet 2 in early 2013 but didn’t use it as much as I wanted because of it’s slow speed and inaccurate digitizer. A year and a half later I was ready to give up on it. The specs are low. I thought it would be impossible to ever be fast. After using Linux daily for many years I forgot the benefits of a clean Windows install. At the end of the day, my TPT2 is faster than it ever has been. In fact, it feels like a different machine.

You will need a few USB accessories: keyboard, mouse, flash drive, USB hub. You need the hub! Without a USB keyboard you will be unable to set the boot device or install Windows.

This is guide wasn’t intended to walk you through each key stroke or click to format your first computer. If this is your first time you will need some supplemental guidance from a begginer’s guide.

Write down your Windows 8 product key. You can use the Magical Jelly Bean Keyfinder, it is free.

Download Windows 8.1 iso. Don’t use the Microsoft upgrade program to download it or you will end up with a Windows 8 iso instead of 8.1. Instead find the torrent of the MSDN iso here. Don’t worry. You can verify it with the sha1 hash against MSDN’s to make sure you are getting the real thing. I used Windows 8.1 with Update (multiple editions) (x86) – DVD – MultiLang. Make this into a bootable flash drive. You can use a DVD if you have an external DVD drive available.

Boot from the USB drive. To get into the bios: press the power and volume up buttons at the same time.

Windows setup. Delete all the partitions. Create a new one with all the free space and agree when Windows setup says it may setup some extra partitions. You will need to use a Windows 8.1 generic key for the installation process. Don’t worry. After setting up the drivers to get WiFi working you can enter your Windows 8 key.

Setup minimum drivers to get Windows update working. Save the drivers on a flash drive. Download them from here. It maybe helpful to use the drop down menus to filter out the other choices. Install one at a time and reboot after each one if prompted.
1. Chipset => Intel Platform Driver for Windows 8.1
2. Networking: Wireless => Broadcom Wireless LAN driver for BCM4330 abgn for Windows 8.1
3. Mouse and Keyboard => WinTab Driver for Windows 8.1 (This is the driver and calibration software for the pen. It is Wacom specific so I suggest you install it.)

Activate Windows. Go ahead and try to activate. It will say your key isn’t valid and give you the option to enter a new one. Provide your original Windows 8 key.

Run Windows Update. Running this for the first time is excruciatingly slow. You will feel like it is stuck at 0% forever. You will think that something is not working. And even though I am telling you this, it is so slow that you will still think that something is not working correctly. Leave it for at least an hour or two and you should have a list of updates. Go ahead and select everything and install. Again, this is very slow. It will look stuck on 0%. Give it 2-3 hours and it should be nearly done.

Enjoy. Reboot and check Windows Update again. You should be done with the major stuff and have a bloatfree tablet. There will be two unknown items under unknown devices. I don’t know what they are. After using the new setup for a week I have not noticed anything missing or not functioning properly. In fact, I really love using the tablet now and I don’t really mind that it runs Windows!

A few last notes… I don’t recommend installing any of the other Lenovo software. On my first attempt I let Lenovo’s update program install everything it recommended and it slowed the tablet down. Like WAY down. The second time I did what I described above and if I was to do it all over again, I would do it the same way. Don’t forget to calibrate your screen using the Wacom tool in the control panel.

Consider installing Classic Shell. It is a free Start menu replacement which used to be open source. Then head over to Ninite to grab a customized installer to install all your programs. Last but not least, don’t forget to grab your free copy of OneNote. Note: The new free version does not properly import notebooks from Onenote 2007 that have PDF printouts with notes written on top. The first few pages of the section look okay. Scrolling down will reveal your writing progressively shifts up and is no longer aligned the way you wrote it on the printout.

Update 1/26/2015: In Windows power management you may notice the options are limited to one setting, balanced. To get even more performance you can install some registry patches that restore options under advanced power settings. So far I have added processor power management, wireless adapter settings, PCI express and created additional power profiles like high performance and battery saver.

Update 7/16/2015: Please read the comments below for some more helpful hints. Rick said he was able to create a Windows 8.1 clean install media straight from the tablet that includes all drivers and is activated. Roger was also able to help us figure out the two unknown devices, one being the Broadcom GNSS geolocation driver and the other is Atmel touch debug port driver boot bridge peripheral driver. Thank you kindly, gentlemen!

Update 8/4/2015: Windows 10!

It is possible – but my experience was sluggish compared to an already lackluster Windows 8.1. Here’s how I did it… By the way, I only ran it for a day, then returned to Windows 8.1.

Use the Media Creation Tool to setup the Windows 10 installer to a USB drive. I went with Windows 10 Pro 32-bit, as I currently have Windows 8.1 Pro 32-bit installed.

Boot from the USB drive. (Power and volume up buttons at the same time. Then set the USB drive as the first selection.)

Select “custom install” and then delete all partitions.

Select “Drive 0 Unallocated Space” and click next. The next part will take about 25 minutes until the next user input is required.

