I’ve spent some time over the last couple of weekends taking notes and doing some research on a device I’m calling the Cambox. I am either imprisoned or freed in my ignorance of the current state of consumer-level computing technology.
Once I kept up with that sort of thing, but since buying a time-bomb iMac in late 2007, I just have not bothered. As you might imagine the world has moved on without me over the last six years. Many name brands I do not recognize. Really.
I am investigating the Rivendell open-source, all-in-one system intended to automate radio stations independently and without cost. The manipulation of live video, and the devices one could use for such has been a subject of study for at least a couple of years. Romantically, I would love for the devices to operate on linux, perhaps evolving into a distribution intended for this specific purpose, but given the state of video manipulation after all these years this appears highly unlikely. With the cost, dependability (of late) and inflexible nature of Apple hardware it’s use appears unreasonable for this idea. We’re stuck with Windows.
Instead of posting specific plans, I shall outline the technical objectives of the device. I am also quite interested in suggestions to achieve the objective outlined below. Cambox is a reasonably priced, ideally under $700 in parts although this appears unlikely, specifically “tuned” to accomplish the following through hardware or software.
- A live, 720 pixel-high (or more) video feed, via Flash or similar, through either ethernet, or wifi for remote broadcasting.
- Enough processing overhead to readily composite images live, supers, titles, chroma key, generating images on the fly such as visuals inspired by music which is playing, having guests on cam through Skype or similar, and so on.
- The ability to cope with feeds from up to four full-motion video cameras at full resolution and switch on the fly, possibly automatically. I can’t imagine needing more than four, and with the assumption such cameras will not have on-board processing like the Logitech 920C or a Chinese-sourced “action camera”.
- The ability for guests to “call in” to a live broadcast, possibly even through a telephone of all things, with calls held in cue until ready for air.
- Cue. Audio in cue is something I can’t quite work out just yet.
- Full video-editing suite on a common application.
- Disk arrays which will permit extremely quick processing of edited video and creation of ISO images
- The device should be workable from one monitor, even if that is not ideal, and configured in such a way that it is readily portable. The ability to broadcast remotely is critical, even if it shall be plugged in. Think about broadcasting from cars, city parks, relatively remote areas presumably within 4G range, night clubs, bars, coffee shops, possibly even “where the news happens” and so forth.
- A software solution that displays artist and title information of songs being played on iTunes, Songbird or similar, possibly even from streaming audio from Pandora, Icecast or similar.
- a virtual audio board, or equivalent, that sends audio through Flash or another communication-device stream which is more flexible than live audio through Stereo Mix native to MS Windows.
- related to the virtual audio board would be a virtual jingle box, an array of buttons that you can hit and the jingle, theme, ad, music, announcement just plays without any additional configuring.
- The input of audio or video through dedicated, that is not split, USB ports, or something better than USB which is yet to be determined … or invented.
The most looming question I have, which I can’t seem to wring out of the internet, is the use of higher-end video cards and how they relate to both video manipulation, rather then display, and the use of these cards for generating images, editing and so forth. Which packages, if any, push editing to the graphics subsystem? Would the addition of a second graphics card be fruitful?
A related development would be what I have long called The Edison Carter device, after the lead character of the television show Max Headroom which permits proper, professional “webcasting” at a moment’s notice from a device or system of devices which may be readily carried on one’s person, possibly discretely. This would include directional audio, the ability to somehow generate titles or other supers, providing an option for supplementary or replacement audio other than live (think “test card music”) and going to a test pattern or card if things get out of hand, such as nudity, gruesome accident, boredom, &c.
Another development would be a device which is a dedicated automotive unit for broadcasting with multiple cams, quality audio, possibly even integrating the audio system within the car itself (think about local radio), yet with absolutely minimal intervention from the operator (presumably the driver of the car) once the system is active. Potentially with titles automatically working out the name of the jurisdiction from which one is broadcasting, specific coordinates, and the local time and time zone. I imagine something not unlike a live travelogue within the confines of a mundane vehicle and transmitting over the 4G network. An example of this is the many over-the-road adventures of the programme Top Gear or Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, but done live, and ideally operated by a single person.
