Friday, December 10, 2010

1:30 Samples @ iTunes Store

Tonight I first noticed 1 minute and 30 second samples up on the iTunes store! Via Ping I learned about Ladytron's new single 'Ace of Hz', heard the 1:30 sample and grabbed it. Having a minute and a half to judge a tune sample is so civilized compared to a mere 30 seconds. Thank you Apple!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

AirPrint Hacktivator

iOS version 4.2.1 provides a new feature for Apple iDevices called AirPrint. It works directly with a series of HP HPQ ePrint printers.

However, it AirPrint was also designed to work with a wide variety of Bonjour shared printers on a LAN. That functionality was included in the beta test versions of iOS 4.2, but was removed before public release. The reason why has not officially been stated by Apple. I discuss some details about the situation below. But first I want to point out THE SOLUTION:

A hack that returned full AirPrint functionality was devised a couple weeks back. Thankfully, one developer put the hack into a simple little freeware application called AirPrint Hacktivator by NetPuting. It works beautifully. The website provides a simple video demonstration. Essentially you must set up printer sharing for any printers you wish to use with AirPrint.

I have been able to set up and use two printers I have connected to my AirPort Extreme N Base Station via a connected USB hub:

1) A Lexmark Z715 using driver version 1.0.5, supplied with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. (The driver is not included with 10.6 Snow Leopard and not supplied by Lexmark).

2) An Epson Stylus C84 using the GutenPrint driver version 5.2.3. (I was unable to get it to work with Epson's own latest driver for the C84).

Both printers were setup for sharing on my MacBook running 10.6.5, hacked with AirPrint Hacktivator. My MacBook has to be running and awake for AirPrint on my iPod Touch 4, running iOS 4.2.1, to see the printers. Apparently, AirPrint accesses the printer drivers installed and setup for sharing on my MacBook. The print job is then sent via Wi-Fi over to the Apple Extreme N Base Station. The print outs are nothing fancy but are perfectly adequate.

Note that the only control you have via AirPrint is which printer to use and how many copies you with to make. That's it. There are no other options at this time. Therefore, it's a quick, no frills way to make a print out from an Apple iDevice.

That AirPrint works via printers connected to an AirPort Extreme Base Station was a surprise to me! No where in Apple's original statements about AirPrint was this functionality stated. I tried it. It worked. I'm extremely pleased.

So why was this great functionality deliberately removed from Mac OS X 10.6.5?

Originally Apple had stated that AirPrint would:
... automatically find printers on local networks and print text, photos and graphics to them wirelessly over Wi-Fi without the need to install drivers or download software.
Now Apple only state AirPrint functionality with the afore mentioned HP ePrint printers. My net friend Daniel Eran Dilger wrote about this situation in his AppleInsider article 'Inside AirPrint: Apple's printing system for iOS.' To quote:

A rumored controversy, however, maintains that Apple's soon to be released AirPrint has run into a patent issue, reportedly from App Store developer.

We know that Apple's patents for AirPrint are pending. They were reported in September by AppleInsider in their article 'Apple's ambitious AirPlay, AirPrint plans detailed in patent applications'.

When I find out more about the apparent legal tussle over AirPrint technology, I'll post.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Simple Adobe Flash Problem

Disclaimer Intro: I've never had it in for Adobe. I own a number of their programs and enjoy them. What I have it in for is dishonesty, deceit, bad programming and bad business. Sadly, Adobe have become diligent at all four. Why? Because they're suffering from what I call Marketing-As-Management. Their eye is entirely off the ball. They can no longer manage themselves. They can no longer invent. They can only sell. And as this downward spiral deepens, they become infiltrated with what I call Marketing Morons (as opposed to mavens) who consider the customers to be an annoyance and treat them as such. This is how companies die. And while companies die, they perpetrate crap like this:

Now What?

Once again Adobe have had a tantrum about criticism of Flash. And once again, Adobe have
lied and attempted to bullshit us. Check out this bit of surrealism:

Adobe’s Next Flash Excuse: If You Want To Save Power, Don’t Turn On Your Machine

I posted a few bits of relevant information today over at this MacDailyNews article:

Adobe CTO tries defending the indefensible Flash pig

I'm summarizing my comments here for others to use and consider:

1) Q: "What's the name of that flash blocking plug-in?"

