Elgato Turbo.264 HD Reviewed

Over the last year or so I’ve been doing more and more video editing. It started when I got my Kodak Zi8 handheld video camera. It shot pretty decent 1080p HD video at a stupid cheap cost of entry. Getting the Kodak Zi8 was a no-brainer but how to handle the files afterwards proved to be a bit more complicated.

Typical Justin-style, long-winded introduction and review of the Elgato Turbo.264 HD continues below. The short story is the Elgato Turbo.264 HD is worth every penny. Read on to be entertained, informed and generally over-educated on my process and thoughts. Continue reading

Three’s Company?

My first Epson Stylus Pro 3800 was amazing.  The prints were beautiful, the speed awesome and the ease of use, incredible.  I printed dozens and dozens of luster prints on that printer with not even needing a head cleaning.

Well, until the day I attempted a head cleaning.  Then one of its chips blew, just as it finished a head check, the day I was set to print presents on behalf of @Clettenberg, @Coreyschmidt and @BigRed77.

After literally hours of debate on why Epson should cover my, one month out of warranty printer, I was told they would send me a new printer, after I paid them $350 or $550 for their warranty… It’s been so long now that I can’t remember.

The first printer they sent me, which arrived the next day, was broken, dead on arrival.

So they sent me another replacement.  Turned out it was the same machine, or at least had all the same scratches and cracks and broken manual paper feed drawer as the first replacement.  Well, the same except this one was missing like $500 worth of ink.

Epson sent me a third replacement, my now fourth Epson Stylus Pro 3800.  This one was beautiful on the outside with only a few blemishes on its surface.  Oh, but that pesky manual feed drawer was broken which meant I couldn’t actually use the printer at all.

Today I talked to Jesse at Epson.  They are sending me my fourth replacement, which is my fifth Epson Stylus Pro 3800.  I asked what would happen if this fifth printer proved to be broken, if there was some sort of compensation they could give me.  The answer?  “We’ll have to talk to FedEx about that.”

While, that might have some merit, if FedEx is to blame for the broken manual feed tray, that’s all well and good.  But FedEx is not responsible for the cracks to the case, the scratches to the front or the chips on the bezel.  They are also not responsible for over $500 in missing ink.

I have faith that Epson will fix this problem, they have been fantastic throughout all of this, besides continuing to send me broken printers.  Their support staff are all very kind and their products are great.  Let’s get this sorted out so we can be friends again ok, Epson?

Oh, and if you want, you can just send me an Epson Stylus Pro 4880.  It is built much better than the Epson Stylus Pro 3800 or 3880 with a metal body and mostly metal shell/casing.  I’m just saying.  Heck, I might even write a really wonderful review of the printer right here on this blog, along with the necessary FTC concessions.

Just a thought.

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Drobo, Here You Come

I bit the bullet today.  Not buy choice but by necessity.

For the last several months I’ve wanted a Drobo.  When the Drobo 2 came out with FireWire 800, my want became a crave.  When my 1tb iTunes drive started clicking, my crave became a “oh shit I need to get this fixed” and when my laptop got to 2gb free and my desktop 50gb free and my TimeMachine ran out of space my “oh shit” became, “BUY NOW!”

So, with my tax refund, I bought a Drobo. Not the most exciting thing I could have purchased, and probably sealed the deal of me NOT going to San Francisco Pride, but I had to get it.  Otherwise, I’m basically screwed.  Either my hard drives are going to fully fail and I’ll lose everything (even my MacBook Pro drive is starting to click) or I’d just have to reformat and love everything anyways.

So what all did I get?

First, the Drobo.

Drobo 2

Then, four Western Digital 1.5tb hard drives

Western Digital 1.5tb, 32mb Cache, 7200 Green Drive

All that adds up to 6tb of space. Wow, glorious space!  It’s super exciting to not have to worry about running out of hard drive space, at least for a while.  Plus, when I do?  I’ll just have to fork over whatever it costs for a 2, 3 or 4tb drive as those come out.  The Drobo can store up to 4, 4tb drives so I have room for 10tb more.

Now I’ve just gotta cross my fingers that it comes in before my drives totally crash. While I was typing this post, my 1tb WesterDigital Studio Edition drive crashed on me… Scary stuff.

So, Friday, my Drobo comes in and so do the three of the four 1.5tb drives.  I’ve gotta wait for the fourth drive to come in from NewEgg.com as Amazon.com limits you to 3 of these particular drives per month.


@RadZack asked how the data redundancy worked and how much space would be left over after the redundancy.  I honestly don’t understand how it works except that it doesn’t backup entire disks but 1/3 of each drive is saved on another drive so one drive can fail while the other two drives rebuild from their copies of particular portions of it.

Drobolator Capacity Calculator

Drobolator Capacity Calculator

So you end up with much more space than a normal RAID which simply mirrors your data, it, my 6tb drive would have 2.75tb of useable space while the Drobo has 4.1tb of usable space, an increase of 1.35tb.  That’s pretty awesome.


