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Mid-semester Aphasia February 15, 2006

Posted by Michael McVey in Hardware.

emac   The students are entering the dark phase of the semester when they have more on their plates than they can handle without skipping a few corners. Chapters are skipped, presentations are shortened or padded, corners are cut, and e-mails are not returned.

I think the machines in my lab are feeling the same way. Tasks they performed beautifully the day before now they cannot perform at all. I had an hour of free time yesterday so I ran around taking brief snippets of video of all the staff members in the building. I am cutting them in to a video I will show on the last day of the semester at the award ceremony.

With the digital video camera, for those who do not now, you can download the images from the camera to the computer using what is called firewire. Usually this is a painless process. Click import and watch the clip gallery fill up with potential cinematic brilliance.

Today I added a minute or so of clips and I simply could NOT get the camera to work at all. It is a new camera so I had to eliminate the possible issues, including operator error. I tried in using the battery versus the direct AC power – no change. I tried using different firewire (IEEE) cables – no change. I tried inserting the cables into different slots on the eMacs – no change. I tried adjusting the camera, changing the settings, jiggling, loosening, and twisting. All this work was to no avail.

Now I have to wait for the other cameras to come back since students have been using them. I need to test to see if it is the hardware causing the problem. Yarrh!

I did get the video segments transported to the computer; I just used one of our older and trustier cameras. Now, as if on cue, one of the other eMacs is acting up and telling me it does not want to get moving any more. The machines are usually terrified of me but I think they are having a mid-semester rebellion. I believe it is time for a vacation.



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