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The Technology of Fandom.


5 Essential iPhone Apps for Fanfic on the Go Apr. 22nd, 2010 @ 02:48 pm
Hi fandom_tech ! Here is a blog post I recently wrote that I think fits the mission of the community pretty well... hope some of you who are still on LJ will find some of this useful.

If only there were a dedicated fanfic service that could sync up fics from FF.net, AO3, LJ, and independent sites—I’d pay good money for that iPhone/Pod app, considering that fanfic accounts for a big portion of my entertainment “budget,” and provides near-infinite joy and lulz.

Until somebody builds the ultimate fanfic app, I've been cobbling together apps to provide for my own mobile fic reading experiences. Here are some of my favorite fic-related apps.


Seriously, I've been dreaming about these apps for years. )

That probably only touches the surface of good reading apps and the ways to use them. I’m always looking for ways to increase my volume and ease of reading, so what iPhone/iPod apps and techniques do you guys use to make your mobile fic consumption easier?

And more importantly, does anybody know how to bypass the LJ filter in Readitlater?

A question about PDAs and mobile devices Jul. 12th, 2006 @ 05:30 pm
I'm thinking of buying a PDA and hoping that somebody a bit more technically experienced than myself can offer some advice, particularly as I expect to be using it primarily for entertainment rather than standard office functions.

See below the cut for details of what I want and questions about PDAs, operating systems, using ebooks, mobile video, memory cards etcCollapse )

I know that that's a lot of questions, but if you can answer just some of them then please do comment.

Posted to my own journal and a few other places where I hope people may have a bit more specialist knowlege

The next generation? May. 19th, 2006 @ 02:42 pm
For the last year or so I've been playing with a few systems to try and make machine readable all the stuff that happens naturally in fandom. Now you might wonder why I want to do that - and the simple reason is I am lazy. When I go to a new fandom I want to know what stories get regularly recommended, what communities exists for me to join, even what other fandoms I might like given the tastes I share with other people. Beyond that I want to be able to run searches like 'what was that story which had the CSI team analysing the fight in the Mines of Moria?'.I want to be able to find the type of stories I like because the computer knows what is in them but doesn't tell me so I am pleasantly surprised. I want to decide what warnings I see and which I don't.

Now possibly what I actually need are the really good drugs. However, this I have a better change of getting legally. So why am I filling up your flist with it? Because I have got the what I hope is the first stage and I would like to ask for your help.

We are hoping to create a shared resource of stories, characters, universes, events, people... basically fiction, the contents of fiction and the people surrounding it. That is quite a lot of ground to cover (British understatement) and the only way to even concider it is through group effort - if each person added their favourite character or pairing or their favourite story to the system then soon it will just add up. It also allows people to make recommendations, rate stories, publicise their work, websites and archives etc

Currently what we are trying to do is just get basic information into the system such as universes, characters and people so that we can start working out how to improve the usability, what can be done with the data and how best to integrate with what already exists (RSS feeds from archives etc).

I'd love to hear peoples opinion on this and it would really help us if some people would be willing to give the system a try, add a few things and let us know their thoughts. Currently you do need to download a bit of software (we hope to do away with that later as part of the usability improvements). The software and instructions (with more information) are available from Contextus.info (if it doesn't work for you try here). Feedback and or requests for more information can be sent to ontomedia, the OntoFic Yahoo Group or me. This comes out of work being done at the University of Southampton and the Universita' Politecnica delle Marche just so as you know.

My appologies to those people who know me and so have heard this many times already.



P.S. Feel free to pass this on.

archives, learning how to do stuff, and comics Apr. 3rd, 2006 @ 01:44 pm
hi everybody! i'm new here, so i should introduce. i'm serena kitt, i'm an academic and i manage Remember Us? an archive of fanfic, art, and links re: characters of color in various fanda. well, lately, it's fallen into arrears, not least because i don't have the tech savvy to make it any prettier and i fear fen who once loved it have left for younger, prettier archives with more attractive color schemes and dynamic scripts. that word, script, i don't even know what it means.
so i'm information-literate enough to maintain it with FrontPage, providing the old-school site that gets the job done, but i'd like to upgrade along with an effort to draw in more people. i'm planning to start a YahooGroup, maybe an LJ comm, and sponsor a contest to get new fanart. but would anyone be willing to walk me through the mundanes of like, getting started with web design? is there a "Fandom_Tech For Dummies" i should know about? i know, it's asking a lot. i just need to get in the door.
meanwhile-- i have a whole 'nother project involving comics-- how does one make .cbr files that can be read with CDisplay comic book reader? i'm in the early stages of creating a comics archive and this is pretty much the first step, finding stuff to put there. next, i want to create such files and distribute them as .torrents, which i think i know how to do.
any helpful suggestions will be glomped with love.

