Saturday, March 31, 2007

Good News and Bad News

The good news is that I FINALLY got XP loaded on my streaming video server. The bad news is that it took all morning and lots of choice words to finally get it to work. I downloaded the drivers for the video card and I'm about to start testing the stability of it.

Then, I'm not coming down here for awhile. I need a break from this.

Chuck, MI

Friday, March 30, 2007

More Technical Stuff...

When I got to my day job today, I told my colleagues that I'd picked up my new copy of XP. When I told them of my latest bright idea about having two separate feeds, one of them suggested that I use a Frame Server. What that would do is take any video source and set up a dummy continuous dummy AVI file that can be fed anywhere. He suggested that I use AVISynth. That way, I could feed the same feed to a Windows Media Encoder and an MPEG4 encoder. The MPEG4 encoder would be a little more Mac-friendly, for those Mac users who don't want to use the VLC Player to watch the Windows Media feed (which would be beyond me - it's a better product and it's free). The idea would be that most PC users would watch the WMV feed, the Mac users would watch the MPEG4 feed through Quicktime, and the Linux users would watch either through VLC.

In theory.

Anyway, I will work on it tomorrow afternoon and evening, as I'm still at my day job at ten after midnight and I have to be back here before 8am.

Chuck, MI

Minor Update

The decision, I believe, has finally been made on whether or not to go with XP or Linux...

I'm doing both.

I'll be picking up my replacement copy of XP today before work, and then I'll be setting up my old editor, presumably with a small 10GB harddrive, as a box running Dyne Bolic. This way. it should ensure maximum compatibility on PC, Mac and Linux platforms when I do start streaming out.

And I can finally write about something more meaningful here.

Chuck, MI

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Elusive OS

Oh yes...more fun than an episode of "In Search Of...", I look for the perfect OS. Do I go XP or Linux? If I go Linux, which distro to use? I'm beginning to think I need to try Dyne Bolic. Dyne Bolic is a live distro my friend Ron told me about a few years ago. I've actually used it to rescue files from a crashed machine before. I had the page up this evening while I was talking to my friend, Todd, who needed to rescue some files himself. I started looking again at this distro and it said that it could be "docked" to a hard drive. Since Dyne Bolic is optimized for video, perhaps I need to play with this tonight when I get home. It may just get us online quicker, and without near the cost of XP.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Chuck, MI

Sunday, March 25, 2007

While I Was Out...

Taking a break once in awhile can be a good thing. Frustrated with the technical woes of my ever-problematic streaming video server, I decided to transfer a film. I had to do a Super 8 for a client anyway, so the film chain was already set up. The film in question is a silent Super 8 film of Pope Paul VI visiting Australia in 1970. Regardless of what your opinion of Pope Paul VI is, it's actually an interesting film. There are some good shots of him arriving, saying Mass (yes, a Novus Ordo, but it didn't look like many of the Novus Ordos I've ever seen), ordaining a bishop, and talking to a bunch of Australian dignitaries who were in office 37 years ago. There are some good shots of St. Mary's in Sydney, also.

The idea with this one is to put it into the programming right before Juventutem 2008. It'd be great to actually present Cardinal Pell with a copy of this film on DVD. Never know; it may lead to him letting us into the Archdiocese of Sydney's film vault (if there is one). I've also got some 16mm films from the late 1920s of the dedication of St. Mary's in Sydney along with the Eucharistic Congress that happened shortly thereafter. Three reels worth, actually. Those came from an eBayer in Canada who transferred a preview copy of all three movies. I think I'll have them redone. Still, from what I saw, I did alright. Add another 30 minutes of programming to Mater Dei Television's programming library when those get transferred.

Oh well...back to work...

Chuck, MI

Friday, March 23, 2007

Took a break today...

I took a break on this today. I think this was much needed with everything else that's going on right now. I'll have more time during the weekend to devote to figuring out just which OS I'm going to wind up using, installing it, and starting my testing for the Peercast. My goal, is to have it up by April (at the rate I'm going, exactly WHICH April seems to still be a point of contention). I guess we'll see, won't we?

