Rants of a Digital Bard

OMG! Who gave this idiot a blog?

Finally got a good Camcorder!

Until a month ago, 99% of my Stock Footage portfolio was animations created in After Effects, Cinema 4D, 3D Studio Max, Vue, etc…  And judging by my sales, my stuff is improving all the time.

But animations take a long time to set up and render.  So I can usually only do about 5 to 15 a week depending 0n how complex they are.  Not to mention that animation makes up a small percentage of overall Stock Footage sales on the big sites.

To truly be successful, you need a good camcorder and you need to go outside and shoot some footage (well, the “outside” part is from my sweetheart, you could do studio shots indoors).  I can record 2 hours of footage over a 3 or 4 hours period and get 20 to 40 useable clips out of it.

So, I had been saving up to get a new camcorder.  I had settled on getting the Canon Vixia HF11 which was in my price range and has great reviews on all the various Indie Film and Camcorder Review web sites.  But times are tight and it was taking me awhile to save up the money.

Along comes my father to the rescue.  He offered to help me out by giving me $400 towards the purchase of a camera. But when the time came to pony up the dough, he instead just bought it outright from Amazon.com for me.  You’ll hear no complaints from me about parents or family for quite some time…  Thanks Again Pops!!

June 30, 2009 Posted by | Don't get me started..., Stock Footage & Photography | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

It’s been awhile…

It has been awhile since I last posted here.  And it’s time to start doing this regularly.  A lot of changes in my life over the past 6 months, the biggest of which is that I am working very hard on a career change.

I have been growing my Stock Video portfolio on several sites and I have increased my revenue fairly regularly.  I’ve even done a few custom projects for some clients.  So, I’m working 16 hours a day to try and turn this into a full-time gig.

June 30, 2009 Posted by | Don't get me started... | Leave a comment

Lookin’ for CD/DVD burning software…

When I got my very first CD burner, it came with Adaptec’s CD burning software.  Which was “okay”, but there were features I wanted it didn’t support.  My second drive came with Nero.  AHA!  Finally some software that supported what I wanted.

For the next several years each time Nero upgraded their software I paid for the upgrade.  But starting with version 7, there wasn’t really anything NEW for actually burning.  They just kept adding more and more multi-media related crud (video editing, photo slide-shows, etc.).  Nero used to be a nice compact burning program, now it’s among the worst form of bloatware.  So I haven’t upgraded since version 6.

However, version 6 doesn’t support dual sided DVD burning, something I have been able to live without until now.  I’m totally disgusted by the bloat of Nero 8, but I figured I’d upgrade and just not install the crap I don’t want.

Now, as I mentioned before, I’ve been a loyal Nero user and have PAID for upgrades for years.  Each upgrade was $20 (when I upgraded from version 4 to 6, the price was still just $20).  However, the “special discount” they are offering me to upgrade from version 6 to 8 is $64…  A whopping $15 off the retail price for an UPGRADE.  And only because I am such a loyal customer.  I’d expect to pay $40, $20 to version 7, then $20 to version 8, but $64 when I don’t even want most of the crap that’s in the package?

Do they at least have a cheaper version with JUST the CD/DVD burning?  No.  So, to the people at Nero I say “good-bye!”  I will be moving on to something less bloated and I will no longer be a loyal customer, nor will I recommend your software any longer.

June 13, 2008 Posted by | Don't get me started..., Geek stuff, Tech | Leave a comment

BTW, WTF is up with AVG AntiVirus?

Why the heck does the software require me to reboot my computer every few updates?  Seriously… I never had to reboot this much with Norton or McAfee when I used them.  I’d upgrade to the paid version of AVG if it didn’t do the same thing.

Why can’t software developers create software that can update itself without having to reboot your computer?  I know it can be done because a lot of software already does it.  The technology is available… it’s called DLLs.  Simply unload the old DLL and load the new one.

June 11, 2008 Posted by | Don't get me started..., Tech | Leave a comment

I hate Windows…

If I didn’t have so much money and time invested in Windows software, I’d drop it like a bad habit (which it is).

Once again, a security update has caused a catastrophe…  AVG AntiVirus had been bugging me for days to reboot my computer and since Windows had just installed a new security update and was bugging me too, I decided to go ahead and reboot.  That was the end…  Windows wouldn’t let me log back in.  I had left my password blank and the new update didn’t like that, so it refused to let me log in.  I tried logging into the admin account, but same problem.  I tried booting into safe mode and logging into the admin account, but  same problem.

Finally, I tried booting with last known good configuration, same problem.  Years of training as a computer tech urged me on to try one thing after another with no luck.  Finally, I decided to boot my XP disk and do a rescue setup.  But, I didn’t realize I used the wrong XP disk (I have too many computers, did I mention that?) and now Windows is whining at me about authenticity issues.

Why?  Because I used an old copy of Corporate XP to do the rescue (yes, I should have thrown the disc away after I left my last job) and my legal version is an OEM version I got when I bought my computer.  Of course, Microsoft can’t make it simple and just allow me to enter my LEGALLY obtained XP key and be done…  Nope, I have to RE-INSTALL (or do another rescue setup) from an OEM version of XP.  I hate Microsoft.

It’s been almost 3 years since I installed XP on this machine, so it’s time for fresh re-install from scratch anyway.  So, I’m using the wife’s computer to type this and surf the net in general while installing a fresh copy of XP on my computer.

June 11, 2008 Posted by | Don't get me started..., Geek stuff, Tech | Leave a comment

WTF! is up with YouTube?

Seriously.  Why is the video so damn crappy?  I realize that the storage requirements for better video are pretty high, but at least make it a paid option or something…

I know there are some other YouTube like sites out there with better video, but so far I haven’t found one that’s as easy to use.  So, like many, I continue to host my own videos.  Which means the quality is MUCH MUCH better, but nobody ever sees them…

June 10, 2008 Posted by | Don't get me started..., Tech, Videography | Leave a comment