Software Review Of The Moment

JES Deinterlacer + Microsoft Works 3

These 2 reviews seemed a bit short, so rather than having one on one month, and the other on the next, I thought I would combine them, even though theyíre for different operating systems & have nothing to do with each other.

9th Of June, 2018

JES Deinterlacer isnít only about de-interlacing videos. It can do quite a lot of conversion work as well. If you need to work with videos from various sources for an iMovie project, this is a gem. The program is a universal binary, but you will need the minimum of Mac OS X Leopard to run it.

The main window. Youíll want a good resolution to get the slide out window parts on both sides.

One of the most useful features of the program is its ability to convert frame rates. Say youíve come across a NTSC video or one of those irritating new ones with the 23.79 f.p.s. frame rate (or whatever it is), and you need to get it into your regular PAL iMovie project for an upcoming DVD. Well, JES Deinterlcaer will take care of the conversion work for you! Even if the video isnít of the 4:3 or 16:9 aspect ratios, you can get it to fit to either as well. (Although it does require the dimensions of the video to be equally divisible by like 4 or 8 or something.) I had an extra wide one that I wanted to fit to the 16:9 aspect ratio, and the program was able to add black borders to the top and bottom. That said, you can also crop videos. In another instance, I could trim the sides off a wide video and just use the 4:3 aspect part from the middle.
The program completely re-interlaces videos as well for frame rate conversions, so if you had a non-interlaced 29.97 f.p.s. NTSC video, it will still retain its smoothness in a 50 field per second PAL output. The same applies to videos from newer cameras which can record at a non-interlaced 50 f.p.s. As DVDs only support 25 f.p.s., such videos must be re-interlaced to make use of the faster rate.
Often just dragging in videos to iMovie that donít match your project, results in a jerky final result. JES Deinterlacer therefore gives you that intermediate step to fixing such issues.
Depending on the compression of the original video, the conversion speed can vary. Some MP4 files are as slow as about 1 frame per second on my Power Mac G5, and some convert at about 10 f.p.s. I found it to be about the same on my MacBook, which also runs at 2 GHz. (Both are dual core CPUs, and yes the program will make use of more than one CPU core.) I think DV to DV conversion for frame rates maybe slightly quicker, but I havenít done that in a while, so I donít remember. Donít expect real-time or faster conversions, unless you have a very fast Mac! If youíre running Mac OS X Leopard on a G4 CPU, expect to wait a long time for any results.
In some situations, you may find that with the video youíre converting, the program is only making use of 1 CPU / core. In this case, you can get it to run a 2nd project at the same time to make more use of your computerís oomph. That is if you have a Mac with more than 1 processor.

The program also has a long list of various presets for other Apple hardware, which I donít have.
You can also adjust colour settings, which could be handy to make a more grey video, or to boost colour from cameras with weak saturation.

The program supports quite a few input video types, but I have run across videos that it doesnít like as well. I think I may have had some issues with MJPEG compressed videos in AVI containers from VirtualDub, but Iím not too sure now. In that case, you may need extra software from Apple to support it. If youíre looking to convert MPEG 2 ďMODĒ files from video cameras, you could be better off using MPEG Streamclip with Perian / Appleís commercial MPEG 2 decoder. MPEG Streamclip also has a batch feature which is handy too.

The input section lets you drag a file in, or you can use the Choose button. Usually non-interlaced (progressive) videos are automatically detected, and as you can see, you can choose the field order on interlaced videos as well. For instance, MJPEG and DV are opposite to each other. (DV is bottom field first.) The ďinĒ part in the brackets refers to the input videoís properties.

All in all, this is a must-have program if youíre dealing with videos that need extra processing before going into iMovie, or indeed other programs. My personal use revolves around iMovie and making DVDs with iDVD. Iím really not sure if there are earlier versions for earlier revisions of Mac OS X or even Mac OS 9, and if there are, they could be hard to find. The fact that this program is freeware is a huge bonus too.
Itís fairly stable, but I would recommend that you avoid doing things in other programs that may use QuickTime, and fiddling in iMovie, because Iíve seen it come to a stand still, and then you have to start over. So, Iíd recommend that you just let JES Deinterlacer run the job you have it set to do, and then get back to your other programs once itís done.


9th Of June, 2018

Microsoft Works 3 came with our 1st computer in 1995, but the program is dated from April 1994. You need Windows 3.1 & up to run it. As itís a 16 bit program, 64 bit versions of Windows will not work with it. As such, you would have to revert to using a virtual machine and another operating system, such as Windows í95, Windows 3.1 or ReactOS, if the program will run with that.
I used the MS Works word processor all the time back when we had our old Acer Acros PC. It did have a few issues with text vanishing around pictures and stuff, and could be a bit unstable from memory.

The Startup window.
Starting up a new word processing document for the 1st time comes up like this.

Excluding the samples, clipart and setup directory, this is one small office suite, coming in at just 3.65 MB with what I chose to install. Open Office 2 comes in at about 229 MB for my installation! Yikes!
If you have Microsoft Encarta í95 or Bookshelf installed at the same time, Microsoft Works can link to it for looking up information.

ē The spelling choice obviously doesnít apply to the interface. *Sigh*
ē There isnít much here compared with newer office style programs.
An example of the word processor. A pity about the high CPU usage when youíre not even doing anything.

If itís basic you want, then this will fit the bill, although compared with newer software, it certainly feels limited in terms of customisation. You will find a simple drawing program included, if you choose to insert a drawing, and thereís also bonus vector based clip-art in Windows MetaFile format, so Windows XP will let you preview it in Explorer.
You do have the option of altering the toolbar, where buttons can be dragged on or off, and positioned where you like them.

Drawing is super basic. Itís not really going to rival Corel DRAW 8 any time here. Or even version 3.
The days before everybody & their dog had Internet access. I do have Encarta, but itís not currently installed.
The spreadsheet feature is the usual kind of thing. To work out how many days youíve been on the outside of your mum, enter 1 day less than your birthday, into one cell, then the current date into another. Then set a 3rd cell to subtract the earlier date from the recent one. This assumes that the day you were born was day 1.
Making a chart is as simple as entering a bunch of numbers and then pressing the New Chart button on the toolbar. Not exactly of Corel CHART! quality, but itís quick and easy to do.

For simple home use, where you donít need to over complicate things, Microsoft Works will do the trick, but for me itís more of a bit of nostalgia, and an option for opening old files I made 20 odd years ago. I couldnít leave Open Office now. Itís way more stable, flexible and does so much more. But then it is a lot newer.