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Archive for the ‘IT’ Category

May-23-2012

A Valid DVD drive could not be found

I have a MBP and recently upgraded it by adding RAM and by removing the internal CD/DVD super-drive and replacing it with a second hard drive.  There are some pretty nifty kits for doing this; I used the Data Doubler, which I bought from Other World Computing. You can also get a nice little USB-connected plastic case in which you can mount your newly-naked CD/DVD super-drive.  The rationale here is that you hardly ever use the CD drive, but it’s nice to have when you need it.

The problem is that now, your MBP doesn’t know how to find the CD drive.  This is extremely annoying when you want to play a DVD.  OK, let’s be honest, more realistically, it’s extremely annoying when you want to rip and compress your DVD so you can take it on the road or  convert it to an MP4.

While searching for a solution to my problem, I contacted the support people at The Little App Factory (the makers of an excellent app called Rip It), and in a quick response, someone named Jane asked me if I could actually play the DVD using Apple’s DVD Player.app.  Such a dumb question… oh wait, let me try… hmmmm… Good question… heh, no I can’t… it doesn’t work! SONOFABITCH!  No wonder it couldn’t rip the disc!

Call me an idiot; I didn’t think these problems had anything to do with the fact that I had ripped out the guts of my laptop and moved the CD from internal to external.  I thought maybe these problems were because I hadn’t ever used the SuperDrive to play a movie, or hadn’t set the region or jumped through any of those annoying first-time hoops.

Digression: did you know that region-free DVD players are perfectly legal?  Content providers impose regions on their discs, and the manufacturers of media players play along with this non-competitive behavior.  The end result? I bought French DVDs from Amazon.fr and can’t play them in America.  This is bullsh*t.

OK.  back to our regularly scheduled programming.

So I asked support people for help and was told to check the OBVIOUS.

Yup, today I’m the one asking dumb questions instead of googling it.  I ran a search for the DVD Player.app error that I received: “A Valid DVD drive could not be found”.  In less than 5 minutes, I ended up in this forum,  where a self-declared notebook geek proposed downloading this script: DVDDriveSwitcher.

DVD Drive Switcher

Drum roll please… everything now works.  The DVD loads, I’m asked for the content molesting region settings, DVD Player.app works, I can play DVDs, VLC works, Rip It, FairMount, and all the other wonderful tools you’ve ever needed just work again.

Yay – Problem solved.
Thanks for the sript, Notebook Geek!

May 20, 2013 Update: uh oh… looks like that link to the DVDDrive Switcher script is broken 🙁 .  Good thing I saved it!  Looks like a super tidy perl script, but I couldn’t find anything about the author.  Sadly, I can’t give the author credit.

Posted under IT, Personal
Apr-17-2012

Top 2 Reasons Facebook Annoys me, this week

1. Why do you think I’m German? Why are all the adverts you send me adverts in German? I can’t read this. Whether it’s my laptop, workstation or work PC, you’ve got some algorithm somewhere that says I’m German. WTF? I mean, this is good because I’m unlikely to buy anything. But still, I’m curious what made you think that ich kann Deutsches sprechen?

2. I’m not interested in posts you think are relevant. I want my posts chronologically. Why do you keep changing my settings back to featuring crap that monkeys in a cube comment on, and that I don’t care about?

Sincerely,
Someone who is using you less and less every day.

Posted under IT, WTF?
Mar-25-2012

VMware acronyms

  • FDM = Fault Domain Manager
  • CSI = Clustering Services Infrastructure
  • PAE = Propero Application Environment
  • ESX = Elastic Sky X
  • GSX = Ground Storm X or Ground Swell X
  • VPX = Virtual Provisioning X
  • VPXA = Virtual Provisioning X Agent
  • VPXD = Virtual Provisioning X Daemon
  • VMX = Virtual Machine eXecutable
  • AAM = Automated Availability Manager
  • VIX = Virtual Infrastructure eXtension
  • VIM = Virtual Infrastructure Management
  • DAS = Distributed Availability Service
  • ccagent = Control Center agent
  • vswif = Virtual Switch Interface
Posted under IT
Sep-25-2011

Flush DNS

So if you’re a sysadmin and you use MAC OS, you might at some point need your machine to forget the current DNS info for a domain as you move it around, so it can refresh from … let’s say the DNS zone files you just edited.

MACpro:~ user$ dscacheutil -flushcache

And voila!  You’re done.  Go ahead and refresh that site.

 

Posted under IT
Nov-2-2010

Product Key issues with Office 2008 on the MAC

So if you know me, you know that I’m a fan of the MAC operating system and I’ve moved my entire professional and personal lives to this platform.  I’m also a big fan of Open Office.  Unfortunately, in order exchange documents with people standardized on Microsoft Office, I’ve found that I actually need to use Office on MAC.  *sigh*  There is actually no substitute for template integration and collaborative document editing.

I recently had problems installing MS Office 2008 on a MAC due to a serial # issue… I had to re-enter my product key.  There are many documents available on the internet that explain the process; however, I found the most usable rundown at this blog, and of course I wrote this post to fit that bill as well 🙂

See, here’s the catch – if you buy MS Office for MAC, the software will regularly talk to the network in the background.  It basically calls home to the Microsoft mother ship all the time.  In all fairness, Microsoft does this is to protect its revenue stream.  If someone on the internet has Office with your product key, then the key will be red-flagged and instances will be disabled when you check for updates.  To be honest, MS it well within its rights because the above is piracy.  However, if you have a laptop and a desktop and you run the same MS Office install on both, technically, you’re supposed to buy two licenses.  Yup, that’s right, you thought you bought the software, and you thought you could use it on all your computers, but no.  You bought a license to use the software on one single machine; you’ll have to pay again if you expect to use it concurrently on two machines.  I, for one, think that’s ridiculous.

If I haven’t already made myself clear: don’t steal software.  If you use it, pay for it.  There are ways to get discounts… google it.

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Posted under IT, Personal