All live programs should default to being processed and recorded on the device while happening for future reference, especially replay, editing or uploading to Youtube, Dailymotion or similar.
I am presently reminded that Newton N. Minow’s vast wasteland was in fact television, and not commercial broadcasting in its entirety. This editorial gaffe shall not be corrected largely because I can’t think of a better title.
By which is meant information relayed in audio form from a central point, electrically encoded on a specific frequency, which may be received by a mass audience equipped with electrical receivers designed for this purpose.
By which is not meant music streaming services, automated or otherwise, or the relay of similar programming via internet, satellite, wire or as a carrier on another airwave service.
in CCM’s role as a binding agent in casseroles and such. This is the same sauce as Stan’s Vegan Macaroni Casserole, but a half portion without spices.
2 cups unadulterated, no sugar or additional flavorings, soy milk
¾ cup “vegetable oil”, typically soy, corn, canola or a blend
1-2 Tbsp crushed, grated or granulated garlic
½ Tbsp sea or table salt
1 cup nutritional yeast
Dump these ingredients in a blender and go to town.
Slice, grate, julienne, &c. an assortment of fresh vegetables which compliment one another. This is entirely up to the chef. Add onion and/or bell peppers for additional flavoring. Enough to not quite fill a 9×12 pan.
Add spices or dried herbs which compliment your vegetables to the slurry. Again, this is entirely up to the cook. Drag out the whole spice rack and see what inspires.
Pour the slurry over the vegetables. Generally, distribution by hand is not required. It seems like not quite enough fluid, but the vegetables will weep fluid as they bake.
Top with dried herb, sprinkle with spice or don’t do anything. I don’t care. You’re the one who has to eat this.
Bake at 350 for 50-75 minutes. Different combinations of veggies produce differing quantities of fluid. Bake until light to golden brown. Upon serving this may be a nice firm casserole or it might be better described as a really thick stew, but it’s hard to go wrong.
Try eggplant, yellow squash and tomatoes. How about potatoes, carrots and spinach or even greens? You could do what I do and become inspired by whatever’s on sale that week and some other veggies to compliment.
which needs a snazzier name.
This is based on Soul Vegetarian’s Vegan Mac and Cheese. After a year or so of playing with it. This is what I tend to actually make.
1 qt. unadulterated, no sugar or additional flavorings, soy milk
1½ cups “vegetable oil”, typically soy, corn, canola or a blend
2-3 Tbsp crushed, grated or granulated garlic
13.25-16 oz whole-wheat macaroni (a box) boiled for six minutes. The desired texture is undercooked, not even al dente. Let the pasta cool. Typically I cool the pasta under a spray of cold water from the tap.
Dry ingredients, place these ingredients together in a bowl.
1 Tbsp each, Cumin, Dry Mustard, Paprika, Sea Salt
½ Tbsp Ginger
2 cups nutritional yeast.
Slop the soy milk into a blender. On medium speed pour the oil through the lid with the insert removed. Add garlic which will mince further and flavor the sauce well.
While still spinning, place a funnel into the top of the blender and spoon your dry ingredients into the soy and oil. You want a very thorough blend. Let it spin after the dry ingredients are in for an extra minute or two. This mixture will look more orange than you think it should. It will also be bubbly or well aerated. This is okay.
Place the mac in a 9×12 pan. Pour in your slurry and distribute well by hand. The first thing you will note is that it just doesn’t seem like enough macaroni. That’s okay.
Optional: Sprinkle with parsley flake, garlic salt and/or black pepper.
This stores well for up to 24 hours refrigerated and uncovered, but is ready to bake immediately. If kept cold, move directly from the ‘fridge to a pre-heated oven.
Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes. It will keep warm after baking for up to two hours.
because the words don’t seem to work right.
I’m taking notes. I’m running off at the keyboard. I’m editing. I’m trying to understand bigger questions such as, how did we return to the popular materialism of the Regan era? When I see references to “Haters” I comprehend this as the same generalized ennui that generated the bumper sticker “Shit Happens”. I’ve also been seeing the phrase “Baby on Board” on cars again. That was a true symbol of the obliviousness of the era. What? I’m supposed to hit your car less? You may be paying less attention to the task at hand because you have a child on board? Thanks for the warning, but I’m behind you. Isn’t that just a cry in the darkness for the horrors of community and mutual responsibility?
I lost the thread somewhere. Or the thread I was following ran out. Or something.
Like now. Nothing fit for publication. I am somewhat relieved that I can rant here with even less of a threat of actually being read.
I have notes about the impressions and experiences of living generations, that is, the people born every 20 years starting in 1910 and going forward to 1990. Then expounding upon the differences in the overall experiences of this people at critical ages. 12, 18, 25, 40 and so on. The entire exercise is replete with generalizations, but so is everything else.
My frustrations about another 80s trope which has reared its ugly head. In the wake of some middle American community actually convicting star high-school football players for rape, which they, by all accounts, actually committed, the self-appointed defenders of all things female that aren’t served on a plate seem frustrated that they were not drawn and quartered. Good Lord man, a conviction alone is such a substantial sign of progress I can’t believe it happened even, perhaps especially, under the threat of the world watching.
The worst offenders are those who have willfully participated in the pre-Internet variation of this kind of scenario, on either side. Nowhere has anyone mentioned what the state and medical-industrial complex shall invariably do to the victim here is makes the actions of the footballers seem positively welcome. The years ahead in which she shall be subjected to having impressions projected upon her, how evil and wrong she is for getting on with her life. Google “Samantha Geimer” for an extreme example of why women who know don’t report rape. Her case changed the Western world, and it should have been for the better. People like most of you would not let that happen.
An exploration of why so many of the Boomers thought music would save the world. In short, the experience of the rediscovery of socially aware music from previous decades, or “folk music” lead the first suburbanized generation to have a social conscious they would not have experienced without awareness of the ideas and issues raised. Peter Paul and Mary were not at the March on Washington just to bump the ratings numbers. This generation also witnessed a degree of personal repression, in the post-war period, unlike any previous generation. The 50s were thought of as “Happy Days” because so many states of mind and being simply were not being recognized, a scenario which lead to the Beat Generation and so forth.
Among the youngsters, who simply comprehended the ennui that was supposed to be cured with products not so much unlike the 80s and today, until all Hell broke loose. The President was killed by an analog of the Teabaggers. The world didn’t make sense and then a popular phenomenon simply exploded through the veil in February 1964, and it didn’t hurt that this was from another country, which brought to mind the idea that those other countries actually existed. To many the events of the television and radio during 02/64 brought about (I disagree) a whirlwind of social and political changes which utterly crushed, for good and ill, the world in which the folk born during and just after the war experienced. A five-year period, like between the Netscape IPO and the burst of the bubble, that revoked all the previous standards.
Alas, those years lead to the Nixon administration much like the Internet Bubble years lead to the Bush years. The following decade was about attempting to re-impose the old ideas on a world which no longer needed them with disastrous results. This only further impressed the notion that music (see data in the present era) would change the world.
I want to provide a layman’s guide to the distribution of radio and television in the analog era. These media were so critical in the time that those of you under 30 will every fully comprehend. The technical aspects had such a profound effect on the limitations of the media. I intend to argue, the relative ease of the present technology is among the reasons “Big Media” shall abandon their audience much as radio clearly has. The old model is not obsolete, but it will go away anyway.
An exploration of the gay underground of the post-war period, starting with the reasons San Francisco is so closely identified with that culture, and the many gifts that scene provided to other groups who operated underground before the internet era.
