Quick Report: From Vinyl To Digital

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In a rare commentary for this site I talked about the return of vinyl records and made a defense for physical media not necessarily being clutter. I stand by that. I still enjoy playing records. My dad still enjoys playing records and has been going through all the old records he and my late mother collected over the years. I have a few but by the time I had regular income cassettes and CD had taken over. Records are great. I also like cassettes and CDs but most of our old 8-tracks are in too poor a shape to even play anymore so I think we got rid of them. That’s the problem with magnetic tape. It doesn’t last as long as vinyl and compact disks, and those don’t even last forever.

However, few people have a record player alarm clock (if that even exists) and good luck playing one in your car. I think they did make travel record players that you could use in a moving vehicle without it jumping but those were pricey and didn’t last long. I used to have a Mickey Mouse travel record player when I was a boy but I don’t remember if that was battery-powered or if you had to plug it in. I was sad when it stopped working. At some point in more recent years my parents were without a record player at all and needed a new one. Having a job at the time I was able to buy them a record player but couldn’t afford a decent system. Then I came across a device you could connect to the computer to record the vinyl to digital format for burning to CDs and I bought them that. My mother passed before I got it working, just another regret I have.

Not wanting to do that again to my dad this week I decided to forgo the clutter cleaning and get the player working so he could record music to the CDs to play by his bedside or in the car. At home he can use the regular record player he bought some time later (didn’t need a computer or extra speakers since it came with them) but not by his bed to wake up on days he needs to get up at a certain time, and certainly not while driving. I still don’t know why the music won’t play through the speakers but I found out where the recordings were saving to. I do have a problem with how it auto-separates tracks in an instrumental that takes a long enough pause in the song but I can always re-edit that in Audacity. The point is the thing works and I can make recordings of the records for use when he isn’t by the record player. It won’t replace the record. The sound isn’t the same. However, I do like having options and I have an old Doctor Who sound effects record I can digitize for use some time in the future. Now I just need to test the cassette tape set-up. We both have tape decks in our cars (I don’t have a CD player in mine) but he doesn’t have that by his bedside, either. It’s not as important to do right now, and I need to get ready for Christmas decorating next month. Someday though.

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Doing The Dishes…Cabinet

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This week’s project is dusting and that’s hardly interesting. However, I did so something with my dad last week while filing the book report. We used to have parties and people coming over. We weren’t party central or anything but we did celebrated birthdays and some other holidays. If not here, then we went other places and some of this week’s clutter would be used for that. Or would have been if most of what was up there was anything we used.

You know how you get plates as presents for special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, or Christmas that you don’t use? We had a big collection of that. Some plates were also bought thinking we’d use them and maybe we did for some gathering but there were more plates than three people, sadly now two, would ever dirty even on Thanksgiving. So last week we decided it was time to start making room in the cabinets.

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Organizing The Cables

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Some time ago I went and organized the drawer I keep various cords and other things for my computer or TV/VCR setups. (Twice as you can see from the links.) Over time it got a bit disorganized (as things do), but it was because I was trying to find something specific and had to dig around to find it. This week I decided to try to get it back in shape. Plus I wanted to get rid of that box you see in the corner since it’s hard to go through as well. Baggies were the answer to my problem. (It’s usually baggies or cardboard with me, isn’t it?)

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Quick Report: Updating My Media Library

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One problem I’ve had with doing article is finding the right image from my media library. I don’t always have to upload a new image every time, when the old images I have can work to showcase what a project was, especially a quick project like this one. However, there are a number of times when I enter something to search my media library and even though I’m sure I have it I can’t find it. When I just need an old picture to make a point it’s not to be found, although sometimes I can dig into my library and find it. Nowadays I’m pretty good at naming photos for tracking down later but in the old days especially I didn’t really think about it. So this week I went through my old pictures in my media library and updated the descriptions and in a few cases the title for better exploring. This may also solve the problem of the same handful of images coming up for a topic when I know I have more. This is something I was going to while taking time off from my other site (which also needs this project done, but more so because there are more images) but then my computer went down the same time as the laptop I use for my art corner which could in a pinch act as a back-up for making content. So I had nothing to work with. Now the images here at The Clutter Reports should be easier to find. I know this doesn’t affect you much but it will make things easier for me, which is the whole point of this project.

