Sunday, July 9th, 2017 01:58 am
darkoshi: (Default)
Am just now watching a CNN series on the 1980s.

The first part they showed was about MTV. I didn't know that MTV refused to play black artists in the beginning. Back then we were living in Germany, and the only American channel we got to watch was AFN, the Armed Forces Network. I didn't get to watch MTV until 1985 or later, when we were back in the U.S. But nonetheless, it seems like nearly all the music that was popular in the 80s is among my favorite music, even without me having seen the videos for those first years.

There was a segment about the space shuttles and the Challenger disaster on Jan 28, 1986.

I had a memory of being at home, listening to my radio in my bedroom, and hearing about the Challenger accident on the radio... as if I was hearing it live*, or right after it had happened. The apartment/bedroom of my memory matches the year, 1986. Both the year before and the year after, I lived in other places. So the memory must be at least partially true.

But I just looked it up, and the accident was on a Tuesday, at 11:39am in the same time zone as I was. So surely I would have been at school when it happened. I don't remember hearing about it at school though. If I was home that day, what could the reason have been? Even if the school day ended fairly early, it wouldn't have been that early. So surely I must have been at school, gotten home at the normal time, and then heard about it on the radio after the fact. Unless we had a half-day for some reason...

Surely if I had been home at the time of the launch, I would have been watching it on TV, not listening on the radio? Or were space shuttle launches not televised live back then? ...

When a national disaster unfolded live in 1986
If you were an American kid in 1986, you probably remember exactly where you were: That's because so many classrooms were watching the shuttle launch live via a special NASA satellite feed to showcase what would have been the first American teacher in space, Christa McAuliffe.

No, I don't remember watching it live in school. Gah, no way to verify my patchy memories.

*I do think it likely that I listened to the launch live, probably on PBS, because I was into astronomy and NASA and things like that. Maybe we didn't get CNN at the time, or maybe I didn't know it was being televised too. I remember listening to other launch attempts on the radio, including aborted ones. (But as this post shows, I no longer trust such old memories. Maybe I only heard replays, not live broadasts?)

This morning I was lying in bed trying to figure out how long ago Qiao bought his house - was it 2 or 3 years ago? And how long ago was his accident? 2011 or 2012? And when was my brother living in my house? etc., etc. All that only within the last 7 years or so, and I'm already getting it all mixed up in my mind. At least now I have ways of looking up what happened when in my life. But not for 1986. I did occasionally write in a diary back then, but not about the space shuttle.

Update (7/10): I think I figured out why I was not at school that day. According to historical weather sources, it was a very cold day. In my area, it was under 20 degrees until 9am, and didn't go above freezing until the afternoon. Such weather is not usual in the South, and school was probably cancelled to keep kids from having to walk to school or wait for the school buses in such cold.
darkoshi: (Default)
I've had this radio since about 1981. It still works well. It's much more viscerally satisfying to scroll through stations by turning the tuning knob, compared to modern radios with their seek and scan buttons. And it sounds just as good to me as my larger stereo receiver system does.

The clock display is blank in this video as the button battery went bad and I had to remove it. But after cleaning the battery compartment out and putting in a new battery, the clock still works too.

Video title: Sanyo M1950F Clock Radio Cassette Player
Posted by: Darkoshi
URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qExlCPD_Ypk
darkoshi: (Default)
I have embarked upon converting my audio cassettes into mp3 files.

Found a working cassette player. Check.
Found a spare audio cable. Check.
Decided which program to do the recordings with. Check.
Adjusted my laptop's microphone settings. Check.
Figured out how to apply noise reduction to reduce hiss on the recordings.

Now I can't decide if I actually should apply the noise reduction to the songs, or not. The music sounds much cleaner after the noise reduction. But compared to the noisy versions, it seems to be missing something. I can't figure out if the noise reduction is removing some of the important high frequency sounds of the music along with the noise. Or if it's simply that my cassettes have always had a background hiss, so that I am not used to the songs without that noise being there.


I also have a CD version of one of these songs I recorded from this first audio cassette. The quality of the CD version is totally different from the cassette versions. Yet I can't say that the CD version is definitely *better*. They're just *different*. The cassette version is perhaps more nostalgic, as I heard this song on cassette more often than on CD. Yet, when I first heard the song on FM *radio* back in the 1980s, I wonder if the sound quality was more like the CD version than the cassette version? Perhaps the cassette versions even sounded better back then, before they were partially degraded by time and repeat playings.

devil game music

Sunday, April 22nd, 2012 01:29 am
darkoshi: (Default)
Qiao's been playing Diablo III as part of this weekend's open beta test. It took several hours to download, and he had some server connection issues, but was able to play for a good part of the day. He's pleased with it. He had already suggested to me before that the game would make a good birthday present for him.

Me: Heard an unfamilar version of a familiar-sounding song on the radio, and liked it a lot. Decided to buy an MP3 version of it, if I could find it. Went online, found it, but listened to several other versions of it, because I liked it that much. Found 2 more versions of it that I liked. But now I'm having a hard time getting the tune out of my head, and feel sort of sick of it.
darkoshi: (Default)
Two different radio stations in my presets are playing Christmas music.


Saturday, November 21st, 2009 12:48 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
I am able to tune in to at least 41 over-the-air FM radio stations here. A few of them are faint or have static, but most get fairly good reception. If I moved my antenna I'd probably be able to pick up even more stations. So why do radios provide so few station presets? I have a shiny new radio/cd-player - it even has USB and MP3 audio input ports - but it only lets you save 20 FM stations in the presets. Would it be so difficult or expensive for the manufacturer to provide 99 (or more) instead of 20?

I don't like what is played on each and every station, so I wouldn't want to save them all in memory. But there *are* more than 20 stations which might occasionally play music I'd care to listen to.

If they made radios like they used to, with the round tuning dial, the presets wouldn't matter so much, as it would be relatively easy to flip the dial from one frequency to another. But with digital radios where you have to push up and down buttons to change frequencies 10 Mhz at a time, it's very inconvenient to tune in to stations that way. The automatic scanning/tuning tends to skip over more than half the stations, so I don't like using it.

And another thing. Why don't radios nowadays come with a battery port, so that items in memory can be preserved when the unit is unplugged or when the power goes out? This one says that the presets will be lost if the unit is left unplugged for a few days. My good old clock-radio-cassette-player from 1983 (abouts) has a long-life replaceable battery which keeps the clock working when it is unplugged. It still works, and I still use it! I don't have to worry about the power going out in the middle of the night, and having my alarm not come on in the morning because the time-settings got screwed up.

Oh, what am I complaining about. I hardly ever listen to the radio anymore anyway. I chose this one because it was free (a 15 year anniversary gift from my place of employment) and because it has USB and audio input ports, so I can hook my MP3 player up to it.

I've been working there 15 years. Early on, I considered quitting because they weren't giving me enough work to do, and I was bored silly and feeling guilty about passing time by doing things like writing down numbers from one to a thousand, using both hands. This year I've considered quitting because they've been giving me too much work to do.