Blog Archives

TV: How Times Have Changed – 27 February 2011

MONOCHROME BOX_Children watching Andy Pandy on a black and white TV.

Television today is a world apart from the TV of yesteryear. While programmes like Blue Peter, Coronation Street, and Panorama have all celebrated 50 years on the airwaves in the last decade, the way in which we watch them has changed dramatically.

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New Camcorder – 25 December 2010

OUT WITH THE OLD_My old Sony DCR-HC27 is being retired. This year, Father Christmas has been very kind to me, buying me a new camcorder. After exactly three years of loyal service, getting through more than 100 MiniDV tapes, my trusty Sony DCR-HC27 is being retired from day to day usage.

It’s battered and abused; it’s travelled several thousand miles; it’s seen awesome sights through its Carl Zeiss lens; and it’s been in my hands for more time than 210,000 UK children have been alive. Now, the time has come for it to get a rest.

Truth is, I still need the old camera – and, in some ways, it’s more precious to me than the new one. Because MiniDV is a dead format (none of the big tech manufacturers make camcorders that use it anymore), my archive of hundreds of tapes will be useless. That may not sound important – after all, the very best possible films have been edited and digitised – but there is no other record of Frowie’s (my paternal grandfather, who died in 2006) voice. There were too few clips of when my brother’s girlfriend at the time was Maidenhead Carnival Queen to bother attempting an edited production – but they are still a great record of both local and family history. My point is that these are locked away in a cupboard in the corner of my room, and in 20 years when I want to have a quick trip down Memory Lane, I will be unable to do so without a device capable of playing back a MiniDV tape. That’s why I am putting the old camera away carefully, and not leaving it to rot or get lost in my metaphorical gadget graveyard, so that it will work when I need to tap into the archive.

IN WITH THE NEW_Filming the proceedings at the Burdetts' house this Christmas Day on my new Handycam. Meanwhile, I’ve been getting to grips with my new Handycam. I’m really pleased with it – despite being small and lightweight, it’s got the ability to record in 1080 HD on its 120gb built-in hard drive.

Thank you Santa!

A Day of Disasters – 30 March 2010

Today hasn’t been one of the best, but I’m glad it’s over now. For example, I had my saxophone exam during school hours.

So, I was happily being driven along, and we arrived. Remaining “cool, calm, and collected with charm” I set about arranging my pieces. Once they were all in order, and I had warmed up, I proceeded to the exam room. The first piece went pretty well. But things went pretty pear-shaped when the examiner (a nice-enough chap) asked me to remove my crook (part of the instrument) to get the water out. As I was putting it back on and tightening the screw, the screw broke, leaving me with a broken saxophone just ONE-piece into the exam.

It was – to say the very least – an unmitigated disaster.

Andrew Burdett, Twitter Update

From that point on, my confidence was totally knocked, not to mention the fact that the mouthpiece kept slipping making playing the instrument very hard. I know, then, that I have failed the exam; but I do hope I haven’t failed it too harshly.

Back at school, and I give the Mini-DV cameras back which I borrowed yesterday for filming the dance show. Then, I realise that I had forgotten the Mini-DV tapes, so the ICT technicians were less than best pleased.

The lessons actually weren’t that bad at school, though I did lose my Games Football kit in either English or Food Tech, so I’ll have to look for that tomorrow.

There was a glimmer of good news, when our school’s head of ICT lent me a brand new, hairy, Sony Hi-Def camcorder. I think I was the first person to use it properly, and came in very handy when I was re-recording the angle which completely mucked up yesterday.

Of course, you don’t know how well it’s all come out until the edit, but we can live in hope.

Thank you for reading,