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This page was updated: September 4, 2017

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January 2017

Archaic Computer

by

Brian Crosthwaite

Happy New Year!

STARDATE:2017.01.02:

Audacity. The DAK audio suite is amazing and has lots of really cool things. However there are problems. Not necessarily bugs, but well, let me illucidate.

The audio tagger works well. However, you have to type everything in. In cantrast, Audio Tag Tool, reads the file name and fill in lots of the info automatically. Anything I have to type I can do in a fairly repetitive way with cutting and pasting, and re-pasting; it is easy. Whereas the cutting and pasting in DAK's is a bit of a pain since it opens up one window per track.

I recently moved the the DAK suite over to Dampier (where I think it started). The Depopper was well configured on the other computer, through much trail and error. The defaults make a weird "tubular sound" sort of like listening to the audio through a long pipe. It sounds weird. But I tweaked it and all was well. But when I moved over to Dampier, I had forgotten about the weird sound. Before I got a chance to mess with settings, I started playing with Audacity. Using noise reduction, I can sample the noise I want removed, then remove it. I can use the click removeal and sometimes noise reduction again and the sound is really good and clear. So I tried recording in Audacity. Audacity on Win2000 (I'm running 1.3 beta) eats up drive space, perhaps it is writing a .wav file. DAK's editor, however, does not use loads of space. I like the control of Audacity during editing, but the recording in DAK is a must on my small system.

DAK's timer record works well. When you are done you can save as .wav or .mp3. The save diolgue is querky; you have to press the button twice, although it may save on one pressing and the second closes the box.

I have recently gone to the pages of old issues of Famous Monsters of Filmland to re-browse the Captain Co ads for records I had wanted to purchase long ago, but didn't. Arch Olbler's Drop Dead, King Kong, Planet of the Apes, to name a few. I then searched eBay for copies since most are probably out of print and Captain Co, no longer carries them.

I have a very nice digitized version of King Kong now. I didn't even clean the record (some thing I used to do religiously upon the arrival of a used record. I did zero Stat it and Silicon Cloth it before placing the needle on it. The copy I received was in good condition, but was used and there were a few crackling sounds. Audacity removed them completely.

I haven't looked into the documentation for Audacity, so there are many things I don't really know about it. So this warrants further investigation.

A Tagging Mystery.

I went to put The Firesign Theatre's Nick Danger and the Case of the Missing Shoe on my playlist. I saved it via Audacity 2.1.2 on my Linux boxer. I used Audio Tag Tool (also on Linux). I made tags with names like "A_Case of the Missing Shoe," "B_Case..." so that my player would sort the files in A, then B, etc, so when I played the files in the playlist I'd get one part of the story, then music, maybe some more music, then another part of the story and so on, to spread the episodes out through out the playlist.

I got to the first file and it played (I hadn't noticed the name), then right away the next file played, so I looked and all the tags said "Case of the Missing Shoe." Hmm. Opened them in Audacity on the PC (win2k) and my new tag names with the "A," "B," "C" designators were there. What?!? Opened the files in Audio Tag Tool and sure enough, my new tag was still there. WTF?!?!

I finally figured out that the 2.1.2 or perhaps the Linux version tags a bit differently. So I opened up the files one at a time on the Linux box and re-saved them with my new names. Now I looked on Audacity's web site and found that the metadata edits are done using FFMpeg's frame works. And I know that Ubuntu no longer officially supports FFMpeg, in fact on my last install to 16.04, I had to re-install FFMpeg by hand as it wasn't even in the 3rd party stuff. So there might be something there. I have changed my procedures for tagging audio saved on this box. I do not fill out the metadata and only use Audio Tag Tool and have had no problems.

I find it interesting, that all my players saw the tags that the Linux 2.1.2 Audacity used. The players would see the other tags only if I didn't fill out the 2.1.2 box at save. So perhaps all the rest of my tagging softs are behind the curve.

...END OF LINE.

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February 2017

Archaic Computer

by

Brian Crosthwaite

STARDATE:2017.03.07:

The Room.

Voyageur Studios was born from, well a GE cassette recorder. I was gonna say a commodore 64, but that is when this evolution got it's name. It was one of those 10 second decisions. I knew that during the early, pre-coloney days, before the US was colonized there were French settlers who took (potential) trappers into the wilderness to trap.

