Category Archives: apple

Burning Video DVDs is Stupidly Hard

It’s really hard to make a Video DVD using a Mac. There, I said it.

Macs have been touted as great for content creators and creative types for years, and it’s true. Things generally just work better. However, if you want to burn an actual video to an actual DVD you can’t do it. Not through Final Cut Pro, not in Compressor. You need DVD Studio Pro or, forbid, iDVD. Continue reading Burning Video DVDs is Stupidly Hard

Leopard Mac Refuses to Stay Asleep…

The last week or so my Leopard iMac has been waking up in the middle of the night… it’s quite annoying.

Finally found the answer here:
macrumors – leopard imac waking from sleep issue.

It turns out the problem is caused by having Screen Sharing enabled, and the 5900 port (VNC) being exposed to the outside world through my router. While this allows me to remote connect from another Mac ….

The problem lies in the fact that the screen comes to life whenever ANYTHING connects to this port, be it another Mac, or a port scanner… before even authentication takes place. Tested this by trying to SSH to that port – bang, my monitors come to life.

Fixed it by removing the external port forward, and just using SSH into the Mac. Apple needs to stop waking up the screens until authentication has taken place.

Basically this means that the really awesome TouchPad app that got Fireballed a few weeks ago is only really useful if you turn off your computer (completely) at night or are willing to manually turn off port 5900 (the VNC port).

The weird thing is that this worked fine on Tiger.

So perhaps with Snow Leopard this won’t be a problem… ?

At last: Region Free First Gen Macbook Pro DVDs

As I’ve been working in the States twice in the last two years and spent most of the last season working with video I’ve had to change my DVD region several times, which is limited to 5-6 changes by default. So for entirely legitimate purposes I need to change regularly.

At last (turns out it was written in February) someone has put together a reasonable tutorial for the procedure of converting an RPC-2 (non ‘malleable’, region locked) drive into an RPC-1 (you can unlock and change regions) drive. Check it out here:

http://forums.mactalk.com.au/29/39845-solved-region-free-dvd-playing-macbook-pro.html

iPhone and Guitar

So I’m home and just about over the jet lag, and quote glad I bought my dad a James Taylor DVD. It’s awesome and makes me want to be BETTER. Expect to hear me trying to play You’ve Got a Friend as well as Free Fallin’ – which has been stuck in my head for the last month.
In other news I gave in yesterday and got myself a White 16 Gb iPhone. I like it, though it hasn’t and won’t change my life.

One thing… (aka. The joys of rendering)

There is one thing that would put me off the notion of working semi-professionally in the video field. That thing is Rendering. Rendering is when you take some source videos, audio and whatever processing you wish to apply to them and prepare an exportable video format (putting many into one).

Just like when Jessica was learning the song.. every time she asked “what chord comes after ‘angels’?” the answer is ‘C.’ Every time.

When something goes wrong with a video project, what is the problem? Rendering. RENDERING.

The problem is not just waiting for the render to take place, that has become a non-issue in the last year or so, I’m used to it. But what really bugs is when there are two folders

TODO LIST:

  • Have only one render folder selected for A and V
  • If you have any problems go into the “/[Audio ]Render files/Project Name” folder and trash it all (clear trash)
  • And force re-render after re-starting Final Cut.
  • THEN re-encode the DVD  :|

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And on another note, WHY does the FOX tv channel always, perputally broadcast distorted audio? I was channel flicking a few nights ago and had to turn it off it was annoying me so much (so unlike me), and in any case it was pre-season NFLstuff.  Not that interesting, lots of football-nerd talk (c.f. above).

—-

PS I think this one qualifies for RANT status, though it should probably be filed under the SCHOOLBOY ERROR column as well.

Mac Pages Launch Beachball Crash

Handily, as I clicked the Pages icon on my Dock this evening, the little ink pot bounced as normal, but whenever I tried to open any saved documents the application hung and the beach ball came and never went.

Handily, by the power of google I found this article which helps explain how to fix the problem, which exists in the OS X Tiger and Leopard (10.4, 10.5).

