Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Free Public Proxies - handy if you want to get around digital rights management on the hi-def DVD of "Terminator 2"!

Monday, September 29, 2003

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Results of 64kbit/s Listening Test

Interestingly venerable MP3 codecs fair better than more recent Windows Media and Quicktime.

1. No codec at 64 kbit/s can claim to be as good as mp3 at 128 kbit/s.
2. High efficiency AAC (AAC with spectral band replication, similar to mp3 with SBR, aka mp3pro) makes a good first showing, being the first among equals (he-aac, mp3pro, and ogg vorbis).
3. WMA9, Real, and Quicktime AAC make poor showings. While better than the hoary mp3 at 64 kbit/s, they are definitely worse than the top three 64 kbit/s contenders.

Thursday, September 18, 2003

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Article blagged from PCW that shows how to use an Orange SPV 'phone as a USB/GPRS modem - details here.

Monday, September 15, 2003

blue.i - A great camera motion capture system I saw demo'ed at IBC (which I just got back from) - really clever idea.

Sunday, September 07, 2003

v 5.1 of the DivX codec is a gem of an MPEG4 implementation - aside from producing pictures that are visibly better than Xvid or Windows Media 9 (for similair bitrates) it has a great status display when it is encoding - you can really see what the codec is up to with motion vectors overlaid on the picture, a picture difference display (you realise how little goes on between frames in a video sequence) and an moving graph of several bitrate-related parameters - a lesson in digital video itself. Screenshot here
When I resurected the XP machine with the dead HD (see previous post) I foolishly left the USB Compact Flash/Smart Media/Memory Stick reader attached - the Windows installer recognises those devices and assigns them drive letters in preference to the primary hard drive - so when I installed XP and booted it for the first time I realised my system drive was labelled as H:\ - once set you can't change it from the drive manager - I suppose it isn't the last couple of hours I'll *waste* with a Micro$oft OS!

Friday, September 05, 2003

I'd heard of people putting a nearly-dead hard drive in the freezer to temporarily revive it but always believed that it was geek folk-law. Imagine my surprise last night when a drive that would stay alive for about four minutes before starting to click and whirr (and become unavailable to Windoze) stayed alive for half an hour after a couple of hours nestling amongst the peas and ice-pops - I was able to clone it off to another drive and all is well!
version 5.1 of DivX codec