Old Computers, New Tricks
In a previous job, I built NLE systems for a U.K.-based company. During that time, I was often presented with a computerpresumably passed down from Noahinto which the user wanted to incorporate an NLE system. Usually, this computer refugee from the stock room was chosen because "It has SCSII hard drives," but the drives themselves would usually turn out to be too small, nearing the end of their useful life, or both. Unsurprisingly, the computer would fail the three basic NLE tests:
Here's why they failed:
An NLE program demands the utmost from the computer's resources. Just having a fast SCSII, a SATA, or an EIDE hard drive is a tiny part of the story. For example, having lots of memory (RAM) is seen as a good thing, but is it good quality and fast? A fast processor is wonderful, but is the motherboard going to do it justice or be compatible with NLE? A cutting-edge graphics card is great, but are the drivers going to cause problems?
The answer to all these questions is often that no one really knows until someone tries it out. Computers aren't cars; they aren't assembled from exactly the same parts and the interaction between all the components is not always a definable and known subject. Computer technology is a dark, mysterious subject, fraught with personal tragedy and costly mistakes.
How to test your system:
Complete the thee basic NLE tests in this appendix, but don't panic if your computer fails at any stage; you can do several things to fix this. It is best to get these problems sorted out now, rather than when you're in the middle of a project that has a deadline creeping steadily closer.
Shortly after the launch of Liquid Edition, a demo version of Liquid Edition will be available via a download link from the Peachpit Web site (www.peachpit.com/liquid6vqp). If you have doubts about your computer's capabilities, then use this demo first to make sure it works on your system. The demo is an unrestricted version that allows you to play around with all the features mentioned in this book for 20 days.