The consequences that are rendered

Ok, so right now I am sitting in the computer lab at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities West Bank, where I took an electronic arts class. My video is rendering for what I hope will be the final time.

The process of making a DVD entails generating a huge MPEG-2 video file that DVD Studio Pro burns onto DVD-Rs. This process works best when the computer processes the whole video stream twice?or two-pass variable bit-rate encoding. It just started the second pass about 10 minutes ago.

In a delightful turn of events, the DVD recording of John Kerry's appearance at Macalester that I ordered from C-SPAN in the middle of last month finally showed up this morning. I brought it straight into the lab here and extracted my 15 seconds of C-SPAN fame for the project. This would be "Fair Use" if such a thing still exists.

Having just written about DVD decryption for my journalism law class, it was interesting to try the process again. The tools are easier than ever to find. The indispensible VersionTracker readily lists several programs that will hack DVD copyright protections for you, a gutsy step considering that not too long ago, those who linked to DeCSS got their butts kicked in court.

So in other words, to get DVD footage into a personal project on the Mac, it is basically a two-step process. First, extract the chapters you need with DVD2oneX, which works even if you haven't registered (and don't forget to get the audio as well). This will produce a decrypted .VOB file inside a VIDEO_TS folder on your hard drive. Then use the freeware MPEG Streamclip to turn the .VOB file into whatever format you need, in my case a digital video stream.

It took quite a bit of fiddling to find the programs and get it working, but the results are undeniable. Now I've really got the kicker for the end of my disc. Hurry up and render now!!!!!!

In other grand news,
HongPong.com has another blog... bumm bumm bumm...

That dark denizen of Wild Canyon, Mordred himself, i.e. Nick Petersen, is going to shower us with his irregularly formed thoughts on an intermittent basis. Or else he will take us to David Brooks-like heights of flowery mescal divinations.

The new blog is located at http://www.hongpong.com/mordred, and I will be setting up some new menus and update boxes so that Nick's latest is excerpted on the front page.

Nick also has a posting account to this page, as well, so he may yet add some wisdom to the front page, if he so chooses. And Nick has just informed me that his associate Leroy Babolian is about to make his first post.

Further down the road, I have secured the donation of one aged Dell Pentium 4/1.1GHz machine to act as a Linux server once I return from a family wedding after this weekend. We will probably institute something like TikiWiki, Scoop or PHP-Nuke for our global plot to thwart control of everything.

I will be gone from Wednesday to Sunday, up in the mountains above Salt Lake City, participating in a most modern ceremony. Should be fun.

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