Looking For Quacks In The Pavement

Month: July 2022

Weathering With You

I am, at most, merely an intermittent sort-of-fan of Makoto Shinkai’s works. I recommended Voices of a Distant Star some years ago, and the few movies with his name on that I’ve seen since are decidedly hit (Your Name) or miss (5 Centimeters Per Second). (For the record, The Place Promised In Our Early Days is somewhere in the middle.)

I noticed that one of his recent films, Weathering With You, showed up on HBO Max and figured I’d give it a whirl. Only, whoops, I couldn’t find a Japanese audio with English subtitles viewing option. The only way to get English subs was with the English audio. Hey, HBO folks? Are you… at all familiar with how anime is consumed in this country?

So, anyway, a Blu Ray purchase later (hey, it seems to be well-regarded, and I got it on sale) I was finally ready to give it a watch.

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I Love Making Stuff Work

Most days, I’m just a fix-it man. Someone broke something, or entropy took its toll, whichever: I get the call and I (usually) find a way to fix the problem.

On rare, delightful occasions I get to actually build something, though. That’s the best.

Today at the office (as it were) I replaced the basically-defunct PHP Server Monitor setup with Uptime Kuma, which (if you install one extra piece of software) can send notifications to all kinds of things if a monitored website-or-whatever goes offline. Since our company lives in Microsoft Teams day in and day out, I set it to post alerts to a particular Teams channel. I showed the results to the VP and a couple of relevant coworkers and they’re all happy with it. Excellent!

A couple of hours of just hunkered down, putting a new thing into service, learning its ins and outs, and getting useful results at the end? Absolute heaven.

More of that, please.

Shave And A Codec, 10 Bits

Every now and then, when I remember that this is a thing I’m trying to do, when I’m not actively doing something else with my computer, when I can be bothered… I convert one of the shiny platters on the media storage shelves into some kind of digital format. I do this for protection against the inevitable “disc rot” of the shiny platter medium, I do this for convenience (just load up a file on the computer-like device of choice rather than inserting a shiny platter into the spinny playback machine), and yes, I do this because I’m curious to see what the state of the art looks like for doing this sort of thing in the first place.

Oh, the codecs I’ve seen. I’m old, y’all.

I’ve been doing a lot of anime Blu-Ray-to-MKV work lately. (For certain values of “a lot.” Re-read the first sentence of this post.) There’s a great blog post from a couple years ago with some superb recommendations for how to get high quality into a modest file size and it’s served me well thus far.

But what about those non-anime shows? What about a big budget live-action movie? How well would those settings fare with such fare?

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Celebrating What, Exactly?

Look, between the annoying people with annoying over-loud explosives and the general atmosphere of feeling like we are bound & determined as a nation to make things worse for literally everyone (other than rich people, they’re better than us after all) and the absolute uncaring incompetence of our collective response to an ongoing pandemic (no, we’re not “post-COVID”)…

… why am I supposed to be happily excited about anything today?

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