Thursday, October 07, 2010

Follow-up on Inkscape!

OK, so I got the book for my birthday. That is to say, I got a voucher and headed straight to Exclusives! All I can say is WOW! This is not a book to be read, rather a manual you have to sit down with in front of the computer and try out all there is to try -- and that could take a while.

Love it with all my geekness.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

My Review of The Book of Inkscape

Originally submitted at O'Reilly

Inkscape is a powerful, free, cross-platform, vector-based drawing tool similar to Adobe Illustrator and CorelDRAW. The Book of Inkscape, written by Inkscape developer and graphic designer Dmitry Kirsanov, is an in-depth guide to Inkscape, offering comprehensive coverage and creative advice ...

Must have, sight unseen

By j0nn0 from Johannesburg, South Africa on 12/1/2009


5out of 5

Pros: Helpful examples, Creative, Well-written, Easy to understand, Accurate, Concise

Best Uses: Student, Intermediate, Novice, Expert

Describe Yourself: Video Editor, Designer, Educator

I have to admit I haven't read this book yet, but having read Dimitry's Tutorials in Linux Format (, I am going to buy this sight unseen. He always comes up with brilliant examples and solutions, which prove that he is a great designer who is not afraid to share his techniques with the world... and he is really good at communicating his knowledge.

Taken from


Tags: Using Product, Made with Product


Saturday, April 18, 2009

It's official: firewire can burn you.

Most users of Firewire products like DVCam decks and cameras are unaware of the fact that this is NOT a hot-pluggable system! If you don't power down your PC/Mac and you device (camera/deck) before attaching or detaching via firewire, you stand the chance of frying the firewire controller on the deck/camera, or the firewire port on your computer, which in the case of a Mac is on the logic board (the "motherboard"). This is expensive and time-consuming either way you look at it. It's not covered under warranty, and as a facility owner I can personally attest to the fact that sooner or later, it will happen... I have burned chips on 2 Sony decks and one Mac.

Sony recommend the following procedure:
1. Switch off all equipment, including external drives which may be attached via firewire to the computer.
2. Attach firewire cable to camera/deck/drive
3. Attach firewire cable to computer
4. Power up computer
5. Power up devices (can be during boot-up)

BTW, the solution for a Mac with a burnt firewire port is not necessarily to replace the logic board, but get a multi-port PCI card from a company like Sonnettech (see link). On a camera or deck: speak to your dealer - expect to pay around R1400.00 (about USD150.00)

Take your time, power down and Don't get burned!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

FCP Tip: Importing stills of a set duration


I'm editing together a sort of slideshow in final cut express and there are
LOTS of pictures that need to go in. Is there a way to set it so I can just drag
them in to be 2.20 secs instead of the regular 10 secs? I'm SURE there must
be a way to do it (it would save a ridiculous amount of time).


Hi Charlotte

This is so simple you're going to kick yourself! ;) I use Final Cut Pro, but I'm pretty sure it works the same in FCE.

Go to >Final Cut Pro > User Preferences (or press Alt-Q /Option-Q).

Click on the 'Editing' Tab.

Set your desired duration in the Still/Freeze duration window (top-left).

Click OK.

Now, select all the stills, or the bin they're in and hit backspace. This will "delete" them from the project, but not from the hard drive.*

Now re-import them (if they're all in one folder, choose > File > Import Folder and this will create a bin with the name of the Apple Folder). They will now all be the default duration.

TIP: If you highlight a whole batch and drag them into the CANVAS, and choose 'Import with Transition' they will all get a default transition in between them, saving you the hassle of putting a transition between each one.

Hoax emails - why? And how to stop them.

It takes education, my friends. Teach your silly Luddite associates how to discern a hoax virus email, by replying (to "All") with the following:-


Please read and be on the lookout for such an email. Thanks

Please be warned, there is a dangerous viral hoax email about to be sent out to thousands of computer users around the world, designed by bored nerds who couldn't write a virus if they wanted to. The aim is to wipe out Sector zero of your brain, kill your parrot and make your microwave explode. It may possibly turn your "significant other" gay.

The brilliant thing about this viral hoax is that it is spread by gullible people, and NO ANTI-VIRUS SOFTWARE in the world can stop it. The extensive use of CAPITAL LETTERS and exclamation marks!!!!, bad punctuation, speling mistaeks and strange colours is a dead giveaway.

This has been verified by external hoax companies who shall remain nameless. I could tell you, but then I'd have to... never mind.

