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another accomplishment | Letters From Home another accomplishment | Letters From Home

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another accomplishment

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Like many people, my level of expertise varies widely, subject by subject.  Get me going on ancient history and I’ll talk your ear off, with references.  Ditto American history of the mid 20th century and later (heck, I lived through most of it, why wouldn’t I know about it).

Computer stuff is hit or miss.  I’m a good diagnostician.  I can usually figure out what’s wrong, even if I don’t know exactly how to fix it.  I like fixing computers so learning how to do new things is easy and usually fun.

But when it comes to applications, it seems like either I know it or I don’t.  I’m not well versed on things like IRC (my daughter had to help me get it going the few times I tried it) or a lot of the really cool internet sites that everyone seems to understand.  (No, I’m not into digg & co and haven’t bothered to learn, yet.)  I hate the Windows XP interface even when it’s modified to a pseudo-classic interface and have done my best to avoid learning it in the same kind of depth I have for previous iterations.

And I don’t, as yet, know much about sound, video et al.  I have a video editing program that I can’t quite figure out (the manual that came with it sucks).  I only recently got into iTunes and am still far from expert in its use.  I’ve thought about doing my own podcasts but haven’t gotten going on that, either, although I did buy a copy of Podcasting for Dummies when I found it on a closeout table.   (Um, haven’t read it yet.)

However, yesterday when I found an old cassette tape with the voices of my children from their very, very early childhood, I realized it was as good a time as any to learn how to transfer audio tapes to CD.

So I downloaded Audacity.  Looked for a manual of some sort.  It doesn’t have one.  I loathe trying to learn how to use software by poking through help files.  Loathe.  But as it happened, a Google search turned up good, clearly written instructions for exactly what I wanted to do.

So…  today I did it.

I also tried modifying the recording by removing all the background noise, although I’m not so sure that really improved the recording because it seems to have taken out a bit more than just the noise.  I’ll have to burn the two versions to CD, though, and listen to them carefully through headphones.  My itty bitty speakers aren’t going to work for critical listening, not to mention that the only way my little corner of the office is habitable when it’s hot outside is for me to keep a fan blowing right at me, and you can’t hear clearly over fan noise, for sure.

Still, though, I consider myself now to be On My Way to learning about sound recording in the computer age.  I did plenty of it back in the years when the only way you could edit stuff was to sit down with a tape block and a razor blade and cut and piece together chunks of audio tape.  I was an expert at doing that.  Now I have to learn the bladeless way.

I can do this!

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Author: infmom

Otherwise known as Infamous Mom.

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