Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sitting in Humanities 2 at the British Library, wrestling with a pile of Radiotimes bound volumes in the interests of research, a programme billing from April 1979 leapt out at me. "8.10pm - Accident. A drama series in eight episodes. In the confusion of a road accident ten lives are mixed in a jig-saw of past and present." If you ever wondered what Anthony Horowitz was watching on Wednesday nights 30 years ago, now you know.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

I've just taken a momentous decision. When my current stock of blank minidiscs is exhausted, I'm going to buy one of those new flash drive-based digital audio recorders - a Zoom or a Tascam of some description. There are 18 shrink-wrapped discs on the shelf in front of me, and a couple of part-used discs with over an hour of recording time in mono mode left, should I need them. I reckon those 18 discs should allow me to do all the interviews I need for the book I'm currently working on (very slowly, but I've just started to regain a tiny bit of momentum after the events of what Americans would call 9/24, thanks for asking). I have three working portable minidisc machines (one of which has power issues when using the internal battery, which means I've got to search for the nasty, plasticky screw-on gewgaw that enables the user to shove in a bog-standard AA - I could be gone some time. It's a Sony, whereas the brace of Sharps have a built in AA compartment, just one of many reasons why the Sharp portables were so much better than the Sonys), and a small family of stereo condenser microphones, and I'm hoping they'll see me through this project as well. I reached the conclusion when I was thinking "Have I got enough blanks left?" earlier. I was on the verge of buying another 10 from an Amazon Marketplace seller for just under a tenner, when I thought "I'm going to have to move on sooner or later, and this tenner is 1/15 of the cost of a spanking new machine that will allow me to transfer the audio to my computer losslessly and not in real time. What a world that would be. Best hold fire, then". Memories of clearing out my local Aldi's stock of bargain BASF 8mm video cassettes immediately before my 8mm camcorder breathed its last also popped into my mind. Why not get a super zippy modern doodah now? Until I finish this book, any money coming into schloss Cheeseford is earmarked for luxuries like bread and shoes. That's a good gag. I wonder who came up with it?