June 20, 2008: Introducing HandBrake Helper

Oreo was incredibly tired as Dominica dragged him off to daycare this morning. He was giving me the big, sad puppy dog eyes saying “save me daddy” which he does when he really, really wants to just stay home and sleep. He doesn’t know that on days when he goes to daycare that I get up as he walks out the door and start working right away. He imagines that after he leaves that I stay in bed and he just wants to snuggle all morning.

We managed to do so much Handbraking that we are running out of storage space – which is a big deal since I have half of a terabyte on my main desktop reserved for h.264 files and am using a bit of space over on my other desktop as well.  I have to start moving files out to the Netgear SC-101 SAN drives now.  We have an additional one terabyte there but access to it is painfully slow and less reliable so we don’t want to store anything there that we want to access anytime soon or that we are worried about losing.  Our plan is, after we get a house, to install a large server dedicated to our media archives that will have lightning fast access to everything all in one spot.  We are hoping to be able to install around eight to twelve terabytes there  as that is pretty likely to be what we will need in the short term to power our AppleTV(s).

I kicked off the download of OpenSuse 11.0 this morning.  It is still early and people are trying hard to get their own copies so the downloads are pretty slow but at least I have it running.  Maybe by tomorrow I can try an installation.  I am doing the download over BitTorrent which isn’t the fastest way to get it, yet, but at least I am contributing to making the system faster so that other people can get it that much more quickly.

My work day was pretty long.  I started at ten after seven this morning and my deployments were not completed until almost eight in the evening.  We ordered in Chinese for dinner from Golden City.  They ran out of tofu so there was only enough to make Dominica’s dinner but not mine.  So I had vegetable fried rice and extra spring rolls and cheese wontons which was a bad idea as it gave me a tummy ache which would get me up in the middle of the night for quite a while.

We watched more Third Rock from the Sun tonight.  I also started work on a neat little Ruby command line application that makes doing a large number of Handbrake jobs easier.  I call it HandBrake Helper.  The design is to have folders into which you can drop files to be processed by HandBrake.  Each folder has a configuration file in it telling HandBrake what settings should be used for files in that folder.  Then you just place your files to be converted into the appropriate folder and kick off HandBrake Helper and it automatically processes your files for you and cleans up after itself.  I just started work on it this evening but had enough done that it is now running the HandBrake jobs on my Linux machines.  I was able to kick it off before going to bed so that it would work through the night for me.  Using HandBrake Helper makes doing conversions much more convenient and it keeps track of my preferred settings so that I don’t have to enter them every time hoping that I don’t get them wrong.

Tomorrow Dominica and I are going in to Manhattan around eleven in the morning to meet up with Nathan, Tammy, Bob, Lisa, Eric and other friends from Ithaca at Planet Hollywood for lunch.  Then it is on to see Mary Poppins on Broadway at a matinée.

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