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The Archaic Archive Archive: 2017
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The Archaic Archives
Archive: 2017


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January 2017

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite

Happy New Year!


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 elucidate.

The audio tagger works well. However, you have to type everything in. In contrast, Audio Tag Tool, reads the file name and fills in lots of the info automatically. Anything I have to type, I can do in a fairly repetitive way with cutting and 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 removal 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 dialogue is quirky; you have to press the button twice, although it may save on one pressing with the second pressing 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. 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 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 tags were 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.


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February 2017

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite


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-colony 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 knew 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. 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 would have been 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 are the first reality. 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, are very forgiving, or don't care. Or you're like, "Star Wars, what's that?"


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. Should the need arise.

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 either 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 they were covered or moved out to a closet.

In 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 LaserJet ML4 printer. There is 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 Bose speakers and a Betamax VCR.

A recent unpacking and setting up is the Optonica Linear Tracking Turntable. I needed a cable set to reach around to the mixer. I set it up where the boom box used to be. 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 an opened circular connection on the ground wire of the Optonica. I then crimped a closed circular connection on one end and an open circular connection 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 ground 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 am 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 it. 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.


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March 2017

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite

Happy PI Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!


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 is 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 bought all the ones I got until this past year locally. Many were at grocery stores in the 70s when they had their Halloween stuff out. I actually got Famous Monsters Speak from Sears. It was in their record stacks and it wasn't even Halloween!

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 should have been 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, even though 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 on the end would help. I could place the platter drawer in before placing the needle down. That would be nice.

Linear Tracker.

The linear tracking turntable would give me an easy way 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. The 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 turntable 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). Anyway, it has worked out well.

I use DAK's Wave and MP3 recording software for one simple reason. It takes very little disk space and very little memory. WAVE Recorder records a .WAV right to disk which is nice, but it 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 annoyance, but certainly not a deal breaker. I usually use 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 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 track 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 too bad if you have clear visually of the splits. 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, for instance 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 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
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 now 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, extension (.wav, .mp3, etc). (2019.12.14 NOTE: I put track number on just about all file names now, as it sorts the tracks in order.)

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, 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


Brian Crosthwaite


I have yet to find out what has happened to Zoule, 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, and 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 switch 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 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. It has been 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 have traditionally done this work. It is 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 ones on a single 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-it 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.


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May 2017

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite


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 and the Amiga. (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. 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. No, 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


Brian Crosthwaite

Forward into the Past!


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:




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July 2017

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite


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:


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


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August 2017

Archaic Computer


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 nothing 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!


The Film.

I use the Palm Trio 700p. Franklin Covey, Froto, PalmUAE, CaSTaway, pTunes, are just a few of the softs I use on 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 the playlist on the 4Gig 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 maxxed 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.


Audacity lets 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.


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.

As 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 reverses 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 limited harddrive 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


Brian Crosthwaite


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 into 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, however 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 whatever the option is) and after the check, I could resume booting. It states that some graphics drivers might not load (I suspect mine didn't since the system said 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 seems 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 are 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 we 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.


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October 2017

Halloween -- The Factual History.


Brian Crosthwaite

I remember when we first moved to the Amber House. It was the beginning of October. It was the end of an era.

That year we set up a haunted house that was amazing. It was themed. You had to find the candy and get out before Dr. Frankenstein finished his creation. When kids rang the bell or used the giant brass knocker, I'd answer the door in my cowl and beckon them in, welcoming them in, telling them of The doctor's fiendish plan. A storm was raging all around from the stereo (or perhaps that was the year we started playing One Dark Night on the SX-64 hooked to the TV/Stereo, giving flashes and thunder like a thunderstorm).

I lead the visitors throughout the house (upstairs only) through Madam Leota's Parlor, passed a slab with body parts, etc. Then we had to get passed Witch Helga in order to reach our goal of finally finding the candy. Her cauldron bubbling over (with dry ice) was on a table that had candy on it in a smaller iron kettle.

We'd turn to go and there (Honor House's 7ft, Glow in the Dark Eyes, Monster was taped to the doorway) behind us was Frankenstein's Monster! We'd dash around it and duck into a secret passage (behind the upright piano) that lead straight out to the cemetery (graves and such that were positioned around the front door entry so that when you came in you couldn't really see them) -- standing in the graveyard was none other than Death herself! We dart among the graves and out the real door where outside near the front were more graves since we had a graveyard amongst the pyrocanthia.

