ancient technology

back in 1992 i bought a sanyo 8mm video camcorder for FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS! after i unboxed it and ran a tape i felt like i got a great bargain. of course, compared to today’s camcorders it iz a piece of crap. i shot a bunch of historical videos. only today 22 yeerz later am i digitizing them for upload.

the problem wuz dat back in dee day computers didnt have enough power to cope wiff NTSC 30 frames a second 640×480 video.the only way to copy a tape wuz to hook a vcr to a vcr. well, rca plugs doan cut it. and…each copy had to be done in real time! burn a DVD on yur desk top? wutz a DVD, bro? not an option. a cd burner wuz $5000! thatz the price of a nice used car.

386 cpu? no can do (not even wiff a 16 bit add on card doing all the work). 486 cpu? almost. 586 cpu? sure, the fast ones, 500mhz clock speed type 3.

now i am looking at all my old tapes and digitizing them. i found out i have to cut the saturation b y 33% to fool the AGC in modern capture cards.

seeing how 8mm tapes i have are 20 yeerz old and mostly work i am very pleased. all the sanyo recorded tapes are still viewable. “they” came out wiff hi-8 for extra quality. i bought one after dey got cheap.

back in the day i had techno lust. gotta have it, the latest greatest fastest whiz bang gadget dat just came out. dat wuz dee problem 286 wuz supplanted by 386 den faster 386 den 486 den faster 486, you get the eye dear. itz az if doze guys were leaking duh hardware on a schedule to get you to upgrade. “they” are still doing it today wiff eye fones.

i got taken advantage on the 386, 486 and cd-rom arcs. what i started doing wuz buying hand me downs from other techno lust junkies. ten cents on the dollar. some guy wud cobble up a tight spec desktop use it for a yeer den dump it and cobble up another tight spec desk top wen all dee new cpu and graphic cards and moe boes came out. or i always bought on close outs and discontinued.

there wuz only one problem. even doh i wuz getting trailing edge tech dirt cheap, i cud not off load it when the next batch of dirt cheap trailing edge came out. i still got me a fully functional 585 class two cpu desk top. and 586 class three and a P4. i use dem to capture video or sound our burn DVD data.

currently i got a 4 yeer old laptop wiff winders sebben. i’m happy.

the sanyo sat in the closet 10 yeerz. i tried to give it away twice. finally the “fuzzy logic” auto focus stopped working. even the manual over ride stopped functioning.i had 4 bat tree packs. i deconstructed it, removed the optics and used to hooked up to a 5 inch diameter telescope to do lunar studies.

then mini DV came out. i waited a few yeerz until the price dropped. mini DV is the culmination of NTSC video. near broadcast quality. but i let that sit in my closet 10 yeerz also. mini DV tapes are hard to find now. 8 mm iz almost impossible and vendors who have dem are charging TEN BUCKS A TAPE!

the hardware iz still out there. the sony models are rugged and reliable. i’m using mine wiff a 3x zoom multiplier, the type dat screws over the lens.

the mini DV camcorders i am using az dash cams to do traffic studies. they have date and time stamp overlays. the mini DV’s have USB and firewire out for pure digital signals right into the computer. the models i have only out put the time and date stamp with analog out. i use the S-VHS port. of course a 1080 dash cam iz only 50 bucks!

i burn a DVD then replay the DVD and use the slo-mo and fast forward and zoom functions then recapture. pretty slick.

i didnt go hi-8 until it wuz under 200 bucks and the same wiff mini DV, 200 bucks. i learned my lesson. always buy old tech not new tech.full size vhs and beta camcorders were $1000+ back in dee day. when “palm sized” camcorders came out dey wuz $1500. in 1989 dat wuz a lot of loot.

but here’s the rub. even cheap $100 point and shoots will do 1280 HD video! i got all this stuff i figger i’ll use it, creatively, i hope.

there must be thousands of tons of e-waste sitting in closets all over dee world. machines, bat trees, tapes all waiting to be thrown out. lotz of memories to be flushed too.

i had to throw out the sanyo. the tape mechanism wudnt load or unload tapes any more. i haz ben torture testing the mini DV’s wiff constant jostling in a car environment. so far, so good.

i actually have a sony 8mm vcr, although it dont do hi-8. i use the sony handi-cam for dat. i have tons of 8mm tapes many hi-8 dat i am digitizing den taping over. gotz to, tape too expensive and i doan know how long machines will last.

az to memories…historical documents have to be old tech. say i videoed a scene from a hill top 20 yeerz ago. i digitize it, post to yoo-hoo tube and future historians can compare the march of progress. we all see olde tyme foe toes of NYC or paris. itz duh sam ting.


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