Weight loss update

February 27, 2005

Well – things have been going well.

I have lost approx 6 kg and 2 inches off my waist. Additional my hip/waist ratio has gone from 1.01 to 0.95 ๐Ÿ™‚

Feeling good but another 6 kg to go…

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Mac Update

February 27, 2005

Well – I took the plunge and order two mac mini’s for the kids. Went for the 512 MB version with the built in Wifi and the mac keyboard. I have two microsoft mice for the kids.

Order time is 10 days – so with a bit of luck they might show up next week.

In preparation I have been downloading heaps of gamehouse games. The kids cant wait until they show up.


My Guide to creating a Podcast on a mac – simply with low CPU

February 8, 2005

Thats right – low CPU – simple and with free steak knifes.

Well maybe no steak knives ๐Ÿ™‚

I struggled with the 50,000 example configs out there that tell you how to podcast. They all pretty much use soundflower, linein, soundflowerbed and/or some combination of all of these.

Well I tried them all – got some to work (and some did’nt) and found that even when they worked it pushed my mac hard (almost 100% cpu). I could live with the but the big problem was latency.

ALL of the configs people used had bad latency on the feedback in your headphones. It started off small but got worse as the recording went on (30 mins+). Well I fixed it a different way than everyone else – getting rid of soundflower and doing some of the mixing in hardware.

Requirements:

Record to mp3 a podcast
I have two people talking (2 mics)
Want to play music (mp3)
Need to do phone calls (skype)
Need to wireup 2 headphones with feedback for the presenters

Hardware I used:

Griffin imic – dont argue – just go and buy one now !
external mixer (4 channel) from Tandy / Radio Shack
2 Dynamics mics
my elcheapo 1.25 Ghz emac
Audio cables to hook it all together

Software needed:

Audio Hijack pro
itunes
Skype

How to do it:

Hardware wise – connect the line out (headphone out) from the emac to channels 3/4 of the mixer. Channel 3 is left – Channel 4 is right. I use a 3.5mm to dual RCA cable.
Connect the dynamic mics to channels 1 & 2 on the mixer
Hook the output of the mixer to the input of the imic (I use a stereo RCA to stereo RCA cable and the 3.5mm to RCA cable that comes with the imic)
Hook the presenters (talent ?) headphone(s) to the imic output – use a 3.5mm splitter if you want multiple headphones (I have 3 for the 2 presenters and one for me)

Software:
Configure the system output prefs as follows: Sound Effects to imic output, output to headphones, input to imic
Skype: output to imic, input to imic
Audio Hijack Pro: Create a new session. source is audio device. input imic, output imic. select the recording tab and choose your mp3 preference. Click hijack and then record.

Guess what – thats all there is to it. How does it work ?

The emac send the output from all system events direct to the imic output (headphones) so they dont get recorded onto your show.
The emac sends the output of all audio by default (such as itunes) to the lineout (heaphones)
The mixer mixes the audio from the mac (eg: itunes) with the mics and sends it back to the mac via the imic input
Audio hijack grabs the imic input – routes it to the imic output so you can hear what is happening and when you click record – records the whole thing to a mp3 file.
Skype gets its input from the output of the mixer (imic input) and sends the other persons voice to the imic output.

It all seemed to work tonight at home. I need to do a more though test but basically my mac didnt go over 30% cpu and the whole thing worked great – no LAG !!!!


SIMS – Security Information Management

February 4, 2005

I would be interested in hearing from people that have actually deployed and have running SIM solutions (eg; netforensics). How have you found then – has it been worth the time and money – whay do they do well for you (and what they dont do well).

I’m personally starting to think SIMS are a bit like PKI 5-6 years ago – but I havnt deployed one myself yet.


I’m back

February 2, 2005

Well – my blog suffered the fate of many – no update for ages.

The poor pathetic excuse – well being a geek gadget guy I HAVE to blame it on technology of course…. I was using the blogger extension for firefox to make updating this blog easy – but I got pissed off with firefox not being very stable on the mac so I got rid of it – and so went my blog client.

But I’m back – using ecto for the moment which seems pretty good – I honestly can’t remember why I stopped using it – probably the money they want – I’m such a cheapskate ๐Ÿ™‚

On the weight loss front – things have been going well – in basically 3 weeks I lost 4 kilos – but I had my birthday recently and put on a kilo in a day (it was a bit of a pigout). Anyway I’m being good again and the kilos are shedding.

Gadget wise – I now have a Palm Zire 72 which is quite funky. I really did miss the palm platform and I can run my favorite app for weight loss – the free EatWatch tool (http://www.fourmilab.ch/hackdiet/palm). It really helps you get past the whole my weight is down today, up tomorrow worries.

I’ve got the latest ilife 05 and iwork 05 for the mac – they are very cool apps. Most of the bugbears I had with iphoto are gone though I really really really wish I could import the mpeg2 files from my tivo straight into iDVD. Maybe next release…

The only other thing I can think of is that I am seriously thinking of getting a mac mini and ipod shuffle for each of my kids. I should have some cash coming up to pay for it.

Thats all for now !