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Sunday, January 9, 2011
Kindle Follies and Other News
It may be obvious that I haven't posted much lately. Reason below. But first, a report on my long-anticipated Christmas gift:
I've been telling the missus since August that I want a Kindle 3G for Christmas. That was really the only thing on my list. She waited until the last minute (Christmas Eve) to look for one, and of course both Target and Best Buy were sold out. So she got me a Target gift card for the amount.
No problem, sez I. I probably won't start using it until after all the family craziness anyway. Well, Monday rolls around, and they're still sold out. Tuesday--still not re-stocked. Wednesday, Thursday...a week goes by and they still don't have one--NONE of the Targets do.
I stop at a Best Buy and see they have ONE (1) Kindle in stock--a graphite 3G like I want. I tell them I plan to refund my gift card and come back with the cash. They're open 'til 9 and will hold it for me if I assure them I'm coming back. I plow like a madman to get through my last few jobs and get done around 8--a whole mini-drama by itself.
After racing back to Target, I am informed no refund is possible without the sales receipt and a manager's approval. I call home. Every single Christmas receipt can be located EXCEPT this one. I'm not making this up. Long story short: I phone an apology to Best Buy and go home.
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday...Behold! A Target Store about 30 minutes away has Kindles in stock. Whew. And now it's living happily with me.
I can't believe the screen! It looks like somebody is sticking beautifully printed paper pages to the device from another dimension. It came preloaded with a dictionary and a definition for any word in a book is available without interrupting my reading of it. The thing weighs less than a paperback. I can order right from the device, anytime, anywhere in the world with WiFi or 3G coverage. I can read samples before I buy, just like at the bookstore. It can hold like 3500 books, and is capable of playing music while I read, receiving email, surfing the web, and text-to-voice.
I have found my new best friend. Kindle, where have you been all my life?
The primary monopoly over my free time, such as it is, has been the Hell and Gone book trailer.
I had put together a rough cut with Photostory, using music and some photos I suspected I couldn't get permission for. It wasn't bad, but Photostory has some limitations for the sort of trailer I visualized. And it was 7+ minutes long--a real challenge, perhaps, to the modern attention span.
I was hoping to have a final cut ready before Christmas, but I didn't have everything I needed in time. I finally did get the music, and most of the photos I think I need (thanks Jack, Rich, Johnny and Pat!). I also got Adobe Premiere Pro (thanks Justus!) and have been educating myself on how to use the powerful tools available. I'm still an FNG-level novice, but I think I have a solid enough grasp for this project.
My 2nd cut, using Premiere, did not come out so well. It's hard to watch the project in real-time as the audience would see it until it's fully rendered/code written/exported. I really don't have enough RAM right now so maybe that's why. But I've made extensive notes based on that cut and will now go back through and tweak. The final cut will probably be only 5+ minutes.