Monday, May 26, 2008

C it now or C it later

Got a few more posts to put up before the day is through.

Cheated on the Bar-b-que front.  Dropped by the local smokehouse and picked up some brisket sammy's.  Yumm.

Let's see 160 tapes x 3 hours = 480 hours of encoding?

I saw this interesting device this morning:

ION USB VCR - Last Chance To "Be Kind & Rewind" - Retro Thing

The very first VCR movie we rented was Stripes.  It's pretty dated now, but it seemed really funny at the time to a impressionable high-school kid.  All disestablishment and attitude. Good stuff. I'm not sure what the first Betamax movie I saw was.  Probably Murder on the Orient Express.  Think it was a two-tape version.

We probably have at least 160 VCR tapes and movies around our video-library. The vast majority are Disney material.

They take up lots of shelf-space and it just isn't very convenient any longer to pop them in and watch.  We usually keep a blank VHS tape in the deck to capture the occasional show, but nowhere near as much as we used to.  And no.  No TiVo yet in the Valca home.

I don't know what the legal ramifications would be for changing out our VHS tape collection and converting them to a DVD-based codec format.  Probably illegal, despite the fact we own them and you can't find VHS movies anymore in any store.  I think a few pharmacies and grocery stores still stock blank tapes, but even these are getting a bit harder to find.

I wonder if any GSD readers have suggestions or advise on porting VHS tapes to a digital format.

I don't know which system I would want to use. The Vista system has 2x the RAM as my desktop, but I've got a 500GB drive in my desktop system and the AMD Athlon XP 2400 chip is still pretty fast.

I haven't really done much research into video capture devices yet.  Would USB 2.0 be fine? I'm not sure I could find a PCI card for my desktop unit any longer.  What codex format should I use?  I would probably want to find something that would work on both the laptops as well as our Sony DVD player.  I suppose I better dig out the manual.  At close to 160 or so tapes, that would be many, many hours of encoding work.  I would really want to find a balance between quality and storage space on media.  Especially if I went ahead and burned them to DVD.

Probably will be one of those projects I think about doing, but never follow-through on.  That works out to about twelve (12) 40-hour weeks worth of encoding.  Not sure I have that much free time.  Better stock up on a few more VHS desks while I can still find them.

Reminds me of a great scene from the Cowboy Bebop series (Speak Like a Child episode 18) where Faye gets a package that contains a Betamax tape. So the boys go on a hunt for a player. Turns out they find a VHS one so it's not compatible.

Hello Mars!

Last night when we got back from taking Mom out to a birthday dinner, my little bro and I sat in her living room watching the countdown for the Mars lander.  It was pretty fun doing that as a family.  I'm not sure how attended the show was on CNN, but we thought it was cool.  God bless those poor engineers and planners who spend all that time building and programming the thing, then have to pretty-much sit on their hands until it gets there.

No pressure!

This image was incredibly cool


Image credit: NASA

It shows the Phoenix Lander parachuting down to Mars as seen from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance orbiter.  I just can't seem to get my mind around the fact that one orbiting satellite was able to capture a second one coming down to land.

NASA - Phoenix Mission Page

NASA - Phoenix Images

Twitter / MarsPhoenix - The Mars Phoenix Lander Twitters!  Who knew?

Phoenix (spacecraft) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

YouTube Shenanigans

So the giant "D" Silverman led me to waste considerable time on YouTube again yesterday.

He had posted a funny South Park spoof of Mac vs PC:

That led me to the "sequel" for Mac vs PC vs Linux:

And since we run a Novell network shop, I would be remiss to leave these Novell creations out:

Novell Launches Pro-Linux "Get a Mac" Spoofs - Cult of Mac from

Who knew Linux was a girl?


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