How to make a quick test video in Avisynth

#This is how you make a video clip
#to test on with Avisynth

ColorBars() 

The ColorBars filter in Avisynth produces a video clip containing SMPTE color bars scaled to any image size. The clip produced is 640×480, RGB32 [16,235], 29.97 fps, 1 hour long. [Source]

So, what are SMPTE color bars? If you’ve done a lot of TV surfing in your day—particularly late at night—then you’ve probably encountered this set of color bars accompanied by a loud monotone. The “bars and tone” are more formally known as the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE)’s Engineering Guideline EG 1-1990, used to calibrate monitors.

What looks like random blocks of color to the untrained eye is actually a carefully laid-out test pattern. For example, the colors yellow, cyan, green, magenta, red, blue actually goes from most luminous to least, and that’s used to find the proper white level. And “blue only” mode, the middle strip of blue, black, magenta, and white rectangles look the same as the bars above them. This is used for color balance (below). There’s a lot more to geek out over if you’re so inclined. [Source]

Why you are going to want to know about IRC as a programmer

Despite being developed all the way back in 1998, Internet Relay Chat or as it is more commonly know as IRC seems to be having a resurgence lately. Then again maybe it is just that this popular chat service never truly went away.

What is IRC, anyway?

IRC enables users to connect to a server using a software program or web service and communicate with each other live. To connect and chat with other IRC users, you must either have an IRC client or a web interface that connects you to IRC servers. [Source]

So, why would I need yet another way to chat with people when there is a billion different other services that I could choose from these days?

Well, because irc.freenode.net is the place to be if you are a programmer. Sure, you could go to Stack Overflow and search for an answer for your programming questions but there are chat rooms (called channels) on Freenode that are actually devoted to answering programming questions. If you can’t afford to go to university or you don’t have access to someone who is willing to be your programming mentor in real life then hanging out on IRC in the channels specific to the language you are learning is pretty much going to be the next best thing.

What program/web service should I be using to connect with IRC?

This is a tough question to answer since IRC has been kicking around since 1998 that means that there are numerous programs or web services that you could choose from.  It is really hard to go wrong here, just look around and try some out until you find what feels right to you.

Yeah, okay…..I get what it is that you are saying but honestly I am too lazy to look around. Why don’t you tell me what it is that you are using to connect then?

If you are using Windows as your operating system then I am currently fond of Nettalk these days. If you are using an operating system other then Windows then I am afraid you are going to have to figure out what works for you on your own. Sorry about that.