Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Saturday, December 16, 2006
Anyhow - you can have a look at ours here - it's a PDF.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Friday, December 08, 2006
- I had to go and investigate a suite where all the laybacks (to BetaSP!) had visual disturbances. The issue had supposedly only started after we'd changed the video i/o card in a workstation. When I got to look at some of the tapes it was clear that the fault was either RF or tape damage. When I parked the deck on the offending frames and opened the tape you could see the scratch running the length of the lower edge. If memory serves it is TG2 and TG5 that guide the lower edge of an SP tape and so clearly the fault with mechanical and definitely located in the record VTR. I showed this to the editor who was adamant that it couldn't be the case and that it was us having done something when we fitted the new video i/o card - ¨Coincidence, I think not¨!
His colleague realised the silliness of his position and apologised, but because I wasn't willing to back down I left under a bit of a cloud.
- Colour balancing monitors - I got booked to go and calibrate a monitor for a grading session that was about to start. When I got there (colour probe in hand) I found an industrial JVC display - NTSC-phosphored tube and no tweaks on the outside. I explained this to the editor and left. The next day they called to say how unprofessional I'd been and why hadn't I set up the monitor. Well - as a freebie - I'd set the black and white levels but they wouldn't accept that the display was un-calibrat'able (made up word). Why people believe they can make a £1,500 monitor look like an £11k grading display is beyond me. Also - did they think I was lying or stupid (it must have been one or the other).
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
After I left the Beeb I had virtually no dealings with Quantel. I used to see them at trade shows but it's always hard getting past the marketing to see what the real engineering is. They've regularly published a little book called The Quantel Digital Fact Book (which should, in truth, have been called The Quantel Digital Lie Book!) - essentially it was a bunch of marketing spun up to look like engineering. One article entitled ¨Resolution Independence - a universal panacea?¨ banged on about how a single platform couldn't support differing TV standards properly. They dropped that particular bit of fiction when they introduced resolution independent equipment! The superiority of 8-bit video was another myth they propogated (and I heard a number of otherwise sensible Soho engineers repeat that bit of nonsense) - again, they stopped saying that when their kit started to do 10-bit.
Anyhow - last week I was installing an eQ workstation and made a few suprising observations;
- It's now a PC! They use an industry standard Intel server board (dual Xeons) with commodity drives (SATA) and graphics card (Radeon X800).
- The video i/o card is bought in - although I couldn't get a good look at it I'm pretty sure it was a DVS Centurus card - as used in Clipsters, Baselights etc.
- I saw an AMC sticker inside - we've used those guys to integrate specialised computers for us - they do a good job but I was suprised to see them building Quantel machines!
- They include all of the extenders you might need to get USB and SVGA to the suite - it's nice to see that they still cling to the notion that equipment belongs in a machine room and people in the edit suite - Avid would do well to learn this!
Monday, December 04, 2006
KeyTweak came to the rescue. It allows you to re-map scan codes and so isn't as useful as Microsoft's keyboard utility if you're using an unusual keyboard layout (for example). But, if you need to disable a key or make an unused key (like on those stupid multi-media keyboards) do something KeyTweak is the business. I just disables the right-hand control key and all was good. I had to detach the faulty module and use a USB keyboard while doing it, but it works like a charm - and who uses the right-hand control key?
Saturday, December 02, 2006
See her pics here
Friday, December 01, 2006
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
It would be really sad if this report got translated as a bunch of young people robbing for fun. It is not about that.
"It is for 'kicks', but you've have to understand what the 'kick' is. The 'kick' is people who are victims for prolonged periods of time developing a cycle of revenge so that they then get a high from victimising someone else.
I did calm down reading the closing comment;
One of the things that kept emerging in our work was that... this was an extension of traditional bullying. That motivation of dominance, of proving that you were tough in the eyes of other people was a very strong theme.
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Buy Nothing Christmas is a national initiative started by Canadian Mennonites who offer a prophetic "no" to the patterns of over-consumption of middle-class North Americans. They are inviting Christians (and others) all over Canada to join a movement to de-commercialize Christmas and re-design a Christian lifestyle that is richer in meaning, smaller in impact upon the earth, and greater in giving to people less-privileged.
