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EricBall

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Blog Comments posted by EricBall


  1. Yep, but while there's a bunch of stuff you can figure out with nothing more than a basic multimeter it doesn't cut it for signalling issues.  Admittedly these days there's USB dongles with software which are a decent alternative to a DSO depending upon what you're debugging.  However, the lesson I learned is to at least consider what might be necessary to troubleshoot issues before diving in and spending $$.

     

    Admittedly software is a lot easier, although there an still be challenges.


  2. On 9/30/2021 at 3:44 PM, SpiceWare said:

     

    B5 is one of my favorite shows. The widescreen version could have looked great considering they planned ahead and actually filmed all the live action at 16:9. The horrific crop & scale that they did for any CGI scenes for the DVD set ruined it for me, I couldn't even make it through a rewatch of season 1.  

     

    The series was recently remastered using 4:3, it looks awesome. If you have HBO Max it's available there, or via digital download from Amazon or iTunes. Sadly no physical version of the remaster is available.

     

     

    Thanks for the info, I wasn't aware there was a 4:3 remaster available.  I think I might be getting an early Christmas present.

     

    The crime was the decision to go ahead with widescreen versions when it wasn't possible to re-do the VFX.  Unfortunately, there was a huge push to avoid black bars when HDTV was new.


  3.  

    On 8/20/2021 at 1:28 PM, EricBall said:

    The reason they won't tell you why is they don't know why themselves.  They have a neural network they've "trained" by feeding it a bunch of posts marked "bad" (and hopefully some marked "good") until it correctly marks another bunch of posts.  The more similar your post is to the "good" training & testing posts, the more likely the AI will mark it correctly.  But if your post is more like the "bad" training & testing posts, then the AI is going to mark it incorrectly.  And there's no way to ask the AI "why is this post "bad"". 

     

    Modern AI is a big black box - garbage in - gospel out.

    On 8/20/2021 at 1:36 PM, Albert said:

    I'd be interested in reading about this, do you have a source?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artificial_neural_network#Training

    IMHO it's a huge problem with neural networks.  One other item which isn't mentioned is the raw input data is often "pre-processed" to make it more compatible with the neural network.  Of course, this pre-processing might introduce or amplify biases.  


  4. 24 minutes ago, Albert said:

    There's really no rhyme or reason to what they do, and since they don't share the actual reason posts like this are removed, all we can do is guess. It is super frustrating. I've seen all manner of posts removed where the rationale is not clear at all.

     

     ..Al

    The reason they won't tell you why is they don't know why themselves.  They have a neural network they've "trained" by feeding it a bunch of posts marked "bad" (and hopefully some marked "good") until it correctly marks another bunch of posts.  The more similar your post is to the "good" training & testing posts, the more likely the AI will mark it correctly.  But if your post is more like the "bad" training & testing posts, then the AI is going to mark it incorrectly.  And there's no way to ask the AI "why is this post "bad"". 

     

    Modern AI is a big black box - garbage in - gospel out.

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  5. 6 hours ago, Jacob Rose said:

    I love this game -- I've been playing slightly longer. Without spoiling anything, I will say that there is a way to store some additional weapons outside your inventory. Amazing game.

    If you're referring to the Hateno house quest - that just gives you space for three more weapons (plus three shields and three bows).  I'm using those for the Champion's weapons (plus a couple of nice to look at shields & bows).


  6. My personal test track is G Major Toccata by Mannheim Steamroller (off Fresh Aire IV), specifically the first ~45 seconds.  Top hat hits & rolls to test out the treble, pipe organ & kettledrums for bass, and a Hammond organ for everything in between.  Plus some decent stereo separation.

     

    When I was shopping for a new stereo I stopped in to a Hi-Fi store and used this track to test out a bunch of amps and speakers.  I concluded the amp didn't make much difference (at the price point I was shopping at), while the speakers were much more important.  Of course, the one thing I couldn't easily change was the room.

     

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  7. My first home stereo system was a Denon amp & Jamo speakers.  About eight years ago I replaced them with a Pioneer S-HSAJ2 5+1 speaker system (although I've never hooked up the center speaker) and Yamaha AV Amp.

     

    When I was shopping around I spent some time doing some listening tests at a HiFi store making the sales person swap cables while I listened to the same 30 second clip.  My conclusion was the difference between amplifiers at the price point I was buying was minimal.  Speakers made a bigger difference, although I bought based on reviews & specs rather than listening tests.  The one variable I couldn't change and would make a big difference is the room.

