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Complete (Dramatic Remastery)

March 22nd, 2009 | Posted by pftq in Stuck in My Head | #
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Moments of Spring

March 20th, 2009 | Posted by pftq in Stories | #
  She laughed, and I smiled.  She was one of the few people I could still amuse these days.  I enjoyed making people laugh, making people happy.  I remember the good times my friends and I had, when we used crack up over nothing, often at just ourselves or our mistakes.  That was a few years ago, when at least some of my friends still shared the same classes.  I don't see them often anymore though; our schedules are different and they don't take nearly as many courses.  I haven't laughed wholeheartedly in a very long time.  

  No one else shared an even remotely similar course schedule.  In most (actually all, now that I think of it) of my classes, I was either one of the few people in my grade or one of the few people not in the same school as rest of the class.  Most other classmates in my school (my friends included) decided to take less courses this year.  Being one of the few that bothered taking more rigorous...[More]
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Juggling Dreams

March 10th, 2009 | Posted by pftq in Essays | #

  Sometimes you feel unstoppable, great, as if the world is only beginning, and you are at the center of it all.  You get ideas, schemes that you never dared consider before, and now that you have, you feel obligated to pursue them, to drive them as far as you possibly can.  At first you're not sure if you're up to the task; the first step looks hard and difficult.  Then you toss in the first challenge, the first dream, and then the second, and then the third.

  Pretty soon, you're not only tossing and catching all three, you are actually juggling.  You can juggle two at a time, worry about the third later.  Or you can juggle all three at once, perhaps without even breaking a sweat.  Over time, you get better; you've gone far beyond anything you ever hoped to do, juggling three when at first you dared not even juggle one.  You're ready for more; you want a challenge.

  And so you throw in the…[More]

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Joy Luck Club

March 9th, 2009 | Posted by pftq in Recently Read | #
Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
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Sony VCL-HGE07A Wide-End Conversion Lens

March 7th, 2009 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #

Sony VCL-HGE07A Lens at Amazon. 

  Been looking for a wide angle lens for my camcorder for the longest time.  The recommended one (VCL-HG0737C) from Sony can cost upwards from $150 to $200.  Recently, I noticed the VCL-HGE07A, a more compact wide-lens available for $230 from the Sony site, but only $80 from Amazon.

  I guess really - you do get what you pay for.  However, I couldn’t figure if Amazon was just mispricing the item or if it’s really worth only $80.  Sony afterall priced it at $230 on their site, well above the $200 of the recommended lens.

  On opening the package, it seems a fine-quality lens.  Very strongly built.  However, there are details that just won’t do - at least for me.  First, there are no lens caps available.  The pouch is nice, but remember it’s a large lens.  Getting it out and avoiding touching the lens is a pain.  Next is using the lens on the camcorder - the quality is nice but you cannot zoom whatsoever.  I did not see this mentioned in any description of the product.  It only states this on the manual - which you have to open the product to read.  So in other words, I must snap off the wide lens every time I want to zoom in on something.

  I guess if you want only to have wide angle - it’s an okay lens.  But really, for $80 to not ever zoom, to have to snap off the lens but not have a lens cap to protect it - I’d rather save up for the $150 lens.

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Falling Asleep

March 6th, 2009 | Posted by pftq in Thought of the Day | #
I just want you to know that I try really, really hard. In fact, when I fell asleep one time in class, I disciplined myself by not sleeping again for two nights in a row. I do that quite often.
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From Amoverus

March 5th, 2009 | Posted by pftq in Stuck in My Head | #

From Amoverus by Plasmatic

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The Metamorphosis

February 20th, 2009 | Posted by pftq in Recently Read | #
The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
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Why Not to Concentrate

February 6th, 2009 | Posted by pftq in Essays | #
   I was walking home from school one day.  It was a bright and sunny afternoon.  The birds were chirping; the air smelled crisp and clean.  And then I stubbed my toe.  It was a painful stub.  The agony of my tiny toe scrubbing against the abrasive concrete, the concentration of all that pain in such a tiny insignificant stub on my foot, was more than I could bear.  I never wore sandals again.

   Yet that moment sparked a curious interest in me.  It made me realize that concentration, such as the concentration of all that pain in my toe, was not a good thing.  When one is trapped in a cell, concentrated in a small space, he is not happy.  When one is told how and what to think, to concentrate and narrow his mind, he is not happy.  Even in politics, concentration is not a good thing; Americans don’t like concentration of power.  Concentration means communism, dictatorship - all the things we fought to eliminate in past wars.  Just...[More]
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Memories 2

January 31st, 2009 | Posted by pftq in Stuck in My Head | #
Memories 2 by F-777
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Books Online

January 29th, 2009 | Posted by pftq in 42 | #

Reading books online...

  Of course, having the book itself is always better.  It's easier on the eyes and you can read it wherever need be.

 However, sometimes you may not have the book with you - say.. you left it at school or something.  And your class requires you to read it by tomorrow.  Here are some online sources I've found for reading books in my class.  I'm not sure what books everyone else is required to read, but maybe this list will help a few people.