Giving gifts at Christmas is a good thing to do - it's a small re-enactment of the incarnation of God's love. Gift-giving, as we know from other occasions (like birthdays, weddings, housewarmings) serves as a kind of social glue that keeps us together. It shows affection, thoughtfulness and love. While gift-giving is a good thing to do at Christmas, that doesn't mean we have to go overboard at Christmas.
Monday, November 20, 2006
One of the biggest challenges... is to fight that perception that old versions of software are good enough,
I'll leave you to draw your own conclusions and how you might paraphrase that particularly insidious bit of marketing speak! Anyhow - having decided I'd lay off Vista until at least SP1 (good advice with any Microsoft product!) I heard Paul Thurrott's most recent Windows Weekly podcast where he put to rest some of the fears over licensing and even suggested that on most hardware the Vista experience was a good one. My five month old MacBook seemed too under-powered (having motherboard graphics) to be a candidate but he reckons he's tried it and it's all good. Then I caught last week's Security Now! with Steve Gibson who had a totally different take on things. Oh well - I don't anyone who has build 6000 (the final RTM version) and so I can't get any real advice.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Now - I put in a simple SDi/RS422 system at five and they had this problem that was hard to replicate - When one of the editors assigned a VTR to one of the Final Cut workstations another VTR route would drop (only on the RS422 level). This meant that in effect they could only use one VTR at a time. I couldn't replicate the fault. Quartz suggested;
- Re-load the router config in case of corruption
- Move one of the VTRs to an unused port and re-programme to reflect the change - in case a cross-point had gone faulty
Thinking back to the first or second series of Big Brother I rememeber a similiar problem - it all comes down to the fact that the Quartz control software makes the serial port router look like a set of sources and destinations by using a two-pointer buffer. If you fill that buffer with two routes that refer to the same device you run the risk of subsequent routes breaking that relationship. The solution is to re-sort both source and destination tables so that all RS422 port definitions are in exactly the same places in the tables for the same devices - something you'd never have to worry about for other signal standards. By doing this the buffer never gets monopolised by a single device and the problem is solved.
Now Quartz told me this (reluctanty) back in 2001 and to my suprised it's still an issue - it's also still not documented!
Monday, November 13, 2006
Under Government legislation introduced on 1st May 1999 and replaced on 11th December 2003 by the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003, it is unlawful to make unsolicited direct marketing calls to individuals who have indicated that they do not want to receive such calls.
Friday, November 10, 2006
Thursday, November 09, 2006
....It shows maturity within a discipline when valid sub-sections become vibrant and recognisable to external observers.....
- VFX: The Visual Effects Show - Ron Brinkmann, Alex Lindsay and friends review visual effects of the latest movies while discussing the challenges and technologies of today's visual effects pipeline. In a recent episode they talked about the effects work on Flyboys which caught my ear because I knew it had been shot on the Genesis digital film camera. We'd had some rushes at work and I was amazed at the clarity of the images. They had only bad things to say about the grade of the finished film, which is a shame because digital cinema cameras are really starting to shine. They also talked at length about the green-screen/gimbal rig work and how all of the part-models were static and the tracking shots had to work as if they were shot from one moving plane looking at another moving plane. I'd have loved to see the automated cameras movements swinging around the model to achieve that look.
All in all a really interesting podcast if you have any involvement with digital effects.
- The Schubin Report - Technologist and engineer Mark Schubin looks at the past month's digital television news and events - He's an old-school engineer who has very much kept on top of current developments. This month's podcast has a great section on why every HD television currently available is a bad buy! Rupert put me onto this one and initially I though he was a bit of a schill for JVC - but if you ignore the adverts he really is quite balanced.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Napping at work is one of the best ways of increasing productivity and reducing human error, according to psychologists, who have found that most employees already sneak off for a quick sleep during the day.
Saturday, November 04, 2006
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Anyway - today I had to calibrate a machine for -18dBfs => 0dBu (or 4 on a BBC PPM) - which every superhero knows is how we do it in Europe. Now I must have done (literally!) a hundred DVW-A500P audio re-calibrations so I rocked-up with my soldering iron, tweaker, test-tape and schematic but clearly I haven't done a machine from the last revision of the APR-1 card (rev EP-GW of the 1-648-534-16 Googlers!) because they'd replaced the solder 'splats' with switches (labelled as well!) and put a load more headroom in the pre and post-amps - do it was easier than I remember it from the nineties!
I've often said it, but that machine was so well designed - to have a production run of over a decade and still be more sophisticated than anything the competition had to offer. The only reason Sony stopped it in favout of the DVW-2000 series was the European RoHS legislation!
