First bellow

Hi. Welcome to my new blog. I must admit I wonder why anyone would want to waste time reading this, but perhaps you may find something of interest. I’ll certainly try to make it interesting and entertaining.

I’ve started the blog because when I returned from the trip to Europe last year, several people independently said they’d enjoyed the emails I sent at the end of each day from my hotels, describing the day’s travels. A couple even went so far as to say they missed them when they stopped. (Like banging yourself on the head, probably.)

Well, I liked writing them, and the older I get, the more verbose I’m becoming, so I’ll give it a try for a while. Besides, it’s always nice to get a chance to show some of my pics.

Why the title? Those who know me from Hostel days will know, but it also relates to the expression, “He didn’t get within a bull’s roar” of hitting the target or whatever. It’s hard to find a name for a blog that hasn’t already been used, but that one did hit the target and was accepted, fortunately. I’m rather pleased with it.

I’m writing this while watching Windows Task Manager as my Adobe Premiere Elements video file renders out, slowly, laboriously, precariously. Hah! Did someone say Get a Life?

I’ve spent the past four to five months making a DVD program of my trip from Edinburgh to Dornie to see Susan Haig last year. Hi Sue. It’s my first ever attempt at shooting and editing video and I chose to jump into the deep end, of course, doing it in high definition. Little did I know how difficult it would be to keep building and rendering as the program got longer. It’s about 37 minutes overall and is nearly complete, but it keeps crashing when I try to render it out to the final file ready to format for DVD.

In theory, if the computer could handle it, the complete 37 min program would take about 9 and a half hours to render according to the time estimate display which, it seems, could be up to a fortnight in error. You’ve got to laugh at a countdown that goes down a bit, then reverses and goes up. Anyway, during that time, the computer’s operating at near 100% capacity.

Unfortunately, too often Computer says no. It’ll get 5 mins done (taking an hour or more) then stop with an error message. At least it leaves me with a file I can use, but I find that the audio’s dropped out about 80% of the way through, every time. That means I have to start a new render some way back from where it crashed last time.

Anyway, I seem to be having a bit more success today and even though I’m on my sixth attempt, for some reason, this time it’s holding up. It’s been going for over three hours without crashing and I’m daring to hope that it might even go to completion! I’m clicking the mouse buttons very gently and typing quietly.

My conclusion is that Premiere Elements is just not up to the task. Maybe some new super-duper hardware will help, and I’ll try that, but if I can just get these files rendered out, I can bring them across to a new program I’ve found, Canopus Edius Neo. I’m running the demo and it seems much more stable, handling the high def with ease. Unfortunately it’s harder to use than Premiere, but I can’t see any alternative.

So with any luck, I might have a DVD to send out “soon”. I wish I could be more definite, but I keep meeting obstacles. I’ll, er, let you know. However, I may have to start from scratch and reconstruct the program in Edius… Can be done, but I hope I don’t have to go that far.