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Random and uninteresting stuff for everyone :)
Christmas Deathmatch Production Procedure (Behind the Scenes)
Monday, January 8, 2018

Almost yearly in the winter, me, my brother, and my Dad play a series of Half-Life games, which ends up being recorded and uploaded to YouTube. We call the series the "Christmas Deathmatch".

To me, I'm always up for a good game, but I'm also always up for a good media project. Christmas Deathmatch isn't popular by any means, but it is a good way to practice video editing and producing to me. So I'm going to show some behind-the-scenes stuff that went on with editing 2017's Christmas Deathmatch.

In the past years, I was very reliant on Adobe After Effects to do my work for me. As I went through 2016 and 2017, I realised there was a much more efficient and automated way to do the editing I needed without professional video editing software. I only used Adobe After Effects for parts of the video that I actually had to edit. The rest, I managed to actually automate. All rendering to x264 was automated into a few shell scripts and ffmpeg. It's going to sound complicated when you read this, but in the end, it's just simply setting up files so that the scripts can encode everything automatically.

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How Tmux made me more productive on the Linux Terminal
Wednesday, July 19, 2017

So I'm willing to bet that a lot of Linux power-users out there use terminal multiplexers to increase their productivity.

The terminal, at first, can be quite intimidating. I like to expose my students to it whenever I am teaching them how to program in C or C++. This is because UTK Computer Science major students are forced to use it to do their lab assignments eventually (usually in their second year).

The terminal, put quite simply, is just a single session for a user to input commands. However, there are so many ways to change this that it is ridiculous. Let's look at a general terminal running zsh:

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Why downloading MP3s from YouTube is a terrible idea
Saturday, April 16, 2016

Note: This is actually a pretty outdated post now. YouTube has updated their video processing and audio support tramendously. Not only do they support higher quality audio, but they also support 5.1 surround sound! I'll keep the original post here for archival's sake. Do I support downloading from YouTube? No. But I'm not going to hide the fact they've improved in the past three years.

tl;dr - It's a terrible idea.

A frequent question I see on YouTube music videos is "How can I download this song?". A common answer to that question is to use a "YouTube to MP3" converter which will take the video and extract its audio stream (AAC), convert it to MP3, and then let you download it. Yes, you get the song, but let's be honest... The quality of that file is pretty shitty.

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Steam’s “Big Picture” Update Review (English and Japanese Screenshots)
Sunday, November 29, 2015

I feel like I am late to the party! With a busy semester ongoing and barely any time to try to enjoy off, Steam decided to update their "Big Picture" feature. Let's take a tour of this. Press the "English" and "日本語" buttons to switch language of the screenshots to English and Japanese respectively. Furthermore, you can click the images to see their full resolution (1920x1080).

I was welcomed to the "Big Picture" with this screen. It has changed since the last time I used it. Sadly, I don't have screenshots (that I took myself) of the older Steam Big Picture mode.

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Windows 10 Technical Preview Comparison Screenshots
Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Oh my, look how Windows 10 grew! With Windows 10 already available for about 190 countries, I felt like it was time for me to show a few screenshots of what Microsoft went through in the past few Technical Previews of Windows 10.

I must admit, I enjoyed being part of the preview. I got to see how Windows 10 grew and how it changed based on people's input/opinions. It was fun even though I never got to actually develop software like applications for the OS myself (yet).

Let's break down changes over the time via screenshots. You can see how graphical instances have changed, etc. Like all images on this blog, click the images to view their full resolution (mostly 1920x1080 PNG).

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Windows 10 Japanese Keyboard Fix
Sunday, February 1, 2015

So as some readers may know, I own a Japanese Keyboard. The layout is slightly different on Japanese keyboards compared to US keyboards. I would have expected Windows 10 to adjust to this automatically, as Windows 8.1 was able to, but unfortunately, it hasn't. I was able to fix this via registry edits (Same as what I did in Windows 7...). Let's break down how to fix the issue:

Deep into the heard of the operating system is the registry. If you mess the wrong value up, it could result in your computer's functionality being terminated! Ah whatever, let's proceed.

To open: Press the Windows Key and R at the same time. It will open a text box asking what program to open. Type "regedit.exe" (Just "regedit" will do too) and press Enter. It will open up the Registry Editor.

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Trilingual Keyboard! (English, 日本語, 한국어)
Monday, February 24, 2014

Now you may be wondering, isn’t that just an English keyboard with stickers? Might fool you but look at the layout of the keyboard. :P This keyboard is a Bilingual Japanese/English Keyboard. I ordered stickers for Korean and Japanese here on the same day as I ordered the keyboard. Because of the stickers, the keyboard now has 3 languages: English, Japanese, and Korean. Why would I choose Korean? Because I am learning the Hangul alphabet right now. Why? I got so used to Japanese Kana that I actually got bored of trying to review on it and wanted to learn something new. My friend in College also wants to teach me some Korean since she comes from there :P. Anywho, All of the keys fit perfectly in the QWERTY layout, though the numbers above… eh not so much.

The overall format for the keyboard looks very nice. I love the colour indicators so if I ever have to look down at the keyboard, I can see what language I want to type in. White for US*, Yellow for Japanese Hiragana, Blue for Korean Hangul. The stickers feel very… unnoticeable and seem like they will stick on forever.

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Clara Nguyễn
Hi! I am a Vietnamese/Italian mix with a Master's Degree in Computer Science from UTK. I have been programming since I was 6 and love to write apps and tools to make people's lives easier. I also love to do photography and media production. Nice to meet you!
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