Friday, April 30, 2004

ROOT6 Technology is run by my colleagues upstairs - see all the cool software and hardware products you can buy from Root6.

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Having admired Andy's work the guys at AMC stumbled over the motherboard -> 9-pin D lead - here are the pins for doing it on an Intel 7501 motherboard (see page 155 of the manual).

IDC to 9-pin (male)
1 - 1 -> DCD (red-stripe on ribbon)
2 - 6 -> DSR
3 - 2 -> Rx
4 - 7 -> RTS
5 - 3 -> Tx
6 - 8 -> CTS
7 - 4 -> DTR
8 - 9 -> RI
9 - 5 -> GND

Rosetta Stone RS422 adaptor re-engineered!

Andy Vasey of AMC does a lot of server integration for us - here is his solution to having proper '422 out of the back of an Intel 2u server case - very ingenious.
It is the board mounted on a half-PCI back plate and then the header from the motherboard's serial connects to the other side.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Digital Spy - BBC "considering" HDTV distribution - would be great if it were the case.

Monday, April 26, 2004

New Digital Betacam decks! - the DVW-A500P has been the workhorse VTR for television for more than a decade - I saw my first one when I was at Carlton in 1993. Innovations like pilot tone tracking and the Viterbei decoder made this a breakthrough VTR and made D1, D2, D3, DCT and D5 look a bit stupid (cumbersome to operate with bad tape interoperability). Here is the page from Sony's Australian site which will dissappear soon, I'm sure - a trip down memory lane!.
The BetaSP format that was typified by the BVW-75P was THE format when I was at the Beeb and consequently I did in excess of 100 head drum changes - kinda akin to replacing the engine in a car! But when the 500 came along the drum change routine was a joy by comparison. Although Sony are moving on to better things with IMX and eVTR support I'll miss the DVW-A500!

Friday, April 23, 2004

This from the FAQ in Avid's sales guide (issued at NAB this year):

I've played with Media Composer Adrenaline on both Mac and Windows and there is a real performance difference. Are you making the Mac version run slower?
Of course not, we optimise for both platforms. At this time we are seeing significantly higher real-time performance on current Windows-based workstations than G5 workstations from Apple.

So now we know!

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Darren Digby runs Digby Installation Services and is currently help me out with a splicer kit for optical fibre. I'm getting Jason, my new wireman trained in ending off fibre cable and as well as sourcing the gear Darren has been invaluable in advising as Root6 gets into this new area.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

musicplasma : the music visual search engine - this is so cool - bang in the name of your fav band and see how many connections you agree with. Aside from the musicology it looks great too.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

John A. Kantara is a director who is currently working for ZDF and 3-Sat on a series of "internet futures" documentaries to be shown over the summer in Germany. He was in London yesterday interviewing me for the show - I'll post the video here when I get a copy.
I had to wax lyrical about video compression paying particular reference to this image recognition codec that is produced by Atvisican. Their codec writer (and all round good-geek!) Uve was also over yesterday - I enjoyed spending time listening to his explanation of a laser-based hi-definition projector they currently have in prototype. I hear many people described as geniuses but I think Uve is a real one!
I showed him AtomicLava which he seemed quite tickled by.

Monday, April 19, 2004

Darn! I was meant to be in Vegas over the weekend at the NAB trade show but my passport didn't get back in time. You can follow James, Chopper, Graham et al on AtomicLava's NAB micro-site.

Friday, April 16, 2004

SONY - Australia - I often have to make reference to the brochures for Sony VTRs - and they are here!

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Sowter Audio Transformers - these guys have helped me out before and I'm about to dive into a project where I'll be ruggedising AES and sending it over coax cable - see previous post here.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Both of my XP machines at home stopped being able to update via v4 Windows update - I could download patches manually but eventually discovered that SOFTPUB.DLL had become deregistered on both computers - strange, however, the following restores it to proper operation: regsvr32 SOFTPUB.DLL (run it from a command line).

Monday, April 12, 2004

What a shocker - I picked up a bit of malware this weekend while surfing - I didn't realise that an ActiveX control could install a BHO (browser helper object - just like the Google Toolbar, of which I am a huge fan). The symptoms were never being able to download .exe's from Microsoft or any anti-virus site, bizzare re-directs and pages just not being displayed correctly. Full virus scans, AdAware and CWShredder found nothing - but BHO Demon came to my rescue - it lists all installed BHO's and allows you to disable them individually - the one it found on my machine was entitled MSHelper.DLL

CWShredder gets rid of ActiveX controls and returns your browser to a good state.
Home Search Assistant is a similair thing that seems to be more resistant than CWS.
AdAware catches Trojans etc and is the best around.
BHODemon gets rid of malicious Browser Helper Objects.
MVPS updates HOSTS file exploits the Windows HOSTS file to re-direct known advert sites to your local socket - you don't have to get the content of the most popular add-hosting services. Works well and I've noticed a huge difference (and you save bandwidth!)

The good thing about these solutions is that they are open source/free for private use and they don't insist on running all the time and sucking your cycles.

Aside from these I also think Norton Antivirus is still the best - but configure to avoid all that active and continuous nonsense.

Saturday, April 10, 2004

Gotfrag have the latest on the Intel sponsored Extreme Edition 2 Challenge - I'm just downloading the movie (200megs - go and have a cup of tea!) which is (as these things should be!) a DivX file!

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

I updated the drivers for my Nvidia Quadro NVS dual-head display card on my main XP machine - better frame rates on Halo and Jedi Academy! Anyhow - in the the process I managed to set the display driver to a higher res than my new Dell monitors would support and so was in the situation that as soon as Windows booted the monitors went into power save mode! No problemo - boot into VGA mode BUT, with an Apple USB keyboard (see post from December) AND not having enabled BIOS keyboard support for USB meant I had to lash up a PS/2 keyboard - BUT, my machines are in the cellar! So I had a happy half an hour of running up and down the basement stairs to check what was on the screen and make the adjustments!
Morale of the story - always enable USB keyboard support in the BIOS!

Monday, April 05, 2004

Alistair Cooke tribute on Radio 4 - I loved listening to Letter From America since the late seventies. Here is a clip of the start of the recent Radio 4 tribute where the continuity announcer left her micropohne open - thankfully there were no profanities!

Sunday, April 04, 2004