Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Decorating is suite

So I've got my Stolen Moments movie poster and my Athna 2004 poster up above the Cinema display. They are just taped right now, but my employer said we'd get them framed once the egg-crate foam came in. We talked about making the back of the A/V suite like a lounge with a sofa and a coffee table for clients. Right now, we are considering a Beta deck purchase. It's either that or send a tape away twice for the DV/Beta conversion.

--Stephen M. James

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Settling in is suite

Last week, I put the Kona/AJA card (digital to analog converter) and the RAID card in the Dual G5 in before the IT consultant my agency hired to install it showed up, so he just sat around and answered questions while we installed FCP Studio.

I’m not a big Mac fan. I know I’ll never figure out how creative directors can stand putting 500 files in one folder or on their desktop. Can you say subfolder? I hate not having a subfolder for everything. I don’t believe that Spotlight is going to help this habit, not to knock it--I guess it's the artistic thing to do.

We ordered the A/V equipment from ProMax and the computer products from MacMall. (We had problems with MacMall. It took over 3 week to get the G5 here.) I called up ProMax yesterday and the tech guy tried to troubleshoot why the Trinitron monitor wasn't working. He helped me get a picture, but it was luminance (black and white). Well, the tech guy was stumped once we got that far. He asked if the cables were all connected. It’s not a good sign if technical support asks that. I had planned on buying an S-Video cable to test the monitor with the DVCAM deck, but this morning just looking around the AJA board control panel application I switched the Component Y/C/VBS to a Composite Y +C and it worked. So much for technical support. . .

Also, for some reason my agency’s D-Link wireless router won't let my G5 on. It won't assign me an IP address via DCHP. So what's a geek to do? Bring his wireless router from home, of course. So it's been "National Bring Your Router to Work Day" for a week. The downside of course is then there is now no hurry to get the problem solved if an employee can just bring his from home everyday.

--Stephen M. James

Friday, November 04, 2005

Banking and utility sign-up on the Internet

While setting up DSL through SBC, I read the fine print (like the $90 termination fee and asked about free packages that the operator had no idea about). They waived the installation cost of $47 also--just for me complaining about it, so that's $17/month for DSL. You can't beat that. I also accidently called the swicher a router and the sales lady became confused.

I am looking into a checking account at the First Internet Bank of Indiana. Yes, they have no storefront, it is only on the Internet, but they have nice rates. They have four times (1.25% and 2%, respectively) what my current rates are on my checking and savings accounts at my current bank. My brother-in-law has been a client of theirs for many years now.

Which leads me to my final thought, why are bank employees so happy? Yes, it's their job to be hospitable, but they seem to be a little happier than other customer service people at other businesses.

--Stephen M. James

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Sony DRM could crash XP or hide CDROM

In an effort to deter music piracy, Sony has asked users to install programs that cannot be uninstalled without serious technical knowledge. A matter of fact, there are only a few ways to detect the rootkit program. Users are asked to install a media player for one of the thousands of "content-protected" CDs. This media player then installs what I would classify as spyware. Erasing the program's files will disable one's CD-ROM drive (yes, I hear that it will just disapear!).

Read more info on this at the Washington Post or listen to this podcast from GRC.

--Stephen M. James

Before And After: Type, Logo, Calendars, and Color

Every so often it's good to review the basics. The magazine, Before & After, is great at pointing out the obvious--not that it's useless. Far from it, here are a few simple PDFs to get a sense of their bi-monthly issues.

What's the right type face?
Design a logo of letters
How to design small calendars
How to Find the Perfect Color
Design a Mini-Book

--Stephen M. James