Monday, March 29, 2004
Saturday, March 27, 2004
Although this site sells batteries in the states it is very handy for identifying those unusual or old types.
Friday, March 26, 2004
Thursday, March 25, 2004
First - lift pins 11 & 15 on IC1 (a DG611 video switch) so that the black 'hole' and white insert signals are stopped - short pins 6 & 7 of the same IC to ensure the black and burst goes straight through. The VITC is added later - see transistor Q1.
Wednesday, March 24, 2004
Tuesday, March 23, 2004
Seems like the EU are getting all shook up with Bill and the boys. I have to say I think coming from the European Union this is really rich - the organization that (via it's protective, non-competitive practices) keeps third world farmers in poverty while obliging the average British family to contribute approximately a grand a year to keep wealthy European farmers in inefficiency is complaining that Microsoft in an "abusive monopolist" - clearly the crew from Redmond haven't oiled the wheels of the gravy train sufficiently!
Now I don't defend Microsoft as a point of faith (as some of my colleagues do!) - I'm a fan of Linux because in lots of situations it is the better option, but it strikes me that companies that behave like Microsoft should be encouraged - they don't do deals with third-world despots, they don't pollute and they don't use sweatshop labour. Microsoft is the most egalitarian company in the Fortune 500 - the wealth is spread more evenly than anyone else you could work for AND Uncle Bill is now the most charitable individual that has ever lived (these are quantifiable facts - the kind I like!).
Just imagine a world where Apple had been as successful as Microsoft - we'd be using machines very modest hardware but at least it would be in lovely translucent plastic and have a pretty GUI - I would have changed my name to Zak and I'd be listening to The Chemical Brothers!
Monday, March 22, 2004
I find it unlikely that there were 12 people on Mrs. Stewart's jury who could whip up a seven-course meal and a decorative centerpiece unique to the event in an afternoon."
Sunday, March 21, 2004
Friday, March 19, 2004
Thanks to Rupert we traced this to QT and further discovered that QT 6.3 is OK - what do you know - I'd have thought DV, DVCam and DVCPro were the ones they'd get right - currently they look v.blocky and useless. Why do people even bother with Apple and their "standards"?
Thursday, March 18, 2004
I've been working at a facility that has a studio and does travel and holiday shows. The vision mixer died and we got another comms board for the control out of Snell - however, while diagnosing the problem I had to Hyperterminal into the beast to discover what IP address it thought it had (control panel talks over ethernet) and the RS232 port of the back of the panel is a male which (according to the IEE RS232C standard) defines it as a DTE (lit. Data Terminal Equipment) - so, to connect to a PC you need a female-female cable that is null modem (i.e. Tx and Rx cross over) - but no - it is a DCE (Data Communicaing Equipment) and doesn't need a cross-cable. The guy at Snell & Wilcox seemed unrepentent that they'd got it wrong - I dunno - why bother to mention the standard and then not conform to it?
Also - the mixer chasis has two ethernet ports - one for the panel and one for the LAN - if the tub doesn't see a panel on one port it goes looking on the other, taking the IP address that the tub knows about to the LAN port - talk about making life difficult!
As the studio director said - "You don't get this trouble with a Sony".
Wednesday, March 17, 2004
Tuesday, March 16, 2004
Monday, March 15, 2004
Sunday, March 14, 2004
Saturday, March 13, 2004
Friday, March 12, 2004
Thursday, March 11, 2004
Wednesday, March 10, 2004
Wow! if it's made it to BBC online it must be here!
i know in advance how stupid this was..
Ok, i just did the dumbest thing i could possibly do updating the firmware on this dvd-rom. First off it is a pioneer 500m. I have no floppy drive on this box so I burned a dos bootable cd and put it in the pioneer drive and rebooted. I put the firmware update on the bootable cd also. So when i booted to dos, i ran the firmware update. It deleted the old firmware fine, and then just froze, since then it could not read the cd in the drive, since no firmware. So right now I have a dvd drive that has no firmware and I can not boot with it installed on my machine. If i try, the light stays on on the drive and the machine hangs 'detecting IDE devices..'
I am not able to get into my bios set up or anything. I have no idea how to fix this. Any ideas?
I hope I don't make too many mistakes as fundemental as this!
Tuesday, March 09, 2004
Monday, March 08, 2004
I've not tried Yellow Dog, but I like the idea of running a proper OS on a Mac (and don't try and tell me OS-X is Unix!)
Sunday, March 07, 2004
I found that when I had Media Player running on my main machine my server would suddenly not allow access to network shares etc due to it running out of licenses - looking on the active shares on the server showed a dozen or more MP3s being accessed - turns out Media Player will take as much as it can get if you point the monitor folder at a server!
Friday, March 05, 2004
Why I prefer the look of interlaced video
I’ve been engineering in television since the eighties when I started at the Beeb working in television news. All the training efforts of the good folks at Wood Norton (the BBC’s own college!) were to turn out staff who could maintain the fidelity of pictures and audio from acquisition to transmission. As the nineties wore on and TV stopped being staffed by people who earned their chops and became the domain of “meeja skool” graduates the practice of film-looking increased – trying to make pictures acquired on tape look like they really came off film. It rarely works – making video look jerky and messing about with its colour grading is more an insult to people who work in proper film than those of us who think video looks better than film on television. One of the areas where video out-performs 35mm is in motion rendition, and so why spoil that?
The reason production types indulge in this kind of behavior is to do with the perception that film-produced TV looks more expensive than the kind that comes out of a studio. For my money I find clean, well lit video to be more engaging than film because it looks a like the world does. When I watch “Casualty” I can believe it a bit than, say “ER” because with the latter I can never quite loose the feeling that it has been shot on a sound stage and has gone through a much more elaborate post-process. Video seems more true, more honest.
Now me venting my engineering spleen about all this came about because of the “Give it the Bullet” article in a recent edition of Creation – “Make your cheap-skate DV production look like Super-16” or some such! My answer to this is the two episodes of Dad’s Army that Steve Roberts at the Beeb restored a couple of years ago. They discovered these missing episodes in a shed on reversal 16mm from a tele-recording (ask your Dad). Being aware that these gems would have gone out as video Steve set about finding a way of making them look like interlaced video again (it’s the honesty thing!) and he discovered VidFire – an AVX plug-in that turns film into video – it fills in the temporal blanks. It really does work – it produces smooth motion from jerky old film. Now that is a fashion I could support – video-looking film. If someone could produce a real-time unit and build it into my TV set then I’d be happy!