Relevation 1.1 released

A small update for Relevation.

It will now handle wrong passwords a bit more gracefully and it's also easier to use on Windows now.

Full list of changes:

  • Support cryptopy if PyCrypto is not available. Enhances cross-platform support.
  • Print an error message if the decryption produced wrong data (normally caused by a bad password)
  • Add PyCrypto/cryptopy to version info (--version)
  • Windows support enhancements:
    • Minimalistic GUI
    • Py2exe support
    • Packaging scripts
  • Fix $ make uninstall procedure

Relevation 1.1
or (zip includes PDF and HTML manpage)


New tool released: Relevation

I've just published a new tool I named 'Relevation'.

It's a command-line tool to access the passwords stored with the excellent Revelation Password Manager, which only provides a graphical interface.

I've been using the basis of my new tool on my computers for more than 4 years now and decided I might as well release it for others to use in case anyone else is interested.

It's is written in Python and has fairly simple dependencies, so it is easy to test and requires no compilation.

Its website is located at

Relevation 1.0:

deb package

VCS 1.12.2 released

Another minor update, although the last few versions have contained a really stupid bug that prevented the temporary files from being removed (leading to a lot of stale, possibly big, files), so upgrading is highly recommended. Thanks to Jason Tackaberry for pointing the bug.

Note though I'm still on holidays so this is a quick and dirty release (with little testing).


vcs 1.12.2 (script only)

or (script, sample configuration, manpage and profiles)

deb, rpm, PKGBUILD & bz2
as usual at

VCS 1.12.1 released

A very small update this time. It's only been delayed by real life stuff.

Only worth mentioning:

  • Workaround for cases in which GAWK uses comma as decimal separator. Many European languages use commas but only a few versions of GAWK do actually print them (and newer versions don't anymore). People encountering this bug will have certainly noticed since it results in all kinds of errors.

vcs 1.12.1 (script only)
or (script, sample configuration and profiles)
deb, rpm, PKGBUILD & bz2
as usual at

VCS 1.12 released

VCS 1.12 is ready to download

As with 1.11 many of the changes are pretty radical and might break but it's been working fine for me so far.

The changes are quite a few so I'll try to explain as best as I can. Documentation for the new stuff is on the way.

New in this version:

  • Profiles
  • On-demand loading of custom configuration files
  • Heading, footer and title based on actual font size
  • Configuration generation from the command-line
  • Relative end-offset
  • More reasonable command-line arguments to capture from DVD
  • Configuration syntax enhancements and more sensible names for settings

→ Profiles

Command-line: --profile <NAME> and -p <NAME>

Profiles allow saving a group of settings and then reusing them by using their name.
They can be saved to ~/.vcs/profiles/ or /usr/share/vcs/profiles/ as name.conf, and then invoked with a command-line like:
$ vcs -p name video.avi

They can also be combined, e.g.
$ vcs -p black -p mosaic video.avi

A list of available profiles can be displayed with
$ vcs -p :list

The deb, rpm, arch package and tarball include some sample profiles.

→ Configuration file loading

Command-line: --config <FILE> and -C <FILE>

A lot like profiles but settings can be loaded from any file on any directory. The only extra condition is the file should contain "vcs:conf:" inside comments towards the beginning or the end of the file.

$ vcs -C /tmp/mysettings.txt video.avi

→ Configuration (and profile) generation

Command-line: --generate config

By adding --generate config to the command-line, the effective settings are printed in a format that can be saved to a configuration or profile file.

All active settings with an appropriate config setting will be printed, no matter if they come from the command-line, profiles or configurations.


$ vcs -n4 --generate config
Will produce a configuration for 4 captures and fixed number of captures:


$ vcs -p myprofile -C myconfig.cfg -E0 --generate config

Will merge profile "myprofile" and file myconfig.cfg, disable end-offset and print the combined settings.

Big warning

In case you aren't familiar with shell redirections, DON'T try to overwrite an existing configuration like:
$ vcs [...] --generate config > myconfig.cfg
This WILL WIPE your configuration BEFORE reading it.


Pre-existing configurations can be "upgraded" to the new names by running without extra arguments:
$ vcs --generate config

→ Relative end-offset

The end offset now accepts percentages and is 5.5% by default. It is now applied always unless disabled.

With the length detection workarounds in 1.11 and relative end offsets, the whole MIN_LENGTH_FOR_END_OFFSET nonsense is gone for good. Good riddance.

→ DVD capture

Handling of DVDs is now like that of normal files. --dvd (or -V) enable the DVD mode and take no arguments anymore:

$ vcs --dvd /dev/dvd

$ vcs --dvd --dvd-title 1 /dev/dvd

Multi-input is also accepted now:

$ vcs --dvd --dvd-title 1 --dvd-title 2 /dev/dvd /dev/dvd somedvd.iso
Will capture titles 1 and 2 from /dev/dvd, and the longest title from somedvd.iso.

DVDs and video files can't be mixed though (it's either DVD mode or no DVD mode for all input files).

