justacat luminous moon


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 ...

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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).
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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.
emerald green


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!


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."
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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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