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Personal Blog

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Regina's Personal Blog

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Fruit Tarte w/Cream Cheese

On Sunday, October 15, 2023 I wanted to work on two projects:

  • Video record the making of one of my favorite quick desserts, a fruit tarte w/cream cheese
  • Work on a legal document- End User License Agreement (EULA) I am putting together to allow for sales of Microsoft Product Templates I want to offer.

I was able to make and record the creation of my dessert, however I am still researching and trying to perfect the EULA document.

Today, I spent almost the entire day, editing the video for the Fruit Tarte. Yes, I have discussed this dessert in the past, however, never made a video.

Items discussed in this post or the related video...

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Video Production Experiments

In an earlier post I discuss issues related to producing videos for online consumption. I wanted to provide more details specific to my production efforts.

First, allow me to discuss the equipment I use for video production.

Starting in the back on the left:

  • Accessories for my action/sports cam
  • Vivitar magnification lens for my Canon M50 (one of several that came with my camera)
  • Dual Shoe Bracket for lights, microphones, etc.
  • Ultra High Dimmable 168 LED Video/Photo Light
  • Hafoko MT16 Mini Camera Tripod
  • Action/Sports Cam
  • 2.7K Ultra HD mini Video Camera. Used for Zoom meetings.
  • Canon EF-M 15-45mm STM lens came with Canon EOS M50 Bundle
  • Canon EOS M50 Camera with Fotodiox Pro Lens Mount Auto Adapter, Canon EF-S 55-250mm
  • HD Dash Cam
  • Canon VIXIA HF R700 Camcorder
  • Digital Slave Flash
  • Not shown the Lavalier Microphone and 53 inch Camera Tripod


Some of my camera equipment is no longer available- the reason the link is not provided above.

Software I use includes Microsoft PowerPoint 365, Active Presenter, and Any Video Converter.

On Thursday, February 9, 2023 after finishing my weekly shopping, I took out one of the cars that I rarely use. I also decided to mount the dash cam I never use and ride around Hanover, MD where I reside.

The following Youtube video, shows part of my drive around Hanover and then the Chili I made for Super Bowl Sunday. As I have already explained, I used the dash cam for the tour footage and the Canon VIXIA HF R700 Camcorder for the Chili cooking footage. P.S. I should have removed the time stamp if I was not going to set the date on the dash cam, however I forgot. The stamp shows 01/01/2015 however the footage was shot around noon on February 9, 2023. Landmarks can be used as a guide.

Based on review of the video, do you wish to discuss the hair cut I need, which I mentioned in this post?

On Saturday, I received the mini tripod shown in several photos below, and I used for the cooking portion of the above video. I am pretty impressed with the mini tripod in that it actually supports my Canon EOS M50 with the telephoto lens and adaptor.

Video editing is very time consuming and I am not sure how others find the time for these endeavors. Maybe only those who can afford to produce these videos are seeing the profitability in this type of work.

So why am I continuing to purchase equipment for this type of work? I purchased the new mini tripod using a gift card I recently received through one of my banks. I have other interests like my ecommerce shop and real estate. I can justify the purchase of this type of equipment for other projects.

Video production errors with these experiments that I believe I have learned from include:

  • Hanover Tour video- should have removed the audio track.
  • If not removing the audio track, do not try to move the camera while filming.
  • Though I may find a use for dash cam footage in video production, I think it will be rare.
  • Clean the windshield.
  • Ensure cameras in storage for any length of time have the correct date set before filming or set the time stamp feature off.
  • No, cannot add video producer to my resume.
  • Background noise in the cooking segment is the television. Happy I did not have to add any voice overs for that segment, however I probably should have recorded without the television.

I think Active Presenter is a powerful video editing tool and I would recommend this software. I simply cannot figure where I can find the time to perfect my skills in this area. That said, I do feel I am well versed in the use of Active Presenter if you have any questions.

Saturday, August 06, 2022

What is not on my resume?

Awhile back, I began to familiarize myself with the offerings of Node.js. What is Node.js?

Node.js is an open-source, cross-platform, back-end JavaScript runtime environment that runs on the V8 engine and executes JavaScript code outside a web browser, which was designed to build scalable network applications. Wiki Link for full description.

Access to online databases is an essential web service and one of the main offerings of Node.js. The Node.js server-side Javascript provides access to popular online databases like MySQL and MongoDB.

That said, for security reasons, I prefer Java JDBC servlets to access online databases which is not as open as the Node.js offering. The popularity of Node.js prompted my research into this area.

Insofar as online demonstrations of what I can do with node.js, there are issues for me because both of my web hosts use the Apache Tomcat server- which I need to run server side Java programs. This causes a special setup requirement for Node.js support. Because I only need the support to demonstrate Node.js knowledge, I opted to provide the demonstrations in my local experimental software development environment via video.