Saturday, October 28, 2006
Friday, October 27, 2006
An earlier robotic creation of Mark's is here.
Thursday, October 26, 2006
I like to criticize the science (have you ever seen the OS they seem to run on all their computers?) and the look (graded by a colour-blind fool on acid!). Sarah prefers to mock the stories and acting -
Horatio; ¨Now I want you to let me worry about that¨ (removes sunglasses),
Token black lab-tech; ¨Sure thing H¨ etc.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Friday, October 20, 2006
....in layman's terms, buyers of retail copies of Windows Vista will be able to transfer their software to a new machine only once. If they want to move their software a second time, they will have to buy a new copy of the operating system. If you buy your computer with the operating system pre-installed, you are not permitted to transfer it at all.
When I look at the number of corporate users who stuck at Win2k I can't help feeling that (aside from OEM copies on new machines) sales of Vista may be disapointing. The hardware demands are outrageous which confirms the old adage; What Mr Otellini giveth Mr Gates taketh!
Can anyone at Microsoft write code or do they just bolt objects together?
Thursday, October 19, 2006
One of our editors has been busy with it since it arrived on Monday and ran into some problems. We then brought in our system's administrator to help him sort a few things.
It turns out that in general it all seems to work, but there are some majors faults that prevent us from using the device the way it is supposed to be used (and the way we would like to be able to use it).
This is the way the 'bugs' were explained to me:
When copying a project folder (with different files in there) to the drive onto a cartridge, it will alter the original date the files were created to a fictional date that the 600A seems to refer to. On copying it back to our systems, the files will again alter the dates to the system settings of the computer at that time.
This makes it impossible to distinguish between different FCP project files etc. thus making it very hard (if not impossible) to recognize the most recent edit if it was not named perfectly (lot's of times we like to refer to the 'date modified' for reference).
The only workaround we have for this, is to Archive the project folder first, so only the date of the Archive gets affected and the contents will be left untouched. The disadvantage is of course that we now have to take off the entire project folder and unpack it, before we can access the necessary files.
The other problem is that if a certain file has a slightly longer name, or a space or underscore in the name, it will copy to the tape just fine, but it will not let you copy it back to the computer from tape. The only workaround for that is the same as for the other problem, i.e. Archiving it before backing it up, so only the Archive name gets 'noticed'.
Hmmm - I'd never rely on a remote filesystem to keep dates accurately - particularly since you may be going between different filesystems that might mangle filenames, permissions etc. Anyhow - the word from Quantum;
I have done some investigation into this "bug". This is normal behaviour for FTP and therefore we need to think around this.
Technically we can preserve the file attributes in the metadata fields as a future enhancement.
So there you go - an workflow adjustment me thinks.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Important stuff if you are interested in digital film workflows.
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Friday, October 13, 2006
Having chatted with them about the difficulties of securing gigs while you don't have a label behind you made me doubly determined to support them and other musicians who are doing it independently.
Monday, October 09, 2006
Saturday, October 07, 2006
Test Instrument Computer Services (TICS) International Ltd has been established for 14+ years, supplying test and measurement instrumentation within the U.K., Europe and the rest of the world.
I'm just talking to these guys about a Philips (now Fluke) PM5639 monitor colour analyzer.
Friday, October 06, 2006
Oh - the mouse is attached to Rupert's laptop - the only connection on the back of the drive is a gigabit ethernet RJ45 - no SCSI or Fibre Channel.
Here's the blurb;
Quantum's new SDLT 600A is the first data tape system enhanced for professional video. This revolutionary system combines the well established benefits of data tape archiving with video tape convenience and accessibility.
The SDLT 600A’s feature set makes the drive MXF-aware which permits video tape-like access to subclips by timecode and provides an unprecedented level of interoperability between applications and environments.
With its built-in Gigabit Ethernet port, the SDLT 600A is a network attached device so it can be directly connected to any network and accessed by every edit workstation, networked server, graphics devices, or other computer based video equipment on the network.
Because it uses Super DLTtape II™, the SDLT 600A delivers a 30 year tape archive life to protect professional video, audio and data assets better than any video tape backup. Each cartridge holds 300GB of information and allows faster-than-real-time transfer rates of up to 288 Mb/sec. And, because each Super DLTtape II contains key MXF metadata in a tape-based file directory, your media is transportable and exchangeable for seamless application independence.
