Thursday, June 18, 2009

Time Warner Cable Remote Catches Fire!

My friend Brad recently found the remote to his Scientific Atlantic Explorer 8300 HD DVR cable box smoking on his sofa! When he removed this remote he found that it had gotten so hot that it burned his sofa as well!

He contacted Time-Warner cable several times and has been given the run around. Let's hope that they pay for the damage to his sofa.

Brad's Burnt Sofa!

Adjusting the convergence on my Galaga

I have been fixing up my Galaga Arcade Cabinet that I bought last week. When I first got Galaga it did not get past the "RAM OK" message, but I was able to pull every socketed chip from the board and clean them and get it working.

But then that presented another problem, the red green and blue beams in the monitor did not line up. On a more modern PC tube monitor you can adjust this via on screen menus. But on this 1981 15khz Galaga monitor it is done by adjusting the convergence rings on the yoke of the picture tube.

I discovered this while looking at the manual for the monitor in my Neo Geo MVS Arcade Cabinet I bought. The instructions for adjusting the convergence were quite vague. But I was able to figure out after messing with it for a few hours. I will post more detailed instructions later.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Blond Tailed Squirrel - New Breed of Mutant Squirrel

Since last year a new breed of gray squirrel has appeared around my house, it looks just like a regular Eastern Gray Squirrel but it has a very defined blonde tail! It almost looks as though the tail was dipped in bleach, because of the defined line in the change of gray to blonde. I have seen at least two of these animals at once, so I know it is not just a one time mutant.

I wonder if they are of any interest to anyone but me.

Video of the beast:

Friday, June 12, 2009

I finally got my Arcade Cabinets!

I haven't talked about this, but I was able to do a raid on a warehouse full of old Arcade Games! I was able to get 3 games at a really good price! My friends Patrick and Mike each got a game as well!

Here is what I picked up:


This will work after I clean all of the contacts on the roms, currently the game is garbled.

Neo Geo MVS

This is awesome cause it plays multiple games in cartridge form. It currently has Bust A Move, Samurai Shodown III, and Spinmaster in it! It can hold up to 4 games at once.

Marvel Vs. Capcom

This cabinet suffers from a sucide battery. I will need to get the roms phoenixed to get it working again.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The natural pie: Watermelon

I put wipped cream on a slice of watermelon today. It was awesome! I am sure that Melon-chan would love it.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Baltimore Oriole outside my window

I don't normally post about something so mundane, but this is the second time in my life seeing a Baltimore Oriole. And it was outside my living room no less!

I am going to get myself a Oriole feeder!

Ready to Fail: Crutches strapped to the side of your motorcycle!

I really don't know what to say about his guy -- did he already hurt himself -- or is he just ready to do so? I will never know but it sure cracked me up. Thanks to my wife Jenny for filming this dude.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

How to: Convert Anime with Soft Subs to Hard Subs

I like to watch Japanese Television. fortunately for me there are numerous fansubbing groups out there that will subtitle these shows for my viewing pleasure. In the past most of these fansubbed videos were Hard Subbed AVIs encoded with the xvid codec. Since the subtitles are right int he video you can watch these videos on almost anything that would play avi videos (Palm, PSP, older computer, etc.)

Today most fansub groups are releasing their videos in Matroska mkv format with an h264 codec. This format allows the original video HD video to be untouched and the subtitles can be turned on and off by the viewer. These videos are much smaller, can have multiple languages, and are easier to produce.

My problem is that some of my devises like my ASUS eee netbook, PSP, etc. Either doesn't have the power to decode HD h264 video or display soft subtitles.

So I made this little bash script for my Gentoo Linux computer to convert these videos into hard subbed versions. It will also convert AVIs using h264 codec to xvid. Please let me know if you find this useful.

December 18, 2009 - Please note, there was an error in this script which I have corrected and highlighted the change in green. PS I also had to change the case in the file move path.

#!/bin/bash # # Script: # Soft Subs to Hard Subs - # filename: # 2009 Tighe Lory # # Requirements: # # You need to make the following directories: # ~/Video/Convert # ~/Video/Original # ~/Video/xvid # # You will also need ffmpeg and mencoder installed # # Place the videos you want to convert in the Video/Convert directory cd ~/Video/Convert #Covert AVIs that use H264 for k in *.avi; do out=$(ls "$k" | sed -e 's/.avi//g') ffmpeg -i "$k" -qscale 4 -ar 24000 -ab 64 -r 29.97 -vcodec mpeg4 -f avi -vtag xvid -acodec mp3 ~/Video/xvid/"$out.avi" if [ $? -eq 0 ] ; then echo "~/Video/xvid/$out.avi created" mv "$k" ../Original/ else echo "Error encoding" fi done for k in *.mkv; do out=$(ls "$k" | sed -e 's/.mkv//g') mencoder "$k" -fontconfig -subfont-text-scale 3 -subfont-autoscale 3 -alang 0 -oac mp3lame -sid 0 -ovc xvid -xvidencopts pass=1 -o ~/Video/xvid/"$out.avi" if [ $? -eq 0 ] ; then echo "~/Video/xvid/$out.avi created" mv "$k" ../Original/ else echo "Error encoding" fi done


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Colonie Center Mall Fail

I took this with my phone back in April:

This is what it looks like in the daytime, same sign different entrance.