What did you do for Mother’s Day?

I have a recurring problem a few times a year, because my mother has every material thing that she could possibly need, has seen more of the world than I have ever seen, and can afford almost infinitely more things than I can.
She has much better taste in clothing than me, and we have given her more geek toys than she ever wants to see again (a third Ixus or mp3 player wouldn’t warm her heart).
In fact, I can’t buy wine for my parents, because my S40+ bottles don’t compare to the vintage collection already sitting in our wine coolers. And yes, she’s a better cook too.
Some mothers could settle for spa vouchers, but since that used to be a regular treat of mine to my mother, it seemed a little cheapskate and unimaginative.
So what’s a poor girl, at the bottom of the Income Tax bracket, to do?
A few years ago, my sister and I did a big montage of photos of us together since we were kids. She liked that. For subsequent occasions, we kind of stalled. Now my sister’s away, so it was up to me to do something on my own.
I rummaged through our collection of digital photos and realised that my mum’s old Ixus v3 had taken lots of video clips instead of photos. Of course, a few times I deliberately switched to video mode so I could get snippets of conversation and action shots. But the old Ixus was not well-designed – the modes were all in one row, and if you flicked the notch too hard, you’d end up in video and not camera mode. I had helped my mum sync her Ixus to my computer many times, and ended up saving most of the files on my hard drive. I actually had a treasure chest of moving, talking memories with me.
Of course, these files were transferred from my old PC to my new PowerMac, and I now had the benefit of iMovie and some rusty recollection of how to do video editing.
I really appreciate the on-the-job training I had at SPH, where I was taught by a videographer how to use Final Cut Pro. Of course, I knew iMovie had only basic features. But still, it had some decent effects and a simple timeline, although I was unable to place my text in specific parts of the stage. Transitions were decent, and I had the benefit of a powerful CPU.
There was a bit of problem figuring out what to do next. I learnt that my movie was too large to burn onto a CD-ROM, so I had to repackage it in iDVD, and burn the movie into a DVD. I finally figured out that I had to ‘share’ my iMovie and convert it for iDVD use. My iDVD ‘home page’ was simple: just one button to activate the video, with a photo of me and my sister in the background.
Next, I had to burn the DVD. The big question was: which DVD format? I did a bit of research after looking at my system information. My Pioneer DVD-writer could accept all formats! Hurrah. I walked to the nearest electronics shop and picked up a DVD-R. It worked. I tested it using DVD Player on my PowerMac. It ran fine.
Several hours later, I presented the gift to my mother. The DVD played instantly, and everything that I planned to happen, did happen. And my mother enjoyed the movie. I was so relieved… three cheers for iLife!!!
Now, what to get her for Christmas…


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