Now to get on with the day. Should I even bother with any of this? I mean, other than giving the remnants of my mind something to do?
I now know even less about how “the world” works.
Admittedly I was out of just about everything. I spent the last week largely not eating, and that which I ate was pretty much crap. Over the week I believe I had no fewer than four 7-Eleven Burrito Grandes. The “red hot” variety is just hot enough to matter. Get the “salsa”.
I perform my ritualistic consumption at the flagship H-E-B store at the resurrected Hancock Center along 41st Street in Austin. I could get into the history of Hancock Center if you really want to know. In short. the site of the first so-named Dillard’s department store was demolished in 1990 with the unique 1978 H-E-B Futurestore and 1966-built Sears anchors remaining. The remaining space was green field between the Summer of 1990 and Spring 1997. This flagship store opening on Friday, 2 May 1997. It is identical to the largest Monterrey H-E-B, which introduced the company to Mexico, and was built at the same time.
With around 120,000 square feet of selling space this store is larger than a typical Wal-Mart and focuses primarily on food and health-and-beauty aids with a tiny selection of other goods including small appliances. It is one of three 24-hour groceries remaining in the Austin market. During the day, it is as busy as your grocery store is the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Located between the wealthiest area in the MSA, the University district, and the poorest zip code Austin will concede, it offers a fascinating array of products. It is the kind of store where you can buy Dr. Bronner’s Soaps and Economax sandwich cookies under the same roof. VW Phaetons and Range Rovers are parked along side patched-together cars from the early 1980s in the parking lot. If you ever want to see a Volvo 240 as they become increasingly rare, you now know where to go.
I think of this place as the living, beating heart of the present city. Especially since the city has improved the Sixth Street Entertainment District to all but extinction. All of the elements come together, not at all ironically, at a shopping center. I live not quite a mile away, but almost always drive even if I am coming directly from home. One shops like a suburbanite in Austin as practical shopping is always an adventure.
Today I left the grocery $105 poorer and drained of energy. I am a bachelor who isn’t especially picky and yet managed to spend that kind of money. Although it includes a handful of items that will be used over time, the bulk of my purchases was just sustenance for the next week or so.
Or is it? I’m going over the receipt with more than a little confusion.
First, that $105 includes $30 of pocket money for next week. Yes, $30. Austin is such an endurance contest. I find the imposed and compulsive novelty not merely disinteresting but insulting. I’ve been going through only about that much because I pretty much only leave the house to go to work or this very store. What else is there to do?
Non-list items: Four slices of freshly baked “Yellow cake with pink icing”, which is actually a variety of Mexican pastry I cannot find the real name of right now, the big bag of “Hit the Trail” snack mix which is my favorite nosh of late, a 1.5 liter bottle of Lambrusco for an after-work pleasantness, and
I broke down and bought the $15 GTC six-speed blender. I’ve been thinking about it forever and my present dietary habits will be much easier with such a tool. It’s only $15, but I know someone with one and it works a treat.
I didn’t seem like much at the time but all of that comes in just under $34.
They were somehow out of both half-gallon ($2.96) and quart containers of organic, hippy-dippy soy milk. I had to either venture to another store or buy the shelfable liter containers for $2.00. That’s an extra $1.04.
It looks like I spent $65 on non-food items., not including $4.00 on washable yet ultimately disposable lunch containers as the ones I have were getting brittle.
So I spent about $36 on actual food, spice and so forth. That’s not so terrible. I guess.
It’s veggie casserole again next week, broken up with Fantastic Foods vegan chili with peppers and walnuts served over whole-wheat pasta, and another pan of mac and “cheese” which I can’t get enough of for the moment. I’ll spend an hour prepping all of this later tonight, and preparing six bowls for lunch. For now I’ll have a slice of low-sugar pastel y guinda.
