Retrochallenge 2017/04 Final Report

The TapeStore server has been completed and most planned functionality has been achieved.  In total, more than 80 videotapes of various types were digitized and stored in the server, along with several hundred audio cassettes, open-reel tapes, and 9-track magnetic tapes.  The following is a summary of the machine’s capabilities and content:

  1. Central Processing Unit –AMD Athlon64 x2
  2. RAM — 3 GB
  3. System Disk — 384 GB
  4. TapeStore Disk — 2 TB (75% full)
  5. Operating System (Temp until open-source drivers for all hardware can be located):  Windows VISTA SP2
  6. Special Interface Hardware:  Hauppage WinTV HVR-1255 (Analog Video Input), IEEE-1394 x 4 (Digital Video Input), Adaptec SCSI PCI Card (9-track data tape), Creative Sound-Blaster X-FI HD USB Audio Interface, Four-Port EIA RS-232C, Custom Commodore Cassette Interface.  Extron VSC 500 Scan Converter (Composite Video Output), QSI Video Sync Generator / Color Bar Generator, Micro-Time Frame-Sync and Time-Base Corrector, General Electric SVHS Video Cassette Recorder, Sony DVD-R Recorder, Ampex VPR-80 Videotape Recorder, Ampex TBC-40 Time-Base Corrector, Sony HandiCam.
  7. Software:  Hauppage WinTV (analog video input), VLC Media Player (video output), Handbrake (Video Format Conversion), FileZilla FTP Server (Primary server software.)  Misc. Disk-imaging utilities.

Tasks to be accomplished include (1) Creating some logical (and workable) system of organization for all these (rather large) files on disk, (2) Creating a comprehensive index of the contents, (3) Improving control of peripheral devices (current operating of VCR / VTR / DVD / and audio devices is generally manual.)  (4) Getting the Commodore Datasette Interface to work reliably, (5) Getting the RS-232C command-line functionality to work.

It’s been fun, but I’m running out of time.  Wishing the best to everyone else involved in the Retrochallenge!