Shlomi Fish (shlomif) wrote,
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  • Mood: happy
  • Music: Jimmy Ray - Are You Jimmy Ray?

Adventures of a Finite Simple Group of Order Two

Today I checked my gmail E-mail and saw that my friend sent me a link to a hilarious videoclip of "A Finite Simple Group (of Order Two) by the Klein Four Group, which are a mathematically-inclined a-capella group. I liked it so much that I decided to send it to the members of my long-forgotten Jokes Distribution List using my KDE mail account.

Well, the problem was that it really was long-forgotten as KAddressbook did not list it or any other distribution list I had prepared in its previous incarnations. So I decided to investigate. I created a new distribution list with a few members and saved it. When inspecting the KAddressbook directory (~/.kde/share/apps/kabc/) I found it no longer stored them in the file distlists but rather inside std.vcf in specially-formatted records. So I whipped up a quick Perl script to convert it to the new format, which worked after a tweak or two. After restarting kmail, I was able to see my distribution lists' again, and could send my mail.

Since the video had no sub-titles and one of the people on the list is deaf, I googled for the lyrics for this song and found them, and included a link to them in my email.

So far so good. But then I decided I like the song so much that I wanted to listen to it using Amarok (my music player) from time to time. So I moved the .flv (Flash Video) file I had downloaded from the Youtube link using youtube-dl, to my mp3's directory and tried to enqueue it using Amarok. It didn't work, as Amarok complained it lacked an audio channel. Trying to play it in xine, which is the Amarok media-playing backend I'm using didn't work as well. It seemed like a xine limitation.

Then I remembered this article about converting from .flv to DivX or Xvid that I saw on Linux.com. I followed its instructions and ran the script. It did a whole lot of stuff, but I couldn't find the file. As it turned out, my filename contained whitespace characters, which broke the script and caused it to output to the file .avi (which is normally invisible). To fix it I had to change:

 "`basename $1 .flv`.avi"
with:
 "`basename "$1" .flv`.avi"

Which made it work. Now Amarok could play the AVI file, but not rewind and fast-forward it. Possibly another limitation.

All this time I was talking on IRC. I joined #kde in order to resolve my distribution list problem, and there I helped a few people. While I was in the neighbourhood, I decided to join #math and let them know of the song. Someone there recognised it, and gave me the link to the Klein Four Group's. There I found audios in mp3's formats and videos in Windows Media's .wmv format for many of their songs (including "Finite Simple Group (of Order Two)"). So in this case, I didn't have had to bother with flv2avi.sh. (Albeit it may come in handy some other time).

So now the Jews have Joy and Aura, and I can listen to the song comfortably. I listened to it at least 5 times today. I'd also like to check their other recordings.

P.S: when I said that "C++ is complex, complexified and complexifying", I thought the verb "complexify" did not really exist, but it does, and it appears in this song.

Tags: amarok, avi, complexify, divx, e-mail, flv, flv2avi, free music, irc, kaddressbook, kde, klein four, klein four group, kmail, mp3, perl, xine, youtube
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