01/20/2020 at 06:32 •
The last of the robot was finally scavenged for parts & discarded to free up space. Looking over the intricate mechanical wood work reminded the lion kingdom what a leap it was to go from a pure software programmer with no mechanical engineering or electronic skills to designing that, within a year. The mechanical linkages moving DVDs around were a cut above the quad copters & rovers that came later because they weren't just static cargo carriers changing position. They had to grab & replace objects & travel around large areas with mm accuracy.
08/22/2018 at 08:54 •
Most pirated video still manages to be atrocious, 30 years after VHS, so never bothered with the pirated Xena anthology. Holy hairpieces, it was lightyears ahead of what the lion kingdom spent the last 2 months watching, less in the early episodes but decisively better in the later episodes. It's almost worth watching all 134 episodes again, but the pirated version doesn't include the TV edit of the last episode. It's absolutely terrible when watching a single episode, but the entire series watched from start to finish is quite moving.
Editing out all those commercials, scheduling batch recordings, deinterlacing it, transcoding it, burning it on CD, all before anyone heard of DVD-R, was a lot of work, but most pirated TV shows really don't hit this level of quality, certainly not a show about a dominant female. All that was rendered meaningless in 24 hours. The surviving Xena disks aren't worth keeping around. Most of the other optical disks aren't worth keeping around, either. Every month, they burn ever more on rent.
The unique stuff is just photos, home music performances, late night talkshow sound bytes, really bad home movies, some obscure TV movies, some past olympics.
07/23/2018 at 05:17 •
Then the DVD archive had the John Bell Young recordings.
1st saw his name at the University of South Florida on a sign for a master class, in 1997. Didn't think much of it. Saw it again on mp3.com, in 2000. What outstanding recordings he made of Scriabin & Schumann. It was a rich, relaxed sound, deep into the keys. It was disappointing more high quality recordings weren't made. Always wondered how he played Chopin Etude Op.10 #1 so fast. Perhaps he left out a lot of notes.
07/06/2018 at 00:43 •
Not surprisingly, a lot of files can't be decoded anymore because of lost codec support.
A bit of debugging gets it most of the way, for something which can be bought from Bezos Inc in higher quality.
MPlayer still decodes everything properly, but can't do anything else.
The Xena episodes at 15fps were manely IVTC, so there was no way to increase the framerate by bobbing. The bobbing would work when IVTC occasionally missed, but it usually just showed the fields out of order, making playback studder. It was a reasonable sacrifice to get higher spatial resolution.
After 2 weeks with 3 drives working, all 2TB of data that was known to be unique was transferred. It was easier to transfer everything than figure out what was worth it. Most definitely wasn't worth it. Since many were backups, it was about eyeballing directories to discover dupes.
Tokyo in 2002, a small world to live out an entire life, with little to seek after besides just surviving. It might be why people in even poorer countries than US & millenials travel a lot more.
07/04/2018 at 21:57 •
It's surprising how many videos the lion kingdom has no memory of recording. In most cases, lions can remember making a video on an invention, but nothing about how the invention was made. It's a case of lion intelligence being augmented by machines.
In this case, it was a forgotten 2 way serial port. It sent data over 72Mhz & received data over the audio channel of a 2.4Ghz cam. The cheapest UART radios of the time were $40 & there was no such thing as editing config files on a phone & sending them over bluetooth. 72Mhz & 2.4Ghz couldn't operate simultaneously. They needed a 1/2 second delay between sending over 72Mhz & receiving over 2.4Ghz. It took a piece of heroic PIC assembly language to make it transparent to the user. It was never used.
07/03/2018 at 03:27 •
After 1 week, all the Xena episodes were transferred. They were all on 1 or 2 CD-R's, manely 15fps, Oxygen split screens which could be somewhat increased in framerate by converting frames to fields. Some were rerecorded after the dot coms crashed & Oxygen converted to a sane full screen. Some were recorded from WB.
They used 2 or more encoding passes, to get the file size as close to a CD-R as possible. Only near the very end was inverse telecine good enough to encode a complete episode at 24fps on a CD-R. They were all MPEG-2 video + MPEG-2 audio in program streams, with no B frames. There was no source code for compressing audio + video in Quicktime.
Some had the black levels lowered, but theoretically the lion only lowered to the darkest part of the video. No such thing as histogramming during playback, in 2001. The very last episodes were non standard Quicktime mashups of MPEG-4 + OGG Vorbis, at 24fps, on a single CD-R, in 2004. The quality was lightyears ahead of its time.
Remembered the router had a very slow DVD drive so 3 disks could be copied, simultaneously. Virtualbox constantly crashes when reading the Mac DVD drive. The most reliable drive is a Matsushita in the Macbook. The fastest drive is a Lucky Goldstar.
It was a highly debated move. There weren't any significant errors. For only the price of an Amazon prime subscription, you can view all the Xena episodes in full framerate, full digital, low definition. The only compromise is a lousy player with no dynamic range compression, no bookmarking, & no access once you stop feeding Bezos.
The past obsession with codecs was quite different than working with video for a living. Doing it for a living means creating set top boxes. You're implementing standards on the cheapest hardware available, with almost no regard for quality. There's some concern with making the network streaming reliable, making the GUI as responsive as possible. The amount of information in the number of bits is all defined in standards from long ago, far below the theoretical limits & the GUI maxes out at awful by the price of the hardware. Nowadays, there's little need to max out a codec anyway, since you can throw endless bits into an 8TB hard drive & the artifacts are invisible in 4k.