The basic point here is ‘you have a broken font somewhere.’ I’m not sure what it’s caused by, but I’ll just blame MS Word for Mac 2004, makes me happy so-to-do:
– Go look in your Font Book and whack the duplicate entries (Font Book.app -> Edit -> Resolve Duplicates).
– Next grab a (free) copy of Font Nuke and blast those caches. NB: You’ll magically be restarted, despite the onscreen warning just saying to save documents.

Productive day.

Sony Ericsson Phone Mac Crash Bug

Courtesy of this fella http://www-users.kawo2.rwth-aachen.de/~razzfazz/k750igrabber/ and thanks to this fella (via google search)
http://www.mattheweaves.co.uk/2005/10/25/sony-ericsson-k750i-quickshare-mobile-phone-mac-osx-104-tiger-kernal-panic-crash-fix/
it appears there is indeed a way to stop my k800i crashing whenever I unplug it’s usb lead from my macbook pro. This little driver package disables the unused ports in the usb interface (with the sony ericsson devices). Next time I reboot I’ll confirm if it works or not, but this is good – hopefully I can recharge my phone and not risk a black curtain of doom each time!

–update–

So it appears it isn’t working (at all) but I’ll look into it again soon. Hope it might work for you.

Sony HVR-V1E First Look / Beaver Cross 2008 / MacBook Air

So obviously it’s not the first look; but it is mine. Ordered a Sony HVR-V1E last night from Jigsaw24.com and it arrived this morning before 10… Impressive (CityLink in County Down works depite what Ally says about the Belfast bunch!).

Barney delivered it up to Belfast this morning (thanks boss…) and we gave it a wee test – it worked, which is a pleasant surprise! Very nice feel, good improvements on the PD-170 especially (disregarding the hi-def) the XLRs with independent volume controls on each channel; new 20x Zeiss lens which rivals the XL-H1 and lots of new buttons; chunkier and smoother iris/exposure wheel (it’s default setting is to automatically move from iris opening to positive gain increments when the iris is fully open; which is good unless you hate gain; but it appears that even +18dB gain is pretty clean, we’ll see how that looks in a low-light show setting on Friday night when we’re doing a gig for CEA. Something to do with Music Performance, so if you’re playing your Ukelele at the Waterfront Studio on Friday… See you there.

This is the toy that I’ll be bringing to America with me this summer; got a really pro looking (and feeling) PortaBrace bag to go with and then remembered it comes with a free Sony case; which really would have been up to the job but is a little bit bigger (unnecessarily for such a compact hdv) hopefully I’ll be able to get rid of on eBay unless someone sticks their paw up (unlikely?). In the States I’ll be back at Beaver Cross camp this year working on Media and leading Worship again (most likely, and sadly, without my Gibson), teaching kids some stuff about making movies (I imagine it’ll be a bit of basic theory – I’ll speak to you soon, Pete! – but mostly making stupid videos – pt1 pt2) as well as documenting the summer for PR/media purposes and being in charge of the photo collection and collation. Quite excited about all this, I suppose I should confirm to Chris and Tina that I’m coming! I’m not looking forward to my Thursday nights… A seven hour marathon was required to produce that video mentioned earlier but in my defence I guess it was my first real edit – Pete once again thank you for telling me about the Blade Tool/cmd+s or b or whatever it is thing.

No tripod as of yet, plenty around to beg, steal or borrow but if you’re in Upstate New York and fancy selling me a Vinten or Manfrotto for cheap let me know.

MacBook Air: Meh, looks good, but packing a bit too little as of yet. I imagine a writing journo or author loving it but without the optical or firewire or multiple usb ports it’s too restricted for the various things that I might want to do with it. First move into SSD laptops which is very cool, and maybe a model or two down the line the MacBook Pro will benefit and by then mine’ll have stopped whining and scraping and perhaps will die altogether (I fear… but hopefully it’ll do me through the summer with a couple of hours of video captured and edited every week).

Heading to the Giants tomorrow night to do a bit of capture, we’re not webcasting (so it should be nice and relaxed) because the big boys from TeleVideo on behalf of Sky Sports are in the house for the broadcast on Friday night, on Sky Sports 3 or Mix, I believe.

Adios.