After you choose your settings and Windows finishes setting itself up, install the drivers.

For the chipset, I used the Acer Iconia W3 Windows 8.1 driver package. Run setup.exe from the “MI” folder. It is a bit newer than Lenovo’s – which did not provide functional drivers for everything under Windows 10. You will also need Lenovo’s Broadcom Wireless LAN driver for BCM4330 abgn, Broadcom GNSS Geolocation Driver, Atmel Touch Debug Port Driver, WinTab driver. For any devices remaining with a question mark, update their driver from a location on your computer, pointing it to the “MI” folder. If I recall correctly, that should take care of any remaining devices, or Windows Update will.

Windows Update will take some time to get going so be patient.

I ran some benchmarks and the results are as follows:

PassMark: 202.9
CPU Mark: 625
2D graphics mark: 81.5
Disk Mark: 187.5

If you were able to find a way to get the performance up to par – then please let us know! When I tried playing back 720p video on VLC, it was laggy and unwatchable!

Update 8/20/2016: Windows 10

I tried the free update to Windows 10 and it still felt sluggish. Went back to Windows 8.1!

How to get your Logitech DiNovo Mini to work in Ubuntu

I am writing this post because I forgot to bookmark the forum thread where I originally read the solution. So I backtracked using the .bash_history file, and compared it with an original version.

Start by unpairing the keyboard from your computer. Then open




from the following line

KERNEL=="hiddev*", ATTRS{idVendor}=="046d", ATTRS{idProduct}=="c70[345abce]|c71[3bc]", \

so it looks like

ATTRS{idVendor}=="046d", ATTRS{idProduct}=="c70[345abce]|c71[3bc]", \

and reboot and pair it!

Compile Latest Ganglia for All Versions of Debian and Ubuntu

I have learned a lot since I wrote the original how-to. I do not have time to write a nice story but follow the steps below and you should be fine. This will provide you with the latest version of Ganglia on any Debian based distro.

1. Download latest sources from Ganglia git repository.
2. Compile, install and setup monitor-core.
3. Setup ganglia-web front-end.
4. Setup hsflowd on servers.

On your collector / PHP enabled web-server:

apt-get install build-essential automake autoconf pkg-config gperf libtool rrdtool librrd-dev libconfuse-dev libapr1-dev libpcre3-dev

cd ~
git clone https://github.com/ganglia/monitor-core.git ganglia
cd ganglia
git submodule init
git submodule update


Update February 1, 2014: You need to install Concurrency Kit before running configure or it will fail.

"git clone http://concurrencykit.org/cgit/cgit.cgi/ck/"; "cd ck"; "./configure"; "make"; "make install"

and then switch back to your ganglia directory and continue.

./configure --with-gmetad
make install
ln -s /usr/local/lib64/ganglia /usr/lib/ganglia
useradd --system ganglia
groupadd --system ganglia

nano /etc/ld.so.conf
add line: /usr/local/lib


nano /usr/local/etc/gmetad.conf
change: data_source "your cluster name" 20 localhost
cp ~/ganglia/debian/gmond.conf /usr/local/etc/gmond.conf
nano /usr/local/etc/gmond.conf
change: mute = yes
change: name = "your cluster name"
udp_send_channel {
  port = 8649
  ttl = 1
udp_recv_channel {
   port = 8649
sflow {
  udp_port = 8649
  accept_vm_metrics = yes
tcp_accept_channel {
  port = 8649

cd /var/www
git clone https://github.com/ganglia/ganglia-web.git ganglia
cd ganglia
mkdir dwoo/compiled
mkdir dwoo/cache
mkdir -p /var/lib/ganglia/rrds
chown nobody /var/lib/ganglia/rrds
chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/ganglia
cp conf_default.php.in conf_default.php
cp version.php.in version.php
nano conf_default.php
change: $conf['gweb_confdir'] = "/var/www/ganglia";
change: $conf['gmetad_root'] = "/var/lib/ganglia";


On servers you want to monitor:

apt-get install hsflowd

Note: This package does not appear to be included anymore. Visit their website.

nano /etc/hsflowd.conf
change: DNSSD = off
change: polling = 20
change: sampling = 2000
collector {
ip = (IP running gmond+gmetad)
udpport = 8649

/etc/init.d/hsflowd start

Visit your webserver to see your graphs. DONE!

NOTE: There is a mistake in stacked.php as of January 16, 2013 which causes the graph to break. The exact error is: “PHP Parse error: syntax error, unexpected T_FOREACH in /var/www/ganglia/stacked.php”

To fix, search for “$min_index = min(array_keys($hosts))” and add a semi-colon to the end of the line:

nano /var/www/ganglia/stacked.php
change: $min_index = min(array_keys($hosts));

EDIT (8/5/2013): I recently read this article and decided to set my sampling rate to 2000. I was occasionally getting errors where my network speed was being measured in petabytes/s! Here is a second article about the same topic that is also worth a quick read.