There are some good films I really want to show everyone; some of which were long thought forgotten by most Catholics. Someone from an independent chapel in Indianapolis called me for doing some film transfer for him (no surprise - we advertise on Catholic Radio Indy from time to time), and I told him about what I was trying to do. In my excitement about my plans for Mater Dei Television, I made the remark "Yeah, there should be something for everyone."

Something for everyone? Brilliant move, Chuck! Start alienating viewers BEFORE you go online!

I probably need to clarify these remarks. The majority of these films are pre-conciliar. Whether you reject Vatican II or completely embrace it, what I'm planning on airing is something that any Catholic can find beneficial. I think there are many "Spirit of Vatican II" Catholics who just assume the Church didn't exist at all before 1962. Much to their chagrin, it not only existed, but thrived. To block out anything that happened before Vatican II has "rigid, old fashioned, and pre-conciliar" is flat out stupid. While the tide is turning and you're seeing a lot of the younger, more orthodox bishops granting the Indult for the Traditional Latin Mass, there are still bishops out there who think that it's still 1966 (or in some places, even worse, 1986!). Needless to say, while it's changing for the better in some places, it's not changed at all in others and as a result, there are going to be entire dioceses of people who think the Church is all social justice and no Tradition (and sadly, no orthodoxy, either).

So, I guess in a way, "Something for everyone" is probably a good description after all. It's just that the people who need Mater Dei Television the most don't know they need it yet.

Chuck, MI

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Yet Another Direction

Blag is a great distro, other than the fact that every time I put a DVD-R into the DVD-ROM drive, it tends to unmount the drive. I have zero idea why this happens. Looks like the search is back on for a distro that suits my needs more.

Chuck, MI

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


This quite possibly may be the toughest time I've ever had building a computer.

Today, I decided to use the less-flaky 12GB harddrive as the system drive and the larger, 120 GB flakier-but-usable-as-a-data-drive harddrive as drive. Problem is that for some reason I couldn't seem to get both drives to be seen by the BIOS at the same time. I was beginning to wonder just what in the hell was going on, since I've used both IDE slave buses at different times and was able to get the two different harddrives to be seen by the BIOS, but just not together.

Must be Lent.

I got a Molex y-adapter on the way into work today. I'm thinking I had a power issue somewhere that was causing this problem. We'll find out when I get home this evening.

Chuck, MI

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

...or Not To XP. Going with Blag...

I have decided after staying up to all hours of the night last night that what I was able to see, I like Blag quite a bit and I'm going to go with it for the Streaming Video Server. It's fast, it's stable, it pretty much had all the drivers for the ECS motherboard and other things I had installed already on it. It's Red Hat based, so it works beautifully. It came with many different choices for video playback; VLC, Xine, and a few others, plus it had Kino and Cinelerra on it as well. I won't use those on this machine, but I may just install this on my editor too and play around with them. If it ran that fast on the computer I installed it on, it'll run even better on my editor.

The only thing I didn't like about this is that Firefox had all these ultra-liberal pages already bookmarked; environmentalist wackos, leftist political wackos, Michael Moore. You name it. To their credit, though, they did bookmark the Internet Archive. I've gotten some pretty nice videoclips there; Pope Pius XI, Pope Pius XII, and Cardinal Spellman among others. If you check it out, and I suggest you do, please make sure that you supervise your children on that site; as with other secular media sources, not all of it is family friendly.

One more reason why Mater Dei Television is starting.

Chuck, MI

Progress in the Wee Hours

Well, I finally got Blag to install on what's going to be the streaming video server. Blag is a Red Hat based linux distro that seems to be both user friendly and multimedia friendly. This is just on a small harddrive now, but I may try it again tomorrow with the 120 GB harddrive. I can say this much: This is a good sign. There may be a good streaming server on here. If not, I'll probably go with VLC. I'm liking this. Functionality like Windows, but more stable. In fact, I'm typing this entry on it right now. I'm going to have to explore this more tomorrow, when I'm not up past 3am!

