While moving some backups around on my computer and external HD I ran into an issue with a series of old files. It didn't matter whether I was moving them, copying them or deleting them I always got the same error:
"The file name you specified is not valid or too long. Specify a different file name.
My first thought was to hit the command prompt and delete them from there - no luck.
After hitting Google I discovered a relatively brilliant solution. Essentially, somehow, the file structure got too big for Windows to handle so the trick is to shrink the file structure. As Mark Wilson points out you can just rename parent directories to single character names. Do this through a few levels and eventually you'll unlock access to the file.
As the file was a backup of a backup of a backup I'm not sure how it ultimately ended up with such a long filename but the solution is elegant enough.
Over the course of the day I've been beset by links, ads and now video of the site remembernovember.com - a site paid for by the Republican Governors Association. Without commenting too much on the nature of the site or the politics behind it I immediately noticed some things that a comic book / movie geek should be instantly familiar with.
First off the phrase "Remember November" immediately harkens Alan Moore's excellent series (and the Wachowski Bros. pretty decent movie) 'V for Vendetta.' If you've seen either you know that the main character is modelled after a historical figure - Guy (Guido) Fawkes, who set out on November 5th 1605 to blow up the British House of Parliament in an attempt to unseat Protestant rule. My history is not great so please refer to the wikipedia entries for Guy Fawkes and The Gunpowder Plot for a dash of internet quality knowledge.
Through an act of parliament the day, November 5th, went on to become a holiday - Guy Fawkes Night. A common nursery rhyme related to the holiday begins "Remember remember, the 5th of November; The Gunpowder Treason and Plot ... "
As a lit student I'd have been remiss not to at least entertain the potential connection between "Remember november" and the popular rhyme.
Now, before you accuse me of reading too far into this check out the site's banner.
What's the one letter that's different from all the others? The 'V'. While I realize that the 'V' is meant to represent the voter's check mark it's certainly interesting to re-evaluate it in reference to 'V for Vendetta', the movie that most Americans may be reminded of (like I was) by "Remember November."
Check out the cover of the 'V for Vendetta' Blu-Ray DVD and compare the 'V's as they appear in both. Very similar, no?
Add to these small things videos message of unseating the people in power, the ticking of the counter (masterfully similar to a clock ticking down), and the overwhelming implications in the video cuts and you start to feel the oppression and fear of tyranny that's part of Moore's dystopian future.
I'm not going to accuse the site of attempting to insight violence because I know that's not the goal. It's just interesting to see how sometimes life can imitate art and how we sometimes subconsciously pickup (or putdown) ideas that we associate with.
I'm embedding the video below because I think it's worth looking at if only for seeing another perspective. As I stated earlier I wanted to avoid politicizing this post, it just felt like looking at the site (in it's current form) and comparing it to 'V for Vendetta' seemed to fit some of the things that this site is about.
I was recently faced with the task of converting an old home movie into a series of YouTube-esque clips for use on the site Geni.com. Back when I was considering a small video game review blog I had played around with video conversion and editing but ultimately let it slip by due to lack of time. The challenge of converting these old home movies was just enough to push me back to learning the process.
After having the VHS transferred to DVD (something I realized I can probably do at home with my DVD recorder and some creative cable work) I set out on the task of finding the right clip and putting together the first video.
I'm not going to go too in-depth and instead just provide a quick walk through of the process.
The DVD transfer wasn't protected the way most commercial DVDs are so I was able to just browse through the DVD contents in Windows and select the .VOB files that make up the movie. In all there were four so I copied them to my hard drive and then set about researching the conversion process.
Because Windows Movie Maker doesn't accept the VOB files (even when renamed to MPEGs) I had to get them converted to .AVI first. This is where a quick lifehacker search and several downloads came in.
Ultimately I found Any Video Converter to be the best option for making the conversions. It's got a drag and drop interface and allows you to simply set it and forget it. After selecting the four VOB files taken from the DVD I set Any Video Converter to convert to AVI and took a little break. In my case it took about 30m per video to get the conversion done which didn't seem to bad.
For those wondering about cost Any Video Converter is offered in both a free and paid version. I'm using the free version which works just fine.
Once the video's were converted I opened up Windows Movie Maker and just went from there. Movie Maker is a pretty simple tool to use and is included in all versions of Windows. Just import your video and everything else is pretty self explanatory.