Titles will now be the date of the post.
One thing I will not do is whine. “Nobody reads my blog. People are mean. Yoga is too hard. The parking lot is too full.” Whatever happens, even good things, people – SOMEONE – will whine about it. Here I live in a beautiful neighborhood, and someone whined publicly online because there was a sign that said “Welcome”. That part isn’t totally surprising, what got me was that 40 other people posted agreeing. First of all, I drive by that sign every day and never noticed it, or it didn’t register. It would take a lot of effort to (a) notice it, (b) be bothered by it, (c) get worked up enough to write something, and (d) keep the whole thing alive online. I don’t even have the energy to READ that stuff, much less let it occupy the forefront of my brain. There is so much else to think about, and if I were inclined to complain right now, it wouldn’t be about something silly in my neighborhood, it would be about software.
Yes, that’s right, I make the stuff and buy the stuff and use software all day, but I still find things to not like. So today’s task is to make videos about various query mechanisms for big data, a subject near and dear to my heart. And making videos is fun. Right? My husband is a videographer and he seems to have fun all day, and anyway how hard can this be? You click “record”, do the stuff you always do a hundred times a day executing various searches and programs and data setup etc., and then click “stop”, maybe clip out a few seconds here and there.
Ha. Ha. Ha.
This is NOT the way it goes, at all. It goes like this: download free software which is highly recommended. Spend eons of time recording videos, and then try producing and publishing one only to find out there is a huge watermark in the exact center of the video, because I used the free version. Huh? If the end result is completely unusable, isn’t it a little deceitful for this company to give away a free version?
So I downloaded the gold standard, Camtasia, which is really a good piece of software, and way way more than what I need, but you can get it free for 30 days, which had just better be enough for the 15 minutes of video I need to produce. Of course, it doesn’t run on my server, which takes about a half hour of research and fiddling, and then it does run. But, then the search software which I am supposed to be videoing, stops working. The urge to whine was strong. What idiot is responsible for this piece-of-crap search code? What fool wrote this!! But this did me no good, because it’s software that I myself developed, so that put a damper on the whole complaining thing. So I spent the next hour redeploying everything, and practicing my keystrokes, and writing what I needed to type down on a piece of paper, etc. It all boiled to down to less than 10 minutes of video in all, which took hours, but now I have my raw footage.
The thing about a video demonstration like this is, it can’t just be professionally recorded and edited, all slick-like, you need content that is concise, persuasive, and insightful. A good edit will only take it so far. I’m actually confidant about the content. But the inverse is also true: unless the thing is organized and presented well, people are going to be so distracted by uneven editing, timing, captioning etc that it won’t matter how innovative my demo is, nobody will sit through it.
So that’s my Thursday, and my Friday will most likely be taken up with putting together the narration and captions. And when that is finished, I can get back to my true passion of the week, which is iPhone app development. I have pushed Eclipse aside in favor of Xcode – I know, strange huh.