Get buried in your tome.

An en:Amazon Kindle Powered OffImage via Wikipedia

I don’t read, but I own over one hundred books. I want to read, but I just don’t have the books with me when I’m in a position where I can finally read. Reading does wonders for a person.. you can learn about any subject, you can study writing patterns and styles to make you more articulate, you can escape to another place, time, or world and leave your stress behind, all while bettering yourself, becoming more literate AND at the same time stimulating your brain to reduce your chances of senility. Lots of great reasons to pick up a book, but life often gets in the way.

As you know, I like to write. Since I like to write, I’m often overcome by guilt for not reading enough.. which would explain why I own so many damned books.. some which I’ve never even cracked open. I have good intentions, but I just keep putting it off for one more day.

I just received my Kindle from Amazon.com yesterday. The Kindle is a great device.. it allows me to carry over 200 books with me wherever I am.. eliminating my excuse of not having books when I’m in the perfect situation to read. I love having the ability to switch from a technical guide to a fictional story with merely a few clicks. It’s a great device that’s finally going to alleviate some of my writer’s guilt.

Trillian, meet digsby

Trillian (software)Image from Wikipedia

If you’re like me, you like Instant Messaging. IM beats emailing any day of the week, in my book. The problem is, there’s too many options with IM! There’s AIM (AOL’s IM), Yahoo IM, ICQ (which is another owned by AOL), GoogleTalk, and Microsoft’s MSN/Live/Whatever-they’re-calling-it-this-week IM. How does one pick? How CAN one pick? I mean, my brother uses AOL, a bunch of my friends use Google, some use MSN, and some Yahoo! I will not choose amongst my friends.. I won’t!

Well, I don’t have to. For years now I’ve been using a program called Trillian which is an Instant Messaging client that supports all of the different networks. It’s a great program that has served me well for close to a decade. Wow, time flies.

Now that I’m content with my IM solution, I’m plagued by a new problem… social networks! There’s LinkedIn, MySpace, FaceBook, and Twitter! So each day I need to login to all those sites, see what my friends are up to, update my status.. goodness, what a pain! If only there was a Trillian for that! Well, there isn’t. The developers behind Trillian have locked themselves away while they create the next Trillian, named Trillian Astra. Unfortunately, while doing this they’ve let the original Trillian fall to the wayside as IM and social networks run rampant.

Lucky for us, there’s tons of developers out there willing to fill the void. One such developer is dotSyntax. They’ve created a nifty little app called digsby. digsby is one application that handles all your IM needs, like Trillian, it also handles your Emails.. woopty-doo, but it also handles MySpace, FaceBook, and Twitter! Now all I need to do is sign into this one app and IT logs into my social networks and updates me on what my friends are up to, how cool is that?

If you’re like me, and I know you are, and your tired of checking all these places so often and would like a simple solution, try digsby.. it’s free, has no annoying spyware or nagware, and it makes social networking more fun and less work!

Cute N Stuff

Illustration of a scribe writingImage from Wikipedia

Do you write? Do you blog? Do you have a massively large pen? Well if you’re like me, you’ll answer yes to all those questions! Usually when I write, it’s really easy for me to get distracted.. a super hot chick tries to join my friends list in myspace so that I’ll go to “her” porn site, or another person dies in Africa leaving me millions of dollars, or maybe just one of my IM friends hops online and then we wait to see who says ‘hi’ first.. regardless of what it is, it’s easy to get pulled away from my writing. Does this all sound familiar to you?

Well fret no more! I’ve discovered this totally awesome free program called Q10 that’s designed to protect you from all those pesky interruptions while you’re writing. It works by taking up the entire portion of your screen, so you open it up and it is all you will see! It’s very, VERY minimalistic.. meaning that you will not be distracted by any menus or buttons or pictures.. it’s much like staring at a blank piece of paper. It has a spell-checker and it even makes neat little type-writer noises as you type.. I like that.

If you’d like to be protected from the many distractions during your writing time, give Q10 a try!

Apple TV HD – Adobe Premiere settings

This is mainly for my own memory, but if anyone is trying to figure out how to export HD video that plays on the Apple TV, here’s what worked for me, using the Adobe Media Encoder:

  •  Export Settings
    • Format: H.264
  • Video Codec: MainConcept H.264 Video
  • Basic Video Settings:
    • TV Standard: NTSC
    • Frame Width: 1280
    • Frame Height: 720
    • Frame Rate: 23.976
    • Field Order: None (Progressive)
    • Pixel Aspect Ratio: Widescreen 16:9
    • Profile: Baseline
    • Level: 3.2
  • Bitrate Settings:
    • Bitrate Encoding: CBR
    • Bitrate: 5
  • Audio Format Settings:
    • Audio Format: AAC
  • Audio Codec: AAC
  • Basic Audio Settings:
    • Output Channels: Stereo
    • Frequency: 48kHz
    • Audio Quality: High
  • Bitrate Settings:
    • Bitrate: 160