Dark Tower

Today I finished reading the last of the 7 books in Stephen King's Dark Tower series. It has been a wonderful journey and I loved the ending (I read it even though the writer tried to shy me away from reading the ending).

Overall I found the books very well written, with very enjoyable story telling. I loved most of the Mid World parts; they are full of the right mixture of fantasy (The Lord Of The Rings style) and science fiction (references to Asimov robot stories). Yes, I know it's weird mix of fantasy and scifi, but he manages to pull it off. I did not like so much the overly long and predictable Wolves of the Calla, nor did I enjoy so much the frequent switches to current New York city and the latter books, as it kind of breaks the rhythm and mood.

Next on my list is book two of Bridei Chronicles. More fantasy, but this time with no scifi and with more realism (it is inspired by historic events from ancient Celtic Scotland). After that, who knows, I'll need to do more online shopping to find out...


Transcoding media files for the PS3 from Linux

While there are some good tools in Windows world for transcoding video files so that they can be played on a PS3 (optionally adding subtitles), in Linux I could not find any good instructions, after much googling. It turns out that 'mencoder' can do the trick wonderfully well (easier than the Windows GUI-based tools mkv2vob and VirtualDub), but you have to know the options to use, through some experimentation.

In case anyone else has the same problem, here's the script I am using. Besides converting to a PS3 playable format, it optionally prints subtitles into the video if a .srt file is found with the same base name as the input video file.