→ Configuration syntax enhancements

Finally, configuration files are now easier to read and write:
 — Settings are case insensitive now
 — Names are easier on the brain (e.g. "height" instead of "th_height")
 — Comments no longer need their own line

Also a sample configuration file is provided with all available settings for easier writing of your own if needed.

→ Dynamic heading/footer/title

In previous versions heading and title size based on font pointsize. This lead to a few rare fonts displaying cropped. Footer was a fixed size so it was even worse at that. 1.12 probes the font size and (hopefully) sizes sections accordingly. Example:

Before: 1.11.2

After: 1.12

The font displayed is akaFrivolity in case you're wondering

vcs 1.12 (script only)
or (script, sample configuration and profiles)
deb, rpm, PKGBUILD & bz2
as usual at

VCS 1.11.2 released

A new small update to vcs is available to download. This should be the last update before 1.12 (which will take a while to be ready) but the massive changes in 1.11.x still need more testing so who knows.

Changes in 1.11.2:

  • Some Real Audio codec names (v4, v5 and v6)
  • Bugfix/Feature: Fallback for default font on systems that don't register fonts with ImageMagick
  • Bugfixes: Clean up correctly extra temporary dirs, fix for non-GNU awk (e.g. mawk)

vcs 1.11.2
deb, rpm, PKGBUILD & bz2
as usual at

VCS 1.11.1 released

Here's a very small bugfix release, nothing too fancy this time around:

– A name for the FLV1 codec (used in older flash videos)

– Warnings about the DEFAULT_* configuration variables accidentally removed in the previous release (and temporarily accept them)

– A check of ImageMagick's version that should work in all systems

Also new there's a PKGBUILD file for packaging for Arch.

vcs 1.11.1
deb, rpm, etc.
as usual at

VCS 1.11 released

In this post:

Release notes

Finally a new version of vcs, and it brings a truckload of changes. So many in fact that it will probably break in new and unexpected ways but so far it has been working quite fine.

The major improvement will probably be the tweaks to video duration detection that should get rid of the dreaded "Failed to capture…" on the last capture.

Other new features worth mentioning:

  • Height can be defined as a percentage (-H 25%) or set configuration files (th_height=160)
  • Output filename can now be set manually (-o file)
  • Lots of small cosmetic tweaks, from default font and heading background, to tighter padding or smaller timestamps. And the ability to tweak or disable padding.
  • Support for DVD has been revamped and should work much better now.
  • FreeBSD users are now (mostly) first class citizens for vcs 😉
  • More concise --help output, added --fullhelp for the whole bore
  • Handling of non-latin filenames makes a lot more sense now
  • And last but not least, the usual lot of bugfixes, better detection of video features, better aspect ratio detection, new codec names, etc.

On a more mundane note, no longer both MPlayer and FFmpeg are required, either one will do (although both will render best results), bc is no longer required.

Also, I'm providing an rpm package too this time around.

And finally this version will work on bash 2.05b, in case you're using some tight system like DSL.

In case you wonder how the hell did I count to make 1.11 follow 1.0.100a, I just remembered I should bump the version when new features are added, and re-counted versions. Lame I know but at least numbering should make more sense now.

Important I forgot to add warnings about this: If you're using a configuration file, there's been some renamings: DEFAULT_NUMCAPS is now numcaps, DEFAULT_INTERVAL is now interval and DEFAULT_COLS is now cols.

Edit: 1.11.1 fixes this: warns about their usage and accepts them for now.

A note for everyone (but specially for porn aficionados)

Please, if at all possible link directly whenever you discuss vcs. I know many communities prefer to use link redirections to keep referrer hidden but knowing how people is using or what they're saying about vcs helps me in improving and fixing it.

I know full well such a script caters to pr0n uploaders and I'm not offended, no need to hide 😉

Conversely, if you know of any discussion about vcs feel free to let me know so that I can jump in or steal get ideas from it.

BTS and Documentation

Finally, in case you didn't notice, the documentation site has received a lot of love and now is much more useful, and I've also opened a bug tracker in case you prefer it to e-mail.


mp3plot 0.6.0 released

mp3plot 0.6.0 is out. It started as a bugfix release for a nasty bug when dealing with free-format or broken files (reported by Tricky Trix, thanks pal 🙂 ) and eventually led me to (finally) implement support for "MP1" (MPEG-1 Layer I), "MP2" (MPEG-1 Layer II) and all three layers of MPEG-2. Such files can be found sometimes as disguised mp3s so this should be useful.

Also some other fixes including longstanding (brown paper bag) bugs. There's no doubt more of them in there, so report if you find something weird.

So in short previous versions should be ditched in favour of this one 😛

nautilus-folow-symlink 1.1 released

There's a refreshed version of nautilus-follow-symlink. Nothing new (after all there's little to be added), but I'm finally letting GNOME set the icon instead of force-feeding it, so it should, hopefully, display an icon matching the user-chosen theme. And it should also be friendlier to build.

nautilus-follow-symlink popup menu for symbolic links