Welcome to my website. I am an analog media enthusiast
and love to share in my hobbies with anyone else interested.

I try to archive any VHS tapes that I find. I upload them to my youtube channel as long as I am
relatively confident they won't get taken down or copyrighted.

Watch my youtube videos here!

Here is my Teespring with designs by myself and Kaz!

If you wish to contact me, you can email me at vhsjessie@gmail.com

Now, onto the blog!

The Wonderful World of Windows 98! (is janky)

August 22nd, 2022

[Forgot to take good pictures for the post but I'll update them here later]

Last year I picked up an old Y2K era Windows 98 pc from FB marketplace. I
played around with it a bit, reading some ancient emails left on the disk,
and seeing what had been installed on it. It was a nice novelty and it came
with some cool peripherals and a neat little 800x600 monitor, but I never
really made much use of it. That was, until a few months back I decided that
I wanted to build it into a games/media creation pc. I'm not very familiar
with pc hardware from that era, but an AMD k6 seems half decent, and a M571
motherboard seemed to have a good rep online from what I could find in a few
minutes of research. So I set out to get it setup to a usable state in 2022.

The first thing I had to do, was replace the broken CD drive. The one
in the computer would not eject, and I had no way to get any files INTO the
computer. I managed to track down an IDE dvd burner pretty easily, and got
it installed no problem. After playing around with some of the goofy programs
and clip art collection CDs I also picked up, I decided that if I was going
to be using the computer with any kind of regularity, I was going to need
a better way of transferring files than burning CDs every time.

I started watching some videos about Windows 98 and USB storage, and was
surprised that the OS could do it. (In my mind, burning CDs with win 98
seemed like an impressive thing, but then again I'm not *that* old.)
So I went online and found a cheap PCI card that had a number of USB ports
I could use for transferring files and got it ordered.

I played around with some of the art program CDs I had in the meantime

While I was figuring out all the USB stuff and ordering the PCI card, I was
also working on upgrading the OS to 98SE. The operating system that came on
the computer was 98 First Edition. I had learned that SE is really what you
want to run, so I made the great mistake of trying to install a new OS with
no clue what I was doing. I only realized after I had gone through the install
that I had no drivers for the motherboard, and that if I wanted to use any
graphics programs, I was going to need VGA drivers, and Sound drivers if I
wanted to hear anything either. I had no idea what to do and ended up fumbling
around with drivers programs, bricking the install, and reinstalling the OS
about a dozen times until found a website hosting all the drivers I needed.

Once I had done one more install of 98SE, I installed the motherboard's drivers
and learned that when you install an operating system that many times over,
it doesn't delete everything and will leave files left over. Oh how pampered
I've been by windows 7 and onward, deleting everything when you do a fresh
install! How naieve I was filling up the Master Boot Record of the hard disk
with a bunch of trash and broken files! Now I sit with a computer that won't
function outside of safe mode because so many files are busted.

Currently I am investigating boot disks to clear the Master Boot Record and
completely wipe the drive. I am still not very knowledgeable about this stuff
but I'm going to take my time and make sure that I do it as right as possible
this time!

Dumpster Diving at a Hospital (LEGALLY, I PROMISE)

July 25thth, 2022

A friend of a friend found these TVs at the dumpster area of a local hospital.

A friend of mine saw this image on their snapchat and made me aware of this lovely
little pile of TVs sitting behind a local hospital. After work that day I stopped
by the back loading bay and got to work checking these little guys over. Most of
them were in decent condition, with only a couple of them being significantly
scratched and scraped on the front tube. I haven't yet measured their screen
sizes but I'd guess they're somewhere between 12 and 14" in size. Perfect size
to load up four of them in my tiny car and bring them home with me.

The four TVs I deemed in good enough condition to bring home, with a copy of my VHS mixtape for scale.

The TVs are a great size and just add to the already too-big collection of small
form factor CRTs I own, but they were free so who cares :). The TVs themselves are pretty
interesting and have some weird features since they were used inside a hospital.

The 1/4 inch audio out and the toggle switch on the side of the three PDi brand TVs.

On the side of the three smaller ones, there is a 1/4 inch jack, and a
toggle switch. After opening the TV up, the circuitboard inside has
"Pillow Speaker Board" printed on the PCB for a pillow containing
speakers so the audio from the TV doesn't disturb other people in the
hospital. The internals of this TV are also very non-standard. The board
that has that 1/4 inch jack and switch also has the TV's power cable
routed through it. I haven't seen it before in any of my other TVs.

The Pillow Speaker Board fastened to the inside of the back shell of the TV.

The one larger of the four TVs is a Zenith brand tv, and has an interesting
difference from the other three PDi branded models. It has a 5 pin dinn connector
on the back. It does also have a toggle switch, but no 1/4 inch audio out. I think
that the 5 pin connector may be for audio? I may be for something else as it was
the only TV of the lot that wasn't a little PDi brand one, so it may not have
been used for a patient TV.

