* Posts by Greenalien

12 publicly visible posts • joined 12 Aug 2009

So. Farewell then Betamax. We always liked you better than VHS anyway


Despite the technical advantage, Betamax was later to market than VHS, and by the time it arrived, the video rental industry had been born, and all the movies available for rent were on VHS tapes. Although the rental houses started adding Betamax copies to their shelves, by then it was already too late. The only thing that kept Betamax alive in the UK domestic market was the Sanyo Betamax VTC-5000 VCR, which was cheaper than any VHS machines, and a bargain for those of us who valued the time-shifting of broadcast TV as being more important than watching rented movies.

One area where Betamax reigned supreme was in Audio Mastering in recording studios - Sony made a stereo PCM encoder that connected to a Betamax deck, which was widely used for around 20 years to make the digital masters for transferring to CDs.

Although Betamax was generally a failure in the domestic market, Sony miniaturised the technology, called it Video-8, and conquered the camcorder market with it a few years later.

Microsoft releases free Office apps for half of all Android phones


None of these work on Hudl-2 - they load OK, but freeze after displaying the intero screen.

MIDI: 30 years old... almost


Re: MIDI controlling DMX

It would be intertesting to know exactly which combination of hardware and software is being used for this; if some of the control system is running on a PC, then EVERYTHING else on the PC must be disabled, or it'll keep running off at random to do virus scans, check for software updates, etc...not conducive to a stable lighting control system!


Re: Game port

I doubt if MIDI was actually being used to drive the lighting - the MIDI was probably being used to drive a DMX controller, which then ran the lighting. MIDI is fast enough to switch lighting patches, but nothing like adequate for the fine detail of lighting control such as setting dimmer levels, or positioning a moving mirror - that needs the 250kbaud DMX signal - and forget 16 channels, DMX has 512...

DMX is another serial data control protocol that unified manufacturers and revolutionised an industry - in fact, DMX is sometimes referred to as 'the MIDI of the lighting industry' - but it is around 4 years younger!

Brits are bored with mobile broadband


Wrong pricing model

3G needs to be priced on the amount of data used - period. Pre-pay data shouldn't expire if it's not used, that's just robbery. And I agree with the first poster about 3 mobile, a company I shall never, ever use again.

Intel ships super-svelte SSD

Thumb Up

Got one

Fitted it to replace a failed WD Velociraptor in a CAD workstation - faster, silent and Windows 7 loads in seconds. (also fitted a 500GB HDD for everything apart from the OS).

Bloggers spring 'baccy happy landlord from slammer


New word for a new minotity

Jonathan Meades coined a great new word to describe smokers who were forced to go outside for a nicotine fix - 'Snoutcasts'

Stop - because if you still smoke, you're damaging yourself. Is that what you really want?

Home Office picks new prof for Nutt job


Freedom to make an informed choice...

"The other thing to look at is why people take drugs. It's because their life is very unexciting/they have psychiatric problems/personal, family, financial problems/etc."

WRONG - most people take drugs, legal or illegal, because TAKING DRUGS IS FUN!!!

Now, I appreciate that not everyone has the same idea of what constitutes fun - some people would rather read a good book, or kick a football about, or go horse-riding (make sure you don't fall off!!) - and all activities carry some sort of risk - but there's still this undercurrent of puritanism in Western society that decrees that only medically-trained people should be able to decide if you can alter your consciousness, and that recreational use of pharmaceutical substances is somehow evil. Drugtaking is the last major taboo, and it's 'high' (ahem) time it was overturned.

Billionaire floats eco dream on sailing soda bottles


Won't go to windward...

...nuff said.

Linden Lab unveils Sadville: Enterprise Edition


Why not move all warfare to virtual reality

Perhaps if all warfare was conducted in cyberspace there would be less corpses being flown home in bodybags - from Afghanistan, for example. Might save some cash as well...

GE tries to refocus image of holographic storage


Tape and Optical both have no future

'Tape owns the game for now' - does it? Our company ditched tape a couple of years ago and replaced the backup system with a pair of removable hard discs for daily backup, and another for archiving monthly data - we just buy a new one every few months when the previous archive is full - and at around £65 for 1TB, and rapid access if any data needs to be recovered, it works well and is cost-effective. Give it a couple of years and solid-state drives will take over, no question. Any storage 'solution' with moving parts is on the verge of obsolescence.

Pirate Bay sinks under electric storm


Free, legitimate downloads

I have a piece of equipment that automatically downloads copyrighted movies and TV shows completely legally.

It's called...a television set.

In order to use it, I have to pay an annual licence fee.

Why on earth can't this model be applied to internet downloading - if everyone had to pay - say - £100 a year for an internet licence and could then download anything, the fee being split according to the level of downloads, possibly with some weighting that reflected the production cost of the item, then we'd all have more choice and everyone who deserved it would get paid at least something.