Reader How Tos: A System To Convert VHS and 8 mm Tape To DVD

Completing The Software Load

7:30 PM - I took a break and joined my wife for dinner.

9:50 PM - I stated the installation of Microsoft Office 2000. After hitting 'Next' a couple of times and typing in the CD key code, it pretty much ran on autopilot for the next 40 minutes.

10:30 PM - Microsoft Office 2000 completed its installation. Why does Microsoft Office only partially install itself with ONLY the stuff Microsoft thinks you will use? I use Microsoft's Photo Editor, but I don't use Outlook or Internet Explorer. I guess from this day forward, I am forced to do a custom installation.

10:45 PM - I had purchased a Microsoft Office keyboard, which has lots of extra buttons across the top of the keyboard - 13 to be exact, and six more along the side. I liked the idea of pushing a single key to start Word, Excel and other commonly used applications. I installed the software driver for the Microsoft Office Keyboard and shut down the system. The new keyboard plugs into the USB port, so I plugged it in and re-started the system. I pressed the DEL key at the BIOS banner window, but the command was ignored. The system continued to boot up. I read Microsoft's Office keyboard guide. This eight-page manual contained one page of health warnings, a third of a page on software operations, and six and a half pages on license agreements and limited warranty information. Why do they even bother? I shut the system down again. In the Microsoft Office keyboard's packing box, there was a USB-to-keyboard adapter plug. I inserted the adapter plug between the Microsoft Office keyboard USB plug and the PC keyboard connector, and started up the system. I pressed the DEL key at the BIOS banner window, again. This time it went into BIOS. Thank you, Microsoft.

11:00 PM - The Pinnacle System Studio Deluxe came with three CDs, three manuals, a PCI video capture card (AVDV board), video connector extension panel (BlueBox), and an IEEE-1394 cable. Pinnacle Studio version 7.11 is used to capture and edit analog or digital video into 'album' scenes. The album scenes can then be dragged and dropped into the 'movie window' in any order you want them. Titles, transitions, voice-over, and background music can be added to your movie, and then saved as a project. The completed project can then be made (rendered) into analog or digital video output. Video output formats include .AVI (Windows Media), MPEG1 or MPEG2, analog (VHS), or streaming (RealVideo) video.

Pinnacle System Studio Deluxe also comes with a CD that contains Pinnacle Express. This application program basically allows you to take your digital video (DV) straight from your camcorder to DVD. There are some editing tools, but nothing like there is in the full Studio package.

The third CD in the Pinnacle System Studio Deluxe package contains Hollywood FX, which "offers an impressive array of 3D transitions and effects." Their words, not mine.

I shut the system down, and plugged the Pinnacle System AVDV board into my computer. I plugged the BlueBox cable in, and fired the system back up.

I loaded the first CD (Studio Deluxe) on my system. Installation went very smoothly. I started the program up and looked at the interface. I shut the system down, and promised myself that I would read the Pinnacle Studio manual before I used it the next time.

11:35 PM - I broke for the Jay Leno "Tonight Show."