Radified News for August, 2001  

30aug2001 - We're back. It'll take me a few days to get my head screwed on straight again. In the meantime, Wendy started back at school this week. Beginning her 4th semester at USC Film school. I posted the first update of the Fall semester here -> USC Film school, Fall 2001 semester.

I had expected site usage to dwindle while we were away, but just the opposite occurred. Radified saw the single biggest monthly gain ever. An increase of nearly 50% over July. This far exceeds the typical 20% monthly increases I've been averaging. See here for a peek at bandwidth usage stats for August.

Wendy said, "I guess it's safe to say they're not coming to your site to read the daily updates." =) I guess not. The Hard Drive Partitioning Strategies guide saw the single largest increase in reader attention since we left.

I made it possible to access many of the guides from four different URLs. For example, you can access the (same) Partitioning Guide mentioned above from any one of these four (different) URLs:

* http://partition.radified.com/index.html

I don't think this offers any tangible benefits. It just seems cool that it can be done, and I'm still learning about all this web site stuff. The same thing is possible with the Norton Ghost guide, the Asus CUSL2 users guide, the ASPI drivers guide, the FDISK Hard Drive Partitioning guide, the Rip CD Audio & MP3 Encoding guide, the Benchmarks page, and a few others.

I'll catch up with things in a few days, when I get done unpacking and finish this mountain of laundry. =(


18aug2001 - There'll be no updates for the next couple of weeks while the hard-working crew at Radified International takes a well-deserved vacation. We'll leave the site up for you to peruse at your leisure. The Rip CD Audio & MP3 Encoding guide has received the most attention recently. Hasta la vista, amigos.


17aug2001 - Wendy stayed up 'til 4AM, editing Tania's thesis project film, titled Seahorses (seahorsesthefilm). She made it to scene 20 (out of a total of 27). Every 10 minutes she'd call me in and ask, "What do you think of this cut?" She's editing Seahorses on Final Cut Pro, which she prefers over Premiere.

Tania is currently in Hawaii (Maui), teaching a summer filmmaking class at a community college there, as part of a USC outreach program. She'll be back next week. Wendy wants to have a rough cut of the entire project done when she returns.

Wendy keeps having dreams (nightmares) that Tania returns and asks, "Is that all you got done?" =D Wendy put off editing Tania's film for a few weeks while she did a paying gig for an actress, who wanted to assemble a 'reel'. 

In industry lingo, a 'reel' is a compilation of footage from all your best work, thrown together with an assortment of photos, flyers and complimentary music. Took longer than expected, cuz the actress is a perfectionist.

Wendy says the biggest problem she has editing Tania's film is that the supporting actress (Guinevere) is much more talented than than the lead (Catherine). She wants to use all the shots containing Guinevere, but can only do so much, cuz it's Catherine's story.

When Wendy gets on an editing roll, she gets batty, cuz she has to concentrate hard for long periods of time. When she starts losing it, she self-medicates with a glass of Kahlua & creme, or brandy, and smokes a Cohiba. Whatever works for you, I guess.

After Tania saw the screening of the film Wendy edited last semester (titled Echo, which has already gotten into two film festivals), she told Wendy, "I'm sooo glad I have you to edit my 581 (thesis project film)."

Wendy was awarded an Editing TA-ship. She'll be teaching other graduate students how to edit on the Avid next semester, which starts a week from Monday. She's excited about that. Her site, lagunacinema, containing her (edited) films, is here.


16aug2001 - The latest rage in PC mods is the faux radioactive case. A place called PC Mods sells everything you need to turn your boring box into a glowing rad rig. 

Using a Dremel, cut a hole in the side of your case. Fill hole with clear, acrylic window using molding. Virtual Hideout has a guide with pix here.

Install cold cathode light. Apply etched-effect radiation Applique, and you have yourself a very cool (rad) case. When done, they look like this. I love this kind of stuff. Thx to Dan for the info.

