I’ve wasted most of today trying to get my Epson RX425 scanner to work as a non-root user on CentOS 5.2

It worked fine before, so I think a kernel upgrade has broken udev, as I ended up having to edit /etc/security/console.perms.d/50-default-perms to allow less strict permissions on scanners than root-only.

It seems that doing it the proper way via /etc/udev/rules.d/60-iscan.rules no longer works – in fact you can put anything you like in the udev rules files and bugger all seems to change even after a reboot!

I seem to have been on pointless phonecalls all day today, and doing boring admin work like sorting out receipts and arranging a copy invoice for insurance claims etc.

I specced up a PC similar to the one I built for Kev the other day, and prices have gone up from about 500ukp to about 600ukp+ and specs have hardly gone up. So I’m going to wait for Nehalem aka Intel Core I7 before I build a new PC. I’ll rebuild and upgrade Solo a bit when Fedora10 comes out – replace the FX5200 with FX6200 graphics card and swap an old 200Gb for a new 250Gb hard disk.

Last night I decided I was going to look into scripting a load of DVD-to-DivX transcodes using mencoder. I basically took the commandline output from CloneDVD Mobile and put the same into mencoder on Linux. It all seemed to work quite well after some experimentation – for example specifying the audio language, threading and using the DVD:// virtual device instead of catting all the VOB’s together.

One odd thing is that some of the bitrates that work OK under CDVDm cause a segfault under mencoder for Linux, so I standardised on 1242kbps. When I got up in the morning I had four ripped DVD’s waiting for me!

mencoder dvd:// -dvd-device TRANSPORTER2 -ffourcc DIVX -af volume=10 \
-aspect 16:9 -of avi -noodml -oac mp3lame -ovc lavc \
-lavcopts vcodec=mpeg4:vbitrate=1242:abitrate=128:threads=2 \
-audio-preload 0.8 -delay 0.1 -lameopts cbr:br=128 -vf scale=640:360,harddup \
-info name="TRANSPORTER2" -ofps 24000/1001 -o /data4/video/transporter2.avi

Of course using the mencoder commandline on Linux rather than a GUI on Windows means that you can get to the other options – such as trimming the black bars and setting start and end points – features that CDVDm should really incorporate.