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Being The Geekly Diary of Waider
(may contain traces of drinking, movies, and sport)
April 11
DVD count: 221. I've just gone through the mildly terrifying hard-drive swap dance to install one of the new 8TB drives. Now I have to wait for the array to rebuild, then I repeat the process for the second 8TB drive. Synology does not make this easy: the drive identification LEDs are laid out perpendicular to the actual drives, and there's no clear indication if the drives are numbered left to right, right to left, or (as an old piece of office hardware had it), 1-3-2-4. Spoiler: left to right. Also the current drives have between two years three months and two years nine months of runtime on them. I seem to recall the previous drives died off at around four years.

April 08
A second TRV went offline (one of the better-behaved ones, too) so I went through the painful rigmarole of shutting down OpenHAB, firing up OZWCP, identifying the dead devices sufficiently, replacing them, etc. While I was doing this, another TRV fell offline and had to be picked up again. This home automation stuff seems like a net work generator at this point.

DVD ripping: 207 discs ripped, about a dozen currently waiting for me to deal with Disney's "bad block" copy protection, and a pair of 8TB drives ordered.

April 06
Hadn't seen Rocky before, if you can believe that. It's... not much.

April 05
I don't know quite how long it's been since I last saw Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, but it's a lot less actually violent than I recall - most of the violence is off camera, or implied. It's also not as polished as it seemed at the time, but doesn't really suffer too badly for it.

April 03
Grr. Half my z-wave network appears to be offline, presumably in sympathy with the TRV which decided to stop working.

Exciting. I triggered a soft reset on the controller and ... OpenHAB crashed. Oooh, even better, it came back as a different device so OpenHAB can't find it. Sigh.

March 31
I saw Hellboy II: The Golden Army in the cinema when it was released. Ironically, I saw it instead of The Dark Knight, which was sold out: The Dark Knight ate HBII's lunch at the box office and was at least partially responsible for the fact that there was no Hellboy III. Anyway. At the time I said "easily as good as the first movie" but having watched it again... no, it's not. It's still pretty good, and fun, but the first one still wins. Also I cannot save myself from eyerolling at the "Irish" stuff.

I note that one of the TRVs I recently recovered has fallen off the network again. Wonder what it is about them that this happens chronically to some and never to others? (Other than being shoddy hardware/firmware).

March 30
The storage array would like me to know that due to my disc-copying spree it's down to checks notes a mere 2 terrabytes of free space and would I consider maybe upsizing some of the disks? Currently I have about 90 discs copied for 554GB, so I figure I can handle about 300 discs without upgrading anything or culling the weak ones from the herd or whatever. I guess I'll check how many discs I've left before making any calls on this.

I am apparently not exposed to the current xz security threat because all the at-risk systems are too old. I'd suggest there was a lesson there except those systems are probably susceptible to other vulnerabilities...

Came across Hellboy in my DVD collection. So we watched that. Ron Perlman is just perfect in this role; I was startled to discover that someone thought it would be a good idea to reboot it without him. Apparently they were proven wrong about the "good idea" bit, though.

Waitasec. Apparently we actually watched the reboot in 2019. And found it not good. I guess it's safe to say it was quite literally forgettable.

March 29
Ok, kinda funny: VLC on an Apple TV box can browse the individual video files from the DVD backups I'm making and play them, but it won't pick up the IFO files to manage stringing the videos together or providing menus or what have you. VLC on macOS, now, that'll do the whole thing, but isn't hooked up to Le Grande TV.

A Star Is Born was so-so. The music is impressive, and Lady Gaga has an astoundingly varied vocal range, but the story is a bit meh.

March 27
Ripping continues. I have discovered a number of Disney-sourced DVDs claim to have bad sectors on them, which I understand is part of Disney's copy-prevention mechanism. dvd-backup cares not for such hijinks, but for now I'm choosing to set these to one side until I verify that the copies actually work.

March 24
Since I've more or less completed the OpenHAB-to-Pi4 migration (it's in better shape now than it was on the Pi3 or the Mac Mini, so there's that) I've turned to another project: turning a stack of DVDs into some form of network-reachable archive on the NAS. My main focus here is getting the movie off the disc and onto something like a DLNA server that several things in my media stack can access without additional software. To this end, dvdbackup and ffmpeg in concat mode seem the most likely contenders, plus a bit of scripting to automate the process sufficiently that I just need to periodically take one disc out and put another disc in.

Amusing discovery: feeding an extracted, concatenated .VOB file to QuickTime Player as a MPEG file (by simply changing the file extension) causes it to play all the audio tracks simultaneously. Not ideal, but amusing.

One of the things I'm trying to do here is lossless copying without really knowing quite enough about this space. I know at this point that a .VOB file is just a slightly specialised MPEG-PS file; what I don't know is if I can easily losslessly extract the data streams from it and recombine them into a more widely compatible container without transcoding the entire thing - essentially I want to pull out the main title and the main title audio, best available version, and dump them bit-for-bit into a container format that all the toys will be happy with. As a step up, using a container format that allows retention of multiple audio streams would be nice but I rarely sit through commentary tracks or have a need for audio description.

(also implicitly I'm not valuing the time I spend hacking around with this - there are off-the-shelf toys I could buy to do the job, I'm sure, but where's the fun in that?)

At this point I have ~20 lines of shellscripting to do the backup-to-NAS part. I'm still thinking about how best to manage the container/codec thing; it looks like Synology's DNLA server doesn't like MPEG-PS files, and apparently the big TV only wants MPEG-TS or MPEG-PS.



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