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Car
Date: 15/6/2005
Our recently aquired 2nd car has really been in the wars this weekend. Firstly on friday night I was about to fill it with some petrol and I dropped the fuel cap, and before it had come to a stop on the ground a car had run it over it and smashed it.

Then while we were away over the long weekend the car was parked outside our friends place in Killara (a very upper class suburb) and it got broken into. The theives smashed a small pane on the back passenger door and took our digital camera and the spare tire. The spare was later found a block away but the camera, an old 2.1mp Canon IXUS is gone. The annoying thing is that it's not worth anything on the market being so old and all but it's still really handy to us. So it's not even going to be worth selling (you'd be lucky to get A$50 for it). I didn't even know the camera was in the car when I left it, or I would have taken it with me.

Then to add insult to injury this morning when we picked the car up the battery was stone cold dead, presumably because the internal light was left on, and I had to jump start it.

Update: I've had some luck with the spares, getting the fuel cap and replacement glass for A$65. I'll fit the glass myself as it seems to be just screwed into place. As for the camera, I was a little on the cheap side, they are going for A$91 on ebay. But it seems like a good time to go shopping for a better camera. I'm thinking a Powershot Pro1 would do nicely ;)
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Bits And Pieces
Date: 8/6/2005
Marty (my 1yr old) said his first word today "eight", as I was counting with Maya AND after I got to seven. Nice...
I changed my car's front brake pads for the first time this morning. Took 2 1/2 hrs and a lot of hard work. But I'm glad I did it, I like to know how to do the simpler stuff on cars.
I'm looking around for a Quicksilver PowerMac (with keyboard, mouse and 512mb of RAM) for about A$500 (although I'll consider any G4 over 500mhz). So far the ones on ebay are still a bit over that, round the 630-700 mark. Am I dreaming? This is for porting Lgi (and thus Scribe) to OS X, if you want to help you can

This windows XP hack makes working with large avi files in explorer MUCH less painful. Windows can be really dumb sometimes. (Sometimes!?!)
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Howl's Moving Castle [Finally]
Date: 8/6/2005
Madman have updated their coming soon page with a real date for Howl's Moving Castle: September 22nd.

FYI There is a showing on the closing night (June 25) of the Sydney Film Festival but at A$31.60 it's not cheap. I'd rather wait a few more months and see it with my friends.
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No Net Access
Date: 8/6/2005
Hey all, bad news, my cable modem has apparently died so email and releases are going to be patchy at best over the next 2-3 weeks. Hopefully we'll be able to jury rig up some temporary access while I wait for a new service provider to provision up a new connection for me.

Great! just what I needed.

Update: My current research indicates that a Billion 5100 and iiNet is going to get me a kick arse connection for A$99(+shipping) setup + A$50/mth + whatever the bundled phone deal costs (A$30+calls/mth). Currently my exchange just has the craptastic Telstra DSLAM's in it, but come 4th quarter this year it'll be upgraded to ADSL2 DSLAM's and I'd automatically get upgraded to a 8000/1000 kbit connection.

Update2: Ok so now it's working again. But it's an on again off again deal. Sometimes power cycling it works other times it doesn't. I'll probably be able to limp along while ADSL is provisioned for me. "Yay". *shlump*
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Marketing Ploys 101 For The Unwary
Date: 6/6/2005
Buying things online can be a wonderful way of saving some money and getting what you really want (except if it's this). For instance you could be attacted to a nice shiny new LCD, like a Dell 2005FPW which uses the same LCD component as the Apple 20" Cinema Display and thusly is an Object Of Desire.

And on sale at A$880 (at the time of writing this) it's the cheapest 20" LCD on the market. But look at the fine print: "Price inc. 20% Cash off *Online Store Price valid to 10/06/2005". Quick you'd better hurry it's about to end!

Well, that particular deal is about to end, only to be replaced by a very similar deal, which ends and is replaced by the exact same deal. The point being that it has been A$900 or A$880 for the last month on 1 week long sales. If you happen by the site doing your shopping and see that you'd be inclined to jump on a great bargin before the sale ends. Which is exactly the desired result Dell want by playing this marketing trick.

My advice to you is: Don't be suckered by end of sale dates. There will always be a better sale on in the near future. Just bide your time and buy when your ready, not when some supposed sale forces you to.
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Does this exist yet?
Date: 2/6/2005
Much to my home audience's disgust somewhere in my tool chain of DVC -> firewire import -> encode to MPEG2/DVD -> create VOB's -> burn to DVD+R some scenes are repeated in the output video. I think the import is too blame, but now I don't really care, I just want to fix it.

I assumed that somewhere there would be an application that could read an MPEG2 file, show me a list of scenes, let me delete some and then save out the resulting video WITHOUT reencoding it. (GOP accurate editing is not a problem)

And there seem to be a few that allow you to do just that, but you have to sit there for hours watching the film (yes the source is at least 5-6 hours of video) waiting for the dupelicate scenes and then manually find the scene edge, select the scene and then delete it.

Wow, like a have 5 hours to waste doing that. What I need is something that gives me a high level overview of the video, like a list of scenes, with keyframes across the page and each row being a scene, so I can quickly pick out the scenes I want and don't want. This seems so obvious that I thought they'd be 100 freeware/shareware apps out there doing it.

Apparently not. Or am I just blind?

Also I can imagine such an application would be dead handy at removing commercials from captured TV, not that I capture TV to MPEG2, but the same app could be made to work with AVI files as well with a little work.

Update

This is a mock up of the UI I'm thinking of, a list of scenes down the page with "one click" delete ability. Then hit save and out comes a new video file minus the deleted scenes but not re-encoded at all. (GOP accuracy is fine).

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