Hardware, News

A-cam dII World Premiere

Yes, I’m back and as it happens I’m attending the International Broadcast Convention 2008 in Amsterdam and I’ll be posting some impressions over the following days.

The launch of the A-Cam dII from Ikonoskop was my personal highlight today. Check out the friendly presentation given to me at the IBC in the video below. This may even be a world first.

To recap, Ikonoskop launched a Super 16mm film revival when they produced the A-Cam SP-16 – a highly affordable and modern Super 16 motion picture camera – back in 2004. I don’t know about you, but I was quite ecstatic about the camera back then.

Then came the digital revolution with the RED ONE. Sure, I was quite ecstatic about that camera too. However, it was not like you could ever afford one any-day-real-soon-now.

Then we all some creamed our their pants when Nikon finally launched a DSLR with HD video capabilities with the D90 (which was a little late and should have been included with the D300 already, if you ask me).

Today Ikonoskop launched their digital heir (or rather companion) to the A-Cam SP-16, the A-Cam dII. They call it a ‘High Definition RAW Format Motion Picture Camera’. It feels rock solid and very user friendly to the touch.

It’s available from December this year at 6.950,- EUR plus VAT including all you need to get started. That’s HALF the price of a RED ONE body only. You can preorder here.

Many thanks to Daniel Jonsäter who let me record his presentation. Thanks, Daniel!

Contrary to popular belief, Swedes and Norwegians do get along just fine. ;)

Hardware, Lessons Learned, Software

Do you backup?

I was reading Chris Pirillo‘s latest blog entry about backup and file management this morning and it inspired me to share what I do to back up and mirror the important stuff. (Watch the show featuring Chris’ dad if you haven’t already.)

Backing up is important incase something happens to your computer or laptop. If you haven’t backed up and your laptop breaks, then you might lose all your work. While you can use this website to see product reviews that will help you pick the best laptop, nothing can replace your lost work. That is why individuals often use something Windows Backup, which is a built-in application. Using this feature, users can easily back up important data on the hard drive of their computer. However, some Windows users have encountered the error 0x800700E1 when backing up important files or data to an external drive. Note that this error code does not allow users to create a backup and requires further troubleshooting to bypass error 0x800700e1.

Anyway, let us come back to the original topic without further ado. The below-mentioned things can help you backup and mirror your important work. They can ensure that your data is never lost.

The hardware: Two cheap and identical 500 GB external USB hard drives from TrekStor. € 99,- / USD 135,- each.

The software: MirrorFolder for Windows XP from TechSoft. € 28,5 / USD 39,- per computer license. (If anyone knows of a better software solution for mirroring and for other platforms, please leave a comment!)

Important files and folders on my workstation(s) and laptop are set to be automatically mirrored on both of the external disks. Projects, music, settings, etc are all mirrored on both of the disks for redundancy. So in event that one hard drive breaks down, it doesn’t automatically translate to an entire loss of backup data.

In a similar vein, when keeping more than one backup pair of hard drives (say one pair for your work files and the other for your personal files), it can get confusing to know which external disk contains what information. Here, two-part asset tags can prove extremely helpful in discerning one pair from the other. Those interested in learning about tagging devices and equipment can go to this site for an in-depth understanding.

Another clear advantage of keeping redundant external drive backup is that I can take one of the disks with me on the move without worrying too much about data loss.

Works for me ™.

What do you do? Please share your experiences and leave a comment!

Hardware, News

Headplay wearable display and media player – Now taking orders

Some of you may remember Headplay, a wearable display – only a concept and a pitch for VC at the time. After what seems like ages (well, maybe more like six months), I finally got an email from Headplay last night announcing that they are now ready to ship. It’s allegedly available for shipping at USD 499.99.

Image of Headplay

I had almost forgotten about the concept designed by ideo and written it off as yet another vapourware product. At the time I learned about Headplay, icuity was building up hype for their wearable iPod display. There was also MyVu.

Headplay, as opposed to icuity and MyVu, sports an own media player – a separate box – that can reportedly play most familiar audio and video formats. Furthermore, where as the two other brands supports resolutions of 640 X 480 and 320 X 240 respectively, Headplay touts a native 800 x 600. However, there is no VGA or DVI port, only an y/c (svhs). There’s a page up on the site detailing the specs further.

Let me know how it works for you if you ever get your hands on one – or better yet, send me one to test!

Another new affordable wearable display to check out would be the icuity VR920 which includes stereo vision (Nvidia only) and head tracking. I have no information on how well it works at this time.

I’ve been looking for an affordable wearable display to use with a laptop for a couple of years now. A display I would actually buy would have to have at least 800 x 600 native resolution and a DVI or VGA interface. Optional niceties would be head tracking and stereo (twin) cameras. The threshold for me actually considering a purchase would probably be between USD 500 to 800, depending on specs.

Be sure to leave a comment if you know of other affordable and interesting wearable displays, or maybe you have some ideas for use that you would like to share? I would like to experiment with augmented reality myself. Virtual Light anyone?