FFV1: Bigger than before

This is one of those blog posts that are a result of me explaining something more than once. I feel like that’s a good guideline for when it’s time to write something up, so that it can be referenced for future question-askers. Something that keeps coming up in preservation circles is a lament about what sometimes happens when migrating audiovisual files into the ffv1.mkv format (Matroska wrapper for FFV1-encoded video datastream) for preservation purposes. The...
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rsync, GUIs, power, control, design, and decisions

I spent last weekend making a GUI for rsync (and this past week tidying it up a bit) and I learned a lot about rsync, GUIs, design, power, control, and decisions around verbosity and freedom of choice versus simplicity and guidance/support, packaging, maintenance and support. A long time ago, I put this question out into the ether – Archivists: What is a simple task you do for which you wish there was a GUI? Please...
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Artist_Exhibition-copy (FINAL)(2).mov: Preserving diacritics in filenames as significant properties in media conservation

Hi! This is a blog post. I am gonna talk about this in a way that assumes no character encoding knowledge. Alternatively, if this isn’t new news to you, I am sure you have plenty of things to add but this is a blog post, not a Masters thesis, so stay mellow! I am trying to keep this concise, but it’s hard. This blog post is, however, written within the context of libraries, archives, and...
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Beyoncé's HOMECOMING: Film, film, and video

What would this blog be, if not a platform waiting to look extra extra closely at Beyoncé music videos? And now on Netflix is a 2+ hour film ready for consumption! First, here are links to my previous blog posts on this subject, probably my most popular blog posts of all time: Format-ion: Video playback errors in Beyoncé’s latest music video Aspect Ratios in LEMONADE, Pt. 1 Aspect Ratios in LEMONADE, Pt. 2 Again, I...
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Rhond<3's Greatest Hits

Sometime between the time of me writing and this and me posting this, I will be presenting with my colleague Travis L. Wagner at the Bastard Film Encounter, a film symposium rejoicing in media that is “ill-conceived or received; embarrassing or beyond the bounds of acceptability; poor in conception or execution; undesirable to those who should be caring for them; proof of something that should have never happened.” The symposium is primarily based around a...
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Code4lib 2019: Thoughts and appreciation post

I just got back from my fourth Code4lib (in five years), and it continues to be a really wonderful conference where I get to see some of my favorite people (and I was shocked that some of my fav people who were there this year were there for the first time!). I liked the initial MC and longstanding volunteer Dre’s description of Code4lib, which was that it isn’t an organized body, more of a collective....
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Code4lib 2019 lightning talk: The Real World of Technology (transcript)

Below is a tidied-up transcript (a transcript++?) of a lightning talk I gave about “a great book I’ve recently re-read.” This is perhaps understating the weight and impact this book has had on me and how I try to work over the past several years, but nevertheless, here it is. Ursula Franklin was a Canadian feminist philosopher and she performed these utterly massive series of lectures for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, called The Real World...
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Twenty Eighteen Annual Report and Twenty Nineteen goals

Welcome (yet again) to the Ashley Blewer annual report. Here is last year’s. These go all the way back to 2014! This year, I did something different and broke my goals down into quarters instead of trying to tackle an entire year. There’s a self-help book about this if you want to read a couple hundred pages on that concept as told through a business viewpoint. But whatever, for me it seemed useful to create...
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Installing CollectiveAccess on a cloud server

I’ve worked with CollectiveAccess (an open source collections management system for galleries, libraries, archives, and museums, see website here) on-and-off for around four years. I helped with the creation of digital backups and frontend design and development for the LaMaMa Digital Archives, a Dance Heritage Coalition project, and I have been working this year on the development of an archive (physical and digital, with me working on the digital preservation and access components) for the...
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Compressing and uncompressing a preservation master video file

The other day, a friend of mine asked me… “so let’s say to save space i want to take all my 10-Bit Uncompressed masters and encode them as FFV1 to save space but then, for whatever reason, i want to get them back as 10-Bit files can i just like, run them back through ffmpeg and tell it to make uncompressed files?” And I am here to tell you all: Yes, you can! And here...
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NTTW3 and making conferences more accessible

No Time To Wait 3: We just got finished with a truly inspiring conference, as always, and as always I’m filled with ideas about both how to do audiovisual digital preservation better. But also I’m filled with ideas on how to do conferences better. Like mentioned at the end, this conference could not be done without everyone who volunteers their time: organizers, hosts, sponsors (along with $$$, time too), our program designer, our many volunteers...
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Weeks 9, 10, 11 at Recurse Center

Where did I go? As mentioned in the last post, I definitely started to fall off the blogging wagon in this last quarter of Recurse Center, which (after a lot of reflection have concluded) is for a few reasons, and here they are: (As I mentioned last time) my brain feels very very full. I am still lamenting this a lot; I began to have a lot of fatigue from the constant learning and pushing...
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Weeks 7 and 8 at Recurse Center

Well, did I fall off the blogging wagon? Two weeks ago was Never Graduate Week at Recurse Center, which means alums get to return to the space and there’s a lot of activity, a LOT more people, and just a lot of everything more. I feel like I spent around half of this time rolling around in this “a lot-ness” (!!Con was also this week) and half of it quietly resting. And last week, we...
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Week 6 at Recurse Center: Halfway point!

“Stay true to your course, despite the visible obstacles ahead.” Started this week struggling to understand where I belong, in physical space and in my personal and professional lives (which, as every practicing archivist knows, are often very closely intertwined in a way that isn’t healthy). I feel like I fit into this space that I’m in now, which is rare, but where do I fit, long-term, after this? I’m at a juncture where I...
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Mapping the planets with Rust+WebAssembly+JavaScript+Canvas

I wanted to think of a small-ish project I could work on that uses Rust, WebAssembly, and JavaScript. One of the projects I thought would be fun to make while here at RC is something that gives the ability for people to map out where all the planets were in relation to Our Spaceship Earth on the day they were born. (This is like, an astrology thing, which I don’t really throw down with, but...
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