The most important idea within my theory of laundering textiles is detergent is largely unnecessary. If you are using an old school “1x loader” upright domestic washer, you might stand to use roughly 50% of the amount of detergent indicated on the packaging. The action of the water, the agitation, does almost all of the work. The primary deodorizing, aside from the removal of actual filth, is accomplished by the temperature of the water which should be over 140 degrees for most natural fabrics.
Because the action of water is so critical in the cleaning of textiles, catalyzing the water is far more important than the addition of synthetic animal fat. The primary purpose of detergent is to impart an additional odor: flowers, berries, cinnamon or vanilla, something innately artificial that is focus grouped to impart the idea of clean.
Even more important than the chemicals used, is the device.
My dedication to coin-op laundries is not merely a product of my relative frugality. The washateria offers the big, upright front-loading commercial washing machines which shall make you spit at those sissy-ass upright household “washers”. In the better joints, you will find upright washers with heavy-soil mode, typically for an additional fee. Always use the heavy-soil mode for anything not better hand washed.
Heavy-soil mode runs an additional pre-wash. When you see the brown or grey water produced by this first wash, which then drains away before the conventional wash begins, you will understand just how filthy your domestic textiles have been all these years.
A load of laundry is presumed to be 10 lbs of textile. Volume doesn’t enter into it. If you bother weighing your laundry you may be surprised at just how little 10 lbs actually is. The commercial-grade upright washers can be found in the laundries with capacities of 2x to 10x, that is that many loads washed at once.
For whites, I use a quarter-cup per four loads of washing soda and a scoop of oxygenated cleaner for the pre-wash and a quarter-cup per four loads of soda, one-eighth cup of chlorine bleach and two-scoops of oxy. for the conventional cycles. You will note there are no detergents mentioned. For sparkling whites, the kind of whites that make older women presume this bachelor is married or something similar, this is all you need.
Whites are to be washed in hot water. This water should be a minimum of 140 degrees at the tap. All laundry is to be rinsed in cold water.
In lieu of conventional synthetic fabric softener, or to provide an additional degree of deodorizing for particularly soiled items, use white vinegar, also a quarter-cup per load in the rinse cycle. The acidity works wonders, but is not so strong as to remain in your textiles after drying.
For especially heavy soil, including but not limited to clothing worn close to the body for extended periods of time (days or weeks), items soiled with animal, including human, waste, heavy mold or the produce of an insect infestation, don’t mess around with grocery store items. The product to use is a bioextractor. Common household cleaners are not intended to address this degree of filth. I am loyal to Get Serious! brand, recommended by a veterinarian long ago and available at larger pet stores such as Petco. Information is difficult to find for this application. Use a half-cup per load in lieu of detergent with no other products, and after a water-only, heavy-soil preliminary cycle. Then run a second full wash as normal. Vinegar in the rinse is not strictly required, but recommended. The results can be shocking.
Pre-treat stains with a thin washing-soda paste. Get Serious may be used as a pre-treat for appropriate stains.
For non-white items, that is lighter items or things likely to be damaged by chlorine bleach, the protocol is the same, save the introduction of chlorine bleach. You may use a bioextractor on items which are not color fast without ill effect.
In the event you use an old-style upright “1x” washer, a up to a single dose of detergent should be used. The agitation cycle on these machines are simply not effective.
Always defer to instructions on the label for water temperature and cycles.
To dry, be certain to place no more than 2x loads in a conventional commercial dryer. Household washer-dryer sets are typically well matched, but in a coin-laundry or other commercial environment you must be certain the textiles have enough room to tumble around. The failure of the machine to dry clothing in a timely fashion is not a failure of the device so much as a sign of overloading. When well loaded such items as dryer sheets are not required. Dryer sheets primarily serve the function of imparting odor and a synthetic lipid to textiles. All textiles should be dried until they are warn to the touch and not damp in any way. Ideally the use of medium heat for an extended period of time, over 40 minutes will yield the best results with regard to static and softness, but are you so patient?
The initial harshness of synthetic-lipid-free clothing and towels is a function of being well dried and stored. This dissipates within minutes of use.