computing

digital video

photography

textiles


computing

I have taken an amateur interest in computing since the early 1980s when I purchased an Amstrad PCW, somewhat of a cult to owners in its day.  I have always been keen - and rash enough - to keep upgrading any machine that I owned, aided and abetted by relevant computing magazines.  I can still remember my first upgrade of the PCW, doubling memory and adding a second floppy disk drive.  The latter involved a heart-thudding cutting of the case with a hacksaw to free the window for the second drive!  

I have owned both PCs and notebook computers and, since 1997, when I invested in a Gateway PC installing a Coolscan II internal negative scanner with the prime aim of scanning 35mm film and slides, I have purchased machines and upgrades direct, rather than through the retail market. 

My lifestyle means that times when I may have free time to work on the computer - particularly to  work on my photographic store - I am often not at home. This led me to seek out in 1998 the best specified PC replacement in a notebook and I purchased a Dell Inspiron 7000 300LT.  I upgraded my Nikon negative and slide scanner to the new CoolScan III model with ICE technology and a Adaptec SlimSCSI 1480A CardBus PCMCIA ultra SCSI card.  This machine, running Windows 98SE, still remains as a workhorse giving me SCSI access to my old Black Widow flatbed and NIkon negative CoolScan III scanners, an MO external SCSI/parallel disk drive (230MB capacity disks),  as well as my old Epson 600 printer.  The latter is available on a 4 port 10/100 Fast Ethernet Hub added in 1999 to which all my machines are linked.

In March 1999 I purchased my digital video camcorder which immediately opened up to me the possibilities of editing video on the computer and soon afterwards in April 1999 I took delivery of a Dabs bespoke assembly PIII 450MH PC designed by me around a Pinnacle Miro Video DV300 PCI digital video editing card (see note re hardware/software problem).  I stripped relevant add-ons off my original Gateway PC and gradually upgraded components over the next couple of years.  However, it was never a very satisfactory machine although it did give me a - frustrating - taste for video editing.  Intermittent hardware problems - including 2 hard disk failures - dogged my efforts and the Pinnacle Miro Video DV300 PCI deserves all the bad press which it and Pinnacle support have received.

In February 2001 I took the large investment step of investing in a new Gateway Solo 850 MHz PIII notebook together with FAST's purple.Field professional software editing option for notebooks all purchased through MultiMedia Direct.  Although they specialise in assembling digital video editing solutions sadly did not continue to offer mobile digital editing nor FAST products leaving me high and dry which was made a hundred times worse by the sell out of FAST to Pinnacle.  This has left me isolated as far as progression is concerned with Pinnacle as unsuportive and unresponsive as ever!  The demise of Gateway's operations in the UK has left the notebook totally unsupported and my 3 year on site warranty worthless!

However, I found the Studio software - the key part of the purple.Field video editing operation - an excellent editing programme to use after a steep learning curve.  The Gateway Solo notebook, so far, has been a excellent machine to use after some early teething problems - probably the result of a poor set-up of Windows 2000 before delivery.  

In June 2002, with problems continuing on the Dabs machine and, the multiple disk drive failures leaving a feeling of insecurity, I decided to scrap it.  Pinnacle had recently launched Edition DV as the rebranded pro-am level Studio software. I decided to take the plunge to replace the Dabs machine with a twin processor AMD Athlon MP 1600+ (1.4GHz) PC to be built by digital video computing experts DVC in Brighton in the hope that they would provide a stable system with secure backup.  See specification for the DVC Edition PC.  

Click here to see specification of the Dell notebook

Click here to see specification of the MMD-Gateway-purple.Field notebook

Click here to see specification of the DVC Edition PC

Click here to see specifications of peripherals

Click here for the main software

I subscribe to magazines to keep in touch with what is new and as learning aids. These include Computer Video and PC Plus.  

Computer Video

PC PLUS

For an excellent help and support video editing web forum visit the Computer Video web site and forums

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computing

digital video

photography

textiles


Copyright 2001 Pamela A Cross.  All the contents of the this website, including all images and text, are for personal, educational and non commercial use only. Requests for use of any material on this site should be sent via the copyright page on the tribaltextiles.info website.

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this page last updated 30/11/02