Should be able to score everything for less than US$75, including shipping, not including the Dremel, which you should be able to borrow from a friend.


15aug2001 - Monday (the 13th) was a new world record for Radified. The site set a new all-time high for number of unique visitors - about 10% higher than the previous record, from the previous week. A 10% per week increase is respectable. The number of unique visitors has been growing steadily at ~20% per month. 

A surge in the number of readers checking out Wendy's Film school diaries was responsible for most of the increase. The HalfDome and Yosemite pix also saw heavy traffic.

The ASPI guide is threatening to overtake the Ghost guide as the single most popular destination for Radified readers. For as long as I've been monitoring web usage stats, the Ghost guide has been way out in front of everything else. It was my first Radified guide. I wrote it before I even had the site. 

But the ASPI guide is rapidly closing the gap. The Ghost guide is still tops, but the ASPI guide is hot on its heels. 

Whereas readers find the Ghost guide primarily from links like this (The Coaster Factory) and this (SoundProofed), they're finding the ASPI guide primarily from search engine queries. Try searching Google for either ASPI guide or Force ASPI and you'll see what I mean .. altho it is starting to show up at sites like this (Disc Help). More Referrals here


14aug2001 - Encoded my first Liquid Audio files today, with an encoder referred to as the Liquifier (cool name). The Liquifier max'es out at 192kbps in what they refer to as Audiophile quality

The Liquid Audio encoder is based on the new AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) encoder, which is destined to replace MP3. For more about Liquid Audio, AAC, and other lossy codecs, see here


13aug2001 - The film that Wendy edited last semester, titled Echo, was accepted into yet another film festival. This time it was the San Diego Asian American Film festival (Pema, the director, is Tibetan). Wendy is excited about getting into film festivals, especially after she worked so hard. This makes 3 entries in the last few days.

I started another article, tilted Life in Laguna. Laguna Beach, inhabited by people called Lagunatix, is a cool place to live. A rough cut should be available for posting in a few days. 


12aug2001 - Wendy's birthday party last night. We went to a place in South Laguna called Dizz's, her favorite place. Had a lot of fun. Maybe too much. Everyone moving slowly today.


11aug2001 - Saw the movie, Apocalypse Now - Redux last night. This is a re-release of Francis Ford Coppola's film from the early 80's. If you've never seen it, you should. 

In filmmaking circles, Apocalypse Now is famous cuz they shot ~100 minutes of footage for every minute used in the film. Most films typically have a ratio of of between 6 and 10 to 1. Since they had so much extra footage, Coppola re-released the film with many new scenes, never seen before. 

Long film. Over 3 hours. Sit near the aisle so you can get up and walk around when you begin to get stiff. Coppola is one of my favorite directors, and Apocalypse Now is one of my favorite films. The first 10 minutes are especially well done. 

Wendy studied the sound design in Film school. She heard this was a very personal film for Coppola, which contains priceless one-liners, such as, Charlie don't surf! and, I love the smell of napalm in the morning.


10aug2001 - Alex sent word today that Motherboard Monitor v5.09 is out. You can grab it here. MBM home page & changes to v5.09 are listed here.

Wendy's birthday tomorrow. 


09aug2001 - Absolutely picture-perfect day here in sunny Southern California. You can find me at the beach. =)

Wendy learned today that the 16mm b&w film she wrote & directed during the 508 semester, titled Liliana, was selected for the Big Bear Lake Film festival. The lady she talked to today said that the audience winner for last year's film was also made by a student from USC

Not only that, but she also learned today that the 16mm color film she edited last semester, titled Echo, was selected for the Temecula Valley International Film festival. Of course, she had to call her mom & all her friends, and tell them the news. She's one happy camper, walking six inches off the ground.


08aug2001 - Encoded my first mp+ files today. MP+ is the (lossy) encoding format preferred by those moving beyond MP3. It was painless, and yes, they sound great. I share the pro's & con's of what I've learned about MPEGPlus here

The author of the program, Andree Buschmann (Germany), reviewed what I wrote about his encoder and provided comments. He likes that I differentiate between my experience & what I've heard. I like that he acknowledges his encoder may need tweaking.

