Archive for February, 2015

Easiest Best Optimal settings for Handbrake DVD Video Conversion on Mac, Windows and Linux

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This is a simple easy guide on how to make the best encodes with the smallest file size in Handbrake without having to know or understand all of the settings. Just copy my settings and you’re done!

**NOTE** These settings are for DVD Video ONLY – You can find a Blu Ray Tutorial HERE.

Video encoding is a topic a lot of people are very passionate about. Factors like TV size, Viewing distance, hardware, drive space restrictions and a plethora of other concerns are all valid. But if you are like me, and just want to reduce your episodes to a more manageable size, whilst retaining most of the quality, here’s how to do it.

PLEASE NOTE This method will produce very nice quality videos, that will look good on 1080p TV’s, but may take 2 hours or more to process each hour of video, so my advice is to let it run whilst you are sleeping each night.

Once you have ripped your Disks to MKV files with Make MKV, Open Handbrake (You can download the latest version for free HERE) then press the source button and select the file you want to convert, or if you want to do a batch of files, select the folder that contains all of your ripped MKV’s. Handbrake will import them all, but you will only see the first one. Now it’s time to make some adjustments to the settings.


All of your settings should look like the above screen grab – Click it to enlarge.

1. Set the output format to MKV File

2. Click the button that says “Video”. Make sure the video codec is H.264 (x264)

3. The frame rate should be “Same as Source” and Constant Framerate should be selected.

4. Check Constant Quality and adjust the slider until the RF number goes to 20

5. For the encoder options, slide the preset slider to Very Slow. Trust me, it takes a while, but the quality is far superior, and usually yields a smaller file size. Unfortunately it is a trade off for speed vs quality. Like I said, run it while you are sleeping.

6. Leave “Fast Decode” unchecked.

7. Set Tune to Film

8. Set Profile to High

9. Set Level to 3.1

10. Now click the “Picture Settings” button in the top right side of the window.

Picture Settings ButtonA new window will open. Change all of your settings look like this

handbrake-dvd-picture-settings11. Whilst in the picture settings window, click “Filters” and change all of your settings to look like these as well. Denoise and Deblock will make the picture look SO much better when viewed on larger 1080p TVs.

handbrake-dvd-filters**If you are in the USA you can skip this step, but for the rest of us, we need to know if our video is progressive or interlaced (the method used to draw each frame of video)**

If your video is progressive, you can skip this step, but if it is interlace, you will definitely want to de-interlace the video before you watch it on a 1080 screen, otherwise you will see all kinds of ugly horizontal lines in fast moving scenes like the image below.

interlaced video(If you dont know whether your video is interlaced or progressive, Mac users can use Video Spec to find out, and Windows users can use G-Spot to find out)

If your video is interlaced, make sure “Deinterlace” is checked and select “Slower” for best results.


12. Now you can close out the Picture Settings window and select the “Audio” tab in the main window.

Handbrake Audio SettingsI am a real Audiofile, I love the Dolby Digital and DTS 5-7 channel audio tracks in movies, so I select “Auto PassThru”. But, if regular 2 channel Stereo is ok for you, you can configure that in this area if you want. I figure you are converting a DVD, so you might as well have the best sound quality available. Just select the Dolby Digital or DTS sound track from the drop down window, and choose “Auto Passthru”

13. Click the “Subtitles” tab and select none

14. Click the “Chapters” tab and make sure “Create Chapter Markers” is un-checked.

15. You are now ready to start encoding. If you are only doing one file, just press the “Start” button and Handbrake will start encoding. If you are doing a batch of files, open the File Menu and select “Add All Titles To Queue”

Add All Titles To Queue16. Press the “Show Queue” button to see all your files waiting to be encoded

Handbrake Queue17. Press the “Start” button and your encoding session will begin.

