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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Karsten Sethre's LiveJournal:

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Tuesday, July 19th, 2011
8:52 pm
On Google+ now. Not sure what I'll do with it. I'm here if anyone else is there too.
Thursday, February 25th, 2010
3:08 am
Hard drive failure sucks. Yay for RAID.
A little while back the external drive enclosure that I've been using to store my photos (two drives in RAID 1) smoked itself. Literally: a puff of magic smoke came out and it no longer powered on.

I finally got another external drive enclosure and put one of the drives in it (an advantage of RAID 1 is if it breaks each disk can still be used as a single drive). I turned it on and... it didn't power on, and I smelled burning electronics. Turns out it wasn't the enclosure that smoked itself after all.

Fortunately, the other drive (and the data) appears to be fine, but it was kinda scary for a bit since it has a 400 GB folder with nearly all my pictures from the last two years.
Monday, February 1st, 2010
6:01 am
So I'm back from Chibi-Ushi. It was the most fun I've had at a con in ages, and quite possibly ever. Small conventions > big conventions.

Photos and videos to be posted starting later tonight as I can go through them, but here's one because I know everyone that was there would be bugging me until I put it up: Lauren's Car Decides She Can't Leave Early
Monday, January 25th, 2010
9:09 pm
Desk space
I need a bigger desk. With my Hayate figure and Fate figure taking up a pretty good chunk of my desk space already, I just got an email that the Nanoha figure I'm being given as a late Christmas gift is on the way. Unfortunately, this means I'll probably have to find someplace else to put my Haruhi and Lucky Star figures, or at least change their poses.
Sunday, January 3rd, 2010
8:28 am
Ikkicon pictures will keep me busy for a while
Ikkicon pictures taken so far (still a day left): 2109. Breaking some of it down:
  • Hallway cosplay pictures: 174 (including 13 steampunk)
  • Science Show: 132
  • Fashion Show: 198
  • Steampunk Prop panel: 97
  • Pose-off: 143
  • Cosplay for Photography panel: 8 (was mostly talking, but I have a video coming as well)
  • Mock Combat: 314
  • Cosplay Contest: 528 (unlike my fail at San-Japan, these pictures actually turned out OK)
  • Cosplay Chess: 202
Plus there's several panel videos to split and upload. I have posted one video already: Caramelldansen in the hall (including Pyramid Head, among many others)
Thursday, December 10th, 2009
11:43 pm
A fix for distorted pictures in Windows Photo Viewer
I'm still working on the San-Japan videos (ran into some unexpected trouble on the cosplay video), but I also found a solution to something that's annoyed me since I switched from XP to Win7: some pictures, when viewed with Windows Photo Viewer (the default picture viewer app) appear stretched out vertically so much you can't tell what they are.

Example and solution behind the cut.Collapse )
5:15 am
It's amazing what I can get done once I have tools to make it easy.
First panel video from San Japan 2.x is up: How To Fan

I started with that one because it has useful information, it was easy to find places to split it into segments, and it was the first panel of the con.

As I type this, the first part (of five) of that panel is in HD, and the others should become HD gradually as YouTube finishes processing them.

Things I've learned so far while doing this:
  • White balance is important. I can ignore it on my still camera because I shoot in RAW and apply white balance later, but since I don't do any processing on the videos before they get uploaded I really need to pay more attention when shooting.
  • It's OK to use higher bitrates. Some of the videos really could have done better if captured at a higher quality, but I was worried about storage space, so I used the lowest setting that was still 1920x1080. At the end of the con, my camcorder's drive was still mostly empty and I was easily able to burn all the video onto two BDRs.
  • Time Warner Cable has multiple levels of cable modem service. Upgrading made my upload speed go from 40kB/sec to 250kB/sec, making posting the videos only "rather annoying" instead of "horribly agonizing".
  • YouTube takes a long time to process HD videos. And related to that, the "My Videos" page says "Uploaded (processing, please wait)" from the moment you start the upload, meaning you can't tell from that page if it means "upload completed, will show up soon" or "still working on uploading, might still fail".

