Archive for September, 2007

Most popular blog posts

The six most read blog posts on my blog:

1. Canon HV20 24p Pulldown (by far the most popular post)
2. From DV/HDV/AVCHD to PS3/Xbox360/AppleTV
3. From DV/HDV/AVCHD to Flash Video
4. Achieving the CSI:Miami look
5. Color Grading Tutorial
6. Crash course on Sony Vegas

Wait, what? My “perfect society” post didn’t make it through? 😀

Obviously this “new video business” I introduced to my blog four months ago generates page views (not that I really care of course). These articles don’t create visitors that “stay” here, as they mostly come from search engines and video forums and they never return after they acquire the needed information.

As you can see on my stats, while pageviews are riding pretty high, I have no more than 100-150 loyal readers. So, thanks to whoever you are. It’s important for me, as my blog is my shrink.

Regarding the Apple PDA

According to AppleInsider, Apple is preparing an “iPod Touch”-like PDA. I must say that this doesn’t make any business sense. There is no reason to create a “PDA” in this day and age. That market is dead. The market wants convergence instead, one device that does lots. Now, if by “PDA” they mean a larger iPod Touch with a bigger screen, I’d buy the argument. But just “PDA”…?

In the meantime, Apple doesn’t want us to “hack” their devices. Well then, they better release a fucking official SDK. Customers hack these devices because they want something more out of them, and Apple does not fulfill this customer need. So, what’s up with that Apple? Maybe Adam’s suggestion to boycott them is what some should do.

Regarding the semi-pro cameras

You know. I am talking about these semi-pro cameras that cost between $2500 to $8500. Usually manufactured by Panasonic, Canon and Sony. These 24p cameras produce a very high quality HD image and are pretty adjustable/customizable to even make their footage look cinematic. And yet, cheap TV series still don’t use them. Only TV news and Indies are using them mostly.

We were watching “The Shield” with JBQ the other night and we were put off on how pedestrian the look was. The lighting was minimal (they had to overexpose in many scenes in order to make it look not too dark) and there was no color grading whatsoever apart from the basic white balance. Obviously, a “cheap” TV series. And yet, when we read its tech specs on IMDb, they used an Arri camera. You know, these ones that usually cost between $60,000 to $120,000. And then they have to develop and scan the film too.

My question is: WHY? The look of that TV series could easily be captured with a semi-pro camera without even sweating on it. Why spend all that money when you can do the same job with cheaper tools?

“PINK” Webisode 04

Sorry for keep linking it guys, but you know, “Pink” is the *only* free serialized web TV series that’s actually professionally done. To me, it’s a little filmmaking gem on the web.

Upcoming reviews

I published the JVC camcorder review today while up and coming reviews include: an unlocked iPhone review (review will be focusing on the unlocking), a TyTN-II, a tripod dolly by Tiffen, and a 1080p upscaling DVD/DivX player.

Drist – “Surfacing”

I thought I fooled you all,
here in this shallow surfacing
A ring around it all, showing you
This is all I know

Thought you gave it all, right here
But I saw it go down
You became it all, wants and needs
And I saw it go

If you only could see

I can’t give you up, if only I could
I can’t lift you up, if only I should

Wait here, I’m coming

Lyrics from “Surfacing“, my favorite song from Drist’s first album, “Bitter Halo“.

Glaringly obvious usability omissions

SuSE actually has a usability dpt, and yet some obvious things are slipped through and never get fixed. Check this SuSE 10.3 screenshot and look at its “start” menu. The headers “Favorite applications and “Recent applications” are not bold and they have no soft background color behind them, making it extremely difficult for the eye and brain to figure out what is what quickly enough. The brain has to spend extra calories to work on that menu. That portion of the screen just looks a mashup of text rather than distinguishable items.

Same goes for the Gnome Control Center which I filed a bug report about it a year ago, and it hasn’t been fixed either. And we are talking about a 2 minute fix that would really help out usability. A fix that it’s so glaring obvious to me…

Update: Here’s my take on SuSE’s start menu. To me, this looks much easier to digest and sort out in my brain. Update 2: Mockup updated.

New drug

My doctor put me on a new (expensive) kind of a drug this week. This is my last chance of getting healthy. If this drug doesn’t work either, I am done trying to fight my painful peptic health problem (scientists still have no clue what it exactly is, although there are theories). This is my last chance, as we are running out of medical options. If it won’t work either, I think it takes having children out of the equation.

Beagle vs Tracker

Tracker is the new favorite indexed search engine for Gnome, while Beagle seems to have fallen behind in development speed lately. Especially after Ubuntu chose Tracker over Beagle, I think that was the final straw. I got to say that Tracker feels “lighter” than Beagle in usage, even if it’s not as sophisticated as Beagle yet in the kind of searches it does.

One thing that I don’t like on Tracker is that while I can use the up and down arrow keys to select different result items, I can’t use the left and right arrow keys to move between the results and category views…

Updated Leopard requirements to exclude 800MHz systems

Just weeks ahead of its public launch, Apple Inc. has updated the minimum system requirements for its next-generation Leopard operating system to exclude 800MHz PowerPC-based Macs, AppleInsider has learned.

IMO, any PowerPC Mac that’s below 1.2 Ghz is unusable with the web. Which why I am forced to have JS and Flash completely disabled on my 867 Mhz G4 Powerbook — otherwise it’s useless. Maybe Apple didn’t want people to have this kind of experience with their Macs and so they decided to not support Leopard with the 800 Mhz systems. On the other hand, I get this slowness with Tiger too, so I don’t think that this was the driving force behind the decision. More over, I heard of people running Leopard on much slower Macs and it worked fine.

Taking all these points into account, it makes me believe that Apple simply wants more of your money, and doesn’t want to spend the engineering time to optimize further Leopard for PowerPCs — let alone asking Adobe to optimize their damned Flash 9 PPC port which brings my Mac to its knees and stops registering clicks after a few seconds (no matter what browser I use).