Monday, November 7, 2011

New Camera Necessitates New Computer

For my 65th birthday (not for 2 more weeks, but it was on sale in October), my husband bought me a new Sony Handycam HDR-XR-160 Video Camera, with extra battery, charger, carrying case, protection program and all the trimmings.  SWEET!  I take so many videos and spend so much time transferring them from camera to computer, video cataloging, editing, the uploading to web albums, mostly waiting for the computer to complete an action, and all that for blurry quality and slow playback, he knew I've been jones-ing for better equipment.

Took some videos with the new unit the next weekend, tried uploading them to my old computer and it said I didn't have enough processing speed.  OOPS!  So, off I went to Best Buy the very next day, looking for a new laptop as well (mine is about 5 years old).  I've been looking around for 2 years or so and hadn't found anything I remotely liked.
I said a fervent prayer as I entered the building that I'd find the perfect laptop for me.  I waited til I felt the prayer "catch", held my breath as I ambled to the back  -- and there she was, first unit I laid my eyes on - a 17.3" TOSHIBA Satellite with Quad Core AMD processor, webcam, a decent graphics card, lots of RAM and a big hard drive, and a beautiful grey shell (most of them are shiny black these days and show every fingerprint, which is a deal-killer for me).  I swear, it was glowing.  It had a halo around it.  AND, it was on special.  I brought John back the next day to take a look, he loved every feature, and I took it home along with a nice carrying case and the 3 year protection plan (which includes a second battery).  All together it set me back $800, but that's not so bad considering how much time I spend on it. It was less than the total camera package!  I'm going back to get John an identical Satellite this week -- it will be his Christmas present from me.  We don't want anything else.
So, now I'm neck deep in setting up my new unit, transferring essential files from old computer to new, upgrading programs, etc.  And, testing its power.  Last night I streamed the first half of Dr Zhivago wirelessly off of Netflix, on battery power, in my bathroom while I soaked in a hot tub.  Picture quality was great, no pixellating whatsoever, no "loading" waits.  I carried the unit all around my yard and got perfect wireless reception clear out into the labyrinth, the shed, etc.  WHOA!  And after 2.5 hours, the battery is still more than half charged.

I've been dreading this upgrade for two years.  It was psychologically impossible for me until now, but suddenly I'm in the right frame of mind!  I've met my 2011 goals.  All else is lagniappe.  Processing/editing better videos next year, studying them in slo-mo, making composites, is paramount. I'm tunnel-visioned into the task, accepting confusion, frustration, surprise, expense and delay as part of the journey. Working my 3P's mantra:
Patience, Persistence, Prayer

So far it's working.  I've set no time limit.  However long it takes, it takes.  I'm making progress every day.  Every program I've used and loved (Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Course Designer, my scanner, my printer, etc), are old, all need new drivers or reactivation codes to function on the new computer, which I have to search for on the internet.  Today I may get my ,pst email addresses and folders transferred.  I've had to seek out tutorials on where to drill down to find them in hidden files on the old computer.  Still, I'm calm.
RANT: Still, I can't imagine how Microsoft has stayed in business and kept selling new product with such difficult procedures required to set up their equipment, email accounts, wading thru screen after screen of pop-ups offering you choice after choice on things you don't know what they are or whether to click yes, no, or "learn more", with a thousand side tracks luring you to follow until you forget where you originally intended to go, then end up with nothing for the day. Kind of like real life.  Talk about a labyrinthal experience!!!

Oh, I should mention, John also printed out the 128 page manual on how to operate the camera, which I'm also wading through a page here and a page there.  And, I discovered that the video editing software I was using can't read/handle the new AVCHD hi-def files my new camera takes. Sh-t! Now I have to purchase new video editing software. I'm online researching what programs might work, and there will be a whole new learning curve for that.
While this is taking up most of my focus, I'm not writing about other milestones, like the LSU/Alabama game where all my neighbors revealed their insanity as LSU scraped out another narrow victory in the last 2 seconds; like Lucky Lucy's CGC/TDI test, which she passed.  I'll do Lucky's writeup when I process the videos to go with it.  That will be -- whenever it is.  No need to discuss the ridiculous antics of LSU football fans, players or coaches -- the whole country is talking about little else, and I've got some new thoughts about football.

Upwards and onward!

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