Just got back from a weekend in Algarve with my family (who are there for their monthly vacation in the sun). The weather was not all bad, but the water was cold as ice, especially today. When I was down there in June it was a whole lot better. Go figure…
Anyway, as for my iBook’s saga, to make a long story short, friday it went to the shop to get repaired. It seems that it belongs to a series which is known to be prone to logic-board problems and in those cases the warranty is extended to 3 years. So now all I have to do is wait for the replacement logic-board to arrive.
Now for the fun part: they said this is usually a matter of 4-5 business days, but being this time of year I’d better be prepared to wait for maybe 4 weeks.
Anyone cares to bet how long it will take? I’m betting it wouldn’t take 4 weeks even in a regular working month, it would certainly take a whole lot more, so now it will surely be much more than that, but lets see.
For now I’ve setup my working environment based on a Fedora Core 4 installation. Oh, and as far as I can tell I was able to make a full backup of the iBook’s disk prior to formating it and taking it to the shop, so if it really went well I haven’t lost anything at all.
I don’t know what’s worst, knowing I’ll be without a Mac laptop for a few months or the disruption it caused me trying to revive it and finally giving up on it. Still, at least my fears that it might have been the OS going bonkers were not founded. This is a huge relief; Windows begone and take your foul behavior with you!
I know I had something interesting to say about the iPod and it’s ergonomics, but I seem to have forgotten what it was and since the draft of the post was on my iBook and is now on the backup I guess I’ll get to it later.
I’ve also started to read “Pattern Recognition”. So far it looks very interesting, but then I’ve only read through three chapters.
And while on the topic of reading, after a conversation I was having with Tuxa while we were driving home this afternoon I started to think about the books I haven’t been able to finish reading in my life. So far I only have two of those: “Quicksilver” and “Wuthering Heights”. While “Quicksilver” was set aside temporarily, I know I’ll finish it eventually and then start with “The Confusion” which I already have on my pile.
But “Wuthering Heights” is a different matter altogether. I just stopped reading it and set it aside a lot of years ago and never returned to it. This bothers me a bit so I’ve made up my mind that soon(ish) I’ll just have to take it up again and go through it. Nothing bothers me more than something incomplete, and as far as I remember the story wasn’t all that bad.
Quick recap of the last few days.
Finished reading Ender’s Game. Amazing book, it gripped me in a way no sci-fi book has been able to do in years! I’m now contemplating buying the sequel —Speaker for the Dead— but I’m not sure about that. Ender’s Game was really very good with an incredible ending —it could do without the last couple of pages, but very good anyway— but I’m not sure about a sequel… If it is not as good as the first one I’ll be pretty sad about it…
Of course finishing the book took a lot of late evening time which I could not, then, devote to editing some more video. I have some footage I’d like to use on one or more videos, and I have to try out some of the advice people like Paulo are giving me, but I do need time for that. Reading until high hours of the night isn’t exactly helping, not at all!
Anyway, another major distraction seems to be under way, as my iBook is now acting up, first refusing to admit it has am airport card installed (which breaks my wi-fi connectivity), then refusing to admit it even has an ethernet cable connected to it when it does have it (which breaks my wired connectivity) and then deciding to stop recognizing the trackpad sometimes. Isn’t it nice? At least it still knows it has USB ports and I’m cloning the relevant parts of my disk to an external drive as I write this.
Poking around the logs the only thing I could see that was wrong was that it gave out an error message about not being able to load the network system’s kernel modules on startup. Then I always have an error during the login procedure (for every user) which means it couldn’t start up the NetInfo services. Then I noticed some of my settings where lost, such as the keyboard layout, of which one out of three layouts I had chosen where gone.
It may be the disk, it may be the controller, it may be the logic board… All I know at this time is that the hardware test app doesn’t find anything wrong with it at all. Typical…
So on the remote chance that it may just be a screwed-up filesystem, I’ll format the drive and reinstall everything from scratch, see if that helps. In a way it would be great that it did, but on another level it would be very bad that it did. This is a *nix system after all, things are not supposed to just go awry so bad that you have to format and reinstall. We have another group of OS for that.
Oh well, on with things…
The title may be a bit misleading…
I wanted to try out the video camera’s night mode and decided the best way to do it was to just use whatever subjects I had around me in the house at the moment.
I was in the office and my main bookshelf is there. I love reading and I love books, so there was plenty of opportunity to film there…
So there you have it.
One of the things I like best about living where I live and working where I work right now is the fact that I have to drive to work and I am able to do it via a route that follows along the coast-line for the majority of the way.
I love the sea and I’ve always been near it. I guess I’ve been lucky. So my rides to work and back from work are something I deeply enjoy and never stop to cherish.