I have personally checked with Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Linus Torvalds and Richard Stallman, and they all agree this is the worst waste of time EVER!!!! Even the Dalai Lama is annoyed.

Please DON'T forward this warning to any of your FRIENDS, FAMILY AND CONTACTS. Anyone with any savvy will think you are an idiot, and the rest of them will unplug their computers and suck their thumbs, waiting for the END OF THE WORLD.

It has been confirmed by Vircheck, Antivir, Morphos Galorphus and Andrew Norton, and IT IS REAL. Really, really real. And of course Microsoft, who know all about viruses and would hate for you to do something sensible like switch to Firefox. According to Webinfo, if you add up all the time wasted by hoax emails it will amount to one entire long weekend for each person on planet Earth. If they were all printed out they would reach to Proxima Centauri and halfway back. So don't do it. Don't click that "Forward" button. Just don't do it. Not even "just in case".


Jonathan H Pienaar

(Saved to ~/docs/templates for next time.)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Why Windows is just as much a pain to install as Linux

Okay, so my niece wanted a laptop. She is a student, so all she wanted was the cheapest I could find. Just as well I'm a Sahara dealer. They have a great entry level machine for R3699 plus VAT. Without Windows. "No," says my technophobic neice, "I only know how to work in Windows." So I plumped in the extra few hundred for Windows, and set up a dual-boot machine (hoping to convert her in the long run.)

I plugged the machine into my DSL network and began the process of installation. Because my network uses assigned addresses, not DHCP, the MS installer couldn't get me online to register, so I had to dial in to MS, listen to a recorded voice, and then punch in the approximately 20-digit serial number via the phone's keypad. It took no less than 5 attempts - the MS software couldn't recognise the touch-tone digits! Finally, registration complete, came the download of updates. It took 5 hours!

Then I had to scour the net for an mpeg decoder so that her DVD player could play back DVDs... DVD playback is not included in XP home edition (or whatever it's called).

Of course, installing Firefox, Thunderbird, Inkscape and OpenOffice, and a few other Windows Open Source applications was a breeze, and only took about half an hour.

The Ubuntu installation on sda2 was a simple, one-hour affair, and it included all the software that I had to install separately, and more. And of course, testing Ubuntu on a new laptop is always fun...

Monday, February 12, 2007

Moved to Google

How does this theme look? Not bad, sort of Ubuntu-ish. I'll keep it for now.

Monday, January 17, 2005

I really wish...

I really wish i had time for blogging
instead of digitising and logging
time for my children
instead of this dead-end career

Friday, August 15, 2003

How about this - we're defunct

Quote from an ad for a new piece of "editing software."

"You simply give the program your video, choose any piece of music (MP3 or WAV) you like, select an editing style and it does the rest.
From one piece of raw video you can create a dozen different productions in a few minutes - each one in a radically different style, each one a polished production with a finished, professional feel."

So a computer can now do my job... I knew the day was coming...

Thursday, August 14, 2003

aha moment

tonight we are editing a story about Robert Kiyosaki, who claims to be a self-made millionaire. I cannot verify this, but he seems genuine. He says the only way to get wealthy is to make your money work while you are otherwise occupied with your profession. and the easiest way is real estate that earns an income (ie. that you don't live in, but charge rent for.)

It seems quite straightforward, because the bank will lend you money to buy property - unlike shares or commodities. So why not get another mortgage and buy a place and charge some sucker rent? that's how to get your money working for you.

5 years ago i was doing this. 5 years from now i plan to be not doing this. I will be house-hunting next week, and in 5 years time i plan to have at least 5 income-generating properties. And I'm not going to worry about CGT because I'll buy places I don't need to sell.

Simple? I thinks so. It's worth a shot.

here we go again...

It's Thursday night, and another deadline looms
I sit here alone in the flick'ring gloom
I digitize, I log,
I analyse, I blog,
Just to keep me from going out of my mind,
I have to put thoughts out that are mine.

Saturday, July 26, 2003

going to tape!


Going to Tape!!!!

(must concentrate)

page ranking

Google says my page gets 0/10.

whaddya want? - naked girlz???

Diana's love letters?

K3wl War3z????

why, i oughta....

oh... darn

description cannot contain html - therefore no /p tags!


customising my page

gee, this is fun. while all my renders tick past, I get to experiment with Layouts on my page. What better way to spend a party night?

Now why can't I put paragraph breaks in my description? Guess I'll just have to read the help page!


is my middle name
i havent slept since friday
so i'm delirious
and delighted