Category Archives: Finish Writing Me Plz

Finish Writing Me Plz Life=Boring

Things I Hate About Macs

So when I get frustrated at work, I work on this list of things that annoy me while working on Macs. Of course when the problem shows up, it’s things I hate about Macs. I’ll update this post once in a while as I add and revise the list.

Finder

  • Takes up too much space
  • can’t copy/paste files
  • mpeg 2 files have to load in memory before previewing, causing massive lag (not just mpeg2)
  • Inconsistent Keyboard Shortcuts. Cmd-D shows desktop, but only work in dialogs, Cmd-1,2,3 changes views, but not in Spotlight. Back/Forward not the same as Safari
  • No hierarchal structure
  • hides files
  • hard to see file size, free space
  • orphans status windows, have to kill Finder to close them
  • windows take excessive amount of space
  • if a file transfer fails, Finder freaks out (data corruption, orphaned files, orphaned windows, locked files)
  • [OSX 10.4] Shortcuts in Sidebar mounted across networks get de-linked occasionally

Quicktime

  • Can’t play AC3
  • Always processes video (pixel aspect ratios, display frame size, actual frame size, etc)
  • Tons of other stuff
  • Takes 50% more bitrate to achieve the same quality as equivalent PC solution
  • Can’t play back uncompressed AVIs unless they’re RGB

OS X

  • lack of keyboard navigation/ mouse dependent
  • mouse stupidity… 1 button?!
  • dialog boxes… why can’t i tab between all fields? (i know there’s an option but it’s not consistent… if it even works). Why does hitting space not do the same thing as hitting the ENTER key? it’s like they WANT you to use the mouse.

FCP

  • Doesn’t remember any settings, takes forever to do many operations because I have to go through every setting every time!
  • Everytime I export to Quicktime Movie, picking the right frame size is a chore every time. Current view only works at 100% magnification and full sized viewer.
  • Export to Quicktime Movie: picking AVI defaults to poor quality settings, while picking Quicktime defaults to nice settings
  • can’t rename tracks
  • depends too much on it’s render cache, which is wrong often times and you have to clear it and force it to rerender.
  • Asks you to save everytime you open a project no matter if you actually changed anything
  • Bug: broken AR for outputting 16:9 text to Compressor (it stretches it to 4:3 and then crops it to 16:9)
  • No backwards compatibility at all, even between minor revisions
  • Media Manager can’t handle files with the same name, but different paths.
  • Can’t play back AAC audio
  • Broken 44.1 ↔ 48 sample rate conversion
  • broken frame geometry
  • Auto-sequence-settings doesn’t change audio settings to match the source

Compressor

  • buggy, unreliable
  • doesn’t take advantage of multiple cores. I’m rendering here and none of my 4 cores is above 25% utilization!
  • new UI is horrible, everything takes up so much space
  • can’t apply a setting or destination to multiple files
  • rename auto selects the file extension too. not consistent with OSX 10.5 Leopard

DVD Studio Pro

  • Converts everything to mpeg-2, even if it re-renders (unnecessary renders)
  • quits so easily. not robust. causes most of the problems itself
  • buggy
  • refuses to use assets even if they’re within spec and play elsewhere
  • can’t interchange m2v and mpv file extensions
  • Won’t remember Asset sort preference
  • Scrolling through Assets is laggy
  • Refreshed Assets = Broken Asset = start over from scratch
  • marker placement is stupid (won’t snap to GOPs post-creation)
  • audio gets off sync unless babied
  • audio and video can’t be grouped together
  • can’t zoom/pan around the track w/o workarounds
  • can’t encode assets over the network
  • one a process fails, it will always fail until you restart the program

Hardware

  • c’mon… two button mouse please, three would be better. Personally, I prefer 7
  • optical drives (i know apple doesn’t make them) are unreliable. give more read errors than what other OEMs
  • headphone jack high pitch noise problem
Film Finish Writing Me Plz

