Archive for September, 2004

What is it with PCs and video editing? All video folks who use PCs treat it like its some kind of voodoo.

Like at school for instance the video comps (all running Avid Express) are set up with several disks and partitions, where one drive is used solely for Windows and Avid and the other disk is used for project files. And its an absolute no-no to install any other software. And my teacher had just installed Avid on his laptop to give us a demo last week, and when he got an error it was like “well I installed this yesterday and tried it afterwards, I probably should re-install it first” and today he had supposedly re-installed it, and when he still got error messages and in the end the entire system locked up is was like “OMG NO I KNOW I SHOULD NOT KEEP MS OFFICE ON THE SAME COMP AS AVID!”. I mean, what on earth is it with these guys? They act as if video is something supernatural, and you need to worship the mighty Avid unless you want major problems. Over the courses I’ve had so far I estimate I’ve learnt about 3 times as many things NOT TO DO then what to actually do. I have no clue how to use the silly, 80s-record-deck-interface of Avid, but at least I know enough things not to do to write a book about it!

And I just thought I was starting to get over this “PCs suck”-attitude… but I guess not…

Why can’t we use Final Cut instead? Or even Avid on a Mac… I have never had problems with the Mac freezing when editing video, and I keep it all on the same drive as all my other apps and music, and I can even run tens of other apps in the background, check my email, chat, listen to music and browse the web just fine, while whatever editing app I might be using is importing or exporting video… shees…

Well, video editing lab sessions have been postponed for a few weeks while the teachers set up the computers again (which means formatting and re-installing everything a dozen times – and they claimed they needed Norton Ghost software)

 

Changes…

25Sep04

So Scandinavian Mac retail chain Officeline is building Scandinavias largest Apple Center – in Oslo! That’s pretty cool, and it’ll open in November. Gives me a good reason to stop by and meet some friends.

I also have a good website recommendation for you: XvsXP.com. Although run by a Mac user, this website gives a good, and in my opinion non-biased comparison of OSX and Windows XP. It’s very in-depth and thorough. Well worth a visit.

Oh and Solarian II was released yesterday! Hey that was released in ’88 I hear you screaming, but now, 16 years later, it’s ported to OSX! Oh I remember those days when I played this game on the Mac II 🙂

As an afterthought, I’m heavily considering switching from Safari to Firefox full-time, and unless Apple gets a move-on, chances are I will in the near future…

 

Volume Logic

24Sep04

Now this will change the way you listen to music!

I decided to give “Volume Logic” a spin today. What is Volume Logic you might be wondering… I’ll let the website speak: “Volume Logic – The first iTunes audio plug-in makes real-time digital remastering a reality for all iTunes audio. Any playlist sounds great with automatic adjustment of volume dynamics and spectral balancing.”

So basically it’s a plug-in for iTunes, that digitally re-masters your music in real time – like a real time, automated EQ – kinda. Anyway, exactly HOW it works is not the point, the point is that your music will sound better! And that’s a promise! This is clearly one of the coolest pieces of software I have tried in recent times.

So I install and fire it up, I turn it on, I play a couple of tracks – and then I pay the $20 registration fee. Says a lot doesn’t it? So I tell a friend on iChat about it, and ten minutes later, he too have paid the $20 fee. And I tell the amazing news to a third person, and, well, he was kinda low on cash, but promised to buy it once he got some money 🙂

My point is: if you thought that iTunes built-in EQ did wonders for your sound – you just HAVE to try Volume Logic. You will be amazed at what it will do to your sound. So go download! Hey, it’s a 14-day free trail – what do you have to lose?

 

This is a looong rant. And it might get a little out of hand in the end, but please bear with me. I would be very happy if you let me know your thoughts using the comment section below. No registration required 🙂 Either way, I don’t think I’m too far off – even though, of course, neither of us can really tell the future.

My mind really got put into gear with the interview of Bram Cohen of BitTorrent fame on TSS last Tuesday.

So the short version: p2p is not dead. In fact, a few years from now, p2p will be the major strength of the internet. It will be what powers the net. Simply because we demand more – speed and size – faster than what industry and nature laws can make.

Long version: how many times have you not tried to download a file, only to find that the server from which you download has max overload and you are getting a total crap speed? Years and years ago, when we were all on dial-up, this was not a problem, but in recent days, more and more of us experience the fact that we have no use for our hefty net connections, simply because no matter what we try to do, there is but a select few who are able to supply us with all that we can handle. The powers we get into our homes are simply developing at a pace so much faster then what the major web servers are. There is also a physical limit, I imagine, for how fast a single line can be. Although that limit is probably pretty far up there. But the point is: when enough people, like a few hundred or thousand, share this line, the limit is all of a sudden so much lower. So whatever the future takes, the future takes VISA – might so be, although I think another thing it will take is p2p based downloads. In the sense that you grab a file from multiple sources simultaneously.

