Nov 30, 2016

Nov - 30 2016 | By

Notifications of new show notes and edits are tweeted at:
– They’re tagged with #Zentech.
– When what’s said is unclear to me (or I’m unfamiliar with a topic) I tend to quote (” “) verbatim.
– Editor’s comments are delimited by < >

For a couple of months, the audio of today’s show is here. Recent shows are here.


Both Paul and Glenn were in the studio today.


If you’d like to talk to the guys during a Zen Tech show, call 530-265-9555. You can send an email to zen at kvmr dot org. And you’re invited to visit the website: You can listen to the live broadcast of this show by going to and clicking on ‘Listen Live‘ or use the KVMR app, which you can find on that page.

Paul said the app gives you a 64 Kbits/sec stream that’s “close to CD quality over the internet, which in many instances is better than the FM we broadcast from here”. That’s about 28meg of data per hour or 1/4 of gig per 10 hours of listening. If you’re listening over a cellular connection and you have a 1gig data plan, you can listen for 40 hours before you exhaust the 1 gig (assuming you do nothing else online). There’s also a 32kbps stream for those with low bandwidth (dialup).

 If you go to and click on ‘Listen Live‘, you’ll see different types of stream to choose from. The one with the best quality is the AAC stream.

Glenn did some Black Friday shopping from the ease of an armchair. He then went to Fry’s to pick up what he ordered. Paul noted that Fry’s has a sign saying they will beat internet prices. Glenn had the impression that “most retailers” are doing that now.

By the end of this year, Paul expects to see the beginning of the end of hard drives with spinning platters and the rise of solid state disks (SSD). He thinks the sale of SSD will exceed that of the mechanical drive in all but the largest capacities. Currently the SSDs are about 4X the price of regular hard drives for the same capacity, but he believes that will drop to 2X at the start of next year.

You can convert your current computer to use a SSD.
– Mac Book Air don’t use the SATA interface but a miniature PCI data bus.
– Performance of SSDs is typically between 5 and 10 times that of the spinning drives.
– You can directly replace the spinning drive with a SSD that’s in the same enclosure that has the SATA interface.
– On Ebay or Amazon you can get a SATA to M2 adapter. It’s a black rectangular box that physically matches the dimensions and electronic characteristics of the spinning hard drive. It has 4 or 6 screws that let you get inside where there is an M2 socket where you plug in the SSD.

The Mac Book Air has been sold with a 128gig SSD and people have been upgrading them to a bigger drive and then selling the 128gig drive on Ebay. So that’s a good place to look if you want to get started with an SSD.

Paul said the strategy is to use the rather small 128gig SSD for your boot drive: you boot, 5 to 10 times faster, and run the operating system from it. And use a separate spinning drive for your data. A two-drive setup has always been more efficient than using a single drive because the read/write heads don’t have to make big movements between reading data and reading operating system files. For Mac users he suggested putting the 78 gigs of OS 10 on the SSD along with your applications, and putting the home directory on the second drive.

For Windows you only need 50 to 60 gig on the SSD for the operating system. You’ll likely have to call Microsoft to tell them you moved your operating system. They will issue a new key. <Windows is aware of changes in hardware and when enough components have been changed it may refuse to run, to prevent piracy as I recall.>

On Ebay, Paul found a SATA to M2 adapter for $5 and a 16 gig M2 SSD drive, which is big enough to hold the Linux operating system. Linux takes about 8 gigs of drive space.

Paul had some DV tapes (digital videotapes) that he wanted to edit. He downloaded a program called Dvgrab from the Ubuntu distribution. The program was able to recognize his Firewire cable connected to his video camera. He got it to rewind the tape, start playing the tape, start capturing the tape <the data>, read the timestamps of the scenes on the tape that were then used to create file names for each scene. So if he had 10 different scenes on a tape (he pressed the record button 10 times), there would be 10 files created, one for each scene. The files created are uncompressed and require about 14 gigs per hour of tape. He then used a program called ffmpeg and a frontend <a graphical interface> called winff to compress the videos.
<Paul didn’t say it but ffmpeg & winff are available for Windows too (even on XP). Download hereā€¦

Paul said he could have done the job on a Mac but the software that comes with it tries to do all of the steps at once. He wanted to keep the scenes separate as well as monitor the results at each stage.

Paul said that there’s a distribution of Linux devoted to multimedia called Ubuntu Studio. You can find it at There’s nothing special about the Linux, it’s the programs included with it that are specially chosen to do work on various media, not just video.

Paul again mentioned software for DJs called Mixxx found at There are versions for the PC as well as Linux and Apple. It also comes with Unbuntu Studio. He noted that Linux is great replacement for old operating systems like Windows XP, ME or Vista running on old hardware.

The disclaimer:
The opinions and views expressed on KVMR are those of the speakers only and not necessarily those of KVMR management, staff or underwriters.

Bruce called. He has a need to install an unsigned driver on a Windows 7 or XP machine. He wants to do it without going thru the process of plugging in the device, having Windows go look for a driver and finally give up, and then go into the device manager to tell Windows I have the driver. Is there a place to put the driver & .inf file where Windows will find it immediately?
– What works sometimes is to put in the medium that has the .inf file, right click on it and click install. It doesn’t always work. Paul doesn’t know why.
– Before you do that you may have to undo your previous attempt to install the driver. It’s possible that not all files will uninstall. Look in the directory called System32 for the .inf file <to remove it, I suppose>.
– Glenn suggested using Revo Uninstall. It’s good at finding all of the files that need to be uninstalled. You would likely want to try to go thru the install process so all the files you want to get rid of are where they should be, before running Revo Uninstall.
– On Win7 you plug your device in, “it immediately pops up trying to be helpful and you immediately tell it to go away and quit bothering you”. At that point you launch your device manager by right-clicking My Computer and left-clicking on Manage.

Beginning with XP, Microsoft provided the method of signing drivers to ensure that the driver came from the manufacturer of the device being installed. In Win10, possibly in Win7 but not XP “there is a test signing mode which is used by developers which is used in such a way that they can try their drivers out, but you have to turn that on”. However, you may have to contend with your anti-virus software issuing warnings and you may have to temporarily turn off your anti-virus.

The guys talked about misinformation and disinformation and Paul mentioned the site He didn’t go into details but made it seem like a fact-checking site.
<Research suggests that misinformation is just as likely to go viral as reliable information>

Paul talked about good journalism principles that he found on in 2009. <Doesn’t seem to be anything on that page now.>
– Name your sources
– Protect your source
– Be objective
– Offer balance
– Avoid conflict of interest
– Don’t censor. Don’t withhold information that’s important to the whole story.
– Get it right. Better to be accurate than first.

Getting back to SSDs, Paul said M2 memory is also known as M.2. Newegg has it in a 256 gig size for $99.

Glenn thanked the listeners who support KVMR. If you’d like to become a supporting member, you can call the KVMR office at 530-265-9073 or visit

Glenn said he’s gotten comments suggesting Paul hogs the air waves on Zen Tech. Glenn appreciates the concern but that it’s unwarranted. He always feels free to talk on the air and defers to Paul for his great knowledge.

Added links to Windows versions of ffmpeg & winff here
Added link to article about misinformation here

Last Updated 1:34 PM 12-1-2016

Leave a Reply