Saturday, September 11, 2010

Dead River Builder

Back in 2009, I picked up a small Canon HD video camera. I was running Win XP on my laptop at the time, and it would crash when I tried editing the videos, and there was no support for the HD format. But the regular video format quality was better than what my old Pentax digital camera could provide, so I was happy. Unfortunately, there was no place to use the video camera. Every anime event I went to had a "no video" sign. It didn't matter that people all over the place were recording videos with their cell phones (and now iPhones); pull out a digital video camera and security drones would descend on you in a matter of seconds. It didn't help that the white balance on the camera in still photo mode caused pictures to wash out in strong sunlight, justifying my returning to the old Pentax camera for daily usage.

Fast-forward to 2010. I'm now on a newer desktop PC using Win 7. Still can't find good editing software, but now it's much easier to get the video files off the camera, and youtube supports the camera's native .mts format. The old Pentax is having trouble shooting pictures of the Japanino kit, and the video from it is completely unusable. So it was time to try going back to the Canon. Now, the videos come out looking better, and I'm starting to bring the video camera with me when I go outside more.

Along the way I rediscovered some videos on the memory card that I'd shot at the beginning of 2009. I was experimenting with a video blog review series on the Gakken Otona no Kagaku kits that I'd shot outside along the Tamagawa River near the apartment. I called it "The Dead River Builder" (because the Tamagawa is almost completely dried up along that stretch). I debated simply deleting the videos since they don't show me holding the kits much during the review. I mostly just discuss the books that come with the kits. But, I figure that I can upload them to youtube now, and I can always come back and delete them later if I record something better in the future.

So, this entry is kind of a dumping point for links to the "new" videos.

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A review of the DC motor kit.




A review of the Galileo Telescope kit.




A review of the Putt Putt kit, part 1 of 2.



This boat is a cute little toy, but it lacks buoyancy. It sits low in the water and is easily swamped if there's any kind of wave. The candles supplied are also too small and only allow for about one minute of play time before burning out. Still, it's fun to play with in the bath or at a small pool.

Putt Putt kit, part 2 of 2.




A review of the Stirling Engine kit, part 1 of 3.



This engine is lots of fun. Mount it to a window on a hot day, put it over a cup of hot coffee, or place an ice cube on top, and it will run by itself for a couple of hours.

Stirling Engine kit, part 2 of 3.



Stirling Engine kit, part 3 of 3.

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