Darren Barefoot
Darren Barefoot



Meditations, comments, gossip and other tidbits about technology.

August 8, 2003

Harpoon asked me to explain what hacking your DVD is about. First, a little background. First of all, ostensibly to prevent piracy (and no doubt to sell more DVDs), the DVD conglomerate (whatever they're called) divded the world up into six geographical regions. Players configured for, say, region 1, can not play region 2 DVDs. Generally, for people who relocate to a new region, you can switch the region on your player a limited number of times (like 5 or so).

This is a problem for Europeans who purchase/order a lot of their movies from North America. This is also a problem for ex-pats living anywhere, who may want to see their native cinema, but may also want to watch locally-produced DVDs. They obviously can't be switching regions every day or their player would be useless in a week. What's the solution? The multi-region hack.

Basically, using a store-bought universal remote or a PalmPilot running remote control emulation software (that is, not physically opening up your DVD player), you can reconfigure your player to play DVDs from any region. This is handy for those cases I described above. For more information on this process, check out DVD Reviewer.

11:44:49 AM  Permanent link to this entry    Trackback []    Movies Technology

Both of my sisters (Imogene and Lynsey, as they like to see their names in Web print) are considering buying DVD players. Girls, get into the 21st century. Though I like my technological bits, I'm not a big audio/videophile. I just don't have room in my apartment for all of the bits one needs. Here's the advice I gave Imo on buying a DVD player:

They're really commodified now, so unless you're some kind of video/audiophile, one is more less like another. We've got a Samsung (I think it cost about $180). Two good rules of thumb:

  • Don't buy the absolute cheapest. Go a little up from there.
  • Buy a brand you recognize.

Does anybody else have any good advice? I've only ever bought one DVD players, so what do I know?

When I was in Ireland, having a multi-region player was important, as many people brought DVDs from the States. I actually used my friend's PalmPilot to hack my DVD player so that it would play DVDs from any region.

10:30:50 AM  Permanent link to this entry    Trackback []    Technology

My brother Kevin sends me this list of the top ten spammers (presumably the top ten in North America). Some of them even have (unflattering) mug shots. Among them is Alan Ralsky, who (and the article mentions this) hilariously suffered the wrath of Slashdot readers a while back.

9:49:28 AM  Permanent link to this entry    Trackback []    Internet Technology