Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Oh It All Makes Work For The Working Man To Do

So last night I got home, had pizza for dinner and started work clearing a space in the crowded and dangerous basement I used to use as a workshop, before the advent of a bunch of crap and a flood or two.

I know what you are thinking. You are thinking that I wasn’t going to need my table tools because I was going to have all the wood for Bog milled to size by other people. That plan survived contact with the enemy1 for exactly three and a half nanoseconds.

The new plan requires extensive milling of boards in the basement using tools buried under crap hurriedly relocated during domestic flood Yolanda and thus the simple act of respecifying the bill of materials has produced yet another major unwanted job not on the original itinerary. Oh Well.

In the middle of this the Stevieling howls that her school project, some sort of PowerPoint presentation, won't fit on a diskette. I ask her if she can use a CD and she answers that she can, so I tell her to put the project on a CD. Much muttering, gradually raising in volume from the womenfolks.

Yes, it's true. After owning this computer for over three years and after specifically "upgrading" the burner software from my beloved Roxio to the less-than-stellar-in-my-opinion Nero2 as part of a major system upgrade to allow Mrs Stevie3 to make movies on the damn thing, no-one but me knows how to burn a G-D CD.

"Is the project finished?" I asked the Stevieling as I settled into the chair to begin yet another unplanned-for job.
"Except for the music."
"Then it isn't finished, is it?" I bellowed. "What music do you want to use?"
"Mom is getting it now."
And in due course Mom1, 3 appears clutching....a DVD!
""This isn't music!" I yell.
"I want the music from it though" says the Stevieling.

Thus the hunt was on to find the music and figure out which of the umpty-tump packages included in Nero Professional would be able to snatch the music as the DVD was playing. The answer was, of course, none of 'em. Well, not strictly true. There were a couple of packages that would grab the music as it played, but they themselves would not play the DVD in question. The DVD player software, on the other hand, would play it but not permit any naughty sound grabbing (though screen shots were allowed - go figger).

The answer was to set the track playing in the media player (I prefer this to Nero's version) and grab the sound from the card with Nero's quite nice wav file editor. That sounds simple doesn't it? Well, factor in that Media player wouldn't rewind the tracks and so I was forced to play a different one, then bounce back to the one I wanted to restart it. Then factor in that bloody windows span the DVD down and then was too busy to spin it up again so there was a nasty gap in the recording. Then factor in that the recorder behaved in an odd manner, GUI-wise (one of the two major hates I have about Nero is its GUI. The other is how slow the GUI is in some pretty critical apps). Now you should be able to see how grabbing a five minute sound sample took best part of an hour and caused me to miss the crucial "come-uppance" episode of Boston Legal and you will see that I ended my day in somewhat less of a good humour than I began it.

Oh well.

  1. Mrs Stevie
  2. Due to the fact that against all reason we still do not have a hard standard for how to arrange the interfaces for bloody optical drives, resulting in the positively Victorian need to sweep compatibility lists before buying them if you don't want to switch software. Roxio would not work with the Mad Dog dual density drive I got Mrs Stevie3 so she could make big movies
  3. The Enemy

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