It was the last year that people came into our house. Society had changed. People no longer knew the people in their neighborhood. Parents (or at least more parents) started driving their kids around in cars to go trick or treating.

I grew up hearing stories of razor blades in apples and the like. Most of which were classic urban legends. But we always walked, and we knew most of the people either personally, having seen them from time to time, or they knew us, since they knew our parents. Society changes, and sometimes those changes are not necessarily good. Before the era of AC, air conditioning that is, when it was hot, people would go out and sit on their porch. They talked to their neighbors; they knew each other. That lack of AC forced people out of their houses to get out of the stuffy hot house and outside.

While that is not the only catalyst for this phenomena of not knowing, it really played a big part.

Halloween became different the following year, no one came into the house. So the decorations were more for the family, and those who looked up from their bags being filled. We got new neighbors one year who had an amazing outside display. We looked forward to seeing what lie inside. We were disappointed when there was nothing. We learned that this was the modern haunted house -- it was an outside display.

One neighbor setup in their driveway, so as you approached a canopy /garage you walked through a "haunted house." So some people are able to cope with the new society. We continue inside for us and outside for all.

Halloween -- The Fictional Story.



Brian Crosthwaite

I knew he was mad the instance he opened the door. But what kind of madness was it? I did not know. Was it a passion for some composer? Was it a religious zealous? When I found out, it was too late.

It was early spring of 1880. I was looking for escape. I just need to get away from the world. My wife had left me shorty after the death of our only child. It was a pain that neither of us could bear and it tore us apart.

I had heard there was a place in the mountains not far from where I grew up, a peaceful valley. There was a small village of a handful of people. Perhaps I could find refuge in such a place to sort out the wreckage of my life.

I set out on a morning with snow on the ground, but I could tell it was leaving. The air had that new warmth to it, warmer than it had been for quite awhile. I was on foot and on my own. I had a bundle of clothes and a few items to see me through the journey. Anything else I'd hope to acquire from the village.

It was only a day's journey on foot. When I arrived the sun had already set. Despite the time of year, the snow had been dripping all day and there was no sign of it anywhere. The village looked to be a nice place, as far as I could see, my sight aided only by the light of the moon.

I looked for a place that I could lodge at, but despite the early hour (it had grown dark) for you could hardly call it night time, I found no lights on. I walked for a while and found what appeared to be a center, perhaps a small park. It was there that I felt the strangeness that had settled there. I heard no sounds. No voices, no animals, although one could hardly expect to hear creatures in the evening. I did expect to see perhaps a dear, for in the spring evenings I have often spied such in areas of this land.

It was a bit unsettling. A sort of foreboding was washing over me, when I caught a glimpse of a light! It appeared to be someone carrying a lantern walking way from where I was. I hasten to catch the person, in hopes of gaining information on lodging.

Alas, they vanished into a dark wooded area, that I could see no way to gain entrance. It was then, I saw a rather large house, out past an old church, beyond it's graveyard. It was a daunting structure, some four stories high. I was taken aback for a moment, then I realized that among all the places this village held, this was the one place that had light coming from it, and I caught a whiff of smoke. Perhaps it was an inn!

I quicken my pace and soon found a huge brass knocker which I engaged at present. It echoed across the valley, but was a lonely heavy sound. None the less, there was an answer, a man about my age, perhaps only a bit older opened the door.

His eyes were afire and seemed either to be very glad I was there, or had been expecting me. Myself, thinking he was the innkeeper spoke thusly, "Good evening, might I have a room for the night? I've come a fair distance, but have no bearing for where I should be. You see, I have come to visit your humble village, but with no other accommodations past the plan to arrive here."

His face erupted into laughter, and I can hardly say that I have blamed him, for my formality was not only undue, I have no forbearance as to why such speech would be uttered from myself or anyone for that matter.

"Lost are you?"

"Well, I hope to be." I broke into the torrent of woeful story. It was during this dissertation that I came to realize I was not at an inn, but a private household. But he welcomed me, none the less.

"What be your pleasure here?" His question was easy enough.

