Flip Video Ultra Series Camcorder, 60-Minutes (Black)

The FVULT60MINB 60-Minute Flip Video Ultra Camcorder lets you capture the everyday moments that happen anywhere and share them with friends and family everywhere. It’s simple, portable, and amazingly affordable. Simple editing tools let you make custom-edited movie mixes with music Create and organize your personal video library 1.5 diagonal color anti-glare playback screen for instant viewing and deleting, 528 x 132 pixels screen resolution Video Resolution – 640 x 480 at 30 frames per second Video Bitrate – 4.5Mbps (average – auto adaptive algorithm) Video Format – Advanced Profile MPEG4 Lens Type – Fixed Focus (0.8m to infinity) Aperture – f/2.4 (fast lens for great results in low-light environments) Fast lens for great results in low and bright light, smooth multi-step 2x digital zoom Interface – 8 Buttons (Power, Play, Delete, Record and 4 way navigation) PC Connection – Built-in flip-out USB arm (up to USB 2.0 speed) NTSC TV Out with included cable Battery Life – Up to 2.5 hours with 2x AA Alkaline batteries, Up to 6.5 hours with 2x AA Energizer e2 batteries System Requirements – Intel Pentium 4 2.0 GHz, Windows XP SP2 or Windows Vista, SVGA display monitor (1024×768) and video card, Windows Media Player 9.0, Microsoft DirectX 9.0, PowerPC G4 1.0 GHz, 512 MB RAM, Mac OS X 10.3.9, SVGA display (1024 x 768) monitor and video card, QuickTime 7 or later Dimensions – Height 4.17 x Width 2.16 x Depth 1.25

Wanke Wanker, Nike Style Developers and The Big Secret

An interesting article about Windows developers:

“This late in the development process, bugs are often passed along, or “punted,” to the next Windows release–Longhorn–if they’re not sufficiently problematic.
….
On the day I attended, one feature group had four of its bugs punted to Longhorn because they had failed to shown up for War Room. When someone argued that they should be given another day, Wanke simply said, “F#$% ’em. If it was that important, they would have been here. It’s in Longhorn. Next bug. “

I bet that when Dave Cutler was around, nobody missed meetings like that. Probably because Cutler would have punted them.

And this is just a good proof of what Joel keeps saying about superstar developers :
“I went out and handpicked the three best developers on the team and said, ‘just go and fix it.’ One developer fixed over 7,000 references to [Windows] .NET Server. Let’s just say that there are people I trust, and people I don’t trust. I told these guys, ‘don’t tell me what you’re doing. Just do it.”

From the first part of the article
“Originally, we were targeting NT to the Intel i860, a RISC processor that was horribly behind schedule. Because we didn’t have any i860 machines in-house to test on, we used an i860 simulator. That’s why we called it NT, because it worked on the ‘N-Ten.’ “

Huh. Now they tell us.

WML: Dude, I Am Getting a Dell

Guess what? This post is going to be about microcomputers. PCs.

I never owned a computer in the Soviet times. Not even a programmable calculator. I did have access to some old Wang clones called Iskra (Spark) in an after school program, played with a programmable calculator of a neighbour, played games on a frien’d PC, played games at my father’s friend’ work computer ( also PC), paid to play games on Sinclare computers that some enterprising people set up as a pay-per-play arcade, etc. Oh, I still remember the horror in the eyes of my teacher when I found a set of programs that calculated the level of contamination from a nuclear blast given the input of wind speed, bomb yeild and some other variables. Those Iskras were donated from the Red Navy.

In the US, my father purchased a 386 for a humongous sum of $1300. It was put together in some computer shop on avenue U. That was in 1993 or 1992, I think. Since then, I’ve been upgrading my computer on the average once every three years. I think In all, I went through 3 cases, 6 motherboards and 2 monitors (not counting my wife’s computer). I never owned a brand name computer. After the second computer I’ve learned that I could be putting together myself.

It seemed like a good idea at the time, putting together my own stuff. What could be simpler? Pop in a motherboard, a videocard, a modem, some ram, some hard drives — and you’ve got a box!

I’ve become thoroughly familiar with what cuts from a ragged computer case feel like. I’ve learned how hard it is to be without the Internet when your computer is in pieces on the ground (and a driver needed to make the new hardware run is on the Internet, of course). There are very few types of flashable hardware that I did not have to flash. I accumilated a huge collection of computer screws, cables, cards and thermal processor grease.

The questions that went through my mind were:
Why are jumpers so tiny? (these days they have jumpers with little tails that can be taken out with just fingers)

Why ide cables are so hard to deal with? (there are rounded cables available now)

Why it’s so hard to find 0th pin on the hard drive connector? (newer ide cables come with a little peg that doesn’t allow it to be put in the wrong way)

Which idiot came up with PS2 plugs? (one word – USB , well, ok, three words).