Monday was a new, all-time, world-record for the number of Unique visitors to Radified. (It takes a couple of days to get the stats.) The Rip/encode guide was responsible for most of the increase. The Film school dairies also saw dramatically increased traffic.

Somebody from Argentina sent me a virus today. Norton Antivirus caught it before it did any harm. These have been getting more frequent lately.

There's a new PCI standard on the distant horizon. Developed by Intel, the 3rd generation I/O, referred to as both 3GIO and Arapahoe, will x-fer data 6 times faster than PCI-X, currently the fastest PCI standard. 

Don't hold your breath though, cuz you won't be seeing any PC's with 3GIO until 2004. The new interface is expected to last at least 10 years (yeah, right). Most PCs currently use version PCI2.x. More info here (ZDNet).

Titled Second Coming, a good article on what lies ahead for PCs & the Internet is posted here (PC Mag). It's 5 pages. Synopsis? You ain't seen nothing yet.


07aug2001 - Received another email from the Dog, who quit his job & moved to Ireland. If you're at all curious as to what the heck is going on over there with the IRA & Sinn Fein, check out his latest note, posted here.

Major structural revision to the Rip/encode guide today, which is now 7 (!) pages. Seven is supposedly 'the number of perfection'. =) 

I hope so, cuz I don't want to do that again anytime soon. I don't mind tweaking pages to improve readability. In fact, I rather enjoy it. But for some reason, I hate doing the structural mods. If I had my druthers, everything would be one long-ass page. =) 

So when I start doing structural mods, I sometimes get carried away - so I don't have to do it again anytime soon. Yesterday, it was 3 long pages. Today it is 7 shorter ones. Glad that's over.

I also worked on the organization, with input from a few readers (thx, guys). Tried to organize the guide in a logical structure. All my guides grow much larger than initially anticipated, which is why I now hesitate to post new ones. 

The guides grow fastest when I start getting reader comments. I say things like, "Hmmm, he's right. I never thought of that."

Ripped and encoded my first OGG files today, using CDex & Ogg Vorbis (both free). Check out gft's Newbie Guide for the skinny on how to set this up. He's still tweaking it, but it'll get you there. See here

Open source Ogg Vorbis is still fairly new, but is bound to become more popular as time passes. I discuss it & provide links here. Be the first on your block with .ogg files. 


06aug2001 - Updated the Rip/encode guide. There's simply so much info regarding these topics. What was I thinking when I posted a single-page guide? Slowly it grows. 

Of those who begin reading this guide, it has the highest percentage of readers following thru to the last page.


05aug2001 - Posted a sample of the site's daily usage statistics. See here.


04aug2001 - Been getting hits from this site (zor.org). There's a bookmark if I ever seen one. Best links page I've ever come across. I've already made friends with raye, who runs the site.

You'll find the Rad link on the right-hand side, under Aug 1. raye said after reviewing the site, a permanent link to Radified was gonna be added under Info & Tool

Lots of interesting links there. Here's one, listed under Featured News (from GuardianUnlimited). You can read more about this story here.

Today is update day. Once every 3 months, I set aside a few hours to download & update all my drivers & programs. But first I create an image, just in case there's a problem I can't fix. After the updates & patches are installed, I make a new image. If after a month I don't find any problems, I delete the original image. 

Best to do at night, when the Net is empty, and downloads are blazing fast. It's therapeutic.

Got an email from Zarena today. This is the first email I've ever got in 3 different languages (English, French & Spanish). Zarena is from Madrid, but lived in France for a while. Also Italy, New York City, now LA. Gypsy. 

She was the star in Wendy's 16mm Film school production, titled Liliana. They're still good friends. Zarena has the cutest accent. You can hear a sample here. Don't you think she sounds almost identical to Penelope Cruz, who's also from Madrid. 

