Mad about PC video
by Alan Zisman (c)
1994. First published
in Our Computer Player, April 15, 1994
PC Video Madness
by Ron Wodaski
It seems like we're into the second generation of
multimedia, at least
if book publishing is any indication.
Last year, it seemed like every book publisher with a
had to put some kind of 'Multimedia for the Millions' volume into
I think I reviewed three of them in these pages.
Of those, my favorite was Ron Wodaski's "Multimedia
Madness". Now Ron
is back with "PC Video Madness"... sort of 'Son of...' that first
It moves beyond the 'gee whiz, isn't multimedia neat?'
of the first
generation of books, to a more focused how-do.
As the title suggests, the focus is on digital
for PC (Windows) users. Mac users, or devotees of IBM's OS/2-based
should look elsewhere. For the most part, this 667 page book centers
things you can do with Microsoft's Video for Windows.
Despite that, Ron manages to cover a wide spectrum...
effects shooting with a camcorder, to reviews of current (as of early
video capture hardware, to programming samples (using Visual Basic,
I find the style of this book, like the earlier
volume, a nice combination
of chatty and informative. The book succeeds at pointing out some of
shortcomings of this still-new technology, without getting nasty.
It also includes a CD-ROM. Both this disk, and the one
Wodaski's earlier volume were samples of Nautilus-- a monthly, CD-ROM
The disk with his other book, however, seemed better integrated with
text; it included a range of demos and working models that were
in the printed text.
This time, while the disk does include a large number
of brief video
samples (but does the world REALLY need more clips of Wodaski's dog,
basicly it's a promo/sample of Nautilus, unrelated to the book. I like
Nautilus, and always find stuff worth playing with in every issue, but
I would have preferred more stuff directly related to the book.
Digital video on PCs is a moving target... new
products and technologies
are announced daily. In a year or two, this book, like many
volumes, will seem, at best, dated. But for many readers right now,
by the possibilities of video production on PCs, or wanting to
this aspect of multimedia into traditional presentations, this book
provide a solid introduction.