Trapping is where you set snares and other small traps to capture small animals for the fir trade. These Frenchmen were called Voyageurs. They new the territory and where to trap. They knew how to traverse the land, especially through the snow. So they not only would lead the trappers and teach them, they did so at great cost. They new the hazards. They knew how to get about safely.

When I decided to give the Studio a name, it just popped in there. Kinda like Voyager the space craft, and yet perhaps more, or at least different.

The light switch requires a decision, one Google was promoting for a while, Light Side or Dark Side. Light Side turns the light on and Dark Side turns the light off.

Next to the light switch is the second lightsaber I ever owned, Mace Windu's purple blade. The first lightsaber I ever owned I made out of a heavy cardboard tube, about the size of a lightsaber turned off, for it has no "blade." I made it by drawing on it. All fight sounds were made by way of mouth.

Mace's lights up and makes battle noises when swung, clashing sounds when struck and the hum when at the ready. Kinda cool.

Just a note.

For me there are two Star Wars realities, as far as film and series goes. The original three, Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Those movies I have on wide screen VHS as I saw them for the first time in the theaters. In the titles there is no Episode names and the first was Star Wars and not A New Hope. The other Star Wars is the Episode series, and much to my disdain they ruined lots of stuff, no need to get into here as you either know what those are, can't see them or are very forgiving of script whole in general and don't care. Or you're like, "Star Wars, what's that?"

Anywho.

There are various lightsabers on the walls either on hooks ranging from picture frame hooks to the custom hook I devised for my spring loaded Darth Vader lightsaber. I also hang a couple with clips designed to hold flashlights. Those are the coolest since you can just grab a saber off the wall and start fighting.

The studio also has a Rolling Stone poster featuring Princes Leia and other Star Wars entities. This poster came free with the issue that sported the same photo on it's cover, in fact, it is just a blow up of the cover. Somehow I wound up with two of these.

There is a Tron poster from the original movie, the from Scholastic's Dynamite or Bananas magazines. There are other oddities around. A Native American baby that my Mom drew in charcoal when she was 12. At least that's what I recall her saying. She really could draw well. There is a Saturn V rocket (yes, you can pull the stages apart), a shelf full of Famous Monsters of Filmland, several Universal Movie Monster Aurora models and a couple of the Disney's Haunted Mansion series models. Lot's of other things like, the winged creature from, I think it was, Aliens. Lots of fun stuff. I used to have the Honey Combs glow in the dark post of the Creature of the Black Lagoon and several Gortraits put up, but they were scary and the adopted kids don't need scary so there were covered or moved out to a closet.

But the heart of the Studio, are several pieces of equipment set up in strategic places. There is a Yamaha keyboard (with nice pressure sensitive keyboard), hooked via MIDI to an Atari Mega STe4 and a Realistic Phono/Mic/Line Mixer that runs to an IBM A21p ThinkPad. A VHS VCR, a commodore SX64, and open lines running to a switchbox making a stereo audio and video connection to an IBM R50 ThinkPad. A commodore 128D (20MHz accelerated, with MIDI to a Casio 540 keyboard) hooked to an HP ML4 laser printer. Another C128D with both audio and video digitizers and an IBM thermal printer for printing banners. There are also a C64, VIC-20, Amiga 1200 (accelerated to 49MHz and 52Megs of RAM) hooked to an HP ScanJet IIc and a Sony stereo with Betamax VCR.

A recent unpacking and setting up is the Optonica Linear Tracking Turntable. I needed to a cable set to reach around to the mixer. I set it up with the boom box used to be. So the cables need to run around the PET4000, C128D, R50p, A21p and R50. A good 18 feet. It's only about 4 feet from the Optonica to the mixer, but my chair is there ;)

I got a 20ft audio video cable with male RCA connectors at both ends. I crimped on a opened circular connection on the ground wire of the Optonica. I then crimped a closed circular on one end and an open circular on the other of the yellow video part of the cable set. This way I have right and left stereo audio wires of the right color. I then put a double ended female RCA connector in the the stereo cables on the same end as the closed loop connection. I got a small screw and nut with a couple of washers and connected the closed loop to the Optonica's grown wire and plugged in the audio cables into the newly adapted connection of this audio video cable. I carefully ran the wire around said equipment and hooked it up to the turntable connections on the mixer.

I was ready to test it all out.