Someday this might well change so I figured this would be a good opportunity to make a small video about some of the beaches I pass on my way to work and the sights I see.
The road I take is called “Marginal” and it goes all the way from Cascais to Cruz Quebrada (or very near it, I’m not exactly sure where that road ends and the next one begins). For the most part it follows the sea into the river Tejo’s estuary and although I get on the road nearly half way there (in Parede) I still get to have the company of the sea for quite some time.
This, then, is an experiment in video making, editing, and videoblogging in general.
I stayed awake way longer than I should yesterday and it’s all Scott Card’s fault.
I started reading Ender’s Game and couldn’t bring myself to stop reading for a long while.
On the one hand I feel sorry it took me so long to find out about it, but on the other hand I get to have some great reading now and that’s great.
I wonder how this could have slipped under my radar for so long, but then when I was a teenager things were quite different and I didn’t have the Internet to dig this things up…
The book has been on my “to read” pile for almost a year now and I feel that I will be adding to it shortly with the rest of the books on the Ender saga…
Lest I forget, after my initial bout with iMovie I’ve been trying out iMovie HD —the newest version— and, so far, there doesn’t seem to be that many new things.
Of course there is the HD and 16:9 format support, a couple more sound effects and a few more transitions and image effects, some controls where moved on over to the effects group (like clip speed, for example) so a few changes did occur, but nothing really groundbreaking.
Yes, support for the new formats is a big deal, indeed, but on the application front itself there where precious few developments.
Still, it is a good app, as I’ve said before, so what can you improve on it without biting into the Final Cut pie?
Oh, and as far as I’ve seen until now, 16:9 is definitely my favorite format for video creation. I can capture it in native format in the camcorder and iMovie eats it up like a charm. I guess I like it better because of my photography background, I’m used to think of the world more like a rectangle than like a square (and yes, I can do my math, 4x3 is not a square, you know what I mean, get off my back, will ya?)
Still now, as before, iMovie is a great app. I’ll be kind of sorry if and when I outgrow it.
I’ve been kind of quiet here lately as I’ve had many things to keep me busy, but the good part of it is that many of them are actually fun.
One of them is playing around with my new Canon MVX330i.
Another one is getting to know about the videoblogging scene and how to get into it to try it out for myself.
On that front I must say I found it pretty easy to get going once you find the right group of people.
In my case I was looking for the cool Creative Commons tag clip that Steve Garfield adds to the end of his videos. So I just wrote to him and a few minutes later I had a reply essentially pointing me to The List. Steve seems like a really nice guy, by the way, and was really helpful. Thanks Steve!
The videoblogging list is a Yahoo! groups mailing list regarding videoblogging (what else…) which is filled with people who really know what they’re doing and are really helpful to beginners. I didn’t even have to actually post any questions there, just by searching through the archives and the documentation and files related to the list I was able to find answers to all my questions.
Now I’ve cobbled together a video which I will post as a first try at videoblogging but I still have to hammer enclosures into my feeds, so it may take me a couple of days more (or maybe not, I laid eyes on a plugin for Movabletype which seems to do what I want for my RSS2 feed. The ATOM feed will just go without it for now…)
So I’m almost there, trying my hand at videoblogging.
The time I spend preparing the infrastructure will not be wasted, as I already have footage for maybe one or two more posts (erm… video posts?) so by the time I’m actually able to post I’ll just have more content.
Oh and just for the record (read: big disclaimer), I am a Geek, I love tech stuff and I know about it. But I am no artist, not by a long shot. I love photography, music and possibly video editing, but I really have no clue as to what I’m doing in this department.
On the other hand, many people who are videoblogging right now (from what I’ve been seeing) are actual artists and professional editors and so on and some really wonderful stuff is being produced and put out there, you just have to look for it.
So I figured I might just as well get on the boat now and play around for a bit until the big wave hits and many people with actual talent come into town and then I’ll probably just quietly take me leave. Unless I’ve become hooked on it.
Either way, watch this space, as it were, and when they come, download and watch at your own risk! :-)
I don’t know if “surreal” is actually the best word to describe this, but if it’s not, then it must be very close indeed…
This evening when I turned on my iMac G5 at home up popped the Software Update window with a new update I hadn’t seen all day on my iBook.
In fact the update is iMac G5 specific and the title is “iMag G5 Sleep Light Update”.
That intrigued me, but it was a specific iMac G5 update so of course I went on and installed it but before, as always, I read the description. And I just couldn’t believe my eyes…
The update, then, makes the sleep light on the iMac go fainter in the evening, while maintaining the usual brightness during daytime.