Bewildered, I replied, "I have told you my story. I guess I just need to find my bearings. In a spiritual sense I guess. Oh, don't think I'm running away or anything of the sort...." I left my words hanging there, then, "I guess in a way I am. If you'd be so good as to point me to the nearest Inn, I'd be forever in your debt."

He grabbed my arm and held it tightly. I wasn't sure if he was holding me in a friendly or threatening fashion, for if his grip had increased, it surely would have been painful, "ye be staying here, 'tis a storm coming," he let go as a horrendous crash of thunder shook the enormous house. He stoked the fire that strangely leaped to a roar.

I had not really noticed it before, but there was a fire going when I first entered, but it was one of those things one does not notice as out of the ordinary, that is to say, the fire seemed of a cozy nature and not out of placed in the chill of the evening. But now it roared as of to counter or cancel out the storm that was now raging outside.

And that storm, I hadn't noticed anything of a storm on that evening. It was perfectly preternatural how it was suddenly there and appeared to be at full force. For lighting now flashed and revealed things in this house I had not yet seen.

It was not dark in the house when I first entered and there was nothing of the ordinary. It was in point, a plan average house hold, perhaps some of the furnishings were more elaborate than those of myself and most of whom I am familiar with. But now, I saw what appeared to be an Iron Maiden -- a death casket that when opened reveals it's interior of knives that point inward. The sole purpose is to torture by placing a victim in side and closing the doors. The implication would not kill one, but inflict the greatest pain of being partly stabbed in multiple places at once. Perhaps death would eventually come after many hours of bleeding wounds, while the victim endured agonizing pain. Perhaps, the mere threat of such a device would bring confession from anyone wanting to avoid such unpleasantries.

There appeared to be the pipes of an organ at the far end of the room, which I came to realize was an enormous hall. The far wall was lined with pipes, centered by a massive organ. I saw chains in the next instance of flashes, some of which looked to be hanging with skeletal remains. In the center of the room there appeared to be three pine boxes, I could smell the fresh timber now -- caskets!

My host must have sensed my growing fear, he quickly went to the large chandelier that had already been lowered, and striking a match started lighting candles. As the room grew into light I could no longer see any of the things I saw in the flashes that had entered from without.

He turned towards me, his eyes fixed in a far off way, like his mind was elsewhere, but when his glance fell upon me, his face lit up and my friendly host was back. Could I have imagined these things? A torture chamber with a pipe organ -- surely I has much more fatigued than I had realized! Yes, for the hours had slipped away and I had traveled for a long while, and my soul was weary.

It seemed clear at the time that he had taken pity on me for he asked if I would join him for his evening meal. Realizing how tired I was, my hunger came into light and I accepted. He had just set table and said it was no trouble to add another plate. It was at this point that I inquired of the location of an inn.

We entered a dinning hall, an entire room set aside for eating. The place of food preparation was off in yet another room. I spoke of my amazement, at the enormity of such a house. My host, told me a glimpse into his story. He inherited the old place from a great uncle he had never met. He was an only child, and so forth. He said the only inn he knew of in the area closed after the murders.

I inquired as to what murders he referred to.

His story began to unfold as we settled in to what appeared to be an enormous banquet. He had just married. It was a marriage of convenience. He barely knew the woman, and she was struck down by a strange fever and had died shortly after they wed. This enormous house was their only home together and it only lasted for a few short weeks. It was about that time the murders began in the village.

We ate as he spoke, some of the most delicious delicacies I'd ever eaten. sweet meats, sausages, a roast to die for.

Such a remote place, lucky to have one inn, yet it was the old innkeeper and his wife that had been found brutally murdered first. "It was ghastly," my host's eyes went off to that far off place, "they were not sure if they had found all of their remains."

I felt a dreadful ill ease. I wasn't sure if it came from my host or his story. When his eyes came back to our time, he spoke as if dreamy, reminiscing of the past in a nostalgic way that fueled my discomfort.

A brilliant flash filled the room, brighter than the candles on the table, I could clearly see the wall lined with chains, wet chains, dripping wet chains. They were dripping with blood! The image vanished and I realized the only food on the table was meat. Various dishes carefully prepared. Artfully even. I realized I hadn't gotten my host's name, perhaps a change in conversation, would ease my weariness.

But that question was not to leave my lips as in the next instant my host, was standing and in the next instant with the very knife he had carved the main dish he was upon me!