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Here are a couple of memories associated with it;
- Flying to Saudi in 2001 with Tony Dwarika - we realised we were very late for a flight and while sprinting across the departure area at Heathrow it burst open, scattering tools all over the place - Tony was very angry (but he did buy the the Samsonite strap!). On the way back we made an emergency landing in Rome because of a bomb threat (it was the weekend the USA invaded Afghanistan post 9-11) and when the Italian soldier had me open it for inspection his eyes lit up and both of his colleagues released the safety-catches on their machine guns!
- On the way home one night I had a small dog (one of those yappy little rat-like things) go for me - in shock I dropped the toolcase on it and the poor creature was trapped! Not knowing what to do (if I picked up the case the now very annoyed dog would have gone for me) I just stood there like a lemon wondering what my next move was - eventually the owner showed up and although he was less than pleased that his dog was pinned to the ground by a tool case he did accept that the animal was too aggressive.
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
On Friday 13th October I'll be hosting an acoustic gig in my house! Bill Mallonee who used to be the singer/songwriter with my long-time favourites The Vigilantes of Love is currently touring the UK promoting his new album ¨Permafrost¨ and because he's not got a gig every night he's keeping it real(!) by playing in fans' houses for friends and family and the chance of selling some CDs (and saving a few dollars on hotel bills!).
If you've paid any attention to my rantings about the state of music over the last few years you'll know I hold him in the highest regard and if you appreciate live acoustic music in an intimate setting then come and join us and we'll have a ball - we'll do some snacks and it'll be a nice evening. I'm inviting friends from work, the street, church,and further a field!
So - Sarah and I would love you to come - stylistically Bill is very much in the Americana vein - think Neil Young with a bit more melody or maybe what REM might sound like as a solo act. If you'd like to borrow a CD just tell me. He's turned out fifteen or so albums in the past couple of decades and so has an impressive body to work to draw on - you have my word that it will be an enjoyable performance. He's never made it as big as he deserves and is a jobbing musician. I can't over emphasise that music this good doesn't come your way every day - plus, the snacks and company will be good!
So if you want to come send me an email!
Monday, October 02, 2006
GParted is the Gnome Partition Editor application. Before attempting to use it, here is some basic background information.
A hard disk is usually subdivided into one or more partitions. These partitions are normally not re-sizable (making one larger and the adjacent one smaller) The purpose of GParted is to allow the individual to take a hard disk and change the partition organization therein, while preserving the partition contents.
GParted is an industrial-strength package for creating, destroying, resizing, moving, checking and copying partitions, and the filesystems on them. This is useful for creating space for new operating systems, reorganizing disk usage, copying data residing on hard disks and mirroring one partition with another (disk imaging).
It saved me this weekend - something to keep in every IT dude's toolkit. The nice thing is that it can manipulate NTFS partitions as well as many other file systems.
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Friday, September 22, 2006
As ever, the fewer bits of nonesense in your browser the better, so de-register the faulty DLL for a worry-free life!
The more I think about it the less likely it is that you're reading this with IE - tech savy people use Firefox!
Have I mentioned noScript?
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Dr Mark Baldwin's Enigma site is here.
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Anyhow - they are on a working holiday, check out their blog as the scenery looks stunning and I would love to be spinning llama wool rather than what I'm doing today!
Friday, September 15, 2006
But, the really clever feature was that this was all compatible with the SD standard D2 Mac signal (the one which the origional BSB system used before Sky bought them out and reverted all broadcasts to PAL). So a broadcaster could send the 36Mhz signal at whatever resolution/framerate he wanted and be assured that all viewers could watch it. The page on Wikipedia is a good starting point.
Sunday, September 10, 2006
Anyhow - give it a read - I was gratified to see how much of it tied in with what I learnt at BBC Evesham in the late eighties. It is a big 12-meg PDF but worth the download.
Saturday, September 09, 2006
It's also on YouTube.