Chuck, MI

Monday, March 19, 2007

Latest Updates

This is just a quick update. The 120 GB harddrive I referred to previously is a no-go in the firewire enclosure. This means I will only travel with a total of 110 GB of storage as opposed to the 200 GB I wanted, but oh well. It's nice because it's one more thing I can consider out of the way and now I can try to do some actual work. I will probably use it in the Windows Media Encoder as a data drive. I haven't gotten a chance to pick up the replacement copy of XP yet, either, but will try to make it over tomorrow. When that happens, the rest of the ducks should be in a row and quacking.

I also told a couple of friends about this blog thus far; my friend Donato up in Massachusetts, who helped start the Boston Faithful Seeking Understanding, which going by the name sounds very "progressive" and heterodoxy, but it's actually quite the opposite. It's got some good general apologetics stuff on the webpage, and might be a good means to get that family member or friend who's still waiting for the Church to start ordaining women to actually see what the Church teaches. In that regard, it does for liberal Catholics what John Martignoni's Bible Christian Society does for protestants.

Also, Colleen Hammond was also forwarded the link today too. For those of you who don't know her, she's the author of "Dressing with Dignity", which is published by TAN Books. I helped her shoot a couple of videos in Cincinnati towards the end of 2005 at St. Pius X, but we're thinking we're going to need to reshoot them. I have better equipment now, and we may even be able to take advantage of shooting these 16x9. Keep praying for these videos to happen in the near future.

I'll be sending them out to other friends, too; Paul Nichols from Better in Latin is a friend and actually provided the cartoons on the right. I only asked him to wait to link to me until I get the video feed up, and then he's got the go ahead. Ah, what the heck, Paul. Go ahead and throw the link in there anyway. Never of your readers may have some technical insight that's been eluding me.

Until tomorrow...

Chuck, MI

Sunday, March 18, 2007

To XP or not to XP?

It's now officially safe to assume that my copy of XP is dead. I'll need to pick up a copy tomorrow. Going linux would be one more idea, but for now, I'd like to go XP. Also, I'm planning on reformatting my 120 GB harddrive and pulling the 30GB harddrive out of my firewire enclosure. That way, I can have enough to run XP and the Windows Media Encoder, along with storing some programs on there, and I can use the larger drive in the enclosure. What seems like I've successfully done is to recreate the old Dell tower I just took out of service on my laptop. I'll have just as much harddrive space on the laptop with this large drive in my firewire enclosure. This will be good because I can use it as a portable editor.

Especially after today. I got MotoDV from someone on my freecycle list today. Didn't know exactly what was in it, other than it'll allow me to do 16x9 video on an older edition of Adobe Premiere, which was also included in the software package. I'd say I did alright. The nice thing is that, while this copy of Premiere is older, at least there'll be some consistancy between my portable editor and my main editor, which runs Premiere Pro 1.5.

See, if I get a portable editor going like this, it'd be perfect to take on the road, shoot during the day, edit at night, and then FTP back home so I can stick it in the playlist for the following day. If I can raise the funds to go to Juventutem 2008, it'd be the same day; since Australia is 16 hours ahead of Indiana, I'd be able to get stuff edited and inserted into the playlist the same day. That would rock.

First things first, though. Get the steaming video server up first, then the program feed, then the DVDs out on CustomFlix for sale. Hopefully by then, we can also be a non-profit and accept donations.

Please pray for this to fly.

Chuck, MI

Saturday, March 17, 2007

The Catholic Hour

I'm going to write about the old program, "The Catholic Hour", for a little bit. Partially because I don't want people to think that this whole blog is about me trying to get a streaming video server up and and online, but mostly because from what I've seen, this was a very underrated show.

"The Catholic Hour" aired on radio in the pre-television days. Like many other shows of it's time, it switched to television in the 1950's and was aired on NBC. From the few episodes I've seen, it always had either something to do with Church history, current events going on in the Church, and other things that dealt with the Catholic way of life. Sometimes, it bordered on "kitchy", but on the whole, the show is definitely a relic of a bygone era, when the media actually didn't have fundamental problems with the Catholic Church as they seem to have today.

