Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Home Grown TV

More and more people are overcoming the controls placed on them by big media companies. They are producing unique focused content that likely won't make them famous but certainly can cause a following. They are opening more doors than just sitting at home playing an odds game. This is reality TV. Made by real people not mass media companies. Your looking at the next generation of media pioneers. If you enjoy their work donate anything to help them grow. Their success will pave the road for many more future success stories.

http://theguild.blip.tv/posts?view=archive&nsfw=dc - better quality than Youtube

The Guild on The Web

Facebook Fan Page

Core Facts about The Guild

  • Over 6 million hits web-wide
  • Completely funded by Fan Paypal donations since episode 3
  • Almost 1/2 of our donors are women
  • The 10th episode will be the Season 1 Finale

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Anything can be your worst nightmare.


Really cool technology, science, biology based fiction.
These are free audio novels that can be purchased in book form.


Thursday, April 24, 2008

Your Teacher Wants What?

Your kid is assigned to make a movie for a class project. A DVD movie?
Not just a video clip you can email but a DVD you can play in front of the whole class.

You may be tasked with teaching training class at work but don't like speaking in front of lots of people.

We all likely have old copies of home movies that we might want to convert to DVD. There are many products that get the movie to the PC but gtting it on that DVD seems to be the source of quite a bit of technical blackmail. Sure Nero came with your DVD burner but what do you need that burner the most for? You guessed it, video. Of course my son comes to me with a project where he has movie files captured in MP4 format. He wants to author a movie with sound tracks and special effects.

Step 1: Get that movie into a MPEG2 or WMV format.
AVI works in many cases but the extension says AVI but it comes in many flavors most of which will leave you wondering what the hell happened. Use a program called Any Video Converter. You can use the free version from the download page. I'm not sure how they can even sell a version since the code behind the converter is the open source MPLAYER.


Step 2: Author that video.
I have a progam called ULEAD Video Studio. All it is is Windows Media Encoder with a interface almost identical to Windows Movie Maker. So naturally I use windows movie maker. My post to getting HD quality out of MovieMaker is below. It comes with plenty of cheesy effects as well.

Turn Windows Movie Maker into the best HD video production software for free.

Create your movie.

Step 3. This is where technical blackmail comes in.
You get just about to the end of this project and the Nero software says they can't support your audio format without paying $30. Many of these free DVD players do the same with limited audio functionality.

This is when I found: DVD Flick

It can take a number of video files stored on your computer and turn them into a DVD that will play back on your DVD player, Media Center or Home Cinema Set. You can add additional custom audio tracks as well as subtitles of your choice.


  • Burn near any video file to DVD
  • Support for over 45 file formats
  • Support for over 60 video codecs
  • Support for over 40 audio codecs
  • Add your own subtitles
  • Easy to use interface
  • Burn your project to disc after encoding
  • Completely free without any adware, spyware or limitations
Basically this gets the movie from the PC onto that DVD. They are working on menus in the Beta which I don't recommend at this time. This tool takes that video and imports it, encodes it, and burns it. Its a bit slow but beggers can't be choosers. In this case Biggars.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Push it to the limits, Stress me out.

Whenever I buy new components such as memory or build a new rig I stress test it. This lets me know early on if I have parts that are marginal or might be prone to failure under stressful hard core gaming or video decoding.

For overclockers, Prime95 has a feature called "Torture Test" that allows maximum stress testing on the CPU and RAM. There are several options allowing the stress test to focus on the memory, processor, or a balance of both.

Usually Prime95 will detect an error within a matter of minutes if an overclock is not stable, however many people like to let the system "burn-in" overnight to ensure long-term stability.

Author: Mersenne Prime Search
Version: 24.14
OS: Windows 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP
File Size: 1.1 MB
MD5: 469d8bd50780d948929a03e2dcee42ab

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Is your computer part of an organized crime ring?

Trend Micro™ RUBotted (Beta)

Malicious software called Bots can secretly take control of computers and make them participate in networks called “Botnets.” These networks can harness massive computing power and Internet bandwidth to relay spam, attack web servers, infect more computers, and perform other illicit activities.

Security experts believe that millions of computers have already joined Botnets without the knowledge of their owners. By using remotely-controlled computers, the criminals in charge of the Botnets try to remain anonymous and elude authorities seeking to prosecute them.
RUBotted monitors your computer for suspicious activities and regularly checks with an online service to identify behavior associated with Bots. Upon discovering a potential infection, RUBotted prompts you to scan and clean your computer.

Friday, April 11, 2008

How perfect is that picture?


This is something you can do with Microsoft paint or another image editor but why make things more complicated than they need to be. I test my monitors for dead pixels. What if you buy a monitor from craigslist. Bring a laptop and run this app and you can be sure what you are buying is good. If there is a dead pixel or two you have just bought yourself some room to negotiate.

This is a dead pixel test program. It allows you to easily test your LCD screen for dead pixels.

Before trying to grasp the meaning of a dead pixel, first you need to understand the technology behind LCD displays. An LCD display is essentially made up of pixels. Each pixel is made up of red, blue and green valves. The valves in each colour either block or pass the light source. By manipulating the amount of light passed through, each pixel displays a distinctive colour on screen. Pixels consisting of these valves are what make up the image that is ultimately displayed on the screen.

A typical monitor has millions of pixels. A dead pixel refers to a pixel with a defect in its ability to display the correct colour output. It may look like a tiny black spot on your screen, or any other colour that does not correspond to what the actual image should look like. A typical 17 inch monitor contains up to 4 million pixels. Even a tiny dust particle on one of the pixels during the manufacturing process can create a dead pixel. Or a slight bump during shipping can break one of the highly sensitive pixels. If you've scoured every inch of your screen but can't find a single dead pixel, you are in luck.

Because of the complexity of the design, it is generally regarded dead pixels appearing in some products are inevitable. If you need to absolutely make sure whether you have purchased a defective display, you can use this program. It simply paints your entire screen with one of the colours that make up a pixel to make the dead pixel more conspicuous to the naked eye. Run through the red, green and blue colours in turn and check for pixels that do not match.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Red Alert, Let your browser warn you of danger


Trendmicro is a great company providing us with yet another free tool. If you Google a site they can warn you of malware before you click. You can't always run everything through Google. This is a extension that attaches to your browser and warns you of danger as you surf.

TrendProtect adds a new button to your browser's toolbar area. The icon and color of the button changes to indicate whether the current page you are viewing is safe, dangerous, trusted, or suspicious, or whether it contains unwanted content.

TrendProtect also uses the same icon and color combination to rate the Web pages listed in your Google, MSN, and Yahoo search results. In the search results, moving your mouse over an advisory icon displays a page advisory, which has additional information about the rated Web page.

Click the TrendProtect button and select Options to customize the view, trusted pages, content categories, and connection settings. Select Check Your Computer's Security from the menu or click Scan computer for viruses in the page advisory to access free scanning and cleanup services from HouseCall.

From the sound of it, it must be an EBook

For info on ebooks and readers check out http://www.mobileread.com/
FREE BOOKS form mobilereader
Other resources for free ebooks in many formats:

Nice post with many options: