Archive for January, 2006

Free eBooks From Apress

Apress is giving away some free eBooks in hopes of getting people to sign up for their newsletter.

Titles include:

  • A Programmer’s Introduction to PHP 4.0
  • Writing Perl Modules for CPAN
  • Google, Amazon and Beyond: Creating and Consuming Web Services
  • Practical Common Lisp
  • plus several others

You don’t even need to sign up for the newsletter – just leave the checkbox blank if you don’t want it.

Apress are the people who publish Joel Spolsky’s books:

2 comments January 23rd, 2006

Sarah’s Tea Party Video

A while ago, I video taped Sarah hosting a tea party for Grace and several of her dolls and teddy bears. Later, while browsing through some old audio files, I found the perfect backing track by the Animaniacs. Enjoy!

Sarah’s Tea Party (4.6 MB). You may need to download the free Quicktime 7 player to watch it.

1 comment January 7th, 2006

Grace Makes The News

Late last year we all went to see Hi 5 in concert at the Wollongong Entertainment Centre. Grace absolutely loved it, and danced down in the mosh pit for most of the concert. Sarah was a bit overwhelmed by the whole thing, and spent most of the concert asleep with her head in Megan’s lap!

Grace’s enthusiastic dancing even won her a place on WIN TV News that night – watch the video (3.6 MB). Watch for Grace’s dance moves after Charli talks. You may need to download Quicktime 7 (it’s free) to watch the video.

January 5th, 2006

iPod Video TV Playback Problem Solved

For a while now, I’ve been unable to play video from my iPod video through to one of my TVs. Of course, the TV it didn’t work with was the good stereo one in the loungeroom, not the smaller crappy mono TV in the family room.

I finally found some info on the net that helped me fix this. It turns out that the iPod puts video, left audio and right audio onto different leads on an AV cable than what most video cameras use. I was connecting it up using red-to-red, yellow-to-yellow and white-to-white. Seemed sensible to me, but it’s completely wrong.

The technical reason Apple didn’t follow the traditional pinouts used by video cameras was so that you could plug a 3.5″ earphone jack into the same plug as the video jack, and still get stereo sound. If you plug earphones into a video camera’s 3.5″ jack, you’ll get sound in one ear and noise (the video signal) in the other. So it’s an understandable decision, but annoying when you’re not aware of it.

The correct connection setup is:

  • the red lead goes into the TV’s yellow jack
  • the yellow lead goes into the TV’s white jack
  • the white lead goes into the TV’s red jack

If you can’t remember the colour combinations, do it this way:

  • try different leads in different RCA jacks until you get a picture on the TV (none of the lead/jack colours should match, so there are only 6 combinations to try)
  • now plug the two audio leads in (there’s only one combination left where the colours don’t match)

Beauty, now it works!

So, why did it originally work on one of my TVs and not the other? It turns out I couldn’t see the jack colours behind that TV, so I just inserted cables until I got a video picture, and then plugged one of the sound cables into the mono audio jack. I’ve no idea why I didn’t think to try different combinations on the other TV!

4 comments January 4th, 2006


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