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San Francisco, USA

 

Please, what year?

Web discussion forums is often a place to find useful information. Search engine make this valuable archives only one query away from us. However, I am surprised at how many forum software still present their information badly. For example, I found this from some slashdot derived forum:

Posted by xyz on Saturday February 07, @02:02PM

It gives fairly detail posting information down to the minute. The big question is, what year is it? Why is it omitted. This is especially important for discussions on tech issues, which evolves quickly. A recommendation made 3 years ago is often irrelevant to the problem on hand today. Indeed one important Internet literacy skill is to be able to discern the relevancy of information and disregard obsoleted information.

This is not an isolated instance. I write this because I have seen this same problem crop up in multiple and varied places. The only explanation I can give is that the forum owner only focus on the present, such that the year is understood and preferably omitted. But the archive will continue to be a valuable resources 3 years, 5 years or 10 years on. In such case it is ridiculous to omit the year from the entry.

Think into the future, not just the present.

2006.11.25 [] - comments

 

Making VCD Movie

I am having great fun making a VCD home movie for my baby. Initially I was looking for a way to sent my mother our collection of video clips. She is tech illiterate and does not have a computer. So YouTube is out of question. VCD seems to be a great option. Just put it in the player and press a button to play. Even my mom can do it.


Part 1


Part 2

I have used two programs, the iMovie bundled with a Mac for authoring and a trial ware iVCD for conversion and VCD burning. iMovie has a wealth of editing functions for an amateur. I mixed still and video clips, tried different transition effects and then added sound tracks. I was bitten by the film editing bug and was toying with things like choosing between 1/3 second gap versus a 1/5 second gap between stills (1/5 second works great to get a slide show feel!) iVCD just works (for the most part), i.e. it burns a VCD from the film made by iMovie.

Before that I have spend several days and destroyed many blank CD in failed attempts to make VCD with various Windows programs. I have tried open source programs, freeware and trial wares. I have learned more detail about different video format and the chain of video production tools than I have thought. Nothing work as wells as the freebie iMovie and the $30 iVCD. The only drawback? For the first time, I want more speed from my tiny Mac mini.

2006.11.21 [, ] - comments

 

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