Canon 70D vs T2i – Video Noise

All digital cameras when faced with dark areas try to artificially add brightness.  Some do it better than others.  To see what I mean take your iPhone into a dark room and it will get all grainy.

In a DSLR you increase your brightness by using a couple of settings but raising the ISO is the most common way.  ISO’s above 800 are considered fairly high in the Video World.

I recently upgraded from the T2i to the 70D.  I wanted to see if there was any significant improvement in noise levels at high ISO’s.  I did a quick non-scientific test of both cameras  of ISO’s 800, 1250, 1600, 2500 and 3200.  I would never use the T2i over 1600 but with the 70D I might just be able to.  Take a look at the video and see what you think.

You will want to view the video in full 1080P and on an iPad retina or desktop computer.  It will be hard to see any difference on an iPhone.


Free Video Editing Tutorials


Today it is very easy to find videos and tutorials to teach you how to do just about anything from changing the oil on your car to knitting a sweater.  The other day I was listening to a podcast called The Final Cut Grill, by Chris Fenwick and stumbled into a great tutorial site for Final Cut Pro X and iMovie.  The site is produced by IZZY VIDEO.  The thing I really like about this tutorial is that sample media is provided, instruction is easy, organized and clear.  Oh, and its free!  So if you are just getting started and want to learn how to edit, this is an awesome place to start.

NOTE:  He has not yet updated his iMovie tutorial to the latest version of the app, I am sure he is working on it.


Hackintosh-How to get i-Message working on Mavericks 10.9

If you don’t build Hackintosh’s then this entry may be boring for you…

Its no secret that I am a total nerd and love to build computers but about 3 years ago I built my first Hackintosh.  Hackintosh is a normal computer with standard PC parts that will run the Mac OS and function just like an iMac, Mac Mini or Mac Pro depending on the parts you choose to build with.  Sounds easy.

It happens to be one of the most frustrating and tricky builds you can do.  There are so many variables from component to component there is no guarantee that everything will work.  Thats actually what I like, the challenge.

The only way to fix some things is to use other peoples ideas and fixes (forums, vids etc.).  I had my latest Hackintosh build working perfectly BUT my iMessage wouldn’t log into my Apple ID account and work properly.  Thanks to the fellow in the video below I have conquered.

Wanted to share with everyone because I know I am not alone.  It may not work for you but keep trying.



Good news…the popular music app Spotify is now free.  They offer an app for your PC/Mac, iPad and iPhone.  The one thing I like about it (better than Pandora, Groove Shark and 8tracks) is that you can search an artist and only listen to THAT artist!  No more forced playlists or random artists that show up and don’t really go with the type of music you originally picked.  It also offers playlists and pre-formatted radio stations too.  There are still a few hassles…you have to play full albums and their tracks in random order, there are ads that pop up and some content is still missing but really not too bad for a free music app.  You should check it out.  Screen Shots below.

Screen Shot 2014-01-21 at 10.59.02 AM


Application for PC or Mac


Screen Shot 2014-01-21 at 10.59.20 AM


List of tracks that resulted from the search “Rolling Stones”







iPad App





iPhone App

Set an auto notification for a Craigslist Search

Ever heard of IFTTT?  Me either until I attended a network seminar at a local real estate office back in October.  The presenter told us about IFTTT (if then then that) website that allows you to make an automated trigger with two programs or resources either on your computer or iPhone, iPad etc.  At first I didn’t give it much thought thinking it was just a gadget or possibly a network privacy concern but after looking again I found something I really liked.

I often look for used products on craigslist.  First off let me say…craigslist is not for everyone.  It can be time consuming, fruitless and sometimes dangerous to use craigslist (creepy people) but those who do use it know it can be a great way to get used products for a killer price, sometimes even free.