More videos coming as I get to them. Fair warning about the cosplay video, though: the shooting environment was horrid, with a black background and harsh lighting. I wasn't able to babysit the exposure settings, as I was trying to deal with my still camera at the time, for all the good it did me — my still shots didn't turn out well either.
Tuesday, December 8th, 2009
3:21 am
My excuses for a lack of San Japan videos just got reduced.
Just did some testing on YouTube, and while I'll wait for my test videos to go HD to be certain, it looks like they fixed the problem with unconverted AVCHD streams — like what my camcorder makes — playing at half speed. I'm guessing that went in with the recent addition of 1080p (though technically my camcorder outputs 1080i).

Combined with finding a simple, free, lossless stream cutter to trim the longer videos to 10-minute segments without converting to AVI, I no longer have to wait countless hours for videos to be recompressed (and be reduced in quality) before uploading.

Now I just have to wait countless hours for them to upload.

In unrelated news, I haz a Facebook.
Friday, July 31st, 2009
8:29 am
Monday, July 20th, 2009
12:26 am
Video camera upgrade

Finally getting a new camcorder and getting away from tapes, just in time to spend some time getting used to it before San-Japan.

Details if anyone's curious.Collapse )
Wednesday, May 27th, 2009
2:11 pm
Yay new system
Finally got enough software moved to my new system to start using it as my primary box (though being able to remote connect between them helps a lot if I find anything I missed). It's a Core i7 running Windows 7 RC. I named it "Nana" on the network.

Windows 7 is actually very good, much better than Vista, and even better than XP in many ways. Very, very few compatibility issues as it can use Vista drivers if needed, and the few apps that have run into problems are for the most part fixed by changing the "Run this program in compatibility mode for..." option. Aero Peek is nice. I also like that it can auto-change the wallpaper without having to find a 3rd party app. Some of the security features are a bit overzealous for someone that knows what they're doing, but probably very good for the average user.

I also finally got a monitor arm, and moved my 20" widescreen to this system (I'd previously had it connected to my Mac Pro which I almost never use). Having a monitor arm makes using the computer while I'm in bed much more comfortable, and I wish I'd invested in one sooner. It even lets me rotate between portrait and landscape easily, if I ever feel the need to do so. On the other hand, 1680x1050 resolution cuts down on the number of available desktop wallpapers compared to 1280x1024 (or even the 1440x900 of my notebook).

One interesting thing I've noticed is that due to the way Hyperthreading works, the distributed.net client actually works both faster and more background-friendly if I manually set it to use 7 threads instead of the 8 it auto-detects. [WARNING: Tech stuff follows] It would probably work even better with 4 threads with one thread on each real core, but the only way I've found to do that is to manually set the affinity in Task Manager each time it starts, otherwise the 4 threads usually get put with two each on the first two real cores while the other two real cores sit idle, effectively halving the speed. After some experimenting I found the Hyperthread cores are grouped 0+1, 2+3, 4+5 and 6+7, so a process should ideally first use all of either the even cores or the odd cores before using the other half, but what it does instead is put the four threads on CPU0-CPU3.

This system does emulate PS2 games very well, so I may finally get around to finishing Persona 3 and Odin Sphere (the latter, at least, looks even more pretty at high resolution; I just wish it were widescreen).
Thursday, March 19th, 2009
9:17 pm
CoH Mission Architect
City of Heroes Issue 14: Architect went to open beta the other day.

I really want to have fun with this. The problem is I just can't come up with any even semi-original story ideas.

I may just do an arc based on the first season of Nanoha. Or maybe something that has as many tropes as I can cram in, just for the heck of it.

