Notes Tips and Tricks

Solarwinds – Thwack

​You should have a thwack ​account. if you don’t have one, get one.

You’ll get notices on some interesting things from time to time and you’ll be able to ask the usergroup questions and learn some cool things.

Today I got an alert about a lab on scripting happing.

It was informative discussion on using the compliance manager tools in solarwinds. You can create your own compliance settings or use one of the pre-built scripts.

They spoke of using remediation from right inside the script, but I would feel a lot more comfortable running, checking the devices that failed, and then remediating manually or then using the remediation scripting portion.


Skype – no longer able to exit

Seems that there has been an update to Windows/Skype and it no longer gives the option to quit Skype by right clicking on the icon in the task bar.

I quickly Googled and didn’t find a way to quit Skype.

The menus inside Skype also don’t include a quit option.

I can picture a bunch of Microsoft execs sitting in a room discussing how to get more people to use Skype.
Maybe if we don’t let them exit they will learn to love it.

For now I’m exiting using the Task Manager
Right click on the task bar, click Task Manager.
In the Process tab under Apps there should be a listing for Skype.
Right click and choose – End Task.

This will close Skype.

*** Update – 6/25 ***

It seems that the option to close Skype has returned.
The easiest way to exit Skype is to right click on the Skype icon in the task bar and select Quit Skype


Creating animated gifs from movie files.

Recently I needed help a client create a web page / script to create animated gifs from video files.

I wrote up details on what was needed and how to achieve it using php, ffmpeg, and imagemagick.

saving here in case I might need in the future or maybe I could help someone out that is looking to do the same thing.

For a web interface:

input: Video ID, Start Time, Length (max 5 seconds), frames per second
hit go – ffmpeg portion runs and creates thumbs.

output: png images that are created.
ability to chose start-point and end-point thumbnail
ability to delete specific thumbnails

radio button for normal (default) | black & white | Sepia
Speed button: normal (default) | SlowMotion | Speed x2 (would be great if we could do a slider of some sort that would alter r/d)
Create button – takes all png images between start-point and end-point and creates animated gif

thumbnails should still be available for fine tuning if .gif didn’t turn out as expected.

Upload button – clicking will take final .gif and upload/move it to somewhere on our web server.


convert – set colorspace RGB -sepia-ton 80% -delay 12 +map -ordered-dither o8x8,19 -layers Optimize *.png gstepmom.gif

Black&White –
convert -set colorspace RGB -colorspace Gray -delay 12 +map -ordered-dither o8x8,19 -layers Optimize *.png gstepmom.gif

convert -delay 11 -ordered-dither o8x8,19 +map -layers Optimize *.png stepmom.gif
speed normal – 100/r=d
speed slow – 100/rd