I got my next project loaded (I an currently digitizing records as I collect them). Turn on the machine. Pressed the play button and the turn table didn't spin. Ahhh! I need to lube the time. The same thing happened to my GPX. I oiled it, and got it to running, but even that didn't last long. I really need to clean and lube with a decent turntable lube. More to add to that over the top list of stuff needing done.

...END OF LINE.

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March 2017

Archaic Computer

by

Brian Crosthwaite

Happy PI Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

STARDATE:2017.03.07:

I have been slowly collecting the Super 8mm movies from the Universal Cannon. I love film, but decided not to go crazy with collecting. I have all the basic Frankenstein titles. I would like to add Doom of Dracula (scenes from The House Of Frankenstein) and Frankenstein's Trial (from Ghost of Frankenstein) to this set. I hope to eventually add The Wolfman, The Mummy, and possibly The Invisible Man, and silent versions of the Creature of the Black Lagoon and Dracula. I have sound variations of the last two, the creature in a 400ft 3-D version!

I have also been acquiring what I have considered holes in my Halloween Record collection. These are records that are not necessarily Halloween Records, but have old radio shows and such on them. Many of these were found in adds in the back of Famous Monsters of Filmland. I had actually bought all the once I got until this past year I bought locally. Many were at grocery stores in the 70s when they had their Halloween stuff out. I actually got Famous Monsters Speak from Sears.

I stumbled upon Halloween Records on eBay.

I think I was looking for a particular Gortrait and started finding Halloween Records. So I started searching for them. I soon found many of the records I was searching for. That was a no brainer!

I have no idea why it hadn't occurred to me to search eBay, or even the iNet. I used to have time now and then to go to thrift shops and that is really where the bulk of my post 70s/80s finding Halloween Records took place. I have recently found an unopened Suspense! Bela Lugosi album! This is indeed a rare find.

Now, One of the albums I started looking for was An Evening With Boris Karloff and His Friends. Many postings have it for $80! -- are you kidding me?!?!?! These posting are still there. I suspect they will be until the sellers give up. I found one without the original jacket for $4 and then later found another for $8 that has the jacket.

This has prompted me into getting the linear tracking turntable going. Although the Fisher turntable works perfectly well.

The big problem is the glass door. I run a headphones line from the headphones jack on the front of the stereo out to the mixer. The jack is on the left side and the door swings to the left. The open door is basically swung open into the middle of where I sit. I can move around it, but it is in the way. :/

A 90 deg angle plug end would help. I could place the platter drawer in before placing the needle down. So that would be nice.

Linear Tracker.

The linear tracking turntable would give me an easy was to slip the record in and start record on the computer and start play on the turntable. But I have yet to service it.

A set up of lone ago.

When I first got my Fisher stereo back in the 80s. I lived in an apartment. and most floors were wood and susceptible to vibration. I was thinking in terms more of the stereo at higher volumes (what I call Concert Level) vibrating the floor, skidding the needle cross the record, and you know it would be AC/DC or Scorpions that would do it. So I mounted the tr=urn table on the very bottom as low in the cabinet as possible, thus reducing any possible intensified movement from the cabinet moving (think of the bottom moving little and the top swaying more freely and thus moving more). Any way it has worked out well.

I use DAK's Wave and MP3 recording software for one simple reason. It take very little disk space and very little memory. WAVE Recorder records a .WAV right to disk which is nice, but I is a wave file and takes up drive space. Audacity uses drive space as well. All three softs have many cool features, but the DAK softs do the job in less space.

The DAK softs can only do a timer recording after a fresh software start. Small anoiance, but not a deal breaker. I usually record timers set at around 20 minutes since most record sides are less than 20 mins. I can walk away from a timer recording and even forget I'm doing it and everything is ok. I can later trim off extra silence. If I happen to be there when the record ends I can just hit stop to stop recording and make my file save smaller. .MP3s save relatively small. I use a standard of 44000/128 as many softs default to that and most .MP3s come in that sample-rate/bitrate.

I use the DePopper to remove pops and any 60Hz background sound. Then finish with Audacity. Now, if I have multiple tracks I will use the Holy Grail Song Splitter, also of DAK fame. It will load a simple side of a record in and (hopefully) split the file into the proper tracks. There is an editor that lets me make adjustments to the tracking splitting. I can move splits, and can add splits or take them out as needed. There are a couple of things that are annoying about the softs, but not to back if you have clear splits visually. The editor lets you zoom in to see better if needed. You do have to grab the splits to move and that can get tedious as the pointer changes and does not appear to be in the right state when you grab a split, then you can only move it on screen, you can't just grab it to move, say to the beginning and have the display scroll. You move it as far as you can, then you drop it and manually scroll the display, grab again and move as far as you can.

