scene from movie

I borrowed a digital-8 camcorder from a friend – thanks, William! – because I wanted to salvage some footage from a few old Hi-8 tapes, which will soon be completely obsolete and unreadable.

The main thing I wanted to save was a little 2-minute clip about BrightBoard, the project which formed the bulk of my PhD work. This ‘video figure’ was done at the end of 1995 to accompany a paper I presented at the CHI96 conference. Click the picture to see a much younger and thinner Quentin… [12MB Quicktime H.264]

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completely obsolete and unreadable

Eeek – are things really that bad? Do you think manufacturers turn their back on such a popular technology so soon?

Well, Jim –

I had to recreate this movie from raw footage, because the original version was edited with a high-end ‘prosumer’ Sony Hi-8 deck, which made use of all of the audio channels available. Digital-8 players tend not to play back the PCM track (at least, I think that was the issue). Either way, a day of experimenting let me get the video but not the audio. The raw footage, on the other hand, did have working audio tracks, so I recreated the movie by capturing and editing that.

Not a good sign, though…!


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