Safari (and works with other browsers) use:

Firefox use:

I'd recommend NoScript at all times in any case. JavaScript (aka ECMAScript) has become the Bubonic Plague of the Internet.

2) Q: "If I use Click2Flash and just never click, does that save as much battery power as not installing Flash at all?"


Just keep in mind that when you do click to run a Flash video, the only way to stop the thing is to close that page in your browser or move on to another URL. If the Flash (playing or not!) remains in a background window or tab, it is STILL running and is STILL eating your CPU and therefore your BATTERY. The more Flash pages you have open, the more Flash is chomping your CPU, therefore your battery.

Close all Flash pages ASAP after you've watched them.

3) The Clear Distinction:

Software that is sitting in the background, not being used, is supposed to be silent and not access the CPU. This is what is called "
Good Programming".

Software that sits in the background, not being used, not playing anything, not actually doing anything, that STILL accesses your CPU and eats up CPU cycles is called CRAPWARE. This is called "
Bad Programming".

Flash is Bad Programming.

And no, it's NOT the fault of the person who wrote the Flash ad or the Flash video or the Flash animation.

It's ADOBE'S FAULT. Only Adobe can fix it. Adobe refuse to fix it. Adobe are insistently Bad Programmers.

It's that simple.

4) "But I still want Flash on my iDevice!"

No you don't.

Note everyone: Flash still runs like a 1-legged cow on Android. Don't let Adobe fool you. If Adobe ever get off their lazy asses and fix Flash so it actually works nicely on hand held devices, then we'll talk. Until then, you don't want Flash on your iDevices. Be glad you don't have it.

Friday, October 29, 2010

How to get spam!
How to trample a troll!

Apologies for letting this blog lapse. I've been busy on my other three blogs and my two Yahoo Groups and my story writing, blahblahblah.

This short article teaches you how to get spam:

Publish your email address on a webpage on the Internet. Like this:

Spam spyders crawl around the Internet all day looking for published email addresses. When they find one, such as above, they automatically put it onto an 'Active Email Address List' and it's sold to every spam rat on the Internet around the world. In a remarkably short period of time the owner of the email address is pummeled with spam.

It is also an effective way to let an anti-Apple troll know just what you think of their deceit. I encountered this particular unimaginative misery mongerer over at MacDailyNews today.

Trolls tend to come in two categories:

1) PAID. Indeed there are desperate companies who are unable to compete in business and instead pay people to FUD, rumor monger, spread boring old myths, and other deceitful garbage. And as per usual, there are no-self-esteem humans willing to take the money and do the dirty deeds. Imagine my cynicism.

2) PSYCHOPATH. I've found myself having to read about this particular derangement of the mind lately in order to understand why my country, the USA, is becoming irrelevant. Psychopathic organizations, places where psychopaths coalesce and cook up loony control conceits, have become de rigor in politics in the USA. My all time fave is Project for the New American Century, aka PNAC. They are the gang of over-the-edge Neo-Conservatives, aka Neo-Con-Jobs, whom Ronald Reagan named 'THE CRAZIES.' They invented the Iraq War in 1997, published their manifesto in 1998, became the George W. Bush administration cabinet, invented the plethora of lies that sunk the USA into that illegal war of choice, deliberately destroyed the US budget for the sake of their philosophy of 'Starve The Beast', corrupted Fox News, invented and threw money at The Tea Party, on and on. My cynicism overfloweth.

Compared to government level loons, computer community trolls are little munchkins. But they enjoy doing their best to create misery in others. Often it is an extension of their own masochism. So strange. As ever, the best cure is laughter, and of course letting them know you see behind the mask, or curtain, or whatever subterfugal game they like to play. Sheesh.

How to get on the Do Not Spam list:

I remarkably and accidentally discovered how to stop getting much, if any, spam: Report EVERY spam you receive to a spam source blacklisting group. My favorite is I've been a paying member there since 1998, the year they began. Because I am so remarkably attentive to reporting to them every single piece of spam I receive, over time the amount of spam that I personally receive at my email address has dropped to perhaps 3 per week. I have to assume that the spam rats share amongst themselves a Do Not Spam list because they know that dedicated and altruistic people such as myself will turn them in to the authorities. At I have a consistent record of turning in every piece of spam I receive within 10 hours. I suspect I've helped kill off hundreds of spam rats. You're welcome.