To add a split, it plops it dead center then you have to manually move it to the spot you want it, rather than simply mark the spot then pop it in. To remove a split you have to count from the first split (1) to the number of the split you want to remove, then you select that number from a list in a dialogue box. Kinda tedious but not too bad. I don't recommend doing the whole file this way. HGSS works where as VINYL never worked and the trackers, as they are called in DAKs Wave and MP3 Editor, that mostly don't work.

The Holy Grail also lets you edit names of all the tracks in a window, that is really nice. I open a text file with all the track names in it (I get on Google and get a track list, when I can, and cut and paste it into a text doc, edit it then copy. Open the tag window and the copied text appears and you close and it's in place! When I save the safe window lets me put album info in as well as a graphic, like album cover, and save. It asks to make folders too, if I'd like them.

What's in a Name?

I used to hate the folders my old ripping software made when it ripped a CD. I preferred to have all the information in the file name. I tended to go back and forth on this over time. Here are some examples:

05 - The Edgar Winter Group - They Only Come Out At Night - Frankenstein.mp3

Great file name. I can search it by album and all the files in the album will come up, I can search by Artist and all of that artist's songs come up, or I can search by song title and the song I'm looking for will come up. Sounds great, right?

But, I can do the save searches with folders and have shortened file names and get the same results. Here is a fake list of folders with the aforementioned album's folder open (listing only a couple of the tracks):

Crosby Stills Nash and Young
Pink Floyd
The Edgar Winter Group
  They Only Come Out At Night
    Autumn.mp3
    Frankenstein.mp3
    Freeride.mp3
ZZ Top

When I started ripping, I was not doing all the same artist or my thoughts would differed on the matter since it makes since to me know to do it the latter way. I can go to a folder by a given artist and look for things more efficiently, if say I was just manually browsing.

I usually tag with track numbers, even records. I do not usually designate side one or side 2 (or 3,4,etc) I just continue as if the numbers continues onto the next record. So track 2 from side two might become track 8 as it is the eighth track in the program. Sometimes I put track numbers before song titles -- sometimes not. It depends on the recording. Stories or audio books I'll number, it just makes things easier later.

I do only use the order above for the long names, that being:

Track number, space dash space (I separate all info with space dash space), Artist, space dash space, Album, space dash space, Track Title, dot, exstention (.wav, .mp3, etc).

1x CD

The powerhouse Amiga (Amiga Escom 1200, 49Mhz) has a Blizzard 1230 which is a SCSI interface. Plugged into it is a 1xCD ROM/AudioCD reader. It can play AudioCD and has a headphones out and volume control on it that has as of late, caught my attention....

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April 2017

Archaic Computer

by

Brian Crosthwaite

STARDATE:2017.04.12:

I have yet to find out what has happened to Zoul, the commodore 128D. I have a hypothesis and that is it might be the RAMLink and not the PS. I'd rather it be the PS, since I can't get the other RAMLink working, but it would be easier to deal with.

The last thing I was able to do was way back when I published string math. I unplugged the HD and hooked it up to the C64 to access the tools and files needed for the project. Since then, the C128D has sat idle with no diagnosis done on it. If my hypothesis is correct, all I have to do is pop out the RAMLink and witch in the on-board JiffyDOS chips and off I go. Not quite, I'll be RAMLinkless and all that will entail.

If it is the PS then I'll have to tear the system down and that will not be pretty, not that a failed RAMLink is pretty. I'd rather has it be the PS that has failed since I can affect repairs myself and have lots of experience doing so on this system. The biggest roadblock of course, is time. It will take time that I don't have. Hence the system sitting. I have had the longest down time on this machine ever.

I have been digitally recording LPs and that is where some of the little time I have had has gone, but even that has slowed way down. Much of the slow pace is apathy perhaps. I an usually tired midday when I has traditionally done this work. It a quiet restful work, but having these kids, who are healing, slowly, but they are healing, takes a lot out of us and I have lost a lot of energy I associate with motivation.