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Posted by Greg - February 28, 2015 at 10:51 am

Categories: Free Stuff, Linux and Unix, Mac, Software Encounters, Video, Windows and PC   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Is There A Difference Between Nexium 20mg and 40mg

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I get indigestion badly, and when my doctor started me on Nexium 40mg the problem was more than 90% better within an hour or so of taking the first tablet. At the time, it was recommended that I start off on a dosage of 40mg daily for two months. After the two months was up, I was cut back to the 20mg tablets. It felt to me as if I was taking anything at all, and my problem was back. After a week or so I went back to the doctor for more help. He told me on days when it was bad I could take two 20mg tablets, giving me the 40mg. I tried this, and to my surprise it had no effect. I was still in pain. I have gone back to my doctor this week and he said that the 40mg tablet guidelines have been re-assessed, and it is now ok for me to stay on them. He gave me a prescription for them and I have been pain free since starting back on them.

I felt that there must be some other ingredient in the 40mg tablets with the Esomeprazole that wasn’t in the 20mg tablets, and it was this that was providing me with the relief, but my doctor assured me there wasn’t. He said it is only the quantity/dosage of Esomeprazole that is different between the 20mg and 40mg tablets.

It’s a really weird thing that seems illogical. But, there is a clearly a difference in the effectiveness for me between the two dosages. Perhaps it’s the way the chemical releases?

Nexium Box Front

Nexium Box Back

Nexium Box Side Right

Nexium Box Side Left

Nexium Panel Front

Nexium Panel Rear

Nexium Aluminium Foil

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Posted by Greg - February 23, 2015 at 8:04 pm

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The Most Iconic Guitars Of All Time – In My Opinion

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EVH Guitars

I am NOT a guitar player…I wish I was. I would love to be able to play guitar, it fascinates me. I do have a small collection of guitars, and I love looking at them, and imagining all the possibilities they possess. I was in my late teens and early 20’s in the 80’s/90’s, and this era was magical to me.

I was VERY much a fan of HAIRBANDS!

Great songs, with larger than life personalities doing stuff on a piece of wood with six metal wires that I have never been able to comprehend. How the hell do they do it?

For example, the GREATEST guitar player to ever come out of Australia (And one of the best in the world) has to be Tommy Emmanuel. Tommy often plays on his own what usually needs two people to play. Check him out playing both the rhythm and melodies of The Beatles songs Day Tripper and then Lady Madonna.

I am always looking to expand my collection of iconic guitars. I have done some searches today for articles about the most iconic guitars, and I must say, most of these article miss quiet a few. The first article I read said the number one guitar of all time was Angus Young’s black Gibson, and Steve Vai’s Gem and Universe weren’t even mentioned.

This is when I began to realise this topic is subjective. Everybody will see it differently. We all have different opinions, and we are all entitled to our own opinions.

This is my opinion, and I would really love to hear your opinions in the comments. Lets just do it with respect ok.

In my opinion, the most iconic guitar ever is easily, and with out doubt, Frankenstrat.

FrankenstartI really love the EVH Steinberger. It is actually the most recent addition to my collection. As a Lolcats fan, and a EVH fan, imagine my delight when I came across this pic today whilst researching this article.

I Can Haz SteinbergerOnce again, here are the most iconic guitars in my opinion. The EVH Trio.

EVH GuitarsFrom here on, guitars appear in no particular order. They are just the most iconic guitars to me.

Vai UniverseSteve Vai is Explosive. Brilliant. The Ibanez Gem and Universe are definitely on my wishlist. The 7 String Universe’s sound on the Passion and Warfare album (Particularly the song The Animal) was like nothing I had ever heard before.

Steve Vai Ibanez UniverseWhilst on the topic of Vai, the Heart guitar he played with David Lee Roth was pretty Cool too!

Vai Heart GuitarSteve Vai Heart TripleneckNext, is my most FAV guitar player of all time. I first heard him doing Mozart in the Bill and Ted movie, and he has continued to stun me ever since. I especially loved his efforts at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert. Nuno Bettencourt and the Washburn N4

Nuno N4Nuno Washburn N4The Girls were very well represented in the 80’s as well. Lita Ford’s B.C Rich was another classic for me.

Lita Ford B.C RichLita Ford B.C RichPreviously, on the other side of the world, Mark Knopfler’s National Acoustic was pretty iconic to me. I loved it on the cover of the Brothers In Arms album.

