This is what Shawn Morton would look like if he had been made of LEGO sMoRTy71.com -- the personal website of Shawn Morton
Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Streaming HD to XBOX 360
My AverMedia A180 HDTV card arrived today. I plan on using my Windows Media Center 2005 box, which is hooked to an HDTV in our master bedroom, as an HD DVR that will feed both the master bedroom TV and my HDTV in the "manroom."

Installation of the card and drivers and the TV setup in MCE 2005 took less than 15 minutes. After heading downstairs, I was also able to view Live TV from the MCE 2005 box via the XBOX 360.

My first HD test recording was "American Idol" (it was the first HD thing I found in the guide!). Everything worked perfectly. I was able to watch (pause, rewind, etc.) the show in both our bedroom and in the "manroom." And the interface wasn't all that bad either. I have used a TiVo since 2001 and have bought into the whole "there is nothing better than TiVo" thing. However, the MCE TV interface wasn't bad (a whole lot better than cable DVRs that I've used).

Now I can watch HD versions or "Lost" and "24" without commericals. Very cool!
Monday, February 27, 2006
Convert DVDs to iPod in 2 steps
Lots of sites and blogs picked up on this WIRED article about ripping DVDs and converting them for use with the iPod. One thing I noticed about the 3-step article was that it is 1 step too long. Of course, some would claim that my tip is 1 step too long because I'm not using Handbrake; however, the PC version of Handbrake isn't the easiest to use. Plus, I already use DVD Decrypter for so many other things so I prefer to use it.

Here is how I do it on the PC:

1. Decrypt the DVD
I use DVD Decrypter to rip the DVD to a single VOB file. By using DVD Decrypter to rip to a single VOB, you have no need for VOB Merge which was used in step 2 of the WIRED article.

dvdd_file

Configure DVD Decrypter to create a single VOB by selecting "Tools" then "Settings" then the "File Mode" tab. In the right side of the "File Mode" tab, change the File Splitting menu to "None."

2. Convert the VOB
Like the WIRED article, I also use 3GP Converter. Open 3GP Converter, select "Model:MP4, for iPod," drag and drop your single VOB file in the "Drag&Drop files here" text area. Conversion begins as soon as you drop the file.

3GP_Converter

I found it useful to actually select my Output Directory before dragging the file. Otherwise, the app will use it's default directory.

IMPORTANT: Make sure that you have Quicktime installed prior to the conversion. Without Quicktime, 3GP will crap out and give you an error (2095). Unfortunately, it won't tell you why there is any error.

The conversion takes quite about 20 minutes (I think). Once you have the file, all that is left is adding it to your iTunes library.

BTW, in addition to VOB, you can also convert MPEG2 or WMV files using 3GP Converter also. Cool!
Michel Gondry & Dave Chappelle?

WIRED is reporting that Michel Gondry is releasing a documentary about Dave Chappelle. I'll give you a second to try and get your head around that... need more time? Thought so...

Gondry is one of my favorite directors, but his style is so "out there" (for lack of a better description). I can't even imagine what he will make of such an event (which featured Erykah Badu, Kanye West, The Fugees and Mos Def); however, I can't wait to see it.

The film, titled "Block Party," is scheduled to be released in March.
Saturday, February 25, 2006
The Cult on Late Late Show
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson featured a performance by The Cult last night. Luckily, I heard about the it on Hair Nation (Sirius 23) yesterday afternoon, so I was able to TiVo it.

They performed their classic "Wild Flower." What is weird is that watching the video of the show and just the audio give two totally different "vibes" (for lack of a less-cheesy word).

On screen, it played a little flat. Ian didn't really look all that into it. I'm sure playing on a cramped stage in a TV studio (where the audience is across the room) doesn't help. However, listening to just the audio, it sounds awesome.