:/

It is time to clear out the projects. I have these piles that are projects. The piles have become those piles I never wanted to have in the studio. The piles are breaking the No Crap policy I have. For instance, over by the C64 are several shoe boxes that contain disks that need to be gone through. This should have been a one year project. But! Something came up, then something else, then I started another project, and something got set on the boxes and they became a nice place to set stuff that, "I'll get to later."

Let's see, what projects have piles? And not just up and coming, or even half finished projects, but finished projects. I made us all Autopia licences, by scanning Autopia cards, then getting into GIMP filled in the info on the backs and pasted pictures in place on the front. Then printed them the right size, with multiple on one sheet to save paper (not easy) then laminating them. There is a pile of rough drafts and misprints where the scale got messed up, kinda messing with my plan to not waste paper or ink for that matter. Well, lets see...

It would be nice to get the projects done (defining done as in a state where goals are met and all the post project debris gone.

With several fix projects waiting, the laptop rebuild, the PS replacement (C128D), investigating the C64/RAMLink situation, these crap piles in the way; I think it is time to eradicate them.

...END OF LINE.

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May 2017

Archaic Computer

by

Brian Crosthwaite

STARDATE:2017.04.18:

It was bad enough when Google changed their logo from a beautiful Times Roman font to a Stupefied Version of Helvetica, but the new SSL came along and got implemented. Unfortunately the Amiga community got left behind. At least I did. Major freaking bummer.

But what does this mean? Well, I use Image FX and the HP Scanjet IIc+ to scan things for just about all our scanning. It has become less, though, since you can get a fair enough representation of, say checks, with an iPhone. But I would scan, open iBrowse log into Gmail and email the scans to what ever account they needed to go to. Pretty simple, and relatively quick. Well, with the newer SSL that is no more.

Now the older browsers on Windows work with TTL, but this trick appears not to work with Google. (perhaps more investigation can happen here, since I can get into places like YouTube on Windows 2000. That is not logged in, but loading pages and the like. But there is a solution, albeit, not a quick one.

A while back a friend gave me some old PC software that included Norton's PC Anywhere. PC Anywhere is very similar to Teamviewer. I can remote control computers as well as move files. The Amiga, is set up with PC Link software and hardware. This lets me place my scans (or an other file) found on the Amiga on to an IBM 760ED ThinkPad on the other end of the PC Link cable. I can actually save right to the ThinkPad's HD from Image FX.

Once on the IBM's HD, I can get on the IBM A21p ThinkPad and access the files on the 760ED, and thus move them over to that computer's HD. The 760ED has a keyboard that is fairly choppy as it most likely needs cleaning and running Windows 98 isn't setup for much since the SSL change. But, I can get through to it via the A21p. Once these files are on the A21p, I now have the option of emailing or sending via Teamviewer to another machine for printing, etc.

I have scanned a couple of children' books on the Amiga, moved them over all the way to a 3rd computer (this one, the X41t) and made them into PDFs. Now we can read them electronically.

This reminds me of the Amiga laptop project. I had set up a Linux box that boots to UAE (Ubiquitous Amiga Emulator) as it's only GUI. It was going well. It was basically up and running. I it had some drawbacks, like there was no SCSI port, no Amiga joystick/mouse post, etc. But it had a great display and was portable! I think I may have inadvertently wiped the drive and installed something else on it as I was looking for this install a couple of months ago and never found it. Not I didn't look in the 760ED drives; it is possible it was that long ago. I have a couple 760 series machines I could use to look among those drives.

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June 2017

Archaic Computer

by

Brian Crosthwaite

Forward into the Past!

STARDATE:2017.05.30:

Here is a flashback to the 1990s. Join us, as we travel back to the turn of the century. No, not that century, the next one -- try to keep up.

The Futile Gourmet on YouTube.

Long Time Passed.

This is a timelaps filmed on VHS via a Panisonic OmiVision Camcorder, way back in April of 1994. The Camcorder shoots timelaps at 1 second every minute for up to 10 hours (several sequences of shooting may have been done here). Single frames were digitized from the stream from each second to make the video seen here. There is no audio:

Here is the YouTube link:

TTFN!

noesis0

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July 2017

Archaic Computer

by

Brian Crosthwaite

STARDATE:2017.05.30:

New switch for the power strip!

This power strip had a bad switch and, well, it's a great strip, so I bought a new switch and installed it:

Here is the YouTube link:

Crap!

