December 14, 2003

Technology sucks. No, seriously, folks. More specifically, digital technologies suck. Here's a pipe dream for you - digital video capture. I have a firewire ( 1394) card in my computer and a Digital 8 camcorder. I tried transferring data via the digital interface into a variety of products (doesn't matter much since they all use the same Microsoft OS-embedded driver for the video capture.) The first time I tried it, it was going good. I got 10 full minutes before I ran out of disk space (had specified the wrong drive for the temp file - dumb me). So, I changed the disk drive setting and tried again. It froze, within a second of capturing the video. Restarted the OS. Restarted the hardware. Rebooted, reinstalled drivers, restarted computer, camcorder, etc....over and over. Spent hours on it. Note the 1AM post time. This sucks big time.

Here's the problem with digital technology, folks. It only has two states - on or off - working or not working. You don't get a fuzzy capture, but when it's not working 100%, you don't get a fuzzy capture, if you get my drift. At least with analog technology, when something wasn't working, you'd get at least partially to what you wanted. Here's a prime example. Take a VHS tape. Take a penknife. Now scrape off a 1/4" of the material from the tape. Play it in your VCR. Note the manifestation of the error. Now, take a DVD - one you'll never want to watch again. Take the same penknife, and just nick the sucker. Put it in your player, and watch the error manifest itself, and possibly halt your player for a full minute or stop the movie altogether when it can't figure out what to do.

This digital transfer stuff just is NOT cutting it for me, or for a few hundred other people who've posted on Usenet. I'm betting there's a few thousand more out there who don't even know what Usenet is and are calling and causing problems to the video capture software companies. Luckily, I also have a TV capture card in my PC, so I can hook it up to the analog RCA video jack on the card, and capture my movies that way. The high quality may not be there, but at least I can get the videos into the computer. And low quality is better than nothing.

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