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Only a Few Days

I'm cutting it close with one shipment still on it's way. Currently it's somewhere between Horsham and Bethlehem. And I still have to go out a pick up some stuff at real stores.

Anyway - stopped by Koziar's Christmas Village Saturday with the family. Was also there a few weeks ago with some friends. Here's some photos...

Tim Lytle [12/22/03 23:06:59] | 0 Comments | Point

Under The Tree

After some Christmas shopping at - the site is now recommending "The Communist Manifesto" for me.

Should I be concerned?

Tim Lytle [12/20/03 10:43:56] | 0 Comments | Point

No Bias Here

For the journalists involved, the president's surprising appearance before the troops was unmistakably exciting.

The above paragraph/sentence is the only one to refer to the actual event. The rest of the article - all about how deceptive the President was.

I'm surprised the headline wasn't, "Bush Lies Again".

Tim Lytle [11/27/03 22:46:10] | 1 Comment | Point

They Found Nemo

Okay, I couldn't stop myself.

Thanks Gabe.

Tim Lytle [11/24/03 17:53:06] | 20 Comments | Point


This is cool. Really cool.

Tim Lytle [11/10/03 19:51:38] | 0 Comments | Point

Whoa, Backup There

Was talking to a friend today, and the conversation turned to backing up large files. Really large files. Like DV quality video footage.

While keeping the 'original' DV tape around is always a good idea, it's not always the best 'backup'. Example: Say you're mixing a multiple camera project. Usually that requires almost (if not actually) frame 'exact' editing. So sure, you could save the project file and later dump the footage again. But what if the file starts just a few frames (or worse - a few seconds) before or after the original (and now deleted) file.

There goes all the cuts. Even worse if you had two tapes you had synced up.

Well, it's not that bad. In reality, if the STMP code is accurate - and is captured with the video (and I think it is? I guess?) - you should be able to pad or 'unpad' the file to make it match the original.

But who wants to do that? So you could just back up all your data on a large storage device. [Err, it's not really a backup, in reality you can't have many DV editing projects on the editing computer all at once. Unless you have like a terabyte or two of storage.] Large storage meaning tape, not DVD. At least not when DVD-R(W)s hold less than 5 gig.

So we're talking tape drives. "Tape drive expensive. Me think I better just save footage. Then make it fit right. Bam bam. It fit now." Sure that's not the easiest way to do it. But it works. And you don't have to buy more equipment.

But wait, how do we store that data to begin with? Hmm...on a tape. And to get it off the camera...we...that's right, we 'stream' it to a computer. Isn't that how a tape drive works?

Indeed it seems I'm not the first to think this way. And this guy puts it all in everyday english:

That's nice, but how can we use this to save data on it? And here comes the fun part: If you read the DV documentation carefully, you will notice that the AC DCT coefficients of the video data blocks (8x8 pixels in size) get a fixed amount of space in the DV data stream, but can be terminated earlier with a certain code sequence. So let's have some fun: We terminate the AC coefficients immediately leaving only the DC coefficient for a fancy penguin picture and use the rest for our backup data. Future implementations could easily add a little picture showing the currently written file or something like that.

Yeah, that's pretty much what I was thinking. And the interface for this open source project is incredibly easy.

Type "find . |cpio -o -H crc |dvbackup --prefix=125 |dvconnect -s" to stream directly to your camcorder. This most likely does only work on very fast harddisks and filesystems. You might try something like "find . |cpio -o -H crc |dvbackup --prefix=125 |dvconnect -s -b 500"

And for the windows users:

It should compile at least with a windows version of GCC. The only thing you need then is a RAW-DV to AVI converter.

Okay, it's not in the most usable form. But there is some MAC shareware out there that does the same thing.

Upon thinking this out, I'd have to say, just keep the original DV footage. If you got two cameras, copy the video for backup. If you can't rely on the STMP codes (because the backup video shifted them, or some other reason), well, that's why they have them funny looking boards with the swinging thing on the top that they bang before shooting a scene. Yup, to provide both visual and audio cues for syncing. Originally used for syncing the audio to the video, but the concept should apply just as well to synicing footage back to your project.

But this little thought process has reveled something that is perhaps useful. I've been thinking about getting a tape backup for my data. Maybe I should buy a video camera instead.

Tim Lytle [11/07/03 20:57:50] | 453 Comments | Point

The Last Days

Just finished The Last Days - sequel to The Last Jihad. Good book, really good book. Better than the first one. Here's a quote:

"Have some faith Jon. We'll blow up that bridge when we get to it."

Action packed, and some very interesting story lines...

Tim Lytle [11/07/03 19:55:42] | 0 Comments | Point

The Last Jihad

Read The Last Jihad when I was in New York. Might write a longer review later, but for now - it was excellent! Should be read by every one who thinks the US shouldn't have gone into Iraq. Yeah, I know - it's just fiction. Right, that means the ending might have been worse.

In comparison to, say, Clancy - because he's been compared to him - let me say that in my opinion the writing is much better. Much better. And Rosenberg don't rely on 'strong' language to seem 'authentic'.

Can't wait to get my hands on 'The Last Days' - as soon as I find a local library that has it.

[Rosenberg was at a screening for 'The Passion'. Seems he was pretty impressed. It'll be interesting to see what it's like. From the negative press about it - I'd say it could turn out to be real good. :-)]

Tim Lytle [10/28/03 22:00:54] | 0 Comments | Point

Wish You Where Here

[Okay, so I'm not really 'here' anymore. It's the thought that counts. 'Twas nice to be at the lake. It warmed up a bit (the fire also helped in that area) and we had a pretty nice couple of days.]

Tim Lytle [10/26/03 22:35:53] | 2 Comments | Point