Forgot to check the connections before assembling -- what a twit! And, of course, one connection was not complete, leading to this follow up re-solder of the power strip. The hot lead slipped and formed a cold solder. :/ Time to re-do:

Here is the YouTube link:

And you saw that right, I solder both right and left handed.

...END OF LINE.

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August 2017

Archaic Computer

by

Brian Crosthwaite

Wow. 20 Years of AC! Wow.

It has been 20 years, since my fist posting. The iNet was not new, but the concept of shopping online was. It was a time when people hadn't quite figured out what to do online. I recall lots of web pages that were noing more than text with a company's name, address and sometimes phone number on it. Some even had the company's logo or even cooler a picture of the store!

I'm sure there were online shopping carts, but not many. Wow.

Happy 20 Years of Noesis Creation Everybody!

STARDATE:2017.06.28:

The Film.

I use the Palm Trio 700p. Franklin Covey, Froto, PalmUAE, CaSTaway, pTunes, are just a few of the softs I use one this old, but venerable smartphone. There are, of course, many others. pTunes is one of the PRGs that gets a lot of use on this device. For years I have maintained a playlist on the 4 Gig card that takes close to 6 to 8 months to play all the way through. This playlist has many songs and albums that, if removed, come back as regulars. The Gold from the Corsairs is one such album.

On the playlist we have many movie OSTs (Original Sound Tracks). Ranging from Moana to Rock of Ages. For the movie Mamma Mia, we've had the original Hamburg stage production, the movie, and what I call the originals. I went through gobs of Abba music and put together a collection of .mp3s that are the original Abba songs in order of the songs on the movie OST.

Recently I got the idea to rip the songs from the movies themselves. Having collected many musicals over the years, this seemed like a unique, but logical idea. The easiest way to do this was to start with either a DVD or a digital version of the film.

The first one I did was The Rocky Horror Picture Show. It was probably the easiest, since I have it on VHS and digital. I just took the single .avi (or whatever) file and ran it through WinFF with the output set at audio/.mp3. This was done on the R50 ThinkPad, since that's setup for working with video. It's the machine I use to digitize our old VHS family tapes.

Next, I moved the file to the Linux box (the X41) and used the CLI softs mp3splt to make the file manageable by splitting it into 15 minute long .mp3s. I opened Konsole and CDed my way to the directory with the .mp3 file, then entered:

mp3splt -t 15.00 RHPS.mp3

I don't recall the file name, but RHPS.mp3 is giving here as an example. This split the file into several 15 minute files that could be easily managed in Audacity. I then found the songs by looking at the display and playing certain areas of the file. It wasn't hard to find the songs as they displayed much fuller than other parts of the movie. I left much of the dialogue in when I chose what to put into the file I was saving. This gives you a flash into the scene of the movie where the song takes place.

Sometimes, the point of beginning was clear and others there would be lots of sounds going on, depending upon the movie, like the ocean, people talking in the back ground and other sounds. In that case, I would just highlight from what I deemed a good spot to the beginning of the song, go to the effects menu and select fade in. This brought the sound in from silence making the start of the song cleaner. I did the same at the endings of some songs that had similar things going on at the ending, only I selected fade out.

I then highlighted the song and maxed out the volume, using amplify. Audacity does a great job of this without clipping (by default). After maxxing, I select export selected and saved a new file as an mp3.

Tagging.

Audacity let's you tag your .mp3 files as you save them. You can load and save the tags themselves. This makes life easier as you save parts of the big file into smaller .mp3s files. I save the first tag I fill out. Then, when I go to save the next .mp3, all I have to do is update the track title and track number for that song. I also have a text file open that I made to keep track of the track numbers and song titles, adding as I go. I have been giving the songs new titles to distinguish them from other versions of the same song. This saved me time as I didn't have to look up any titles I didn't know off hand.

Back to that save feature.

I save the first title's tag as the default tag.xml, but any name can be used. I use the default so I don't have to select the name since it is pre-selected when loading. The reason to save the tag file is thus -- when you load the next big chunk of the movie (.mp3 file) to pull .mp3s from, you will not have to retype all the tag info. Saving also helps if there is a crash since the recovery feature does/might not save the tag of the recovered file. After loading the next big file, when you go to save that first track your tag box will be empty sans the track number, then you load the tag.xml file, and update the title and track number as before with out having to re-enter all the rest of the info.

Edits.