I got my first episode of the show in about July 2004. After I had it transferred, I saw that the show was, in fact, ironically titled; it only ran 30 minutes. The particular episode is called "Rome Eternal: Pt. III - The Renaissance". Nice show. While I didn't see anyone famous in there, it went through a lot of origins of the architecture and artwork that the Vatican still has today. And before I purchased it, it was something I never thought ever even existed.

I've bought two more since then; one show about Vatican II from about 1966, and more recently one from the 1950s about Christopher Columbus. I just had the latter transferred, but I'm still cleaning it up for air. What I'd love to do with the Vatican II episode, however, is to actually have a roundtable discussion about it afterwards with two Traditionalist Catholics and two Catholics who don't have a problem with Vatican II. I'd have the four people on the panel watch the show ahead of time, and then sit everyone down for an on-camera forum about it. It'd be kind of like a Catholic version of "The McLaughlin Group." The reason I'd love to do this is because I can sometimes tend to be critcal of both sides.

Dialoguing, in general, is supposed to be listening to one side, then stating your position while the other side listens. What generally happens in a lot of dialogue these days is that both sides try to talk over each other and nobody really seems to want to listen. Progress has been made within the last year or two between Pope Benedict XVI and Bishop Fellay of the Society of St. Pius X, but more work needs to be done.

It never made sense to me that whenever the leadership of the Society of St. Pius X, while appearing to make progress with Rome, suddenly decides that they're getting "too cozy" with Rome and start distancing themselves and making demands that they're really in no position to make. At least that's what it seems like. Likewise, these so called "progressives" within the Church who are so resistant to the Traditional Latin Mass don't realize that by not granting the Indult, or granting it half-heartedly, are actually keeping their local Church in 1966 and NOT moving it forward. Believe it or not, some of the same "progressives" are even against establishing Anglican Use parishes for those Anglicans and Episcopalians who wish to be received into the Church in full communion. Yet, they still refer to themselves as "progressive."

Sidenote: I would love to see the Society of St. Pius X and the Magisterium work out their differences. I think the Society would be an asset to the Church and would actually help tighten things up where they need to be tightened. Having said that, I also understand that much work needs to be done. I hope to be able to help in that work someday, even if in a small part.

Didn't we learn anything from 100 years ago, when there were Eastern Rite Catholics coming into this country who received cold welcomes from Latin Rite bishops? Many of these Eastern Rite immigrants became Eastern Orthodox. Newsflash, folks: It's happening today with those attached to the Traditional Latin Mass, because those who really want it will find it. I know, I know...there are some people who you can NEVER please and will look for reasons to NOT go to an indult Mass, but it's not really fair to say that's the case across the board. Not everyone who attends the old liturgy has the stereotyped schismatic attitude that seems to be so prevalent today; they just want to retain their liturgical traditions.

I guess that's one more reason why I find Cardinal Mahoney's recent remarks somewhat disturbing. In the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, it may very well be true that 99% of the Catholics aren't concerned about the Traditional Latin Mass at all. Perhaps Cardinal Mahoney needs to remember that he's still the local ordinary for that other 1% also.

But I digress. I'm beginning to think that would be a good program to produce.

Now, back to my technical work.

Chuck, MI

More Insights

It may not be that hard drive after all. It may be that neither the Mac nor Windows could read that 120 GB HD because the last format left a Linux file system on it. I was getting similar issues with the 12 GB HD that I was playing with yesterday. Something else came up, though, and I remembered it from the last time I reinstalled XP on my editor...

I got a Cyclic Redundency Error this time. When I try to install XP on my editor, if it's in my DVD-ROM drive, it won't work, but if I put it in the much faster DVD burner, it purrs like a kitten. I may be buying a DVD-ROM drive today.


Chuck, MI

Good News/Bad News

Well, the good news is that I was able to find a small drive and get an OS to install on it. The bad news is that it looks like my copy of XP may be toast. Still, in any case, I got SOMETHING working. That's better than nothing. I'm thinking at this point I may try to put a copy of Ubantu or Debian Linux on there instead. Found out that there is a 4GB limit on ReactOS, so that is kind of a letdown. I'm going to try Debian on this drive once and see what happens...

