soft that works (mostly)

The Pinnacle Studio 9 that I chose as the editing tool finally actually worked better than I had thought. The only immediate shortcoming was the lack of dolby digital sound encoding (it pays c. ten dollars extra). I spent some frustrating moments with the dvds I had burned before I realised that the software only outputs dvd audio sound. But having a digital video editing tool that you can essentially learn to use in c. half-an-hour is certainly good achievement. It even promises to support streaming video formats, lets see… Seasons’ Greetings to everyone! I will be going some way towards south, but tonight we enjoy white Christmas here in Tampere.

give an idiot a camcorder

This weekend I’m finally going to learn some DV video editing. I suppose some skills are just required media literacy, this day, and/or future. Don’t know, really. Desire to know is a curious thing. We have discussed a lot “personality types” and “motivations” lately, and I just realised that I’m that sort of person who wants to see the bitrate while seeing a movie, or what was the aperture while looking at photos…

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Leaving Helsinki station. New to mobile blogging, I make now notes in train, too. This is actually my second try, Picoblogger crashed earlier somewhere near Hämeenlinna. As the phone keyboard makes going slow, this teaches you to save often. *sigh* Life as a train of meeting rooms…

Moblog with PicoBlogger.

buying time xmax

I thought I had got a good deal when I bought the Sony NS355 DVD player today well under 100 euros, but when I was back at home I realised this thing did not have any s-video connector. Call me picky, but I will not take composite video when there can be s-video and digital audio quality available (or take s-video when there is the DVI option, as with my next television, *sigh*). Happily, they offer a return policy.

The operation actually started with the annual pre-Christmas shopping & spending spree, where I first acquired the LotR/RotK extended edition dvd, then started experimenting with the Dolby Digital and DTS sound formats this release supports (ok, I was also spending some good time all teary-eyed with the actual masterpiece as well). After starting to think about those damned scratches in my Buffy second season collector’s disks (another *sigh*) I then proceeded to make backup copies of some films. And there it became obvious that my old Thomson DTH 5000X does not support any format of DVD-/+R/RW recordings. Its error correction and file format support could also be better. But: this Sony was not the solution, I have to try something else. Panasonic, Toshiba and Philips are currently strong candidates.

Various types of MP3 players are also something that I’ve been reviewing with interest, and it seems that iPod is still the strongest one there is, at least if design and ease-of-use are important for you. It is just pity that is not delivering into Europe; they claim it is for manufacturer’s guarantee reasons, but I suspect that European market is split off for other reasons…

DiGRA 2004 Financial Assembly was also passed, with some interesting discussions. I took some photos in the Other Players Conference in ITU/Copenhagen, and they should be available now here.

day of deadlines

This was a curious day, November 30th. We had a deadline of a book project focusing on children’s view and experience of media and information society very early in the morning (and we came in an hour early with Laura for that, sigh…) There will be two book chapters on games research from us there, I am part of the editorial board also. Then there were an overlapping period of project meetings, I was told that someone had stolen the videoconferencing equipment and data projector from our meeting room, and I was trying to sort out some of the submissions going into the DiGRA 2005 conference from our GameLab. On the way home, I dropped in to the post office to pick up a copy of the hefty tome of “Encyclopedia of Play” (Leikin Pikkujattilainen, WSOY), which contains my brief piece on digital play, games and game studies. Nice quality, as a physical object, that book; even if the contents are somewhat heterogeneous, to say the least.

Now it is well past the midnight, the last submissions are all in, I hope. Sipping some Casillero del Diablo (Syrah), I feel this weird mixture of gratification and uneasiness, that seems to be the spirit of our time, if there is such thing. It is like you can reach almost anything if you work hard enough for that, the stars are there, almost touching your outreaching fingertips. And simultaneously, there is the broken window, door that cannot be locked, the tower that is eternally under construction in that castle of achievement. No crown, only the public servant in a grey suit asking for an addendum into the annex of an application form that relates to some obscure process somewhere in the future past of this bureaucratic desert of the (un)real… Should be sleeping already, obviously. Cheers.

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