     

     

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  8. Best of luck!  The one thing I suggest is to spend as much time as possible planning before spending $$ and also determine your critical path for spending.  Nothing worse than a CFO asking about an expensive never-to-be-finished project.  Also start small with something you can easily verify success, then start adding complexity.

     

    You may want to invest in something like an Arduino or RPi Pico which you can use to validate external HW.

     

    Heck, pick up a CoCo off eBay to understand how it works.  (Also check out https://colorcomputerarchive.com/repo/Documents/Manuals/Hardware/Color Computer Technical Reference Manual (Tandy).pdf - lots of good info.)

     

    You're also going to need some way to program your micro, i.e. a ROM burner.  You might also want to check into PALs for address decoding.

     

    • Like 1

  9. RF suffers from quality loss (versus composite) not from any issue inherent in RF but because of the modulation (up to 61.25MHz / 67.25MHz & VSB filter) and demodulation (back down from VHF) steps.  And you can bet the RF parts in the VCS and most TVs weren't of top quality (which is why you get such an improvement using your studio demodulator).  In addition, as you've found, shielding can make a huge difference in signal quality.

     

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  10. When dealing with audio and video files it's important to understand the differences between the container format and the codec.  Confusion often arises because the filename extension typically indicates the container (e.g. WAV, AVI, MOV, MKV, OGG, MP4) but most container formats can handle a wide variety of codecs (e.g. H.264, MPEG2).  People who don't understand this will complain they can't play a particular WAV or AVI file, not understanding that their player doesn't have a decoder for the codec.

     

    According to Wikipedia, WMV files are generally one of the Windows Media Video codecs in an ASF container.  In addition WMV 9 was standardized as VC-1.

     

    So depending upon the codec used for your WMV files, HandBrake could have just put the exact same compressed data into an MP4 container.

     

    However, looking at episode 1, it appears it's been transcoded to H.264, but probably at a high enough bit rate that the video is visually indistinguishable from the original.

     

    As to why WMV is obsolete - it was a proprietary format.  Typically proprietary formats always lose to more open formats.

    • Like 1

  11. I did a similar binge before going to see Episode 8.  I remember seeing Episode 1 on opening night and enjoying it - and returning for several more theater viewings.

     

    I still enjoy Episode 1 as I find the good parts (Darth Maul, the pod race, the battle scenes, landscape shots) are still very, very good.  I never was a Jar-Jar hater, so his goofy manner doesn't bother me, and it's interesting to watch his character develop - knowing what he later sets in motion.  I also loved Palpatine and how he clearly was pulling the strings to ensure he came out ahead no matter what happened.  This is where the Republic starts to fall.

     

    OTOH where the prequel trilogy falls down IMHO is in trying to do what it was supposed to do - explain the origin of the Skywalkers.  Unlike Rogue One, which turned a single line into a coherent movie which was consistent with the other movies, the prequels managed to ruin some of the mythos and introduce contradictions with the original trilogy.  I understand it is very difficult to write a prequel, but George had over a decade to do so.

     

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  12. My problem with buying a new console is I already have numerous devices and a library of games to play on them (and more available at low or no cost).

     

    I will say that # 3 shouldn't be a deal breaker unless you live somewhere where internet is expensive or unavailable.  The question is whether the game can be played offline.

     

     

     

     


  13. Yeah, the "no 32bit" is a non-starter for my 27" iMac.  In particular the drivers for my Dell Laser printer / scanner / copier.

     

    For EyeTV I suspect the video files could be played back via VLC or similar - but that's not much value without the metadata.

     

    I learned at one point to try to avoid recording shows which followed sporting events and try to find an alternate timeslot or channel.


  14. One thing to check is how you're setting VSYNC / VBLANK.  I have hazy memories of some people having problems with Skeleton which was eventually tracked down to how it did VSYNC / VBLANK (setting bits at the right time of the line and for the right number of lines).  Or was it I didn't use VBLANK, but just generated black.  Something or other.

     

    There was also a bug in the original release of Skeleton+ which caused the "YOU WIN" screen to roll.  I wasn't paying attention when I was reordering the data in the cart and the label which I was using for the address of the last line wasn't anymore.

     

    Maybe you've got something similar where you're jumping from one routine where the VSYNC is at the top of the loop to another where it's at the bottom.

     


  15. Nice build.

     

    Currently my wife, son & I have started completing quests on Wynncraft.  I used to play on 2B2T (and make YouTube videos), but now I just log in to see if my base is still standing, or is anyone has left new signs.  My son used to play a lot on Hypixel, and the three of us have played a lot of local survival games (both PC and PS3).

     

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