The problem is having to constantly sift through the listings trying to find the perfect item before the next guy buys it before you.  I just don’t have time.  In comes IFTTT to the rescue.  With IFTTT you can trigger a specific craigslist search to send you an email each time a new item is listed that fits that search.  Let me break it down…example, lets say you are looking for a Mac Mini and specifically a 2012 model.  You can go to IFTTT and say “if” a mac mini 2012 is listed on craigslist “then” email me (any email that you specify).  That way you get an occasional “ding” throughout the day in your mail box, you take a look, if the ad looks good follow up, if not delete.  No more craigslist searching day after day.

Let me show you how…Go to

On this page type in craigslist and search

Go to ifttt and search craigs list


Then Choose the recipe by mckenziec as shown below

Go to ifttt and search craigs list 2


Now set up your search criteria by clicking SEARCH URL

Go to this Recipe and enter a search peramiter


That will take you to the craigslist page.  Make sure you are in your area or city and type in the search (for my example “mac mini 2012”) and hit search.  Once the page loads you copy the page address at the top of your browser.

Create a Search for Craigslist and Copy the link


Now back on the recipe page enter that URL or paste it like this…

Paste your shirt Here


Then click USE RECIPE.  That should be it.  Now any time anyone adds a “mac mini 2012” listing you will be notified via email.  Once the Recipe is created you can check it by clicking the “CHECK” button to make sure it works and all the components are “talking” to one another.  You can go back and change, disable or delete this at anytime too.

This is just one way to use ifttt…enjoy.

Best headphones for the money…No question!!

UPDATE:  I have now had these for a few months.  After a run through the washer and dryer, sitting in my car in the freezing winter temps, I can say they still keep cranking out great sound.  Seem to be tough, wires arent broken so big thumbs up to durability.

Some things are worth an honorable mention and some things are worth raving about.  Well, these little guys are fantastic!…I am raving!!!  I bought the Panasonic HJE120 headphones off of Amazon because they had over 4 stars with over 8,000 reviews.  I have been using my Sennheiser cx300’s for 5 years and don’t get me wrong, they are awesome but I have to say these Panasonic headphones are really good, maybe better.  A little unusual with the shape and fit but once you snug them in you get deep rich bass (not overdone) and a wide open clean soundstage.  I couldn’t be happier.  Oh…Did I mention $5-$7 on Amazon.  Click the link below and buy direct from my page.  Enjoy!


Available in a rainbow of colors too!


Build and Set Up XBMC on a Raspberry Pi Computer

This is a quick tutorial on how to assemble the Raspberry Pi and where to buy some of the parts.  Take a look and let me know if you have any questions.

Lets Prepare a card for running RASPBMC (XBMC on a Raspberry PI)

Now that you have put it together lets download some repositories

Finally Set up XBMC on a Raspberry PI…this is long…

Configure your SD card to run Raspbmc on your Raspberry Pi

Hi guys.  I wanted to link my video tutorial that I have recently uploaded to help those who are trying to install Raspbmc on to their SD card to run the XBMC program on a Raspberry Pi.  It can be a little confusing so I made an easy to follow video.

If you are confused by what the heck I just said in the paragraph above don’t worry I will break it down.  The raspberry pi is a micro computer that many are using as a mini home theater PC.  The Raspberry Pi runs Linux, or other variants of operating systems.  Two that are popular (because they run the the XBMC interface) are RaspBMC made by a guy named Nazarko and Raspbian made by some other guy (forgive me I don’t know the developer).  I have only installed RaspBMC.

The RaspBMC operating system needs to be installed over the web with a live internet connection.  The SD card must first be prepped so when you first plug in your Raspberry device it will know what to do.  Think of the card as self booting and self installing.  Once you follow my video and install the RaspBMC software then you install the SD card into the Raspberry device, plug it in and it takes it from there and finishes the software install.  Believe me, its a lot easier than it sounds.

Check it out.

Upgraded to Mavericks and now you can’t connect to your NAS?

UPDATE: Mavericks 10.9.2 was released February 2014 and SMB2 seems to be working fine now. The below steps may not be necessary.

