Random Masthead Picture



Tampa Obama Rally :: 2291 days ago

I went to the Tampa Obama Rally on 10-20-2008 at Legends George M. Steinbrenner field.

I wanted to take some pictures, so I brought my long glass and a monopod.

When the ticket folks saw me walking up, I was sent to the media table, and I was signed up as local media!

So, I got to work in the press area of the event and shot the whole thing up-close and personal.

Even got to shake “That One’s” hand!

Mark Granning Retires :: 2429 days ago

Last week, I attended an awards ceremony for CATCOM, my alma-mater Lakewood High School’s magnet program for technology. CATCOM was started a couple of years after I graduated by Mark Granning, the teacher responsible for my success in media and technology. He retired at the end of the ceremony, handing the keys to his successor.

Here’s a video I shot. It’s handheld, so it’s kinda shaky.

Thank you, Mark, for pushing me as hard as you did. You instilled in me the understanding that I can learn to do anything, as quickly as possible, in order to support live production.

One Year Ago... :: 2607 days ago

...I was still recovering from the sadness of my mom passing away.

Deciding to put this blog on hold for a year wasn’t a hard promise to keep; my updates to it had been relatively slow.

2008 should be a big year, and I hope to write more about why, soon.

LHS Band Video :: 3125 days ago

Over the last month or so, I’ve been working on an archival project, putting all of my tape-based media on hard disk.

One of the gems I found was a VHS copy of the Lakewood High School Jazz Band and Wind Ensembles from 1989.

I’ve cut the video up so each song is a file, and they are presented in the order they were on the tape.

I’ve got a mullet in these videos. See if you can spot Jerry Wood and Andrew White!

1989 Lakewood Jazz Band

When You Wish Upon A Star
A Warm Fuzzy
Take Five
Maiden Voyage

The 1989 Lakewood Jazz Band consisted of:

Paul Dobson – Director of Bands
Lara Thurn – Flute
Kyle Martin – Sax
Waynona Ashby – Sax
Melody Fagg – Sax
Rewa Smith – Sax
Eland Wilson – Sax
Kevin Johns – Trumpet
Robert Starling – Trumpet
Jason Oliver – Trumpet
Shawn Milam – Trumpet
Jerry Wood – Trumpet
Jon Anderson – Trumpet
Abe Dowdell – Trombone
Will Foutz – Trombone
George “Wesley” Jenkins – Drums
Buddy Snider – Percussion
Courtney Silva – Bass Keyboard
Tom Ierna – Keyboard

1989 Lakewood Wind Ensemble

Big Jeff
Concerto Grosso #12
Two Grainger Melodies

The 1989 Lakewood Wind Ensemble consisted of:

Paul Dobson – Director of Bands
Will Foutz – Trombone
Lara Thurn – Flute
Larona Moorehead – Clarinet
Coleen Robertson – Flute
D. Young – ?
Stephan Moise – ?
Abe Dowdell – Trombone
Latasha Washington – Clarinet
Christine Brotchie – Flute
Julie Dobson – Clarinet
Lisa Dobson – Clarinet
Leslie Poston – Clarinet
Courtney Silva – Clarinet
Kristine Buser – Flute
Rewa Smith – Clarinet
J. Smith – ?
Eland Wilson – Sax/Student Director
Steve Webel – ?
Bart Mucerino – Tuba
Melina McCall – Flute
Matt Fisher – Trumpet
Andrew White – Flute
Anitra Landers – Clarinet
Monica Landers – ?
Jonti Phillips – Flute
Leah McRae – Flute
Monica McCausland – Oboe
Crystal Wooden – ?
Christine Buser – Flute
Waynona Ashby – Clarinet
Jon Anderson – Trumpet
K. Williams – ?
Kyle Martin – Sax
Yurshawn McCree – Clarinet
Yasmine Smythe – Flute
Jason Oliver – Trumpet
Kevin Johns – Tuba
Tom Ierna – Trumpet, French Horn
Brian Mendenhall – Sax
Stefan Mohr – Percussion (Xylophone)
Jerry Wood – Trumpet

This list is obviously incomplete. Camera coverage wasn’t available for the entire band. The yearbook from this year shows a list of people in marching band, but does not list the wind ensemble separately. There was a large cross-pollination between wind ensemble and marching band, but it wasn’t a 1:1 match. If you come upon this post and notice omissions or errors in the lists above, leave me corrections in the comments.

