Addicted to novelty since 2001

How To Do Stuff

I know just a couple of weeks ago I described how I didn’t do link round-ups anymore, but this list just suggested itself to me over the past 48 hours. I’ll try to provide enough context to each link, so that it’s more than just ‘click here’!

  • How
    to select movies at the Vancouver International Film Festival
    – "It
    is a bit over whelming, and a bit like being let loose in the candy store
    with a thick wad of cash. The trouble is that many of the synopsis that you’re
    going to read were crafted to sell the movies…" The festival doesn’t
    start until September 29, but it’s a tricky business. After all, there’s only
    about 80 shows on at the Fringe, and I find it challenging to separate the
    wheat from the chaff there.
  • How
    to know you’re a Vancouverite
    – "You know how to pronounce Squamish,
    Osoyoos, Nanaimo, and Tsawwassen (although you might argue about the last
    one)." Dawson Creek is a town, not a former TV vehicle for James Van
    Der Beek.
  • How
    to beautify a face
    – "This tutorial will show you how to beautify
    a face. The corrections that we’re going to do will make the face look different,
    but at the same time we avoid to make the results look unnatural. Of course,
    the face we’re going to work on is not going to look the same when we’re done,
    but we will only make necessary and subtle changes." It’s a well-written
    lesson in improving a portrait that final 10 or 15%. If you don’t want to
    read the whole thing, go to this
    , scroll to the bottom, and mouse over the photo to see the difference.
  • How to
    disappear in America without a trace
    – "If your opposition are police
    authorities, rest assured that they have decades of experience to back them
    up whereas to them, you’re nothing more than another faceless fugitive on
    the run." It looks old, so you may have already read it. Regardless,
    it’s a fascinating study in achieving (or at least attempting) anonymity.
  • How
    to own a MythTV PVR without making one
    – "Get this complete, ready
    to run system. Watch, pause, and rewind live TV. Record your favorite shows
    and movies. Play and record DVD’s. Keep your video library online and ready
    to play any time." Thanks to Alex
    for this one. I’ve written about wanting such a device before, but I didn’t
    want to make it myself. Now I can buy one without any of the nasty DRM. Next
    question: can I buy one from a Canadian company with good tech support?
  • How to rip DVDs – "Ripping
    DVDs (geek-speak for copying onto your PC’s hard-drive) is good for making
    a backup of their content, or watching them on your PC." Right, ‘making
    a backup’. Regardless, this is welcome, because I tried to do this about 4
    months ago, following a lengthy and ridiculously complicated set of instructions.
    This looks much simpler.

3 Responses to “How To Do Stuff”

  1. donna

    thank you VERY much for the face tutorial. I’ve been looking for something like that for a while. :)

  2. richard

    If you want a MythTV box built, you just let me know and I’ll hook you up; I’ve built mine a half dozen times, and I swear by it. It’s like a spam filter for my Tv.

    Oh, and there’s a DVD ripping module as part of MythTV; it’s pretty close to idiot proof.

  3. filmgoerjuan

    The easiest way I’ve found to back up DVDs is to use DVD Shrink. Simple, intuitive, minimal settings/clicking required to back up (and compress if needed) your DVDs.

    As for choosing films at the VIFF, those hints are useful, but the only one that is near ironclad is to stick to documentaries. Even when the technique the documentarian uses doesn’t work, often the subject matter is so compelling that the film rises above it.

    Particularly hard to choose from are the Asian films. Tony Rayns, the programmer of the Asian section, has such idiosyncratic tastes (which is a polite way of putting it) that I’ve found year after year it’s a real crapshoot. After my disasterous experience last year, I’ve decided to sit this year’s festival out.

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