Sunday, January 10, 2010

Taking the plunge.......quitting smoking

I am finally ready to do it this time.  I seriously am.  I have tried many times before and have failed.  Failure is something that I do not like to admit nor is it something that I believe can happen to me.  Yet it has.   Many times before.  I think part of the reason why I went back to smoking all those times was because it filled gaps in my day, or I was bored, or I was stuck on some technology based problem that kept me working till all hours of the night.

Whatever the reason was, it was never good enough.  I have to say that I am pretty embarressed to have begun smoking to begin with.  I have always felt that smoking has given me something to hide behind.  It numbed my brain, from thought and conversation and of course as I said, it filled gaps in my day.

I was always surprised when I first started smoking, when I was 18, the sheer number of people that I was serving with in the Navy that smoked.  I look around now at the younger guys and have seen those numbers dwindle to almost nothing.  Maybe it is because I am older and with older people and see less of the younger/junior crowd.  Or maybe the Navy has done a pretty good job to remove the stigma attached with smoking and drinking and in the Navy.  The culture of fitness that the Navy has instituted has made "old dogs" like myself rethink their habits.  Gone are the days of coasting by.  Gone are the days of squeaking by in PRT.  Now you have to work for what you own.  If you don't make it, it's on to the fat boy program. 

I feel that these things make you reassess yourself.  If I want to retire from my Naval career I would need to shape up so to speak.

I think in any means that in order to be successful you have to have a plan.  I joined the group, http://www.becomeanex.org/.  They have great tools and videos and from what I have seen from surfing around, they have a great support system.

No plan is really that good unless you have a great support network to back you up.  I've even created a group myself, for us IT Professional type folks.  Throughout the day I've lit up, when talking to friends, or thinking about a solution to a problem, or while waiting for a system to rebuild/reboot/confgure, etc.  Finding reasons to smoke are a waste of time, just as much a waste of time as actually smoking.

I am hoping that with my support system, God, and a whole lot of will power that I to will be successful and be able to smell/taste/see and experience the world from a new perspective.

If you're ready to quit, thinking about quitting or have already quit and you work in technology.  Come and join http://www.becomeanex.org/ and while you're on check out the community and join IT Professional Quitters.  We're small and we're new, but we understand the stresses that affect our smoking and our profession.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Speco 16 Channel Hybrid DVR Record Setting for Optimum Network Viewing

I am always amazed by the abilities of technology.  Today I am writing about the Speco 16 Channel Hybrid DVR and setting the recording options for optimum viewing over a network connection.

Not many people have the ability to constantly view and review video feeds and recorded video from security cameras from the monitor on the DVR.  Speco offers their equipment with a network interface for real time viewing and playback of cameras.  For cameras with remote control you can easily control the camera from within the web interface.

I can safely say that initially I had my growing pains with their cameras and DVR.  After much tweaking and hours of reading and reading product documentation, and not to mention hours on the phone with tech support, I have the configuration that I initially wanted.

I have crystal clear video with no pix-elation while viewing from the web interface.  I was even more impressed to have this issue resolved prior to deploying the web interface for my management team.

My configuration is very basic in their are only 8 cameras in the system currently with one of those cameras being remote controlled.

The video compression, resolution, format and PPS (Pictures Per Second) all came into play in the change.

My network is a true 1GB Switched Ethernet environment, which led me to believe there was  a problem with the recording.

In order to correct the viewing problem I accessed the main menu on the DVR and entered the Record Setup screen.

I modified the resolution to 720 X 368, changed the format from MPJG to MP4 and set the PPS to 120.  These settings will give you near a near realtime view, both in active viewing and in playback. 

I will warn you though that if you change the format to MP4 from any other format, the DVR basically will format itself and reboot.  It also helps to have your recording set to BEST QUALITY.  I highly recommend backing up your recorded video prior to making these changes.

That's it in a nutshell.  I hope these changes help you with your Speco DVR in obtaining the best picture quality you can get.