Diana the Valkyrie

Diana the Valkyrie's Newsletter - October 2015

September 2015

A busy month, see below. The weather was great, too, so I was able to get out and about a bit.

New and updated Galleries

Galleries added this month.

The Library

Stories added this month.

I've made audio versions of the stories, which will be great for people with difficulty reading from screens. Also good for everyone else, if you'd rather hear a story than read it. Personally, I prefer reading, but the popularity of video logs (vlogs) tells me that a lot of people prefer not to read. I know that at least one blind person uses the web site.

I'm using Mary for this; the vocalisation is being done by Prudence. She has trouble with some sentences, so for those, I'm using an alternative that isn't quite so good.

To do this, I had to convert 15,000 files, and that's a big job. So first, I set up 32 computers. I fixed all the computers that I've had sitting waiting for repair, I set up five Raspberry Pis, and I bought five more Raspberry Pi 2, because they're only 25 each, and they're six times faster than the old version 1.

Then I set all those computers to doing the conversions; text to WAV using Mary (and espeak for sentences that Mary couldn't handle), concatenate the WAV files into one long file using sox, and then converting to MP3 using Lame. Eventually, I had 15000 MP3 files, and you can see the results if you go to the library; each story has a link to the text file, and another link to the sound file.

I also did some more conversion while I was at it; you'll have noticed that some of the files have black ? characters; this is because your browser is seeing a byte that it doesn't know how to render. I did a conversion job that has greatly reduced the problem.

The Movie Theatre

Movies added this month.


Working fine.

Down on the server farm

I repaired a bunch of servers for the sound conversion job. While I was doing this, I noticed that I have several Pentium socket-478 chips with no motherboard for them. THis is because motherboards fail a lot more often than the CPU chip. So I went on to Ebay, and found some great Intel boards for 8 each, a real bargain! So now I have four more computers using those.

DtV Family web sites

Here's the full list of DtV family web sites

Back Page

I checked the site statistics that Sandra counts up each night.

At the end of September 2015, there were about 1,580,000 pictures (329 gigabytes), 536 gigabytes of video, 15700 text files (mostly stories) and a total of about 866 gigabytes. There's 555,000,000 pictures altogether in Newsthumbs, increasing at about 5 million per month.

To the Magic Carpet