Friday, September 08, 2006
Anyhow - feature wise it is pretty much a WVR7100 with some nice extras. The biggest step is the screen grab facilities. In the same way that video or audio 'events' (gamut, level etc.) can be placed in the log, close the GPI, honk an SNMP alarm or just indicate on the front panel you can now have an error condition dump a screen-grab to a USB thumb drive. Now you can imagine exporting the XML log with still-frames of the offending video - excellent for monitoring the state of a cable head-end (for example). Another addition is having a picture o/p SVGA as well as the instrement's display out. We often install the WVR series rasterisers into machines rooms and DA the feed to several places (including for the operator in the machine area) - but since this has a built-in insterment display it would be advantageous to have just the picture (on a 15¨ TFT panel) thus avoiding the cost of an HD monitor.
Unlike glass-tubed traditional 'scopes (and even some other rasterised models - specifically the Videoteks) the 7100 generates the graticules in the same digital space where the HD/SDi stream is demultiplex'ed - the upshot of this is that they are ultimately accurate - something no other 'scope can lay claim to (unless they've just been calibrated!). Having spent time doing a head-to-head with the other manufacturers (Videotek, Omnitek and Hamlet) I conclude that the only reason folks don't buy Tek is the price. In terms of accuracy, ease of use and feature set the Tectonix are way out in front. Their automated QC features are pretty impressive and make delivery reports very easy to prepare.
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Commas are a kind of channel noise. You’re not getting to the verb fast enough. Why make us wait? The comma is on its way out. Use small words.
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Friday, September 01, 2006
nobody's cool, we're all the same, you're not a player, life's not a game
don't you think it's time we left high school behind
you're not a stud, you're not the man, you're not a pimp, and i'm not a fan
your misogyny is just a plea for l-u-v
the only thing i've seen that's cool in my life is a mom who loves her child and a man who loves his wife
your two tattoos don't make you tough, please quit the act i've seen enough
you say you're different but you all end up the same
just be yourself, don't fake the geek, don't say you're random or a freak
dude you're not punk rock, we're all just human beings
the only thing i've seen that's cool in my life is a dad who loves his kids and a man loved by his wife
nobody's cool, put down your nose, i don't care where you bought your clothes
can't you see it's time we left high school behind
cause it's plain to see we're all just human beings
Thursday, August 31, 2006
Well, you will be happy to know that Ubuntu does iPods, even Nanos. You will also be happy to know that using your iPod on your Ubuntu system is quite easy. All you have to do is plug your iPod into one of your computer's USB ports, after which Ubuntu will automatically mount it and place an iPod icon on your desktop (Figure 16-1). Yes, no longer do you have to mess around with mount and unmount commands or editing system tables. Just plug in your pod, and Ubuntu will do the rest.
I don't have an iPod but this is the kind of thing that might persuade me!
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Easier partitioning using presets for popular sizes
Ability to install Windows XP on any internal disk
Support for built-in iSight cameras
Support for built-in microphones
Right-click when pressing the right-hand Apple key on Apple keyboards
Improved Apple keyboard support including Delete, PrintScreen, NumLock, and ScrollLock keys
The Bluetooth seems to now work under Windows and the machine is running a bit cooler (although I think that is down to the firmware update). I haven't had a chance to benchmark performance while on battery - previously the dual-core chip speed-step'ed right down while not on mains - I'm hoping that this has been improved.
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Yesterday, Gaim started crashing for a bunch of people (most notably Windows users) when trying to connect a MSN account.
* Update - August 20th, 2006 - 12:32 CDT *
Gaim 2.0.0beta3.1 has been released which fixes this and other bugs in beta3. You can download it from its SourceForge file release page.
Sunday, August 27, 2006
Saturday, August 26, 2006
Thursday, August 24, 2006
This was posted to OS X fanatics earlier -
This is actually an awful, horrible idea -
Nail polish remover, over time, will eat away at polymer surfaces, leaving you with much much less than desirable results. Do NOT use nail polish remover on your MacBook, ever! You will eat a hole in the plastic surface - count on it.
If you're going to clean the white, what has worked on iBooks, and what works on MacBooks just the same is PLAIN RUBBING ALCOHOL either on a cotton swab or toilet tissue.
Again, I repeat, NO NOT USE NAIL POLISH REMOVER. This will leave you with an eating away of your MacBook over time!
Monday, August 14, 2006
Thursday, August 10, 2006
- Sony are set to kill off the dual-link HD-SDi interface - as a three-gig interconnect it has always been seen as ungainly and they aren't going to launch any more products that use it - a ten gig multi-mode fibre (straight to the back of the VTR/Telecine/etc.) is just around the corner. This will mean that those stick-in-the-mud engineers who refuse to take fibre seriously (or do it half-heartedly) will have to pull their fingers out.
