amedia: Curlicue of butterflies on black background (Default)
I haven't made a Gratuitous Icon Post in so long, I had almost forgotten what it stood for!

Now that I've already made a bunch of posts about songvids, I finally got around to making a suitable icon! :-) It's an homage to the older vids that I've been digitizing, hence the stopwatch, VCR, and cascading pile of tapes. Here's to many future uses!
amedia: (geek)
I have a bunch of videotapes that I'd like to convert to DVD - things like the Shining Time Station Christmas special and the Harris/Dietrich pimping tape. I don't think my computer has the horsepower to do it digitally, so I'm thinking about getting one of those machines that's basically a videotape player and a DVD burner together. (I think Go-Video makes one.)

Has anyone used any of these? Can you recommend a good one? All input gratefully received!
amedia: (geek)
We found a special issue of Cinescape from 2001 in the garage that included a roundup of the movies from the year. We had fun going through them and adding a bunch to our Netflix queue. The magazine strongly recommended this movie, a 48-minute anime from Japan, so we added it.

more comments, no spoilers )
amedia: (Court Jester - I C U)
I sent the laptop back with a description of what went wrong, and got an email saying that they couldn't reproduce the problem. From talking to people at the convention and online, I got the impression that something had been jostled loose in shipping, and that same something probably got jostled into place when I shipped it back! The policy on their webpage says that if there's nothing wrong with the laptop, the customer has to pay shipping and handling to get it back, but their email went on to say that they would replace the laptop, which I thought was pretty darned nice. I had been prepared to fight - I took photos of the laptop with the error message before I sent it back and planned to send them if there was a problem - but it turned out I didn't have to.

So I get the replacement laptop today and a thought struck me. "You know," said I to myself, said I, "I sent mine back with a full battery, which means I wouldn't necessarily have to plug it in just to see if it starts up." So I went ahead and turned it on before I dug out and set up the power cord. And what do you know, it started up. "Mine had very tinny sound, so I had turned the sound off," said I to myself, "it would be interesting if this one started silently." And what do you know, it started silently. Of course, those could have just been coincidences ...

When the desktop came up, there were two installation programs on it: an FTP program and a photo-manipulation program. (You may remember, I took, cropped, and uploaded digital photos while I was at the convention.) The clincher: the photos from REVELcon were in the "My Pictures" folder. And the browser history displayed all the sites I had visited when the laptop was working, dated two weeks ago.


But it's working. They obviously turned it on at some point because the time has been reset to Eastern time. So I'm going to wait a few days and see if it KEEPS working. If not, I think I'll ask for my money back rather than a replacement or a fix, because this is more than a teensy bit odd. But for the moment, I have a laptop again.
amedia: (geek)
That's bad, right? *points to subject line* I bought a cheapish laptop on eBay (my old one finally died) and the damn thing won't boot. (I'm currently in the hotel business center.) *wails* I miss having a laptop!

I googled the error message and apparently it's one that often comes up when people add things on - just take out the new smartcard or whatever and presto, it's fixed. I haven't added anything on to the damn thing. I'm going to have to send it back for a refund (fortunately the seller does take these things back), but I'll still be out the postage. Grrrr. I may just have to knuckle under and buy a new one. I didn't mind inheriting [ profile] metherion's problems when I got his old one (CD drive didn't work, hard drive dying, etc.), but taking on someone else's doesn't seem to be such a good idea.

ETA: It's working again. This is WEIRD.
amedia: Curlicue of butterflies on black background (Default)
Given that Internet Explorer is Evil, and Mozilla Firefox is Good, why do my icons look like crap in Firefox? Do they look that crappy to everyone who uses Firefox, and you guys are just too nice to tell me?

the horror, let me show you it )
amedia: (dory)
About five years ago I got a DVD player for my birthday, and it has finally died. It did interesting things while it was dying - for a while there, every now and then when I hit pause, the screen would divide into 9 tiny pictures and keep moving. Which was cool, but somewhat inconvenient.

Anyway, about three or four years ago I got a DVD burner for my birthday, which worked for about eight months and then just quit working. Without any cool special effects. If I were a properly-organized person, I would have called the manufacturer and complained. If I were not quite that organized, but still more organized that I really am, I would have gotten rid of it one way or another, trash, freecycle, whatever. Being me, I stuck it in the garage and forgot about it.

Back to the present. The only place to buy a DVD player where I live is the Wal-Mart, which I would prefer not to patronize, but we just haven't had the time or energy to drive to a nearby city with more options. So we've been trundling along for a few weeks now without a DVD player, and we kinda miss having one.

I bet you see where this is going. I'm not sure what reminded me - but I went and salvaged the old burner from the garage just now. It won't RECORD - but it PLAYS just fine! It will do until we get a new player.

Now if only I could find my primary reading glasses...
amedia: (cuddle)
So... if you're using the hubby's Mac because you haven't gotten around to getting your Windows machine fixed yet, and your older, ginormous cat is super-clingy because you've been away two of the last three weeks, and as he oodges onto the keyboard he manages to lie PRECISELY on both the command key and the F5 key...?

You will hear an electronic voice out of nowhere reading your entire screen. And calmly cataloguing your frantic efforts to shut it off.
amedia: (geek)
ETA: Got it! I was trying to explain the problem to [ profile] metherion and he said, "But Mom, if I can see your SharedDocs folder on my computer and drag things out of it, why can't I just drag things *into* it and have them show up on your computer?" Holy cow. It worked!

