Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Something more about my Canon PowerShot A570 IS camera

My grandpa Canon surprised me again with its sense of autonomy... post hoc... and as we were crossing the Tsim Ma Bridge of Hong Kong.

Almost like... you speak ill of me... me ain't gonna pay you no mind.  You don't speak ill of me... let me go along with your wish... especially when I am already so beaten down... lol

(OK... I might simply read to much into my grandpa Canon's mind. Just find it to be mighty interesting! lol)

The crash between Word and Endnote

Both Word and Endnote has been crashing left and right whenever I do the copying and pasting thing in Word since... forgot how long... .

It was only minor inconveniences when I was not working too much with the citation thing.  However, it started to become a real hassle when I moved into the literature review era...  It was like... might as well leave the Task Manager Window on since both of them programs are deemed to crash.

I read somewhere online that turning the autoformatting thing off would get the issue resolved... Unfortunately, for weeks and after I turned everything I found off... the issue remained.

Finally, a few days ago, I found the sacred path to that secret screen--hidden only from me. 8-O lol

So, in addition to word running around by itself, paying me no mind, Endnote also went on and on showing this "Server Busy" screen that keeps on popping up like the nightmare on Elm street.

What I think might have put me out of my miseries... meaning stopping the above nightmare on Elm Street is the following procedure...

1.  Go to the Endnote tab in Word and click on that tiny arrow sign at the lower right side of the "Bibliography" section.

2. "The Endnote XN Format Bibliography" pops out.

3. Click on the "Instant Formatting" tab and push the button "Turn off" to turn off instant formatting.

4.  Voila!  Once the "Instant Formatting" feature is off, keep your fingers crossed (and mine)... hoping the server error thing would go adios!

5.  One last note, once the "Instant formatting" feature is off, you would have to manually click on "Update Citations and Bibliography" to get the document formatted in whatever citation format you have chosen.

To ensure this really was what might have solved the problem, I turned the Instant Formatting feature back on to see whether I could recreate the problem... and I did... how I got the screenshot of the above Endnote "Server Busy" error message.

Bon Chance!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Grandpa Canon Resurrected--the Magic of a rubber band

During my trip to Shanghai and Hong Kong, my grandpa Canon started to act out even more.  Sometimes, it doesn't even want to stay awake... you turn it on and it goes to sleep. 8-O lol

Since the cover of the battery socket has been broken for a while and got even more "broken" during the trip, I suspected that it has to do with the batteries while I was also thinking it might have really reached the retirement age and time to find a replacement finally.

It's been like this for months... but my grandpa Canon amazingly still work and took many a gb of pictures and videos.
Then, I put a rubber band around it, trying to see whether it might help out with the battery connection problem.  Ended up, it worked... Grandpa Canon got resurrected... and might have also gotten the never-ending "change batteries" if not battery low problem sort of alleviated!  8-O lol

Resurrected is... my grandpa Canon camera... the magic of a rubber band.
If you ask me why I am still trying to figure out how to put my grandpa Canon to use since at a low price, I can find many far more powerful camera--them once-upon-a-time state of the art technologies.  Well, I just find this camera to be very interesting... broken by design and even more broken after years of usage while continuing to be function... 8-O lol (You do have to do some maneuvering to make sure the rubber band wraps around the camera in the right fashion though...)

Grandpa Canon, "Functionality? A cup of coffee."

Monday, July 15, 2013

Puppy screenshot 2013

Playing with Puppy 4.3.1 with seamonkey with the OS running on my USB...

With this version, you can take screenshots easily with the build-in mtPaint 3.31 software.    

Since the SeaMonkey browser is no longer supported by websites such as blogger, I am unable to upload pictures of the screenshots taken...  I also can not give the post a title and don't know whether I will be able to publish it...

Interesting... seemed to have no problem doing in it back then...

Anyways, I sent the screenshots to my own gmail instead and the attachment interface did work on SeaMonkey for gmail.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Rotate a video by an arbitrary angel and crop the size of the video on PC

Haven't had issues fun like this to tackle since a long long time...

Following is a clip I took on the Maokong Gondola.  The video clip came out tilted because I rested the camera on the window pane...

This isn't really the most ergonomic means of showing people a video clip... regardless whether anyone really watch it.  So, I decided to figure out how to get my video clips alike straightened up and cropped  using a PC.... and got it done.  (Apparently, this is something easy in Mac.)

The program I used to rotate and crop the video is VirtualDub build 1.8.1.  One reason why I did not up to use the more recent versions is because... oops... couldn't find the option to rotate videos by arbitrary angels.  lol

One thing you need to know is that it seems like you cannot get the rotating and cropping done in one setting.  Rather, you have to first save the rotated clip, open this saved clip to crop it, and save it again.

And, by the way, somehow the HTML5 player doesn't like the files spitted out by VirtualDub... I am just gonna tell the viewers to unjoin the Youtube HTML 5 trial when viewing the clips... since it ain't like my clips are so popular anyways... 8-O lol

Following is the step-by-step instruction to get your video rotated to any angel of your wish and cropped the clip to the size of your preference. (Or you can go to the photo album to view the same set of instructions.)

