Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Value wine of the month!


Each white wine drinking season, I find a wild hit in the value category. It must be cheap and it must be great. Last year it was the Thirsty Lizard Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc.

This year it just might be one of the whites from Indaba in South Africa.


I've only tried the Chard, but its pretty darn good, and not at all like generic Cali Chards.

More later!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

I Watch My Computer Videos and Photos on my Plasma TV

How?

I use my Playstation 3 as a TV network adapter, if that's what it is called. Its more like a TV linked mini-computer. Anyway, I need two things to achieve this. A network (wireless or wired) and this incredible software called TVersity.

What is TVersity? Software that you run on your main computer that streams media to devices on your home network. I believe it is similar to Windows (Vista) Media Center ("WMC"). But WMC doesn't support the PS3 (Boo!) So TVersity is the way to go if you are a PS3 Blu-ray guy, like me.

Its this similar to an Apple TV? It appears so, though the Apple TV doesn't play games or Blu-ray disks, and TVersity has no on-demand movies. I would bet money that the Apple TV interface is better.

That said, the PS3 is an incredible value, combining a 1) top notch Blu-ray player, 2)'TV network adaptor' functions, 3) current generation game console, and 4) distributed computing node

If only WMC would support the PS3, I wouldn't have to deal with learning TVersity, which, now that we are on the subject, is time consuming to learn.

The Canon HF10: the new standard in AVCHD codec Camcorders, but I'm buying the HV30!



So check out Camcorder Info's review of the Canon HF10. It apparently equals the best-in-class picture of the HV30 and HV20. BUT, I'm going with the HV30 which uses the old fashioned HDV codec/format!!!

Why?

Because my buddy Chris Walsh pointed out that the MiniDV tape using HV30 give you instant backups, in the form of the tape used to record the video. Just throw the tape into a shoebox after transferring the video and there you have it! A backup without doing a backup. Backing up the AVCHD based HF10 will require some hefty backup capability in the form of an external HDD. Man are those files large.

So even though tape seems old-fashioned, it makes backups easy and will save you money and effort when configuring your backup scheme for your already-expensive PC.

Why am I going for the HV30 over the HV20? Primarily the 30fps frame rate (vs the 24 fps of the HV20) It is more compatible with web standards. I believe the distribution method of choice will be the web for most videos. Sharing videos with friends over Facebook or a blog will be the way we do it. The HV30 has some other minor improvements over the 20 but the 30p is the key for me.

Best Explanation of Audio Codecs for Blu-Ray

High-Def Digest has it. Read now and understand later.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Track Day at Lime Rock Park

What am I talking about? The New Jersey Chapter of the BMW Car Club of America's first driving school of the year at historic Lime Rock Park in Litchfield County Connecticut. It was a one-day school. Short but sweet.

Info at Trackpedia.com

Lime Rock was amazing! It did rain all day, which made it sort of miserable, as I wasn't really prepared for all that rain. But the show went on, and I'm very glad I did it.

I learned so much. The limits of traction are so low, that I was on the edge basically at all times. Its quite a feeling when you are fighting the car for grip at every turn, even the fast ones with nothing but an armco barrier to welcome you if make a mistake!

I was pretty timid at first, I must admit. It was my first time at Lime Rock, my first time on a track in this car, and its been several years since I've done a track day.

But over the course of the four 20 minute runs, I built up confidence, and speed. By the end, I think I had rung out maximum speed in at least half of the corners.

I've signed up for the 3 day Thunderbolt school in August, but I definitely need another one before that.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Test Post From Email

This could be very convenient, emailing my blog for posting.  If I can get this to work, I may be on my way to posting frequently. We'll see.
 

Thursday, April 3, 2008

I'm finally getting it!

It being "the point" of a blog.

Though I wished it weren't so, a blog must be current. It must have regularly published material. In this regard I have failed. But I have a good excuse. My former employer imploded. This may not be a big deal in the tech world where fortunes are made and lost on any given Monday, but in the world of hyper-interconnected finance, it is. Anyway, I've been enduring career upheaval. That's my excuse. More stuff will come soon. Very soon.