The 5 pin dinn connector on the back of the Zenith.

The Zenith TV has great color but will need some picture adjustment, and
without a remote to access any kind of service menu, I'll have to open it up
and use the manual adjustment pots on the mainboard. I've never done that before
and I'm very excited to try it. Hopefully I can get the picture looking good and
sized properly because its in great condition and a great size little TV.

Imagine a VHS mixtape in 2022

June 13th, 2022

My first ever VHS mixtape! I am very proud of it! :D Cover art done by my boyfriend Kaz!

Over the last few years I've been collecting all kinds of weird and goofy VHS tapes
from thrift stores around me. A few months ago, I decided that instead of taking a
handful of tapes to show friends whatever weird content I had discovered, that I would
instead edit a lot of similarly themed tapes together into my own tape and add a bit
of my own editing to make something special! The tape is named "Lifestyles" and has a
lot of videos on tourism, vacationing, home living, and some other little odds and ends
edited together to make a delightful little "get-away" experience.

It was extremely fun getting to create my own intro, get my friends to help me make
transition audio between tapes, and to add my own little flairs and funny edits.
I really think I made something that adds to the experience of watching the videos
and I can't wait to work on the next idea I have for a mixtape! Lifestyles should
be publicly viewable on my youtube after I'm done stroking my ego hosting watch
parties, but I'm putting the link here as a thank you for reading my website!

You can watch my VHS mixtape "Lifestyles"HERE
I plan on making a very small amount of physical copies to hand out to friends
and I am enjoying producing physical copies almost as much as editing the video itself!
Making something tangible that you can physically hold and point at and say "Hey,
I made this!" Is such a satisfying feeling and something I really missed.

A New Beast Enters The Ring!

April 4th, 2022

My recently picked up JVC AV-27D305. A high quality 27" Set. Very happy with it!

Last week I picked up this nice JVC AV-27D305. I had been looking for a nice
"Living room size" set for a while, and when I came across this for sale I jumped on it
immediately. The JVC D-series is very well known for its quality. From what I can tell,
its regarded about as highly as Sony Trinitrons, if not just behind. I can certainly
vouch for its quality after playing a few games and watching a few VHS tapes, but I have
not experienced a Sony Trinitron larger than 14" that isn't a computer monitor. I imagine
its quality wouldn't leave much to be desired though, as even watching movies over Composite
looks fantastic!

My living room is a mess after making space for it where my old beater flat screen used to be.

I don't use my living room too often for watching old media, usually thats done at my desk
where I'm capturing footage for my Youtube Channel. I think I will be enjoying my living
room quite a bit more now with this beautiful piece of equipment! I really love the nice
silver plastic and aesthetic of the mid 00's. I am hugely nostalgic for that time in my
life and to have something like this in my home, to be able to come home and put on
my favorite shows from that era, or play some PS2 games on my nice silver slim model,
I couldn't be happier with this pickup!

One of the biggest reasons I picked up this model was for the Component video connection.
I haven't owned a consumer CRT with component video before, and I really wanted to see
how big of a difference it makes when playing era-appropriate games. I bought a cable
and some female-female connectors so I don't have to get my hands back there every time
I want to switch consoles. I've tried a few games on it so far; God Hand(PS2), Kinetica(PS2),
FZERO GX (Wii component), LSD Dream Emulator (PS1), and they all look absolutely
fantastic! I've played all those games on a 1600x1200 Sony Trinitron PC monitor with the
consoles being fed through a video upscaler and converter (see post from March 7th), but to play
them on a TV with those connections just gives it that quality I remember from the time.

Between a matching silver PS2 for games and DVD playback, a nice Samsung VCR for tapes,
and any video game consoles I can get my hands on, my living room is looking nearly
complete as far as media consumption goes.

Fantastic Plastic, Hello Yellow!

March 17th, 2022

My daily driver, a Cherry G-80 1800 keyboard. Age has yellowed this ABS plastic to heck, but I love it.

Last summer I picked up four of these Cherry G-80 1800 keyboards from a dying Sears
while I was on a little road trip. Having been into custom keyboards for some time before
this trip, I was stunned when I found four of these boards sitting in a bin. If anyone else
had walked into that Sears who knew about these boards, they would have gotten snagged
immediately. I also picked up a small monochrome CRT security monitor, but that will
probably receive its own post here sometime.

All four of the boards used Cherry's "MY" switch (pronounced "M - Why") , which have zero
value in this dayand age. Fortunately for me though, two of the boards had Cherry's old ABS
plastic keycaps. These are quite high quality keycaps and I was ecstatic to find two sets
of these! The other two had Lasered PBT plastic caps which are noticably lower quality than
the doubleshot ABS plastic but still perfectly functional. All four sets are Cherry profile,
which is my favorite keycap profile to type on so I am quite happy with that.

