Archive by Author | Ryan

Screenwriter for Retina Display?

Movie Magic Screenwriter

Movie Magic Screenwriter

Happy 2014!

This is a bit of an update to an older post about a possible Retina display compatible update to Write Brothers‘ excellent screenwriting app, Movie Magic Screenwriter (I guess it’s an “app” now and not “program”?).

Long story short: Write Brothers is working towards getting Retina support for the next major release of Movie Magic Screenwriter, which will hopefully be released later this year. Read More…

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It’s Alive! (mostly)

The MacBook Air Lives!

The MacBook Air Lives!

I’m practically jumping for joy. If you read my previous post on the MacBook Air I bought off Kijiji, I’d left things at a quasi cliff-hanger. Well, I put it all back together, pressed the power button and… nothing. Read More…

What Does a University Lecturer Do in the Summer?

MacBook Air Top Case

MacBook Air Top Case

It’s August. School starts in less than a month, but what’s a uni prof to do? Why, take apart a water-damaged MacBook Air of course! Read More…

A Reason for my Absence…

Dollar Cinema Logo

I didn’t spend all these months working on the logo…

Hello blog. I’m back. But I didn’t forget you. No far from it. I’ve been away, busy.

True, abandoned WordPress blogs must hear that all the time from delinquent bloggers, and I guess I’m one of them. But I have been quite busy, and I’d like to share it with you:

My new Web Series, Dollar Cinema goes into production this July.

It’s a comedy about a young Indo-Canadian woman named Amita who inherits an old dilapidated movie house and has to choose between selling it to a real-estate developer intent on creating the next great shopping centre, or running it herself and facing almost certain financial ruin.

Amita will need to team up with her opportunistic half-Indian, half-Italian cousin Mario and the people who work at the cinema, misfits so out of it that the only place they can get work is at a movie house that charges a buck for entry.

The Indiegogo campaign is here, and if you’re in the Vancouver area this July and want to help out, drop me a line. Particularly if you want to cater! And can make gluten-free meals!

 

Mac Pro Update

Computer tear-down on my desk.

Computer tear-down on my desk.

Just wanted to post a quick update on what I’ve done to my Mac Pro. To recap: I acquired a 2006 first-generation Mac Pro and am in the process of building it up. Why? Because I can. Also, I have a big video project this summer and I need something fairly powerful to cut on.

The first upgrade was a modest memory boost, from 1GB to 5GB. It’s a definite improvement, though still not enough for a proper edit suite. I’ll be adding another 8GB by the summer, at least.

Next, a little bit of brain surgery that saw me swap the antiquated 2Ghz dual-core Xeons with slightly less antiquated 2.66Ghz quad-core Xeons. What does that mean in non-geek speak? Each “core” is a processor. So having two dual-core Xeons would be like having four processors or “brains” and the quad-cores would make it eight. The speed doesn’t scale linearly, so doubling the cores won’t double the power. But for certain tasks, there is a definite improvement.

I don't know if the Mac Pro will ever be this powerful, but one can always hope...

I don’t know if the Mac Pro will ever be this powerful, but one can always hope…

The other day, I finally installed an SSD drive. I happened to have one lying around, since my Mac Mini didn’t like it, and would hang at random times. But it works fine in the Mac Pro. It boots up in less than 25 seconds, and that’s from the moment you push the power button. Once you hear the chime, the desktop appears in a couple of seconds and you’re all set to go. It is stupid-fast.

I’m currently working on a “how-to” video on how to install an SSD, and will do one for the processor upgrade too. After that, the next upgrade will be a newer video card.

Ryan.

A New Year Without the PowerBook? NEVER!

Who needs the lower quarter? It's just wasted space, right? Right?

Who needs the lower quarter? It’s just wasted space, right? Right?

New year, new beginnings. And it was almost so when I powered up the PowerBook this morning. The lower quarter of the screen displayed visual artifacts and flickered constantly, rendering it almost unusable. It hadn’t been on since coming back from our cross-country holiday visit back east, and the time off didn’t seem to agree with it. Read More…

Open Heart Surgery on a Mac – Success!

The Mac Pro - Now with more badass.

The Mac Pro – Now with more badass.

I was planning on doing a regular update on each upgrade for the Mac Pro, but the ram and CPUs came together, tipping my wife off that I was up to something. Read More…

The Gift for Any Trekie Brood

Star Trek Book of Opposites

Are you a Star Trek nerd who beat the odds and managed to reproduce? Need a baby book that’s as much for you as your kid? Well then…

I love Star Trek, especially The Original Series (TOS). As my friends (and wife) can attest to, William Shatner is a personal hero. So it’s more than a little surprising that I didn’t discover this board book for little tykes. It was my wife and daughter while at the library. Read More…

New Screenwriter Update for Mac

Write Brothers have updated Screenwriter for Mac to version 6.0.8.156. It includes the following:

– Recompiled for OS 10.8, with GateKeeper compatibility

– Improved reliability

– Fixed several circumstances that would result in a crash (namely: closing Character Name pop-up after an undo, typing words that are more than 50 characters long, sending an RTF Email)

It looks like a pretty decent update, but it still doesn’t address features that won’t work in Mac OS 10.7 (Lion) like Compare Documents, Name Bank, Thesaurus and Avid Export formats, or support for the Retina Display. They’re supposedly coming in a future automatic (hopefully not paid) update. Until they fix that, I think my Mac Mini’s gonna stay on Snow Leopard…

You can get the update here.

 

Behold: The Mac Pro

My "New" Mac Pro

At least it’s new to me. A first generation Mac Pro.

One of my pet peeves is our increasingly disposable culture. Perfectly good products are simply thrown away because of planned obsolescence. I hold onto things. Like the PowerBook, or my Blue and White G3, or the 486 before that (my dad’s IBM PS2 is still running). I use an iPhone 3G that was given to me. Sure it’s a little slow, but it works fine.

One of my wife’s pet peeves is the amount of junked electronics gear in the house. Read More…