The following video demonstrates tools I am using and software I have created in my two software development environments: production and experimental including a Node.js demo.

I again used Active Presenter to create the video presentation provided in this post. I continue to learn new features available within Active Presenter however feel I should spend a lot more time editing. I have time issues.

PS. Sorry about the decibel level on the NPR Station Selection demo segment of the video. I wanted to show the control features of the application and may have left too much of the original video in tack.

Also, why am I not looking into the camera?

I use a high resolution monitor for Zoom meetings and a separate camera (monitor does not have a camera). Configuration shown above. When I recorded this video, I continued to look at the monitor and not the camera located slightly higher and to the left of the monitor. Trying to learn from my mistakes.

Monday, July 04, 2022

Recent Software Projects, July 4, 2022

A major software issue I wanted to look into- involved my Instagram API Demonstrations, as provided: here and here.

The problem involved thumbnail requests of the photos and videos, which initially were being returned from the API as same size photos no matter what size originally uploaded to Instagram. See this link for illustration, the thumbnail requests initially worked.

Recently, when I uploaded a new photo to Instagram via my new iPad mini, the problem became more evident because the app on the iPad did not crop the photo in the same manner as the Android version. That is what prompted my decision to fix the problem now, rather than later.

The following video, discusses and demonstrates updates to several QiSoftware developed software tools including the Instagram demonstrations.

I am playing around with Microsoft's Power Point 365 and Active Presenter for online videos and presentations which is how I created the video in this blog post. I consider this effort in the early stages and will continue to try to perfect my efforts in this area.

Hope you are having a nice holiday...

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Youtube Shorts, Why?

For the last two weeks, I have been trying to create Youtube Shorts videos. What are Youtube Shorts? They are Youtube's short videos, 60 seconds or less, similar to TikTok or Instagram Reels.

Why would I look into this? Youtube has a monetization partner program which requires (1) an Amazon Adsense account, (2) 4000 hours of watch time for existing videos and (3) 1000 subscribers to a channel. I have the first requirement.

I have had videos on my Youtube channel for over 3 years, however because I once taped a call to the FBI and later posted the video, I decided I wanted to keep my videos local, on my server. Why? The video was changed. It was shortened. I did not want Youtube to own my videos, with a legal right to do anything with the videos. So I tend to serve up videos from my own servers, which is very expensive in terms of bandwidth and storage.

If some of you recall the FBI video, you will remember is was hosted on my servers. The key here is legal right. I am sure a class action law suit might prevent Youtube from changing a lot, however videos installed on their servers are subject to their legal terms.

So this is why, I did not want to use their service. That said, I am researching different monetization avenues to see what works.

What is amazing to me? The number of "unreal" vbloggers who post to Youtube. I never understood why it was okay to lie about education or other credentials and serve up sponsored ads (started to notice this with bloggers years ago). That is fraud.

Bloggers and vbloggers tend to say a lot. Most of them negate their own lies. I say a lot. I want investigators to try and take it apart.

Anyway back to Youtube Shorts. Recently, I posted two new videos to my Youtube channel.

The mistake I made shooting the video shown above, was not made shooting the following video yesterday morning. When I initially uploaded the following video it was categorized as a Youtube Shorts video, thereby enabling automatic monetization.

Did I forget to mention that Youtube Shorts are automatically monetized whereas Youtube vbloggers have to meet certain requirements (noted above) to achieve monetization of their regular videos?

Did I crop the video correctly? I used Microsoft's Clipchamp video editor to modify the final output from Active Presenter and as I have already indicated, Youtube initially categorized the video as a Shorts. Why would it have changed?

You see, I made another mistake with the first "pancake" video and did not crop the wide black edges. When I uploaded the first version of the video- it was never considered a Youtube Shorts video. Only after I used Clipchamp to crop the edges, providing the original portrait mode- of the video as captured. Then it reverted (Youtube changed it). Why?

These videos are simply my tests and not meant to suggest anything a professional video editor might release.

Monday, December 14, 2020

Windows 10 Screen Capture Utility

Today, while searching for a Windows 10 utility for screen video capture, I discovered Windows 10 comes with a screen recording utility called "Capture" "Game Bar".

To activate the program, on your keyboard use the Windows key in combination with the "G" key.

I recorded the following video using the capture program. The video discusses a new Java servlet I started work on today, which uses the Share This API.

The resolution on the monitor I used for the screen capture was 2560x1600. The original output file was over 34MB. Since I am not using Youtube for this demonstration, I converted the file to a smaller format.

Saturday, June 01, 2019

Recipe Review: Stabilized Whipped Cream

One of the ingredients I use in my Cheesecake recipe, is heavy whipping cream. Normally, with the leftover cream, I use a Braun Immersion Mixer to make whipped cream.