- Quad-core 4.4Ghz Intel chips - he's seen production samples in quantity and they are coming soon - Tek's new seven gig 'scope wasn't quick enough and they had to rush a set of prototypes to Intel to allow testing of those new microprocessors!
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
and all is well!
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Monday, August 07, 2006
Microsoft Windows Vista (now in beta testing) and Windows Server "Longhorn" (now in beta testing) include a new implementation of the TCP/IP protocol suite known as the Next Generation TCP/IP stack.
Now Symantec have been hammering Vista with malformed packets and have some very alarming results here - I suppose it's in their interest to portray Vista as insecure and needing of additional software (theirs!) to make it safe to use. Still - makes for interesting reading.
Like all OSes I'll be waiting a year before I install it on any machines I rely on...
As an aside I was chatting to someone I met on a campsite - he writes embedded applications for industrial machines - not Windows Embedded but proper assembler code for 80186 chips (and the like) - low power processors that can run off batteries etc. He is currently working on an IP stack for the x86 and has implemented stacks for Z80 etc. His observation was that there are no good quality "free" (as in free software - open source) code implementing an IP stack on those chips - today people are keen to save the time and implement using embedded Win2K (but not XP interestingly - probably for the reasons above). But, you only get the best performance with the economy of assembler code.
Reminded me of the little NetIOM board is was playing with just after Christmas - see here and here. It had a very rudimentary web server on chip and support of ICMP etc.
Saturday, August 05, 2006
It is very configurable wrt genres etc. Click the link above for the Windows installer. It has a very low memory/performance footprint (I've even got it running on a 400Mhz P2!).
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
If you currently have Windows running and you realize that you need some files for your work which you have stored on an Ext2 volume of your Linux installation, you no longer have to shut down Windows and boot Linux!
Furthermore, Windows will now be able to handle floppy disks which have been formatted with an Ext2 file system.
Linux Ext3 volumes can also be accessed.
There have been several times in the past when this would have helped me out immensely!
Thanks to Rupert for putting me on to this.
Monday, July 31, 2006
Cable Rod is a highly effective professional cable installation tool which has been proven to make significant savings on a wide range of cable installation work.
This practical and self-explaining device facilitates the quick and easy installation of cables behind walls, under floors or via suspended ceilings. Rods made of glass-reinforced plastic (GRP) are simply screwed together and fitted with one or more of the clever attachments. Three diameters and bending radius guarantee high flexibility, so that rods can either be bent, pushed or pulled.
Thursday, July 27, 2006
- 1. AUDIO Output Right
- 2. AUDIO Input Right
- 3. AUDIO Output Left
- 4. AUDIO Ground
- 5. BLUE Video Ground
- 6. AUDIO Input Left
- 7. BLUE Video
- 8. Function Switching (See Note)
- 9. GREEN Video Ground>
- 10. Comms.Data Line 2
- 11. GREEN Video
- 12. Comms. Data Line 1
- 13. RED Video Ground
- 14. Comms. Data Ground
- 15. RED Video
- 16. Blanking
- 17. VIDEO Ground
- 18. Blanking Ground
- 19. VIDEO Output
- 20. VIDEO Input
- 21. Common Ground / Screen
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
ISO Recorder is a tool (power toy) for Windows XP, 2003 and now Windows Vista, that allows (depending on the Windows version) to burn CD and DVD images, copy disks, make images of the existing data CDs and DVDs and create ISO images from a content of a disk folder.
ISO Recorder has been conceived during Windows XP beta program, when Microsoft for the first time started distributing new OS builds as ISO images. Even though the new OS had CD-burning support (by Roxio), it did not have an ability to record an image. ISO Recorder has filled this need and has been one of the poular Windows downloads ever since.
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
We've become increasingly displeased and discouraged with the politics and dynamics of club oriented shows and tours over the last two years. I played that scene for 14 years, so i know of what i speak. And while we still do club and rock club gigs, we find the cooler places diminishing. With no label, formal distribution or booking, the "bottom line" all too quickly kicks much good music (we believe) to the curb. It is not without notice that the whole "House Show" industry has exponentially grown over the last few years as artists will always be driven to "take their music to the people," and give expression to their vision that isn't cluttered by beer sale quotas and late night dynamics that tax the ability of many folks (who'd like to hear good music) to attend. The fact that many artists who played the club circuits in the 90's are now playing more and more hosue shows testifys to something of what i think is a revolution in this area of the music business.
hope this finds all well...thanks for gracious support.