Yes, that’s right, I’ll repeat that: the little pulsating “I’m alive but sleeping” light will pulse as brightly as ever during the day but will be softer in the evening.
Sometimes Apple just cracks me up! It almost (but not quite) makes up for the nightmarish distribution problems they have around here. (Not quite, no, I’m about to give up on buying my Mac Mini, after almost 5 months’ wait for one with a memory upgrade. Grrr!).
So, surreal is not that far off, is it?
Will I ever be able to post something on my weblog and not have to re-edit it a minute later for some typo I found out after the fact or some minor point I forgot to make, I wonder?
Spent the better part of the day with Tuxa making some photos of her bead works.
They didn’t turn out half bad, actually, especially considering that my “home studio” is as improvised as you can get and most of the props are held in place by hand by Tuxa herself. Still, we all have to do our bit and suffer for our art…
What I didn’t have time to work on, though, was on the footage I collected yesterday during my evening walk on Sintra’s “Parque da Liberdade”. Now that I have got me a new toy I was so eager to try it out that I took it for a test drive without even having read the manual first… Well, these things are supposed to be easy to use. And indeed they are, I think I have some good footage for a short movie, judging from what I saw while importing it all to iMovie. Still it took me long enough to figure out the right combination of camera and iMovie settings that allows me to work with DV 19x6 format. The trick, by the way, is to create the new project in that format and then import the footage you captured in that same format with the “Automatic DV Pillarboxing & Letterboxing” turned off, otherwise it will shrink your footage until all you have is a really narrow band filled with really fat dwarves.
Anyway today I also collected some footage of the photo-shoot session so will be able to make a “making of” of the pictures. Family loves that stuff and I get to practice.
A nice relaxed weekend all around.
Oh and I almost forgot, I seem to have reached some weird limit on iPhoto at around 11200 pictures. It just started to act really crazy on me (mind you, painfully slow is no longer crazy, it is just normal at this point) and started bombing out and doing strange and unpredictable stuff to my photos. It is definitely time to look for something better for long-term storage, indexing and handling of pictures. I guess at my rate, iPhoto is good for maybe a year or so of photos, everything else will have to go to some beefed up app. I did try, I was really happy when iLife’05 came out with the new iPhoto, but it just doesn’t cut it for me.
I know this has been beaten to death but I just have to join the mob…
Oh my God!!
Windows’ (XP at least) implementation of the WebDAV protocol is just soooo lame!
Every other single client on the world can connect to a plain and simple Apache2+mod_dav2 combo without a hitch. No problem at all. It just works.
Now try and get your apache2+mod_dav2 WebDAV server to do all the show and dance that the Winblows client requires in order to work and you’re in for one hell of a ride!
Anyway, for the brave souls that wish (or must) take this painful road in the future, you may find my notes on getting it to run in an acceptable way (not the full monty, at least not for now, but something you can at least use) in my wiki.
And may you be blessed with a ton of patience, you will need it.
Aviso à navegação: post intimista e obscuro, podem ignorar em segurança.
Terminaram as minhas férias de verão.
Viajar é, provavelmente, a maior das minhas paixões, sempre que posso aproveito as férias para viajar e conhecer sítios novos ou rever locais que me agradam particularmente. Pode-se dizer que é o meu maior hobby.
Habitualmente volto das minhas viagens de férias de rastos, depois de calcorrear muitos quilómetros seja onde for que tenha estado. Cansado mas feliz, claro.
No entanto, desta vez optei por umas férias mais “tradicionais”.
Andei por Portugal —uns dias em Caminha, uns dias no Algarve e finalmente uns dias no Alentejo— e fiz sobretudo descanso.
Fiz muita praia (muito mais do que costumo no verão inteiro!), passeei, descansei muito, até dei por mim a dormir sestas de tarde, algo que nunca fiz na vida sem uma razão extrema.
Mas isso não foi sequer o melhor. Estas férias foram uma altura de reavaliação e de reencontros.
Há alturas na vida em que é preciso parar e pensar. Esta foi uma delas e, até ver, correu muito bem. Agora é fazer os reajustes necessários e mudar atitudes e, sobretudo, o modo de encarar alguns pormenores da vida do dia a dia.
É preciso dar a importância ao que é realmente importante e deixar o que é secundário nesse papel.
Se isso for feito tudo o resto acaba por encaixar no seu lugar devido e as mudanças mais positivas acontecem por si.
Eu avisei que era intimista e obscuro… É o mood das férias. :-)
Mudanças (para melhor) esperam-se e desejam-se. E as melhores são as que acontecem espontaneamente, sem forçar. Sinto que se avizinha uma época boa.
E em Outubro New York, New York de novo!