The whipped cream though good, tends to lose its body after a day, so I found a Stabilized Whipped Cream recipe that I decided to test.

Short video- making the Stabilized Whipped Cream version...

Both versions of the whipped cream are good, however the version using the Braun Immersion mixer should be used immediately (it will destabilize over time). I think the stabilized version is worth the effort.

Things you may need for these recipes:

Thursday, January 03, 2019

My World, Busy Lately

I have been working several projects including updating my sites for the new year. This mostly involves updating the copyright year, i.e., 2002-2019 for site pages that provide the data.

I have also been playing around with a new audio resource. I am pleased with how this worked out. The video does not provide the actual robust audio quality, however you may get a sense of how well this works.

The video provides demonstration of Alexa Echo Dot, Apple iPod Mini and Youtube video via my Android as sample input audio to the 100 Watt per Channel speaker set. Keep in mind, I am still not expert in video production.

Other projects?

This year, I spent a lot of time planning for the holidays. I am kind of happy now, to only have business issues to worry about.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

USPS Biz Zips Tool

I started work on the USPS Business Zip Tool. The tool (Java Servlet), is powered by the USPS Webtools APIs and will be installed on the Wiredpages Business & Markets page. Work is almost complete.

The following video provides a simulated look at how the tool will function. This is a simulated demonstration because I used the HTML results file provided by the program and not real time program execution results. The screen recorder(great resolution) I use is installed on my Android.

Screen grabs of the new tool.

I have minor changes I want to make, however in no hurry to install the new tool. I probably will have it up before the end of the year, however I may wait until the new year. Security and server loads always an issue.

Monday, September 03, 2018

Ready For Fall

Labor Day, the unofficial end to summer. It has been a busy summer for me.

Some of the things I have been up to:

Friday (08/31/18), I started work on a new interface to replace a Java Applet that provided a snapshot of the market indices. The old applet was located on the home page and the Market & Business page.

This 30 second video, shows where I am in the development process for the new Java Servlet.

Also on tap this summer, like every summer- my age climbs higher. Recent photos...

Why not dye my hair? Believe it or not, some are not sure if it is my hair. Four years ago when I dyed it a darker brown than my actual color-- it looked more like a messy wig.

Today, I really do not get out a lot, however when I do-- you might be surprised by what tends to be a curiosity. Why is that hair so big and messy? I have a lot of hair that is very porous [like a sponge it absorbs steam and humidity]. People have done odd things. I do not want to be tested.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

New Wages Data Tool (coming soon)

Big event over the weekend, however about all I want to say at this time. Everything on track. Waiting on repair people.

In other news, working on a new tool for the WiredPages Employment page.

Short video to demonstrate how the interface will work.

You may have noticed one of the tools on the Employment page was removed, so this interface will be integrated sooner rather than later. I am still tweaking the appearance and testing different results [debugging] from the API. Should be installed within the week.

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Number Base Converter Demonstration

For reasons I am not going to go into here, though I have continued the tedious process of converting my old Java applets to servlets, I am no longer installing the updates to the server.

Work on the Quick Number Base Converter servlet was completed about 2.5 weeks ago.

Be back soon to provide details about some of my other projects and activities.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Google Analytics & Tag Management Video

In an earlier post, I discussed integrating elements of the Google Tag Manager resource throughout areas and subdomains of my different sites.

My online sites include:

Sometime ago, I setup Google Analytics defining different properties of my sites for reporting purposes. I use only one Google Analytics account for all of my sites, as shown in the following illustration.

Over the last two weeks or so, I have spent a little time researching and testing basic Analytics Tag implementation concepts across different areas of my sites with emphasis on this blog and my Personal Résumé Site.

For those of you who have not researched and tested Google Analytics Tag implementation, the following video may have little meaning. Those who have, may find the video interesting. Keep in mind, I tend to capture everything and do not spend a lot of time editing nor recapturing videos I create.

Google Analytics and the associated Tag Management resource are powerful reporting tools, and in my case well worth the time and effort to come up to speed with ways to use and integrate these resources.

Friday, May 12, 2017

New Condenser Microphone

In March, when I ordered my new camcorder, I did not order a backup battery nor a condenser microphone. A week ago, I ordered those accessories and yesterday the purchases arrived.

Check below for links to the specific camcorder accessories I ordered:

Amazon order:

Short video demonstrating the difference between using the camcorder with and without the condenser microphone.

What else have I been up to? Actually several projects, however I will have to update this later.

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Old Music & iTunes

All day, I have been updating my iTunes Library with old CDs from my extensive collection.

I had separate iTunes libraries on my Macbook and Netbook, so earlier this year I decided to put everything in one location and maintain the actual music library on a 32GB SD card shown as an inset in the illustration below.

