Archive for December 6th, 2007

Ether Hour

Special thanks to Jeff who gave me permission to use Ether Hour‘s music on my videos. Great indie music!

JBQ and I

I am the chick on the right.

Hardware DRM

According to this, new WD network hard drives restrict access to some media files if you are not the owner of these files. This is pretty unacceptable IMO. Why? Because here you have a hard drive that won’t serve you its files, even if you placed them on a public folder, while this is its basic operation. So why is it ok to allow serving of the PiratedApp.exe file and not of Transformers-bootleg.avi? It’s not. And what if you forgot your password and had to reinstall Windows? You are also locked up from your own files? This “feature” only serves the MPAA/RIAA, not the consumer, and yet the consumer is the one who buys these products. It is not the place of the hard drive manufacturer to play Cowboys and Indians.

Over at hv20.com the community put up a public FTP server where users can upload their HV20 footage in various media formats to show the others. So what if that server buys that WD model? The files won’t serve up anymore unless you fool the drive that the owner is the “Apache user”? What kind of bullshit is that?

If you can’t trust your hardware anymore to do what they were originally designed to do, then there’s no point upgrading that PIII at 1 Ghz Compaq laptop your mother in law bought for you 4 years ago.

The cheapest Video Station

Here’s one of the cheapest PCs that it’s good enough to be used as a dedicated Video Station by the average Joe. Originally, I was going to give a different suggestions for DV editing and HDV/AVCHD editing requirements, but the price difference is so small these days, but that it didn’t make any sense. So, I went with DELL, and their “Small & Medium Business” category. There, I went for this model (Vostro 200 Mini Tower with 2 GB RAM, 20″ screen, 160 GB HDD, DVD burner, 2.2Ghz Core2Duo CPU, WinXP, on board graphics/sound). I only needed to add to the default configuration an “IEEE 1394 Adapter card with Cable” for firewire, and the “Dell A225 2.0 Speakers”. Overall price according to their current pricing is $679.

Alternatively you could go for this one (add 2 GB RAM, 160 GB HDD, firewire, speakers) which will cost overall $459 (no monitor). Yes, it’s a Celeron, but it’s not a slow Celeron. According to Wikipedia, the “Celeron 420 is the only single-core Conroe-L Celeron that has its Thermal diode and Extended(Enhanced) HALT State enabled. In Enhanced HALT State the processor consumes 8W compared to the 35W of its normal operation.” So if you are environmental friendly, short on money, and you don’t mind leaving your PC overnight to encode, this might be the model for you. Christmas is coming, buy yourself a present.

Then, I would suggest you buy Vegas Movie Studio ($80) if you use plain miniDV, or Vegas Platinum if you need HD support ($120, 24p support). There you are, a very powerful machine and editing software for under a grand. For those who want Vista, don’t. Video editing apps work better under XP.

And B&H now sells the Canon HV20 for $750, with a $150 gift card (which is a good discount if you want to buy the wide-angle lens for the HV20 later), so if you are into upgrading your video stuff, maybe now it’s the time.

Piggies! Piggies!

I love baby pigs, they are so incredibly cute! And goats, and sheep and ponies too. My online friend Tim posted a nice farm video that he shot with his HV20:

Video removed

And his other video is impressive, good work with stop motion animation:

Video removed

My religion

For years I’ve been ranting against organized religions, but I was never comfortable calling myself either an agnostic or an atheist. I couldn’t fit on any of the two types. Tonight, I finally figured out what I truly am.

I am an atheist Christian. Or better yet, an atheist humanist.

I live by the core teachings of Christianity which is forgiveness, love, and occasionally being the good Samaritan when the opportunity arises. I try hard to be what someone would call a “good person”. And at the same time, I don’t believe in the existance of God, or any supernatural power for that matter, or the fairytales of Jesus Christ coming back from the dead (nice trick Peter).

“Religion” should just be a way of life, a code of conduct, a guidance on ethics (as long as these ethics are not abusive or narrow-minded). The old stories, the clergy and the churches never had and will never have a place in my life (or death).

Update: Apparently some have similar beliefs too (not necessarily exactly the same).