Back Online

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I have my main computer back and running thanks to my friend, so I can write articles and edit pictures again. I was hoping to have a project┬átoday to celebrate but I had some software issues I had to wrangle first. That’s done so next week the virtual cleaning can resume.

The problem is most of the stuff I wanted to do during my downtime didn’t get done because the computer wasn’t available to do it. I can’t take more time off so sucks to be me I guess. I’m still going to have to find a way to do that and keep up content. So this whole break I took from the other site was entirely pointless! No, I’m not happy about it. But at least I can get back to work (and finding work that actually pays me so I have money coming in again) so I’ll take the victories I can.

So I guess we’re back in action, unless something else goes wrong and there’s certainly precedence for that.

Computers Offline

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Well here’s a snag I wasn’t expecting to hit during my virtual clutter projects. My desktop won’t turn on and my laptop either needs a new hard drive or is having trouble connecting to the one I have. I have a friend who can help me with these problems and he is currently working on the main computer. The laptop I use in the art corner can wait a bit. This means I’m using my dad’s computer to write this article.

I’m going to try to get to my other clutter, but I may not be able to write articles on it until at least one of my computers (hopefully both, since the laptop is part of my art corner) is active again since I can’t use my dad’s computer at any time. He lets me use it when he isn’t using it but I need my set-up back in action. I’ll keep you as informed as I can.

Quick Report: Back-Up Clean-Up

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I took the week off to get a few things done, although I think I rested more than I actually worked. Next week is going to be really loaded, so I’ll be taking that week away as well. But since I already missed a week in clutter maintenance I opted to fit the project in this week. It was all about clearing space on my back-up hard drive, and I did most of that this week. I went through and deleted files I no longer need, and made sure it was all organized in the same folders I use currently in my computer. There are things on the back-up drive that I don’t have on the main computer for whatever reason but I still wanted it and thus it stayed. And I also added stuff to the back-up drive that I still want but hadn’t put up there yet.

I’m not quite done though. My video files are a mess and I have to compare them not only with my computer but my project drive for video work. I need to see what I have and what I don’t and make the proper adjustments. I don’t know if I’ll get to it next week because there’s so much going on so don’t be surprised if there’s no post next week, but I’m going to try because this bit of virtual clutter clearing is not the last of it. I also have more physical clutter to go through but this needs to get done if I’m going to get projects done and save my computer data if something happens to my machine. I’ll keep you posted, and we will get to the larger physical projects and reviews in due time.

No Report This Week

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Due to a family gathering I didn’t have time this Saturday to continue my back-up drive project. However, I’m hopeful I’ll have a report for you next week. Family comes first, and I spend too much time in this house as it is.

Quick Report: Prepping The Back-Up Drive

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If you’re smart you have a back-up drive for your computer. That way if you lose anything you can reclaim it. Of course it only works if you actually back stuff up. Some people actually use an off-line storage solution, referred to as the “cloud”. Whichever way you do it there comes a point when you need to go to the back-up drive and delete a few things you don’t want anymore. You have to be careful of course because if you lose something on that you’re kind of in trouble.

This is my next virtual clutter project. In addition to files I don’t need anymore (and I did manage to cut some of those out) you have back-ups based on older file layouts on my computer and newer ones, leading to a few multiple files. I was going to start that this week as well but a surprise family event I ended up not making anyway means I’m going to have to wait on that. By the time I’m done I should have all my back-ups organized so I have room to back-up my current files. Then if I lose something on the computer I know where to find it. So we’ll have to continue that next week, but at least I got a start on it.

I Collect Some Odd Stuff

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If you’ve read enough of this site you know I’m a toy collector, or was when I had money coming in. I never saved the boxes but when there were bio cards on the back (for many of you former kids out there think GI Joe or Transformers) I did save the backs. Or if that’s where the instructions were I’d save that. This doesn’t seem like as good an idea as before. Now they’re just taking up space. In fact here’s the box they’re taking up, along with collected trades of Transformers comic stories from the UK and a couple of UK Transformers comic magazines I’ve managed to acquire. While looking through this box out of boredom I came across a few things that made want to dig through. I’ll get to what later. Let’s just look at the pile.

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