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    Loading up laptop for P2
    #1
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    I picked up a used laptop off of Ebay. It's a Lenovo Thinkpad T500 with Core2 DUO 2.4G, 2GB ram and a 300GB HDD. I want to load drivers for uploading and viewing P2 cards. I also am loading Vegas 12 Pro. I suspect I will need more ram as it only has 2GB. I can either go with 4 or 8 GB of ram. I know this is not going to be fast by todays standards but I just want it to work reliably.
    Having read all I can about setting up for the PC card slot I know I have to load drivers from Panasonic and it looks like I have to load QuickTime as well. There are different versions of P2 viewer, it's a bit confusing. So what do you recommend? I have Windows 7 64Bit installed.
    This unit has firewire, a type 2 PC slot and 3 USB ports so it has lots of connectivity. Not going to be a hot rod for sure but I think I will have a nice portable storage and editing machine for field use.
    Thank You
    Bill Wojo


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    Ok, so I got home today and the laptop was sitting on my porch! First thing I did was to load Vegas 12 Pro and DVD Architect Pro 6. Could not find the correct site to download Titler Pro 1 from, all I could find is Ver 2, not free. I'll look for that later.
    I than loaded Quick Time, the P2 driver, Ver 2.22 and P2 Viewer.
    Took the P2 card out of my HVX and slid it into the laptop. The laptop let me off load the clips and I could watch them in the viewer. I than imported the clips into Vegas and I could view them in there.
    All in all, off to a good start. So much nicer than using tapes. Now I get it.
    Love this forum, so much info here that sometimes I just need to kick back and reread threads to find exactly the info I'm looking for. Thanks to everyone that contributes. I'd be lost without it.
    Bill Wojo


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    Senior Member Egg Born Son's Avatar
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    A cheap old laptop with pcmcia slots is an excellent solution for p2. It is such a bulletproof and hassle free technology. I bought a Dell D430 six months ago for the same reason and I keep mine lean and mean. I haven't installed any software so I have the maximum hdd available for offloading p2 cards. Effectively it's like having an extra 2 cards at a fraction of the price. p2 offloads quick so by the time you've filled the second card the first is back in the camera. The Dell itself is only a couple of lbs and tiny so I treat it as purely a p2 reader with a built in screen for review. At $80 it was a steal and not much more than the shipping would be of the price of a dedicated p2 reader all the while retaining more functionality.

    How does the thinkpad cope with Vegas and the other software? I would have thought it is a little long in the tooth to do any editing. Upgrading the ram would make a difference but whether that difference is worth it... Not sure about the Lenovo but the Dell RAM was disproportionately overvalued on ebay compared to the laptop. When I bought it the D430 was going for $120-150 on average yet the same sellers asking $60 for a 1MB ram upgrade! Luckily I held out and got a fully specced one at a good price from a private seller. Battery's starting to go now but I've got a 12V plug for the car if it comes to it.


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    Wow, 60 bucks for 1 GB of ram? I can get 8GB for about 90 bucks. I really don't know Vegas yet but tonight or this weekend I'm going to take about an hour of footage that I shot on my DVX and load it by firewire. I'll just render it and burn to a DVD. That will give me an idea of how this thing runs. I only paid 132 for the laptop and so far it's doing good. Like you I'm keeping it very lean and mean. I have a desktop PC for cruising the net that gets bloated with crap and bogs down. I have only gone to the sites I need to download drivers and such. I'll let you know.
    Bill Wojo


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    Senior Member Cryogenic Filmworks's Avatar
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    I bought an old Dell 6400 with 4gb ram. First thing I did was change out to an SSD HD. Way faster. I don't edit on it, just use to capture live from my camera (so I don't have to use tape). I am planning to use it to dump p2 cards in a shoot coming up. (need to get that working before next weekend)
    When you have to shoot, shoot, don't talk. (Tuco-The Good, the Bad and the Ugly)

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    Right now I'm rendering a full 63 minute long DV tape shot from my DVX100B (Christmas footage taken at my dads). All I did was capture and render to Mpeg2 so I can burn it to a DVD. Looks like 63 minutes of tape is going to take 52 minutes to render. It's actually faster than my desk top computer that I use for the web. Need to clean this out and reload or better yet get a newer computer. Last time I rendered this way on this computer it took 30 minutes to render a 10 minute clip. I had no idea that it would be this fast. Very satisfied so far.


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    Wow. If it renders in 52 minutes I'll be impressed. That said the laptop is more contemporary to the DVX100. It will be interesting to compare how it handles HD footage off p2. Of course if you're using p2 for SD then the only difference should be improved workflow. I use an HVX and didn't get a p2 card straight away so had to play around with tape for a couple of months while I saved up. Haven't used tape since. No messing around. Step 1, drag the files in. Step 2, edit!


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    Quote Originally Posted by Cryogenic Filmworks View Post
    I bought an old Dell 6400 with 4gb ram. First thing I did was change out to an SSD HD. Way faster. I don't edit on it, just use to capture live from my camera (so I don't have to use tape). I am planning to use it to dump p2 cards in a shoot coming up. (need to get that working before next weekend)

    My understanding is that SSD is very fast at handling small files that are frequently loaded in and out like in an operating system. But large files, particularly data are not optimal for the technology and significantly slower than a disk based HDD which are faster at sustained throughput and large file sizes. So operating systems and software like certain games that primarily consist of a collection of small library files will be faster but loading or transferring large data files like video will bottleneck.

    As far as using the p2 cards, if you have a pcmcia slot then all you need is the p2 card viewer software from panasonic. I'm not sure you even need that to just drag and drop the files but it is handy for previewing files and provides a right click menu option to quickly reformat the p2 card.


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    It took 52 minutes and 40 seconds. The processor in here is no more than 4 years old. Seems to work fine.


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    Senior Member rzxrey's Avatar
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    Would hard drive speed matter if recording direct to hard drive from a P2 Camera? SSD vs Regular 7200 Drive.
    D800. BMPCC.


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