The most frustrating thing in the world is knowing that you have several bites from a single mosquito, thinking that it’s probably going to die because it’s had too much to drink — revenge!! –, and then realising its pain will be over as its stomach explodes, probably without it even realising — do mosquitoes have brains? — whilst you will have to live with the itches for the next several days. Ah, summer.
Ah, would you look at that date? Yes, indeed, this fabled “Other Side” is indeed real. Or maybe I’m now a figment of my own imagination and I still have exams to go. Whoa, recursive.
Business was good, but for one question, the details of which I don’t exactly recall (23 c), which was so poorly written only BS teachers could manage it. It depresses me to think there are people that can spend that much of their life professionally applying buzzwords and doing absolutely nothing. Your mother was a hampster and your father smelt of elderberries! Now go away, or I shall taunt you a second time!
And they did. The wonders of Monty Python!
So, today, I plan to spend some time doing stuff with Tori because she’s about to fly away for… a long time… and then when I get home/before I go out play with Cinelerra, which, miraculously, I finally have working well. The secret is to ignore the stupid DEB and go straight for the RPMs with alien, which makes the experience remarkably painless. Err… in a totally non-abducted-by-aliens kind of way.
ANYWAY! My biggest qualm with it is its render/batch render thing, not because it’s slow (it is, kind of, but that’s mostly just the way I’ve got this computer setup), but because it seems impossible to export in a format that everything likes (aside from straight raw DV, which I haven’t tried because I need to put another hard disk in this computer. I would have, but I’m out of IDE channels and really need to think about how to store things properly.)
At the minute, I’m generally rendering in MPEG-4 (ffmpeg) and then effectively transcoding back to MPEG-4 using mplayer to make it more player-friendly. I take it the codec is exactly the same, it’s just that Cinelerra seems to have some quirk that means only mplayer can read the rendered file, whilst xine and VLC fall over and promptly die.
Shrug. I’ve just been editing video sequences, though, so at least I haven’t had to deal with audio as well. One would presume that would be rather less painless — it’s not, at least not in terms of setting up Cinelerra for audio playback/NLE stuff. Despite having both ALSA and esound output options, ALSA would just make it crash (this seems widely documented with no fix available), and esound wouldn’t work because… well… I don’t think my local esound server has a port open, and Cinelerra, being some broadcast-quality high-and-mighty piece of crap, decides that talking to a local sound server is beneath it. Ironically, the simplest of the lot, OSS, worked without any difficulties… but that of course means I can only have one sound stream going simultaneously. Which, admittedly, isn’t a huge problem when you’re trying to work in Cinelerra (it’s hardly as though you want other sounds going on whilst you’re trying to edit audio), but disabling the server, etc, can be a little bit of a pain.
High definition? Huge disaster? Horrible disappointment? Heinously difficult?
I went to buy a three-pack of 24 exposure 35mm film for my SP 500 today, and, because it was on special (probably because the film expires next month), treated myself to Kodak’s over-marketed offering that I’ve always been a little dubious about. Disclaimer at this point — I don’t think there’s anything technically wrong with the film by any stretch of the imagination. I’m sure it’ll produce great shots. But the branding and marketing of this doesn’t exactly assist the photographer (I so nearly wrote “end user” there — must get out more.) in capturing great shots, at least not in terms of exposure.
To explain: this film is billed as being multi-purpose. It does everything. Apparently. It also does it well. Apparently.
Okay, nothing wrong with that. You could use good quality ISO100 stock to do “everything”, albeit with a little bit of pain. By the same token, this film stock does “everything”. It’d just help if I’d known what I was using before I got home and had time to look up the specs online.
The bottom line is this: on the exterior packaging there is absolutely no mention of the speed of the film enclosed, aside from fleeting comparisons to other Kodak products, saying “look, this is better, it does more stuff” — never mind that if you inspect closely it’s actually slightly different stuff. Deceptive marketing certainly plays a part in the problem.
So, I couldn’t find information about that anywhere on the packaging. I loaded it into my camera and ran off a roll of it, with the ISO speed set to 400 (that’s something I’d personally consider fairly useful, if not overly versatile — certainly something I’d consider probable if they’re marketing a consumer brand high-quality stock), trying not to worry too much about it.
Yeah, a recipe for disaster.
I got home, checked Kodak’s specs, and it turns out the film was ISO/ASA/DIN/whatever you want to call it 200 speed film. Nothing I can do about it now, of course, apart from hope that post-processing will be able to clean up the underexposed mess. I went and had a closer look at the cartridge after I’d thought about it for a bit, and it does say the speed on the side of it — but of course, I didn’t think to check this until I’d already wound the film on, so even had I thought of it at the time it wasn’t the best option.
Why can’t film manufacturers label their products more thoroughly and cut down on overhyped marketing that fails to actually inform the consumer of what their product is?
We’ve finally bought a TV capable of having RCA cables plugged directly into it! Sure, it’s second hand, conventional (i.e. not flat) CRT and a Sanyo, but it’s 51cm and means we don’t need to use a 19″ BenQ LCD bizarrely wired directly to our DVD player which has a VGA output (nearly exactly half the LCD’s native resolution, which is handy, but it’s a pain to lug from the office to the living room every time we wanna watch a DVD!).
So that’s exciting. I’d post pictures, but just imagine any generic curvy CRT TV and you’ve got the right idea. ;) It wasn’t really worth the time it’d take to find the camera, take a photo, come upstairs, upload photo, resize photo, login and upload via FTP, and then figure out the path to the file for inclusion in this post!
It also has wonderful wonderful mono sound, but that’s okay, because we’ve got a nice Sony system hooked up for that… at least the audio side of things is pretty good quality, even if the vision is functional but far from excellent (Infinitely better than the 20-or-30-something year old set we used to use as the main TV, though!)…
Later: As a direct result of the wonders of procrastination, I ventured downstairs with a camera and took a photo of a perfectly boring TV.
There you go.
Don’t suppose anyone has one lying around that they want to sell, or knows where to get them cheaply? Wired ethernet or wireless 802.11b (or c,d,e,f,g,…x,y,z — whatever’s in flavour this month), I’m pretty indifferent. My Xircom ethernet card has gone walkies (I have absolutely NO idea where it is… that isn’t something I’d have packed, either), and I want connectivity on my laptop.
The USB drive has gone some way to alleviating the pain, but still, it’s not as good as direct access to my network, especially in terms of live editing of remote sites… not that I’d ever do such a thing! Best practice be damned. ;-)
Yes… if anyone has one they want to lend/sell (even if it’s only 10Mbit, that’s fine), then get in touch via the contact form, or just email me.
An… interesting poem, composed in English by Louis, Kristen and Tori. Read the rest of this entry »