OMG watch what a dSLR can make in a movie

Wow, Canon let a guy who doesn’t make movies borrow the new Canon 5D Mark II for a weekend and this is the “movie”: he made. It is truly remarkable how this move to a digital SLR taking HD movies is going to change the world. Now you can take 21MP stills or make the most incredible movies you can imagine in available light.

You have to see this it at Canon Digital Learning Center – Sample Video: EOS 5D Mark II

This video was shot with a pre-production Canon EOS 5D Mark II digital SLR. The files used to create this video were not manipulated in any way, only re-compressed for ¼ resolution display on our website. To view Vincent Laforet’s comments and behind-the-scenes video on the making of REVERIE, please visit his blog:

EF Lenses used in the making of REVERIE:
FD 7.5mm f/5.6 (converted to EF mount)
EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM
EF 50mm f/1.2L USM
EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM
EF 135mm f/2L USM
EF 200mm f/1.8L USM
EF 400mm f/2.8L IS USM
EF 500mm f/4L IS USM
TS-E 24mm f/3.5L
TS-E 45mm f/2.8

Vincent Laforet’s Blog

Due to pretty incredible demand and a fair amount of (healthy) skepticism as to whether or not the footage in the “Reverie” piece is “truly” raw out of the camera, we will be releasing a series of raw clips – the exact same clips that were used in the “Reverie” short film – this coming Friday. You can also see the behind the scenes comparison at which shows the 5D Mark II vs. the top of the line Canon XL1 camera.

Soccer schedules

Wow, there are so many schedules to track:

* “Seattle Youth Soccer Assocation”: Only the September schedule is available right now.
* “Catholic Youth Organization Soccer Schedule”: uses something called “eScheduler”: which is a little hard to use, but eventually you can find “6th Grade North”:

Excel 2008 bugs make it useless for loans and private equity

Wow, I can’t believe Microsoft would ship a product like this. Beware, Excel 2008 won’t recalc XIRR correctly and in fact any sheet that has an intentional reference where loan amounts have fees that are dependent. This has worked in versions of Excel for the last 20 years. So sad, it means that Excel 2008 is useless so beware. Can’t see any information on when/if this is going to get fixed. In the mean time, if have sheets that do loan calculations of any sort, beware, you need to use Mac Excel 2004 or any version of PC Excel. Very sad statement about software quality IMHO.

Analysis Toolpak – Excel 2008

Well, in fact the problem seems to be in Excel 2008’s inability to calculate
formulae that intentionally include circular references (such as to calculate
the interest on a loan where the loan amount is determined by reference to
the total cash deficit, including the interest). These formulae return the
#VALUE! error in Excel 2008 whereas they calculate as normal in Excel 2007.
Oh dear,….

iMovie 7.0 idiosyncracies and publishing to Zenphoto

Wow, it is hard to figure a few things out with iMovie, but here is the best way to produce great looking DVDs and also things ready for export:

# iMovie ’08 (aka version 7.0) is a bit of a wierd program. First, it doesn’t have a File Save function. Instead, all projects are in a named directory which is /User/_your.username_/Movies/iMovie Projects/ So if you want to move a project from one place to another you have to stick the project file there. I see why they did this for noob users, but it is very unmac-like. It does mean you don’t have to worry about File Save and File Save As, the program does this automatically
# Media Browser is a very strange concept. Basically, when you say Share Media Browser, you get a list of different formatsand iMovie automatically updates these renderings, but you can’t find them. Again, they are hidden in the package and you can’t find them with Spotlight or anything. In fact, you have to go to /User/_your.username_/Movies/iMovie Projects/_your.project_ and them right click and choose _Show Package Contents_ in Finder. This shows you the hidden directory called Movies within that package. You will find files called large.m4v, medium.m4v, mobile.m4v etc.
# The m4v is another name for a .mp4 format that Apple has popularized, but most tools on the internet like Flowtool or flvtool built into Zenphoto doesn’t recognize them. So to you have to copy out the say mobile.m4v and then rename it to mobile.mp4 and then copy up to any Zenphoto. Zenphoto doesn’t document it but basically any .mp4, .flv or .mov it finds in an album is displayed along with other photos and then when you click you get the built in flowplayer to show it. Kind of slick!
# Alternatively, if you just want the limited options that iMovie has, then you can choose Share/Export Movie which has the same options as Media Browser, but let’s you name the files whatever you like. The Media Browser thing does integrate with iDVD well in that you don’t have to navigate the file system to find files, it knows the magic location automatically
# The Share/Export using Quicktime gives you lots more control as it let’s you product a variety of formats. Most interesting are 1080 HD which products an H.264 movie in HD format. The other is 480 SD which produces a DVD quality movie in .MOV format. There is also an option to make .FLVs directly but I get an error 32766 when you try that which “no one”: seems to understand.
# The other strange thing about Zenphoto is that if you select the Shutterfly option, you can print, but it is not clear how to do it. What happens is that when you go to the image page, you will see an option for full size, but nothing for shutterfly. At the lower left of the page, there is a strange icon or logo but no text. You click on that and then you see the option “Add to Shutterfly cart”. How wierd is that. Now text at all.

1M iPhones and 10M app downloads

Wow, at this rate of 10 apps per new iphone, this is going to be an amazing platform. The lower price I’m sure really helped. Hope I get mine soon. (Despite the short battery life and I’m going to love the white color!)

Mac Rumors: Apple Mac Rumors and News You Care About

Despite long lines and activation troubles, Apple announced today that they sold its one millionth iPhone 3G on Sunday, only three days after its initial launch on Friday, July 11th. In the press release, Steve Job points out that it took 74 days to sell the same number of the original iPhone.

Phone Rates to China

It is amazing how rates have really fallen. Now with AT&T, calling a mobile number in China is $0.16 a minute. With “GlobalPhone”: as a low cost check, it is 7.6 cents per minute. That is 1 cent a minute to call a local access number (7038522111) and then 6.6 cents to call China. Wow, Skype is still the cheapest but lowest quality, but that’s pretty amazing!

iPhone cannot restore error 6 , -50, etc.

Wow, my iPhone got wedged with the Apple logo coming up and then the spinning wheel going on forever. This is apparently fairly common and there are not “many”: good resolutions for “error (6)”: or “unknown error (-50)”:

All the resolutions come down it seems to a single thing:

# Get the iPhone into what is called DFU or restore mode. What you do is hold down the home button in the front and the on/off at the stop for 25 seconds at least. The phone will go off and then the Apple logo comes on. Release the on/off at the top and keep holding the front button for forever. Eventually, a screen with a Apple connector and the iTunes logo comes on. You have to do this multiple times and it is unclear why, but sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.
# Connect it to your computer and start iTunes, you should see the message, “iPhone in recovery mode” and it should popup with a single button highlighted that says Update. You run through it and pray.
# Sometimes you’ll get error(6), other times error(-50). It is unclear what these messages mean. You can try lots of times and Apple also suggest deleting all the iSync information (start iSync and select in Preferences, the delete sync history), updating to the latest iTunes. And trying to do this from another USB port, another admin account, another computer. All of this by the way seems like people who don’t understand just trying random stuff. In any case, I finally got to a new computer and after three tries, got the restore to work.

So don’t give up!