We Are Moving!

Greetings all. This will be the Final Post on this version of Film and Stuff, because we are officially moving to


I chose this becuase I feel it further represents the Britishness of this Blog. See you there!


Some more OSx86

OK, OK. I gave up the first time. But now I have the time, I’m gonna give iAtkos a go. I gave up with the Lion, and now I have even given up with Snow Leopard, so I am resorting to Leopard. This might work. MIGHT.

But hey, I always have Windows 8… oh wait, that’s crap. What have they done to the start screen? Ruined it.

Alex, signing off, will report back soon.

A Lens Review

Now for the first post about what this blog was originally intended for – a review of something relevant to filmmaking!

My Lens

This is the chosen one.

So, I am reviewing the Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro. That’s a long name, but it’s needed because Sigma do three 70-300mm lenses, all around the same price range, and all looking fairly similar. There are also some competing models from both Tamron and Canon (because I use Canon I can’t be bothered to review the Nikon one, but all these lenses word with Nikon as well) They are:

  1. Sigma 70-300mm DG Macro (My one, £130)
  2. Sigma 70-300mm APO DG Macro (It has a red ring :O, £180)
  3. Sigma 70-300mm DG OS (No red ring, £230)
  4. Tamron 70-300mm AF LD  (£100)
  5. Canon 70-300mm AF EF (£240)
Out of these, I chose the one in bold. I shall give you some reasons for this.
I shall say first that I currently own a Canon EOS 300. That means not a digital one, a film one, and I currently have plans to buy a Canon 600D. It is therefore necessary that this lens fit both a Full Frame Censor (the film one) and a APS-C sensor (the cropped digital one).
Firstly, when I walked into a shop (yes, I still do that kind of thing) and asked to check if the Sigma 1. fitted on my camera, I was immediately struck by the great build quality of the lens: it felt reassuringly heavy, but not too heavy. It also has a metal mount, meaning it is less likely to break off the camera by accident.
Then, I asked to compare it with the Tamron, and it was really a pointless question. For only £30 more, you get a lot more quality, although I would argue that the Tamron looks nicer, but that’s really irrelevant.
The reason I didn’t buy the others was mainly for price – I was trying to buy the best lens I could for under £150, and I definitely chose the right one. But, if unlike me the money doesn’t matter so much, I would go for the APO DG, mainly because of the better quality glass, and, or course, that red ring 🙂
One last thing – the Macro on the end of the name actually does mean something. If you zoom in to between 200 and 300mm, you can switch on Macro mode, allowing you to focus up to 1.5m away from the camera, and allows a Macro ratio of 1:2, just for any wildlife photographers out there.
I would post a video, but I couldn’t find any decent ones about this specific lens. More to come soon – I’m buying  a bigger camera bag to fit all this gear into, and I’ll post a review on that when I have decided.
Alex, signing off.

Adobe touches on Apps

Adobe Touch Apps

Just a little bit amazing.

So finally Adobe has started developing for mobile devices. Previously, their best attempt was Photoshop Lite or somesuch, but now things have changed.

Adobe have finally realized their potential when it comes to utilizing the ever growing potential of tablets, and specifically the iPad 2.

These Apps look incredible, in fact they look as if they could be the best Apps ever made. And, they’re reasonably priced, too. At only $10 or £6, you can buy one without the risk of hating it so much that you think you should never have bought it. Then, if you do like it, then you could buy the rest of them. The thing that Adobe might want to think about is something in the style of an App Suite, meaning if you know you want to buy all of them, they could give you a discount.

This was a very smart marketing move, after the massive mistake Adobe made when it unveiled Muse as a subscription only service. This sparked a massive debate and many potential users decided not to buy. You can take a dip into that conversation here, but don’t be surprised if the page takes half an hour to load because of how long it is. Look! A video.

But definitely, I will try these out as soon as I get an iPad. Which may be some time.

The title’s funny, cos they’re called Adobe Touch Apps.

Alex, signing off.

Some Free Stuff

On a lighter note, you may be interested in my new selection of free givaways on my website – Duck House Productions.

Go to the page of downloadable goodiness

I have created several unique and original desktop backgrounds. But these are no ordinary desktop backgrounds. They are editable PSDs, with a ridiculously high resolution to fit nearly any screen (including the 27″ iMac). They also have instructions about how to change it to your needs.

Secondly, some music. Although this is not originally created by me, I have tweaked it and edited it to suite my needs, and what I think might be useful to others. Full credit is given where it is due to the original artists.

And then there are some templates, for storyboards etc.

Hope you

Remembering Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs holding an iPhone 4

Steve Jobs was the great driving force behind Apple

I think it would be fair to say that the world was shaken today by the death of Apple’s founder, Steve Jobs. This was entirely unexpected – people knew he was ill, seriously ill, but the general idea was that he was in a stable condition.

Steve Jobs could have been one of the most successful and busy men the earth has seen today. He co-founded Apple with Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne. Through his time at Apple, it is possible to say that he was one of the great master-minds behind nearly every single product, from the G2 way back in the day to the iPhone 4 (but sadly not the 4S). That means that he had a major role in developing pretty much everything that you could walk into an Apple shop and see, and everything on their website. This man had a very active life, so one might have thought that he would pull through better than he did, but you never know.

