How to make dvds of your home movies on your computer
Instructions for transferring your home videos to digital video disc.
How often have you worried about your wedding video being taped over, or your child's graduation tape being worn out or erased? Everyone knows that video tape is susceptible to erasure and breaking over time and excessive viewing. So what keeps DVD from wearing out or being erased? One of the keys is that a DVD, or digital video disc, is encoded digitally and read by a laser. This means there are no "heads" to read the information on the disc by making contact, as opposed to the video tape, which is read by being pulled against a head that reads the information and translates it into an audio/video image. Of course DVDs can be scratched, but can be cared for fairly easily.
Once you have made the decision to convert your home movies into DVD's, you will need to determine if you have the proper equipment to do so. If your home movies were recorded digitally (digital8 or dv tape), you should be able to plug your camera straight into your computer via USB port and the cable supplied with your camera. If, however, your home movies are recorded on analog tape (VHS, VHS-C, or 8mm), you will need a video capture device to convert analog video to a digital format. This will allow your computer to store the audio/video information on the hard drive and burn it onto a disc.
Once you have determined if you need a video capture device to convert your analog video to digital, you will need to examine your computer's configuration to make sure it can support the hardware and software you will need to complete your task. You will be looking for enough RAM memory (256mb may be sufficient, but 512 or 1024 is better), a good video card and audio controller, and a disc drive that burns DVD's. If you don't have a DVD burner, you can purchase one for less than $200, depending on the features. If you have an internal DVD player/CD burner, you can purchase an external DVD burner and plug it into a USB port, giving you an additional drive.
Suppose you have determined that your computer has enough memory and sufficient audio and video controllers, but it has no DVD burner. Likewise, your video tapes are all Hi8 (analog) tapes. That means you will need to go to your local computer or electronics store and purchase the following:
analog video capture device 2.
CD/DVD burner drive 3.
video editing software
any necessary cables (such as RCA cables or USB cables) 5.
Recordable DVDs (and labels, if you would like)
The best way to determine what you need is to ask someone who works at the store. It is important that you feel comfortable with telling him or her that you don't know exactly what you need. Tell them what you want to do and what you already have. Be prepared to answer questions about your computer's RAM memory, operating system (such as Windows or Mac), and hard drive memory. If they can't answer your questions about what you need, ask them to find someone who can. There is nothing worse than getting home and finding out you can't finish your product until you get that one missing piece.
One word about video editing software: your DVD burner and your video capture device will both likely come with editing software (read the box and/or ask the salesman). You may, however, want to do more with your movies than what that software offers. While you are at the store, purchase whatever video editing software you want. A good video editor is well worth the money. With a good editor you can cut out those segments of video when you thought your camera was off, add music, text overlays, sound effects, video effects (like negative image and grayscale), and transitions. These little features can make your home movies much more fun.
Okay, so you have your software and hardware installed according to their instructions and you're ready to begin transferring your movies over to DVD. Make sure your video capture device is connected to both the computer and the video source (camera or VCR). Open the video editing software of your choice and find the command or button called "video capture." This should open a window or monitor on your screen which could be black or may show a message stating it is waiting for a signal. If you receive a message that says "device not found" please recheck all your connections and make sure the power is turned on for your source.
Press "play" on your video source, then press the "capture" or "record" button on your monitor. When the portion of video you want to record is finished, press the "stop" button on the monitor, then on the source. At this point, your editing software will ask you where to save the clip and may ask for you to name it (as a computer file). Make sure you place it where you can find it again easily. Once the file is saved, follow the instructions of your editing software to add effects, music, and transitions as you desire.
Once you have edited your home movie to your liking, save it as a movie file onto your computer. Your video software will render it into a single file, which may take a long time. Please note that you can save your movie as an .AVI file, which takes up a lot of space, or you may want to consider an .MPEG format. The AVI is sharper, but it is not that much sharper than MPEG, especially considering this is for private use.
After saving your movie as a file you can burn, you may close down your video editing software, but make sure you have saved your project just in case. Your DVD burner should have come with burning software, which you should have installed on your computer with the hardware. Open up that burning software and follow the instructions. Find your movie on your computer and open it into the burning software. Choose the options you want on your DVD (encoding, menu, etc.) and add your movie file(s). Make sure the burner is on and that there is a burnable DVD in the drive. Click on the icon that indicates "Burn DVD" and let the computer do its job. This may take a long time, depending on the length of the video(s) to burn.
As you become more familiar with your software, you will be able to do more things with your home movies in a shorter time. You will be enjoying your family DVDs in no time. Best of all, your family will be impressed at both the effort and skill with which you have enhanced your home videos.
Spots and stains: cleaning hardwood floorsInstrucions for cleaning hardwood floors and removing stains.