I felt the cold blade against my breast as I jumped back from my chair! The chair fell as I moved away as fast as I could. He was around in front of me blocking the door to the main room! I dared not to go any other way. I was not about to get lost in that huge mansion, of who knows of what labyrinthine magnitude. I certainly did not, for I was fully awake at this point. I grabbed a chair next to the doorway and swung it sideways, smashing it hard into my host! It was then that I realized the true nature of my host.

He stood some six feet tall with broad shoulders. He was a massive figure, who somehow seemed gaunt and feeble when I first arrived. Was that a product of my fatigue? The truth lay before my eyes now like a well lit summer's day, for I was fully well awake.

The chair had little impact upon my host turned pursuer. But it did give me an opening as his body swayed to the left enough for me to run by, neigh bolt through the exit to that room. I ran to the door, the very entrance to that nightmare. But he had somehow managed to once again block my way to exiting. He stood before the door, and as lightning flashed with an almost instant deafening rumble the room lit up once again, exposing the horrors I had seen before. This time the bones, were fresher with flesh still on many of them. The flesh appeared to be ripped from much of the bone and blood was all over the walls and floor, and I could see in the dying light, in that one instance, reflections in the pools of blood -- the terribly dismembered once human beings reflected as whole living people, with screams of terror upon their faces as the floor went black again.

I reached out for what appeared to be an old empty bird cage suspended from a stand. I cracked him on the head with all the force I could put into it. This time, he put his arm up to receive the blow! I was not at all certain that this was a natural being or one born from a preternatural evil. The iron cage gave be the space I needed to leave that infernal palace of death. I shot out into the darkness, and ran as far and fast I could until I could run no more.

My exhaustion finally brought me to a halt as I lessened my pace and went from walking to staggering and I finally fell to the ground and rested against a tree of some stature. My heavy eyelids closed. Sleep freed me from the night of terror. I was free at last. But that was not to be.

For in an instance I was seized by my collar and brought to my feet was if I were a small boy again. My eyes opened and fell upon the face of my host. He smiled as if he was welcoming me as that weary traveler I once was. Terror seized me again and I planted my foot well into his chest and pushed with such veracity, despite his grip on my arms and the tearing of my coat and even the skin beneath it, I broke free and dropped to the ground. I ran.

I ran less blindly this time. Toward where I remember the village had been. Soon, I saw an enormous structure. It was the house I had fled earlier that evening!

I skirted around it and made for the village in the same direction I had gone before, for surely it lie in that direction. Despite my thinking I was going in a straight line of travel, I once again came upon the house yet again! How could this be? I was getting turned around in the night. I would need a guide, but stars there were none. The only light was the raging storm. The raging storm. How long was I out in it?

The wet air was cold. I started walking, taking a more methodical approach to navigating the landscape. I was in a thick forest of trees, yet, not too think to walk through. I stopped to survey my surroundings and in a flash from a distant bolt I saw my pursuer off in the distance, yet coming my way. I hastened my pace and made a turn into what appeared to be darker forest. The trees opened up and I soon found the house of terror. I, frantic in my possession, turned to make another direction. I pressed on and in a flash saw my pursuer once again. I turned yet another direction.

I was in the thick forest once again. I was once again greeted with a flash that revealed that I was heading in a straight line for my pursuer! I turned yet again, in this terror game of cat and mouse. My thoughts ran thusly: Recalling the speed he was moving in the house, was he moving the same and not yet had the opportunity to surpass my path? Was I truly alluding him?

I purposefully turned to the direction I thought the house lie. I turned again, and started running. The flashes of the storm were subsiding at this time and a steady, gentle, albeit cold, rain fell. I saw a light!

It was not the same as before, it came from a barn. I had broken the spell of the nightmarish forest and left that retched house behind! But what of my pursuer? Where was he now? Had I truly alluded him? I approached the barn with caution. This was not a time to let my guard down.

I peered around and saw what appeared to be an old man milking a gentle, brown cow. I took the sight in for a moment, not sure weather I should break the spell of calm and peace within. I step forward and in a most friendly voice, despite me fatigue, I spoke.

"Good morning."

The farmer was only a little startled, which was my intention, despite my alarmed state, I wanted to not come across as mad man. For if indeed I had spoke at the rapidity and emotion that befell the turmoil inside myself, a mad man would I be took.

