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Help the Internet Archive by watching Computer Chronicles

Karpour Page Icon Posted 2020-11-20 4:58 PM
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So, heres a little side project!

As some here might know, the internet archive contains a complete incomplete archive of the fantastic show The Computer Chronicles
What started out as a simple attempt as indexing all episodes into my media center, ended up with trying to actually get all episodes and metadata in order at archive.org.

I'm actually in touch with Jason Scott (who is the reason all those tapes are in the archive) and Stewart Cheifet (Host of Computer Chronicles), who is still holding on to all tapes.

This entails:

  • Complete metadata where missing

  • Check if video files are ok (broken video/sound)

  • Make sure that missing/damaged tapes get (re)digitized



Many people told me they would gladly help out here, sadly nobody actually committed to it and all edits so far have been made by me.

If you'd like to help out, it's easy and fun! Just pick any episode to watch which had a status of unknown. Fill in the metadata fields, or check if they're correct and check the fields in case the file has video/audio issues. If you're satisfied, set the status to "done". If you're unsure, set status to "review" or "needs fixing".

The list is here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/13v6Ep4KtetRKNLEVGeQm43xwzfxC...
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trapexit Page Icon Posted 2020-11-21 5:01 PM
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I've been in effect doing this over the past couple years. I had reorganized the IA collection and reuploaded to https://archive.org/details/Computer_Chronicles a while back and had post processed them by attempting to fix certain broken videos, fixing single channel audio, doing some light noise reduction, and upscaling them to 720p and de-interlacing them. I too contacted Cheifet a while back about possibly getting access to the tapes to re-digitize and possibly create a new site but he was busy at the time and never got back to me after the initial chat. I've actually been meaning to upload my processed videos back to IA but have been busy though I have been putting them up on LBRY when I find the time.
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Karpour Page Icon Posted 2020-11-21 5:27 PM
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Oh, funny! Lets join forces!

Sadly some of the uploads have completely missing audio, or parts of the video are missing. I did see some where audio was out of sync, so If you fixed those, that's already a big help

If you check the spreadsheet, I'm trying to complete the list of featured products and guests, with the idea that you can do a proper search on the internet archive and use it as a proper research resource in the future!

In terms of re-digitizing tapes. Stewart still has all tapes in his possession, and has been toying with the idea of donating them to the IA. If that happens, they will make sure that all missing/damaged tapes get re-digitized.
Of course having a complete set of proper metadata helps there

Also, I wonder how you found this thread? Have you been lurking the forums for longer and made an account to answer here?
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trapexit Page Icon Posted 2020-11-23 5:28 AM
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I've fixed a few of the broken ones but I don't have a list of them. Mostly done when my automated conversion fails and I notice. A few of them are pretty corrupted but I was able to get them mostly back to something functional. I've been meaning to create a list though. I have too many irons in the fire.

Ideally all the tapes would be re-digitized given even the best existing videos aren't the best.

I have a Google Alert for "Computer Chronicles"
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Karpour Page Icon Posted 2020-11-23 10:20 AM
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Ah, that makes sense!

So this list so far should be complete. There's only one episode where I'm not sure if it's a re-run or not, it's one of the non-digitized ones.

It's largely based on a xls from Stewart Cheifet, as well as a couple of other sources.
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macdude22 Page Icon Posted 2021-05-17 6:18 PM
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Is CC506_buyers_guide the missing Episode Code 506 (L121)?. It doesn't appear to be a duplicate but maybe I am missing something. It looks like it is the 1987 Christmas buyers episode (based on some screen information referencing 1987 during the episode).

https://archive.org/details/CC506_buyers_guide
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Karpour Page Icon Posted 2021-05-18 11:08 AM
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You're right, thanks for pointing that out I added it
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macdude22 Page Icon Posted 2021-05-18 2:20 PM
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I am starting to go through the unknown status episodes. I have a very stupid goal of creating a set of BD-50s containing all available episodes of Computer Chronicles. Looking for a clear list of episodes is what lead me to *checks notes* a Windows CE forum.
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macdude22 Page Icon Posted 2021-05-18 2:51 PM
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In the spreadsheet 1839 is linked to CC1852INTERACTIVE which is (I think) a dupe of 1839 (https://archive.org/details/WebSurfi2001). The .mpeg from CC1852INTERACTIVE is a little wonky and doesn't play right or have the right time codes shown in some video players but 1839 does. CC1852INTERACTIVE is also a larger 720x file while 1839 is in line with most of the CC files on IA. I am not sure if it is worth swapping out the link in the spread sheet but I am swapping it out in my project.
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macdude22 Page Icon Posted 2021-05-18 3:55 PM
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For episode code 1201 the linked episode is PCExpo and there is bad audio documented. There is a dupe of this episode, CC1201_pc_expo (https://archive.org/details/CC1201_pc_expo) that has much better audio.
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macdude22 Page Icon Posted 2021-05-18 4:01 PM
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For episode code 1407 the linked episode has audio issues but there is a dupe CC 1407 Online Shopping (https://archive.org/details/CC1407OnlineShopping) that does not have audio issues.
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Karpour Page Icon Posted 2021-05-19 9:12 AM
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Thank you for the additions! Feel free to edit the sheet by the way! I'm working on a better method, eventually all the metadata will be publicly available on GitHub as well as the basis for updating the metadata on IA

Of course the biggest hurdle is getting proper files for the broken episodes, but for that it's needed to identify all episodes that have video/audio issues first.
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macdude22 Page Icon Posted 2021-05-20 4:21 AM
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This was from my initial pass at trying to identify what was available and how to order it. My intent is to watch, yes watch, every episode available on IA. Validate the quality, then document their order for creating the blu-ray disks. I will update the spreadsheet as applicable when I fully watch an episode. I can't promise I will be fast at it, lawd knows between work and family I don't need a ridiculous project like this, but I just feel like CC was meant to be watched on physical media. Since I happened on this forum and document almost by accident I was a little reticent to just start shotgunning stuff into that doc. This program was such a seminal piece of media for so many (like me) I feel very passionate about its documentation and availability on formats I and 12 other people care about.
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