And most importantly: WHY ALMOST NO PIECE OF HARDWARE, PORT OR CABLE COME WITH A LABEL THAT WOULD CARRY MANUFACTURER’S NAME AND A MODEL NUMBER????????????????????

This is all slowly changing, of course, but the much bigger problem of minor factory defects and incompatibilities between chipsets still plague individually bought components.

My last self-put together box – a dual processor PIII 1000 sucks ass. I could not get a single AGP video card to work with it. An IDE raid controller that worked ok on my previous motherboard wold cause all OS to crash. And finally, two little pegs that held the cooler on the processor broke, and I can’t keep PIIIs from overheating.

I’d like to say, that after I’ve removed the raid card and put in a PCI video card, the system ran extremely steady for a year. Now it’s time to think about the future of my computers.

So my resolution is this:

1) Throw out the crappy dual processor motherboard and the crappy coolers. Buy a nice cheap and super steady single processor PIII motherboard + a stock Intel coolers and turn that computer into a file server. Four 120 Gig 5400 RPM drives (I don’t need the speed, and those drives run much cooler) should do the trick. The case of that computer is very nice and cool looking (it’s a square. It looks like this:

Maybe I’ll even make the drives removable, but so far all removable racks that I’ve tried sucked ass.

2) Buy a nice Dell workstation. That will be used for image manipulation and coding.

3) Buy a big ass LCD monitor (or maybe one of those Sony 27″ CRT monitors) for use with the workstation.

4) Buy a tablet pc for myself and a laptop for my wife.

5) Donate or sell on eBay all the crappy hardware still sitting in my drawers.

I think all the money I saved this year on rent should easily buy me this hardware.

Boring Stuff

This was a moderately crappy weekend.

On Saturday I spent most of the day in a Russian restaurant celebrating my father-in-law’s birthday. Did I mention that I hate Russian restaurants? I have to drink at least 4-5 shots of vodka to stop feeling completely disgusted by music and decor. God, I hate those places. If I were evil overlord, I’d definitely prohibit them.

On Sunday I spent most of the day cleaning up my crappy apartment. Oh, and trying to get DSL working again. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll get something out of a level 2 support tech, because the regular drones that have to work weekends can’t help me.

Remember I was bitching about cable outage (it took me 3 week to get it back working)? Well, it turned out that the outage was caused by the damn Cablevision techs that were installing digital cable. No matter how much I turboed, I could not weasel out of taking a day off and waiting for the damn tech to come to my apartment. I was so busy at work that I did not even call the Cablevision customer service and get them to credit my account for the outage.

I’ve spent a few hours installing an old modem I borrowed from my dad. The damn thing wasn’t even PCI. It was ISA. I don’t think I’ve ever managed to install any modem in less than 2 hours. Have you?

Today a fan fell off from the second processor in my home computer. Luckily it was an Intel and not an AMD chip, so it did not burn, but just shut down my computer. I hear that AMD has fixed the problem with burning chips, but still.

I need to get new fans. Those Thermaltake orb coolers only look cool. They are noisy and don’t work very well. I think I’ll get a pair of normal Intel fans. It’s not like I am overclocking or anything, I don’t need anything fancy. Any suggestions?

Now, that the boring part is over, here are some artsy-fartsy New York-ey pictures.




This was a moderately crappy weekend.

On Saturday I spent most of the day in a Russian restaurant celebrating my father-in-law’s birthday. Did I mention that I hate Russian restaurants? I have to drink at least 4-5 shots of vodka to stop feeling completely disgusted by music and decor. God, I hate those places. If I were evil overlord, I’d definitely prohibit them.

On Sunday I spent most of the day cleaning up my crappy apartment. Oh, and trying to get DSL working again. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll get something out of a level 2 support tech, because the regular drones that have to work weekends can’t help me.

Remember I was bitching about cable outage (it took me 3 week to get it back working)? Well, it turned out that the outage was caused by the damn Cablevision techs that were installing digital cable. No matter how much I turboed, I could not weasel out of taking a day off and waiting for the damn tech to come to my apartment. I was so busy at work that I did not even call the Cablevision customer service and get them to credit my account for the outage.

I’ve spent a few hours installing an old modem I borrowed from my dad. The damn thing wasn’t even PCI. It was ISA. I don’t think I’ve ever managed to install any modem in less than 2 hours. Have you?

Today a fan fell off from the second processor in my home computer. Luckily it was an Intel and not an AMD chip, so it did not burn, but just shut down my computer. I hear that AMD has fixed the problem with burning chips, but still.

I need to get new fans. Those Thermaltake orb coolers only look cool. They are noisy and don’t work very well. I think I’ll get a pair of normal Intel fans. It’s not like I am overclocking or anything, I don’t need anything fancy. Any suggestions?

Now, that the boring part is over, here are some artsy-fartsy New York-ey pictures.