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This Must Happen on Purpose

While trying to do things that nobody else has (apparently) done can be enjoyable, it is, at times, highly frustrating. Case in point: spending most of my evening trying to download 8 episodes of a mini-series, only to first of all get stuck on the last one, and then learn that the converted files (from .flv to .avi) were of lower quality than the originals, and given that this is something I'd like to make a torrent of if and when it's all finished, and upload to whichever site I choose, I can't leave any loose ends that would cause somebody else to say "I can do a better job of this" and render my effort pointless. But more specifically now, let's look at those two problems. The first, as I've finally come to a conclusion regarding, is a problem with the site. In the end I tried downloading it with two different programs (CooJah and StreamTransport [not to mention all the others that didn't work]), but they both download exactly 28.9MB of the file, which is roughly 10%, before stopping. Curiously, it ends at about the same point (~4 minutes in) when viewed normally, but my only attempt to circumvent that thus far resulted in error messages on the computer downstairs, and then the file / video refusing to play on both that computer and my laptop for a short time. I keep telling myself I'll try it again tomorrow, but for the moment I can't help thinking that won't change much.

Then as for the issue of quality, let me put it this way: I could get a better-looking copy of the video (albeit with advertisements) by simply using my camera. The streaming quality is pretty decent, sure, but when neither downloading program works properly, I resort to finding screen capture software, which apparently has a marked difference in what setting the quality slider to 100% means. Again, somewhat-blocky videos aren't bad, especially for private use, but blocky to the point where it can't even display the color black without throwing large patches of gray in is not. But all that means is that screen recording software is out, unless I can find a program that will record the video at the same quality it's being displayed. I get a feeling that any such programs wouldn't be free, but I haven't really looked that hard yet. In the meantime, I wonder what can be done about converting the files I can download completely. Or at least I did. I just went back into the program I'm using to convert them, and poked around in the options long enough to find "Copy original stream" items for both the video and audio settings, which seems to have improved things some. Of course, now I need to download all the .flv files again, because I deleted them after thinking they were of no further use. I would be wrong, but maybe by the time I finish with those, the final one will be fixed / working as well.

Continuing with things to be frustrated with, I am the next item on the list. Or rather a decision I made is. When I went to Staples earlier, I bought a 250GB drive for ~$102 (tax included), when meanwhile they had 320GB (I think) drives on sale for $90. Why didn't I buy one of those, you might ask? Entirely because of something the packaging said. Yeah. Only after I made it home did I start to think about how foolish that was - I could've purchased an extra 70 gigabytes (in a sense) with the same amount of money, but didn't because the box - which would undoubtedly be discarded as soon as Naomi opened the drive - said something I didn't like? Something that's nothing more than a name, at that? Yeah, right. Unfortunately, if past experiences mean anything, as quick as I may be to judge tonight, I'll be in a terrible mood about this come Thursday or Friday, but I do need to stop. To modify the old phrase slightly, "sticks and stones will break my bones, but only the things I allow will hurt me". Anyway, I might go back earlier than expected to get a second drive for myself and maybe exchange the one I bought today / pay the difference if necessary, because I'd rather not have the thought of "I could have bought you this, but didn't" hanging over my head. Along the same lines though, Adam's Christmas present. Earlier tonight I flat-out asked "If I were to buy one of those games you said you wanted for Christmas, would you want the extra stuff you can get with the collector's edition?" His response? "All I'd want is the game, but you might want to be careful, because Trish wants to get Halo for me." The first part answers the obvious question, but I hadn't considered Trish. Maybe I should go back to thinking of something else he'd like. Should anything else come to mind, the Assassin's Creed game he wanted could be a birthday present, which would send him right back to guessing about what he was going to get (from me) for Christmas.

Also, cookies. I only made one batch tonight, which I am using having ~2 hours of dishes to wash as an excuse for, but either later this week or early next (when I finally have two days in a row off), more will definitely be made. Melissa will obviously get the first batch, probably on Friday this week (if we get back from Tilbury in time to allow me to leave for work an hour early), and George can have some tomorrow if he actually remembers to bring his external drive to work, but they have been started. Along with cake, as mentioned yesterday night, and maybe some other (new) recipe, if any I have saved look interesting enough. In fact, I think I'll go take a look at those now. I need to stay awake long enough to download the rest of these files, so I might as well find something to do~

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