Tascam US-122L

In my ongoing hunt for good audio, I decided it was time to get a real audio interface. I had been jury-rigging my mixer with more adapters than most people own in order to get the sound into my laptop. I finally gave up and just did a search on eBay for “audio interface.” I picked the highest price I was willing to spend, and watched every single one below that price. With the help of JBidWatcher (an awesome piece of software) I was able to snag a Tascam US-122L for half-price.

I was excited when it arrived, all shiny and visibly used. But as long as everything works, I don’t care about a few scratches. I installed the software, fired up Audacity, plugged in a mic, and… Nothing. Audacity gave me an error. I thought I had researched this one and confirmed it was compatible with Audacity. I tried Garage Band. It worked perfectly. It was obviously something wrong with Audacity. But I had read about people using it with no problems. On a whim, I decided to install the Snow Leopard driver (I only have Leopard.) Voila! It worked.

So now I have a fully functioning USB audio interface. I like it. It has rudimentary level meters (a green light that turns orange, then red when the level gets too high.) It accepts line and mic inputs, and it provides phantom power. The US-122L plus Audacity equals a pretty legit recording studio. As long as you only need to record two tracks at once. For $65, that’s fine by me.

Tascam US-122L

Audacity

JBidWatcher

Tascam US-122L

Tascam US-122L

Two Films

I have finally gotten around to finding a 16 mm projector so I can share these with the world. The following two films were made for my intro to film production class. The first one was a group project, two other people worked on it with me. The second one was my final project that I had to do alone. Neither of these have audio, so don’t freak out. Videos and more talking after the break. Continue reading

Cheaper printer ink

Printer inks are a rip-off. Period. There is no way is ink $3,500 per gallon. (Assuming the ink cartridges are 12 cc each at $13 a cartridge. That’s 92 cents per cc, a gallon is 3,785 cc = $3,482/gallon.) Now, we don’t buy ink by the gallon, but almost $80 to replace all the ink in my printer seems too steep. Read on to find out how you can refill your ink for less than $15 per full cartridge set. Continue reading

RTVF 24 Final Project

My Radio, Television, and Film (RTVF) 24 class, Intro to Multicamera Production, met for the final time on Monday. We have done three productions over the course of the semester, and I thought I would share my final project. The goal was to create an instructional video to teach people American Sign Language. I went through the trouble of recording it on VHS, converting to DV, then compressing and uploading it, all in the name of looking like the 80’s. Enjoy.

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The Awkward Hallway and other site stuff

Up until now I haven’t posed about my video projects. This is mainly because the stuff I’ve been doing isn’t very exciting. Comedy shows that run 90 minutes are not very web-friendly. Also, I don’t really have a good way to integrate my videos with this blog. I have no knowledge of PHP, so I can’t get into the code as much as I would like, and that’s why the blog and website have stayed separate.

I realized the other day that I didn’t have a copy of my award-winning video online yet. I don’t remember why I didn’t originally, but that has since been rectified. The video is entitled “The Awkward Hallway.” It was an entry for the PA High School Computer Fair in 2008. It won in our district and took audience favorite in states. It is available on my professional works page, middle link on the top row.

It is now available embedded!! Yay!

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Download Video

The story was written by my classmate Kat Keegan, and my friends J.C. Godlove and Kevin Levy starred in it, including a small part by me, J.C.’s dad, and Marlee Castelli. I did all the voice overs myself. I really hate hearing myself talk. At least, a recording of myself talking. I can talk all day if you can get me going.

Feel free to check out all the videos on that page. They are all professional caliber work (I think, at least) on my production website, not this site (although they are on the same server.) If anyone has any suggestions for making video galleries, I’m all ears. I have a bunch of old video my friends and I made, but I have no good way of displaying them. The current “gallery” on the ALT-5 site takes a lot of work to post even one new video, from the thumbnail creation, to the HTML page, links, uploading. It’s a pain, and doing that for the hundreds of short videos I have would take time I really don’t want to spend.

Did someone finally make a cell phone I like?

Not quite. But Casio came really close with their G’z’One Brigade.

See, I want a cell phone that’s robust and won’t break if I drop it. Arguably I don’t drop my phone that often, but if I were to drop it, I wouldn’t want it to shatter into a million pieces. I also want a full keyboard for typing text messages. I refuse to use T9. So why do I say “not quite?”

Continue reading

Safari, and why I don’t use Firefox

I have been a Safari user since it started shipping with Mac OS X. Before that, like many users, I was stuck with Netscape Navigator (ew) or Internet Explorer for Mac (ew again, but less this time.) When Safari rolled out, i was happy to shun the awful UI of Microsoft forever. Along the way I tried Firefox, but it wasn’t to my liking. Now that Safari and Firefox have both matured significantly, I have compared Firefox and Safari again. I even tried switching over to Firefox, but it only lasted about a week. I just think that Safari is the better web browser. However, Safari can learn a few things from Firefox, and vice versa. Continue reading

More Facebook Badness

Despite users despising the new layout, the user-hating folks at Facebook have decided to change the design yet again. This time, they have changed the look of the homepage only. Unfortunately, this is where most users spend most of their time, so it has a significant impact. In the old new design, wall posts, status updates, and the like were all in the same place. Each of the different things had a unique look to them. At a glance you could distinguish between wall posts and status updates. Not anymore. Continue reading

Circuit City now 50% off

Circuit City has now gone to 50% off (from the original 30%.) But even better, they are selling the store parts, too. Not only can you purchase a brand new HDTV, but you can also buy the shelf it’s siting on, the power strip it’s plugged in to, and the cables it’s hooked up with. I just scored myself a 4-way video distribution amplifier for $15. And yes, you can haggle with them, especially if they are busy.