Dec 192009

So you have some big project due, or you’re just trying to do some casual research, and you can’t find what you’re looking for. If you consider the titles of articles and the names of web pages, you’ll realize they tell what the content is about. The titles don’t pose a question as some searchers tend to do. If you’re looking for information on TVs, for example, and you don’t know anything about the new HD TVs, and want to learn more, try thinking of what a helpful article might be named, and search for that.

Ex. “HD TV buying guide” vs “Best HDTV”
Ex.  “SD vs HD” vs “whats the difference between HD and SD”

As you can see, the first query in each example is telling the search engine what you want, where as the second ones are asking it a question. In the 1st example, 2nd query, you’ll be exposed to tons of advertising and biased opinions from many sources (although there are plenty that run tests as well). The 2nd example, 1st query, may even get you a nice table showing you a side-by-side of what’s different.

Next time you search, try telling it what you want instead of asking, it’s only a machine. (You don’t ask your TV to turn on, or your microwave to reheat food, you tell it to)

Google – Tell it – Ask it
Bing – Try both
Yahoo – Tell it

Dec 152009

I guess some people have been arriving here from the following search and I thought I’d make a post clearing up some issues.

Format Factory and Handbrake really should not even fall into the same category. FormatFactory is designed for encoding (multiple) files from one format to another with a very simple interface easy for beginners to use. HandBrake is a optimized encoder designed for re-encoding DVDs. HandBrake was designed to use in conjunction with a program such as DVD Decrypter or DVD Shrink to backup and convert DVDs from there native MPEG2 (.VOB + .IFO) format into something more usable (formerly an AVI) like an MKV container with AAC audio and the popular HD h.264 codec.

DVD Ripping and Encoding:
AutoGK (a GUI for a set of tools, very old and powerful program)
DVD Decrypter (copies the DVD to the hard drive and removes copy protection, doesn’t change the format)
DVD Shrink (can remove copy protection along with other features of a DVD such as extras and menus)

Converting and Re-encoding:
Format Factory

The first ones would be used to get the movie off the DVD (assuming you own the DVD and are making legal personal backups). The second ones are for possibly converting the file for use with a portable media player, or shrinking the size.