Archive for September, 2008

eee pc 901, AC3 audio and dolby digital

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008 | Gadgets, Tech-savvy | 1 Comment

This post is just intended to find someone that has managed to connect her/his ASUS eeepc 901 or 1000H respectively to an AV receiver getting AC3 5.1 digital sound out of it.

The adds for the eee series say that the eee 901/1000H (and eeebox B202) have a digital out sound option. But it is nowhere to be found HOW to connect the darn thing to a receiver. I figured one should maybe use a TOSLINK connection like the one shown in the picture, because one of the audio plug sockets (either mic or headphone) can be switched between analog or digital mode (the fricking software not giving me the option to switch at all). Whatever, I have no idea if this is right (or even possible), I just wrote this nonsense to have a few audio/eeepc related keywords here, so that maybe someone googling finds this post and gives me the solution to my problem.

The eeepc is capable of 720p x264 playback. Come on, I don’t want to be left with a stereo signal, even if Dolby Digital Live is pimping it… 😕

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Review: [•REC] (2007)

Saturday, September 20th, 2008 | Movies, Reviews | 2 Comments

Oh no, not again, not another Blair witch look-alike… the last (failed) instalment being the over-hyped Cloverfield (good adds, though), I gave this little Spanish movie a try. Thank god I did! These guys were so smart to send in a ‘pro’ film team with a decent camera (optical image stabilization, yeeeha!), not just your average teen with a camcorder. Watching Cloverfield at the theatre I really thought I had to throw up or leave, apart from the non-present story, just from the constant shaking.

Okay, back to my review: we are shadowing a team that is doing a documentary at your local fire station. Another night without much happening… until the alarm bell rings. Someone called to report a neighbour freaking out. The firemen go out to check up on that. On the premises they find a deranged old woman. This is when things are getting out of control…

Well, I really enjoyed this flick. The tension is rising constantly to a quite frightening climax. A lot of horror movies are more like fun than terror, this one being one of the rare latter. Highly recommended for fans of the genre, or people who were disappointed by one of the numerous bad examples that are out there.

One more thing: the fricking Americans are doing it again! Instead of honouring the original they are doing a Hollywood re-enactment (Quarantine). I absolutely hate that – even though there are some remakes that are good. I also like Asian cinema a lot, which is being constantly abused by Hollywood, eg. Ju On (The Grudge), Ringu (The Ring), Oldboy (announced), Infernal Affairs (The Departed), Dark Water (Dark Water), Shutter (Shutter) or The Eye (The Eye) just to name a few common titles. Please make sure you are trying to get hold of the originals. Cheers!

8.0/10

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deLight customization – images aligned the way you like it

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008 | (X)HTML/CSS | No Comments

Okay, I’ve had enough. First I got rid of the floating smileys, but try to do such an extraordinary hard task such as positioning an image with the deLight theme. I had to change the theme’s CSS – even a child theme doesn’t help here, cause deLight simply forbids anything but left floating images in the content. This kinda sucks, but maybe there was an intention behind this that I am not getting. Here is the change:

.box-left img {
        /* float:left;
        margin:0 10px 10px 0; */
}

After that you can simply use the alignment features of the editor, no more overriding from the parent theme! I also erased the margin – this is something you can do with the editor as well. If you want to you can delete the whole thing from the CSS which is basically the same as commenting it all out. This also renders my smiley post obsolete – in the end a smiley is just an image, too. If someone found a way to change this behaviour without touching the original theme please let me know.

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Review: Keith (2008)

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008 | Movies, Reviews | No Comments

This movie is basically a high school teeny love drama, but with a tragic spin. Natalie (nice performance by Elisabeth Harnois – I couldn’t believe that she was born in ’79 – she looks like 17 in this movie!), a successful and good looking student who seems to have it all gets assigned a new partner in her chemistry class: Keith. All the popular people think he is a dork, but there is something about him …

This is not a cheesy teen flick, on the contrary, it deals with human problems, emotions and does it without exaggerating. Nothing for a boy’s night, but good if you want a quiet evening, preferably with your partner. Make sure you bring some tissues… ah, and btw, I hope they’ll release the OST soon, it’s not classical music but still very smooth and easy going.

7.5/10

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New word: fraternity

Monday, September 15th, 2008 | Language, Vocabulary | No Comments

My wife helped me with this word while we where watching Revenge of the Nerds (1984). From the context it was clear that it is some kind of community. She even told me the related word, sorority. Crazy what a lot of reading and English language and literature studies do to your active vocabulary… kudos to her!

