Today I was reading the wonderful Conversation Between Dave Patterson and Jim Gray over at the ACM site. Patterson and Gray are both pretty famous in our profession, but neither is as famous as he deserves to be. Instructions: If you care at all about anything to do with data and where it lives, skip over and read Patterson and Gray. Then, if your infrastructure is up to a (quite pretty) 4.4MB Quicktime movie, proceed. (World’s first videoblog! Be an early adopter!) Otherwise, see ya later.
Types “quicktime browser” into Google and reads. Codes furiously. Points Mac browser at results. Exclaims in glee. Beetles over to nearest Windows box. Snarls. Back to Google. No luck. Anguish. Spots the moronic typo in the code...
If it didn’t work, sorry ’bout that. The above is Hornby Island, captured on the recent Island Rose Trip.
That’s nineteen seconds of digital video for your pleasure. Quicktime offers a variety of compression modes, with labels ranging from “email” (most compressed) to “full DV.” The video above is that advertised as being “For CD-ROM.” The full DV of those nineteen seconds is 67.7MB, and I must say that in full-screen mode, it looks fabulous. I know that many of you treat bandwidth like sand in the desert, but I am still not gonna post that, because I pay for it.
The Point · Which, writ small, is the point that Patterson and Gray converge on. Firewire is cheap. CPU cycles are cheap. Disk space is insanely cheap. But moving data around the world is still pretty expensive.
The Art · As for video, you can count on me never posting any of my home/family videos here, among other things they are incredibly bad. But I think maybe there is a place for “still-life” movies, essentially long-duration photographs. The above being the beginnings of an example. Of course, to do it properly you’d need to use a tripod, and you’d need to use something better than the camera’s built-in mike for audio capture. But the idea’s not completely nuts.
P.S. · Based on this note, I’d say it’'s time for Wired magazine to run a piece by a leading blognosticator proclaiming The Dawn of Videoblogging. I’ll tell ya though, vidblogging ain’t moblogging, what with the Firewire cables all over the place and lots of AC to keep everything going while you video-edit and the need to juggle Quicktime (or equivalent) and iMovie (or equivalent), this is something you want to do in the privacy and comfort of your own home office.