Leave Your Edit Suite On Time, Finish From Home – For FREE!


Back in 2003 when I converted my basement to full blown edit suite (a year long process), it was both a blessing and curse all at once. Gone was the commute and fighting with Chicagoland traffic. I could sleep in later and “get home” from work earlier. Sounds great! But the flip side of that, if you don’t have a serious commitment to putting up work/personal life barriers, you are always at your office and always working. And clients know that too. So what’s to stop you from working late into the evening or over the weekend? As I found out, not much.

First home edit suite, 2003
Basement edit suite, 2004

Luckily, the home edit suite was short lived. In less then a year my wife and I had outgrown it and had to get office space or we would lose some of the larger jobs. The separation of work from home life was back in balance. However, there have been times that I wished the suite was back at home. It’s one thing to stick around the office to edit, but it’s another to stick around watching a render bar or compression bar just so you can finish and upload a file. What if you could do this from home? And what if it was free to you assuming that you already have a high speed internet connection at your home and office? Well, I’m hear to tell you that the solution is not only out there, but it’s a lot easier to get setup then you might think.

I’m sure by now everybody knows about MobileMe and Back To My Mac on the Macintosh (just try to get Back To My Mac working reliably though) and services like GoToMyPC.com (now supporting the Mac platform). There is also a client/server based service called HamachiX for Mac, but I could never get that to work reliably and it would often get very frustrating. About a year ago I found a free service called LogMeIn.com, which supports both Mac and PC. They’re goal is to get you hooked on their free service, and then have you upgrade to one of their paid accounts. But for what i use it for the free version is perfect. I now have several computers registered with them and use it at least weekly, sometimes every day. It has become an important tool in my toolbox.

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Permission to take Permission?

I’m not sure exactly when it all started, but over the last several months I’ve been having permission issues while using OSX. Every so often I’ll go to save a file in a folder I should have access to – and I’m told that I don’t have permission to do so. Normally it’s a local drive, but it happens with network drives as well. I thought maybe it was something specific to Tiger, but recently we updated to OSX Leopard and the problem actually got worse. And when I say “upgrade”, what I mean to say is we rebuilt each system from scratch, formatting a drive and reinstalling all apps from scratch. Our last few upgrades have been OS upgrades using the “Archive and Install” option, but we wanted to really start clean this time.

To make matters worse, I got tot he point last week where I had locked myself out of making any further changes somehow. We have a common folder on a local network server that we use for web approvals. It’s been there for years without having any problems at all. Then all the sudden, I couldn’t copy over my QT movie so that it could be processed with the rest of the files. I did the usual “get info” command, unlocked the pane with an administrator account, but when I tried to change the permissions it would not allow me to. I could click on any of the users or groups and set “Read & Write”, but as soon as I clicked off it it went back to either “Read Only”, or even worse “No Access”.

You might be thinking that I should just run Apple’s “Disk Utility” and choose to “Repair Permissions”. That would be great except that it’s not a boot drive. Disk Utility needs to have an installed version of OSX on whatever drive it’s to repair permissions on. Without a OS it has nothing to use to determine what the correct permissions are.

So an hour has passed now and I’m getting very frustrated, because nothing about this should be hard. So I did what every good editor does when backed into a corner. I did a google search on the problem.

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Eternal Backup of the Spotless Drive (Part 2 of 2)

This is the second of a two part series on the Quantum A-Series LTO drive. You can find part 1 here.

Once Quantum released the unbelievably fantastic Version 3 upgrade three months ago, any minor inconvenience we were having with the tape drive seemed to disappear. They really did a great job listening to client comments and fixed virtually every problem that needed to be addressed. The interface is more fluid (you used to not be able to adjust the size of the windows), and there is no longer a self-destruct button next to the eject button. There is now an automatic preventative measure in place to no longer lose the table of contents (a problem we had early in its use, it appeared worse than it actually was). We can fill the tapes up as full as we want (we used to need to add a cushion of space to prevent filling the tapes “too full”). I can now let my pals < and ? into the drive without concern. Oh, they can invite the rest of their friends as well, the blacklist is lifted! There is still only a 97 character limit for filenames, but only once in a blue moon do I export FCP movies titled…

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Eternal Backup of the Spotless Drive (Part 1 of 2)

Archival of editing projects and tapeless camera originals is a hot topic these days, with opinions flying everywhere. Today’s post covers our experiences with both hard drives and the new A-Series LTO drive from Quantum.

In early 2008, we decided to switch to LTO tapes for all of our long term archiving.  We previously used external IDE drives (well, internal drives put in cases to make them external) for our backups.  They work decently for at least a while.  The problem was, it got to the point that we had to use Chronosync, a file synchronizing software, to bring back any element from a project because digital hits would appear in the video files due to bad data blocks copying over from the drives back onto our system.

Read moreEternal Backup of the Spotless Drive (Part 1 of 2)