Hi All Mar. 28th, 2006 @ 04:10 pm
Hello everyone!!! i am vince and had a few questions about Vidding. So if anyone could be of assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Okay i use DVD shrink to upload the DVDs to my HD and as you probibly know it saves them as .VOB I downloaded a program called DVD2AVI i tried a couple times to save specific frames from the uploaded DVD to piece together to make the video. I use Windows Movie Maker as it is what i have. When i tried to open the files i saved from the DVD2AVI program it says file corrupt. Any ideas? I tried like 30 times with no sucess. I am new to this vidding thing so any links for a beginner would be wonderful. I don't mind reading tutorials the more the better. Thanks to anyone who can help me.
Other entries
» Screen caps
Help! This is driving me bonkers. I'm trying to cap a DVD that can either play in Windows Media Player or PowerDVD. All I ever get is a black screen. I've tried turning off video accelaration to no avail. The prntscrn key doesn't seem to work on my computer.

Any suggestions? Is there someother setting I need to fiddle with? Any suggestions for a better screencapping program?

I can cap divx and other file formats fine, I just can't do it from the DVD.
» so i downloaded this thing
Wow, this community is such a great idea. Anyway...

DivX DVD Ripper 1.5

The publisher claims it's user-friendly, developed for people who have no idea what the hell they're doing. Consequently, it doesn't have a help file.

This tells me that I have less than no idea, because I cannot for the life of me figure this thing out. I tried googling for a how-to, or for a FAQ, but there's nothing. Does anyone out there have this program? And could you explain to me how to use it?

Or if you have a different (free) program that you use to rip DVDs, could you tell me what it is? Thanks.
» Help me so i can get a Dr.Who boxset for christmas
how do i make a panasonic dvd/video cd/cd player multiregional?

How can i tell if it already is?

ASAP please, thanks!
» Inkjet refill kits.
In case any of you have ever been tempted by those inkjet refill kits that promise to save you hundreds, I am happy to report that I purchased such a kit and am actually very happy with it! For something that involved drilling and large bottles of ink, it was *very* easy, very non-messy, my printer didn't balk, and the pages I printed looked great. And it cost thirty bucks for a kit that they promise will yield 16 refills. I just always feel like such a jerk paying through the nose for new print cartridges!

The kit I bought was the Pro-Image InkJet Refill Kit for both black and color ink.

As someone who likes to print out the fic I read, this may well turn out to save me quite a bundle.
» Mic question
Was directed from podslash by syndi_64. I'd like to do some fanish related recording to be released on line. However, I've got a mic problem. I have a microphone, but I can't get the blasted thing to work. It's probably because it's an old mic made by Creative and is circa 1995...what I'd like to know, or at least if anyone here can point me in the right direction, is there anyway of getting it to work? I've tried every possible plug in the computer it could fit into, but no voice...not sure if maybe I don't have the right drivers installed or something, but anything anyone knows would be muchly appreciated.
» Read fic on your iPod!
Hi, all!
Here is an interesting link I found on my flist. It contains information on how to read fic on an iPod! http://www.makezine.com/blog/archive/2005/06/make_ebooks_for_1.html

And if anyone knows of a good way to convert stories into .jpg files that are readable on a 3.5" portable DVD player screen, I'd sure be grateful. :)
» Screencapping
Does anyone have suggestions for good software for screencapping from DVDs (or from any video source, really)? I've always used PowerDVD, but the quality of the caps is fairly poor, and I'm wondering if there might not be some better options out there ...
» (No Subject)
Hello, all,

So, I'm going to my parents' home for the next four months, and while I'm there, I'll need to write two term papers and (*gulp*) start working on my dissertation. I have a deep and abiding love for my seven-year-old Dell Latitude CP with two (count 'em!) two gigs of memory, but, frankly, I would feel guilty disturbing his retirement, the poor dear.

Now, of course I could just go for the cheapest thing out there that'll run MSWord. But. . . no. I want something cheap, yet decent enough to watch DVDs and run BitTorrent on, and also something with easy-to-use tv outputs. I'm thinking about picking up an Averatec on eBay (there are some nice-seeming ones for under $600).
But first, a poll:Collapse )

When I was getting ready for ConneXions, I can't even tell you how glad I would have been to have spared my poor beloved seven-year-old laptop from the rigors of that trip.
» Surety?
Here's a panel that Arin suggested for ZebraCon:

Securing online fandom

quick snarky overview: now that many of us are online, how can we sufficiently hide ourselves so that we all don't get slapped with cease and desist letters.

With subtopics of web of trust issues, open media (mailing list servers, websites, blogs, etc.), encryption techniques, anonymity and the 'net, etc.

Let's face it -- the same things that make it easy to find each other make it easy for TPTB to find us. Does anybody have a plan?
» great idea!
Hey just stumbled upon your community. What a great idea! I'm new to the fandom tech side of things. Anyways, here's my problem.

