Thursday, December 29, 2016

Aunty Violet has passed

My aunt Violet died peacefully on Christmas Day at age 100.  She was my father’s sister.  As far as I know, she did not smoke, drink or swear during her long life.   Don't think I'll reach 100.

She is in centre of this photo I took of her extended family on her 100th birthday celebration party.
Click to enlarge

Saturday, December 24, 2016

My New Year's resolution

My New Year’s resolution is to have a chuck-out of old computer gear.

I have been reluctant to toss out hundreds of RAM (random access memory) sticks up until this date because I have been working on a little project which will have a huge bank of these sticks with a wireless connection to what is left of the memory of my brain.   Could work!?

Click images to enlarge

RAM sticks
At present I have 17 computers to give to needy people and I guess most will
go when school starts again.

Hard drives etc etc.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Bringing the voices back

Our son Martin has been working on the cassette tape transfer for a few hours so far.  It would seem that my late wife Joan was further away from the microphone than I was and her voice is there, but very low.  Martin is separating the sound tracks and going to even out the levels and then record the whole tape and transfer it to CD.  

The tape is at least 42 years old and during the current process, has snapped several times near the take up spool.  A fiddly job to re-attach the tape end each time, but Martin’s hands are a lot less shaky than mine and he easily does the job.

Should be completed this weekend.

click the image to enlarge it

Friday, December 2, 2016

Voices from the past

Last week a good friend, Dennis, found a cassette tape sent by my wife Joan and I, just 42 years ago.  It was an update on our time teaching in Papua New Guinea.  We both talked about our work and adventures in PNG and about our kids.  The kids had a few words to say also.  I have been able to hear a few minutes of the tape on a scratchy old player.   I decided to do a conversion from cassette tape to CD with help from our son Martin.  The specific computer Martin has set up for this conversion suddenly decided that it should die.  I managed to borrow an exact brand and model and transfer the hard drive to the borrowed machine.  Martin will use a program named Audacity to clean up noise and transfer the data to CD.     The borrowed computer and the dead one are both Windows machines of the same model IBM Lenovo.  I was very lucky to borrow it from a friend who is an IT teacher at a large senior high school.  
Had I not found the exact model there would have been a bit of work sourcing drivers for sound, video, mouse etc etc; as there are so many manufacturers of PCs which use different drivers.  Apple, being the sole manufacturer of Apple computers have very few problems with drivers etc.

Tomorrow Martin will visit and will make about 6 CDs.  Lets hope there is nothing too embarrassing on the tape.

I imagine that hearing my late wife Joan talking will be difficult.