Apple iSlate Picture… oh well, iPad

December 28, 2009

Apple Mac iSlate

This seems to be the iSlate, Apple’s tablet computer due to be announced in a Keynote in January 2010. Apple may have pushed the Taiwanese touchscreen producer to leak the picture, as rumor and suspense is standard operating Apple marketing strategy. The iSlate rumor already drove up the Apple shares.

The iSlate is a touchscreen Macbook with Wifi and a data phone connection. So wait for end of January: like with the iPhone presentation, reality might be more impressive than the rumors.



What a tablet might do

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VLMC – open source editing software for VLC

December 23, 2009

On december 18th, 6 Epitech students introduced their open source project, the VideoLAN Movie Creator video editing application. The VLMC supports all the VLC player codecs and formats such as Mpeg-4, DivX, MP4, AVCHD and HDV. It will interface will standard video cameras. VLC  has 80 million users worldwide.

VLMC offers a standard editing environment: bin, timeline, up to 64 video and audio tracks, titles, viewers for source and sequence editing, mirroring pro editing tools. 2D/3D effects and transitions will be available as downloadable plug-ins. VLMC may import and edit clips from Youtube, Vimeo, etc.

Like VLC, VLMC will be available for PC and Linux platforms from VideoLAN in February 2010. The 4 MB application requires VLC player to be installed first. A 2-in-one installer is planned.


Visit Pompeii from your Desktop

December 5, 2009

Google TrikeThanks to Trike, Google’s Streetview camera bike, you can now strawl through Pompeii, the ancient Roman city near Naples. Pompeii was buried under 20 meters of volcano waste during an eruption of the Vesuvius in 79 BC. The lost town was only rediscovered in 1748. Its excavation has provided detailed insight into the life of a city at the height of the Roman Empire. You can now visit Pompeii from your laptop and evade running into the  2,5 annual tourists.

Source: Welingelichte Kringen.

The EMC2 non-linear editor

November 20, 2009

2009 is the 20th anniversary of PC based non-linear video editing. In the summer of 1990 I launched Holland’s first postproduction company specialized in NLE. Non linear basically means you can add footage in the middle of a show, or take it out. For film that was routine. When editing video however, your had to copy your shots from one video tape to another using a frame accurate controller. And then, if you wanted to change something in the middle, you either had to re-edit from that point on or loose a generation by copying your edited show to a new tape. The EMC2 was the world’s first non-linear editor, running on a 286 processor and introduced at the SMPTE exhibition in 1987. Together with my partner Joke Treffers I entered the adventure of revolutionizing video editing in The Netherlands. Quite many thought we were idiots, viewing video in big jubilee post stamp size window. With a $125.000 investment, the first years were hard as we attracted a few customers that went bankrupt before they paid…

Back then, the output of non-linear machines was not used as a final result. In stead they generated an Edit Decisions List (EDL) on a floppy disk. That was used to do an auto-assembly with your original tapes. Today I found the original EMC movie on YouTube, which we dubbed in Dutch at the time and went out with to do our publicity:

I was EMC editor until 1997. About one year earlier, I got the opportunity to take over the EMC source code. With my company Broadware, we have been serving the EMC community for about 3 to 4 years with many innovating features.

In 1990, non-linear video editing was not entirely new though, only PC based was. In 1971, the company CMX introduced the very first NLE, the CMX-600. Now that was something, with dishwasher size hard disks and not to forget Ampex or RCA 2″ video tape recorders for the initial recording. These were like helicopters: all moving parts wanted to destroy each other.  Therefore they required helicopter style maintenance. If you still have one, I’ve got a friend who can repair them. CMX referred to their system as “RAVE”: Random Access Video Editor. Here’s the NAB demo movie:

Now think of that doing your next i-Movie project. Actually, non-linear editing of video tape was sort of possible in the beginning. On these 2″ Ampex tapes, magnetic video tracks could be visualized with iron powder, allowing to cut the tape precisely. See the video below. With the later formats such as 1″ C-format, Betacam, DigiBeta, VHS or similar, this was impossible. As slicing videotape was tedious, copying segments from one machine to another was introduced pretty soon, as this video shows as well:

The last EMC update was in 1999. My friend and former EMC evangelist Alan Ravick in Los Angeles still rents them out today. Last year I visited him after NAB 2008. At our first diner in Malibu, Alan told me about this feature we implemented: the ability to sync the EMC playback to external timecode, intended for audio postproduction.  As we also gave the EMC timecode out, Alan was able to sync a series of EMCs to manage a different versions of shows that needed to run simultaneously. With that feature he was able to acquire a huge project that allowed him to pay for his mother’s treatment in an elderly home just until she died, which else would not have happened. And then he said “Thank you”. Not being prepared for emotions I quickly moved on: “Oh well, it was not that difficult to do… we wrote that code in an afternoon…” But I can tell you, if there was anything making me feel good about my entire EMC venture: this was it.

Weather report

November 14, 2009

SBS6_PIETS_WEER_20091030_2333Yani plays rugby for the Pickwick Players in Deventer. On Friday, October 30,  Piet Paulusma’s weather show was recorded on their fields, broadcasted by the Dutch channel SBS6 on the same day. SBS6 uses the “playout automation” by the French software company SGT.  I worked there; my son was automated by my former employer.

It’s a bit long, for sure if you don’t understand Dutch. Some Dutch have that problem too, as Piet is from the north. So as soon as you’ve got the idea,  just proceed to around 3:45…

Download the original web video with higher quality here.


November 13, 2009

Results surprise now and then. I just started this blog and just started Twittering… I am not the only Martinus Meiborg. At the time my family maintained a pretty straightforward naming convention. So there is another, a cousin who immigrated to Brazil over 20 years ago. Within a day or so, my cousin’s daughter found me on Twitter.

lena meiborg

Hudson Airbus

November 13, 2009

An American marketing director living in Paris is looking for a new opportunity. Last Sunday, we met at Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam to discuss my new venture. I mentioned a brochure of a mobile video service, which I often use as an example of “narrow” positioning. It pitches how fast a reporter could be on air to cover the Hudson plane crash.


Just marketing, the company’s product was not even close when it happened. “You would be even faster if somebody on board was equipped with it” I routinely continued. And then it turned out: my future colleague was on board of that aircraft, he landed in the Hudson!

Somewhere on the left wing, there he is:


Amazing story…

Below are two impressive 3D reconstruction videos, derived from all available accident information giving us a never-before-seen view of the accident. These videos are best viewed full screen and with HD enabled!

The next one is from a different angle and with more radio communication:

Find additional info and more animations at There is also a book on the event: Miracle on the Hudson.