[More]
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Pride and Prejudice

January 28th, 2009 | Posted by pftq in Recently Read | #
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
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Doing What Counts

January 18th, 2009 | Posted by pftq in Stories | #
  Pete wiped his forehead and stepped back.  He had just finished helping an elderly woman pack luggage into her car.

  "Thank you so much," the woman said, standing back in amazement.  "You kids are doing so much these days."

  "It's no big deal," Pete chuckled, pulling out a sheet of paper from his pocket.  "Really, I should be thanking you instead."

  "What's...[More]
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Adobe Premiere - Slow Motion Flicker

January 15th, 2009 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #

  Strangely enough, I only just recently started noticing flicker when I slowed clips down in Adobe Premiere.  This is with interlaced video clips.  Generally you don’t notice them until after exporting to DVD and playing back.

  Did a bit of research online, and from what I gather, it’s due to the fact the interlacing is affected by the change in speed.  To solve this issue, you’ll want to make sure you de-interlace the clip you are slowing down.

  1) Right-click the clip in the timeline.

  2) Select Field Options

  3) Choose Always Deinterlace.

  This should solve the flickering problem; sadly however, deinterlacing also leads to a slight degrade in quality.  Some other sources say that the flickering is minimal if you slow the speed down by even numbers, like 50% or 25%.  It makes sense because interlacing is done between two frames, so if you go by multiples of 1/2, it should be able to distribute the frames better.  You can try that first and see if the flickering is still there; if it is, then go for deinterlacing.

  Of course, it’s also important to make sure you have the correct field order.  If you don’t, you’ll always end up with flickering.  Simple way to check in Premiere is to right-click the clip and choose Field Options > Reverse Field Dominance.  If reversing the fields leads to better video quality (less blur which you should be able to see easily), then you obviously have the wrong field order.  To fix this, you’d create a new sequence and make sure you choose the opposite field order (upper/lower).  You should be able to just copy-paste the timeline clips between sequences so no work is lost.

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Web Hosting and Space

January 3rd, 2009 | Posted by pftq in 42 | #
     At some point, you will have to switch to paid hosting if you want a truly functional website.  By then, you'll probably have figured out how to find some decent hosts (search on Google for starters).  I also list a few recommendations for paid hosts further down.

Free Website Hosting

1 ASP Host -Simply set up an account and you get about 100MB of free space.  Back when I used it, it was one of the few hosts that put nothing on your pages, allows folder structured-site, very generous.
Domain...[More]
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CD and DVD Burning

January 2nd, 2009 | Posted by pftq in 42 | #

What discs to buy, how to best burn them, how to print on them, how to store them.
  Those with interest in video editing will undoubtedly find interest in burning their works to DVD. General knowledge in burning DVDs can often be applicable to CDs and vice-versa.

Disc Brands
  In general, the only two brands I trust are Taiyo Yuden and Verbatim. The two are most highly recommended, and unlike many other brands, they can be played in most DVD players. Get the DVD-R for even higher compatibility (this is because -R has been around longer).

  Taiyo…[More]

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Sony P200 Camera - Removing Dust Spots

January 2nd, 2009 | Posted by pftq in 42 | #

  The Sony P200 camera, despite being a very good camera, had a known flaw.  Its design was not air-tight and dust would eventually build up on the sensor - which means you get dust spots on pictures you take.  Usually these dust spots are out of focus and only come in for very bright pictures, but as they build up, they become more visible.  This build up I’m talking about usually takes place over a year or two - so it would not be evident at first.

  However, there is a solution for those who wish to keep using it.  Through this simple tutorial at dpreview.com, you can open the camera to brush off (or spray off using compressed air from a can) the dust.  From my experience though, it only buys a few more months before some dust appears again.

  Then again, I usually keep the camera in my pocket so that may be a factor in it. :P

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College Admission Tips

December 31st, 2008 | Posted by pftq in 42 | #

Things to check when applying to colleges…
  Seems kind of late for me to be talking about college admissions since most of the people I know online have already attended or are in college.  Nevertheless, it’s now my turn, and yes I’m only just now applying. :P

  The general rule of thumb I’ve found is to simply be honest and real - don’t overemphasize things that aren’t really that important but don’t sell yourself short either.  However, I would presume most people who do come online are in search of more concrete tips and advice.

  The below…[More]

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Open Doors

December 29th, 2008 | Posted by pftq in Essays | #
   They say one doesn’t realize what he has until it’s gone.  When I broke my wrist two years ago, I not only realized that I had almost lost my hand completely, I realized how little I’d done, how much more I wanted to do, how close I came to losing the opportunity altogether.  As I spent the following summer bound to my chair with the injury, I taught myself web design and learned to program in six different languages.  The following year, as my friends and I began making videos but could find no outlet for our new hobby, we founded our own club, within months finishing three movies, hosting monthly Theater Days, and starting a VHS-DVD conversion service.  When I later reflected upon the events, after having made twelve websites for schools and organizations, after having had classmates join my club and become paid to teach our video editing to an afterschool class, I realized that opportunities are not sought but created, that it is not the opportunity that is...[More]
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Doors and Windows

December 29th, 2008 | Posted by pftq in Thought of the Day | #
Goals are open doors to those who pursue them, but they become only windows to those who don't.
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