What good is Technology?

If you have been following me on YouTube, you would notice the quality of my videos beginning to improve since my very first vlog months ago.

I started my first YouTube entry using the standard webcam I have on my under-powered Acer Netbook, I continued the same with a couple more. I was shooting in the middle of the night in a room with bad lighting. I wasn’t very happy with the results of the videos, OBVIOUSLY!!!

So I started to move on to better gadgets that I already own, becoming more creative with existing cameras and softwares. I’m not planning to venture to become a full blown film director or money making YouTube star here.

I own a digital camera, just like everyone probably does. You know, the camera that you bring on events, parties and occassions where you snap away at your friends and family in candid or horribly posed shots? I have a slim pink Sony T77, which unfortunately became obsolete about 2 months after I got it.

*sigh* You can never keep up with technology these days.

I swapped the camera onto video mode, propped it up on my couch (or book or whatever is eye level) and started shooting my next video on a mobile phone review. I spent more time editing this video on Windows Movie Maker (again, a software I already have pre-installed on my Netbook). I got good views on this on YouTube and that got me motivated to do more videos.

For the next few YouTube projects, I went on the streets, interviewing friends and playing around with my (FREE) editing software and made a few more videos. I am rather happy of the fact that I have not spent additional monetary investments on this project.

Then, I glanced over at my digital camcorder. I’ve had the Canon HG10, a High-def camera I got just before my wedding which I was planning to use to record my wedding preparations. It’s been over a year now and I have all these videos in there that I have yet to back up to my computer.

Since I don’t usually use the crappy software CDs provided with most gadgets (unless I really really have to), I started reading up on the video formats for High-def cameras and other (FREE) editing softwares I can possibly download. I typically enjoy “Google-ing” and learning about new things through forums, blogs and posts. I think there’s no way to get better recommendations or testimonials that tried-and-tested word-of-mouth of someone who have experienced it personally. This, and also the fact that I am always hungry for knowledge and I love all things technical, too.

However, this particular task of trying to self-teach myself about HD videos conversion, importing and editing with a DV camcorder I hardly use proved to be one of the biggest frustration of my tech search efforts.

1. Every forums or posts seem to suggest other paid softwares that you can use. Since I’m a cheapskate not planning to invest on a past-time project, I am not buying anything until I exhausted my online search.

2. Some other equally frustrated owners of the same DV camcorder have given up and suggested people stick to the crappy bundled software until technology evolves more in the near future for other better free alternatives.

3. Some tech gurus found alternative solutions and started explaining in computer lingo about codecs, scripts, registry modification, etc that probably only him and the rest of his nerdy friends hanging out in his basement would understand. Not only am I more lost, I am not about to go around playing with some scripts on my Netbook that might possibly bring me back to the Service Centre for a reboot.

(Note : I had a recent encounter of experimenting with some scripting and registry information on my computer and completely screwed everything up. My Netbook couldn’t start and I didn’t get it fixed for over a week. I was near tears without my trusted workstation that I had to resort to *eek* using the Mac.)

After several attempts of searching online in the last few months, downloading some useless software that didn’t quite work and installing the crappy bundled software that also didn’t work and had no Asian support, I shoved the DV camcorder back in the bag and out of sight. I will try again another day when I’m in a more forgiving mood.

I remember other times when I felt the same way when I had computers crashed on me. Gadgets failed on me. Research and trials didn’t go as planned. Wondering when some Tech Genie is going to appear to make all things technology work the way they’re advertised.

Which makes me post a question to you – how many times have you been frustrated with technology? Tell me about what gadget or technology pisses you off the most? What do you wish was invented or never should’ve been invented?