Check out the MP3 here.
Friday, February 24, 2006
Got "Full Auto" today
My copy of "Full Auto" for XBOX 360 arrived today. I've only been playing for about an hour; however, it is really fun. I plan on posting a full review after I've played through more the game (I've only gotten 11 of 50 achievements at this point).

I didn't realize that "Full Auto" was developed by Pseudo Interactive who made one of my favorite early XBOX titles "Cel Damage."

BTW, if you're playing "Full Auto" on XBOX Live, post your Gamertag as a comment.
Text-image.com is cool
Text-image.com, will convert an image into a text image. Don't know what it is really good for; however, it is very cool.

I took this photo of Kevin Federline and Britney Spears, fed it into the converter at text-image.com and "POPOZAO!" this is what I got:


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101000111100100011111010101001111010111001011010111001001011111111010000000101
010001011111101011100010110101001110011000011000000100101110111011000110000100
111111111111100001011010001010100100100001011101001111011011010010101110000111
101001001110001100001010000001001100101010000010011100111101011011000011010000
000001001011000100010001011010100101100010101111100011110100010000101111110010
011101111001000011110110011011010101111011001101111001011101101110111101100100
010010011010010101110000010100100101010100011010010000101101110111100000011010
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010000010001001011010011001110101100001011101000111001010000110100110001010100
100101101101100001010000101100000011001110001101111111000100000001010000110101
010111011011110011100100101110010000111111000110100100001100001101001011011000
100110111110001100100001011101011100100011000010010000100100100101001111111000
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110100100111011110110110001011010110000000111101100111010101100101010001011011
111010010001000100010100010110000000001000011111111111101011001101111100110110
101111001001010001101111010111011001111111111101011011110011001101101010010100
111011000000111101100010011100111000100111010000000001101100010000101000101111
011111001000010101010010001011101110111010000110011001001100101101011001110100
110000011111001001011011100001111100111101010000000101111010110000010100110101
110100000011000010110001110100100110111010111010000111110110001110100000110010
111011101001100001110011000110111111001000000001101101101010111111001010010010
101101110001011101100101001011110010111110111001000010000001000110000000110110
001101011101001111100111110101001011001010111111001100010010111010001010110110
110001101111100010110000110001110000000100001011110100010000000000000111000000
010101010101110100011110011100100001101101001101011100101010110010111110001001
100100010101011110111011110100011111000001110110101100101011000100110011100001
000110001000101000100010110011100010101000100010010110000111011110011101100010
101011101011011111110110101111011111001100010111011110010010101001111010011010
001110111100110000001101000000111111111101100001000111110100110110100111110001
001000110000110001100011011011000000110000111100011111101101011010001001101010
011111110111100010101001010010010011010010000011011010000101100011110000001100
100001100101110011100011110101000111010111111110010100100111001001001100101101
100110001010001110110001011001010110010110111100101111011101110000011010111001
000110111010110111010111100100110101010111101101110100000001101000000100100111
011110110110111001001100100101111001101010101111110011011100101110011010101011
110010001000001010111110000010000110101011000101010100011011010110000110000001
110110100010000000110100100110001000100000001000110000101101100010001110010111
100001000101101101101011101110111100011000110100111100011010001111000011000110
101001101100001011111001100100101010111110001101110110111101100111101101100101
110101110101011010101101101011000101110101111011110011111000111011110111111011
101001100110010010100001000001000111000000001100011101011110111111011111000110
010111011001110111111110011110000000111000001101101100100110001000000110111010
101100100010011111011111101101101011010101000111100000101100010111111101011000
100001100000011101010110011110001011101001100000101101000000000110100000011111
101110000111100100110000111101110111000101111101100001011111011101110110010100
100011110001011001000011010100110001111011011110101101100000011101111111000001





BTW, thanks to Dan for sending this to me.

About Shawn Morton

Married father of 6; VP of Social Media at JPMorgan Chase; gluten-free; gadget enthusiast; hair metal aficionado; #Movember man View more on LinkedIn.