Thursday, December 31, 2009

This pretty much sums up 2009...

Terence Curren from just sent these wishes out. I think it sums up 2009 very well.

As this year draws to a close, I am taking this opportunity to once again thank all of you who make this a group effort.

2009 will be remembered as a very tough year for most of us. Many changes in our industry, combined with a painful recession combined to create a challenging environment to say the least. Those who have survived, are stronger for it. And to those who have left this industry, I wish you well.

2010 promises to be another challenging year that will present both hardship and opportunity. I hope for all of you to find the latter and prosper in new and interesting ways.

It will be interesting to see what hardships and opportunities arise in 2010...


The Pros I Know - Eric Maddox

Eric Maddox - awesome editor, motion gfx, shooter with a great eye:

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

CONFLICT ALERT! Autodesk Smoke and RED Rocket

Please make sure you're aware of the following conflict before installing Autodesk Smoke (demo or full version) on your RED Rocket system.

Smoke requires native 64-bit OS whereas RED Rocket drivers works in 32-bit space. So, if you install Smoke and boot in 64-bit, RED Rocket will not work since the drivers will be unable to load.

There is no solution to this for now besides using one or the other at a time.

Tip: if you want to boot in 32-bit, hold down 3+2 on your Mac when booting. If you need to boot in 64-bit, then hold down 6+4. Otherwise, your operating system will make the choice for you when you boot up--either 64 or 32.

If you've installed Smoke and now you can't see your Rocket, simply reboot holding down 3+2.


(Hey Tyler, you can thank me later...)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

SCRATCH 5.0 Released!!

This just in from the ASSIMILATE Team

SCRATCH v5.0 and SCRATCH CINE v5.0 are released! SCRATCH owners with access can visit the Assimilate support site for detailed documentation on this release.

As of v5.0, SCRATCH and SCRATCH CINE are released as native 64-bit applications only and will NOT run on a 32-bit operating system. The target OS for v5.0 is Windows 7 64-bit (any edition). Be aware that NOT all graphics cards are fully functional with Windows 7. Assimilate urge you to plan your upgrade to v 5.0 and READ CAREFULLY the article on the support site for ‘SCRATCH v5.0 Drivers and Installation issues’. This covers NVIDIA graphics card support, downloading a suitable driver for Windows 7 and additional hardware issues you need to be aware of.

What is new in SCRATCH v5.0? Here is a just a teaser of the exciting tools now available and more fixes and workflow improvements are detailed on the support site.
  • New 64 bit means more memory support and larger memory address space supported equals better support for 4k workflow and beyond!
  • New RED Rocket support
  • FAST playback of FULL resolution RED media!
  • New Implementation of NVIDIA’s CUDA Technology*
  • New Real time 32 bit Full Histogram*
  • New Real time32 bit Waveform Monitor*
  • New Real time32 bit Vector Scope*
  • New XML Scripting capabilities
(*only NVIDIA cards with CUDA – Compute Capability version 1.3 or higher, support all the new features.)

More information here:

Assimilate SCRATCH 5.0

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Raising money in 2009: Strike Two--Five Star Bank

This is a follow-up to this article about obtaining financing for expansion:

Raising money in 2009: Are banks lending to small business?

In the ongoing attempts to establish funding, we submitted an application to Five Star Bank...and it was turned down because the personal score for the submitter was not high enough.

That was it. That was the sole reason listed.

Folks--we're going on 8 years old as a company. Our expansion project will take us to three new metro areas and quadruple the size of our company. SBA is covering 90% of the risk on these new loans.

It doesn't matter--its exactly what I have said before: banks are not lending to small businesses. When you have a mature company--not a startup--with a significant growth initiative that can't get funding, the banks are just hoarding cash...

As I mentioned in the last blog post--we have three positions we could hire for immediately, but the funding for the growth project needs to be there first. Banks are squatting on billions in federal dollars and the government has otherwise failed to allocate funding to anything worthwhile, yet they are still pushing forward with "health care reform" and raising the debt limit to an amount so big, we couldn't pay it back for 100 years.

Do you know anyone who got an SBA loan lately?

I don't.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Raising money in 2009: My plan for cutting unemployment in half in 30 days

DISCLAIMER--please note I am a registered Independent. My point of view comes from being a small business owner--not the left or the right.

If you are angry at the way things are being handled by Washington--please read this over and sound off below.

President Obama's dispersal of stimulus funds has been a total joke so far. If you look at the actual jobs created, the expense of the program has been monstrous:

American Prospect associate editor Ezra Klein wrote in November 2008 "The stimulus package cannot be understood as spending divided by jobs...The envisioned stimulus is much bigger than simple job creation. It's infrastructure construction and aid to states and the preservation of the safety net..."

Please--tell that to someone out of work who is about to lose their "safety net."

The dispersal of federal funds by the feds and the banks should end. Immediately. The banks aren't loaning to small businesses and the feds waste the money. Give it to small businesses instead with the requirement that the funds are used to hire the unemployed.

In November, the "official" unemployment numbers was 15.4 million people and the rate was 10%. Small business owners could right this ship overnight by implementing the following program:

1. Provide direct employment loans to small businesses who promise to hire 1-2 currently unemployed personnel
2. Defer repayment of this loan to 2011.
3. Cap the interest at 5%

If you hired 7,500,000 million people this way at $45,000 per year, the unemployment rate would go to 5%. The cost of this would be $337,500,000,000. I don't know what the default rate would be, but if you assumed 85% of businesses repaid the loan with 5% interest, the real federal cost would be $36,281,250,000. This is significantly lower than the untold hundreds of billions that are being wasted by Washington right now.

If you had a 95% repayment rate, there would be no net cost to the government and this would not require a cent in tax hikes.

As a small business owner, I can tell you right now I would hire three people overnight if this program was available. I already know who they are--the job offers would go out before the ink was dry on the loan paperwork.

But I'm not a politician, so what do I know...

Torrey Loomis
President & CEO - Silverado Systems, Inc.
(916) 760-0032 • FAX (916) 404-5258