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I accomplished two things yesterday. The first was to set up an experimental Squid Web cache at work. Then I left to go edit video. How nice of me. I hope it held up all day, but I suspect it didn’t have any problems. Linux is awfully reliable.

Mandrake makes it really nice. Basically you do a server install, then once it’s up and going, issue three commands and you’ve got a Web cache. I guess I ought to document what those three commands are, huh? I think they’re written down at work.

The system requirements are steep; you need lots of memory and lots of disk space

And now that I’ve had one, I want another one in my other office. There’s a 133 MHz Power Mac sitting over there with a big disk and a ton of RAM. It’s not useful for running Mac apps because it’s too slow. I think I’ll grab a PowerPC distribution of Linux, install it, grab Squid and compile it, and set it up for over there. Squid needs memory and a good disk subsystem much more than it needs CPU power, and this Mac has both. And I understand Linux loves RISC, so I suspect this’ll make a nice Squid server.

I also spent 7 hours learning how to edit video. This after a half-day at work. I’m emerging from the zone–I’m very difficult to work with because I’ll zone in, forget about my surroundings, and totally lose track of time and other things like food, drink, and rest. It’s almost totally like my body shuts down and it’s just my mind and my hands. Now I’m back, and it’s catching up with me, and sooner than I expected. It must mean I’m getting old.

At any rate… What I learned is that editing video with modern equipment is very easy. Stringing video clips together is as easy as stringing words together. After about four hours’ instruction, I was good enough to put together video that looks outstanding to the untrained eye. Making it look good to the trained eye will take another seven hours’ training and years of experience. I can get the training pretty easily.

Raw skills can be taught, and I guess I had some of them already. I already knew the Mac and I knew page layout, and video layout uses a lot of the same concepts (not to mention keystrokes). Some things have to be developed, and some things you’re pretty much born with. It’s too soon to know how much I lack is developmental and how much is innate.

I think it says something that I don’t even know what equipment we were using–I just ignored everything but the key commands used for stringing together video. I think that’s part of the secret. Pay no attention to the things you don’t need now. You can always learn them when you need them. Master the things you need now. Better to be A-plus at what you need to know now than C-plus at everything, including things you’ll never use and the things you need now. So what if you don’t know much? At least you know something.

And I know this: I want to do this on a PC.

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