All four boards also came with a very large amount of "Re-legendable" keycaps. These caps
have a beige plastic base, with a clear plastic top-cap that snaps on. You can create your
own legends, print them or write them onto paper, and then insert them into these caps and
create your own key legends. These caps are a very cool novelty to have, but turn into a
genuinely useful feature paired with the replacement internals I fitted these boards with.

Re-legendable keycaps on a work keyboard.

I replaced the original PCB and switches inside the keyboard with updated and more
feature-rich internals that bring these keyboards up to 2020 spec. I used a drop-in PCB
that has VIA compatibility for full programmability, as well as modern Cherry MX switches
to keep it as "still Cherry" as possible. These keyboards can be programmed any-which-way
I could ever want, something far more useful than modern "gamer" keyboards. The switches
I used were Cherry MX Hyperglide Blacks, which are a bit stiffer-springed than the usual
keyboard switches you find nowadays. I enjoy the heavier weight, and after roughly 8-months
of regular use, they have become quite smooth as the plastics inside rub eachother smooth.

I used to be really into custom boards before I found these, but that interest has been sated.
The aesthetics of the yellowed plastic, functionality, and feel really are the best I've used.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Gems

March 14th, 2022

A two-pack of 70s kung-fu movies I found at my local thrift store over the weekend.

Over the weekend I stopped by my usual haunt and dug through whatever new tapes I
could find. I scooped up an absolute gem of a double pack! I watched the first movie in
the pack, Shaolin Deadly Kicks, and it has got to be one of my favorite full length movies
I have on tape. Its rediculous, stupid, fast paced, goofy as all hell, and there was roughly
only about 10 minutes of slow pacing in its 1.5 hour runtime. The movie itself is a reprint,
the original having released in 1977. I had been wanting at least one movie like this for
some time, but now I have two and I couldn't be happier! I'm extremely excited to watch
the second movie in the pack and will give my impressions on it here whenever I do.

A DVD copy of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 I also found at my local thrift purely by accident.

While I was thrifting, I took a quick glance at their DVD selection on the off chance
there was anything weird, and within the pile of early 2000s junk, I just happen to spy this
sitting on the back of one shelf. I genuinely couldn't believe it when I pulled it off the
shelf, but I am so glad I decided to look through the DVDs that day! The first two Texas Chainsaw
movies are some of my favorite slasher movies outside the Friday the 13th series, and finding
at least one of them physically is so cool. I don't know if the DVD actually works, as its a
used disc and I haven't checked it yet, but if its broken at least it'll look nice on a shelf.

Top of the Line Computing

March 7th, 2022

Dell E771P (left) and Sony Trinitron GDM-500PS (right). The size difference here is absolutely incredible.
The weight is also incredible (but not for my back) with the Sony monitor coming in at 79 pounds according to the service manual.

I picked up a Sony Trinitron GDM-500PS computer monitor two weeks ago
and have been slowly working it into my home desk setup. It has two inputs.
One VGA port and BNC connectors for RGBHV. I didn't know anything
about RGBHV and was hoping I could just get some BNC to RCA adapters
and plug component video into it, but turns out its just a broken out form
of VGA, as far as I can tell. I have a cheap Displayport to VGA adapter that
works fine for now, but it cannot hit the monitor's maximum of 1600x1200 at 85hz.
I will have to get a different adapter for that, but I am very excited to see how that
looks in the future. The only video game console I own that will connect to the
moitor without converters is the Dreamcast, which looks absolutely stunning.
I ordered an Open Source Scan Converter to take component video and upscale
it and convert it to display on the monitor, and let me tell you, I've never seen a
crt display look this incredible. My childhood was playing ps2 games through
composite video on a mid-range consumer CRT television, and this completely
blows that into another dimension.

It was confusing trying to adjust the color settings on this unit. I bought it
from a guy who has been doing computer graphics professionally since the late 90s
and he must have had it in some kind of strange lighting environment because it
was so dim and red-biased when I got it. It took a few days of adjustments to get
it looking decent, and then another week on top of that to really figure out how
to get the color settings optimal for my environment and use-case. Now that I have
it setup how I want I am enjoying this behemoth of a monitor! I use it to play
games, watch 4:3 aspect ratio video, and use it as a recording preview when I'm
archiving VHS tapes. I'm really glad I found this thing on facebook marketplace
because these are getting pretty dang rare and this one is in excellent condition.
It should last me probably about as long as I'm interested in CRT displays, and I
am excited to have it on my desk.

Here it is on my desk next to my 27 inch monitor. I'm really glad it has that classic beige plastic color.
(ignore the mess of wires on my desk, I pretty much had to redo my entire space to fit this monster in!)


Watch my youtube videos here :)