Most days when I want to listen to my music, I use the RCA Cambio Windows10 platform with my TaoTronics Stereo Bluetooth Speaker.

Below, short video showing my work environment today, while porting more "old" music to my iTunes Library.

I love having all my old CDs digitized and available whenever I want to listen.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Canon Vixia Camcorder

Finally ordered a camcorder. The final decision came down to these two:

  • Canon Vixia HF R700
  • Canon Vixia HF R800 [see this link]

I opted for the 2016 unit [R700] because it was $41.00 cheaper. The specs on both almost the same, however the R800 has one or two added features.

I am very pleased with my new hardware. Its light, easy to use and has the high definition and external microphone support I was looking for. Two items I will be ordering in the near future, an external microphone and one additional battery pack.

A short demo video to show the type of output you can expect from this camcorder.

Above, I am using the HTML5 Video Player to provide either a MP4, OGV or WEBM version of the video- depending on the browser requesting the playback.

I am using a commercial software app "TheFileConverter" to convert the MTS video file the camcorder created, into the MP4, OGV and WEBM formats for use with web browsers. Shown below- part of the underlying html for the HTML5 Video Player.

I do not need to provide different video formats for my social media accounts and am so pleased I can now upload Full HD Video to my Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, and Youtube accounts.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Dash Cam Tour of Hanover

Today, I decided to take a tour of Hanover, MD [the town where I reside] using the new dash cam.

I merged several longer clips [shot today], to create this video, however have yet to master a dubbing technique to add sound bites.

Areas shown in the video...

  • AACC @Arundel Mills
  • Maryland Live Casino-- when I slo-mo the video the flickering on the neon signs is absent.
  • The area known as Arundel Preserve in Hanover.
  • Milestone Parkway [runs from Arundel Mills Blvd to Route 175].
  • One of several new housing areas right down the street from where I live.
  • Pulling into the driveway.

Probably will not use the dash-cam every time we use one of the cars-- however like having it just in case...

You can learn more about Hanover, MD as related to commerce here.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Early Gift... XDV Sports Action Camera

Sunday, my sports action camera arrived. I have been testing the many features, and quite frankly it has many that are impressive. I am still learning how to use some of them. Photos taken with the XDV Sports Camera...

I tapped "plug and play" features to enable connection between the camera and most of my computers and tablets.

Short video clip from XDV Sports Camera- captured yesterday while creaming butter and sugar for a cake. I used an accessory that came with the camera and a 57" tripod to mount the camera- to shoot the video.

I like my new camera, however I have one or two issues [okay three]:

  • Really need an external light source-- not collocated with the camera but more on the subject. I have a similar issue with my Canon.
  • Not enough telescopic lens support.
  • Though other action sports cameras come with the option to select the FOV, mine did not. I would like this option.

I got a good deal on my camera and happy to add it to the business tools I use everyday.

For the money, you get a lot of features-- including a webcam, high resolution video and image output, and it is small enough to carry and clamp anywhere.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Favorite Mexican Entrées

It has been a hot "August" and I have made it hotter with some of my favorite Mexican entrées.

Sunday before last [August 14, 2016], I made enchiladas for lunch/dinner and had the same as leftovers the following Monday and Tuesday.

Today for lunch, I decided to use the leftover flour tortillas to make fajitas. Note: The flour tortillas worked with the enchilada dish however I think I meant to get "soft white corn tortillas" for that dish.

Short video showing how I put together my lunch [fajitas] today [two attempts]:

I have been up to other things, too:

  • Saturday's Olympic coverage including the Women's Triathlon.
  • Cincinnati Tennis Open, US Open [Tennis] starts next week.
  • Last night, the latest episode of "Power" on STARZ
  • Watching Bei Bei's [National Zoo's Baby Panda] Birthday Celebrations [August 22nd is his birthday, he is one year old today].

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

HDMI Display Support

Recently, I purchased an HDMI adaptor to allow output from my RCA Windows 10 Tablet/PC to a High Definition [HD] Television.

The following illustration shows some of the specs of the RCA Windows 10 Tablet/PC. Note the mini HDMI output bullet amongst the features.

The following is a demonstration video using the HDMI adaptor with the Windows 10 Tablet/PC and an HD Television.

Yes, I am still trying to come up-to-speed insofar as video production. I am thinking I need a camera which provides robust audio/sound quality and professional video editing software.

I currently own Windows Movie Maker and [Apple's] iMovie. iMove in particular- a nice package, however a bit dated in that I have the version for Mac OSX 10.4. I do not use either package for the videos on this blog, instead relying on my tripod, camera and me... Re-shoot as many times as needed.

I have read good things about Final Cut Pro X, so when I start upgrading my equipment and software that is the package I will purchase. What do you use?

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