Journal: News & Comment

Friday, June 17, 2005
# 12:33:00 PM:

The ultimate home test of computing power

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Yesterday afternoon, my boss and colleague Bill reported his frustration at helping his nephew convert a short movie (a school project), built using iMovie, to write to DVD. Whether because of some corrupt audio files or other weirdness, the DVD conversion consistently failed after several hours of rendering.

The first thing we did (since the project was overdue) was hook Bill's PowerBook up to a VCR and record a copy of the video straight to tape, with all the onscreen controls and menus and everything, since that was fast and better than nothing. Then I took the iMovie file home and set it to render to a plain DV stream video from my eMac.

It took—get this—17 hours (!) to do its job, and yielded a 5.3 GB file. I'm hoping we can burn that to DVD more easily.

So, if you want to test your computer's horsepower, throw some video at it. You'll understand why people who do it for a living spend whatever it takes to get the fastest computer possible.


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