Mini DV tutorial Part 1: Getting the stuff off your camera

Friday, September 12th, 2008 | Tech-savvy | No Comments

This tutorial is intended as a guide for people who don’t want to install a lot of (proprietary) software to get a decent copy of their Mini DV (not HDV) flicks on their computer without too much of a hassle. It will show you how to make XviD encoded files to store on your computer. I dont’t like making DVDs because they tend to get lost/scratched and almost all playback devices know how to handle (way smaller!) XviD files nowadays. I might switch to x264 in the near future though.

This is not a video editing/mastering tutorial. First time procedure is a little bit of work, but once it’s set up it’s just a two step thing: 1. copy 2. (batch) encode

What you’ll need:

  • Your Mini DV camcorder
  • IEEE-1394 Firewire connection
  • a DV Avi Type 2 capturing tool (read on for a suggestion)
  • Virtual Dub
  • XviD
  • the command line 😉

The first problem is getting the recorded stuff off your camera. I recently bought myself a new camcorder (Panasonic NV-GS90, cheap one, with okay quality, fine for some random nonsense) that didn’t even come with any software. The manual said something about connecting the cam to a vcr(!!) pressing playback on the cam and record on the vcr! 🙄

I tried quite a few tools to capture/copy my flicks, finding nothing suitable. So I sticked to VirtualDub’s capturing feature, which is good but a lot of manual work. With my new camcorder at hand and 3 tapes of wedding footage I had to look again and found a piece of software that is just right for the job: Exsate DV Capture Live. It’s a free tool for just one purpose: copy cam computer.

Okay, let’s get started. Install Exsate DV Capture Live. Connect your camcorder using an IEEE-1394 Firewire connection. Turn camcorder on in playback mode (maybe using a power cable, copy process is in real time hence lengthy – you don’t want a flat battery pack half way through). Launch Exsate DV Capture Live. Follow the wizard (no more explanations, it’s way too easy). You should be ending up with a few DV Avi Type 2 files on your hard drive.

Well done, first step’s over. If you are wondering why the files are very very big, the aspect ratio isn’t quite what it’s supposed to be and movement looks horrible due to combing artifacts rest assured that everything you did so far was right. You have raw interlaced video files on your computer, the next part of the tutorial will explain how to convert the flicks you just captured (using a VirtualDub batch file) to something you can show your friends without getting embarrassed.

Happy capturing!

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Review: In Bruges (2008)

Friday, September 12th, 2008 | Movies, Reviews | 2 Comments

Two hitmen are sent to Bruges, Belgium, not knowing what’s awaiting them there.

Starting at a very slow pace the movie soon starts to grab your attention when things are getting out of control. The main four characters, played by Colin Farrell, “Madeye” Brendan Gleeson, Eric Godon and “Fleur” Clémence Poésy all do exceptionally well. The role of Ray played be Farrell is extremely well done, he is often referred to as “the boy” – and that’s what he is in this movie, a lonesome confused boy in a (hit)mans body. I always thought that Farrell was a stereotype actor, this movie proving me very wrong.

I want to warn you, the picture is not for the faint hearted, the violence (even if it’s quite rare) is very graphic. <spoiler> Ken’s death scene really made me jump (too), but the chat that follows was just crazy. I never saw a scene like that, Ray talking to a pile of Ken, with the pile responding… shocking, but well done! </spoiler> Don’t take me wrong, this has nothing to do with cheesy splatter or gore. It just looks so real (as far as I can tell) …

Wrap up: great acting, good story (suicidal hitman…), not my piece of cake but still very much appreciated.

8.0/10

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New word: binder

Thursday, September 11th, 2008 | Language, Vocabulary | No Comments

I came across this word watching 24.

Jack Bauer:

Gimmie that binder, NOW!

It’s a fairly easy word, I just never had to use it. And if someone asked me what an “Ordner” (im Sinne von Aktenordner) was – I would have had no idea.

deLight customization – suddenly it fits

Thursday, September 11th, 2008 | (X)HTML/CSS | No Comments

My next attempt optimizing the deLight theme is about positioning the content. Two things are taken into consideration:

  • centring the content (the original style looks awkward on high resolutions IMHO)
  • make use of the available space AKA this page should fit easily on my eeepc

Okay, the page is divided into 4 parts, namely header, menu, content and footer. All these elements use a margin left of 100px. To centre an element we use an auto margin horizontally. That’s basically it. There was just one error in the original style that made the page break out to the right. #footer p is to blame. It had the size of the content (940px) and the 100px margin resulting in a size of 1040px. With the auto margin all elements have the same space around them so no elements breaks the page.

Here is the CSS to centre the deLight theme:

#header, #menu, #content, #footer p {
      margin: 0px auto;
}
#content {
      padding: 0px;
}

I also got rid of the bottom padding of the content.

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New quirk: plural of smiley

Thursday, September 11th, 2008 | Language, Quirks | No Comments

Is it smilies or smileys? Guess first before reading this post at Leo.

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