1. Open the video file you want to work on.

2. Once the file is open, select "Filters" under the Video drop-down menu.

3. Once the "Filters" window pops up, click on "Add" to add a filter.

4. Inside of the "Add Filter" window, scroll down to look for the "rotate2" filter and press OK.

5. You will be able to specify the arbitrary angel you want the video to be rotated.  With the filtering mode, I found the "Bicubic" method to give the best output.  Also, the button at the lower left side allows you to hide and show the preview of your modification.

6. After you are done, save this file... in my case, I saved the "straightened" video under a different name simply because I don't like to mess with the original file (and thus unable to tell you what might happen if you save it under the same file name).

7. This window shall pop up when the rotated file is being saved.

8.  If you want to crop the video you have straightened, open the "straightened" file  (In this case, it's the "rotate76_1.avi.")  Open the filters window, select the filter and click on "Cropping."

9. Decide how you want the clip to be cropped and click "OK."

10. After you are done specifying the cropping setting, click on "Blend."  After clicking on "Blend," you should be able to see the [B] reflected as part of the specs for the filter.  Then, save it as an avi file.

Voila! C'est ça!

BTW, I think you can also specify certain frames to be rotated... essentially... select the frames before you apply the filture (I guess... can't help you with that since I didn't need to do that).

Following is the outcome of the above progress...

Friday, June 14, 2013

My private smart technologies

All my "gadgets" are mighty smart...

Shall you ask how someone not even have a cellphone etc could have anything to do with smart technologies?

First, my grandpa canon is very smart... it decides where it wants to focus on and when it wants to turn itself on as opposed to showing me the no battery sign.

Then, today, the cable modem was having problems linking to the outside... After calling the company, the lady told me there was no outtage in the neighborhood and the problem I had was nothing general.

Then, I found out that... lord... what a smart technology my cable modem is!  It kept on turning itself on and off till finally it got back online... and it stopped... as I was watching "The Social Network." 8-O lol

After the internet got back on, I called the internet provider again.  So the company's gonna send a technician over tomorrow morning... I mentioned to the lady, "That cable modem was working mighty hard... kept on restarting till it finally get connected... but... could it be like me... getting older and getting a bit adama shorto?" (Rubbing off on me la! lol)

The lady went... lol... like me... lol

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Youtube variable playback speed (Part III: the unmentioned reality on viewing)

The unmentioned: How can youtube videos be viewed with the variable playback speed feature enabled. (Yes, this post is not about the uploading issue.)

Based on hours of experimentation with all plausible combinations of the following factors...

  1. four different browsers (Most up-to-date versions of Chrome, Chrome incognito, Firefox, Internet Explore 10, Opera),
  2. my clip and someone else's clip
  3. closing down the browsers and relaunching them, 
  4. joining and leaving the HTML 5 trial
  5. logging in and out of my google accounts
  6. shutting the computer down and restarting it,
  7. logging in to different accounts on my computer
I had come to the conclusion that, in addition to the issues already mentioned in Part I and Part II (e.g., the clip playing using HTML 5 player, the kind of support your browser has for HTML5), the one single factor impacting whether people can view the "Speed Menu" afforded by the HTML 5 player is whether someone (doesn't have to be the person using it at the point) has enrolled in the trial (and did not leave the trial) using the given browser.  I suspect that a simple cookie might do the trick.  (And, yes, it was not until a bit earlier did I realize that you can enroll into the program without logging in to your google account.  Also, I had to enroll into the HTML trial again after logging in to a different account on the same computer.)

This is why, even though I had done all that jazz mentioned in Part I and Part II using the Chrome browser, when trying to see my clip using other browsers, I found the clip still being played using the good old flash player... until I enrolled in the trial using the other browsers.

Also, once the uploader partakes in the HTML 5 trial, all videos he or she has ever uploaded (without ads) will became "variable playback speed" capable.  For instance, those who have joined the HTML 5 trial can view this clip I uploaded on November 4th, 2012.

The reality is that whether the viewers can see video clips with the "variable playback speed" feature seems independent of whether the uploader partakes in the HTML 5 trials or not.  This is evident by the fact that, after I leave the trial while logging in with this account on the Chrome browser, when checking my clips without ads on firefox (from which browser I had also joined the HTML 5 trial), the variable playback speed option is still available with these clips still played using the HTML 5 player.

Feel free to correct me shall you consider my conclusion wrong...

C'est ca and time to go night night...

So concludes my "variable playback speed on youtube videos" trilogy.  8-O lol

Youtube variable playback speed (Part 2: my side of the world)

What does my side of the world means?  I have a lot of issues. 8-O lol

First issues: Where is the clip?

So I opted in to be a participant to join the HTML 5 player trial the day before yesterday. After the first clip got uploaded successfully, I clicked on the link youtube provided me with and found myself kept on running into this inescapable message "This video is currently unavailable."

The reality is that the message continued to show after I successfully viewed the clip many a time by finding this clip in my youtube channel... with the URL doing without the "&" part.  Then, like now, the error message has gone bye bye and the video is played at that particular URL (  Had I not taken this screenshoot, I would have thought that to the beginning of my visual hullucinations. 8-X

And, I also got to play around with the feature of variable playback speeds.

