Archive for the ‘technology’ Category

AVCHD and the Apple Final Cut Fiasco

January 13th, 2008

While the AVCHD format is still pretty new, I was disappointed to learn that the version of Final Cut Express HD (3.5) that I purchased in August would not support this new codec. Then I learn that the new version of Final Cut Express 4 supports AVCHD, but actually has less features than v3.5 So this would lead one to believe that it costs $99 to “upgrade but downgrade?!” With this realization (and after researching about and drooling over Final Cut Pro Studio 2), I was all set to purchase the full-feature bundle when I found out that my initial full price investment in Final Cut Express HD would not be applied towards my $1,300 Final Cut Pro Studio 2 purchase. Needless to say, I purchased the $99 upgrade but downgrade so that I could use my new camera. That, unfortunately, would not be the end of the story….

Upon using Final Cut Express 4 for the first time to import video from my new Canon HG10, the software would crash at about the 20% mark. After a few hours of troubleshooting, I uncovered the fact that there’s a legacy Quicktime component called Perian that was causing the crash. Once that component was deleted, everything worked fine.

pete lacis, technology, trouble shooting , , , , , ,

Google, The New York Times, the 2000 Election and the 26 year old version of myself

October 13th, 2007

The New York TimesLike many folks out there I use Google Alerts to track the happenings of things I’m interested in. Included in my search query are mentions of myself…..primarily for the purpose of seeing which sites I post on are tracked (and how quickly things get indexed) and also because its interesting to see who’s talking about me. Imagine my surprise when I find this Google Alert from seven years ago regarding the 2000 election. If I recall correctly, I was having lunch with a colleague in Chicago when we were approached by a reporter claiming to be from The New York Times. Apparently he was telling the truth. At least I got the last word in the article.

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Gibson’s new self-tuning guitar

October 2nd, 2007

Gibson’s new self-tuning guitar

Well, this isn’t the first self-tuning system to be available to the public, but its the first made available from a major guitar manufacturer. Since Gibson and Fender are essentially the GM and Ford of the guitar industry, I’m quite skeptical as to the level of quality made available through these mass producers. Then again, after many years of searching for a quality Les Paul I did purchase a 1960 VOS Les Paul Standard within the past year and absolutely love the instrument. I’ll reserve my opinion to when I actually have one in my hands.

Source: Engadget

music, musical instruments, musician, pete lacis, technology , ,

Custom Audio Amplifiers (Suhr) OD100 Classic Plus – third time is the charm!

September 13th, 2007

Suhr Badger, Custom Audio Amplifiers OD100 Classic Plus and Diezel Herbert MKII

After about a month in the shop, I received my newly modded Custom Audio Amplifiers OD100 Classic Plus (+). This is actually the third time this amp has been modded (was originally an OD100 Standard, then SE, now Classic Plus).

My first impressions on this amp are as follows: the character of the gain is still 100% Suhr. It lives in the same family as the SE version of the OD100, however through the conversion to the plexi transformer and the EL34’s some things have really changed.

Normally I would associate sustain with compression. The SE was pretty compressed, but only in boost mode, IMO. The CAA Classic Plus is a much easier to play amp. Notes just seem to sustain without sounding compressed. Everything just oozes out of this amp while still retaining the sound of the guitar/pickup. That’s how John’s described the amp and that’s why I went with this version. So far, I’m totally digging the change.

Special note should be mentioned about the DEPTH and FEEBACK controls. The tonal shaping that can happen as a result of these additions is really something else. If you want to have that “rounded” Dumble style tone, you can roll off the Feedback entirely.

One other thing that should be mentioned is that this is the first of the OD100 series where I feel the amp works equally well for single coils and humbuckers. That, to me, is one of the best parts of this amp. I just works!

Here’s a little sample of what the amp sounds like:

Custom Audio Amplification OD100 Classic Plus through CAA 1×12 Eminence Governor mic’d with a SM57 just off center. Guitar is a stock Gibson Les Paul VOS 1960.

amplifiers, audio clips, musical instruments, pete lacis, technology , , , , , , , ,

iPhone: the cost of being an early adopter

September 6th, 2007


In typical Steve Jobs fashion, yesterday Apple unveiled the newly refreshed iPod line including the iPod Touch (or neutered iPhone). While most of these products were well received (not so for the iPod Nano “Fatty” – what were they thinking?), the annoucment that thrilled, yet shocked many was the $200 price drop of the 8GB iPhone.

I was an early adopter of the iPhone (July 19). My wife followed suit a few weeks later (her six month old Treo WX just wasn’t looking so sexy next to my iPhone). Typically, the price you pay as an early adopter is that something newer comes out in six to twelve months that makes ones “lastest thing” yesterday’s news (i.e. all but obsolete). The other price of being an early adopter is literally that, the price. But how could we expect that the price of the darn device would drop by a third just weeks later?!! That’s just wrong.

Well, looks like Steve and company have heard some of our cries and responded via this post on Apple’s website. Personally, I would have preferred a $200 credit on iTunes.

I’m not happy.

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