There are two possible scenario’s.
1. You are running Ubuntu natively (or via Boot Camp) on your Mac, and you can’t get the iSight to work with Ubuntu.
2. You are running Ubuntu in a virtual machine using VMWare, Parallells, or VirtualBox, and you can’t get the iSight to work with Ubuntu.

both scenario’s are a pain in the ass, AND both scenarios have a really simple solution.

STEP 0. foolproof: if you’re trying to use your iSight in a virtual machine, make sure your vm software links the camera to the virtual machine!

STEP 1. get the AppleUSBVideoSupport file. you can find that file on an existing Mac OSX 10.4 or 10.5 installation at this location:
or you can download it from here. (unzip this first)

STEP 2. Put the AppleUSBVideoSupport file on your Ubuntu Desktop.

STEP 3. Open a terminal window on Ubuntu, and update your repositories:
sudo apt-get update
then install the iSight Firmware Tools like this:
sudo apt-get install isight-firmware-tools

STEP 4. The installer will ask you for the AppleUSBVideoSupport file. give it the right path to that file:

STEP 5. Reboot or log out and log back in. You can now use your iSight with Ubuntu!

Toon 🙂


Recently i visited, a site where you can see your complete browsing history… which means that -if they want to- THEY can see your browsing history too. That’s not too bad, you think? You know EVERY SITE can see that, and a few things more.

– your IP adress (so also your location on the planet)
– the site that directed you to that page (referrer)
– your complete web-browsing history
– the browser you’re using (in the user-agent string)
– the Operating System you’re using (in the user-agent string)

and that’s all no big deal really, it’s easy as 1-2-3. Now you say “so what? they don’t know who i am”. Exactly. They don’t. But they don’t need to know your name! The information they have right here is more than enough to uniquely identify you out of billions of other internet users. So don’t you think that’s concerning?

Anyway, IF you want a little bit of privacy on the web, here’s how i hid all these aspects in an easy way, using Ubuntu 10.04 and Firefox, combined with TOR, and a bunch of Firefox plugins.

STEP 1. Install TOR on Ubuntu. you find the how-to hereuse ‘Option two’. By using tor in combination with Polipo(see step 2) we’re going to hide our location and ip adress.

STEP 2. Check if Polipo is installed on your Ubuntu system. (It was automatically installed during my TOR installation). if not, install it. Then go here – Download the Polipo configuration for TOR file (in step two), and follow the instructions in the same paragraph.

STEP 3. We’re going to install some add-ons in Firefox now. First is the ‘Torbutton‘. Without it, TOR doesn’t work with Firefox. go here – and install the add-on by clicking the green ‘+Add to Firefox’ button.

STEP 4. Install the ‘No referrer‘ add-on for Firefox here – this little tool is going to hide our referrer page.

STEP 5. Install the ‘User Agent Switcher‘ add-on for Firefox here – this tool switches our user agent so websites we visit can’t see that we’re using Firefox on Ubuntu (and more info..)

STEP 6. Install the ‘Adblock Plus‘ add-on fore Firefox here – this will block ads on webpages. We need that because ads tend to find around the tor software, and have our real ip and location compromised.

STEP 7. Quit Firefox, and do a complete restart of Ubuntu. Then restart Firefox. you’ll see that a bunch of pages opens because we installed the new add-ons. We need to do a few more things.

STEP 8. A page of Adblock Plus will be opened, asking to install a filter description. Choose one that seems ok to you. After that you can close the remaining pages.

STEP 9. choose another user agent. 'Tools' > 'Default User Agent' > 'Internet Explorer' > 'Internet Explorer 7' might be a good choice.

STEP 10. Click the green ‘R’ icon on the right bottom of your screen. In the menu that pops up check the box before ‘Don’t send referrers to any URL‘ and save.

STEP 11. Click the tor button on the right bottom of the screen to switch TOR on and off.

STEP 12. To disable the history leaking, just disable the history (in Firefox preferences), or choose ‘clear history when Firefox closes’. that way you won’t have much to worry about.

now you’re set. remember. for normal browsing, you don’t need to do all this 🙂 this is just for the paranoid. Still, try not to use the tor network, the user agent switcher and the referrer disabler when it’s not needed. these things were made to make the web better. some people just use them for the wrong purpose.

enjoy the privacy 🙂


I used ffmpeg a lot lately, and you could already read about that in my previous posts about capturing your screen and converting aiff to mp3 using ffmpeg.

When creating a DVD for a school project I needed to do some movie work, and i of course did use ffmpeg for that. Here are some handy commands that i used:

extract the part of the movie starting from 01:46
ffmpeg -i filename.mp4 -ss 00:01:46 -sameq outfile.mp4

extract the part of the movie until 05:30
ffmpeg -i filename.mp4 -t 00:05:30 -sameq outfile.mp4

take an image and an audio file and put them together as a movie file
ffmpeg -f image2 -i input.jpg -i input.mp3 -ab 128k outfile.mp4

take a huge mov file and create a web-compatible mp4 file out if it, with lower bitrate.
ffmpeg -i -ab 128k -b 800k outfile.mp4

transform a flash movie to mp4, keep the quality/bitrate equal to the original
ffmpeg -i filename.flv -f mp4 -vcodec mpeg4 -sameq outfile.mp4

capture your favourite online radio stream, and save it in mp3 format on your hard disk, time limited to 2 hours (7200 sec)
ffmpeg -i -f mp3 -acodec libmp3lame -ab 128k -ar 44100 -t 7200 outfile.mp3

convert a movie to a gif (apply -ss and -t if needed, see above)
ffmpeg -i filename.mp4 outfile.gif
Read more about high quality gif converts using ffmpeg

that's it :)