Chuck, MI

Friday, March 16, 2007


I just figured out how to use iMovie HD just enough so I can do what I need it to do. Here's the main problem...

Macs have a 4GB file limit, except, of course on DV files. PCs can handle larger files than 4GB, except, of course for DV files from a Mac. They see them only as 2GB. In English, this means the film clip cuts off at exactly 9:57, regardless whether or not it's finished. What I need to do is take the DV files and cut them into smaller files so I can save them to my firewire drive, take them back to my PC at home, and put them back together. At first, I encoded them with Cinepak, but that didn't look very good. This way, I lose zero quality and it makes life better.

"Our Lady's Shrine" just finished. Starting on Pope Pius XI next.

Chuck, MI

Working Out Technical Issues

I got a chance to look at a few things when I got to my day job this afternoon...

First, I think something happened to that 120GB hard drive I just pulled out of my old editor. I put it into the firewire enclosure and neither the Mac at work or my personal Windows laptop even saw it. I'm not sure if it's because it still has the linux filesystem on there from the failed attempt at Debian this morning or not. I'm going to have to play with that hard drive when I get home; perhaps reformatting it into Windows first, then taking it back to the Mac to reformat it yet again so I can use it between both computers.

This will remain an issue, because I had to stick the 30GB hard drive I'd originally put into the enclosure back into it. I need a larger hard drive. The guy who transferred this batch of films (my 16mm projector has been in the shop for awhile now) recommended that when I transfer these from DV to MOV that I go with no compression. I did this and it looked fantastic. However, the problem that I ran into (obviously) was that it produced a 30.7 GB file. Not that I have a problem with that per se, but not when it won't fit on that firewire drive. I'm going to try yet again, but with the AVI file.

The film that caused this issue was a 1951 "Frontiersmen of Faith". It's a nice little film about the Vatican's communications departments. It goes into showing the presses of
L'Osservatore Romano and the Vatican Radio Service. Apparently, Marconi himself helped implement the radio station at the Vatican. This was verified by the film on Pope Pius XI that I also had transferred.

But I digress. Mostly for now, this is going to be a means for me to keep track of the technical aspects of Mater Dei Television here in it's infancy. There will be better stuff to read up here at some point, unless you like your Traditional Catholicism both Traditional AND technical. One of the other projects, although still a little ways away, is to get my Mac clone I got from my Freecycle list upgraded to a G3 or G4 so I can do these DV to MOV conversions from home. In the meantime, I've converted "Our Lady's Shrine", which is about the building of the National Basillica of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., and will be starting the film on Pope Pius XI here soon. If I can compress the "Frontiersmen" program into something that I can transfer to my firewire drive, I can then find a way to get that to my laptop hard drive and start working on it. Or something.

I really need to get more sleep.

Chuck, MI

Hard Drive Problems?

I'm beginning to suspect harddrive problems now. I couldn't get Windows XP, Pro or Home, loaded on this thing. ReactOS was a no go, and my copy of Debian died overnight. I'm going to try Ubuntu next. If that doesn't work, I'm swapping it with the drive in my firewire drive. This may just be a bad boot sector or something and may only be of any use as a data drive now. No problem if that IS the case; the only reason it's not like that now is because I was still using the drive in question when I built the firewire drive last week.

We'll get this PC up yet. There WILL be of these days...

Chuck, MI

First Post

Alright. This is the first post for this TV apostolate, Mater Dei Television. From time to time, I'll be updating just what's going on with MDTV. As it stands right now, I hope to have the program feed launched next week via Peercast, which is a peer-to-peer streaming system. Right now, I'm trying to get the streaming computer to install the OS about six inches from me. As soon as I can get Windows installed (been having problems with that), I hope to have a programming loop up and going. It'd be cool to launch it on St. Patrick's Day.

I'll explain more about just what I'm trying to do later. I need to get this computer going first.

Chuck, MI