Tag ’em and Bag ’em

Got another shipment of laserdiscs from Japan. I have a huge collection already, and I have learned – the hard way – that I can’t remember everything I own. Its also hard to lay hands on any specific disk, because there are thousands of them to flip through, with spines written in Japanese (which I can’t ready as quickly as my native English). So I have a specific process I started following a few years ago.

First, any original plastic the disks are sealed (or loosely sitting in) are trashed. This means that disks that have never been opened are opened – No “mint-in-box” in my collection. The oldest disk I ever unsealed is Mosaica, which had been sealed for over thirty years. This might upset some, but I have my reasons. For one, I have a number of disks with damaged corners, because the original shitty plastic shrinks, and it crumples them. And I think that laserdiscs are meant to be used, and even if I never play them, I want full access to the disk and any inlays that might be in there.

I replace all of the original plastic with poly sleeves I obtain from bagsunlimited.com. For most disks, I use 12.75×12.75 3mil sleeves with flaps, which are meant for audio records, but work perfectly for laserdiscs, as the dimensions are the same. I do not seal the flaps. I put the disk in with flap on top. The flaps all flop over, which keeps dust out, while at the same time keeping the contents accessible. By not lining up the disk jacket opening with the sleeve opening, it prevents the jacket’s contents from ever accidentaly coming out. Finally, the bags slide against each other very smoothly, allowing one to pull a disk off the shelf easily without scuffing any jackets.

I have additional, specialty, sleeves. I have thin 2mil flapless polybags, which I use for individual disks in boxsets. I have 14×14 3mil flapped sleeves, which I use for smaller boxsets, ones that are 3-4 disks. For larger boxsets, I have very large 2mil sleeves I got off of Ebay years ago, I don’t know the dimensions. I think they came in lots of like 1,000, which is effectively a lifetime supply unless I hit the lottery someday. I have two giant-sized boxsets – Maison Ikkoku, and The End of Evangelion. For those I had to take several extra-large sleeves, cut them up, and re-tape them into custom-sized sleeves.

Next, I catalog the disk in a spreadsheet (https://www.otakubell.com/LDs/listing/). This is a LibreOffice document. I make sure I track the catalog numbers of disks, because as I don’t read Japanese all that well it is often easier to find disks by their catalog numbers.

Finally, I put the disk up on my shelves. My collection currently occupies four entire sets of Ikea Gorm shelving, which I have polyeurathaned to help protect it. I have a number of large flat steel bookends to hold all of the disks upright – two side-by-side sets on either end of each shelving section, help in place with screws, and two side-by-side in the middle for additional support.

However, those shelves are currently full, and I don’t have enough disks, or any room, for a fifth shelving unit yet. So, the overflow is being put into plastic corrugated archival boxes, also from bagsunlimited. Ikea no longer has Gorm, so I’m gonna have to figure that out someday.

The last of the old raws coming soon

I remade almost all of my old torrents after the nyaa.se collapse in May, with one exception: The Leisure Club 1. I didn’t remake this one, because at the time I knew I had the second volume on the way from Japan. As it turns out, it took a few months longer than I thought it would, but I received it this week and am working on it now. So, in the very near future both parts will be released together.

I never remade my old subtitled works. Of those: I need to recapture Yagami’s Family Problem one of these days, but the volume 2 disc is trapped inside a broken player. Who’s Left Behind is FINALLY being reissued on R2 DVD later this month, no point in my recapturing that. I might purchase it if nobody else remakes it and do it myself. Exper Zenon has been remade by somebody else already.

That leaves Stardust Paradise and Mospeada Live Love Alive. I want to recapture Stardust Paradise, but can’t find the disk at the moment. I’ll probably re-release Mospeada at the same time as I do Stardust Paradise, whenever that is.

Miracle Girls 33-34

So I got word, through a third-party, that somebody on BakaBT believes they have contacted me regarding Miracle Girls episode 33 and 34, as they were actually dupes of 35 and 36. I don’t know whom you imagine you have contacted, because it certainly wasn’t me. In any event, fixing now. But since you haven’t ACTUALLY contacted me, I have no way to get the corrected files to you directly, so I guess you’ll just have to grab them from the public torrent once I post it.

RE: Laserdisc donations

I feel the need to set a policy with regards to donations, as its actually become a bit of an issue. I never imagined I would need to do such a thing, so thanks and stuff, folks. The short version is: I’ll capture your discs, but I am not accepting free discs anymore.

If you have anime laserdiscs you want me to capture, I’m open to that, I can capture your disc and send it back to you. I am (probably) open to buying the disc from you. If you are buying discs from somewhere to send to me, I insist on paying for at least part of it.

Let us be very clear: In capturing laserdiscs and releasing those captures, I am willfully violating both Title 17 of the United States Code in my own country, and the Berne Treaty Convention in pretty much every other country on the planet. I am NOT, however, going to profit off of my criminal activities. And getting a bunch of free discs is just profit in another form. So thank you, but my ancient fansubber paladin code is kicking in.

As a side issue: There is no point to my capturing a laserdisc if a title has already been reissued on DVD or Bluray. You’ll get better results from those.