Most likely, though, I'll just make missions tailored to whichever character I'm working on to help get them past problem levels. This isn't really an issue with some of my alts, but when I'm playing characters that can't solo very well or quickly (like pre-32 Controllers...) at 3 AM when I can't find a team, being able to run missions custom-tailored to their strengths will be a great help.
Saturday, March 7th, 2009
9:16 am
Twitter thing
So I went ahead and made a Twitter account. Not sure if I'll do anything with it, but who knows. I figured I may as well make sure I grabbed my handle there before someone else happened to use it (doesn't happen often, but has on occasion, notably in EVE and on a few WoW servers, back when I played them).

I may look for a Windows Mobile Today Screen app that can post there; seems like there ought to be one, and that would make it easy to post from my phone if I'm not near a computer (I don't have a text message plan on my phone, just net access).

...and my mind still keeps trying to tell me the term for a Twitter post should be "twit". (Yes, I know they call them "tweet"s.)
Saturday, February 14th, 2009
8:56 pm
Gradually posting more content from Ikkicon, including video!
I hate getting sick after a con.


My first video from Ikkicon 3 is up - the San Japan panel. It's split into seven parts due to YouTube's annoying length limits. I'll be adding more videos later, but don't hold your breath, as I have a lot to do and the cosplay videos will take more work.

My pictures collection has grown a bit, but isn't quite complete. I did get all the wandering cosplayer and cosplay chess pictures up, as well as a couple others. Next on my list is sorting through the ~700 pictures I took during the cosplay contest.
Saturday, February 7th, 2009
8:17 pm
Ikkicon - Busy, busy, busy...
Just got back to my room after the cosplay contest. I now have over 1400 pictures to sort through, to say nothing of the video. Sure, most of the pictures will be tossed out (during panels and events I tend to err on the side of taking way too many; I even did some high-speed bursts of the little girl dressed as Hatsune Miku singing Ievan Polkka, figuring I might make an animated GIF or something), but I still have to at least glance through them, and each one I decide to keep I fiddle with to get it to look better.

I still have some more tonight, not to mention tomorrow, left to take pictures at, though there's usually not as much (photography-wise) happening in the evening, and Sunday usually has much fewer people in costume... though I was asked to take pictures at a concert on Sunday, so who knows...

It will be a few days, at least, before I get all the pictures up. As I get them ready they'll be going here.

The one thing that bugged me during the cosplay was after the walk-ons and before the skits, they decided to put one of the official video cameras, mounted on a tripod, half in front of the press area, and directly in front of my video camera.

Current Mood: busy
Sunday, January 25th, 2009
6:12 am
Pre-Ikkicon Cosplay Raid Pictures
Pictures are up from the pre-Ikkicon cosplay raid at Main Event on Jan. 24th.

A few highlights behind the cutCollapse )
Sunday, January 18th, 2009
7:47 pm
More fun with the new camera
It was pointed out to me I could do this.

Horrible meme joke behind the cut.Collapse )

I'm not usually one to post meme jokes, but a friend insisted the setting was begging for it.
Saturday, January 10th, 2009
4:05 am
New camera, new pictures of my toys at work
My new camera (Canon 50D) arrived shortly before I had to leave for work, so the first pictures are of my desk toys.

Highlights behind the cutCollapse )
Friday, January 2nd, 2009
9:34 pm
New Year Fireworks

I didn't set off any, but some people across the street from where we meet to watch anime every week set some off. The pictures probably would have been better if I had a tripod handy, but oh well.

Here's the pictures that didn't completely suck.
Friday, December 26th, 2008
3:19 am
Web site
In case anyone actually tried to access my web site or any data on it over the last couple days (this includes some of my older convention pictures as well as the avatar I use on some forums), yes, I know it's down. I finally got a chance to take a look and figure out what's wrong.

The good news is it seems to boot up fine - all the drives are fine, the RAID is healthy, the OS is fine, etc.

The bad news is the NIC appears to be dead (yes I tried a known good cable on a known good port on the router).

This means it will continue to be down until probably halfway through the weekend when I can get a chance to go to Fry's or whatever and pick up a NIC, then try to get it to work on whatever old version of Linux I'm running.

If my past experience with Linux is any indication, this will be... quite an adventure. (But still better than trying to run my file/web server on a Windows system.)
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