DVD Project Update - What is Telecine?

While editing frames on my Welcome clip for the project, I started wondering where some of the artifacts I was removing actually came from. I'm currently up to a little over 7 seconds in my 51 sec restoration project.

As a boy, my dad was into 8mm film and we had tons of home movies. The projector had two reels on it. He would mount the film reel on the top reel and feed it through the camera to the lower takeup reel. Pull down the screen and force us to watch the worst films I ever saw. Well most people, or kids that is, hate home movies. After all there was no sound and well...been there done that. Even the homemade popcorn wasn't that good. No telling what actually happened to those films but what I learned about films back then, helps me understand what I'm currently facing.

Telecine is a term which combines the words Television and Cinema. It is a process of capturing and converting cinematic filmstrips to a format compatible with television.


One of the things about film, is that eventually, the feed holes along the edges wear out or get torn etc. Sometimes the gears on the projector get worn also making the film deteriorate even faster. Dirt and dust eventually produce scratches on the film as it passes through the projector. What is peculiar though are the "horizontal Lines" I've encountered. You can see them in the snapshot to the right.

I seem to recall seeing a documentary at one of the drive-in websites with the owner/projectionist showing off his gear. The movies were on huge 1000' reels and they were mounted on a rack horizontally. It doesn't really matter which direction the frames are running on a film. All they have to be is one after the other. They can feed top to bottom, botom to top, left to right, or right to left. The horizontal lines leads me to believe the clip I'm working on came from a reel that the frames were displayed horizontilly and not vertcally.

Back in the Silent Film days, the early cameras were hand crank type. Cinemetographers would count over and over to get a rhythm going while shooting a scene at an approximate rate of 16 frames/sec. Billy Bliter, shown above, was one of the early famous camera guys. When sound films came along, they had to bump up the speed to 24 frames/sec so they could more acurately sync audio to the film and reduce flicker. Many of the cameras were motorized at this point.

Movie house managers, were often guilty of instructing the projectionist to run the films a little faster so the show would get over on time. The point here is that likely many of the movies I saw as a kid in the theatre, probably wasn't shown at the 24 frames/sec rate either. I didn't know any better then either.

Along comes television....

In the United States, the television standard is called NTSC which calls for 30 frames/sec. The European standard is called PAL and calls for 25/frames per/sec. Ok so here comes the problem...how do they get from 16 or 24 frames/sec to 30 frames/sec so we can see a movie on the tv?

In a nutshell the, telecine equipment "stuffs" extra frames into the output. I believe it is about every 3rd frame or so. Fortunately, this process helps smooth out the flicker because the human eyes see less movement between the frames.

Back in the days when I was a custom farm machinery designer, I designed a reel for a harvester for the John Hass Company that improved the efficiency of the harvester from 10% at 1mph to 80% at 3mph. The engineer and I got curious as to why it worked so well. We had a hole cut into the shield and mounted a 1000 frame/sec camera to see what was going on. Wow what a difference in quality! Anyway this story would be best told on another blog entry.

So putting all this together, I can see how dificult and expensive it can be to restore a film. It also explains some of the stuff I'm encountering in my own restoration project.

TechZilla News - DST Are You Ready?

TechZilla TechZilla News

TechZilla News is a free service of BluePlanetPC.com

Actually, it's likely no big deal for the average person. Your system may have already recieved the patch if you doing your critical updates from Microsoft. Even if your not, still no big deal unless having your computer being an hour off for 3 weeks bothers you.  


The easiest way to see if you got the patch is to compare the computer time to your other clocks in the house. The time on the computer is ether gonna be the same or an hour different depending on whether you already moved the house clocks forward before bedtime tonight or not.


There are several versions of the update depending on the system you have. Links to the update can be found down on this page at Microsoft http://support.microsoft.com/kb/931836/


Another method as a temporary work around is to double-click on the clock in the system tray. Click on the Time Zone tab and remove the checkmark which allows automatic changes when daylight savings comes around. Then set the clock ahead an hour and click ok. While this works remember that the clock will be an hour off this fall also because it's might not be reset automatically.


This makes the Best thing to do is to run Windows Updates and get the patch...


Primarily, this commotion about the DST changes really most affect software likely not running on your system. If you use Microsoft Outlook (not Outlook Express) then there is a patch to update appointments at Microsoft Downloads http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook/HA102086071033.aspx.  Beyond that, unless you are using something that counts down the seconds from one event to another or timestamping financial transactions your probably not really gonna be affected much.


Enjoy the sunshine and get out early. DST is nothing to lose sleep over...If you do, then you'll likey find it again this November.


Quitting Smoking Cigs

Over the years I have attempted to quit several times with no luck. Started when I was 12 and I'm now going on 56...you can do the math. I've tried cold turkey, patches, gum, hypnosys and now this new drug called Chantix. Picked up the starter .5mg pills yesterday. Haven't read all the documentation yet. Origionally, I was told the 30 day script would cost around $700.00. The new pharmacist started doing some math and guarantees me it will be cheaper but didn't say how much. The first week is only $22.50.

looks like I take 1 pill for 3 days, then 2 for 4 more days and see how my body handles it....guess I'll start tonight after my dinner.






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QotD: MmmCookies

Did you order Girl Scout cookies this year?  What kind?

Not yet but I haven't seen any Girl Scouts selling them yet either. I love the Mint cookies. I'm good for a case this year probably...oink oink! I heard they are making them more healthy but aren't some treats SUPPOSED to be bad for you? That way they are a treat. I don't believe they should monkey with a good thing.

