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Posts by joelgerard
I guess it must be me, but I can never understand why people fly to the South West and just hit up Vegas. It’s glitzy, I’ll give you that, but a mere 300 miles to the North-East, in Utah, is a small town called Escalante. It sometimes has a shortage of fresh fruit and veg, but the people are awesome friendly, and the town itself sits on the edge of the Escalante Grand Staircase (note: not an actual staircase but 1.9 million acres of protected land). At any rate, we passed through there in 2010, and discovered one of the highlights of our trip, Neon Canyon. A short trip to the BLM Office in Escalante will get you directions. You find your own way across the desert, drop down into a canyon cut by a river, and after a while you’ll hit Neon Canyon, a side canyon. Probably one of the most amazing hikes of my life. Trust me, forget about Vegas. See this place instead.
Just a few notes though:
- Take plenty of water (obviously)
- Consider long pants. You have to navigate down the river for a while, and the horse flies are vicious. They’re like aliens running around in the space ship air ducts, busting through the walls, and eating the crew alive – vicious. They’re not in the canyon though.
- I did it in my shoes. Man, I wish I had done it in my sandals.
- We had a GPS as a safe guard to our map navigation skills.
Man, this drove me nuts. I have a native setup of MySQL and PHP. I followed the detailed steps defined by Jerome here, but I kept getting:
Access denied for user 'root'@'localhost' (using password: YES)
So I could connect, but access was denied, and I was positive, 100% sure that the password was correct. So I tried creating another user. The code was pretty simple
<?php error_reporting(E_ALL); mysql_connect('localhost', 'jgerard', 'password') or die(mysql_error()); echo 'No errors'; ?>
I checked everything, and it was good. Then I tried not using localhost, or 127.0.0.1 and everything passed. No problem. The problem was using the wildcard in the mysql account setup. So this does **not** work:
But this does:
So basically, make sure you list localhost specifically for the user, and you’re set. Otherwise, you have to use the external IP address of the machine, and not the loopback.
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For some reason, with iPhoto ’11, I just couldn’t get high quality MP4 slideshows to play on my PS3. The quality was terrible, especially in the cross-fade. I also recently wrote an article on how to convert MOV, which comes out great, to MP4 using iMovieHD, but again, either the file was too big, or the quality was too bad. You also may have noticed that on some converters, your cross-fade disappears. This is because the MOV has some crazy JPEG/Crossfade filter that nobody else recognizes. I messed around with just about every setting in the Custom Export screen, and finally gave up. So here’s how to create an HD, high quality MP4 from iPhoto that’s super easy.
- First, download, compile and install ffmpeg. This article by Stephen Jungels is invaluable. I added a few more options to the configure command though: –enable-avfilter –enable-swscale (I have a backup of these instructions. Contact me if the page by Stephen is unavailable).
- First of all, you want to do a custom export to a QuickTime Movie.
- Click “Options” and set the “Size” of the movie. This’ll make it pretty big. It might tell you that you need several gigs, but the size will come down.
- Now pick your poison for the compression settings. I used these, and the quality was good.
- Once you have the MOV or M4V, you’ll need to flip it to MP4 using ffmpeg. I did ffmpeg -i “Tree&JoelSlideShow-HD.mov” -sameq -ab 262144 TreeJoelSlideShow-HD.mp4
Voila. A high quality MP4. My 3.5 minute slideshow came to about 175MB. Not too bad.