VLC Playback Issues with WMV on Mac OS X?

I recently got some video files in the Windows WMV format and VLC on Mac OS X was not able to play these files. It’s not that VLC does not play any WMV format files, it just happens that the files I had, did not work.

Having tried Flip4Mac some time back and observed similar issues, I chose not to try it again, instead, look for some alternate solution.

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WWDC 2014 – iOS 8, OS X 10.10 – Apple opens up iOS a bit more!

Well…Not a very exciting event from Apple, but, there are some points that could stretch Apple’s lead in the mobile and desktop market to some extent.

  1. Apple has opened out more APIs on the iOS side allowing app functionality, officially, that was previously available only on jailbroken devices. Given the wide developer base, we could see some exciting apps coming up in the near future. iOS 8 Enterprise features have also been enhanced and could spur wider enterprise adoption.
  2. The introduction of a new programming language, Swift, which could accelerate the development on iOS and OS X platforms far more than ever before.
  3. The integration and extension of the functionality of the 10+ year old Nokia PC Suite into Yosemite is a welcome addition. Most people using iOS devices would probably understand that this could be quite useful on occasion. This page has details.

A word of caution for early adopters. Do not attempt to try iOS 8 just as yet on your primary phone. Most of the current applications will not work as expected and a vast majority would simply crash, including the stock apps. Yosemite, although usable, is quite laggy and slow, which is to be expected from a developer preview. The same applies to Xcode 6 beta.

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Happy New Year 2014!

Wishing You All Very Happy New Year 2014.

As our learning through the years continues, here are some apps that iOS users can check out. Some of these are also available on the Android platform.

Udemy offers quite a few courses on a variety of subjects for free. These apps also allow you download the content for offline viewing later.

CodeCademy is great for learning to code.

Coursera is a massive collection of open online courses (MOOCs).

The MIT OCW is yet another great resource.

Khan Academy needs no introduction. In case you want some of these for offline viewing, check out the Khan Archiver app. For selected courses from Khan Academy, check out the this link.

Happy Learning!

Extract files from ISO images from a command line script on Mac OS X

I recently ran into a situation where I needed to extract files from ISO images in bulk. Unlike Windows where one has so many popular and free applications for this task, I just made up a multi-line process for the same on OS X.

I used the hdiutil to mount and unmount the ISO file and a simple cp to extract files as follows…

for m in *.iso
	if [ "$m" = "*.iso" ]; then
		echo -e "\nFound $m"
		dd=`hdiutil attach "$m" | cut -f3`
		echo -e "\nFound ${m%%.*} - $dd"
		cp -a "$dd"/ .
		if [ $? -ne 0 ]; then
			exit 10
			hdiutil detach "$dd"
			rm -rf "$m"

Just in case…this is a bash script snippet. The actual script is longer and does some more work, but, this should give a fair idea as to how one can automate the extraction of files from ISO images.