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Microsoft Lost thier Redemption Value.

The problem I had with MSN video cropped up again. All the fixes stopped fixing. While I was working on it previously, I started creating a new setup on a spare hard drive...kind of a master desktop setup. Well I finally hosed my current setup so I went back to that project yesterday. Almost ready to re-image my main drive now.

As I was installing all my apps, I would take the time to check to see if MSN Video was still working. I think my first problem, was actually a broken codec. But after installing my favorite video converter, the video's played but like they were travelling through hyperspace...

I found this sticky message on the forum....

Due to a wrong handling of a certain DirectShow ActiveX filter
WindowsMediaPlayer 9,10,11 can show (at least) one of these symptoms:
1.speeding up/or freezing the video playback when playing
2.missing sound when playing some audio in Mono


Once I got rid of the bad codec and no longer crashing IE, I was often experiencing symptom #2. Kind of a drag also since it would work on some vids and not on others. Also worked perfect in Firefox...


to correct this issue:
1. Open a DOS box and type (ATTENTION case sensitive):
Rundll32 Ac3Dx.ax, config
exactly as shown here, hit enter


A window will open,
go to "system" Tab
Uncheck PCM
Uncheck MPEG Audio
Hit OK

This fixed all the problems...now I can think about mowing the yard...I said THINK!

Speaking of thinking, you would think Microsoft would have known about this bug and had it documented somewhere. Would have saved lot's of headaches.

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  Well, it's shit ...  that's right, shit!   Shit may just be the most functional word in the English language.   You can smoke shit, buy shit, sell shit, lose shit, find shit, forget  shit, and tell others to eat shit.   Some people know their shit, while others can't tell the difference  between shit and shineola.   There are lucky shits, dumb shits, and crazy shits.  There is bull  shit, horse shit, and chicken shit.   You can throw shit, sling shit, catch shit, shoot the shit, or duck  when the shit hits the fan.   You can give a shit or serve shit on a shingle.   You can find yourself in deep shit or be happier than a pig in shit.   Some days are colder than shit, some days are hotter than shit, and  some days are just plain shitty.   Some music sounds like shit, things can look like shit, and there are  times when you feel like shit.   You can have too much shit, not enough shit, the right shit, the wrong  shit or a lot of weird shit.   You can carry shit, have a mountain of shit, or find yourself up shit  creek without a paddle.   Sometimes everything you touch turns to shit and other times you fall  in a bucket of shit and come out smelling like a rose.   When you stop to consider all the facts, it's the basic building block  of the English language.   And remember, once you know your shit, you don't need to know anything  else!! 


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An Inspiring Story

The other day I had to go fix a Lexmark laser printer over at Sierra-Pacific. Lexmark sent 9 parts and our contract states only use one part...no problem descriotion so I had to figure it out. The next day, I was at a guys house replacing his hard drive. Turned out that he is telephone pole grader/inspector for Sierra-Pacific.

One of the big things in Northern California's history,  was threats of closing most of the mills because of availabilty of old timber, environmetal pressure, and regulations. A lot of people lost jobs. In the Redding area, I understand it was a major upset because of the economy was already in trouble. I believe Shasta County is still one of the counties considered as impoverished. Currently we are experienceing a slow steady growth.

The fellow I was talking with had worked for Sierra-Pacific for quite a while. Something I asked him prompted him telling me how the owner had been able to survive the industry resession. As he told the story, I could feel his pride for the company and the respect he had for the owner of the company.

Apparently, the owner was smart enough to see the writing on the wall. He started buying smaller trees and property that none of the other mills wanted because they were not big enough. No competition and motivated sellers sounds like he may have gotton some good deals. Next he re-tooled the mills to be able to handle the smaller timber.

I'm not aware of any decent size mill in this area that isn't now owned by Sierra-Pacific. This guy just kept making money and re-investing and borrowing money from the banks at incredibly low interest. The decks are usually quite full at all the different mills I pass in my travels.

Besides basic lumber, they don't waste too much. They sell sawdust of course but also have decorative bark, door and window and a few other divisions. What I didn't know is that they also built a cogeneration plant to run the mill operations with the unusable waste...Free Juice! They even get to sell the excess to PG&E. Of course that's not always so cool when PG&E filed Chapter 9. He said they lost over a $1,000,000.00 a few years ago to them.

Anyway, I was quite impressed with this guy's story how smart that guy is and thought I'd pass it along.

Here's a link to a write-up of  Sierra-Pacific which is quite interesting.   http://www.endgame.org/spi.html




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What the Hail?

Little bit of excitement on the homefront today. The House Photographer took these pics while I was out working. The sun was shining where I was. Heard the cat was scared by all the racket the storm made. On the way home, I saw the road crew out with the snowshovel trucks clearing the highway. The way these idiots drive up here it's a wonder I didn't see any accidents because of it.



 There's my poor boat in the back that I never have time to work on. And the back end of the motorcycle I never have time/money to fix. Behind the arch is our quasi patio. I put a new power outlet and a patio lite to see by when we're quein' in the summer. I have a great smoker I use mostly. The plants by the tree are hopefuls...


You can see here where I park and part of the alley. Behind the boat is a satellite dish I'm gonna use for my gazebo project. A client gave it to me when they went with DirecTV. I'll likely start on that project after the lawn goes in maybe.


The cook just potted her herbs the other day. Guess a little bit of cold water won't hurt them much.

Didn't get a picture of the roof but it has a nice coating as well. Kinda looks like me....snow on the roof.

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