In more detail: Blizzard has already discovered the powers of BitTorrent. Their latest game trailers are spread solely using torrent files (from Blizzards side that is, services like FilePlanet continue to offer them for ordinary HTTP download). And I believe Blizzard will only increase this, most likely going the same way for the upcoming WoW demos. The cool part is: Blizzard can keep the file on their different servers for download, and the download client will download both from all of these servers at the same time, and from other users who already have the file. So the end result is this: Blizzard gets far less load on their servers, and you get your file faster.

Imagine when services like FilePlanet do the same. Because we all known that files will only get bigger for each year that passes (if history is any indication). More files. Larger files. Faster downloads. Say you grab a file from FilePlanet, a hot new demo, like Doom 8. So this demo is perhaps like 35 GB in size, and you’re on a 100MB connection. The whole file sharing technology will be built-into your browser. You just click a link to download, the usual download manager pops up. And you get the file from each of FilePlanets 50 servers around the globe, as well as a few hundred other people who snagged it before you. Sleek isn’t it?

Could this technology also be used for DRM files? Apple is already pulling out quite a few megabytes with the online iTunes Music Store. What if they did the same for movies? What if you were to download a HD quality movie? What could possibly handle the bandwidth? Or what if the future would allow you to purchase (as in legally download) all your software? I have no doubt it’s all coming. But if p2p was to be used: what would control who could download what from you? The person would have to pay for whatever it was first, and something, somewhere would also need to make sure you could not spread the file further, the illegal way.

One last, crazy idea: what if the entire internet became de-centralized? What if every person online hosted the entire web? What if it was all one huge p2p network? Say you visit Google.com, and you grab that page off other online people? And you decide to visit the New York Times, and you get that off a few other people? And all sites and pages are continuously rotated between the online users. A sick idea yes… and perhaps not even very useful… yet… maybe…

 

Skypehype

16Sep04

I’m not the only one blown away by Skype. MacMinute reports that BusinessWeek reports that Alex Salkever (who write for BusinessWeek) loves Skype. Now the interesting part is Alex conclusion: “My recent test drive of Skype for OS X led me to conclude that it’s time for Apple to start a phone network — Macphone, if you like.” (referring to a major iChat upgrade I suppose)

My question is: just because someone make something good, does that mean Apple have to beat them at it? Apple is already acting very Microsoftish in many ways, I think it’s time showing Apple that 3rd party software is also a good thing. There IS a need for Apple to make good software when none exist (like with iMovie and Final Cut Pro), but there is no point in re-inventing the wheel. Dear Steve: don’t fix it if it ain’t broke 🙂

 

Skypediving!

14Sep04

Y’all just knew the gadget-fan had to get it one day: a headset. And when I buy a headset you know I’m not just getting ANY headset 🙂 So Logitech’s USB headset it is.

techfag
Now I can look just like in those stock photos that are used on every major tech support page! The headset is quite comfortable and all. The sound is crisp and clear, but the bass is just messed up. Not really a problem though as I will be using something else for listening to music in most cases anyway. This is for voice chatting in Skype 🙂

macgyverism_usbhub
And for the occasion I had to resort to my duct tape. Even with Logitech’s tradition of fairly long cables, the USB HUB could no longer stay on the floor. So now it’s taped to the underside of my desk. Sleek? No, but it works. CYA… I mean, hear ya on Skype! 🙂

 

Give Me a Break

09Sep04

Boy have I been a lazy poster lately or what? Luckily I’m not alone, many of my fellow bloggers have acted the same way. I guess it’s the start of fall, with studies, engagements and whatnot that are the cause. I can’t promise it’ll get any better soon, but I’ll try.

First I’d just like to mention the blog has received an overhaul, now running MovableType 3.11. With it came some new bugs, and the discovery of old ones, that required me to work a bit on templates, hacking the source and pulling some switches here and there. All should be good now though. MT Blacklist hopefully takes care of most comment spam now, which is why I also chose to allow for anonymous commenting once again. That’s right, no need to use TypeKey anymore, unless you want to. Also all pages should be valid HTML once more 🙂 Oh and I added a “Skype me”-button to the sidebar. I’m picking up a USB headset next week hopefully. It’ll be great to start receiving smaller phone bills 🙂

I got some new gear over the past weeks, like an external FW harddrive, and a new SuperDrive for my iMac. I won’t bother posting pictures though, as I doubt it’s really that interesting. Although this blog has always focused on one of the things I enjoy the most, tech, it will never be a “tech blog”. It will always be a personal blog, only with a focus on tech 🙂

Things I’ve found out lately: MMS is cool, the new Prodigy album is cool, leeching from the wireless airport network at school is cool, and math still sucks.

 

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