Monday, May 09, 2005

I'm tired - Time to vent!

Most of this is driven by frustration and technology and so won't be of interest to anyone. However, I find myself stuck here at work for another hour and I need to scream at something. The computer doesn't seem to mind, although the keys are starting to take a pounding.

It's approaching quarter to 8 at night. In fifteen minutes I will have been at work for 12 hours. Why? Because someone did a fix on the damn Profile and now the Avid won't talk to it...

Explain.

To get our content off the Avid editing system we use down to Sydney we need to record the video output to a hard disk based recorder called a "Profile" by a company called Grass Valley. Because we're sharing limited resources with the lovely people in Television we have to make use of a semi-automated system from within Avid called the "Digital Cut." This tool allows you to machine control a record deck, usually a tape machine, and make a frame accurate copy. We have the system set up to record to Profile.

Problem.

While I was away last week there were all sorts of issues with the Profile. The practical upshot of all this tomfoolery is that now the Profile starts recording a second after the Avid starts playing. This means we crash into our bulletins a second into the opening titles, and leave a second of black at the end. This is not acceptable.

I'd noticed the issue while I was away and thought it was happening on the transfer between us and Sydney. A half hour before I was due to head home this afternoon I discovered it was at our end. The two guys that usually deal with this equipment weren't available so I've spent all afternoon with one of the other Techs chasing our tail trying to get the thing to work.

Prize for most frustrating element?

About an hour into the fix we managed to get it working. Perfectly. We had no idea how. Again, unacceptable. The tech heads downstairs to restart the system so we can try and figure out what's causing the issue. We haven't had it working the same since. Now to get content into Profile we need to record manually through an esoteric process that only I know. That means that after I leave here sometime after 8:30 I have to get up and be here for a 6am start to help out the morning shift. Hopefully one of the Techs that know what's what will be able to fix it tomorrow.

I hope so. I'm off to that Interactive TV seminar I mentioned and the last thing I want is to be too shagged out to take it all in. Even worse would be being alert for the Fat Cow Motel people and losing focus when the interesting BBC stuff is on.

Let's top it off with a cherry and whipped cream.

I have to get more involved with my University subject, in particular the tutorial exercise so I can start getting a handle on my final assignment, due in on the 8th June. What's that I hear you say? That's a month away. Did I mention that Ellen and I take over our house on the 2nd June and move on the 4th, 5th and 6th? Just what I need on the weekend before it's due.

Sigh! All vented for now although I don't feel like I've used anywhere near enough vitriol. Hopefully tomorrow I'll have a post on the seminar and the Profile/Avid experience will all be a distant memory.

1 comment:

Colin Smith said...

That settles it. I'm definitely helping you move house.