Second issue:  Where on earth is the "Speed menu" that I have seen before?

Now that I saw the first trial working successfully, I came back yesterday to upload the original video that I intended to upload--taking almost 2 hours on the much-slower-than-terabit-internet connection.  Unfortunately, though I did not see the above error message after clicking through the link provided by youtube after the upload was completed (which seems to cast doubt on whether it was simply haphazardly an error independent of the HTML 5 player issue), I simply could not get the "Speed menu" to come up after clicking on the option icon.

It went during my monkeying around did I find out that youtube provides customized menu for users when they right-click on the clip... and it tells you which player the browser is using to play the clip... and it told me that it was using flash player rather than the HTML 5 player.

I thought originally that it might have something to do with the flash plugin, the browser, or HTML 5.  I even disabled the flash plugin on Chrome to see whether it would force HTML 5 player out (we all can dream, right? 8-O lol)

Unfortunately, it doesn't work this way... you can't simply coerce HTML 5 player to come out... and I came face to face with this other message "The Adobe Flash Player is required for video playback." lol

So, I dropped it like that last night.  Waking up this morning, I decided to do something that's been in the back of my mind.  I disabled ads entirely by unchecking the option "Monetize my video" under editing "info and setting"  (though it also works if you uncheck the "Overlay in-video ads" and TrueView in-stream ads" optons).

Thereafter, I saved the changes and went back to view the clip... finally finding the "Speed Menu" and the phrase "HTML 5 Player" after right-clicking on the clip.

Apparently, youtube did mention it at the trial enrollment page... with lukewarm attitude... so they mentioned..."Some videos with ads are not yet supported (they will play in the Flash player)."

Why don't they simply tell people to disable ads entirely?  Wouldn't it save me much more time?  Also, the reality is that all my clips with ads are not supported.  (The same way you might feel after all the words and screenshots to get to the conclusion that it was all the ads fault... 8-O lol 8-X)

I was so happy because I thought... that'd be it... the end of the variable playback speed chapter... only to realize that... there is more than meets the eyes...

Part I | Part III (The reality about the variable playback speed feature)

Youtube variable playback speed (Part I: in a perfect world)

For the past few days, I have been trying to figure out how to get the variable playback speed option to work on the youtube clips I uploaded using Chrome--the HTML 5 supported browser.

How to enable the variable playback speed on your youtube videos

In order for you to have the variable playback speed option on your youtube videos enabled, you have to join the trial for HTML 5 video on youtube.

After you click on the "Join the HTML5 trial, you show see the following interface.

This means that the videos you  from now on could be played using the HTML 5 player, which would allow the users to control the playback speed (5 different options) when using a browser that supports HTML 5 (as of today).  Click here to check how well your browser supports HTML 5 or check the bottom of this page for a list of browsers supporting HTML 5.

What you should be able to see (in theory)

So, if you are using one of the browsers that support HTML 5, after you click on the option icon, you should be able to see under "Speed"--the five speeds you can choose from with the normal speed as the default setting.  

How do you know which player it is that is playing the clip for you know?  If you right-click on the movie, you will find the last item in the drop-down list as "About HTML 5."

as opposed to "About Adobe Flash Player..."

So, what I have mentioned so far is... how things should be in a perfect word...

Part II | Part III (The reality about the variable playback speed feature)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

How to replace Water Heater Battery? 更換熱水器電池

First time in my life to know that Water Heater (熱水器) is actually powered by electricity through a 1.5 V battery and got the battery replaced successfully.

1.  Look under the water heater to find where the battery is.
2.  Open the cover and take out the old 1.5 V battery
3.  Insert the new battery (make sure the +- is right) and close the cover
4.  Turn the hot water on to get the water heater to work

Voila!  C'est ca!

Of course, it is not like I figured it all out by myself... Not so smart.  Learned from this clip I found online.

(Man... feeling so very deprived and under-stimulated now that I don't work at a tech department where I can play with now technologies and  find strange problems to troubleshoot... :'-O)

Ratology Reloaded: First time experience: Replace the Water Heater Ba...: For the first time in my life... today... I figured out how to replace the Water Heater battery and got it done successfully! What happen...

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Embed Youtube clip starting at a specific time

(Update: Just realized that this function doesn't seem to work anymore as of 7/1/2013)

For the benchmark posting in my Ratology Reloaded blog, I wanted to embed the clip showing Rocky running up stairs.  That's when I came up with the question... How do I embed an youtube clip starting at a specific time?

Smart people got it figured out already.... such as in the instruction provided by Amit Agarwal.

Apparently, youtube allows you to use the time parameter to specify where you want the clip to be skipped to.  All that you have to do is to use the hashtag (#) to append the time parameter behind the URL of the clip (and don't forget the good old hash).

<iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="300" src="" width="400"></iframe>

<iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="300" src="" width="400"></iframe>

In the above examples of embed codes, both t=114s and t=1m54s refers to 1 minute and 54 seconds after the clip starts and yield the following result.