Monday, July 24, 2006
Sunday, July 23, 2006
It reminded me to make sure all of their utilities I use are up to date - who knows how long before they are taken down. TCPView is particularly useful - it's a GUI front for netstat and amazingly it's only 87 kilobytes big!
Remember that obsolete measurement of file size? - the kilobyte!
Saturday, July 22, 2006
You have a beautiful new Mac with a built-in Infrared port and an Apple Remote control? Front Row is not enough for your needs?
Then try out iRed Lite which pushes IR control to its limits!
* Remote control any application by remote keystrokes
* Call AppleScripts for finer control
* Use your Apple Remote for iTunes, then for iPhoto, then ...
Friday, July 21, 2006
Thursday, July 20, 2006
This tool checks your computer for infection by specific, prevalent malicious software (including Blaster, Sasser, and Mydoom) and helps to remove the infection if it is found. Microsoft will release an updated version of this tool on the second Tuesday of each month.
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
In the past I've often been at a loss when integrating UPSs into Apple configurations because the traditional Powerchute software (that talks over RS232 to a server) has never been available for Mac - in the past I home-brewed a little EPROM circuit that spoofed a USB keyboard and sent the necessary keypressed to gracefully shut down the system when power died - not ideal.
The new range from MGE addresses all of that - they work nicely with Apple in one of several configurations;
- Single XServe RAID in a storage configuration (JBOB to use PC talk) - the Evolution 2200 will talk over RS232 to tell the JBOB to firstly flush the RAM cache, and then after n-minutes without power it gracefully powers down the chasis.
- XSan with a primary metadata controller - the 2200s attach via USB to the server and you run Personal Power Solution (MGE "PAC" sofware) on the MDC - again, the UPS sends the command to flush the caches and if power ain't back in two minutes (user definable) it gracefully shuts down the SAN
- Multiple UPSs, multiple MDCs - the 2200 all sit on the IP LAN (via ethernet) and they talk to the same PAC software on multiple servers - a bit more configuration but rock solid - it'll even send out an SNMP alert.
Friday, July 14, 2006
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
In this article you will learn how to turn a blank CD and an inexpensive USB keydrive into a powerful, portable, take-along operating system complete with modern applications like Firefox, a Web server, and multimedia tools. All this can be done using free Open Source Linux software.The article goes on to explain how since the memory footprint is small (typ. <50megs) \home\ directory) on the thumb-drive.
I'm going to give this distro a go and I'll report back.
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Monday, July 10, 2006
Thursday, July 06, 2006
So, slammed this new disk into the CDRom tray and have been enjoying it since - Flowers has been tugging at my ears and Bank has the makings of a classic.
Bill isn't a wealthy musician but his ilk are well worth supporting - if you want a great introduction to his music then his fan website BillTunes.com is a good starting point.
"Why has Phil blogged a picture of the jiffy bag?" you ask - well look closely at the customs form - it's signed by Bill himself! You don't get that level of attention to details and care for the fans with Robbie Williams....
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
Something that tickled me is the Wikipedia page on progressive rock - here is a little extract;
...lyrics that convey intricate and sometimes impenetrable narratives, covering such themes as science fiction, fantasy, history, religion, war, madness, and literature. It is relatively rare for progressive rock songs to be about love or sex, and practically unheard-of for such songs to concern other pop staples such as dancing or cars.
...and mercifully never about bitches, hoes, money, guns and widescreen TVs!
Sunday, July 02, 2006
Thursday, June 29, 2006
This reminded me of an arguement about MP3 that ran something like this; There is no MP3 file that ALWAYS corresponds with the "input" uncompressed audio. In fact, depending on how you set your codec (and the codec you used) there are an infinite number of possible MP3 file "outputs" from any give WAV "input" (or whatever source format you use) file. So it then appears that music companies are laying claim to having copyright to any possible permutations bits and bytes that make up any MP3 file because any combination could have been encoded from the data thy hold copyright on.
I'm being a bit obtuse - I appreciate that music is more than bits and bytes and pirating movies isn't really on. I suppose it just shows how copyright is playing catch-up with this online world that we live in. If you have a chance read the legal threats page on the Pirate Bay - they really are sticking two fingers up to Big Media! It's a funny read.
