Category: "Miscellaneous"

Pardon Our Appearance

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Since switching to a new server a few weeks ago, Spook Central and subsite The Corner Penthouse had been having severe issues with the blog software. The blog provides Spook Central with its main page, and runs the entirety of The Corner Penthouse. After a few days of having to disable the blog while we worked on the problem, we have managed to restore it, while at the same time upgrading it to the latest version. Unfortunately, that created a new set of problems because all of the skins and plugins from the old version were not compatible with the new version.

Right now, we have managed to get both sites back to 95% visual accuracy with (near) 100% functionality. Raffaele and I... well, mostly Raffaele, will continue to work on getting things back to 100% all around. Meanwhile, everything functions well enough that I will be able to write the reviews and articles that I have had to put off since all of this started.

We used this upgrade as an opportunity to make the site fully HTTPS-compliant, so you'll have a secure connection here. Not that we're providing any sort of sensitive information, but it seems like everyone loves secure this and secure that, so why not provide that as well.

Thanks to everyone for their patience.

-- Paul

Resign Xbox 360 Game Saves & Convert From PlayStation 3

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Okay, I will be covering two separate topics in this article, both of which involve Xbox 360 game saves. For both topics, you will need a Windows (XP or greater) program called Horizon, which can be downloaded from my Xbox page. Before I continue, I am going to assume you know how to transfer game saves between your Xbox 360 and computer using a USB drive, and that said USB drive is already configured for use with your Xbox 360. If you have all of that, let's proceed...

Full story »

DVD (SD) Vs. Blu-Ray (HD) Runtimes & Video Formats

The following was written by Amazon user Interzone_Records on January 22, 2011 in regards to a review that was posted for the Angelina Jolie film "Salt". I found the information so informative, that I thought it best to archive a copy here.

I rented the standard disc [of the Angelina Jolie film "Salt"] from Netflix. It contains all three versions, but the times are nowhere near what Senor Zoidbergo mentions in his review. This is probably due to the difference in the encoding speed of Blu-Ray, which runs at 24 frames per second, and NTSC format, which runs at 29.97 frames per second. The difference between the PAL and NTSC versions of films is 4%. So the speed difference between the US NTSC standard DVD format and the Blu-Ray is probably closer to 5%.

On the standard[-definition] U.S. [DVD], the actual times are:

Theatrical Version: 1:39:56
Unrated Extended Cut: 1:40:58
Unrated Director's Cut: 1:43:59

Senor Zoidbergo lists the following times for the three versions on the Blu-Ray disc

Theatrical: 1:35:54
Extended: 1:36:56
Director's Cut: 1:39:48

This is a difference of about 4 minutes on each version. Some time ago, I asked the owner of the Masters of Cinema label, in England (the UK equivalent of a Criterion specialty label), about the difference between NTSC and PAL and Blu-Ray. Here is his reply:

"The encoding format of HD material on Blu-ray has nothing to do with either PAL or NTSC. The 'problem' of these two competing DVD formats (NTSC and PAL) evaporates with Blu-ray, where the HD material is in 1080p resolution at 24 frames per second, not the standard definition 480p (NTSC 29.97fps) or 576p (PAL 25fps) resolution of "old TV".

In this respect, because of the increased resolution of 1080p HD Blu-rays *and* the fact that the material is now running at 24 frames per second (the exact same speed as film projected in a cinema) - Blu-ray is a stunning global format in which to view films as they should be seen.

Confusingly, a Blu-ray can also hold standard definition PAL or NTSC format encodes as well, but this will look exactly the same as it would on a DVD disc. It will remain standard definition. Thankfully, Blu-rays are being used to hold HD 1080p material, rather than as repositories for huge amounts of standard definition DVD footage."

Audio Format Sound Qualities

I made this little table for my own personal use, but I thought I'd add it to this page in case anyone else might find it useful.

Audio Format Sound Qualities
 
CD
NEAR CD
FM RADIO
TELEPHONE
Wave (.wav)
44.1 kHz, 16 Bit, Stereo
N/A
32 kHz, 16 Bit, Stereo
11.025 kHz, 8 Bit, Mono
MP3 (.mp3)
192 Kbps, Stereo
128 Kbps, Stereo
96 Kbps, Stereo
16 Kbps, Mono
Window Media Audio (.wma)
128 kbps, 44.1 kHz, Stereo
96 kbps, 44.1 kHz, Stereo
64 kbps, 44.1 kHz, Stereo
16 kbps, 22.05 kHz, Mono
(this information was taken from the conversion settings of TuneSpark CD Maker)

Halloween Treat 2015 - Who Shot Roger Rabbit & Arcade Movie Scripts

For a few years now, I have done Halloween Treats on my Ghostbusters website, Spook Central. I started off this site/blog with a Halloween Treat last year. While I can't promise that it will be a regular feature on this site, I do have a treat for this year. In fact, I have two of them!

I have a small movie and television script collection, which is mostly Ghostbusters-related. However, two of my scripts have nothing to do with Ghostbusters, and so they wouldn't really be appropriate to use on Spook Central. I figured that I'd post them here as the Halloween Treats for this year. I scanned them in, and you can download the PDFs by clicking on the images below.

The first one is "Who Shot Roger Rabbit" (third draft), which later hit the screen as "Who Framed Roger Rabbit". This script features a lot of elements that were dropped from the final film, making it a MUST READ for Roger Rabbit fans. The second one is "Arcade", a 1993 direct-to-video release from Full Moon Pictures starring Megan Ward, Peter Billingsley, A.J. Langer, John DeLancie, and Seth Green. It probably won't be of interest to as many of you as Roger Rabbit, but it's a fun little early-1990s "virtual reality" sci-fi flick. I rented the VHS from Blockbuster around 1993, and my friend Mark and I *loved* the film. I loved it so much that I actually bought the script direct from Full Moon for $20, signed on the protective cover by Full Moon head honcho (and the film's executive producer) Charles Band, and stored it in a binder with full-color cover art and a four-page sell-sheet! The cover art is included at the head of the PDF, and the sell-sheet is included at the end of it. The signed protective cover was irrelevant to the script, so it wasn't scanned in.

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(Sep. 2, 1986) (6.2 Mb)
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(Nov. 6, 1990) (6.7 Mb)

Who Framed Roger Rabbit is available on Blu-Ray, 2-Disc Vista Series DVD (alt url), and the original letterbox 1999 DVD with the original "no panties" version of the movie. Arcade is available on individual DVD and in the Full Moon Classics Vol. 1 DVD Box Set. You can also read a plain text copy of the "Who Shot Roger Rabbit" script at The Daily Script.

Back in the late 1990s, I hand-transcribed the Arcade script, as well as the scripts for Men In Black and The Wizard Of Oz. I gave copies of them to one site and one site only - and that site is no longer online. However, other people have taken the three scripts and placed them all over the internet. The good ones kept my transcribers credit intact. The bad ones removed it. You should have no trouble finding any of the scripts using the Google search engine. Sci-Fi Scripts is one of the good sites for The Wizard Of Oz script.

For another Halloween Treat, check out Spook Central where you can read about the time that Spider-Man teamed up with the cast of Saturday Night Live.