In 1986, after being effectively kicked out of Apple, Steve Jobs buys PIXAR, the computer animation company behind titles such as the Toy Story series, Flushed Away and many others. He revolutionized it and lead it to a state where he could successfully sell it to Disney, at a great profit. At this point, he returned to Apple and completely revolutionized that too – he brought Apple to the state it is in today, with some of the most innovative and imaginative and ultimately useful pieces of technology around at any time. He thought up the idea of putting the letter ‘i’ before devices, to suggest integration with the internet, but now they have evolved into so much more – the iMac, the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad. These devices have revolutionized the world we live in today, and for that we should remember him as one of the pioneers of technology.

Here is an interesting video, made by ABC News, remembering Steve Jobs.

On a final note, Apple has just published a page on their website  to demonstrate how much he meant to all the people at Apple, and if you want to pay your respects, you can send Apple an email at rememberingsteve@apple.com.

Alex, signing off.

Google Docs has it’s only disadvantage removed

Recently, Google created a function on Google Docs that basically gets rid of any competition. Many people thought that the disadvantage with Google Docs is that you can only access your files when you are browsing them online. But no anymore… pause for effect. Google has made a new Google Chrome Docs App, which allows you to view your files (yes view, not change) that are stored on the Google server even when you are not connected to the internet. This is a slightly befuddling concept, and this is how Google explains it:

How does Google Docs offline work?
You’ve set up Google Docs offline, and can now view Google documents and spreadsheets even when you don’t have an Internet connection.

Available Offline

Offline access is available only for documents and spreadsheets. When you have Google Docs open and have an Internet connection, your most recently opened documents and spreadsheets will sync and become available offline. Presentations, drawings and other items are not currently available offline.


At this time, documents and spreadsheets are available in view-only mode. You must restore your Internet connection to make any edits. In addition, you can’t create new Docs while you’re offline.


Google Docs are available offline only in the Chrome browser.


Offline access is allowed on a computer-by-computer basis. Anyone with access to a computer where you’ve enabled offline access will be able to view your synced documents and spreadsheets when they open Chrome. To protect your data, don’t allow offline access on public or shared computers.

For more information, please see the Google Docs Help Center when you regain access to the Internet.

Now that’s pretty awesome. You’ll never have compatibility problems ever again. Remember that currently you can’t write to these files, but Google says that’s coming soon. Office, iWork and OpenOffice don’t stand a chance.

Reporting Back – OS X on VMWare

Well… no it didn’t work. It installed alright, rebooted fine, but when I come to the page on the first boot cycle that says ‘Already have a mac?’ I click no, then it freezes. It gets completely stuck. So I go along to this forum page here and try to boot in single user mode, but then when it comes to that part while booting, it doesn’t give me a chance to press F8 to enter boot parameters. So now I’m trying back with a new bootloader: Darwin_snow_legacy.

Will report back soon, Alex signing off.

Install OS X Snow Leopard on Windows 7 Using VMWare

Windows Computer running OS X

I've waited so long to do this 🙂


OK. I have tried for weeks to get a Hackintosh working, using many methods, and because my computer has an AMD Phenom II processor it is even harder, because OS X was never designed to work with AMD. I eventually gave up trying to install this natively on my computer, so I turned to virtual

Then I had the issue of enabling virtualization. I know for a fact that my processor supports this, and I also know that at least one of my two graphics cards supports this as well. So I think well that sounds fine, so I go into my BIOS > System Configuration and look for the option to turn it on. But OH NO, HP hates anyone who tries to do clever things with their computers, so not only did they disable Virtualization when it came out of the factory, they also REMOVED THE OPTION TO ENABLE IT. So I do what anybody would have done in this situation, and contact HP support. I will quote the email exactly.

Dear Alex

Thank you for contacting HP Customer Care.

I understand from your e-mail that you own a HP Pavilion dv6-3113sa Entertainment Notebook PC and wish to enable the virtualization feature in BIOS.

Alex, The hardware virtualization feature is disabled in BIOS from factory. There is no option to tun this feature ON.

For information on keeping your HP and Compaq products up and running, please visit our website at: http://www.hp.co.uk/diagnostics



HP Customer Care

How useless is that? She even misspelt “turn”. So I go turn to the online forums, where I finally find an answer! Someone says that I should ‘restore the bios to defaults’. So I do this, and lo an behold, nothing happens. So I was about to give up when I decide to go back into bios and for the hell of it just enable everything. And guess what. It worked. 😉

So now I tried the way of doing it in this tutorial here, and finally found that I could get it to install. But still, once it installed and rebooted, it would refuse to work. Although I managed to get this screenshot, which is pretty awesome.

OS X Installing on VMware Workstation

So now, after many days of downloading, I am following this video tutorial, which seems to be well structured and clear, in the hope that by tomorrow, I may have a working Mac OS X 10.6.8 installed in VMware Workstation 7, on Windows 7.

I will report back soon.

Alex, signing off.

What Happens when Google Goes Wrong

Just a quick post – I thought this might amuse some –

Google gives directions to swim across the Pacific Ocean to get from China to Taiwan


This most likely was put in by someone at Google trying to see if anyone would notice, a bit like the hidden messages about Bill Gates in the spellchecker of Microsoft Word 2003.