Archive for March, 2002

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It’s been a while since

March 29, 2002

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. Here’s a few updates.

I registered EV:Nova. Well worth it. I got Virtual PC 5 from work. It’s really nice. Runs in OS X too. I installed NT 4 on my desktop machine and Win2k on my laptop. I *heart* Blizzard because they finally released an OS X patch for Diablo II. There are one or two quirks but performance is actually better than in OS 9.

As if that didn’t give me enough to be excited about, a colleague at work hooked me up with a movie on two CDs. We’re talking a Major Motion Picture, here, squeezed into digital files spanning two CDs. And this particular movie hasn’t even been released on VHS or DVD yet. Let me give you a hint. It got nominated for a lot of Academy Awards and won several last Sunday. It’s 3 hours long. And I really liked it. And now I have it on CDs.

Here’s the tricky part. The genius who originally distributed this beauty thought it would be a really good idea to squeeze the video into it’s necessarily smaller size by using software that almost nobody has. Good thinking, huh? Well, I manged to get the darned thing to play but I really want to convert it to something more ubiquitous and also to compress it a bit more for the sake of playback performance. The problem with doing that is it takes a long, long, long time to squeeze video. I ran a conversion on a 700 MB file over night. It took at least 6-7 hours. The end result wasn’t what I predicted so it’s back to the drawing board. I’ll run another one tonight and see what happens.

In other, other news…I haven’t done any more recording but I have figured out how to compress those files properly. Sheesh. Here’s the same music snippet as a couple of days ago, only now it’s about 1/20th of the original size.

I haven’t even mentioned that I’m on vacation right now. I work at a Catholic university so naturally I get Good Friday off. I then took next Monday and Tuesday off for good measure. That gives me a nice 5 day span in which to slack off. Should be good.

I’m still not smoking. It’s been…oh I don’t know, over a month. I bumped down my nicotine patch the other day. It hasn’t made me feel like smoking as such, but I’ve been more irritable I think. I haven’t lost an ounce in the last week or two. I don’t know what’s up with that. Skipping karate a couple of times and splurging on bad food really matters it seems! 😉

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Recording is fun. Even if

March 23, 2002

Recording is fun. Even if I don’t have the software I want. One thing that’s making me mad though is that I don’t have the software right now to export as MP3 (which is what I’d like to do). So I’m exporting as WAV. The real difficulty with doing this however is that when I try to use any type of compression codec (you know, to make the file smaller, etc) it renders the file unreadable when I upload it to the Web server. Who the heck knows why. If I export as a WAV and don’t do any compression it works fine. Problem is, a file that would be 50k ends up being 1.5 MB. Yuck.

Speaking of stuff that doesn’t work out right, check this little snippet out. Sometimes you just have to laugh 🙂

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OK, this is what I

March 22, 2002

OK, this is what I want. It works, it’s easy, the price is right..the only problem is that it only does one track! Maybe I’ll have to wait for BIAS to release Deck for OS X…and then get work to pay for it.

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EV Nova is a great

March 22, 2002

EV Nova is a great game. The EV franchise is one of those classic timewasters that only come along once every long while. I’m so paying them. Not just on principle but because they’ve disabled tons of cool features in the game until you do. 🙂

Daniel was sick yesterday and I stayed home with him. He rested, I cleaned up, played EV:N, and guitar. I put new strings on the Martin and it sounds great again. I played around with downloadable recording software. I’d really like to fiddle around with recording myself on multiple tracks. There’s several products out there that will do it. I’d like to get one that both works and is affordable. So far not much luck. I tried several that barely function and/or cost a fortune. Is it too much to ask for a 2-3 track recording program with editing features and a couple of simple filters/effects that costs under $50? C’mon, there has to be something. I’ll keep searching. Meanwhile here is a small sample of me fiddling with one of the better one’s I tried yesterday.

Tomorrow I have to go to some guys home and “help him” with his new iMac. It shipped with Mac OS X and he and his wife are a little befuddled at the newness of it. So for a mere $100 I will spend 2 hours with them to get them started.

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Sometimes when I don’t post

March 19, 2002

Sometimes when I don’t post much here it means I’ve been busy. Sometimes, though, it means I’ve been slowing down. That’s been the case the last few days. The whole house-shopping thing wound me up pretty good and I’m trying to find some ballance again.

