It is starting to get late on a Tuesday night. I remain unemployed, not quite as blissfully as the last time I was unemployed (almost exactly 10 years ago) since debts and obligations tend to change the way you look at the time off.

I’m typing now from the computer in my bedroom. I built this computer as an unemployment present to myself. I had originally started building my own computers in order to make a TIVO computer to use to transfer all my old VHS tapes to DVD. After building a few of them (and destroying a couple of them), I finally have one machine (this one) dedicated to VHS to DVD transfer now. Yes, I have THAT much to transfer.

Right now I have a device that takes analog video/audio and transfers it into DV format which I capture with Pinnacle Studio 9.0 in AVI format. From there I take it into TMPEG Express 3.0 to trim out the scan lines and resize it back to original DVD specs then transfer it to MPEG-2 format.

I lost you, didn’t I? Okay. Just know that for every two hours of VHS it takes 6 hours to process. Two of those hours come from just getting the video into the machine and the rest is taken up by formatting and resizing. I’m sure there’s a better way to do it, but by golly, I haven’t found one just yet.

I’ve had a frantic couple of weeks. I was supposed to go to a job seekers get together for unemployment last week. I didn’t make it due to the heaviest snow we’ve had in years. By heavy I mean that it was so heavy that we have downed trees and branches everywhere. It’s almost a week later and we’re still cleaning up the mess of snow that was here for all of 24 hours.

During the messy Thursday morning our power went on and off about 5 times. It, of course, fried one of the two computers in my office. I had a motherboard and a case sitting there and I promptly fried those by putting the stuff from the dead machine into it. I then tried putting everything into a Biostar shell I had sitting there but it won’t power on. That was Friday. I haven’t touched the freaking computer since then, but I do have an order in for a new processor. Just in case.

Since then I’ve had to rely on my two capture computers. Sadly, the one in the office is for capturing and TIVO’ing current stuff and this one is for capturing and transferring VHS tapes. Since video capture is SO RAM intensive, I’ve had to run between rooms to surf the web or IM folks when the other machine has been in use. It’s a major PITA and I hope to get a 3rd computer up and going by this weekend.

Since both machines had a ton to capture this weekend/week, well, I’ve had a lot of time on my hands. For the first time in about a year my bedroom is clean. Almost everything is put away and even my laundry is sorted and off my floor! I’m doing the office next (a TOTAL disaster), and then starting to finish pending projects.

Wish me luck, I’m going to need it.