Working with 10bit 4:2:2 Quicktimes

So I finally got around to doing some compression tests. My source was a 1280×720 23.98fps 10bit 4:2:2 “uncompressed” quicktime. That is a typical file that comes across my desk. I wanted to see what compression I should set my Final Cut Pro timeline to. At first, I opened the quicktime in Quicktime Player and exported to a variety of codecs. But when I opened all of the files, I noticed that they were all darker than they should have been. That indicated to me that Quicktime Player had done some sort of colorspace conversion. So I redid the same test from inside Final Cut Pro. Sequence Settings were set to the same as the source video.

For the test, I used these codecs:

  • None
  • Animation (100%)
  • PNG
  • Apple Intermediate Codec
  • MJPEG-a
  • MJPEG-b
  • HDV
  • DVCPRO HD
  • Prores
  • Prores (hq)
  • 4:2:2 8-bit
  • 4:2:2 10-bit

Results

bar graph

So I noticed that None, Animation, PNG, Apple Intermediate Codec, and MJPEG went through a colorspace conversion. So I won’t be using them again.

HDV and DVCPRO HD were slightly fuzzier than the original, but also smaller than the remaining formats. DVCPRO HD also underwent a slight tonal change in image quality. DVCPRO HD also has poor cross-platform support, and both of these formats have restrictions on their frame size.

Prores lived up to its name, and was as fast to compress as the 4:2:2 “uncompressed” formats, while also yielding files over 75% smaller, with little perceptual quality loss. They also had the benefit of not causing FCP to re-render the timeline.

<needs more pics>

Conclusion

I’ll have to re-run this test with a simple filter applied to the image. I’ll probably add 8 pixels of black to the bottom or something. I think that 4:2:2 10-bit won the fps race because Final Cut Pro just copied the data instead of having to recompress as it did with all the other formats. I also haven’t figured out why Prores HQ was faster than Prores.

Finish Writing Me Plz Nerd pics plz

Pen Density Function

Hmmm, I think that for every environment and every situation, there exists a minimum density of pens such that the average time it takes for a someone looking for a pen is less than the amount of time before frustration sets in.

  1. d = minimum density of pens
  2. p = density of people
  3. v = average velocity of user
  4. t = mean time between pen usage
  5. f = time it takes for user to get frustrated
  6. k = konstant

d = p • k • v² / f / t

For me, I think that d is around 0.25 pens/m² in my standard environment.

Now to calculate how the probability density function relates to the pen density function and write it up in a portable document format.

Finish Writing Me Plz Nerd warranty breaker

Modding the Promise NS4300N

I’ve been really happy with the Promise NS4300 network attached storage (NAS). It’s biggest weakness is its noise. I got sick of it so I pulled it apart to see what I could do about it. The PSU fan was a 40x40x20 fan (model AD0412UB-C50). Here’s a spec sheet. The noise level is rated at 36.1 dBA. Finding info on the 80x80x15 case fan (model fd128015eb) was a little tougher. It’s noise level is rated at 37.5dBa.

So far, all I’ve done is put some neoprene washers to isolate the vibrations of the PSU fan and replaced the 80x80x15 with a 92x92x25 fan. I mounted the new fan on the outside of the unit. It makes it uglier, but so far it’s been much quieter. I’ll make guides on how to crack open the housing and what I did later. (Hint: you’ll need a T10 security bit)

The only thing wrong now is that the rpm sensor for the case fan isn’t working, so the unit kept beeping incessantly. I gotta find out if I messed up my fan’s rpm sensor or what. Luckily the web admin interface lets you disable the beeping.

I haven’t expanded the grill for the 92mm fan from the 80mm fan yet. After I do that, I can disable the PSU fan and duct it into the case fan. With the new fan on its lowest speed, the case is 39 deg C. With the fan on its highest speed (it’s still quieter than the old fan) it goes down to 35 deg C.