Monday, 6 April 2020

Giving e-shopping A Miss For Now

"Stay Home, Buy online, We Will Deliver to your home"

says the online banner, or something like. Sounds good to me since we are having a Covid-19 lockdown in my country. All the local shops for none essential items are closed, by the way. This includes pet shops and computer stores.

So off I went on 27th March 2020, ordering some pet food for my cat as we are down to the last packet. And after 10 days, I have yet to receive my order. The delivery status hasn't changed since day one - No Delivery Logistics Information. I did contact the seller and they say that they are affected by the lockdown. I wish they would explain more.

Monday, 16 March 2020

Restoring Aomei Backup On WinXP

I first took a backup of my Windows XP system drive (C: in this case) with Aomei Backupper Standard (the free version) last May 2019. I had never done a restore-from-backup with Aomei before as I do not have a spare hard disk drive. Restoring to my healthy WinXP partition is an option but it seems a bit too risky for me. As a consequence, this thought had been bugging me since: Will my restore from Aomei backup work?

Fast forward to 2nd March 2020. My Windows XP kept rebooting that fine morning. The login screen never appeared. I tried mounting the C: drive from Ubuntu. It failed with an error - the NTFS file system on my C: drive was totally screwed. Only one thing to do now - a full system restore from my Aomei backup.

Monday, 9 March 2020

Going Off The Air

The local Malaysian TV broadcast went totally digital some 4 months ago. So, what have I done? Did I buy a new digital TV or a digital decoder for my Panasonic flat screen analog TV?

Believe it or not, I did absolutely nothing. Why? Because there is absolutely nothing for me to watch on any of the local Malaysian TV channels. In my opinion, they have gone from bad to worse over the last couple of years.

Thursday, 6 February 2020

My First Download Of The Edge Financial Daily

I was a regular at The Edge Markets (previously The Edge Daily) some 15 years ago. So much so that when I was forced to register as a user at that time, an offer was made to me for downloading e-copies of their daily newspaper, The Edge Financial Daily. I don't have the bandwidth then as I was on dial-up and so, I did anything. I just toss the link into the bin. Besides, all the financial information that I needed was readily available in the local Malaysian daily English newspapers then, The Star in my case.

Fast forward to February 1st, 2020. On this very day, The Star decided to do away with the closing stock prices of Bursa Malaysia, the foreign exchange rates and closing commodity prices. Gone too are the dividend payout rates and dates, and the bonus/rights issue announcements that were regularly published every Monday. All that they have now are just news articles in the business section, no numbers.

Monday, 3 February 2020

Oriental Honey Buzzard Video At 1080p

It was not too long ago that I lamented about having to downsize my Oriental Honey Buzzard video from 1080p to 720p during post-processing. As luck would have it, the bird returned to my neighbourhood again about 3 weeks ago. With the help of my tripod, I managed to capture the bird again on video at 1080p resolution with my Canon Powershot SX530 HS camera. I am not sure if it was the same bird again though.

Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Steps For Saving H.264 MP4 Videos In VirtualDub2

How I wish that saving my edited video files in VirtualDub2 is as simple as clicking on a single button or option like in Avidemux. Unfortunately, there isn't one.

It took me quite awhile to figure out the parameters and the steps to save my video files in the H.264 format in the MP4 container in VirtualDub2. I use the parameters in the video files that were produced by my cameras as a guide. My uploaded VirtualDub2 post-process videos were accepted by Dreamstime, no rejections based on technicalities. So I assume that what I have done must be correct.

Yes - after a lull of 2 years, I have rekindled my love affair with VirtualDub, albeit with one of its younger siblings VirtualDub2. Not bad considering that I only have a 2GB RAM, Pentium Dual Core 2.7 GHz computer and I could get my video processing done in a reasonable amount of time.

Tuesday, 7 January 2020

Faulty 1GB Kingston RAM

Trouble-shooting a computer problem is never easy. Worse if these are passive devices that emit no sound or visible faults, unlike their mechanical counterpart.

My 1 GB Kingston RAM module for example. I replaced it with another 2 GB Kingston module and the random computer crashes that I had just went away. Pinpointing the source of this problem though was more that a half-year journey of pain. It got to a point where I could not get anything done as the computer crashed as soon as it booted up.

Thursday, 26 December 2019

Digital Zoom On My Canon Powershot SX530 HS

Digital zoom, another item that I have added to my box of tricks. Yes I know, digital zoom on my Canon Powershot SX530 HS is useless when taking pictures. But when it comes to videos, the result could be quite satisfactory in good lighting, surprisingly. The camera must be held extremely steady though since we are focusing at greater than 50x zoom. Having a good tripod is certainly most welcome here.

It was quite by accident really when I found out about this digital zooming capabilities while taking videos with this camera. All that I wanted to do was just to have the subject 'fill the frame' actually while taking the video of a bird.

Sunday, 1 December 2019

H264 Encoded MP4 Video Uploads To Dreamstime

The message board and stock video requirement page at Dreamstime says that video format should be encoded in PhotoJPeg or MotionJPeg and stored in the Quicktime .MOV video format.

But what's this that I see some MP4 stock video on Dreamstime when I do a search?

Dreamstime Accepted File Type Uploads

Poking around, even the upload page says that it accepts MP4 video files (picture above).

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Burn Process Failed

Nero Express Error: Burn Process Failed for Liteon_ebau108

I don't believe it. "Burn Process Failed ..." the message says.

But it is a brand new drive. It is not suppose to malfunctioned on my first use.

Try and try again

So I tried the newer Nero Burning ROM software that came with this Liteon eBAU 108 8x External USB DVD/CD Writer. Perhaps, I was thinking then, the older Nero software that I've used on my WinXP computer was causing the burning process to fail.

Installation went successfully via this new USB drive. That's good. But still, unfortunately, the CD-R burning process fail again.

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