"Why, hello. What brings you to our barn in such a wee hour as tis? Seek yer a parting of the rain. Ye be welcome." He had hardly looked up at all, but tended his business.

I wove a story the likes he had never heard. Or had he? He looked at me as if reminded of something from the past. Something from the passed that he may have wanted to forget.

He listened, then stopped milking suddenly, staring straight forward, not looking at the cow before him, nor at anything else, save something deep within his mind.

He retold the story of brutal murders some 65 years earlier; a savage man who tore his victims apart and devoured their flesh. He didn't eat them raw, he cooked them, carefully prepared them and set a lavish table. Many in the village had succumb to his brutality and had perished, before the law had caught up with him and killed him a violent struggle to apprehend him. He had apparently eaten his new wife. It was upon hearing this that a well of nausea waft over me, I turned from the barn and braced my faint self against the barn and lost the contents of my stomach into the bushes, for I had dinned with this brutal cannibal!

I didn't stay to talk to the old man. I stumbled off into the darkness, into the rain. The realization came upon me that I had met upon what must have been a ghost. Nothing more than a ghost. I could not have possibly eaten someone killed over 65 years ago. It was more of a dream. That is all that made sense. But then I came upon a church graveyard. I saw names and date upon the stones in the growing light and became sick once again.

I have never told anyone of these events, until now. It is only to you, Fr. Riley, that I can convey this horrid truth, here upon my death bed. I have not consumed human flesh... ...since that day.

The End.

Archaic Computer.


Brian Crosthwaite

Closer To The Dream?

Nikon D3400 DSLR.

Ok, so the film to digital in one day thing was nice idea, but it was not to be. I love the idea of using my film cameras to do a shoot, doing an instant developer, then scanning the film into digital for doing darkroom work on my computer. If it had worked, there still would be some delays.

There is that "wait and see" aspect you get with film, so there is a delay and a not 100% sure if the photo was got. Now, there is certain amount of faith one has when shooting film. And it is backed by the fact that I can correct many under or over exposures in the darkroom. Of course, scanning negatives that are too light is a problem, if not impossible.

Then there is the wet film. You still have to wait for it to dry. I have no idea at how long the Polaroid film needed to dry, since I never got any good use out of it. I suppose I have the info around, but it is moot to present here, since, unless someone was able to freeze the developer packs and thaw them for later use, well... they can let me know.

Then there is the scan. You have to load the negatives into the scanner and scan them. All this would take time and even if it is little time, it all adds up.

The Reality Of It.

Isn't it all about the lens? I mean really, when I got my hands on the Kodak DSC420, it was all about shooting with my old Nikon lenses. And that was time consuming, since I had to pop the card out of the camera and access it via RAW drivers to get images I could use onto the computer.

It didn't take too much time that doing it was not enjoyable. Even in the shooting of film that I took to a store to develop, it was still enjoyable.

My biggest concerns with digital photography are using my old lenses and lighting.

With the Kodak DSC420, I can use the old Nikon lenses. However, the focal length of my lenses changes by a factor of 1.7. What this means is my nice 24mm wide angle, becomes a 40.8mm lens. Hardly a wide angle at all. This is because the digitizer is smaller than the frame size of 35mm film. Which is a major bummer! There is a payoff though, my 300mm telephoto becomes a 510mm telephoto! Which is waycool. Unless, of course I need a 300mm telephoto, then I'm screwed.

This all became moot once the Kodak died. I think the battery (a propriatary item) died; it was old and tired.

The other concern came about when using my Cannon Pixmate (basically, a nice snap camera). I'd go to take a shot of a sunset, it would look really nice in the viewfinder screen, I'd take the picture and it would do one of two things. 1. It would go dark. The result was just an almost black image. Or 2. The place where the beautiful colors were would wash out to white. This is something that happens on my scanner was well, but at least I have a fighting chance to correct it somewhat, albeit nothing like the original in richness of color.

Nikon makes some full frame cameras. But they are really, really, pricey. Really, pricey. They also made (I could not find any reference to this in currently manufactured Nikon cameras) cameras that basically shot two images at once and made a composite of the two images. Setting exposure for the darker area for one image and the lighter area of the other image. Then the composite would be an overall better exposure, giving you an image closer to what film would give you.