...Please sue me in Japan instead. I've always wanted to visit Tokyo.
Also, I'm running out of toilet paper, so please send lots of legal documents to our ISP - preferably printed on soft paper.
No, but seriously. That's simply not how international law enforcement works. Using the same logic, a country where web sites are forbidden could press charges against you for having one.
Monday, June 26, 2006
Friday, June 23, 2006
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Anyhow - here is a guy who knows each OS more intimately than most developers (he really has to get under he bonnet!) and his view is that each has good points and each has very bad points. I'm starting to realise that being a fan-boy for any OS (even Linux!) ain't useful. Having this little Macbook means I'm using OS-X a lot more (typically at the weekends, but having got VPN and an Exchange client working during the week as well) and perhaps getting good at many OSes can make me a better engineer - particularly where networks and SANs are concerned.
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Random question; but do you know anything about the maths for plotting gamma curves? I have to match the UI for gamma correction in the enclosed mock-up, but have no idea what equations are involved. Any ideas, or what web sites might help?
I started composing a very confusing reply but thought that there would be a good Wikipedia page, and indeed there is!
In a nutshell the formula is;
Vout = Vin raised to the power of the reciprocal of the gamma value (typ. 2.2 for PAL) - this works for value between zero and one and I think most algorithms apply that and then scale to 8 bits (don't forget the offset of 16) or 10 bit (don't remember the offset!).
Monday, June 19, 2006
Friday, June 16, 2006
Graham will also be demoing a Baselight-4 which always wows them. We have the new Blackboard control surface which is an amazing piece of equipment to see.
Thursday, June 15, 2006
- The keyboard looks very tacky but is in fact a joy to type on - much better than my old Dell.
- Battery life is fine - under OS-X (with the proper power-management drivers) I get four hours of general stuff done, under Windows it's less - maybe two and a half.
- Display - best image I've ever seen on a laptop, no question.
- Weight - fine, a bit lighter than the Dell.
- All of the built in gadgets (webcam, IR remote, audio etc.) work fine under OS-X but under Windows it's a bit of a different story. The webcam is absent and the audio is kinda incomplete. See this thread on Apple.com - basically you get audio out of the built-in speaker and out of the headset jack, but plugging in your earbuds doesn't mute the speaker! The microphone doesn't work and plugging in a mic isn't there either. I suppose BootCamp is still very Beta, but they need to roll up some drivers for the gadgets to work under Windows. Actually you can make the audio to work - it involves lots of messing around with different versions of OEM drivers. I did it and eventually got it all as it should be but it left things a bit unstable with spurious error messages on boot-up. Your mileage may vary - see here. Because I Skype a lot I got one of these which works fine under Windows (and you can leave the music/radio-stream playing while you chat!).
So now I have a FAT32 Windows partition so I can read/write Excel files (for example) in both Mac & Windows.
A few things that make it easier;
- KeyTweak allows you to re-map the break key on, say, the F12 key. Means you can do ctrl-alt-del when you need to!
- MacBook13keyboard.zip is a Windows keyboard definition I brewed (I've rolled it with an MSI installer so you can put it on your machine easily). Out of the box Windows installs with a standard US keyboard which is fine bar the pound symbol (shift-3) which shows as a hash and it also has sticky-quotes, which I hate. My keyboard definition sorts both of those.
- iMouse solves the single-button track-pad dilema - very good, although apparently these Macs actually have a rocker (it feeds like it has a left and right click) which will be livened up some time soon.
- There is USB imaging device that although recognised isn't available under Windows - not a big deal but whenever software tries to touch it the machine blue-screens!
I can only assume it's the built-in camera. When I let Skype try and pick it up the machine bombed spectacularly and if you leave Skype with video enabled it bombs on every re-boot! It's best to disable it from the device manager, perhaps BootCamp v.2 will have it working!
Finally - I was in the Apple Store here in London picking up a spare power-supply. The young chap who helped me was very good - I wish all retail outlets were that agreeable. Anyway - he was asking me what model I had etc. and when I mentioned it was my first Mac he stopped, touched me on the arm and said (in a very ernest tone);
Can I tell you, the feeling of excitement never quite goes away,
Dude, it's only a computer!
No, it's not only a computer.
I didn't have the heart to tell him that the first I did was install Windows, and Linux ain't far behind!