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Hey! Back Up A Little

by siegestate Sat Jun 19th, 2010 at 08:55:24 AM EST

A few weeks ago, the New Year turned the corner, and in a few hours 2010 will be half over (272 hours and counting). The sun already is ticking to that solstice point.

Now is the time to decide whether you are going to let another significant unit of time go by without backing up your computer.

I have the same trouble some people write about. Several loose hard disks are laying about, partially filled and certainly not big enough for the main computer backup.

Perhaps a project to get them cleaned and combined will get me one clean disk by month's end.Hmmm. That's 10 days. Perhaps Helen's Unicorn will change colors to match the pistachio ice-cream fountain as well.

Read more... (11 comments, 547 words in story)

The US with a Japanese System (and Honor)

by siegestate Thu Jun 3rd, 2010 at 08:37:28 AM EST

As tuasfait pointed out so well in the diary Japanese PM resigns, the once popular Prime Minister Hatoyama failed in an effort to fulfill a major campaign promise of moving the unpopular US Military base off of Okinawa island. (The discussion that follows is typical of the well informed eurotrib regulars and irregulars, full of valuable insights and data.)

Time to zip a tangent, since we have another (lesser, though) high-level politician resigning in Germany this week. There, the President was caught out for speaking truth about a war/commerce connection, unspeakable and untenable among the SeriousTM.

Perhaps a TrendTM?

Imagine, if you will, the US with this kind of system.

Read more... (11 comments, 422 words in story)

Digital Interuptus: Ebert FUDs 3D

by siegestate Tue May 4th, 2010 at 09:27:12 AM EST

In this week's NewsWeek Magazine, respected film critic Roger Ebert, challenges the shift from rayon to steel belted, from NCR to IBM, from Walkman to iPod film to digital by attacking 3D as less than food for dogs.

Consider this Why I Hate 3-D (And You Should Too) Deconstructed, a brief respite from the State of Digital Cinema Series that was heading in some of the directions mentioned in this piece.

I have kept the headings of the NewsWeek article, but for standard copyright reasons, have killed the detail paragraph or paragraphs. They should be read, or the corresponding arguments will not read well.

Thus, reading this diary presumes that you open two browser windows, and reading Ebert first.

Read more... (5 comments, 4988 words in story)

The State of Digital Cinema - April 2010 Part Two

by siegestate Mon Apr 26th, 2010 at 12:36:53 AM EST

Part I of this series ended with generalities about where DCinema has been and how it got here. Since the series is written for a general audience, these next sections will get only slightly more technical. In addition, a Part 0 was added that goes even more basic.

There are other sources for industry `inside baseball', technical, financial and political. It is best exposed at the sites of Sperling Reich, Celluloid Junkie, and Michael Karagosian, Digital Cinema Business FAQs, and at Nick Dager's Digital Cinema Report. DCinemaToday and DCinemaTools give data from other viewpoints. Mark Schubin's broadcast-centric site Schubin Cafe is so elemental that the data crosses over, and the writing is so good that it needs to be read.

The real inside data is from the standards body, SMPTE (Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, pronounced simp-tee). In 1916 they began corralling the many speed, sizes and varieties of film standards that existed then, and they continue to corral.

SMPTE refined the work that the studios sponsored and summed up in a series of compliance documents (See: "DCI Movies) done in the spirit of, "This is the minimum that we require if you want to play our movies." As the saying goes, "Standards are great! That's way there are so many of them." And as an executive stated, "We can compete at the box office, but if we cooperate on standards, it benefits everyone."

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The State of Digital Cinema - April 2010 - Part Zero

by siegestate Sun Apr 25th, 2010 at 11:51:03 PM EST

This document is Part 0 of an multipart article that details with the basics of today's transition from film-based cinema to server/file-based digital cinema. This Part 0 addresses some questions that came from readers of Part I, which explains its format and style.

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The State of Digital Cinema - April 2010 - Part One

by siegestate Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 06:37:01 AM EST

Like many fields, the world of cinema involves a broad reach of talent and technology that begins with an artistic idea and encompasses the many steps required to communicate that idea to an audience. And like many fields, digital methods have become available to facilitate one step after another, though not necessarily in sequence. In the case of cinema, the fundamental digital pieces for capturing by camera and exposing with projectors were the most difficult elements to develop.

There are several production and post-production steps in between which were able to modify and often go beyond what could be done behind the scenes with film. But for capture and exposition, replacing the qualities inherent in the hundred year old technology of film required technologies that took decades to evolve after their first development in the 70's.

Finally, in the year 2000, the first systems were ready for public preview, with an obvious roadmap of what was required to make it available for general release. Each year thereafter the prediction of `next year' was made, only to find glitches in several nuanced steps that hindered the final development which would allow high quality, secure, and comparably inexpensive distribution and display of motion pictures. This series of documents reviews the most recent of these developments, focusing primarily on the exposition segment.

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Venting for Weeks, Covering for Years

by siegestate Wed Aug 5th, 2009 at 06:11:24 AM EST

Lazy days in the San Fernando Valley. The towns of the east and center, Glendale, Burbank and Van Nuys, were populated with hundreds of thousands of people. But out here in the western end, we scanned the 1958 phone book data and were proud to have less than a hundred thousand in our patches of homes, built in grids among the ranches and fields of fruit trees and vegetables. We could run to the corner to get a large families worth of corn picked and shucked fresh to our order, have change left over from a dollar, and have it in a pot of boiling water 5 minutes later.

The burgeoning upward-trending, lower-middle-class, single-working-parent families of the fifties. Kids everywhere, baseball on the streets much of the year. Days so hot that we would literally fry eggs on the sidewalk for amusement, yet going barefoot was just the thing to do. Each summer afternoon my mother would turn on the back sprinklers and open the large sliding glass windows which opened the living room to our backyard. And those hot nights when school was starting back up, trying to fall asleep with the early September sky still bright and the house still radiating enough heat to make sheets too hot to use, getting to bed early so we could start back to school the next day.

Just up the other corner we could ride to open fields to pick on butterflies (for some unknown reason.) We would also race up there when we heard the sound of the train whistle as it entered the tunnel of the Santa Susanna Pass. When we were still tricycle riders we'd see the long train exiting, and as early teenagers we'd time when it came so we could run through the dark tunnel...innocent danger of the times. We'd climb those hills for days, trying to find the mysterious movie lot, or the rumored crazies who we were warned against, hills which would later produce the Manson Family.

But when the afternoon breeze picked up from the Santa Susanna Pass, it would bring a temporary coolness to the house...and as it turns out, it would bring other things.

Diary rescue by Migeru

Read more... (22 comments, 1088 words in story)

Horrid Forums of Technology

by siegestate Tue Mar 10th, 2009 at 09:50:03 AM EST

Previously, one of the reasons to chose the products of a large manufacturer was their documentation and support, even if a smaller company might have had a step up on them with innovation. Now, in this "Era of Good Enough", when competition and prices are so fierce and people figure they can fix it themselves or throw it away, few companies can afford the extra support personnel to do such things,

The current 'value add' to a product is "Support By Forum". This has some advantages, especially when the company is new. The hits on the board are within the capacity of the Tech Support Staff to handle, and it takes far less time to handle things online than with a phone call (the immediacy of the disruption, politeness time, let me check time, harried disruption of other's time). It also leaves a trail for others to follow, which in early days would have nicely-honed solutions to well described problems.

So far, so good. <cue audible effects; low freq notes from Jaws, stabbing scene from Psycho, mix into a Phillip Glass hip-hop melange>

Read more... (51 comments, 1271 words in story)

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