I have found a model of camera a year or two back when we were looking at getting a better camera, that was an older model back then, but was still around in stores. It was not, a full frame camera and I decided it might not be worth it.

Well, time passed and I came across the Kodak. It's battery didn't last long, shot only RAW TIFF images, and was no where near small nor lightweight. It would probably cost more for the battery than I payed for the camera. I think I spent more on the PS than I did on the camera. I did some fun photo shoots with the Kodak, most notably the 1970s lens slide show posted a while back. Then, of coarse, the camera died. It took my 128Meg card with it.

The family got me a Nikon D3400 DSLR for my birthday. And things changed.

Lets start with addressing my concerns.

The focal length factor is 1.5. So my nice 24mm is a 36mm. :/ But, the camera came with an 18mm to 50mm lens, and it is not too bad. Actually, in point of fact, it is a fairly crappy lens! Ok,so my 300mm is a 450mm lens. Ok, this is cool, because the other lens that came with the camera is a 70-300mm lens. This works well. Now, just for fun lets put the 18mm on my film camera. Wow -- it's a 12mm ultra wide angle lens! Ok, I think I can get used to this.

Looking at the Kodak, it takes the same type auto focus/aperture lenses as the D3400.

The D3400 has some fun features that set it aside from film and bring it into the 21 century.


Snapbridge is an app on the iPad that links the D3400 to the iPad via the camera's and iPad's Bluetooth. It can be setup to auto download pictures from the camera. Or, you can just select pictures to download and then download them. I have it setup for the latter, since my music fills up much of the iPad's space. I have used it with the auto DL. That is cool, I shot a bunch of photos then sat down in the van right afterward and checked out the pictures. The camera does have an LCD screen for viewing, but you really don't get a true sense of quality from it, since it is squishing a gigantic picture onto a tiny screen.

Snapbridge also can auto upload pictures on to Nikon Space, where they are available online. Snapbridge on a phone would effectively connect your photo adventures almost live for family and friends at home while you are on vacation. It's kinda cool. Snapbridge lets you do full size or 2 mega pixel photos for sharing. I use 2 mega pixel usually because of memory restraints.

Getting the photos to the ThinkPad.

To get the photos to the ThinkPad, I have to pop the card out of the camera and then read it as I would any other card or use the USB cable risking running out of battery (batteries are removed from camera to charge, so there is no hooking the camera up to power during this operation).

EZ Share.

EZ Share is a WiFi solution designed to give just about any SDcard supporting camera lacking WiFi WiFi. There are two flavors of EZ Share. With memory and without memory.

With memory has varying options from, I believe, 4gigs to 32gigs. Without memory, you provide your own micro SDcard, ranging upto 32gigs. I found an economic way for me was to use my own card and get the EZ Share without memory.

The EZ Share WiFi microSD ADAPTER CARD is a great way to add a link from your computer to your camera to view and download images. Your camera becomes a WiFi hot spot, that you connect to as you would any hot spot. Open your browser and type anything in the URL line. A page will load that displays your images.

Depending upon how many you have on your card, you may have multiple pages of images. There isn't a way to display all of them at once (unless mobile mode does - I use classic mode). You can click on images to see full size, or at least a bigger image. You can also select for immediate download, or hit a check-box to select more than one.

At the bottom of the screen you can choose a button that says download selected, or download all. Download begins almost instantly; just as any download with a browser, you are prompted on what to do (open or save). The files are put into an archive and downloaded as one file, that you will need to unarchive to access the pictures, if more than one is selected.

It is fairly quick. But not as fast as plugging in some cameras and simply moving the files over. In order to keep the hot spot active, the camera must to be in preview mode. I set my preview at 10 minutes and if it takes me longer, I simply display the next picture on the camera, thus restarting the count down to power off.

The card slot in the adapter lets you use a card up to 32Gigs in size. It is considerably cheaper to buy the adapter and use your own card, rather than buy an EZ Share that has it's own memory built in.

This setup does not auto send images to your camera. It only lets you access via a browser (unless there is some software I have not seen).

This card allows me to grab only the images I wish to put on my hard drive.

Then I move over to GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program). GIMP has lots of image manipulation tools, such as rotate (by 100ths of a degree), prospective fixing, layer manipulation, brightness, contrast, saturation, threshold, despecle, sharpen, motion blur, etc. There are gobs more of other operations.

