What’s On Tap This Week and Next

The next two weeks will be a little disruptive from my usual production cadence. I have a quick day trip out to New York City tomorrow for a product preview that you’ll see a little later in September and then taking a few days off for some family time. The following week I’ll be headed down to Kennedy Space Center to witness the launch of Artemis I!

You can hear about all of the stuff I have in the works in last night’s wrapup video.

The good news is that I’m working to make sure I have plenty of content to bridge the gaps in production. So I have a bunch of things already “in the can” and at least one more video today I’m hoping to get done. A few projects I started did not go the way I had expected so they require a little more work.

Tomorrow I’ll have a review of the new Lenovo Slim 7 Pro X (affiliate link) probably the nicest laptop I’ve looked at from Lenovo over the last year. It’s relatively small and light but has both a Ryzen 6900HS AND a Nvidia RTX 3050 inside. I tested things using both the built in graphics and the discrete 3050 to see how this new AMD chip performs.

I will likely pop up with a livestream later this morning / early afternoon tinkering with an Atari 2600 and a flash cartridge for an upcoming video.

The Week Ahead

June was a blur! Here in the United States kids get the summer off from school before they start in the next grade level. I used to LOVE summer vacation as it gave me time to hang out with my friends, ride my bike, and of course play around with all of the cool 80’s and 90’s tech I grew up with. It was always a bit sad for us neighborhood kids when those summers came to an end.

My two girls, however, miss school and can’t wait to get back in August. I love that they love school more than I did!

This week will begin with a Weekly Wrapup as usual. But we’re going to talk about the Wrapup moving forward as I’ve done some analysis on its performance.

That will be followed by my monthly Plex sponsored video where we’ll explore the new HTPC client. After that I’ll have my review of the Beelink Mini S PC that I livestreamed the other day here. I also got in a new affordable HP Gaming Laptop and a smart smoke alarm with air quality sensors. We’ll probably have a few livestreams in the mix too.

Stay tuned and set your notifications!

Upgrading to 4k!

This weekend I had some time to see if switching to a 4k workflow was feasible. Before doing this I had to upgrade the GPU in my production machine, fix a network problem that you’ll see in another video I uploaded this week, and of course ensure that our editing workflow could handle larger files and resolutions.

Let me know how everything works in today’s video.

As many of you know I shoot my videos the same way livestreamers work in that I shoot everything live to disk vs having to edit everything together later. So while I own cameras that can do 4k, processing and recording multiple 4k streams in realtime with no frame drops needed some additional hardware. I was also reluctant to throw a wrench in a very smooth and efficient workflow – especially one that likely won’t result in increased viewership.

But the stars aligned this weekend – I was ahead on content and had a good runway of opportunity now that all of the hardware upgrades were done to the production machine.

The best part is that because I use the same workflow for live and recorded productions I am now able to livestream in 4k too! Check out what it looks like here on YouTube. Right now I’m sending YouTube a 4k 30fps stream at 30 megabits per second. I will continue to stream to Amazon too but they are limited to 720p at 2.5 megabits per second. Still I think the Amazon stream looks better downscaling from 4k vs. 1080. Check out the Amazon version here.

There is still one 1080p video left in the hopper. I’ll be going 4k from now on provided I don’t have any deal breaking gotchya’s in the week ahead.

The Week Ahead for June 13, 2022

Another Monday is here! I actually had a pretty productive weekend doing some upgrades/changes to my production machine. I swapped in a more powerful GPU in preparation for finally going to 4k and making some camera upgrades. At some point I’ll get there :).

I also got rid of a problematic 10 gig ethernet adapter and upgraded to an Intel powered SFP+ adapter. I then ran a fiber patch cable from my equipment room over to the new card for a more reliable connection over the Cat 5e that was going to it previously. I was having some odd problems with this PC locking up my entire network when it was doing heavy volumes of network traffic. It was either the NIC, the cabling, or both. This should fix it once and for all!

You can see what I got and how it’s working in this video. It’ll be published on the YouTube channel later this week.

On the docket for this week are reviews of the new Synology RT6600ax router (affiliate link), a Mele “Quieter 3” fanless Mini PC, and if it arrives the new Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2. As usual whatever other shiny objects come in will also get some coverage :).

Be on the look out for livestreams! Set your notifications! Here’s the latest one I did shooting an extra’s channel video and a portion of the network adapter one.

Have a great week!

All of the Sci-Fi

The Mandalorian has baby Yoda and Obiwan Kenobi has “kid Leia.” The young Leia depicted in this series is a real spitfire. The series is off to a good start and its great to see Ewan McGregor reprise the role. The prequels are viewed quite differently vs. how they were upon release. I think the animated shows helped to smooth things out for fans.

Strange New Worlds had another solid episode this week. By far the best Star Trek show we’ve had since Voyager. Also a new Stranger Things season just dropped on Netflix, the Orville returns on June 2, and Apple TV+’s awesome “For All Mankind” starts its third season on June 10. There’s some other shows I’ve been meaning to check out too. It’s a great time for sci-fi fans!

What’s on Tap for the Week of May 23rd

Another week is here and I’m planning out content for the week ahead. After I take the dog for her morning walk I’ll be starting on the Weekly Wrapup. This week we’re going to take a look at a new effort by big corporations to apply copyright filters to the entire Internet. This new effort by the same cast of characters reminds me a lot of the SOPA/PIPA debacle from a decade ago.

We’re also going to take a look at that $99 Chromebook that’s on sale at Target (affiliate link), do a mini-haul video of a cool retro video game lot I bought at an estate auction, start working on reviewing a new Thudnerbolt 4 dock from HP, and maybe do a bit more with the MiSTer project now that some new 32 bit cores have come out. Beyond that component shortages have left me short of new stuff to review!

