Archive for October, 2005


Posted by Arlo on Oct 31, 2005 under Life of Arlo, Videos

Abstract-but close up!Back in September, I ran across a website that had a tutorial for making Post-it note mosaics. I didn’t even read it, just skimmed it long enough to realize that they used Photoshop for their pre-process trickery. I knew I could do what they had done; I wanted to do what they had done. But where? And more importantly, why? National Boss Day! I work in a lively office and I knew that something like this would go over well. I looked up National Boss Day (a Hallmark holiday if ever there was one) on the internet and discovered that it wasn’t until October 16th (ironically, a Sunday). I placed a little squiggly mark on my calendar; something to remind me. The week before the 16th rolled around, I called a coworker to see if they’d be interested in spending Sunday night arranging thousands of Post-its on a wall in our boss’s office. I asked him because he had a key. Although he thought the idea was great, he mentioned a small problem: On Saturday night, both he and the boss were getting on a plane bound for Orlando. They’d be spending the entire week at the EDUCAUSE conference. What to do, what to do. Why, take advantage of the boss’s absence and bring the whole department into it, of course! That week, I set myself to work. There was much to do. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by Arlo on Oct 1, 2005 under Thought Objects

This is the only kind of spoiler that doesnWarning: Depending on your tolerance level, this post could contain minor spoilers for The Island, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Flightplan, Terminator 2, Red Eye, The Sixth Sense, The Matrix, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and, uh, possibly World of Warcraft… and somebody’s car, I guess. Seemed only fair to warn you.

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about spoilers. For hours at a time. Really.

A few weeks months ago [I’m late in posting this entry], the Sci-Fi channel made the purchase of my HTPC completely worthwhile with just three blocks of programming. They aired the entire first season of Battlestar Galactica, the entire first season of Stargate Atlantis, and the entire eighth season of Stargate SG-1. Three days in a row, 7am to 2am, the little PVR in my media PC wrote episode after episode to its hard drive.

When all was said and done, I had literally hundreds of Gigabytes of new sci-fi programming. But there was a problem. I couldn’t leave it all on the HTPC because the software would automatically start removing programs to make way for newer shows. I thought about watching them on at my computer desk, but it didn’t have the most comfortable seating arrangement. The obvious answer was to burn them all off to DVDs – especially since they were already encoded as a decent-quality MPEGII stream.

If I was going to archive them to disc, I wanted to make sure that the quality remained high. Granted, there was nothing I could do to get rid of the Sci-Fi logo imprinted over each episode or, more annoyingly, all the little promo bugs they threw up (“You’re watching the SG-1 Marathon!”), but I could at least edit out the commercials. Next step: Find a program that would allow me to do that without a multi-hour recompression of each episode.
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