Clive suggested that despite this being an interesting solution to storage problems, it was expensive.  While yes, it isn’t cheap, here’s how it breaks down.  You’ll find that it’s really the best possible option around, especially at its price point.

@Clive Not really expensive. I haven’t found an option that’s even close to the price for 6tb of storage, expandable to 16tb with or without having to use all exactly the same drives like you can with a Drobo.

  • LaCie‘s 6tb is $1,400
  • Netgear 6tb is $3,600
  • Linksys 4tb is $700 ( with <2tb usable vs 4.1)
  • Fanthom 6tb is $1,600
  • EZquest 6tb is $1,500
  • G-Technology 6tb is $2,100
  • Homemade 6tb is $795

And remember, none of these have the same amount of storage space available as the Drobo or allow hot swapping of drives that are of different makes, sizes and speeds. My total was $450 + $139×4 = $1,006. That’s less than any other 6tb RAID array I’ve seen. If you build your own, yes you do save money, in fact you can save up to ~$200. But, you don’t get the feature set of a Drobo or the ability and flexibility in growth.  Much less Drobo’s warranty and support, drive specific applications etc etc.

The Beast Arrives

My new Epson Stylus Pro 3800 arrived on Tuesday.  It was very exciting.

This printer, for those who don’t know, is just abotu the best you can get in it’s class.  Actually, it is!  This Week in Photography (TWIP) reviewed it just last week as the number one 17″ wide printer with prints as high quality as it gets.

And though it is missing the Vivid Magenta that the 4880 has, I’m pretty damn happy with this printer.  And it’s BIG!

My Epson Stylus Pro 3800

Ryan and I had to rearrange the livingroom to fit it.

I used it to print the pictures for my photo critique on Thursday.  Almost everyone noted that there was a distinct difference in quality between my prints and what we have on campus (Epson Stylus Pro 2400s).  I was most impressed with the black and white reproduction.  Incredible.  I am so happy to be able to have this printer.

Though… I am a little bit nervous.  It costs around $500 to replace all nine 80mL ink cartidges.  Yikes.  Though they are about half the price per mL, they are also 4-8 times larger than most regular ink jet printers.  At least it isn’t the half liter inks you can get for some of the larger printers haha.

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Nimbus Cloud Computer

Ohhhh, I want this.  But, I’m not really sure why I want it.  Basically its a workstation that you either pay $19.99/month to use, or it’s a workstation you pay nothing for in exchange of ads.

Nimbus Cloud Computer

You cannot load music onto it from CD’s, well you can load anything from CD’s since it doesn’t have a CD drive, just five USB drives.  It latches onto your high speed internet connection, connects to a mainframe computer and allows you to do most of what people do online without the hassles or expense of a full sized computer.  You just provide the monitor, USB keyboard and mouse, plug it in and apparently, you are good to go.

You can do almost anything on it that doesn’t require loading too much software, or hard drive space, or specialized hardware, or…  Well, I can’t really name all the limitations until they send me test system, hint hint.  They don’t really state the limitations, which isn’t really that unexpected.

You can get around the 2gb of hard drive space with an external drive and they infer that your printer should have no trouble with this unit.  Linux has never been more approachable for a n00b.

I say this is perfect for parents who want their kids to have a computer that

  1. Is cheap
  2. Is safe
  3. Won’t get them in trouble with the evil RIAA
Let’s hope that you don’t HAVE to use ScreenPC servers for the computer to operate, just in case the fold.

Apple Wireless Keyboard

I just need to make an entire post about this new keyboard, I love it so much.  I really just can’t handle it, the thing is so awesome!  Kinda feel like a dork over this but damn girl, this thing is fine!

So the wireless edition has no numeric pad on the far right… this is a bummer cause, well, you can’t do the whole ten key touch thing… but that’s ok seeing as I don’t really need it, not yet at least.  The keys are also a little hard to get used to, since there isn’t nearly any depth to each key, you can’t feel your way around the keyboard like you could with any other typical desktop keyboard.  The feel and layout is much like any Macbook or Macbook Pro keyboard you might have used except there is a greater distance between the keys themselves.  I have gotten used to the keyboard’s layout for the most part though I’m still having trouble with punctuation.

The top keys, aka the function keys, are much improved with little pictures telling you what each key does.  Those little icons are great cause no matter how many times I used those keys on my old Apple Wireless Keyboard, I could never memorize what each key did.  I’m just special I guess.

The thing is fucking tiny, that’s just something I can’t get over.  The brushed metal and the solid build are great.  Typical Apple quality here.  I love the thing and really only have a few little updates that they totally should have put on here.

How about a lighted keyboard like the Macbook Pro’s?  I just don’t get why they didn’t do that.  Also… how about a USB port to charge the batteries like a cellphone is charged on your USB port?  That would be super fantastic.  They totally could have put a numeric keypad on this…  How about a similarly designed mouse?  The new brushed iMacs look awesome with the new keyboards but still have those white mouses.

Typing on the new keyboard is so much faster and becomes easier once you get used to the layout.  It’s quiet and easier to keep clean.  It’s got brushed metal and it’s smaller than Mark McGwire’s testicals…