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Little Frog in High Def

Musings of an NLE ronin…

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Archive for March, 2008

Mike Curtis of HDforINDIES is moving to LA!

The guy behind the blog that I refered to the most (and still do) when starting to work with HD…the man that got me blogging about my experiences in working with HD, is moving to Los Angeles.

Welcome Mike. Beware of the sharks in this town. They are plentiful.

Here it is. It took me a while to get this post up because…well, I am beat. I spent last weekend finishing the desk…and taking the remaining wood and unused scraps to make THREE bird houses…well, help my daughters make them. Kids demanding their dad’s time…how can I refuse? So that was Saturday.

But I am jumping ahead a little. The computer arrived on Thursday, Feb 28…a day ahead of schedule. I jumped for joy at work when my wife called. And when I got home from work…and after a quick meal…I put my full attention onto this machine. Installing three 500 GB Seagates into the spare drives, yanking out the fan to access one of the SATA ports on the logicboard and installing a small drive into the empty optical bay (this I am using as my Time Machine backup). I replaced the stock ATI 2600 card with the x1900 XT card. You heard about that mess last time. OK, bouncing ahead again.

Sunday evening I moved the desk and all my gear to the edit bay at the office in Hollywood. Yup, actually working in Hollywood. This installation took about 3 hours. Lugging equipment and desk upstairs, assembling desk, fixing HD CRT as the power button was stuck IN and I couldn’t turn on the monitor. I fixed that and finished the build. I was pleasantly surprised that the desk was as steady as it was. I realized a small design flaw in my desk. The legs flare IN from the front. They need to flare OUT, as the bulk of the weight is in the back. I will be getting two more single legs from IKEA to add to the back.

I was up and running on Monday. Not on the XSAN yet, so I worked with the footage on the internal drives…I striped two of them as a Raid 0. Running the AJA SYSTEM TEST I found that I got 200MB/s read/write on this. NICE. I had the media stored on these drives for now, so I could edit. This afternoon, Tuesday, is when I was finally added to the network. So far so good…smooth sailing.

SIDE NOTE. I hooked up my G5 to the MacPro via GigE and was able to share the media drive from the G5 to the MacPro. And I was able to do three streams on the G5. The MacPro, connected to the G5 that was acting like a Server, was able to do 2 streams. That was cool to kown. SO if I have a two computer shot, this is a pretty cheap SAN.

ANYWAY…dying of sleep deprivation, so I gotta try to get some shuteye. I can’t post specifics about the desk, as I have partners who want to make ALL the desks like this, but I will say that everything came from IKEA. Everything but the shelf…that came from a lumber yard.

EDIT: I am on the XSAN this morning, and it is SWEET!

OK…the good news is that the ATI X1900 XT card works in the new Mac Pro. All that was needed is for the firmware update to be run on it. The bad news is that this update cannot be run on the current machine. The machine will say “this update is not needed,” which is complete crap! What you have to do is find someone with a PREVIOUS Mac Pro, like the April 2007 model, have them install the card and run the update. Then the card will work. That is exactly what I did…I had my buddy Patrick Sheffield run the update and BOOM…it works. And it works well.

So here I am installing software…and it is a LONG process. Microsoft Office, Adobe CS3, Raylight, Sorenson Squeeze…and of course Final Cut Studio 2. I know that I said that I wouldn’t give out exact version numbers of the OS and QT and the FCS components…but I will say that I am fully updating everything to the current versions as of Feb 29, 2007. After I install FCS 2, I am updating it. Then I am installing CS3, and updating them (I downloaded the installers). Then I will test out the system before I bring it in to install at the production office.

One thing I will test is the ability to SHARE a media drive on the G5…use it as a server and share the CalDigit S2VR Duo that I have connected to it containing DVCPROHD footage. I will see if this will work as a “poor man’s SAN” for a two station DVCPRO HD edit. I will have to have both machines running FCS 2 and playing the footage…so it will be interesting.

OH…pictures. Darn…OK…when I install it at the office, I’ll post all the pictures then.