My usual tools.

I am used to Photogenics SE, Personal Paint, Image Studio, and more recently Image FX. These are all Amiga PRGs. So what is the process to get photos to the Amiga? I used to SAMBA photos from the A21p to the 760ED then access the photos via the Amilink as any other HD on the Amiga and go from there. But for what ever reason SAMBA has stopped working on the network. It kinda died quietly.

Samwise, an IBM 570 ThinkPad used as a file and print server has always had screen problems. I didn't have a monitor to plug into it so working was hard. The screen can be coaxed on for only a few seconds at a time, so it was only through the network that access was made.

On Samwise, stopped working. SAMBA is pretty intermittent. I have not been able to access the remote desktop at all. To make matters worse, this was one of those 50% hand installs, meaning I had a live CD that did the initial install (of Xandros no less). I then did the rest manually. Either converting packages or installing all dependencies by hand. Getting on line, grabbing packages, installing, then following the list of dependencies to manually install, more often than not needing to install dependencies that the dependencies needed, often several layers thick.

Samwise has a nice flat screen HP monitor it shares with a commodore 64. We end this part of the saga here.

Moving pictures from the HP camera was fast, and the Amiga handles them really well. I used to just plug the camera's card into the PCMCIA slot and read the cards straight off. When the cannon came along, the pictures got bigger, and the jpg structures changed, so only ImageFX could handle them. Personal Paint could too, but more often than not I'd run out of memory trying to load them. Jpegs are small until they get unpacked. You need memory to do that as well as memory to put them in. ImageFX has virtual memory that can usually handle larger images. If I can manipulate things as IFF-ILBM, then the sky is the limit.

I shot some smaller pictures on the D3400 for the sole purpose of getting in with ImageFX to play with it's beautiful prospective manipulation. The images really pushed the Amiga and resets were often called for, either by me or by AmigaOS, thus slowing the process down immensely. Forget full size 24.1 mega pixel! The Amiga has only 57Megs of RAM, allegedly, due to the wrong memory stick installed when it arrived all those years ago. Perhaps it is time to remedy that and see if that helps. The big problem is most of these PRGs, perhaps all of them, only use chip RAM which is at it's 2meg max.

This memory expansion is on the list, but will have to wait for several months on the back burner. Meanwhile, I'll just have to GIMP along.


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November 2017

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite


I'm on Darth Vader (MacBook running Kubuntu 14.04) going through the enormous stockpile of photos I took on our recent vacation to Washing DC and Colonial Williamsburg. There are lots of pictures and most are ginormous 24.1 Mega Pixel, 6000 by 4000 pixels in size. deBerry with her messed up Linux install can handle it, but this CPU is a dual core running at a higher rate of MHz.

Meanwhile I've decided Locutus needs to be running Kubuntu 16, rather than Kububtu 9. 9 was not able to update and was virtually impossible to install software on. I had trouble with some of the manual installs, particularly getting any thing having to do with mp3s doing anything. gstreamer wasn't doing it's job. No errors reported, real stable install, but no .mp3 audio. Wav, ogg, etc.

I opted to get a pre-burn DVD. There was a really nice package on eBay, clearly a Kubuntu distributing agent. Basically at cost, two DVDs with 64 and 32 bit versions of version 16 on them. I wasn't sure if the 64bits would install; when I had upgraded before to 12 and it said it was 64, rather than two CPUs at 32.

Anyway, turns out that the 64 was not correct (I highly suspected such as I was pretty sure this was a 32 bit machine). 32 bit works well, but install initially wanted to do fully take over all the drive, or resize windows, but not install over the old Kubuntu. Manual had some troubles, too, but I was finally able to delete the partitions I wanted to install to (including swap and main / ) and reformat, taking over the drive right were I wanted it.

Locutus, a DELL Inspiron 9100, now has a current working Kubuntu version of Linux installed.


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December 2017

Archaic Computer


Brian Crosthwaite

Happy Holidays!


Billions and Billions of photos.... ok, thousands and thousands of photos to go through. We recently stayed at an Air B & B in Washington DC and spent several days visiting Smithsonian Museums, the Capitol, the Zoo, and more. It was the family vacation of a lifetime.

