G's Blog


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My Podcasts listening

First I'll say HAPPY NEW YEAR! Hope 12,022 brings much joy and memories.

So a while ago I asked for some recommended podcasts to listen to. I was looking for something to fill mostly my drive to and from work, my lunch hour on days I don't feel like reading and other moments where I needed something “quiet” to do for whatever reason. What better time then my first post of the year to share with you the ones I ended up with. In no particular order.

99% Invisible

This is probably my favorite. In each episode the host explores a topic that most of us have probably never heard or thought about or just something that we take for granted. For example the color of margarine or the fact that you used to be able to order a house in the mail to name just a few of the recent episodes.

Canadian True Crime

In each episode of this podcast the host presents the details of a crime that happened in Canada. Each are presented in great detail using many different sources of information from police records to news articles and witness/victim statements. Being Canadian this one hits home.

Geek to Geek

This one is just two geeks geeking out about things from video games to movies. Being a geek this one just made sense. It's all unscripted conversations(just talking point planed out) which I enjoy.

The geekbits podcast

This one is similar to the above but it features The 8-bit guy his brother and a long time friend just discussing different topics each episodes.

Nice Try!

This one is from a bigger podcast network and so far only has 2 seasons. Not sure if it's coming back for a 3rd. Both seasons are worth checking out. Season one takes a look at different attempts during history to create a “utopia” and why/how they have all failed. Season 2 goes inside the home and looks at products that have been sold to us that may or may not always live up to what they promise.

PineTalk Podcast

PostmarketOS Podcast

I'm grouping these two together as I listen to them kinda for the same reasons. To keep up with things pinephone/linux phone related. Both cover the topic from their perspective along with other things they touch(IE linux phones in general and pine hardware in general)

Most of these are now on a holiday break but should be coming back in the next few weeks so it is a great time to subscribe to them and check out some of the old episodes in anticipations of the new ones. I've been doing all my listening from my phone using the AntennaPod application. It's available from F-Droid and is a great easy to use application.

One last one that I'm been listening to in-between episode releases from the list above is The History of WWII podcast. This one requires little explanation. It explores different events leading up to and during WW2. It has 350 episodes so far and I'm up to episode 28.

Anyways that's it for today. Thanks for reading.



from G's Blog

Making “Retro” Home Movies

So if you follow me on the fediverse you will know that i recently picked up a nice Panasonic PV-007-K. It is a camcorder from 1997 that uses VHS-C tapes. I grew up playing around with camcorders and wanted to capture some memories with one again. Why? you might ask. Couple reasons. One just because i figured it would be fun to use and show off. And two because ain't no way google or anyone else is going to get there hands on this footage LOL.

So i finally captured some footage today. Let me tell you we are spoiled these days when it comes to image stabilization. It's very hard to get a stable shot with this camera. Luckily i found a way to stabilize it some using FFMPEG. It's a two step process.

First you issue this command

ffmpeg -i input.mp4 -vf vidstabdetect=stepsize=32:shakiness=10:accuracy=10:result=transforms.trf -f null -

You follow that up with

ffmpeg -y -i input.mp4 -vf vidstabtransform=input=transforms.trf:zoom=0:smoothing=10,unsharp=5:5:0.8:3:3:0.4 -vcodec libx264 -tune film -acodec copy -preset slow output.mp4

And that will produce a more stable version of the input. It's not perfect but it's much better. See for yourself.

Source video

Stabilized video

The biggest give away that something is up is the date/time display. Lesson is don't enable that i guess.

I also need to work on my capture method(I'll detail that in another post). The audio does not seem to come out very loud. Or maybe this camera just has a really bad mic. I also suspect that the capture device(or software) i use is negatively affecting the quality greatly. We'll see in time as i mess around.


from G's Blog

So long GTube

As i write this the DNS servers of the world are forgetting all about video.gcfam.net.

If you follow me on the fediverse then you will already know that i am shutting down my Peertube instance and moving to https://spectra.video . I have downloaded all my videos and will be re-uploading them there in the coming days.

Peertube is a great service i just got tired of the instance maintenance for the amount i actually used it. This will probably be the only “service” i shutdown. At least for the foreseeable future.

That's all for now


from G's Blog

Writing D64 images to real floppies

Hello everyone.

When I started my #retrocomputing journey i knew that i would end up with a floppy drive at some point. Had to upgrade from tapes right? One thing i was always unsure of was would i be able to really put it to use. Well when i went looking for a drive i also looked for floppies. Luckily i did find some NOS floppies. Now i had to find a way to get some content on them. In comes the Pi1541. This lovely project turns a Raspberry Pi into a 1541 disk drive. It actually emulates the 1541 in a cycle perfect way. This changed everything for me. With this it was now like i had 2 1541 drives.

So using VIC 2 disk backup i was now able to take a D64 disk image and write it to a real floppy. The software requires at least 16k of memory expansion. It can also use 24k. The way it works is actually quite simple. Here is what the software does.

  1. Prompts for a disk name and ID
  2. Format the new disk.
  3. Read in as many blocks as the available memory will allow
  4. Write those blocks to the floppy.

Repeat 3-4 till all blocks are copied.

It works fairly well. I’ve not had it fail on me yet. I’ve captured a small but probably uninteresting video of the process.

If you have a system compatible with the commodore 1541 disk drive you should get yourself a Pi1541. I can’t directly compare it to regular SD2IEC devices as i’ve not used those. But this thing works great. Now i can load DOOM from a real floppy (-:

Also just a little housekeeping. Its been a while since i posted again. Things are slowing down here and i might find myself with extra free time on my hands. That might turn into more posts again. I'll also acknowledge my failure to complete the 100 days to offload challenge. I'm a little disappointed but at the same time it did get me to write more posts. If only for a short period of time.

Well that's all for now


from G's Blog

Back to the 80's AKA Got me a VIC-20 (#100DaysToOffload Day32)

So this is something i have been wanting to get into for a while. #RetroComputing. I could never find the right listing at the right price. Well this time when i went looking all was right and i scored a (what i consider) mint condition VIC-20. Also got a tape drive for it, some educational software on tape and a couple cart games.

See pics here

So now what to do with this. Well i discovered that there is still an active community of people making games for this system so that's been fun. Downloading games and converting to a format that i can then record to cassette since that's the only way i have(for now) of getting things to/from the VIC. That's worked out pretty well so far. I have also found Compute Gazette on archive.org and have embarked on a semi quest of archiving the program listings from them. I'll document that better here some day but for now you can find .tap files of what I've done here. I'll also post it all over on the Denial forum(linked above) under the games section.

I have also made .tap files for the above mentioned educational software.

That's all for now.

Till next time. Be safe!