OK, bear with me a moment here. The introductory paragraph is a little weird but the meaning will become clear shortly.
Joe Boyd - producer of classic albums by Fairport Convention, Richard Thompson, Sandy Denny, Nick Drake, the Incredible String band, Ivo Papasov, and many others - recently wrote a book entitled "White Bicycles: Making Music in the 1960s." (Highly recommended; his other big claim to fame is actually setting up the sound system the night Dylan went electric in 1965, and he provides a definitive, first-person account of the ensuing controversy.) Anyway, he writes about a decision he once made to explore Scientology - not because he intended to convert, but because he wanted to better understand friends and colleagues who had already converted. There was no way to casually learn about Scientology; you had to dive in head-first. He compared it to a William Burroughs story about a man searching for enlightenment who consulted a rainforest shaman said to know a ceremony that would unlock all the secrets of the universe. It turns out that the ceremony involved "fucking the sacred crocodile." So, Joe Boyd decided to fuck the sacred crocodile, learn all he could about Scientology, and hopefully make a safe escape once the ceremony was over.
My computer experience is pretty much limited to turning the damn thing on and off, using simple business software, sending emails, surfing the web, and of course checking in on this blog. I have no knowledge about digitally capturing, restoring, and preserving audio and/or video material related to KCAC and early KDKB. Therefore, in the past week or so, I have been consulting, via private emails, with other KCAC Lives! bloggers about buying a computer set-up that would let me do so. I received much good advice, but there was no consistent set of answers that I could translate into a particular plan of action.
Therefore, I have decided to fuck the sacred crocodile. Based on (or in spite of) the advice of many helpful people, today I went out and bought a computer and related products that will, I hope, allow me to finally get to the job at hand. I went to Fry's Electronics here in Tempe and purchased the following items:
(1) A Hewlett Packard Pavilion a1700n computer with an AMD Anthlon 64X2 Dual-Core Processor, 250GB hard-drive storage, and 1024 MB PC2-2400 DDR2 SDRAM. (If anybody knows what that last bit means, please tell me.)
(2) An Envision H190L 19-inch monitor.
(3) A Pinnacle Studio MovieBox that will supposedly allow me to convert analog video to digital, provide assorted editing and enhancement software, and allow me to burn the results to DVD. (It also has some limited audio-related functions, but it is essentially a video-oriented product.)
(4) An Internet Media Recorder that can record streaming audio and/or video off the Web.
Please notice that I did NOT buy any audio-oriented software yet. This is primarily because there are several types out there that I want to research before choosing, and also because none of them indicated (at least on the box artwork) that they had speed-correction capabilities (critical to preserving the 1 7/8th IPS tapes provided by Jeff and Jennifer Crawford). The three audio software packages I've looked at so far are Cakewalk Pyro 5, SoundForge Audio Station, and Majix Audio Cleaning 11 Lab. If anybody can recommend one over the other, or some entirely different software product, please let me know.
The above is NOT a perfect, ideal, top-end collection of hardware and software; it is what I could almost afford that also seems capable of doing what I need it to do. The choice of the HP computer was largely a matter of cost - it's a refurbished unit sold at about 60% of the cost of comparable new models. I managed to walk out of the store for just under $1000, which was my upper limit
Anyway, comments and suggestions are welcome. There will be a rather steep learning curve for me, but I hope to get some grasp on the process by the end of June, and get started in earnest on the KCAC tapes later in the summer.