Spew [2]

eMac LCD Conversion :: 3133 days ago

CRTs can hold a charge in the thousands of volts. They act as a capacitor, and can hold this charge for days. Discharge your CRT properly before you begin work in earnest on a project like this.

Digg this article!

Ages ago, I found out it would cost nearly what I paid to fix the analog board in my eMac . Over $500 to repair a refurbished machine I only spent $599 on in the first place was folly, so it sat broken on my floor until last week. But what’s this? Apple announced a warranty repair extension for the eMac when it shows no video! Since it was a refurb, I couldn’t verify against the serial numbers listed on the extension page , so I had to bring it in to the Genius Bar. They told me that my machine didn’t fall in the range. Crap.

Later in the day, we’re at Sam’s Club, and I spot a Samsung 17” monitor for $199, and the plan begins a-brewin’. I’m going to convert the CRT eMac to an LCD, which will allow me to bypass and remove the faulty Analog Board completely.

The eMac is no longer a doorstop, and it only cost my $200 plus a few hours of time. The machine is about 30 pounds lighter, and won’t use as much electricity. Some have asked why I went LCD rather than replacing the CRT with the guts from a 17” monitor. This would have been more complicated — I would have had to remove the analog board still, and added a power supply for the computer. CRT monitors are hotter and heavier. LCD was just a better choice for a machine that didn’t require perfect color. Others have asked if I will change the form factor, making it slimmer. If that were the goal, I should just buy a used iMac, right?

Here’s the general process I took to complete this project, illustrated.

1) Take apart eMac. I don’t have pictures of this step since there is a take-apart manual floating around teh intarweb.

2) Remove Analog Board and CRT:

The Broken Analog Board


3) Remove everything until the faceplate looks like this:

The Faceplate

4) Set aside the logic board chassis (with hard and optical drives still connected):

The Logic Board Chassis

5) Prepare the LCD monitor. The one I used was a Samsung SyncMaster 730B:

Samsung SyncMaster 730B

6) Trace the new opening on the eMac Faceplate using the bezel taken off the LCD monitor:

I used Sharpie to mark the hole

7) Cut the opening. I used a jigsaw and a hand sander.

8) Place the LCD guts in the newly-cut opening:

Perfect Fit

9) Affix LCD guts in faceplate. I used packing tape. This is mainly to keep it straight until the CRT cowl is put back in.

10) Replace CRT cowl:

CRT Cowl

The next two steps use Leo Bodnar’s great headless eMac how-to . Without this excellent information, I wouldn’t have been able to complete this project in as little time as it took.

11) Make eMac power connector to hard drive connector:

Yeah, that's gaff tape

12) Make eMac video connector to VGA connector:

More Gaff

13) Scavenge power supply. This one came from an old SCSI hard drive case. It’s rated for 3A at 12VDC and 3A at 5VDC. It draws a little more than 1A. Since the eMac was originally rated to draw only about 1.5A, this power supply should be more than adequate.

So small compared to the Analog Board it is replacing

14) Solder the IEC end of a power cord for the LCD monitor onto the appropriate pads of the scavenged power supply.

15) Reconnect the eMac frame. It consists of a bottom plane connected to two acrylic struts.

16) Mount the power supply somewhere nice:

It actually lined up on two posts

17) Plug everything together and test it out:

Holy crap, it works

18) Find a place for the LCD monitor controls:

More gaff, and a few other things

Damn there's a lot of room in there now

19) Cut a hole in the outside case for the LCD monitor controls. The controls are required on the outside to turn the monitor on and off, and for size, contrast and other adjustments. Since this monitor doesn’t have a USB interface for OS control of these functions, it was necessary to make them externally accessible.

Almost looks stock

A little messy

20) Fasten the case back together.

21) Fini!

Looking Good

As with any project involving CRT monitors, BE CAREFUL. Discharge the CRT, and dispose of it properly!

Spew [96]

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