It all began in the afternoon around threeish. Antony, Xavier, Isaiah and I loaded luggage, including several bags of food, and a folding cooler on wheels, along with ourselves into Nanny's Escort station wagon and we headed off to Salt Lake City to catch an early train to Chicago, then another train to DC.

The boys and myself took the California Zeffer to Chicago and eventually DC while the girls and Mia went via the Big Van. We met up in DC at the Air B & B where we stayed for a week or so, then we all loaded into the van sans Antony, who flew back to Salt Lake to drive home, and were off to Colonial Williamsburg!

We stayed there for several more days. We were gone for a total of 18 days. Natasha and Octavia were not able to come, however Octavia (as well as some family fiends) took care of the animals.

I had anticipating the need for storage space before we left so I picked up a Sandisk 32GIG thumb drive. I needed it. I slowly filled it with the many pictures I took. The Nikon was set for 24 mega pixel mode, so the pictures are kinda large. I filled the drive. Plus another SD Card.

Before we went, I had the opportunity to run the video camera (mostly make sure it was on the speaker) at The Idaho 2017 Discipleship Conference. I was also instructed to take pictures of everything. I did. I had so many pictures from the three days it was a long process to get it down to less than 100 for each day. I think in the end I had 75 one day, 44 an other, and 35 the last.

The point is, between the size of the pictures and the vast quantity, it took a long time to go through. There was a fair amount of cropping, light corrections, etc to do. It was one of the first things I had to do when we got back from vacation. I edited and converted the videos to ready them for posting.

We got back on October 30th and I think I got done in mid to late November. I had actually started before vacation.

Now I am working on getting through the enormous number of photos from the vacation.

Museums don't always have the best light...

This Just In:

Boot Mystery Solved!

I have been baffled by the Kubuntu 16 on deBerry for a long, long time. The update left the system buggy and one of the biggest bugs is that it would not finish booting the desktop. I'd log in, things would start loading, apps previously running would open up, then bammers -- I was back at the login prompt. Booting in recovery mode let the system bootup, but if I was in KDE the .xsessionerrors file(s) would fill up the hard drive.

What a pain in the behind ender!!!

Well. I have been messing around with Locutus and Darth Vader (a DELL Inspiron 9100 and a MacBook, respectively) and got 16 up and running on Locutus. I have two Kubuntu installs on Darth Vader. One is actually called Bilbo. I have been thinking of trashing the Bilbo install and just using the space as a place to put data. Note, that's data -- not Data (I know what you're thinking, but that's the DELL -- this is the Apple we're talkin' about here).

So I did an experiment and got it to update to 16. All works well on both systems. Then one morning I was booting things up and launched Teamviewer 7 and was surprised to find myself back at the sign in prompt. I logged in and went about my business, not really sure if this was the same bug deBerry has; all seemed well. Then I thought, "Hey, I haven't launched Teamviewer yet." So I did, and a few seconds later, I was back at the sign in prompt!


So, I later go in on deBerry in recovery mode and closed Teamviewer, and unchecked it from my auto start list. Reboot in not only regular mode, but KDE as well and it booted all the way!

I now have my video drivers online and video playback works well again!!!!!!!

Next was the nasty errors file, as that still happened.

I worked on lots of fixes and the only real solution to work was to limit the size of the error file. The fixes I found online have long since been implemented by those authoring the rc file for X -- Xsession. The default is 5Gigs. Wow, if they think that's a small size for a log file.... a 5gig text file won't open on my system, a 3Gig one won't either.

Fortunately, when you reboot (logout, powerdown, etc) the file gets cleared out. There might be an .old file made, so that has to be purged from the HD as well -- by hand.

After major experimenting on several key things, I did manage to make the system unbootable. Crap. I back tracked and removed or put back everything I did and notta.

So, a clean install came about.

Rewind back to that system that revealed that Teamviewer was blocking boot. I had also done a clean install of 16 on the DELL. I installed Teamviewer there and everything had worked. I have, since this discovery, tried removing Teamviewer from the non-booting system, but never got it to work.

This requires more investigation. Clean install to 16 and all works, update to 16 and Teamviewer is a boot blocker. Plus you can't launch it post boot, as it drops you to login. More later? Don't know.

I have done a clean install on deBerry and Teamviewer boots up and all systems are go. I've only added the softs I want, as the old install had lots of experiments and softs that I just never used.

For now, all is well.


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