PPP releases migrating

Due to the collapse of Nyaa in the wake of the (completely obvious) Dutch fansub ruling, I am in the process of migrating releases to anirena.com. Anirena allows multiple trackers, which nyaa mostly disabled, but doesn’t have functioning DHT, which sucks. Anyhow, I’m just doing a few a day, so it will be a few days before everything is restored.

I will never release titles on a private tracker. If you see my stuff on a private tracker, it didn’t come from me. I have no interest in stroking the ego of leet file hoarders. I’m breaking the law for the benefit of the general public, not just for a select few.

If patsu.cat is ever finished I will also release there, but at the moment its still a work-in-progress.

OTAKUBELL.COM REVERTED

Unfortunately, ran into a serious problem and had to revert otakubell.com from a backup. Unfortunately, I’ve been a bit lax on backups, so the last backup was from 9/8/16. I’m so sorry.

Gundams I Have Known and Loved (or not)

I’ve had the Gundam franchise on my mind from playing Dynasty Warriors Gundam Reborn, and it has finally prompted me to finally begin watching Gundam Seed. So, here’s all the Gundam I have seen in my lifetime with very brief thoughts:

  • Mobile Suit Gundam – A true classic, and with good reason. Some fruity mech designs, but otherwise quite excellent. Its hard to believe it was actually cancelled – the ending doesn’t feel rushed.
  • Zeta Gundam – Another classic. Its a dark mirror of the original series and a personal favorite. I fansubbed the first half of the series in the pre-digital days, so you know I love that shit.
  • Double Zeta Gundam – Tomino developed this to kill the franchise, and it backfired spectacularly. This series is an absolute insult, and I was insulted. Once I saw Bright reduced to defending the Ahgama with oranges, I was fucking done. Only saw the first four episodes, will not ever watch more.
  • Char’s Counterattack – Great movie, but it requires you to be familiar with the events of the original and Zeta to get the full impact.
  • Gundam F-91 – Starts well, gets more compressed as time moves on. Could have been great as a TV or OVA series, but as a movie, not great. Intriguing, though.
  • Victory Gundam – Covered elsewhere in detail on this site. TL;DR version: Don’t waste your time.
  • Gundam 0080 – Another favorite. It leads you along for the first four episodes, and then shoves you off a cliff. Also features character designs by my favorite artist.
  • Gundam 0083 – Decent enough plot, decent enough action. Falls completely apart on the character level. Kou is boring as shit. Gato is a tin soldier. Why Nina has an interest in these two blockheads is a mystery – she comes across pretty dopey for somebody who is supposed to be some sort of genius. Can’t quite recommend.
  • G Gundam – I went in with no expectations of liking this, and my expectations were met. Bailed after two episodes, no interest.
  • Gundam Wing – Plenty of plot holes, plenty of plot armor, and Operation Meteor is like the dumbest plan ever. The series is carried by its characters, who are a fairly insane and colorful lot. Entertaining overall, but it isn’t the best Gundam series around.
  • Gundam X – The best intro to any Gundam series I have seen – VERY powerful. Unfortnately, it quickly pissed all of my good will away. Garoad is an awful protagonist. Once you get past the first six episodes, what little plot there was is out the window. This series earned its cancellation. I bailed after episode 8.
  • Turn-A Gundam – Beautiful soundtrack, amazing designs, unique steampunk-ish aesthetic. Unfortunately, there is, as near as I can tell after ten episodes, little in the way of plot, and the characters are all intensely stupid. People love this one, and I wanted to as well, but I do not get it.

Gundam Seed – First Impressions

Though I’ve been capturing LDs, I haven’t actually watched much anime lately. I decided to finally do a little catching up, and decided to watch Gundam Seed, finally.

I have watched the first six episodes, and I am quite impressed.

Server upgrades and whatnot

Otakubell.com has been upgraded.

Otakubell now has more RAM available to it – but that’s not why it was down for as long as it was.

Otakubell was running on Debian 7.x, which, while still getting the occasional update, is the legacy branch.  However, I was not keen on moving to Debian 8.x, because Debian 8.x introduces SystemD(icks).  Now, I don’t mind SystemD on my home computer (I run Manjaro at home).  But I don’t really like the idea of it being on a public-facing machine like Otakubell, because its too broad an attack vector.  Unfortunately, Debian was one of the last holdouts against the SystemD plague.  There’s still Gentoo and Slackware, but eh.

So, I tried switching to FreeBSD.  I had messed with in in virtual machines for a while first, so I was fairly confident at first.  But VMs will only take you so far, and as I got into the minutia of setting up the actual server, I realized I was in over my head.  So, I wound up wiping everything and installing Debian 8 after all.

I have also finally dumped MySQL in favor of MariaDB, because fuck Oracle.

You can expect all sorts of disconnects and instability as I continue to tweak and modify.

NOPE NOPE NOPE

Massive assault launched on my front page today – a whole lot of IPs from all over the globe tried to hax WordPress all at once. They failed. Thanks, Mod_security! Thanks OWASP!  Thanks Marco Gatti for assembling current builds for Debian Wheezy!  (http://www.marco-gatti.com/2014/05/05/stuff/modsecurity-2-8-0-and-mod_pagespeed-for-debian/)