Archive for the ‘New to me’ Category

Node.js And Azure: Is it a Port or a Pipe?

Monday, December 9th, 2013

When deploying a node.js application to a azure website, the node.js environment variable process.env.port is set. One would think that port, is a the listening port and write something like this:

var port = process.env.port | 8080;

The problem? In azure website, port is not an int, it is a string. More problematic, it is not a port at all. It is a pipe. It looks something like this:


The good news, node.js can handle this. Be careful though, many modules for node.js are not expecting this to be the case and me have to be set up and initialized differently than the standard IP/Port examples. Hapi and Express for example can and have  run on azure.

VHS to DVD project.

Sunday, May 10th, 2009

The Problem: What to do with all those aging home videos that are on VHS (or other analog) format?

The Answer: Buy some new toys and convert the analog video to something modern like DVDs!

My parents, like many, bought a home video camera in the late 80s. Since then my family has accumulated hours upon hours of home movies. There is a lot of family history on those VHS tapes. That is a lot of family history many do not want to disappear. The real problem is most (none technical people) do not realize that tapes do not last forever and VCRs will not be around that much longer.

I was pretty much going into this blind. There are a many possible way to get analog video converted to digital video. Since I didn’t want to screw this up or waste money on anything that yielded problems or poor quality, I made sure to do my research. has proven to be a great resource for all things video. There is a ton of information on the site but be warned, has a large community of professionals so it is hard to get a clear answer for the hobbyist.

I started my research with exactly how to get the analog video from the VCR to my computer. There are tons of ways to convert analog video to digital video. There are a number of hardware to software and internal and external solution to do this. After reading the net, it becomes clear the easiest way to get video from analog to digital was to use a GrassValley ADVC110. The ADVC110 takes in S-Video or Composite connectors. It will do the conversion from analog video to digital video in the unit and outputs the video from the device over fire-wire. The video that is output from the device is DV-AVI and runs about 13GB/hour.

The next major part of this plan was to find a VCR. There are a lot of options for a VCR too. Finding a VCR proved to be even more complicated than finding a device to do the video converter. It seems that there are a lot of opinions how what type of VCR is better and why. There is a large debate over consumer vs professional VCRs and which one is better. At the present moment in time, there are no companies making standalone VCR players. The options are to buy a used professional or prosummer VCR from EBay or similar place or you can buy a consumer dvd/vcr combo from your local retailer. The main difference between the two options (form what I can tell) is a some of the professional VCRs will have image correct/stabilization in the form of a TBC or Time Base correction device. A TBC will make jumpy video more stable and remove some of the artifacts form the video.

Since I needed a new DVD player for my office, I opted to go with the consumer DVD/VCR combo. I bought a Philips DVD/VHS combo from Wal-Mart for $80 bucks. I figured if the video quality was poor, I would try to find a used professional VCR. After all my research and worrying over what to buy, I finally pulled the trigger and bought the ADVC110 and VCR/DVD player. Last weekend, I hook it all up and started to convert video. I have 13 family video tapes to convert and since then I have done 3 of the tapes. I wanted the DVDs to look as good as the VHS tapes when being played on a TV. I can say that with my current set up the digital video looks better than the VHS tapes. It is all really easy to use too!

Set Up of the VCR and ADVC110 is very easy and easy to work with. The hardware set up consisted of connecting the VCR to the ADVC110 and the ADVC110 to my computer. To capture the video being pushed from the ADVC110, I use a free tool called WinDV which is very easy to use. Once the raw DV-AVI video is captured, I have been using Windows Movie Maker and Windows DVD Maker to create movies and DVDs. Both are straight forward to use. They are not very robust but they get the job done to my needs.

I am open to question just remember I am by no means an expert on this subject. Here is a very small example of raw video that has been converted from on of the tapes. The clip is what my bedroom looked like when I was little.


More Complexity! I need more Complexity!

Monday, April 13th, 2009

Neal Ford has a series of post about SOA and how it is being sold to developers. While the post had some pretty good points on the topic, He talks about something he calls the Rubick’s Cubicle anti-pattern. The pattern as stated from the post is:

If the presented problem isn’t complex enough, developers will figure out ways DigiYes? to make it complicated and therefore challenging.

Shortly after reading about ????? the anti-pattern, I had a meeting to attend. It becomes apparent pretty quickly how true the anti-pattern is as I sat in listened in this meeting. This got me to thinking about problems and solutions of everyday life.

The first thing that comes to mind is how we communicate. Back when cavemen walked the Earth communication cheap jerseys was nothing more Ammonia then pointing and grunts. Fast forward to Today Hello where we have E-mail, Twitter, Cell Phones, signal fires, and video conferencing. One could go on for a pretty long time one just the number of different ways we interact with others these days. Anther fine example of complexity with communication is that forms of interaction that were not suppose to be instant are being treated as such. I can not count the number of times I would get an e-mail from someone and an заставить hour later get your a phone call or another is email asking if I had received the first one! I know make it a general rule to ignore my email when I am being productive.

This quote has actually got me thinking about my problem solving abilities. I wholesale mlb jerseys have noticed that I am guilty of taking the more complex rout because it would be more entertaining and/or challenging. It actually has me concerned. I don’t want to write complex code because I can! I have added a step to my problem solving process because of this quote and realizations. When trying to solve a problem, I make sure to stop and ask myself if there is a less complex way of solving the problem. Sure there may be an easy way to solve the problem, however easy does not mean simple. We have all seen a “fix” cheap nba jerseys that was one line of code but was confusing as hell.

Is your use fair?

Friday, March 27th, 2009

First off some administrative business. I was planning on doing a weekly post about stuff I learned this week. However on my first week I decided that was not such a good idea. With the items I had lined up to talk about, I would have to have written a short novel in order to cover it all.

Alright Hello time for something a little more useful. Lest week, Microsoft hosted Mix09 last week. While there were wholesale jerseys a lot of the run of the mill sessions on WPF, Sliverlight and ASP.NET, there was also a few hidden gems on other topics. One of the topics was a short session on Copyright.

“Copyright Laws for Web Designers and Developers”
Presenter: Jonathan Zuck

The session covered examples of what is considered copyright infringement and what is not. It also cover what is considered fair use. Jonathan did a good job giving an overview of what  copyright is, the DMCA, and what fair use is in just under 22 minuets. It was just arkitektkonkurrence long enough to get a taste of why copyright is important but short enough to keep your attention through the whole thing.

Here is some of the more important notes that I picked up for the session recording.

  • An individual can break copyright even if he/she wholesale jerseys do not profit from the act.
  • A parody on its own is not covered by fair use. A parody must also include criticism (bad or good) of the cheap MLB jerseys original cheap NFL jerseys work for it to be covered by fair use. A parody alone is a copyright infraction.

Overall it was worth the 22 minuets as a catch up on why Copyright is important for any developer or designer.

Copyright is broken here in the states. The rules look to be taken wholesale jerseys advatage of. For example for one can not say a name Parent of a major NFL event in public with out fear of the NFL because the name of the event was not properlly licenced from the NFL. It has getting to the point where it is so bad that it becomes laughable.

Anywho, check out the session and other sessions from Mix09 at