Some songs have other songs overlapping. On some of these, I saved both songs as one .mp3, and on others I faded out, saved the first, then undid the fade out and did a fade in and saved the second. It's just what makes the most sense/personal preference.

Some minor points.

I work my way through a file, I highlight the song, amplify it, then export the highlighted area. When the dialogue pops up to select file name on the first save, I hit the sort header at the top column of the title field. This reverse the alphabetical listing, thus reversing the track order -- I put "01 - " before track one. Some people might not want the track number as part of the file name, but this is nice for when you list the album on the computer, sorting by track order. I don't always do it, but it helps me keep track on the fly of what track number I am on. I also add the track titles to the text file before exporting, so I can cut and paste from the text file as I keep track of what titles I'm giving songs and mapping where I am in the project, updating the text file as I go.

After I save the song, it is still highlighted in Audacity so I click on the top frame of the application to make sure it's the current app, then press [ctrl][k]. This deletes the highlighted song I just saved so it is out of the way. I remove areas of the file I am done with as I go, so I am only dealing with parts of the file I have not yet explored/saved songs from.

As mentioned above, when I load the next big file, I reload the default tag.xml file when I save the first file since it will be a blank tag, saving having to retype all that info.

When I reach the near end of a big file, quite often there will be a partial song, no biggie, I just open the next file, since at this point the previous file is small enough to have open at the same time with no problems. I can then copy and paste the missing part into the previous file at the end (pressing [K] will move the cursor to the end of the sound file) from the newer file. After all is saved, everything I no longer need is still highlighted for deletion in both the file I just saved from as well as the file I copied from.

When working with Audacity I have found that opening the next file is quicker from the pull down menu, rather than closing out Audacity first. This might not be an option on systems with less memory or hard drive space.

I think that about covers it. Enjoy your visit to the movies on your mp3 player!

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September 2017

Archaic Computer

by

Brian Crosthwaite

STARDATE:2017.07.12:

Well, I had this Linux box running well. Really well. Kubuntu 14.x.x Had no problems. I could plug in a VGA cable and hook up to either the trailer's or the house's flat screen TV and we could watch movies. They played perfectly. The system logged in to Kubuntu just fine with a straight boot. Everything worked as I configured it, the screen rotated, etc. Ok, there was a flaw, probably my bad, the Cell Writer didn't save it's configure file for handwriting recognition. I'd have to retrain upon reboot.

I had configured Cell Writer to run before login. I had it working, so I could use the stylus to log into the computer, and when I updated to 14 and all the rest of the tablet features magically started working, Cell Writer had stopped.

Upon updating to Kubuntu 16.04 things went bad. There were no errors reported. Nothing seemed to have gone wrong.

The first thing that happened was I was not able to login. The login screen would appear, I'd type the password, and it would go on it's merry way booting up the rest of the system. KDE would load and things would start appearing on the dock/tool bar, etc and then after a while, just about when you would expect the system to be ready, the login screen would appear.

I could log in again and again, but the results would be the same. Try Gnome. Same. The only way I can log into the system has been to boot in recovery mode. At first I had to choose an option, like check drive mounts (or what ever the option is) and after the check, I could resume booting. It states that some graphics driver might not load (I suspect mine don't since the system says I have a different card than the one in the computer). But the system loads and runs. In KDE I was getting my HD filled with X error logs. 640 Megs, simply crazy.

I haven't been plagued with those lately (I have been updating the system periodically). But KDE is dog slow, so I have been using Gnome. I have done many attempts at fixing things, mostly through the Kubuntu Grub entrance, but nothing I have done has seemed to help, except cleaning up old files.

My video playback is sluggish and I can watch stuff on the HD via Dragon Player, but online videos or playing VLC is not really a thing. The audio works well. I have lost single click from Dolphin (it is selected) and PACPL is not in the action menu, although it is in Konquror's menu.

I have a plan. It is really ugly though. I thought I'd get a DVD of Kubuntu 17 and see how well, it runs on this machine. If it works well, when the LTS (Long Term Support) version comes out, I'll do a fresh install and redo month's if not year's of custom configuring. I will also max out my RAM. Not sure what I want to do for sure at this point. I really miss how fast this machine was with 14.

Every now and then I come across the pix of when was watched Star Wars from this machine, hooked up to the big screen TV, and I used my iPod (via Teamviewer as a remote. Ahhh, those were the days.

...END OF LINE.

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