Sunday, June 06, 2004

Home Movies on SVCD or DVD?

Welcome back to my humble site! I have to say congratulations to myself because when someone types in “Ian’s Blog” in the Yahoo.com search bar http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=ian%27s+blog&ei=UTF-8&fr=fp-pull-web-t&n=20&fl=0&x=wrt, I am the 15th listing. Having such a great place on the Internet excites me. Renegade Viking has the #1 spot on both Yahoo and Google search engines, type in "Renegade Viking's Webpage" in the text box. This wasn’t the first time I got noticed by the big search engines, when I was formally known as Hoppymister, Spidey, and Nightwalker, they all had Google / Yahoo listings too. Red Dragon Productions was a nice site until I deleted it. I had Dreamcast, N64, Gamecube, and Saturn reviews on it. I tried reviving it, but it’ll never seem to gather as many hits as it did in 2000 – 2001. I had 20 hits a day then, the graphics weren’t too horribly out of date as one would except from neglect over time. RDP had custom graphics with a dragon, a nice link menu and background. I wasn’t smart and deleted it else I would give a hyperlink to everyone. The whole site originally was on a couple of floppy disks although somehow they don’t exist anymore. If I remember right, the disks got corrupted from constant use.

I did two recreations of Red Dragon Productions after the old Geocities site got deleted. They aren’t updated however.

• http://www.geocities.com/nightwalkers101/rdp_mainpage.html
• http://www.geocities.com/nightwalkers101/gamearchive_v4.html

I know, I am really not supposed to talk to strangers at the videogame store, but I talked to the clerk there yesterday. He always cuts me 10 dollars off of my buy since I am one of the stores best customers. Are you surprised? No really - are you? I spent 80 dollars, and received six games in return. I spent 2 hours there just trying to confirm my decision. After all it is my money. I knew I was going to get Panzer Dragoon Orta for Xbox. I have Panzer Dragoon I and II for Sega Saturn. Never played either of them, both discs are in excellent condition thanks to resurfacing at the game store. As for my Saturn…it’s in very good condition. I bought 3 PSX games, and got Ridge Racer as a bonus. I know it’s an old game…it is a free game, that’s the beauty of it. Ridge Racer was one of the launch titles for the Playstation. When the development team tried making Ridge Racer Type 4 run at 60 frames per second instead of 30 FPS, proved too expensive, they used that technology for Ridge Racer so it wasn’t wasted. Ridge Racer became the only racing game that could run at 60 FPS on PSX. If you look closely the interface in Ridge Racer looks a lot like racing games in the 16-bit generation. Namco tried saying that Ridge Racer ran in “high resolution.” Ha! High resolution to what? Super Mario Kart or F-Zero? Anyhow, I was playing R4: Ridge Racer Type 4, and I got passed the first and second circuits on the first try. That says a lot about my driving skills, huh? I like the music in this game. It has a certain jazzy beat to it, which I like to drive too. Who says good music doesn’t help you win races? It is true! It’s much better than that “Garbage – I think I’m Paranoid” tune we hear over and over in Gran Turismo 2. PSX.IGN.com gave GT 2 a 9.3 out of 10. Gran Turismo 3 - A Spec had over 50 songs. Last game I got was Conker’s Bad Fur Day. The truth of it was I couldn’t buy Orge Battle 64 at the game store so I bought Conker’s Bad Fur Day instead. Microsoft bought Rareware, the famous Nintendo developer, for 133 million dollars. *Snuffle* Ah, who cares, I own an Xbox, I’ll get “Conker Live and Uncut.” A note on IGN.com says that the Conker demo at E3 was drop dead gorgeous! I looked at the screenshots, and it did look like Conker was much fuzzier than the N64 game. Maybe with some luck, Microsoft will publish Perfect Dark 2 for both Xbox and Windows? Some rumors on the Internet that Microsoft plans to buy Capcom next. With out certainly. The software giant certainly has the money, although Capcom also has to agree to it too. It’s not how much money Capcom is worth, it’s how much profit Microsoft can make after Capcom sells stock to them. Microsoft can easily make up the deficit by selling more Windows XP Upgrade CDs. Plus, if this were the case, I think someone at Microsoft wants Onimusha 2, Onimusha 3: Demon Siege, and Resident Evil on Xbox very badly. [Note: Capcom put RE2 and RE3 on PC]