Any grating substance such as sand, dirt, or grit, will dull the surface of hardwood floors. By observing a few rules today, your need for restoration will be far less likely and the floor will look luxurious for many years. Sweep, vacuum, or dust mop, at least every week, and place mats or rugs at the entranceway to trap as much dirt and dust as possible.
* Vacuuming: Avoid beater bars this can cause indentations in the surface of the floor. Use a brush attachment.
* Dust mopping Use a non-abrasive dust mop with a soft cotton head. Some floor manufacturers suggest using a floor treatment as well.
* Sweeping The broom used to sweep a hardwood floor will need to have fine bristles, with feathered ends, that will be very gentle on the floor's surface.
* Furniture Dragging furniture across the floor will damage it significantly. Lift the furniture at all times when repositioning it in your room. Using felt "shoes" under the legs would help to avoid scratches when furniture is accidentally scooted across floor.
* Sunlight Over a period, too much sun can discolor wood finishes. Darken the room by closing curtains and blinds during the time of day when the sun is most intense.
* Shoes Some (sports related) shoes have hard heel supports and metal nails attached to the sole?"stop" and do not enter, they will most surely damage the finish of your wood floor.
Stains will need your immediate attention on wood floors. Keep them waxed as needed and wipe up any drops of fluid that may be spilled on the floor as soon as possible.
Fruit Juices Coffee As a basic first step, it is good to remember to remove a stain start at the outer circumference and work to the inside. This will not allow the stain to continue to spread outward. Warm a soft cotton cloth with hot water, and use a mild abrasive as in a scouring powder. Massage the spot easily do not apply pressure.
Mold or Mildew Your wood floors need good ventilation; air that is not moving and is stagnating will encourage the growth of mold in your home and on your wood floors. If this has occurred, use a solution of 1-cup water and 1/4 cup common household bleach. Use a soft cotton cloth and wipe the mold away gently. It is suggested you wear a mask when dealing with mold.
Water Rings that have turned white Use steel wool (No. 1) and rub the stain, the area will need to have wax re-applied to the stained area. If unsuccessful with the steel wool, use very fine sandpaper and lightly sand the area. The stain, and area encircling, can be cleaned with (no.1) steel wool and a good floor cleaner or mineral spirits. After the floor is dry, a comparable finish for wood floors can be applied. Spread the area very thin, "feathering" the newly applied finish around the circumference allowing it to dry. When completely dry re-wax the floor.
Chewing gum or wax product Fill a secure Ziploc plastic bag with ice cubes and place it over the wax or gum. This should cause the wax or gum to harden, and become breakable. Use a plastic scraper, spatula, or plastic paint scraper, and gently remove the material. The floor will need to be re-polished.
Oily or greasy substance First remove the stain as well as possible with old newspaper or paper towels. Immerse a cloth in dry cleaning fluid and saturate the stain.
Another idea is, to use a soap that contains lye (perhaps homemade lye soap) and rub it on the stain. Alternatively if that fails, drench a cloth with hydrogen peroxide and lay it over thee greasy area. A second layer saturated with ammonia is then placed over that the first layer. This should be duplicated until the stain is removed.
Blood This requires ammonia to remove the stain. Use cold water and ammonia in equal parts, to remove the stain. Re-wax and buff.
Alcoholic drinks This may be easily removed by a simple solution of detergent and warm water. If this is not successful, use a soft cotton cloth moistened with any of the following: ammonia, linseed oil, liquid or paste wax, denatured alcohol or silver polish. You will need to re-wax and polish.
Dark stains Collect a no.1 steel wool pad, and a floor cleaner, or perhaps mineral spirits. Clean the spots or stains and the surrounding region. Dampen a cloth with normal household vinegar and carefully wash the area. It may take a short while but the stain will most likely vanish. If by chance the spots are still noticeable use fine sandpaper and sand, feathering around edges about 4 inches. Re-wax and polish the floor.
Extremely dark stains or spots If you have tried several applications of vinegar on these stains and have had no success then you may apply a solution of Oxalic acid, use this strictly according to the label instructions. This is a bleaching medium and can be purchased in hardware and paint stores. You will definitely have to re-stain and refinish the floor once oxalic acid is used, to rematch the first color. Follow the directions and allow the mixture to set on the spots and stains for a time and then sponge off. More than one attempt may have to be attempted before stains will fade or come off completely.
Cigarette Burns If the burn is not deep and penetrating, there is a good chance it can be removed by using steel wool moistened with soap and water.
It is always important to start processing at the edge of any spot or stained area, and move into the center to avoid spreading the solution outward. It is most probable that re-waxing and buffing will need to be done after each stain removal.