I’m blogging about this because I had a terrible time finding a solution to my problem and I want to help other people who are having the same problem.
A while back I was digitizing old VHS tapes using my DVD/VCR combo player/recorder. I was creating raw DVDs from old VHS tapes and then taking the raw DVDs and copying them onto my laptop for editing. But sometimes the VOB files that were created by the DVD recorder would have terribly incorrect lengths when viewed on my PC. For example, a 30 minute VOB file would show up and play as a 10 second long VOB file on my PC. This incorrect time was keeping my PC software from being able to view and edit the VOB files. Apparently this is a fairly common problem with some DVD recorders, since this VOB length information is not actually used by many consumer electronic devices.
It took me a while, but I was finally able to find a simple and free utility called MPEG Streamclip that was able to fix the VOB file length data without having to completely render the entire VOB. This program has a terrible user interface and it also has a couple of quirks. For example, it gives me a couple errors regarding some Apple Quicktime software that is not installed on my system, but it did what I needed it to do anyways. But what do you expect for free, huh?
When you tell it to open a VOB that has incorrect length information, it realizes the problem during the open operation and prompts you to fix the timecode breaks or not. Once it fixes the timecode breaks, you can save as MPG (not Export … Save As) which doesn’t perform any processing nor rendering of the file because the VOB was in MPG format already, or you can export into a number of different video formats.
One other thing. MPEG Streamclip does not require admin rights to install on your PC. Just download the zip, unzip it, and run the executable. Here is the website where you can download the utility. Have fun!
Postscript: In January 2017 I got a new PC and MPEG Streamclip refused to run until I installed the Alternate Quicktime package that it pointed me to. This Alternate Quicktime package does require admin rights to install.
Florida Today put together a nice little narrated photo slideshow showing some scenes from AIDA with the company singing the music that is playing in the background. Check out the video below. Just click on the play button to watch it.
[Link has been removed from Florida Today’s website. Sorry.]
P.S. I’m in the show … I’m playing the bad guy’s (Zoser’s) evil sidekick. It’s an unnamed part without any actual lines, but it’s still a very fun part. I’m also playing a slave in a couple of the slave camp scenes.
Recently I attended an IEEE technical conference in Big Sky, Montana. In case you didn’t know, Big Sky is a very nice ski resort located about an hour north of the west entrance to Yellowstone National Park. I mostly attended this conference because I was presenting a technical paper on a PLC software translation utility that I had prototyped. I seriously had no clue that the conference was being held at a major ski resort. It’s a really nice place. Here are a few photos. The main peak is called Lone Peak and it sits at elevation 11,253 feet.
After my paper was approved for this conference, I found out from a coworker (Glenn S) that it was a major ski resort. Luckily I grew up skiing in Colorado with my family and still had my old skis stored up in the attic. They hadn’t been used in probably 10 years, but they appeared to me to be in decent shape, so I packed them up and took them with me. My ski boots which were also stored in my attic for those 10 years were destroyed … from the heat I suppose. Mental note: Do not store expensive plastic items in the 150 degree attic! I borrowed some winter wear from a friend (Dave B) and did a couple half-days worth of skiing while I was there. Some photos are shown below. All the skiing I did in Colorado growing up led me to believe that I would never experience any better skiing anywhere in the world, but I must say that the conditions at Big Sky were better than anything I’ve ever experienced. This is a top notch ski resort and they take great care of their slopes. On a side note: My bindings were so old the ski shop refused to touch them and by the end of a couple days skiing, one of my skis was starting to de-laminate.
One day when there was nothing going on at the conference, I drove an hour or so down the road to check out Yellowstone. Here are a few photos I took along the way. Sadly, Yellowstone was closed for the winter. I felt a bit like Clark Griswold in National Lampoon’s Vacation after traveling all that way to find the park closed. But I made the best of it and watched an Imax movie and ate dinner and did some shopping in the little town of West Yellowstone. The town was mostly shut down also, though. It was almost a ghost town.
Back at Big Sky Resort, one night while I was walking around the base of the mountain after eating at a local restaurant, I heard the cheers of a large crowd coming from the mountain. I followed the noise (and the stream of people walking that direction) to find a quarter pipe competition in full swing. It was pretty fun to watch. Luckily I always have my camera with me when I travel, so I took a few photos and also some video.
I took a much deserved day off work on Friday and attended the Sun ‘n Fun Fly-In and Air Show in Lakeland, Florida with my buddy Les. It was a beautiful day for an airshow and this was quite an airshow.
First we walked around and looked at all the homebuilt airplanes that were there for the fly-in. Then we walked around all the vendor exhibits for a while. Then we watched the airshow and it was quite impressive. Then after a dinner break, they put on a very cool night airshow. And after that, they put on the most spectacular fireworks display I think I’ve even seen in my entire life! It was quite a day. Here is a short video compilation that I posted to YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UqFCnRzDso