As for non-game related news today, I went to school earlier this week to download Ulead Video Studio 8, I’m sure there are better, but none that will let me download a trial version. I want to film the Internet and edit it and show my Internet short film on TV from a SVCD or if that’s not possible, a DVD. I would use DIVX to compress the video except the DVD player we own won’t support DIVx only MPEG 2, so I’m out of luck. This isn’t the first time I made a home movie. I edited a VHS tape with Apple iMovie on the new ambulance building in River Falls, WI. I volunteered to make a short-film quality video last year in 12th grade. I edited out where the camera shook, deleting the blurry camera shots, and some unneeded talking until it was downsized as much as I thought it should have been. I wanted to do voiceovers, but that would take more time, and I couldn’t find a microphone to speak into. I could have brought one from home, but I didn’t to have done that. I put the edited stuff back on VHS tape via 'digital to analog video in' adapter (hub). And guess what? They wanted me to edit it more and make it even shorter. I said, “No!” Most of the time I was willing to help others computer problems all except for the typing, I was against typing for others. There was someone else at school, whose computer skills wasn’t really known (known to his buddies in secret), and this guy gave me the creeps in 12th grade. He knew everything I knew and he wasn’t going to college for it. He gave me a creepy yet strange erg to speak to him about Linux. I found out he knew a bit about Red Hat. I ignored my feelings about his creepiness and tried to be friendly with him for once and share a few pointers, but he barely spoke a word to me at school. Could it be that he was hinting that he hacked into stuff regularly? I stopped seeing him after high school ended.

At the end there was a celebration party, and Dr. Mottaz (our school coordinator) was there. As part of my job as an intern at the University of Wisconsin, River Falls - I had to make a film, I chose my Caribbean cruise, and ported it to DVD via Apple iDVD to verify that the DVD-RW worked in their burning room. The first working copy of my edited movie I kept for myself. I could tell that the compression wasn’t very good since looked on the flip side and 7/10s of the DVD disc was a dark shade, the movie was only 50 minutes long! I want to know how someone can compress Lord of the Rings Return of the King, a three hour movie with MPEGII on DVD? What technique does the movie industry use? Theoretically the movie would run out of space, but it didn’t. I also heard of this 9.4GB DVD format? The industry calls these DVD-9s and I just found out about it today. I haven’t seen 9.4 GB DVDR packs at Wal-mart, that’s probably why. I mean Wal-mart doesn't sell them at all. Anyways to get back on topic here, I also managed to make 15 minute short film of myself complete with dialog, background music, and a DVD title screen. I really didn’t have a clue what I was talking about…just said anything for a long time, and I added that to the same DVD which I gave to the school. I can try to make a DIVX compression version of MPEG 2, but MPEG4 codec can’t encode MPEG2 versions, for the same reason MP4 ACC audio can’t be used to help encode MP3. The new DVD players on the market support Divx. If the text is somewhat readable on TV, that’s all I care about. In my first Internet based home video, I plan to have voice-overs, and maybe even music playing in the background…. I have audio software saved on CD for that sort of thing. It would be nice if I only spend 5 hours to create a decent quality video on the Internet, to show people, edit it, add music and copy it to SVCD or DVD.

I spent some time using Ulead Video Studio 8.0 and its pretty good, very easy-to-use interface and simplified options. I can like go to the Window that compresses. Ulead also gave recommendations that I need. Ulead Video Studio 8 doesn’t have a MPEG II encoder either. I was currently searching sites off Google for some hints on where the plugin folder is. I haven’t tried adding Xing MPEG encoder with it yet - don't know which directory to put the files in? If anyone knows...be sure to let me know, okay? Real Interactive makes one of the best MPEG encoders available, or whatever compression polls on Afterdawn.com say it to be. I have heard very good news about Real's MP3 ACC audio encoder, Xing. There is also Xvid, but I don’t know how good this encoder is. I only know I can fit 30 minutes of high quality video about 440x440 resolution on SVCD (Super Video Compact Disc) with the default settings. I may have to compress what I have in High quality MPEG1, and than find a MPEG 2 encoder to burn to SVCD or DVD. I don't know whether or not SVCD supports MPEGII?

