PermaLink Fishing with a lawn mower04/26/2007 02:47 PM

Lately it seems like I've been dealing with a lot of non-optimal solutions, and I am getting kind of sick of it.
There's this commercial for some sort of replacement cutter head for your Weed-Eater, and the opening line is something like, "you wouldn't go fishing with a lawn mower, so why would you cut your grass with fishing line?"

Well, just to be absurd, I probably would go fishing with a lawn mower, if I thought it'd do any good.  Lately it seems like I've been fishing with a lot of lawn mowers.  The latest example is this site, which is hosted at the end of my cable TV line, on a little 256kbps uplink.  For some reason, about a week ago the cable company started blocking incoming port 80, which is a royal pain in my ass.  After looking around in the address space for an address range where 80 wasn't blocked (after all, the cable company has their own website and it takes port 80 just fine) I gave up and started using an outside port-redirection service, which takes requests on 80, shifts them to whatever nonstandard port I choose to use, and passes them on to my server.  Problem is, a couple of things like the logo for this site for some reason refuse to load correctly, even though the images within the text load just fine.  Hey, Declan, what's up with that?

Seems like a much more effective thing would be to block inbound SMTP, since most normal people won't be running their own mailhost.  I, of course, am not normal people.

Another problem is, I always seem to think of my best topics to write about while I'm driving in to work or going home therefrom, and by the time I actually sit down at a keyboard, the idea's all gone and I sit here babbling about stupid shit.  That's getting to me.  Maybe it's time to invest in a UMPC, so when I get an idea, I can just type it up and post it immediately.  Or, figure out how to mail in postings, which I can do from anywhere.  The one things that's quite reliable in my life is email... I wasn't affected by last week's Blackberry hiccup, since I only use the Berry for work and work stuff isn't as high a priority (at least on the weekends) as penis spam and offers to sell me GENUINE V!@GR@.

I installed the update to Elgato's EyeTV software the other day, and it has a new option:  Export to AppleTV.  I was delighted, since prior to this I'd just export it to MP4 and pull it into Apple TV manually.  This is already preset for AppleTV at 720x480 and feeds it into iTunes for sync to the AppleTV.

Problem is, it's slow as shit.

On my 1Ghz G4 iMac, which is more than fast enough to do most types of transcoding of video, it takes about three or four minutes to process every second of video, or about eight frames a minute, as opposed to other transcoders I've used on that very machine at comparable resolutions which run anywhere from 4 to 9 frames per second.  Thus, transcoding a 90-minute movie took somewhere around 30 hours.  Not exactly a recipe for "hey, what's on tonight?"

I will have to ask Elgato what the deal is, and why their transcoding to AppleTV is so much slower even than their transcoding to normal video.

I found an unexpected apple tree in my barnyard.  It had never bloomed before, so when I went out this morning and found apple blossoms on what I'd thought was some sort of weed tree, I was delighted.  The thing is about 15 feet tall already and strong, so it gets to stay.  I also get to discover what sort of apples it produces.  I would guess it's related to the big old apple tree elsewhere in the yard, and my guess is, Mr. Woodchuck enjoyed the fallen apples from that tree several years ago, then came over and took a dump in the barnyard and in so doing, deposited the seed.

It looks like there's another smaller one nearby, as well.  This could be just fine.  I always wanted enough apples to press cider.

Maybe I could chop them up with a lawn mower.
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