Ever since [ profile] metherion pimped hubby and me into House, we've been watching the first season twice a week in a placid sort of way. Then the schedule-to-come showed that the station showing them was going to skip a bunch, so [ profile] metherion used my flash drive to transport an ep to my computer, I burned it to a DVD and we watched it. Then we watched another one, and hit the Vogler arc, and now we can't transport them fast enough! Metherion sneakernetted five more eps today and I burned a nice long DVD, but we *watched* three eps tonight, because we are hooked on House like House on Vicodin.

Why so low-tech, you may ask? After all, metherion logs onto the Intarweb through our home wireless network. If I could pull the eps onto my computer directly from his, it would be House Heaven! Well, I spent part of an afternoon futzing with my (Windows XP) 'puter and his (PowerBook G4, i.e., Mac) laptop, and HE can now download whatever I want to put into my SharedDocs folder... but *I* can't get into HIS computer, which was the whole point!

He has all the right doodads clicked under Network Sharing and his default workgroup has been renamed to the name of our home network, etc., etc., etc... I can SEE his computer on "View Workgroup Computers" where it shows up as "metherions-computer.local" but when I double-click on it, I get asked for a frickin' username and password.

WHAT username and password?!!! I tried the one he uses to make system changes on his computer, but that's not what it wants. I don't HAVE a username and password on this 'puter, nor did I set one up for the wireless network (yeah, I know, bad geek, no donut). I tried the standard username and password for my router to no effect.

I've been googling for quite a while but I can't seem to find the right information. Help!
amedia: (Enya)
Is there any way to download music videos - not the fan kind, I mean the far-less-cool kind made by the original artist - from the Internet? I need a copy of "My Humps" for my gender studies class tomorrow; I've been taping VH1 all week and they're not playing it anymore. I did get "Beep" and "Stupid Girls," which will be awesome for class, and an honest-to-goodness Hasidic Jew rapping, which I'm going to copy for a colleague who teaches a course on rap - but I really want "My Humps"! I can watch it for free anytime I want from AOL or Yahoo or MSN, but I can't seem to get a COPY that I can put on a DVD and play for the class. Any ideas? Thanks in advance!

a giggle

Mar. 4th, 2006 11:54 pm
amedia: (geek)
Hubby is very happy with his iMac and has been trying out its various features. (The last Mac we got was a Performa in 1995, so this is quite a quantum leap. Mostly forward. The Performa still works, btw.)

He's been figuring out how to add features to the Dashboard. Those of you who have this feature probably know what's coming:

Hubby (very excited): Can I show you my widgets?

Me: [snert] ::hopeless giggling::
amedia: (geek)
I hate to admit it, but I need help figuring out how to d/load a file. The person who sent it to me has just gone out of town, so while the most logical thing to do is to ask him nicely to re-send it in a different format, I can't do that for a week, and I'd really like to open it before then.

detailed information )
amedia: (lightning fractal)
Bad technology evening! After the excitement with the Go-Video died down, the TV pictures suddenly shrank and got jagged around its little bitty edges and there was a dreadful burning smell. We unplugged everything and sniffed around - the TV was toasted!

Mind you, this was an old TV when we got it. We got our 19-year-old, the only family member with two good knees at the moment, to haul it onto the back patio (which is all cement, so it can smolder safely if it needs to) and he brought down the little TV from his room and hooked it up to the TiVo; the characteristic fan panoply of recording devices will be reassembled later.

I would say, "What else can go wrong?" but I am SOoooo not going to. Besides, I don't know how much longer I can type, since this computer generally stays up for about 20 minutes at a time...

VCR help?

Jul. 1st, 2005 06:33 pm
amedia: (geek)
ETA The tape is out - but the poor Go-Video is now just a rather boxy VCR. It wasn't just this tape - that deck simply doesn't recognize *any* tape. I sincerely doubt it's worth fixing! Time to look for a new one, I fear.

There's a tape stuck in the top bay of my Go-Video. The machine simply doesn't seem to realize there's a tape in there; not only will it not eject, it won't play, rewind, or fast-forward, and perhaps most telling of all, it won't change from the clock to the counter when that deck is selected.

It's an old Go-Video; I've had it for nine or ten years, but it's never had any kind of problem like this. It's also an old tape; it was a 49-cent rental from Blockbuster.

I can't bring it over to [ profile] keikokin's house to have her wonder-hubby look at it (pout) *[note: this is NOT the primary reason I miss her!], I can't find the manual and I'm having trouble downloading the manual from the manufacturer's website.

If this was an old Macintosh I'd straighten out a paper clip - is there a similar trick for coaxing a tape out of a VCR?
amedia: (geek)
My son has a touching faith in his Geek!Mom, but every now and then he asks a question I can't answer.

What's a good free program, other than QuickTime, for watching avi files on a Mac?

All answers gratefully received!
amedia: (Yule)
Hubby wants to get me a laserdisc player for Christmas, because I want one. (He got me a DVD burner for my birthday - he knows his Geek!Wife very well.)

Can anyone offer advice on a good brand to buy? Bad brands to avoid? I was planning to get one on eBay; does anyone know a better source?
amedia: (kookie)
I'm thinking about getting a DVD recorder, primarily for transferring favorite VHS tapes onto a more permanent (and smaller) medium.

I would love to hear recommendations from people who've used them. What brand(s) are good? What should I avoid? What features are useless bells and whistles, and what might be surprisingly necessary?

Any input accepted with gratitude!
amedia: Curlicue of butterflies on black background (l-g1)
I intend to ask the airline this question, but I don't trust their answer, so I thought I'd ask y'all. Is it safe to put videotapes in checked luggage, or will they be affected by the scanner? Any info appreciated!

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