With that said, here is the latest on house-shopping. I’ve got some new ideas on scraping together a decent downpayment. It sure isn’t ideal, but maybe it will work out anyway. I’m looking for places in Waukesha again, where we’ve lived for ages. Living here is expensive but it’s so worth it if you can manage it.

I’ve downloaded a new computer game called Escape Velocity: Nova. It’s the third installment of a terrific shareware series of games. Huge following. And a bargain at $30. I’ll be paying up the fee just as soon as I get a little more cash on hand.

I’m still trying to eat better and for the most part I’m doing that. Last week was tough though and I allowed myself a few indulgences. I don’t have any problem with breakfast and lunch. Dinner is rough sometimes though. In any case I think I’ve lost almost 10 pounds. While that’s encouraging, it’s really a drop in the bucket for me. I started at about 210 (although I really don’t look it) and I’d like to get below 190 if I can. I don’t know, I’ll have to see how it feels to be 190 again, then decide.

Still not smoking of course. Tomorrow will be…what? 3 weeks? 4? Lemme check. Four weeks tomorrow. Why, that’s almost a month!! 😉

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Thought I’d write about something

March 16, 2002

Thought I’d write about something different today for a change. I got up at about 9 this morning. Ate some toast with the kids and made haircut appointments for the three of us. Then we proceeded to do the dishes, clean the kitchen and the living room. Then I hit the shower. Our appointments are at 1.

Here’s a long story that I’ll try to make as short as I can. (Yeah right.) Last October I bought a CDRW drive to put into my blue and white G3. CompUSA had a deal on a Sony Spressa (140E/CH2 8x4x32) so I bought that. I figured plenty of Sony’s had shipped in Macs so it’d probably work fine. Besides a drive is a drive.

And for the most part that’s true. In fact I could have used this drive without any difficulty whatsoever IF I happened to use a 3rd party CD-burning utility like Roxio’s Toast. But I don’t like using those. I like using Apple’s built-in CD buring functionality. And even doing that it worked great for burning CDs. Haven’t made a single coaster yet. Problem is, the drive isn’t bootable. Weird, huh?

I do some searching at xlr8yourmac to no avail. Until a few days ago. That’s when I read a submission to xlr8yourmac which described my exact scenario with my exact Sony drive and my exact symptoms. He said he fixed it. I decided I would do as he did and see what happened.

According to this guy, all he did was upgrade the drive’s firmware “from 1.0c to 1.0s.” Sounds simple enough. I check my own firmware number. It’s 1.0n. Since “n” is before “s” I figure I need the update also. So far so good. He also said that the updater had to be run on a PC. No problem. I got tons at work and I even have friends that use Windows 😉 Anyhow I go to Sony’s Web site and find the support page for the drive. I don’t see any firmware updater there. Next I figure I’ll chat with a Sony tech, see what they know about it. Here is the transcript.

Sony: "Hello, my name is Jill. May I have your full name and phone number please?"

Me: "Scott Feldstein (262) 542 0131"

Sony: "What is the full CRX model number of your drive? What version of windows are you running? What is the mhz of your system? Is this a Pentium II, Pentium III, Celeron or an AMD processor?"

Me: "it's the CRX140E/CH2 ... and this part gets strange....because I'm putting it in a Mac (which I know isn't supported) but I happen to know it will work fine with the latest firmware update. Just can't find the bugger"

Sony: "There are no firmware updates for this drive. This drive is not supported on a Mac."

Me: "that's very odd since I just read that another guy updated his CRX140E from "1.0c to 1.0s" mine reports "1.0n"

Sony: "Sony does not have any firmware updates for the drives. I don't know where he got the firmware update, but we would not support the drive if a firmware update has been run on it. But then, we also won't be able to support it on a Mac."

Me: "okie dokie then. I'll ask him what the deal is. thanks anyhow."

Sony: "Thank you for using the Sony Technical Support chat service. In a few minutes, a transcript of your chat session will be emailed to the address that you provided at the time of login. Have a nice day."

So I’m freaked out now. What had the guy been talking about? I go back to xlr8yourmac to re-read this guy’s comments. Lucky me, he had actually posted the link to the actual updater he used! I send my friend John an email asking if he would consent to slapping this drive into one of his PCs for a few minutes so we can run this puppy. We’ll see what happens. I’m optimistic.

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Crestview was unimpressive. It just

March 15, 2002

Crestview was unimpressive. It just didn’t feel right. I don’t think we could ever live there. Back to the drawing board. How about Grafton? Or maybe Big Bend? I don’t know.