I'm trying to make a fanvid. I'm experienced with editing, but only on Avid, not with avi files. I'm trying to use the avi files of the episodes of Veronica Mars in Ulead Videostudio 8, and everytime I make a clip and put it in the timeline, it plays back in like slow motion. Even though it plays fine as a whole clip. The vids are from bittorrent, etc. They're divx mostly, which I have all the codecs for. I tried saving to see if it's just slow because it's a preview but it saves that way too. Do I need to do something about the divx codecs in the avi file, or is there something else I'm missing? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
» screencaps in Windows Media Player
I've heard many, many fen ponder the question of why one gets only a black screen when one tries to pull screencaps from Windows Media Player. Here is the answer, together with a proposed solution (linked with permission from mousewrites). (After one follows the steps in this solution, I think the easiest way to go on and actually get the screencap on a PC would be to just pause the video and use the "print scrn" button, then Ctrl-V the image into an image editing program like PhotoShop.)

One of the great mysteries of digital video, solved!
» PDAs
No, not Public Displays of Affection, but rather, Personal Digitiwhatzits!

So, the PDA seems to be the fannish tech accessory du jour, and it seems to me, for good reason. I want to buy one so that I can read more fic more often and in more places, but I haven't the faintest idea of where to start. So for those of you who have done some research in this area, and/or bought one yourself, some questions:

1) How much should one expect to spend?
2) What is the best operating system?
3) How much memory does the average slash reader need?
4) What PDA has the best screen in terms of readability?
5) What features make it easy to load fic onto the PDA?
6) What questions have I not thought of that ought to be considered?

Any takers? ::looks at 829creatch::
» Windows XP Media Center
I've gotten a lot of questions the past two years about my desktop computer, which is a Gateway Media Center XP. Gateway doesn't make Media Center computers anymore, but other companies like Dell and HP do.

The Media Center XP operating system has been a great tool for me as a fan. The big features, for me, are the tv tuner and the remote control.

TiVo-like capabilities:
Media Center PCs come with tv tuners. The Media Center XP operating system will download tv listings from the internet automatically so that you have a program guide on your computer (accessible by remote control, just as your digital cable program guide would be). You can select the show you want and either watch it then and there or set your computer to record it. You can tell your computer to look for all airings of Bonanza, for instance, on any channel at any time, and record it. Loverly. The quality of recording is very good, and depending on what settings you choose, ranges from just better than a VHS to just slightly worse than a DVD. You can save about 60 hours of recordings on your computer, and there is a program out that will let you burn these recordings to DVDs you can play in any device.

The Media Center PCs will also let you put all of your downloaded video files into one folder and you can navigate and watch those using the remote control! This is probably my favorite feature. You don't have to get up and down from your couch to the computer every time you want to watch a different file, pause it, or turn up the volume.

Unfortunately, the exact model of PC that I have is no longer on the market, and I don't think Gateway is making them at all, anymore. I've had good experience with Dell, so if you're interested in a Media Center PC that may be the way to go. The system itself is pretty stable, and in two years I've never had any major problems (::knocks on wood::).
» BitTorrent with a router.
If you use a router for your network, you'll find that BitTorrent may download files more slowly than you expected. There is a great resource online with information about how to make the adjustments in your router software that will allow you to enjoy nice, fast downloads. The explanation *is* pretty techy, and assumes a lot of prior knowledge about how to use your router. I highly recommend this person's explanation, but if anyone finds it too technical (and you very well might), please do comment for help.

"Slow Bit Torrent downloads? Router configuration tips."
» Inaugural Post/ BitTorrent
So, I figure what I'm gonna do to kick things off is just start posting with the bits of techy info I've gathered myself. Here is the text of an e-mail I sent a friend about how to get started using BitTorrent.

The Quick-and-Dirty Guide to BitTorrent for Fen:

First, you need this program:
(ETA: That's for the PC version. Here is the link for the OS X version of BitTorrent: http://www.bittorrent.com/dl/BitTorrent_OSX_4.0.1.dmg)

Here is a description of the program:

So, you have this program, and now you must find some things called torrents. Torrents are small helper files that facilitate the download of the big files that you want. When you have torrents, you open them with the program (BitTorrent), and that allows you to connect with other users who have the file you want and/or want to share the work of downloading it with you.

Here are some good sites for torrents:
http://bt.g.la/tv.html This site is good for most American TV shows. Not work-safe, though, because they get their ad dollars by hosting ads from purveyors of porn.

http://www2.digitaldistractions.org:8080/torrents.php For British and Canadian tv shows.

http://www.torrentreactor.net/index.php Basically, a hodgepodge of torrents. Good for movies, comic books, anime, etc.

After you fall deeply in love with the program and realize that it has seriously transformed your life for the better, send a couple bucks to Bram Cohen, who invented BitTorrent:
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