Mark Knopfler National AcousticNational Acoustic

Before I got my Steinberger, my favorite guitar in my collection was my Paul Reed Smith Tremonti Blackbird. Mark’s Charcoal Burst PRS “Dimebag” Tribute Blackbird is one of my all time favs.

Mark Tremonti Paul Reed Smith Dimebag BlackbirdTremonti Dimebag Charcoal Burst PRS

The “Funnest” guitar player I have ever seen live is The Clown Prince, Rick Nielsen from Cheap Trick. Now this guy knows how to put on a show! Here is Ricks Hamer 5-neck. My guess is that the 5 necks are from top to bottom, a 12 string, a regular tuned fixed bridge, and regular tuned with tremolo, another fixed bridge with alternate tuning (maybe drop d) and a fretless.

Rick Nielson 5 neck

Rick Nielsen Hamer 5 NeckJason Becker is an incredible musician who I most remember being referred to as “Beyond Prodigy”. His playing on David Lee Roth’s album A Little Aint Enough was brilliant. Carvin have recently released Jason’s Numbers Guitar.

Jason Becker Carvin Number GuitarCarvin Jason Becker Numbers Tribute GuitarJimmy Hendrix and The Flying V – what more can I say

Jimmy Hendrix Flying VJimmy Hendrix Flying VOne of the loudest and most “In Your Face” guitar players would have to be Zakk Wylde. I absolutely LOVED his work on the movie Rockstar, and he is a perfect fit for Ozzy Osbourne as well. This is Zakk’s Gibson Bullseye.Zakk Wylde Gibson BullseyeZakk Wylde Gibson BullseyeIf you are reading this article, you will be familiar with Stevie Ray Vaughan’s SRV Fender Strat. A truly Iconic guitar in so many ways.

Stevie Ray Vaughan SRV Fender StratStevie Ray Vaughan Fender SRV Strat

Defining cool, here is Bo Diddley with his Gretsch

Bo Diddley GretschBo Diddley GretschBrian Setzer has become one of my favs over the years. I love the 50’s Rockabilly sound and image. Gotta love those Gretsch guitars!

Brian Setzer GretschBrian Setzer GretschBrian May’s Red Special is a interesting guitar. Brian built it himself in 1963. I read recently that when Brian travels by air, he buys another first class seat for this guitar.

Brian May Red SpecialBrian May Red SpecialBrian May Red SpecialNo list on iconic guitars is complete without Michael Anthony’s Jack Daniels Bass

Michael Anthony Jack Daniels Yamaha Bass

Michael Anthony Jack Daniels Yamaha BassPrince’s Cloud Guitar

Prince CloudPrince CloudPrince had another interesting axe, the Symbol guitar

Prince Symbol GuitarPrince Symbol GuitarBon Jovi has had a few iconic guitars over the years. Here is Jon’s New Jersey Kramer

Jon Bon Jovi Kramer New JerseyJon Bon Jovi Kramer New JerseyAnd this is Richie Sambora’s Kramer Double Neck. I remember this one most from the beginning of the “Lay Your Hands On Me” video clip.
Richie Sambora Kramer Double Neck

Richie Sambora Kramer Double NeckAnd on the topic of Bon Jovi, James Hetfield from Metallica had the “Kill Bon Jovi” guitar, which I have been unable to find a picture of. If anybody has a pic, please sent it in and I will add it to the list. In its abscense, here is James’s  “Eet Fuk” Explorer.

James Hetfield Eet Fuk Explorer

James Hetfield Eet Fuk Explorer

One of the most iconic pairings in guitar history would have to be Slash and Gibson.

Slash GibsonSlash GibsonB.B. King and Lucille are another iconic duo for Gibson.

BB King Lucille GibsonBB King Lucille GibsonVivian Campbell’s Kramer Nightswan was all the rage for a while in the 80’s.

Vivien Campbell NightswanVivien Campbell Kramer NightswanJohn Lennon and RickenbackerJohn Lennon RickenbackerJohn Lennon RickenbackerAnd rounding out the list, is again, Tommy Emmanuel and his Maton Acoustic

Tommy Emmanuel Maton AcousticTommy Emmanuel Maton Acoustic

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Posted by Greg - February 22, 2015 at 10:41 am

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