Check out if you'd like to join in. It's free. But I prefer to support them with funding, which in turn provides me with easier access to their website.

Now back to your regularly scheduled enjoyment of living. My enjoyment this week is working on the backstory of my Steampunk story series. It's going swimmingly.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

QuickTime Preference PAIN

I've held off writing this article in hopes that Apple would finish QuickTime Player X, the version included with Snow Leopard. But that has not happened, thus my rant.

Let's start by stating the situation:

1) You install Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard and find in your Applications folder 'QuickTime Player' version 10.0 build 113. It's 64 bit. It has some nifty new features and is also missing A LOT of previous features. You can't upgrade it to a 'Pro' version. It has no Preferences available. There is no System Preferences Pane for it. It is essentially this kind of fun thing to play with that is incomplete and includes some bugs. The very worst bug forces QTX to dreadfully slowly cache an entire movie before you can scrape around through it. For this reason, I have set up all my QT movie files to play in the Open Source freeware application Movist instead, a vastly superior media player that incorporates FFmpeg.

The features missing from QuickTime X are numerous. It's not ready for prime time and is by no means a replacement for QuickTime 7.

2) Unknown to you, and without ANY prompting from Apple, your Snow Leopard DVD includes a copy of QuickTime 7 for you to install. If you want all the Pro features, and even some of the normal old features of QuickTime you must install QT7. In fact, I tell everyone to install QT7, I am so disappointed with QTX. Once you do, you've got absolutely everything you expect from QuickTime. It works perfectly. The only meagre drawback is that it is a 32 bit application, which means an unnoticeable slowdown compared to QuickTime X.

3) But sadly, Apple didn't bother to include the QuickTime Preference Pane for QuickTime 7 in their installer either. This is a very stupid and annoying oversight. If Apple had finished QuickTime X within a reasonable time, I would not have complained. As a result, you can't access all the preferences of either QuickTime X or QuickTime 7. Shame on Apple!

There is no complete solution to this PAIN in the Preferences at this time. Again, Shame on Apple!

Thankfully, there have been efforts to help overcome the incomplete nature of QuickTime X.

MacOSHints posted a helpful article entitled "Changing QuickTime X hidden preference settings". It discusses two CLI (character line interface) applications included in 10.6 that access QuickTime X preference settings. You can read the manual pages about each of them inside the Terminal application by typing:

man qtdefaults


man mediastreamsegmenter

The article also points out a set of AppleScripts, called QuickTime Player X Hidden Preferences Scripts, you can install that are accessible whenever you are using QuickTime Player X. You can read about them and download them from celebi23 HERE. The scripts are donationware. Note that these scripts do not cover all the available QTX settings. Refer back to the CLI application above for the full set.

Here is a list of the scripts included with QuickTime Player X Hidden Preferences Scripts Version 2.2.1:
  • Allow simultaneous recordings
  • Always show titlebar, controller
  • Automatically show subtitles and closed captioning on open
  • Autoplay movies on open
  • Disable rounded corners
  • Keep playing full-screen even when you command-tab out of QuickTime
  • Never show the titlebar
  • Never show titlebar, controller
  • Recent items
  • Shorten the delay after which the controller fades out to one second
Another, more simply and familiar solution is the third party 'QuickTime Player X Preference Pane' from MegaByteComp. The program is freeware. You can read about it and download it HERE. I've been using it for several months and like it. MegaByteComp also provide it combined with their 'iTunes Preference Pane' as their 'SnowLeopardCombo Preference Pane'.Here is a list of settings included with QuickTime Player X Preference Pane version 1.2:
  • Rounded Corners
  • Allow Simultaneous Recordings
  • Autoplay Movies
  • Show Closed Captioning & Subtitles
  • Exit Fullscreen Mode on Application Switch
  • Show Inspector At Launch
  • Titlebar & Controller Fade Out
  • Number of Recent Documents
So what other hidden QuickTime X preference settings remain? Here is my personal shortlist:

