Friday, January 8, 2010

Loose FW800 Cables has a interesting observation on clear-jacketed FW800 cables:

FYI on Loose Port fit with some FW800 cables (seen w/several clear-sleeved cable samples) - Twice in the last few days I've seen problems with some FW800 devices mounting. In all cases it was due to a loose/sloppy fit of the cable's FW800 connector in the Mac's FW800 port and with some (even slight) tension on the cable connection end. (Seen with FW800 ports on a Mac Pro and a MacBook Pro.)

Each time the sloppy fit was with a clear jacketed (showing shield braid) FW800 cable. (Clear sleeved cables with black FW800 connector tips.) These cables all came with different products, bought at different times but I suspect they may be from the same OEM cable mfr.

In fact after seeing this twice in the last few days, I went back and checked a similar made (clear sleeve) cable I've had for a couple years but rarely used - a FW800 to FW400 cable.

Hardmac's Suggestion of a MoBo for FCP

Hardmac has a quick article on an EVGA motherboard that would be nice in a new Mac Pro.

EVGA has a pretty cool dual-monitor as well called the Interview which has an interesting feature in which one of the screens can be rotated so the client/customer/patient can see things on their own screen...but I can see how it would be a little imposing or maybe even impersonal in some situations.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

zonMotion & Time Lapse Assembler

zonMotion is a cool little FREE app to help make stop-motion animations.

In a similar catagory Time Lapse Assembler is FREE app that outputs quicktime files comprised of still images. I know QuickTime can do this but options are always a good thing.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

1080p HD playback on MacMini

Several of my clients have older MacMini's set up in conference rooms or as lobby displays (rotating company bio videos) or as media servers in break rooms. Playing 1080p has been troublesome and I've had them ask a few times why don't I produce things in "full HD" for them until I show them the hardware trying to play it smoothly, but apparently Broadcom's Crystal HD Hardware Decoder enables hardware decoding of 1080p content...but only with XMBC.

Through hard work and the joint efforts of several TeamXBMC/Redhat developers and the Broadcom Media PC Group, cross-platform hardware decoding of mpeg2, h.264 and VC1 video content up to 1080p will be coming to XBMC on OSX, Linux, and Windows via the Broadcom Crystal HD Hardware Decoder (BCM970012).

The Broadcom Crystal HD is available now in a mini-PCIE card with ExpressCard and 1X PCIE form factors to follow. This means that the AppleTV and all those lovely new netbooks, Eee Boxes and older Intel Mac Minis have exciting new potential.

Looks like it's about $69. The model number is BCM970012.

Be aware that OSX drivers for the card are pretty green as of this post so Use At Your Own Risk.

Editing Videotape

Not really anything to do with FCP but with all the hoopla over the new Doctor Who, here's a fun article on editing Ampex and RCA 2" videotape back in the day (60's and prior) when you had to worry about vacuum guides and re-locking sync pulses and quite literally used a microscope. I'm old.

The wiki article is here.

Thank your buttons.

The Sounds of a Dying Hard Drive

Ever wonder what a hard drive sounds like when it dies? If you've never heard it scream before here's your chance.

These are two sound files of a dying hard drive an editing place has. This hard drive is so bad that it's way beyond Disk Utility's help.

Sorry they're .zip files at a free hosting site, but they didn't want people streaming them over and over, and embedding them from their server.

83K - The idle sound of the dying hard drive. Download Link.

2.23MBs - The HD tries to read data, gives up, coughs and chokes, then kinda just gives up. Download Link.

Make sure your speakers aren't too loud as some of the sounds are pretty harsh and somewhat loud.

What does that installer install?

When you have an installer launched, before you actually install whatever it is, you can hit Command + I to "Show Files" which will present you a list of what files will be installed. It won't mention any files that are created when the installed application launches but you'll see what the installer will dump onto your HD.