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I’ve recently transitioned to using a PC for all of my media transcoding and hosting Plex, so I can keep my Macs unburdened and ready for real work. The only thing is — when Handbrake is compressing something, it pegs all of my CPU cores at 100%, leaving not much left for Plex Media Server to use.

I found a great solution on this page at Windows Loop. I’ll let you go there for all of the details, but I’ll post an abbreviated version here, just in case that site disappears someday:

Lower Priority

Go to Handbrake > Tools > Preferences > Advanced, and set Priority Level to Below Normal or Low. I chose Low.

You can also do this from Task Manager: In the Details tab, right-click on Handbrake.exe and Set Priority.

I also set Plex Media Server to High priority here, for good measure.

CPU Affinity

From Task Manager, when you right-click, one of the choices is Set Affinity. This will allow you to set which CPU cores the app is allowed to run on. I unchecked cores 0 and 1, so on my processor, it still has access to the six other cores.

I find this lets the system stay responsive, and hope that this will make it able to serve Plex media without any trouble, even while I’m transcoding media.

For the first time in nearly seven years, I am now unemployed. Yesterday, along with several other people, I was laid off from my job at The Omni Group, and I’m now looking for new work. UPDATE: Here is a link to my resume PDF and my complete CV.

First of all, thank you to all of my friends and colleagues at Omni for being one of the best groups of people I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with. I’ll be forever grateful that taking a job at Omni is what got me out to the West Coast, and to the lovely city of Seattle. I learned a lot there, and they believed in my abilities enough to give me some truly interesting challenges, including some professional development that was rather tangential to my scope of video production, in the interest of seeing it enrich my work in unexpected ways.

I won’t go into what happened at Omni in much detail (if you’re interested, my fellow layoff-ee Brent Simmons has more to say about that on his blog). Suffice it to say that with a spouse who is an essential employee at a bakery, I never suspected that an economic cascade leading to this layoff would be the way that the COVID-19 pandemic affected our family. Omni are doing everything they can to make this necessity a little less harsh, and I’m certain they never would have laid people off if it weren’t truly necessary for the company’s survival. I wish them the best, and hope that they come out of this stronger than ever.

But still, I am out of work. Do you have work? Hire me!

People probably know me best for my video production work — please see the output of my last seven years in The Omni Group’s video archives — but I have also done a lot of related development work, and would love to push my career in that direction. Here’s a quick list of some relevant skills:

  • My biggest area of experience: video production, post, editing, and motion graphics. 24 years and counting.
  • I’ve produced two long-running podcasts, The Optical, which I also host, and The Omni Show.
  • For the last 13 or so years, I’ve been working on my programming skillset.
    • I write scripts to automate my video production workflows in Python and JavaScript/ExtendScript
    • I’ve built websites with a Django back end, and I have a working knowledge of JavaScript, HTML, CSS, and REST APIs
    • Just about a month ago, I took a Swift + iOS Development Bootcamp at Big Nerd Ranch, so I’m continuing to refresh my skills
    • I developed and published an app guide to Star Trek for the iPhone, for The Post Atomic Horror Podcast (no longer in the App Store)
    • I was a founding member of NSCoderNightDC, collaboratively learning Objective-C, Mac, and iOS development, and am a member of Xcoders in Seattle, keeping in touch with the local community of Mac and iOS developers
    • I’m currently in the process of learning Unity and C#, so that I can build a virtual map of Scarecrow Video, the largest publicly-accessible film archive in the world, where I volunteer on a regular basis. I suppose Unity is useful for other things too.
    • For my own themed tiki bar space, I’ve become very familiar with Raspberry Pi and Arduino programming, to control lights, smoke, and (in progress) animatronics for an immersive themed experience.

My dream job is a position at Walt Disney Imagineering — I seriously love working on themed environments! — but if you know of any jobs that might fit my eclectic skillset, please send them along! I’m in Seattle right now, so Seattle or remote work is easiest, but I’d strongly consider moving to the Los Angeles area (or elsewhere in California) for the right job. Write me at work@mark.boszko.com or hit me up at @bobtiki on Twitter. Thanks!

I tend not to like slasher movies. It saddens me to see humans attacking humans, usually for no good reason. I see that enough in real life. I’d much rather see humans coming together to defeat a common foe, like a monster or a demon, or a ghost. Anything supernatural, really. That’s so much more… uplifting.

That said, I do like a few. Here they are.

  1. Scream
  2. Halloween
  3. Child's Play
  4. Scream 3
  5. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

from my Letterboxd

TBH, I kinda skimmed through this one, just to see if I’d like to buy the Blu-ray, and boy howdy do I. Everything before the intermission is just lovely, and makes me excited to see the islands that my grandparents saw when they visited. After the break is New Zealand and Australia, with a lot more drab browns. I’m sure I’ll find that interesting too (one particular shot seems to have dozens of kangaroos hopping all at once), but Hawaii is the real draw.

As grateful as I am that this exists at all, I’m a little confused by the choice to mix a 7.1 original mix down to a new 5.1 mix. Blu-rays can handle 7.1, so I wonder what the reason was. Maybe the separation was different from modern 7.1? I’m grateful that the original scanned 9K image (3 x 3K) was archived with the LoC. Perhaps someday we’ll see a 4K restoration.

from my Letterboxd

I’d never seen a Quatermass before! Surprised to see that even though this was on VHS from the ’80s, the entire film was letterboxed to the 35mm frame. Charming and fun in much the way that the ’53 War of the Worlds was. Also, I’m now pretty sure that Quatermass’ tweed, bow tie, and hat look here must have been a solid inspiration for Henry Jones’ wardrobe in Last Crusade.

from my Letterboxd

That was some quality Strode spookums. Better for me than the original, in terms of real scares and suspense, and provides a nice endcap. I’ve never seen any Halloween besides the original, and I still feel no need to visit any of the other 27 sequels.

from my Letterboxd

Atmospheric, haunting, good spookums, but ultimately overstays its welcome ever</> so slightly.

from my Letterboxd