Social, Europe and PC

We had an unusually social week — which was really cool. Dinner out with friends on Thursday, birthday party on Friday, Bastille Day celebration on Saturday with some friends from JBQ’s work, and Dan Dennedy over for lunch today.

Dan took a look at adding HDV support for Linux. The DVGrab utility (after the patches) appears to work great with my camera and it even supports scene detection. The MLT framework can playback some types of HDV video (e.g. the type that iMovie writes back to the camera), but not native Canon .m2t (some problem with HDV audio being 32bit floating point rather than DV’s 16bit integer). Dan will be working to clearing these issues up before a new release, and time permitting he might be looking at 24f pulldown removal support too.

More over, we upgraded my PC last night: 3 GB RAM, an additional 500 GB SATA disk, an extra USB PCI card and a 256 MB GeForce 8600GTS card. This card has almost doubled HD playback performance on all DirectX applications from what I gathered so far — even without any special API or DX10 support on my XP.

On other news, we got our tickets to get to France soon. Not sure if we will visit Greece though because of time constraints. Update: Tickets canceled. Long story. :(


Tom Dison wrote on July 16th, 2007 at 9:00 AM PST:

I have a refurbished Dell on the way (Optiplex 745) . It has 2CB ram, 250 SATA, E6300 Core 2 Duo and 256MB ATI X1300. I realize the Video Card is sucky for games, and the E6300 only has 2MB L2 cash, but it was the best I could do on my budget. I’ll later upgrade the video card and perhaps the processor. For now, it is a big step up from my Athlon 2800+ laptop with an integreated 64MB video card. Also, this is the laptop where is suddenly only scales to 1.4 GHZ instead of 2.1 GHZ (Windows and Linux). Gateway, Google, nobody had any help for that problem, so I can’t wait to get my new ‘Puter. It has Vista Business (I’ll dual-boot with Feisty). It was $539 in there outlet store, and it came with a 3 year warranty.

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Eugenia wrote on July 16th, 2007 at 9:14 AM PST:

Not sure how much the X1300 costs, but if you had gone for the same gfx card that I got, you would get “free” HD support under Vista’s DX10. For example, if a 1080p 30fps video would never render more than 20 fps and use lots of CPU, with that gfx card you can expect 100% CPU offloading and smooth as butter video.

Tom Dison wrote on July 16th, 2007 at 9:42 AM PST:

I just had to go with what I could afford. I almost bought an Ubuntu Desktop, but with tax it would have been $720. It had an Nvidia GeForce 7300LE and an E6320 (4 MB Cache). I’m not much of a videophile, but I will eventually want better gaming support, so I will upgrade it later. Mostly, though, I just play Half-life (I & II), so I think this card will do OK on that. Hopefully the OpenGL support is good enough under Linux that I can use Crossover Office to play Half-life I under Linux. My previous integrated 64M MB ATI was almost good enough (especially after you sent me the tip about HyperZ), so I think this card should meet that minimum need for now. I mostly do .NET and Java development, so it will serve fine for that.

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