WMP 10 high-def

Iain pointed me at
Microsoft Windows Media – Windows Media High Definition Video
today.
They have a bunch of
high-def content
there.
The minimum machine spec is a bit steep:

Minimum Configuration

(to play 720p video)

  • Windows XP
  • Windows Media Player 9 Series
  • 2.4 GHz processor or equivalent
  • 384 MB of RAM
  • 64 MB video card
  • DVD drive
  • 1024 x 768 screen resolution
  • 16-bit sound card
  • Speakers
  • Optimum Configuration

    (to play 1080p video with 5.1 surround sound)

  • Windows XP
  • Windows Media Player 9 Series
  • DirectX 9.0
  • 3.0 GHz processor or equivalent
  • 512 MB of RAM
  • 128 MB video card
  • DVD drive
  • 1920 x 1440 screen resolution
  • 24-bit 96 kHz multichannel sound card
  • 5.1 surround sound speaker system
  • Bittorrent Bites the Dust

    Back in September File Share Day Reid mentioned file sharing day. If you go to their site now, File Share News you’ll see that the BitTorrent network has basically been sacked by legal action, with the SuprNova BitTorrent tracker and the like now off the net. Merry Christmas! Ho! Ho! Ho! Btw, IMHO these networks are optimized for ripping off popular stuff you’re supposed to pay for. None of the legal free stuff I’m interested in seems to be widely hosted, so I don’t miss them. I just thought you should know how seriously the MPAA is now taking the internet piracy thing. Again, IMHO, this is all kid’s stuff anyway either way you look at it. [Only kids are interested in bad copies of MPAA movies, and no one wants kids looking at the other XXX garbage that tags along on those networks anyway]. Also, here I may be wrong as I wasn’t looking closely, but music seems to be only a small portion of BitTorrent networks.

    There’s not enough sex here on Tech Tok

    I happened to be watching Channel M (Vancouver) during their Spanish show, and came across a Christian Blaze made-in-Canada 19 minute film short called “Spank”. In order to make his production deadline he had to learn the Maya 4.5 3D modelling software himself. Now I’ve already seen one French film on a similar topic about 5 years ago, but this one seems tastefully racy and plays out like a SIM game, I believe. See Spank. The trailer on Channel M was actually a bit more enticing. Mark your calendars, its hitting Toronto Feb 9-14 2005 at the Bloor Cinema for the Love & Lust International Film Fest. I hear it has a mind-wrecking ending.

    Ooo la la, what hath Maya wrought?!

    Free Software

    I am a fan of open source and
    alternative software solutions. I have installed a number
    of applications that are available for no charge and I thought I would
    post my findings here on Tech Tok. I am very interested in any of your suggestions.

    By the way, that thud you heard was Reid falling off his seat when he
    discovered I had made a post.  :-)

    Here is a list of apps I am using:

    Mac PC
    Browser Safari Mozilla
    Video Player Video Lan Client Video Lan Client
    Graphics The
    GIMP
    The
    GIMP
    HTML editor Composer (Mozilla) Composer (Mozilla)
    Mail Mail Thunderbird
    Office productivity OpenOffice.org OpenOffice.org
    Music iTunes iTunes
    IM Fire Suggestions?
    No M$
    No M$ on M$

    Azureus – way cool BitTorrent client


    I kept hearing about
    Azureus
    in various places,
    but I dismissed it because I thought it was a Windows client for BitTorrent,
    and I use my Mac to do BitTorrent downloads.

    Well, I was wrong.
    It turns out that Azureus is written in Java.
    Normally, this is not enough to ensure that it will run smoothly on a Mac,
    however, there is a Mac-specific download which has been tweaked to run well.
    So I tried it, and everything was most excellent.
    There were options I have been pining for like:

    • max global upload speed
    • max global download speed
    • prioritization of downloads with a small number of peers

    I got it running and everything was going swell.
    Then suddenly I got the dreaded Translucent Message of Death,
    or to be more precise, a kernel panic.

    It turns out that
    this bug
    is
    well known,
    and has been tracked down to Apple’s
    lookupd” daemon.
    It only affects dual-CPU systems, which is me, alas.
    The workaround is to set up your Mac as a caching name server, so that named is used instead of lookupd.

    There is a
    long and laborious description
    aimed at People Who Never Use the Command Line, but I can sum it up in just a few steps for you here.
    Remember, this only applies if you have a dual-CPU Mac.

    1. Edit /etc/hostconfig, and change “DNSSERVER=-NO-” to “DNSSERVER=-YES-“. This will cause the name server daemon (/usr/sbin/named) to be started automatically the next time you reboot.
    2. Edit /etc/named.conf, and un-comment the line “// query-source address * port 53;” by removing the two slashed from the front.
    3. Start named by typing /usr/sbin/named in a Terminal window as root
    4. Change your primary DNS server under Network Preferences to be 127.0.0.1 (i.e. your own machine) and click “Apply Now”.
    5. In Azureus, in Preferences->Transfer, make sure that “[x] Slowly connect new peer connections” is enabled. This may be optional, I’m not sure.