New Toys

April 11, 2005

Well, it's been a while since I posted...  Sorry about that (if you care, if you don't then I'm not sorry *thbppt!*)

Heather and I bought a new toy recently: a digital camcorder.  We purchased a Sony DCR-HC42.  Like all of these types of purchases, they led to additional purchases.  We had to get the extended life battery, tapes for the camera, a new hard drive (not super necessary, but I couldn't pass up a chance for a 200GB drive for $50), a firewire card, and a DVD burner.  I also found an awesome site that has great forums for video editing, dvd burning, etc: afterdawn.  I still haven't decided what video editing software I am going to get.  I got some good ideas from the forums I mentioned above, and I have three software packages for which I am going to try out the demo versions.  I just finished my first video last night using Adobe Premier Elements.  I liked the program, but it seemed to crash on me whenever I left a project open and walked away from the computer for too long.  This is not a good feature, and depending on how well I like the other programs may be the reason I don't purchase the Adobe software.  I was actually surprised at this issue, as I have used both Adobe Photoshop and Acrobat and have been fairly impressed with both of those products.  The video I edited was from St Patrick's Day (the day after we bought the camera).  I still have to edit stuff from when Heather and I went to the Renaissance Festival.  What this means is that some of you may be getting DVDs in the mail some time in the future with some of our home movies on them.

The DVD burner I bought is also useful for creating back-ups of DVD movies.  The only problem is that most DVDs nowadays are dual layer and this is a single layer burner.  So, I have to use software to remove special features and extra languages in order to get the movie to a size that can be burned to a single layer DVD.  The best part about this DVD burner is that it came recommended from multiple people on the afterdawn forums, and it was only $60.  If you are interested, it is an NEC 3520A.  So far I haven't created any coasters... [edit] okay, while putting in the link to the burner I bought I realized that it is a dual-layer burner... I'm a fricking retard. I think I remember reading that some DVD players have problems reading dual-layer burned discs, though. I'll look into it.[/edit]

I have also switched over to an NTFS file system.  I was not aware that FAT32 has a 4GB file size limitation.  This can be problematic as when you are transferring video from the camcorder every 9 minutes of video is about 2GB in size.  This rule of thumb also holds true for the best format output from the video editing software.

If you were paying attention a few paragraphs ago, you already know that Heather and I went to the Renaissance Festival this year.  That was on the 19th of March.  Also, on April 2nd we went to the Tempe Arts Festival during the day and saw Kevin Pollak at the Tempe Improv that evening.  Much fun was had on all of these outings.

There's a new poll up.  Let us know how you order a non-alcoholic carbonated beverage in restaurants.

Recent movies I've watched: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Monty Python: Quest for the Holy Grail, Closer, Penn and Teller: Bullshit!

Recent books I've read: Shadow of the Hegemon, Shadow Puppets

Song I'm listening to right at this moment: Jimmy Eat World - Work