I am proud to announce that our little boy has arrived.  Benjamin Harry Schwam was born on Saturday Feb 16th at 12:22 pm.  He’s 19 & 3/4 inches and he was 6lbs, 5 oz.  He’s totally cute and he has red hair, which is awesome but was quite unexpected.  Not only that, he’s got a lot of hair and I’m a little jealous.  He’s doing great and so is his Mom.  Rebecca did a great job! 

So now I’ll have lot’s of “Daddy” stuff to blog about.  Until I find some energy to do so, check out these pictures…

Here’s a picture of Rebecca and me, with Ben.  It’s just after he was born.

Rebecca, Me, and Ben just after he was born.

Here’s a close-up of Ben.  He’s been with us for a few hours in this photo. 

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This one shows off his hair pretty well.

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Hold on, hold on.  My wife and I are still expecting our son in about two weeks.  But yesterday my sister gave birth to a beautiful little girl named Grace! 


Yes, it will be a busy few weeks for my family.  As for us, we are getting excited and waiting for our big day.  I’m trying to get a lot of sleep in advance.


Grace

I’ve already written about trying to choose a camcorder, selecting the Canon HG-10, and problems with shipping.

Now that the camera has arrived, I’ve had a little time to play around with it.  Here are some of my first thoughts:

First, this may be obvious but, this camera is small.  It’s not even the smallest camera out there but but I like the size.  Most of the controls feel good, especially the zoom rocker control, which was mentioned as a highlight in reviews.  When recording and playing back HD video with the 2.7in LCD, the picture is really awesome.  For the most part the camera seems pretty easy to use.  I did notice, immediately, that the scroll wheel that is used to do a lot of the menu navigation is a little weak.  I read about this in some reviews.  Everyone seems to agree that this is a cool attempt by Canon and a step in the right direction but it needs work.  Basically, the scroll wheel feels like a cheap plastic toy that could break easily.  I certainly hope it is stronger than it appears.

Unfortunately, I had some problems watching the video off of the camera.  First, the HDMI cable I purchased is the wrong size (see below).  So my only TV hookup was “low def”.  The pictures looked good but not spectacular.  But I hope a new HDMI cable solves that.  So it was off to the PC for me.  I easily and quickly uploaded the files via USB to my PC’s hard drive.  However, when I tried to playback the video using the included software, Corel Intervideo WinDVD SE, the picture was was a little choppy and was not synchronized with the audio!  I know HD video playback is hard on the processor but I have a dual core 3.2 GHz processor with 3GB of memory.  Plus my video adapter is an NVIDEA GeForce 7600 GS, which I thought was supposed to be pretty good.  I even used a 1 GB ready boost thumb drive and I turned off the Vista Aero features to try and help but no luck.  I am really surprised at this performance problem.  I expected it for editing but not playback.  This was a really big disappointment.  Could the problem be that I need to upgrade the software?  I also tried editing with the included  Ulead DVD Movie Factory SE but that didn’t work very well either.  First, the PC couldn’t keep up very well.  Second, I am not impressed with my first look at the software.  Again, maybe I need to upgrade.  The free software is probably not the best one on the market.

I also wanted to complain about some accessories I purchased at Best Buy.  I should know by now to trust my instincts and not listen to the people there.  First, I already mentioned the incorrect HDMI cable.  They told me that was the correct one, even though I said I thought the connector looked too big.  Second, they said that the camera bag I purchased would hold the camera and the accessories.  I was interested in a slightly larger bag but they told me not to bother.  Strike two.  Why do I listen to them?

I expect that I’ll be very happy once I get my HDMI cable and can view my home movies on my 46″ High Def TV.  Then I’ll need to figure out how to edit these videos.

 

In my last post, I wrote about my decision to purchase a camcorder.  So here’s what happened next.

So I ordered the device at around 11:30PM on Tuesday 1/29 from TigerDirect.com.  Since it was pretty late, the item would ship on Wed.  Since I splurged $3 extra, I got 2nd Day Shipping which meant I have my new toy on Friday.  Now I’ve ordered from TigerDirect before and I’ve had problems with them, so I know what to expect.  Still, I trust them because even when there are problems, they seem to be genuinely nice about it and are pretty accommodating.  And don’t forget, the price was right – about $350 less then Best Buy!  So starting Wednesday I got my tracking information from TigerDirect and started following my package on UPS.com.  Yet another cool benefit to the Internet, I can watch my package get closer to its destination.  OK, it left the factory, good start.  It’s headed to Philly, this is going well.  Thursday night I checked and it arrived in town, this is good!  Friday morning it is listed as Out For Delivery – this baby is on the truck!  It was raining that day so I left a note on my door for the drive to leave the package on my covered porch in the back.  Early afternoon I checked UPS.com again and low and behold my package was listed as…Delivered!  I was so excited that I even called home on my way from work to make sure.  Rebecca assured me that the package was on the back porch when she came home and now it was in the house!

Upon arriving home, I immediately opened the box and started checking out my new Canon HG-10.  Wow, this is small.  Cool, I can plug it in and test it without the battery being charged.  Wait, what is this!  Why is there a door covering a DVD burner on my HG-10?  Wait, why does my HG-10 say HV-20 on the side?  I was so excited to check it out that I never noticed that the box said HV-20…TigerDirect shipped me the wrong unit!  Arrrrrrgh.  So I called up TigerDirect and, like usual, they were cool about it.  They can’t ship me my model until I return the old one, or they can temporarily charge me for both on my credit card.  I can understand that, they don’t want me running off with both of them.  And they promised to send the correct model next-day.  Since it was Friday at 5:00pm, next-day means Monday.  I still need to send the wrong one back and get my credit.  But I’m expecting that to go well.  If not, I’ll be sure to blog about it!

Oh well, no camcorder for the Superbowl party.  Now all I really needed to do was convince my wife not to go into labor until Monday night at the earliest! 

OK, it is getting late.  Tomorrow I’ll write about my first thoughts on the Canon HG-10.

 

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