November 4th, 2010

LatenightZen

How to build lots of video files and still sleep

So, circumstances mean that I'm using the Beast to create lots of video files for the show on Monday/Tuesday. Unfortunately, this means using an old version of Premiere on a very slow computer, which means that most builds (even of only about 10 seconds) takes on average 13 minutes to render. Horrendously slow, but my faster machine just won't output the codecs correctly.

I got a lot of files to render and another downside with the software is that I can't set up a render queue and just let it build all of the files I need at once, not without having to hack them down into smaller chunks again which would be equally tedious and annoying.

I needed to keep building through the night otherwise I knew I'd never stand a chance of having the videos the way I wanted them on time. So...

Having resigned myself to losing a lot of sleep anyway, once I started building I went into Olympic-grade powernap mode. I would set the build to start, set my timer to roughly the estimated length (they usually render in just under the estimated time) and then go to bed and shut my eyes. When the alarm went, I'd get up and set the next one to render. It was a mixture of joy and disdain to see a chunk estimate 30+ minutes. On the one hand, I'd get a larger block of napping, on the other hand it meant the project would take even longer to finish.

I cannot believe it, but I actually found myself browsing Intel core Apple Macbook Pros last night, also. I need a Windows laptop, but so long as I keep doing work for St David's Hall, a Macbook might well have it's advantages. The Intel core OSX 10.6+ Macbooks can be set up to dual boot with Windows, which gives me the best of both with the only downside being the annoying single button so probably needing an external mouse for any serious Windows work. The only downside is that the cheapest one I can find is £800+, though that said, if I want to get a suitably powerful laptop I'm looking to pay at least that anyway.

It'll be a long while before I can afford that, I think.
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