The first video I made was on a VCD and the video image is really, really small. The big deal about this is MPEG is nowhere near as compressed as MPEG2. I have movies like Family Guy, Space Ghost Coast to Coast, Tombstone, and Tomb Raider on CDR thanks to DivX compression. The resolution is twice as large. People who like to rip DVDs do this sort of thing, I don’t. My first disc worked playing the 35 minute short film on TV, put the sound cut out in the last 15 minutes. The video was really small, I couldn’t see anything, not even the graphics - it was just a blurry image through-out the whole movie. I am going to have to burn on DVDR now, but before that I’ll have to make a new video sometime. I hate to use DVDs up. DVDs aren’t overly expensive, although I only would get a 10 pack of DVDRs for the same price of 50 pack of CDRs. Hmm - since 6 CDs = 1 DVD, I would get more MBs for the buck if I bought DVDs. I would even get more MB for the buck if I invested my dollars into a DVD-9 pack, if I found a vender that carries them. For someone who’s not ripping DVDs like me, DVDs are just an oversized option. When the time comes that I need something more than 700 MB, DVDs would be a real option. Right now I backup everything I download onto CD every month. Last month I made 6 hard drive cd backups which are uncommon for a modem user to do.

I’ve been drinking a lot of Mountain Dew lately. I take in about two 24 ounce bottles daily. Mt. Dew tastes really good, and is very hard to put down believe me. Does Mt. Dew slow your thinking process or speed it up? It must have speeded my IQ just a tad since my hand / eye coordination was better than without Mountain Dew. Good for games! I beat R4 Ridge Racer Type 4 in less than 2 hours on normal setting. This includes learning how to drive, which was easy for the most part if it wasn’t for the game’s only limitation, only 6 tracks to race on. And during it all, I was speaking to the game throughout the race.

I am going to school for Industrial Network technician, but I also know basic knowledge for other things such as game emulation, website building, desktop management, finding files quickly off the Internet, using Redhat Linux OS, exedra… It’s creepy to know someone who can figure out virtually any computer problem that accurse with networking, and just about everything else. Someone who knows a lot about how to make 10 different types of cable including cross over cable. I only know how to make 2 types right now (phone line cable and RJ-45.) The scary thought of talking to a fellow computer user who has little interest with the subject you’re suggesting, which seems to only amuse him anyways since he is much more knowledgeable about it than I am. There is always someone out there that knows more than I do. Most times I never really worry about it since I’m in my room surfing the Internet, and everyone’s really friendly in giving advice on a certain problem. Where message boards are plentiful and where comments on help sites are just as plentiful. On this blog, I am already giving advice on stuff all the time. I often wish the real world would work this way and it doesn’t. Making choices are much easier online than in the real world. The real world doesn’t have rating systems. I often wonder if people go online to get away from it all interacting with blogs and instant messengers. Interesting enough, my CISCO class is entirely online. CISCO reading material is updated weekly. Such as when I took CISCO I nearly a year ago, I found myself reading information I never really came across before in my life. Which is normal for most people, but I continued to read the words and memorize it on the online class, doing my best at it. In 9th grade, I was the first student ever to do a math online course in the entire school (back in 1999). I did fairly well on it. It’s like the math course in a sense, but with out the text messaging. It goes to show that text messaging along with online help is really an advantage to just reading material. If only Norton Netware would allow MSN messenger to log in at school, that would be very, very cool! I found out that AOL and Yahoo instant messengers still log on with Norton Netware running. Text messaging could be used as a cheating device at WITC. In fact college students are getting away with this type of cheating.

Joyce told students that Cisco is now at version 3.2 and that the version is entirely different from 2.4, making earlier classes invalid. This makes all the power point presentations I got from Phil last year, worthless. V3.2 involves a lot of rewriting of a lot of the information. Cisco does this to make students like me angry because it’s a lot of re-reading in a slightly different way. I have to take CISCO 1 and 2 anyways as part of my curriculum this fall. I may find that I’ll have to login to cisco.netacad.net, and download the newest version, and try to decipher it before school starts on August 12th. That is if someone didn't find a rogue student and delete my old account!!!

I like to close this up saying that summer vacation so far has been fun. I’ve been entertained thus far, might as well be entertained a little longer. I’ll let everyone know now the Internet VCD turns out next time I write something. Bye!

Freeware Software Pick of the Week:

Burn4Free - www.burn4free.com - Create Audio CDs from MP3 files or real cd. or is great for backuping software to cds for free!

5 comments :

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