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Posts Tagged ‘free’

  1. How to Convert LP to CD or MP3 for FREE

    February 18, 2013 by Karl

    recordberry berry berry berry berry


    This article will show you how to convert vinyl records to CD or MP3 for FREE. This assumes that you have the appropriate cable, a computer, and a turntable to play the record. This conversion can be very time-consuming (about one hour actual time per LP), but if you don’t mind spending the time, you can save lots of money in CD purchases, or in sending it out for professional transfer.  My personal reason for doing this has been to convert the approximate 150 albums that I have into something I can listen to without having all this heavy equipment taking up space in the house.  Once I am finished with all of them, the turntable is likely to go.

    Some audiophiles will tell you that this method of conversion is not going to give you the best quality recording.  This is true, but for 99% of the population this will provide a very good quality recording, and we are, after all, talking about vinyl records with all their hiss, pops, and skips.


    First, if you still have a turntable you are in good shape.  Others will need to beg or borrow from friends who still have this stuff sitting in their attics.  Check Craigslist.  You may be able to find one locally for free.

    The next thing you need is a cable to go from the turntable to your computer.  A laptop is very handy for this, but you could use any computer that you can move close to your turntable.  In most cases the cable you will need has RCA connectors on one side, and a 3.5mm microphone jack on the other.  If you don’t have this type of cable in your house, you can buy one locally from Radio Shack, or on Amazon HERE.






    Now we need some software for the computer that can be used to record and edit.  For this we use a free program called Audacity.  Download and install the program on your computer.

    The rest is fairly simple.  Just follow the video below:

    How to convert LP’s to CD or MP3 from on Vimeo.

  2. Free Intercom for Home or Office

    December 18, 2012 by Karl

    intercom berry berry berry berry


    This post will show you how to use the computers in your home or office as a free intercom system!

    After recently moving my office from the main floor down to a newly finished room in the basement, we ran into a bit of a problem.  Now anyone who wanted to talk to the other had to walk from one end of the house to the other, go up or down the steps, and then walk all the way to the other end of the house again to talk.  We have two phone lines in the house, so in theory we could call the other, but this just wasn’t working for us.  What we needed was an intercom.

    I wasn’t looking for anything fancy. I just wanted something to go from basement to first floor, wired or wireless, didn’t make any difference to me. I could run either. The cheapest ones I found online were over $50, and they had terrible ratings. The better ones were over $100. This just wasn’t going to fit in the budget. I could make my own, but the cost of the parts would have been about the same, and I would have had lots of labor involved.

    Discouraged, I started making plans to use some two-way radios that we had been given. They would need to be on all the time, so batteries would be used up quickly if I didn’t wire them directly into the wall. I weeded through my pile of wall warts (the heavy things that you plug into the wall to power electronics) and found two of the proper voltage rating. I made some modifications to the two radios to allow the wall warts to power them instead of batteries, and plugged them in. The result was two radios that worked, but there was so much noise from the unfiltered power source that it made them unusable.  Back to the drawing board.

    I started thinking about all the technology that we had in this house. We have wireless phones, but they are incompatible for an intercom system. Suddenly it hit me….. why not try something over the existing local area network we have set up in the house? We have computers in all the rooms where we would want to communicate. There MUST be something out there!

    Sure enough, a few keystrokes later, and I found my solution. It’s called (surprisingly enough) Intercom, and it is completely FREE! (this fits me perfectly)

    I downloaded the software from the link above, and within a few minutes had our intercom system working. Just a note, you do need to have Microsoft .NET Framework 1.1 installed on your computer, and your computer will need to have speakers and a microphone in order for it to work. In my case we only have one microphone, but I improvised and plugged a set of headphones into the microphone jack and used them as a microphone until I bought one. I was planning to buy one anyway, so that just increased the need a little. Most laptops have microphones built into them now, so if you have a laptop you are probably set.

    I’m always a little leery of downloading freeware from the internet, but there are a few online freeware warehouses that I have some level of trust for. Softpedia is one of them. Just to be certain, I ran several virus scans on my computer after downloading it and they all came up clean. It never hurts to run a scan to double-check.

    Once downloaded, the application does not have a self install option.  It downloads as a zipped folder, so you need to unzip it. If your computer does not have a zip tool, you can download and install peazip for free.

    Next you will need to find a convenient place to put this folder.  I put it directly in the root of the C drive.

    The folder contains a PDF file which explains the whole process very nicely.  Please open that PDF file and read about how to use the application.

    If you have any trouble using this application, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment and I will help out if I can.

    Also, don’t forget to check out my other posts!

    Free intercom for PC to PC conversations on LAN. from on Vimeo.