More fooling with video last night. Virtualdub-MPEG2 can convert mpeg to divx, but in my hands the converted files are five times bigger than with Dr. DivX. Dr. DivX doesn’t have a command-line interface, but can be automated using a class a tools that record and replay mouse actions. I experimented a bit with Phantom Test Driver, which is inexpensive ($40) and works pretty well.

Inspired by the technical challenge of Adam’s offer (I don’t really need the money), I started looking at what I’d need to add to my home entertainment network. There are very good tools available for the networked TiVo. Using TyStudio and Dr. DivX, I was able to convert a half hour of “Medium” quality TiVo video to a 100MB file. Hey, cool! But the process is totally GUI-driven, so the next step is to figure out how to do this stuff from the command line so that it can be automated. I can’t seem to find instructions for using the tools from the command line. I’ve fooled around a little bit with Unix-domain tools like ffmpeg, but the results have been horrendous (wrong aspect ratio, bad video quality, no audio). Any ideas?

I tried out the Mozilla Thunderbird mail client yesterday. They just released version 0.4 a few days ago. It mostly works on Windows XP but hangs trying to copy messages to the Sent folder. I think I’ll switch to it when they get that problem fixed. I’m currently using a crusty old MIT-provided version of Eudora, which feels pretty clunky compared to other clients I’ve used (e.g. Apple iMail, which doesn’t run on my PCs).

John Kerry uses the word “fuck” in an interview with Rolling Stone. The New York Post dedicates an entire story to this one fact. Instapundit kibbitzes. I’m not a Kerry supporter, and I like some of Instapundit’s stuff. But for crying out loud, this petty, holier than thou crap is pretty insulting, considering what’s at stake.

Both wife and I ventured out into the snow today. It was like driving on an ice skating rink. I’m happy to report that there were no fender benders. And that the anti-lock brakes in our Honda CR-V do in fact work.