With any upgrade there are bound to be problems.  With the new Mavericks OS update from Apple I have experienced two really unfortunate issues.  1) My copy of Adobe After Effects no longer works and 2) I can’t write to or read any NAS files.  Adobe’s suggested fix is a creative cloud membership at $49.00 a month and all will be peachy…right?  No thanks.

At least I found a “work around” for the NAS issue.  Just in case you’re wondering a NAS is a “NETWORK ATTACHED STORAGE”.  Basically a hard disk (or a series of them) that are connected through the ethernet to your home network so all your devices can access the data.  The problem was very strange at first.  I could see the drive and the folders but as soon as I tried to drill down into them BLAMO! Error-0 message.  That was it, I assumed I was fried until I googled and found out that Mavericks now uses SMB2.  Server Message Block is the way the computer talks to the server (or hard disk) and enables it to send and receive data…there is a version 1 and 2.  I am trying to keep it simple and I may not be absolutely correct but it doesn’t matter.  I am gonna show you a work around until Apple corrects the problem.  I was strolling along fine with SMB (the original 1) and then Apple went and changed their protocol to SMB2.  I used NFS with some success but that broke with the Mavericks upgrade as well.  Thank God for CIFS.  CIFS stands for Common Internet File System and is an application layer protocol.  Don’t worry, I don’t know what that is either.  OK…enough chatter lets fix it.

You will need to re-connect your newly upgraded Mavericks Mac using the CIFS Protocol.  The way you do this…from the home screen you go to the “go” tab and click the drop down menu and at the bottom click on “connect to server”

Screen Shot 2013-11-03 at 3.42.45 PM

and a small window will pop up and look something like this…

Screen Shot 2013-11-03 at 3.44.10 PM

At this point you may already see your server identified something like this  smb://yourservername or serveraddress/somefoldername  mine looked like this:  smb:// – Tower

Now in the address input block retype your server address the same way but make sure it starts of with CIFS instead of SMB

Screen Shot 2013-11-03 at 3.50.51 PM

mine looked like this:  cifs:// – Tower…yours will be different

Now click the add button  (square button with the plus sign)

Screen Shot 2013-11-03 at 3.47.18 PM

Now highlight the address (the one starting with cifs) and select “Connect”

Screen Shot 2013-11-03 at 3.54.43 PM

And you should now see your server folder open like this…

Screen Shot 2013-11-03 at 4.04.53 PM

That’s it…

If you get an error message don’t panic…just check to make sure you’re typing your server address exactly the way it is shown and that it starts off with “cifs” without the quotes.  Try again and it should work.  From the desktop the quick keystroke to get to the server connection is the command-k keystroke.  This will help you get connected with less keystrokes.  There are also ways to have your computer auto connect to your server upon reboot or boot up.  For now I will forgo the auto connect tutorial hoping that this will be a temporary arrangement until Apple fixes on a future upgrade.

This isn’t perfect but it gets you communicating with your NAS…while Apple gets it sorted out.  

“Hey Apple!  What would Steve say?!!”  Get it together, you’re the most valuable company in the world…Act like it.


Remembering the Albums…

After giving my daughter her record player that she requested for her birthday I was drawn in while testing it out. Everyone was out of the house and I listened to an entire side of a Gordon Lightfoot album. It really brought back memories of easier times.

There is a tangible physical nature that’s hard to explain.  You held music in your hands.  Watched it spin and respectfully would not lift the needle to rush to the next track.  You would actually listen giving the song it’s due.  That’s what the artist wanted.  That went away somewhere along the line.  It was born of a slower time when we could spare the hours to share an experience never to be interrupted by the beep of a text or a ring of the phone.  I was young but do miss it a little.  Fire in the fall, thanksgiving dinners and easy times.  You only communicated with the ones you were physically with.  Engaged.  Not distracted.  Enjoying just being there, right then.  It was more NOW and less EVERYTHING ALWAYS.