Archive for the 'Miscellaneous' Category

Simplified Envelope Budgeting for GnuCash

OK, out of popular demand, I’ve decided to revisit this topic. My original Better Budgeting with GnuCash article is still highly relevant and worth a read for the background if you haven’t read that yet.

The method I proposed in my 1st article works. I used it for over a year with great success. After some time though, I decided we could simplify a few things.

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How to export 1080p HD video with iMovie 08

So I’ve been playing around with video a bit more lately. I have two different cameras that record natively at 1920×1080 (1080p). I can get my videos into iMovie just fine, but one thing that always annoyed me is that when I went to share a move I created with iMovie, the default options were pretty pitiful.

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Google map with Utah Repeaters

I thought it would be helpful to visualize where all the radio repeaters are in my area. I found a lack of map information available for this sort of thing but I found readily available CSV data with the information. Google Fusion Tables to the rescue!

I tried to embed the map in this post but for some reason the google map terrain data wasn’t showing up when I combined everything with the template. For the time being, just access the separate page.

Utah Repeater Map

Enjoy

A review of sponsoredreviews

I’ve terminated my sponsoredreviews.com account. It was a fun experiment, and I did indeed receive some cash on the side, but it’s just not worth the time I guess. I don’t think any readers of this site are actually are interested in the reviews anyway. I tried to write them in a way that was at least somewhat educational, or pointed out how I thought the service could be useful. It seemed to me however that the only people ever purchasing reviews on the site were ISPs or email hosting services. I think readers AllMyBrain.com are advanced enough to find an email provider that works for them and are also probably happy enough with their ISP. On occasion, I would see something I thought actually applied to the community and bid on it. None of those advertisers ever accepted though. Recently, SR raised the amount they take from the advertisers. I figured it was good enough time toss in the hat and focus my energy elsewhere.

Pardon my dust…

Switching hosting providers this weekend. I’m hoping to have a little bit more uptime than my old server was providing.

Let me know if you see any 404 errors or stuff that I haven’t transferred over from the old server.

Thanks

Handbrake can convert MTS files for Mac

So a while back we purchased a JVC Everio HD camcorder. I’ll skip the commentary on whether or not that is a good idea. For me, the relevant issue is: how am I supposed to copy the MTS (AVCHD H.264) encoded files to my mac and get them in a format that I can import into iMovie and edit.

Here are a few things I discovered on my journey the last few months:

  1. VLC can play MTS files. I wasn’t able to get the stream converter to export them properly to mov files though. Perhaps there is some setting I missed somewhere, but the formats I tried either had messed up audio or Quicktime couldn’t open them.
  2. ffmpeg is probably a good option. I couldn’t get it to work though. I had the same problems with it that I had with VLC. I couldn’t seem to pick correct encodings to get the audio/video to stay in sync.
  3. iMovie can import video directly from the camera. If you plug the camera in and import the movies directly into iMovie, that works but you end up with mov files that are larger on your hard drive. Also, if you copy the camera drive in it’s entirety to a dmg image, and then mount the dmg file, iMovie can pretend like that is a camera too, and still import the files. I didn’t want this though since I didn’t want to make dmg files every time I want to import and I didn’t want to store mov files.
  4. Handbrake does the job nicely. You can queue up a bunch of files and choose a format to convert them too. I found converting to the preset Apple TV settings works pretty well for importing into iMovie.

Hope this helps someone. Skip all those ffmpeg front-end rip off programs that want to charge you money. They are GPL violating programs whose owners are attempting to make a quick buck off something you can (and should be able to) do for free.



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