Nostalgic Rumblings
The Ramblings of an Old Man




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3/28/2013


SummersTime for the week of 02/18/2013

Filed under: Old-Time Radio — Charlie Summers @ 4:07 pm

Kate runs an episode of I Love Adventure, I join Buzz and Happy in the Space Patrol, she shares an episode of The Adventures of Ellery Queen, and I examine a Stroke of Fate!

SummersTime is the Radio Once More show hosted by father-and-daughter team Kate and Charlie Summers. Our goal is to pick some awesome Old-Time Radio shows that we want to hear or share with each other, and then play them for you, too! Be sure to listen to this week’s broadcast - schedule posted both at the SummersTime website and at Radio Once More!

You may stream the show using the player below, or download it with the link. Remember, by subscribing to this blog with any podcasting client (Juice, iTunes, etc. - just add the the RSS link over on the sidebar or hit the button) the shows will be automatically downloaded to your computer or MP3 player!

icon for podpress  SummersTime Feb. 18, 2013 [119:30m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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3/16/2013


Opinion: The Internet is a surveillance state

Filed under: News — Charlie Summers @ 10:43 pm

From CNN: Opinion: The Internet is a surveillance state

From the opinion piece: “The Internet is a surveillance state. Whether we admit it to ourselves or not, and whether we like it or not, we’re being tracked all the time. Google tracks us, both on its pages and on other pages it has access to. Facebook does the same; it even tracks non-Facebook users. Apple tracks us on our iPhones and iPads.”

What the author doesn’t discuss is what we can do about it…

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3/12/2013


SummersTime for the week of 02/11/2013

Filed under: Old-Time Radio — Charlie Summers @ 11:07 pm

This week, Kate pretends that Father Knows Best (boy, don’t I wish!), I place us all in Suspense, she plays a funny episode of The Jack Benny Program, and I play an episode of Destination Freedom starring Studs Terkel.

SummersTime is the Radio Once More show hosted by father-and-daughter team Kate and Charlie Summers. Our goal is to pick some awesome Old-Time Radio shows that we want to hear or share with each other, and then play them for you, too! Be sure to listen to this week’s broadcast - schedule posted both at the SummersTime website and at Radio Once More!

You may stream the show using the player below, or download it with the link. Remember, by subscribing to this blog with any podcasting client (Juice, iTunes, etc. - just add the the RSS link over on the sidebar or hit the button) the shows will be automatically downloaded to your computer or MP3 player!

icon for podpress  SummersTime Feb. 11, 2013 [119:30m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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3/6/2013


A Few Photos of Elaine Hyman

Filed under: Old-Time Radio — Charlie Summers @ 11:15 pm

Since Ms. Hyman has become a topic on the Internet OTR Digest, I quickly grabbed a few photos from the last two Friends of Old-Time Radio Conventions. Perhaps if I get some time, I’ll down-sample a little video later this week.

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BASIC Rises from the Ashes…

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 4:23 pm

A lot of what I do is command-line-based. I realize in these days of Graphical User Interfaces that is a rather quaint concept, but it’s true. Even in Windows, much of what I do routinely is done using command lines.

Let me give you an example; when I record The Bob Edwards Show in the mornings, I want to make an MP3 listening copy. I use lame (”LAME Ain’t an MP3 Encoder”) to encode the files (yes, I know there are patent and copyright issues with lame and The Bob Edwards Show, but it’s for my own use and not distributed elsewhere), typing a command line something like:

"C:\Program Files (x86)\Lame\lame" -b 224 -q 2 -m j "C:\Users\Charlie\temp\20130201_0756_bob_edwards_show_sirro.wav" "C:\Users\Charlie\temp\20130201_0756_bob_edwards_show_sirro_224.mp3"

(I’d explain what those options mean, but to keep most of my readers from having their eyes glaze over, I’ll point those interested to the lame man page for more info.)

Anyway, that can get…tedious every morning. But I wasn’t sure it was really worth all the energy of writing a program to handle it…until I bumped into FreeBASIC.

I was teaching my daughter programming the way I learned it, using the BASIC language, with the freeware implementation JustBASIC; it’s a nice implementation with lots of GUI (those Graphical User Interface elements I mentioned above), but the runtime is a little hinky, requiring an intermediate file and a runtime EXE which must be named identically for everything to work properly. An excellent learning ground, and even reasonable to create useful applications (our first application was creating a factoring program - give it a number, it determines all the integer factors for that number).

But when I bumped into FreeBASIC, a freeware and open-source version of Microsoft’s old QBASIC, I found something that, while missing a lot of GUI bells-and-whistles, compiles into tiny EXE files which are perfect to use as “droppers.” That is, drop a WAV file on one, and it automatically calls lame with the filename, sets the proper command-line parameters including output files, and then gets out of the way.

I keep finding all kinds of applications for these tiny dropper files; one I quickly put together this afternoon handles stream-fixing recorded .ts files from my Hauppauge card. Another allows me to create the various MP3 versions required of SummersTime, the OTR show my daughter Kate and I do. Since the “ninja-slicing” subroutines are already written to cut the dropped filenames into path, filename, and extension, I keep finding more and more uses for these tiny droppers.

Admittedly, they don’t save me a lot of time each; copy/pasting a filename into a .BAT file, the way I used to do it, doesn’t take all that much time. But even a few moments savings is worth it to me…and over the course of a year, this simple BASIC language might save me enough time to, like the network executives Fred Allen frequently complained about, grab a vacation…or at least make a cappuccino while the computer performs the conversion/repair/whatever the dropper is single-purposed to perform.

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3/2/2013


SummersTime for the week of 02/04/2013

Filed under: Old-Time Radio — Charlie Summers @ 10:58 am

Kate runs the conclusion of the Adventures by Morse series, “The Girl on Shipwreck Island,” I take a look at one of The Men Who Made America, she plays a great episode of Information Please, I play an episode of Theater Five with some old friends, and then I remember Dear Abby who passed away last month.

SummersTime is the Radio Once More show hosted by father-and-daughter team Kate and Charlie Summers. Our goal is to pick some awesome Old-Time Radio shows that we want to hear or share with each other, and then play them for you, too! Be sure to listen to this week’s broadcast - schedule posted both at the SummersTime website and at Radio Once More!

You may stream the show using the player below, or download it with the link. Remember, by subscribing to this blog with any podcasting client (Juice, iTunes, etc. - just add the the RSS link over on the sidebar or hit the button) the shows will be automatically downloaded to your computer or MP3 player!

icon for podpress  SummersTime Feb. 4, 2013 [119:30m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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