Saturday, September 22, 2007
Deleted Scenes.

If you've seen the movie "Much Ado about Nothing" you might enjoy a 12 minute video I put together with some scenes omitted or abridged in that film. I took camcorder footage of a few scenes from the complete play as done by the BBC in their series of all of Shakespeare's plays and added some comments.

The movie version took out much of the outdated wordplay that wouldn't be understandable today so the plot moves along at a brisk pace. But in cutting some of the dialogue, some of the richness of the characters and plot is lost.

If you haven't seen the movie, put it at the top of your queue of online rentals or make it the next thing you get when you rent a DVD in the store. When I saw it in theaters, people chuckled or laughed at some of the jokes and I heard someone crying at a particularly tender moment.

After you watch the movie, check out this "additional footage" from the full text of the play:


In Windows XP, I can double-click to view it full-screen. You can also access the original WMV file from a dropdown to play in Windows Media Player.

Oh, and if you're cautious [as I am] about clicking on some URL you see on the Internet, go to blip.tv and search for "austincomments".
Monday, September 17, 2007
Microsoft offers peek at Media Center Extender devices (Mary Jo Foley, Sept 6).

Evidently there are other people like me who don't have an Xbox 360 or Media Center Edition PC but would like to watch videos from their PCs on their TVs.

I just kludged together a workable solution for watching PC video on my medium-size HDTV. I copied totaltraining.com WPF and Blend training videos from the Temporary Internet Files folder and burned them to a read-write DVD using the myDVD utility that came with Roxio Easy Media Creator 9.

Although some test videos look grainy (AVI files from a digital camcorder), these WMV training videos look especially sharp played on an Oppo upconverting DVD player connected to the HDMI connector.

Rarely do these ideas work out as well for me in reality as in theory. I got the inspiration for this from a guy named Charlie who works on the Media Center Extender devices team.

For the first time in my life, at least since age 6, I am without television service. I moved into a new place and will only be here about six months because they are going to renovate all apartments next year and everyone must move out to a newly renovated unit or somewhere else for a few months with the option of moving back in.

Even with a talented, skillful, friendly, hard-working crew of four professional movers who did the packing, loading and moving for me, moving was an experience I didn't want to do again for several years, but of course the new place didn't tell me there was to be this mandatory moving-out scheduled for next year until after I was fully committed to moving in. But it's a nice older place with a deck that faces a park and walking/biking trail, so overall I'm happier here now that the move is done. Thanks, Access Gentle Movers. If there's any way humanly possible, I'm going to try to make just one more move instead of two.

I'm a bit tired from the stress, but am on my mandatory 100-day break as a contractor from Microsoft, so the moving couldn't have come at a better time. It's a good time to read up on WPF (to get the concepts) and watch video training (to see specific examples done while explained by the presenter).
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