See you tonight!

New Extra’s Video: DJI Mic & External Mics

One of the reasons I set up the Extra’s Channel is to have a place for doing supplementary content that won’t overload subscribers with too much Lon.TV stuff all at once. This weekend I uploaded a snippet from a recent live stream I did on the DJI Mic to demonstrate how external microphones sound through the transmitter.

I left that out of the initial review as the sound quality of the external mic will vary based on the mic being used! While it’s easy to demonstrate the built-in mics as every user will experience the same thing, it’s much harder to give a clear example when there are so many different types of mics that can be plugged in.

But I had a ton of questions about it and many more “thumbs ups” on those questions. Thankfully I had a great livestream the other day where we tested the feature and I was able to pull the video from that.

If YouTube would allow us mere mortals to replace an already posted video I would have totally done that here. But hopefully those looking for a demo will be able to find it on the Extra’s channel.

Impulse Buy…

Just acquired a new set piece! A local estate auction had an original Gameboy lot that included the box in what looks like great condition along with a few games. I’ll probably sell off the games and accessories but keep the unit and box. Oddly it looks like it’s coming with an NES RF adapter..

The Week Ahead

I used to dread Mondays back when I was working a regular job but now I kind of look forward to them. There’s always something I look forward to working on even if it’s a mundane tech product or topic.

Here’s what is preliminarily on the docket for this week. If you are receiving this as part of my digest email hit the reply button and tell me what you’d most like to see first. If you’re not the list sign up via the link or on the left hand side of the screen!

  1. This week’s Weekly Wrapup will be about my HAM radio license exam and some of the things that make amateur radio very different from the Internet when it comes to what you can say and do.
  2. A review of the HoverBar Duo iPad stand. They call it the duo because it can either clamp to something or sit on its base. But it’s a nightmare to work with. This video is already done and just waiting for a slot on the YouTube channel. You can watch it on Amazon right now.
  3. A look at DJI’s new wireless microphone kit. I like easy-to-use production gear so I’m eager to play with it. Although I don’t think anything can top my amazing Sennheiser AVX mics.
  4. Unihertz has a new phone on Kickstarter called the Titan Slim that merges a full size screen with a Blackberry style keyboard. I don’t usually cover Kickstarters but Unihertz has a great track record of making modern phones for people that can’t give up their physical keyboards. They also make some really cool super tiny phones.
  5. HP has a Thunderbolt dock that appears to be a bit different from other Thunderbolt docks we’ve looked at. Supposedly it has some security features that other docks don’t. I need to dig into this a little bit so it might not pop up until next week.
  6. It’s also time for a MiSTer update! Lots of cool new cores worth talking about like the 32x and Playstation cores.

Of course my week is subject to change based on what comes in. Sometimes a shiny object might appear and that’ll take me off course :).

RSS Mania

I love RSS. It is an important underpinning of the web that a lot of folks don’t even know is there. I’ve recently updated my RSS workflow and it has made content consumption both for work and entertainment immensely more efficient. 

I use the Bazqux reader to do that consolidation. It requires an annual fee but it most certainly pays for itself in the efficiency it brings me every day. There are a number of open source options that provide similar functionality. One of the cool things Bazqux does is that it will bring in Twitter, Facebook, and Telegram content the same way it brings in RSS – and then it’ll allow you to create RSS feeds from those sources! 

I just added a static page to the blog where you can subscribe to my RSS feeds individually or a master one that incorporates all sources. You learn more about how I’m using RSS here

Saturday Morning May 7, 2022

Hope you all had a good week and are looking forward to the weekend. My little ones (6 & 9) have birthdays this weekend. They are 3 years and a day apart so we’ll be celebrating those today and then mother’s day on Sunday. I’m also going to sneak in a little work to get ahead on next week as I’ll be traveling to a few press events in NYC. 

Monday’s wrapup will be about centralizing my written words around a blog vs. other platforms. I’ll also be reviewing the Sensibo Air (compensated affiliate link) which is a really simple smart thermostat & controller for remote control enabled air conditioning and split systems.

I’ll have my review of the Nebula Cosmos Laser Projector 4k up tonight! 

Stay tuned! 

Now Running WordPress :)

Well I gave Hugo the old college try but ultimately I was finding it was more cumbersome for a blog than I would like. The biggest impediment was the lack of image management and the rather clunky process of uploading new posts.

I had to create a new markdown file, manually enter (or copy over) the basic metadata, manually re-size images, move those images to the right folder, type in the right markdown code for the image, save the post, run Hugo in terminal to render the site, and finally sync with my FTP server. If I had to make change I had to re-run Hugo and resync. Just too much for what I wanted to be a quick thing.

So back to WordPress. I am self hosting for now on my web server. The only issue I encountered this evening was getting the full feed to dump out to my RSS feed. The RSS feed is how I generate my digest emails.

I had to hand code the RSS generator PHP to correct what looks like a bug. h/t to this 2009 post which solved my problem.  I also found a clever way to pull down the “medium” sized images too. Both of these fixes required editing the RSS template in the WordPress installation.

One of the things I like about WordPress is that it’s so ubiquitous and everything works with it. So I can easily post from my phone. I also use a great app on the Mac called Mars Edit that I used 10 years ago when I was doing more with WordPress. To my surprise I was able to upgrade to the newest one for a nominal fee a decade later! Thanks Red Sweater Software!

New Email Digest List

As I continue to tweak the blog along with my content automation I found that it’s pretty easy to bundle things up into an email newsletter/digest that can be sent out several times a week.

If you’d like to see me in your inbox several days a week I set up a new digest email list that will go out with a much greater frequency vs. this one.

It will consist of any new content I push out on YouTube along with interesting links I came across throughout the day/week. This content is the same as what will be posted to my blog and other social platforms.