Tag Archives: Air

Heathrow Gatwick link

What about a Heathrow Gatwick link.

There’s been lots of discussion recently about the expansion of air transport capacity in Britain, and whether or not Heathrow should have a third runway or perhaps build a new airport somewhere in the Thames estuary. Gatwick only has one runway, however there appears some legal restriction stopping any development of a second runway there till 2019.

However there’s one thing that has been discussed a little bit in the past but seems to have fallen by the way-side and that’s sorting out a fast rail link between Heathrow and Gatwick.

At the moment Heathrow has a fast rail link into Paddington and Gatwick has its train service into Victoria. Both have coach operators doing shuttles into central London and Heathrow is also on the Piccadilly line of the London underground system.


However, though these two airports are only about 23 miles apart (line of sight) there’s no good quality connection between the two. Going by road involves about 40 miles of travel, this includes part of the M25 and generally over some of the most congested roads you’ll find anywhere. (It would not take much to turn this 40 mile journey into a 2 hour drive.) Going by rail involves heading into central London, changing, going around London, then to change again for the final leg out to the other airport.

Getting a fast rail link between the two could cut journey times down to about 15 or 20 minutes so enabling you to treat the two airports as one. (It can take this length of time to get from one Heathrow terminal to another, so to have your ‘other terminal’ at Gatwick would not slow things down very much.) Facilities could be shared such as checking into one airport covers both locations, and could allow for more efficient use of the existing runway resources.

It would not solve the long term problem of lack of runway capacity, but a Heathrow Gatwick link could certainly provide that bit more flexibility in the operation of two of the world’s busiest airports.

Final Cut Pro X

 Final Cut Pro X

It’s now around six months since I got my copy of Final Cut Pro X.

A bit of history. My first video editing experience started off with Windows Movie Maker, but I soon wanted something that could do a bit more, and could also do HD. I mucked around with the 14 day trial versions of various programs and eventually settled on getting CorelDraw’s VideoStudio Pro X2. Cheap ‘n’ cheerful and did a competent job.

It didn’t take long to settle down to some basic YouTube video editing, and I could see that this, for the money, was quite a powerful editor. However it’s one thing to be a powerful editor, it’s another for the user to know how to use these powerful features, and perhaps its one biggest weakness was lack of availability of really good on-line tutorials.

I must have had it about a year (6 months of getting to know it, then 6 months of getting frustrated with it!) when I decided it was time to move on, with the priority on not just finding a good video editor, but an editor with good tutorials!

It was then by chance I came across Izzy Hyman and his www.izzyvideo.com web site. Here was a place with some really well presented tutorial videos on 1) making videos in general; 2) using Final Cut Pro 7; 3) using Final Cut Express. This was exactly what I wanted. The cost of Final Cut Pro 7 was way out of my budget, but Final Cut Express, at student price, was affordable. This also meant a shift from Windows to Mac (which was something I’d been thinking about anyway), and through the help of a friend I got hold of a 2nd hand MacBook Pro. This MacBook was a couple of years old and not exactly ‘high spec.’ but ran Express quite nicely.

It was about 7 or 8 months after this that Final Cut Pro X came out – and met with a very errrr…. ‘mixed’ reception! The pre-release press comments had been quite favourable, however when it came out they gave it a serious slagging. A lot of this was because they had thought that all the new features in FCP X would be in addition to / on top of all the existing Final Cut features, but on release they discovered that quite a few features considered important by the film making community were now missing. However for my use these missing features were not important and Apple had priced it very competitively. Izzy Hyman very quickly got onto his site some really good Pro X tutorials, so upgrading for me was an obvious thing to do.

The install went without a problem and it appeared to run smoothly, however the window that displayed the actual video stream only displayed it in what looked like 16 colours (the editing & other windows were still in full colour). After a bit of investigation it turns out that my MacBook had a compatible graphics card, but Pro X wanted 256 meg of RAM minimum where my machine only has 128 meg. Though a pain, this was not the end of the world, I was surprised though that the Apple app store / iTunes had allowed me to install it on a below spec. machine.

After using Pro X for a while I also realised another reason why some of the ‘professional types’ didn’t like it – it was too easy to use! Here was a powerful bit of software that had, with it’s new drag ‘n’ drop interface, taken out a huge amount of the mystique of video procuction, and at a cheap price too. It really has speeded up my routine of processing a video. Selecting which bits from different clips and adding titles and effects has not just become easier, but so much quicker.

I have since upgraded to a MacBook Air which runs it very nicely, this now means I can get most of my editing done on the train journey back from things like YouTube gatherings, which is nice.

So if anyone is thinking of a move from their basic editing software to something a bit more powerful, check it out. I certainly have no regrets, even though I had to change operating systems too.