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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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.

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.

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.

Quick Project: This Is Getting Dot Old

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When I re-installed Windows into my computer it left a huge archive of files from my old computer as “windows.old”. It takes up a lot of space so I decided to knock a bit of that out this week. Yes, more virtual clutter, but it’s been a hot, humid week here in Connecticut and working in my attic was not something I was really willing to do. It kind of affected my whole week, including another project I’m working on and ended up getting nothing done on.

I’d like to reach out to the more computer savvy out there and ask a question: can I safely remove anything from .old archives without negatively affecting my computer? Seriously, I could see if it was just documents, pictures, videos, and even fonts. But I’m seeing full folders for programs I’d have to reinstall in there. It’s not like they work either since various registry info and whatever aren’t present. But is it okay to delete folders or are they intended to be copy/pasted into somewhere? Because it’s been so long since I re-installed that I don’t need those programs or otherwise can’t use them because I can’t fully install them. What exactly are .old archives and what’s safe to delete? I can think of a few things. This project was about going through internet links that are dead, various image and video files, and other things I’m relatively sure is okay to delete. But I would love some advice before proceeding further.

Quick Project: Comic Shifting

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This wasn’t the project I planned to do this week. I wanted to take my steno book and make a listing of the PC software I have and list what goes to which computer (my desk and laptop) and further divide them by games, productivity, creativity, and standard drivers and stuff. But I’ve lost the steno book. I don’t even think I can blame this one on the clutter. I put it somewhere and now I don’t know where. Luckily this isn’t an important project right now. I’m just upset I lost my steno book. Remember, it has all my video game scores and other listings on there. So until I figure out where I put it that project’s on hold.

So I did the project this week I was saving for next week. As I continue to go through my comic collection I’ve pulled out a bunch of comics from my collection, leaving a big gap in at least one longbox. So this week I moved some comics around, putting a few more in the box and condensing the collection. So at least I did something this week, and considering how hot it is in Connecticut (and thus hotter in this attic) I’m lucky I was able to do that.

By the way, for my fellow Americans, have a happy Independence Day!

Quick Project: Yet More E-Mail Clearing

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It happened again. Surprise events pulling me out of the house and one I actually did schedule in advance and plan for, took time away from other projects. Luckily the virtual clutter cleaning is important too, just like the physical cleaning. That big mound of unread emails feels ready to collapse on you every time you go to your email browser or site of choice. And this is only one of a few email accounts I have to go through, although others are mostly open because I have to read that backlog or I don’t currently remember how to get into them. So I made a dent in that project. Not a big enough dent for my liking but at least I accomplished something off of the board. I should update that picture with what I have left.

Quick Report: More Email Clearing

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I had another toy review but I couldn’t get upstairs enough last week to do the photo work. But I wanted to do something this week, so I went back into my email backlog and deleted a bunch of emails whose links didn’t work anymore or didn’t have anything of interest to me today. I got a pretty huge chunk out. This time I had them listed by sender and deleted anything outdated or from junk email. Unfortunately I still have a major lot of emails to go through before I’m done. Still, a victory is a victory. Hopefully this week I’ll be able to do my photo shoot and do a proper review. It’s another knockoff combiner team from Quick Change.

Quick Project: Taking Down The Warehouse

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Another week with friends coming over, but more importantly where I had this Block City made “set” was blocking the air conditioner, and yesterday it just got too hot in my attic. So all I had a chance to do is take down the backdrop, which I want to rethink anyway. I’m hoping to do another big project, and I do have a few I need to revisit and some left on that board. You know…

I still need to clean out my emails, organize my computer files, and do something with the larger graphic novels, collected comics, magazines, and whatever else. Hopefully I can tackle one of these next week. Besides, I haven’t had a decent article for this site in a few weeks and you readers deserve something worth being subscribed to and I started this project for a reason. While I’m still in a better state than I was when I started this project there’s still more to go.

Quick Project: Organizing Some On-Line Lists

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English: A Twitter tweet

English: A Twitter tweet (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This week I have a friend coming over so I didn’t have time for a big project. However, I did have time for a couple small ones. First I went to Twitter. I have two Twitter accounts. (Long story.) I decided to keep one for websites and other project promotion and one to discuss personal pursuits and interests (writing and comics stuff mostly). The problem is I was following most of the same accounts on both feeds and that meant my newsfeed was way too long to keep up with. So I adjusted things. The website account follows news and reviews plus blogs and some friends I’ve made solely through BW Media Spotlight while the other site follows local feeds, news, and comic creation, plus some of my friends. There is still a little overlap but otherwise they should be easier to keep up with.

The other was my Amazon wishlist. It’s grown pretty large with media, audio and video equipment, other things that interest me, and at some point I want to add art supplies. So I reorganized the list into smaller lists to keep track of what I want and need as I continue to make room up here and work on projects. Things are a bit more streamlined now and I might need less once I pick some of this stuff up…as soon as I have room to put it and money to afford it anyway. Not a lot of clutter work today but it needed to be done. Now I’m just waiting for my friend to show up. Hopefully a larger project to report on next week.

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