Zarena's note:

My new e-mail address,
Nouvelle addresse,
Nueva direccion de internet a partir de manana:


03aug2001 - Bill sent me an email today, saying that the official release of IE5.5 SP2 will be out soon, but that Radified readers can get a jump on the crowd by downloading it here now. Issues fixed are here

Usually I wait for a week or two before jumping on these, but this one is harmless, comprising updates to DHTML & CSS, along with security patches. I installed it (to Win2K). No problems. Thx, Bill =)

In general, updates to beware of (for any programs) are those with whole numbers. For example, an update to version 3.0 has a much greater chance of pooching your system than one from 2.5 to 2.6. Whole-number updates are typically where new features are added (which have a greater chance of introducing compatibility glitches). 

Updates with more numbers after the decimal point are safer. For example, 2.62 to 2.63 is nothing to worry about, cuz they're simply fixing bugs (not adding features). This is usually something I learned the hard way. =)

Rumor has it that IE6 will be out very soon. You can read about it here (CNET).

Installed Windows XP, RC2 today (build 2526). No probs. Sweet OS, elegant & professional, once you get rid of the candy default interface. Everything finally works for me, even my sound card. MS gives you 6 months to play with the OS before it expires. 

If you're a user of Norton AntiVirus, you'll need this file (dated 05jun2001), cuz there's a compatibility prob with WinXP. Somehow WinXP disables NAV AutoProtect in the other operating systems (W2K, WinME).

The kids went hunting for game mods today and came up with this one, called Urban Terror. It's designed after the hugely popular Counterstrike, but works with Quake 3 Arena instead of Half-Life. They had trouble getting the maps to work. UT is still in beta (v2.2). I still prefer the fast & furious Instagigs - one shot, baby. They also got Half-Life Weapons Factory.


02aug2001 - Couldn't sleep last night. Maybe it was the full moon. After tossing & turning for 20 minutes, I hopped in the car (@midnight) and drove to club (24-hour Fitness) for a work out. Traffic was not a problem. 

The guy at the desk was sound asleep, so I didn't have to show my card. Nor did I wake him. Was surprised to see so many people there. Vampire people, I thought. High-energy, rave-type music pumpin' throughout. 

Sauna afterwards. Slept like a baby. I love the club being open round the clock.

Thought of recording a voice narrative of one of the guides, for those who hate to read. I could encode it as a small (56kbps?) MP3 file, and make it available for download.

The Ghost guide would probably be the place to start, as it's the most popular. If it's well received, I could follow up with the SCSI guide, the CUSL2 guide, & others. I like to try new things. I don't know anyone else doing this. Now all I need is someone with a pleasant voice. =)

Also considering a Bio page - kind of a mini life history. I could really let my ego run wild with that. =) 


01aug2001 - August is here. Posted a Referrals page, listing a sample of the sites referring Radified. Always interesting to see where the traffic comes from.

Some people give me shit about my Accolades page, saying that I should include (verifiable) email addresses. I refuse to post email addresses cuz I don't want my readers ending up on bullshit mailing lists. 

There are bots designed to scan web pages for email addresses, and I'm not looking to prove anything. The guides speak for themselves. Maybe the Referrals page will appease my critics, as I include (verifiable) links. 

Seemingly overnight the ASPI guide has become the second most popular destination on the site, surpassing both the CUSL2 user's guide and the Rip & encode guide for daily reader volume. It began as a quick note to a friend. Now look at it.

Worked on the Partitioning Strategies article. Tried to improve its readability. 

Updated the bandwidth usage page. Didn't quite hit 3 gigs for the month. Summer doldrums, I guess. I used a PNG file for the image, instead of a GIF. It uses less bandwidth than the GIF and the image quality appears no different. Anyone having trouble viewing it? I've never used PNG images before. Trying to be bandwidth conscious for my dial-up readers.


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