This is the first newsletter devoted to hardware. After a camcorder,
what's the most used piece of video hardware? For me it's my fairly new
I've had a tripod ever since I rode a tricycle... but it wasn't
until this past Christmas that I tried a monopod. Over the 9 months we've
formed such a positive relationship that I decided to dedicate this newsletter
the left, I'm at my grandson's football game last week, shooting his 2nd
touchdown run in 3 years. The narrow bench was the only thing around I could use
for a higher perspective of the field. Not much room for both the monopod and
me, but it was pretty comfortable.
It's just the latest example of where a monopod has the
extreme advantage over a tripod when taking video.
A couple years earlier, I would fold the legs of my tripod together and
use it as it was a monopod. With 3 legs and the more limited swiveling
of the head it didn't work nearly as well. The picture at the right is an
airshow in Chicago.
only place to get a good view without lots of people was in Lake Michigan. Those
are boats in the distance, not the other side, which is about 100 miles
... before getting into
are a few notes...
My new HP
laptop is on order, but I don't expect to see it until I return
from the MVP Summit...
is at Microsoft next week... I'll be cramped for
time and computer capabilities, so I'll publish this newsletter before I
leave, and then skip a week before doing #73.
#73 will take a look at current
developments in custom xml files for transitions, effects
and title overlays. The Persian Page of my site is pretty well along and about
ready for my active involment.
I made a Puzzle
Overlay on top of a 13 second segment from a Persian Poet
Gal video. I also put a zipped
file with all the ingredients needed to install the custom
overlay in your Movie Maker setup... ready for downloading and use... over your
own images and clips.
I've been thinking about how to
easily manage all the custom files you can find yourself swimming in... those
you develop yourself, and others downloaded from any of several
...the solution is easy... store the
custom files with your copy of my personal database
(the free one you got from me... see below if you didn't) and add two
records, one to install the puzzle parts, and another to remove them. With the
two records in the database and the parts over to the side, when you want
to use the puzzle overlay, click on the open icon in
the database and it's automatically taken care of.
... and when you're done using it on
that project, cleanup your Movie Maker working folders by clicking the
other associated icon... you won't be accidentally removing other important
MM2 working files as you search for and delete the puzzle parts.
I'll cover how to use this
feature of the database in the next issue, in addition to reviewing the xml
With school back in session, the
Intro to Movie Maker class at the library had a record number
of attendees - 9 people. 8 of them using Windows XP and
one Windows 98.
The library is holding a
Technology Fair on Saturday, October 15. I'll be doing a one
hour exhibit about Movie Maker from 2 to 3, a good chance to show off the new
laptop, Movie Maker, and some of the fancier video samples... stop by
if you're in the area.
.... on to the main
Here's my Canon Monopod 100. It's small
and light for traveling... 15 ounces (less than a pound), much
lighter than my camcorder, and it feels good in your hand as you walk
head has a swivel ball... which can rotate all the way up or down
by up to 90 degrees in two directions.
Most of the models I looked at don't have the head swivel features
to that degree, a desirable feature for quick and easy rotation,
and changing directions on a dime... upwards to airplanes,
skyscrapers and birds, and downwards to water and sand.
When fully extended, the top of the base is 5-1/2 feet high... at
that level the camcorder is a bit higher than my eye level, so I leave it
a bit less than fully extended.
3 clamps are easy to loosen and tighten, and I haven't had any slippage when
using it extended.
This is a short main feature, but how much can you say about a simple
device? But it's sometimes the simple ones that provide the hardware basics for
your video shooting.
Reminds me of something I hear a bit about Movie Maker... "it's such a
simple software app, how can you write books, magazine articles, and
a website about it?".