August 30, 2004

Bravo!

DirecTV added BravoHD without telling anyone. It's channel 74. Yay!

Posted by pinkerton at 11:47 PM

Career Moves

I saw B.B. King last night at Wolftrap. He's 78 and still going strong, puts on a hell of a show. I've decided to blow off software and go work at Guitar Center and just make music all day long. I'll let you know how that works out.

Posted by pinkerton at 1:31 PM

August 29, 2004

Kill Subtitles, Vol 1

While I totally dug Kill Bill: Vol 1 I was disappointed that the subtitles, which make up a good 15% of the dialog, were not visible in the widescreen version on my 16x9 set. They were positioned just below the bottom of the screen. My set is ISF calibrated and I'm sure any overscan would have been properly corrected, within acceptible tolerance. I'm very disapointed that I couldn't read them.

I have Vol 2 coming in the next few days and I phear that it will have the same problem. Maybe I'll just have to turn off widescreen and watch it 4x3. :-(

Posted by pinkerton at 9:52 AM

August 28, 2004

Save your money

I had the unpleasurable experience today of going to Six Flags America in Maryland. We got in for free for my gf's company's annual picnic, and let me tell you, we were still ripped off.

Apparantly, it was second-string ride operator day at the park. The kids running the rides seemed to only half care about what they were doing or about getting people in and out of the rides or moving the lines along at all. They were content to either stare blankly ahead or chit-chat with each other, to the dismay of those of us standing in the blistering sun for over an hour per ride. The park wasn't even busy, the lines were quite short, yet the waits were still terribly long. Odd, isn't it? One of the ride operators belched loudly at us every time he spoke.

It was also second-string ride maintenance-person day at the park. Every ride we got on had some form of technical difficulty that shut it down for an extended period of time. I am not exaggerating. Every one. We watched a few of the rides open and close several times while we were waiting in other lines. One of the rides was even stopped when we were buckled in, the next to go. In over 4 hours at the park, we rode one (1) ride, and that was only because we were lucky enough to be in the shade when they stopped it so we waited it out (about 30 minutes). One ride. Four hours. Not good.

To add to the experience, line cutting was rampant. Nobody seemed to care, especially the groups of kids doing the cutting. When you'd say something to them, they shrugged it off, as if going to the front of the line was a privilege they somehow were owed.

Am I just old and cranky? Maybe, but I'm never going back, that's for certain. I would encourage all of you to spend your money elsewhere.

Update: Six Flags is a public company, with no relation to Time Warner as I thought earlier. Unfortunately, my dad is a Six Flags stockholder. He was dismayed by my experience.

Posted by pinkerton at 5:52 PM

August 25, 2004

0.8.1 Released

We released 0.8.1 tonight. Download it and check out the release notes. This is mainly a security update but we fixed a couple very small things as well.

Posted by pinkerton at 8:10 PM

August 23, 2004

It's that HD time of year

Being away on vacation, I haven't had a chance to blog on the multitude of HD sports on their way to this anxious viewer. From HD olympics to pro and college football, I can barely contain my teenage-girl glee.

Boos and hisses, however, to NBC for delaying the HD feed of the olympics for a day in order to appease advertisers upset about the lack of revenue from viewers watching the national HD feed instead of their local affiliate. Is it our problem they couldn't get it together and put regular commercials on their HD feed or splice HD material (where available) in with SD footage? Also why must you penalize us with crappy b-list commentators?

Kudos to all the local NBC affiliates (WRC in WashDC in my case) who chose not to use the extra availible digital bandwidth to multicast (show extra sub-channels) and instead use the full bandwidth for the HD feed. Those of us who care about picture quality on HD material, especially fast moving HD sports, thank you. Heck, i'll even watch some commercials in appreciation. That said, I'm still seeing some pixelation tonight (presumably due to lack of bandwidth for fast motion) in the diving. It could, just be the crappy production at that location, I haven't seen any other diving in HD.

I'll blog about my vacation last week in a day or two. There's just too much to say and I don't really have time tonight.

I'll also mention while I'm here that the more I use Mail.app, the less I like it. It's (lack of) support for effectively reading email in a standalone window is bizarre in this day and age.

Posted by pinkerton at 8:38 PM

August 14, 2004

Olympia!

Caught some of the opening ceremonies in HD on my local NBC affiliate. I hear they're also on channel 84 on D*, but I can't confirm. I guess there's quite a large differential in picture quality between various NBC affiliates, but in DC I think we've got it pretty good. The opening ceremony is the kind of event that's made for HD: colorful, large scale, lots of detail, and NBC appeared to deliver.

There were some oddities. The HD feed lags behind the network feed by about an hour and they have their "B-list" announcers (no Bob Costas :(). Sometimes when they went to commercial, they came back rewound about 10 minutes so you got to see several of the countries twice. They also kept showing the same, stupid but thankfully short, Sony commercial at every single commercial break. Also sometimes they would just stay in the break for 5 minutes and then come back in MUCH later to the ceremony. No idea what happened here.

The outdoor footage of Greece they play during the breaks is stunning. Not over enhanced, very few motion artifacts, even very few interlace artifcats. It's not quite "looking through a window" quality, but it's better than i expected from NBC. I've been to Greece, and now I definately need to go back.

I'm looking forward to seeing more, I love the olympics.

Posted by pinkerton at 8:45 AM

0.8.1 Delayed

Sorry folks, I got CVS access again but this weekend is booked solid with weddings, paries, and then next week I'm on vacation to St John (USVI). 0.8.1 will release when I get back.

Posted by pinkerton at 8:39 AM

August 11, 2004

Foiled again

I wanted to try to spin Camino 0.8.1 tonight, but alas, they shut down pserver access to CVS without really saying anything. Guess it will have to wait.

Posted by pinkerton at 6:23 PM

August 10, 2004

Live x 3

Saw the remastered cut of The Who live at the Isle Of Wight (from 1970) at a special showing last night. Boom boom. The DVD version shipped today, it's already on its way to my house.

Been playing around with the demo of Ableton Live4 to see if I want to buy it. While it's main attraction is the ability to use it for live performance (ie, using the software as an instrument in its own right...think DJ'ing), it has a lot of interest to me as an improvisational and creative tool. It allows you to compose "scenes" of clips together, which can easily be used to prototype (if you will) verse, chorus, bridge, solo, etc. It's definately thinking outside the box. Add that to all the normal DAW software features and you've got a real winner. It may just get my money.

I've also been very pleased at its ability to to send MIDI notes and command signals to Reason via Rewire. The result is I can have all the MIDI and control within Live, driving every aspect of Reason. No switching back and forth between apps to rearrange sections or change MIDI arrangements. It falls just short of my nirvana, which is routing audio signals directly into Reason for processing in the rack instead of just MIDI, but I think I can get pretty close.

In my own upcoming live performance news, I'm playing bass and a friend's wedding Saturday night. Should be fun. Low pressure. Hopefully there won't be videotape to haunt me 30 years from now.

Posted by pinkerton at 10:22 PM

August 4, 2004

0.8.1 Soon

With Mozilla respinning for 0.9.3, I need to pickup some of the latest changes (especially the security fixes) from the Mozilal 1.7.2 branch. In addition, i'll be turning off prebinding on Panther, which seemed to cause some people no ends of problems, landing some l10n patches, and a few 1-liners to the d/l manager and prefs.

I'll try to have everything ready to go late this week or early next week for Camino 0.8.1.

Posted by pinkerton at 9:31 PM