Accessible from the qtdefaults CLI application:
  • Legacy Codecs Enabled - enable or disable legacy codecs in the export settings.
  • Transport Settings - either allow QT to automatically determine the best media streaming port and protocol or set it yourself.
  • MIME Settings - read or reset the MIME types being handled by the QuickTime plug-in.
  • Media Keys - read , add or delete media keys used to play back encrypted movies.
  • Download cache - empty the cache being used by QuickTime.
Accessible from the mediastreamsegmenter CLI application:
  • Segment media for deployment using HTTP Live Streaming using MPEG-2.
  • Produce live or video-on-demand streams, including the addition of encryption.
BTW: Apple recently allowed the release of a downloadable version of QuickTime Player v7.6.6 for Snow Leopard 10.6.3. Previously you could only get it if you'd already installed the version on the Snow Leopard DVD then ran System Update. You can download it HERE. It is highly recommended until such time when Apple finish QuickTime Player X. Don't hold your breath.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Adobe's Festival of Deceit:
Apple's Flash ban
"has nothing to do with technology"


Through my background at Eastman Kodak and Rochester Institute of Technology, I've had friends and acquaintances inform me about the Adobe work culture for well over a decade. I know full well that it can be a contentious place to work, with brilliant and kind people mixed in with ignorant and arrogant people. The ignorance and arrogance has consistently been the bane of their progress within the ever evolving computer environment. Adobe's response to the Apple versus Flash technology debacle is entirely in keeping with the Adobe work culture. The difference is that this time Adobe aren't infighting; They're outfighting in public with Apple, the company that is historically their biggest supporter. As a result, Adobe's very worst characteristics as a company are hanging out for everyone to see, creating what I consider to be quite an embarrassing spectacle. Toss in blatant deceit from Adobe, who are entirely unwilling to correct their technological errors in Flash, and we get to watch Adobe essentially punching itself in the face, giving itself a very swollen black eye. I wish they'd stop and get some perspective. But the now clichéd adage about insanity applies: Adobe keep punching themselves, expecting Apple to change. (o_0)

Adobe's Festival of Deceit

That the spirit of the current age of politics, deceit, is oozing into the computer community is extremely disturbing. We've had endless FUD and troll warz from haters within the community since the genesis of the personal computer. But to have a computer company itself directly lie to the public about its own incompetent technology is something new. Typically the deceit is perpetrated as an undercurrent via 3rd party sources, or it has been veiled in mere suggestion or innuendo. This time around we have the CEO, the guy at the very top of Adobe, directly lying to the public, vainly, insanely, hoping his authority will make the deceit more believable. Seeing as we don't live in Stalinist Soviet Union or Red China, sorry Mr. Narayen but we not only notice you're wearing no clothes, we can say it in public and not get killed.

So what am I on about?


Adobe CEO says Apple’s ban of Flash “has nothing to do with technology”

The Wall Street Journal interviewed Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen in order to hear his response to Steve Jobs' critique of Adobe Flash technology and why it will not, in its current state, be permitted on an Apple battery driven device (apart from MacBooks). Quoting from VentureBeat's coverage of the interview:
• If Flash crashes on Apple hardware, that’s “to do with the Apple operating system.” (As a former Unix hacker, I have to ask: Huh?)

• On Jobs’ claim that Flash drains mobile gadget batteries: “Patently false.”

Apple technology pundit John Gruber wrote a smart-aleck response to Narayen’s claims: “Who are we supposed to believe, Shantanu Narayen or our own lying Activity Monitors?”

How could any experienced Mac user not concur with John Gruber's snarky observation? How is it possible for the CEO of Adobe to be so entirely ludicrous? This is NOT politics, where rhetoric can spin mental spells of illusion in ignorant minds. This is technology, a field of endeavor that is ruled by empirical, objective observation.

Objective observation: I just played an Adobe Flash movie on my Mac OS X computer. The Flash movie finished playing. Therefore, it should not be accessing my CPU. And yet there Flash is, in my Activity Monitor application, eating my CPU alive, causing the fan in my MacBook to madly spin to keep the CPU within its temperature tolerance range. I can use two simple solutions to solve the problem. Either (A) close the web page containing the offending Flash video, or (B) quit the web browser containing the window with the offending Flash video. The results in either case are the same: Flash stops eating my CPU alive. The end. Observation concluded.

I can then go back to that exact same Adobe Flash movie and repeat exactly the same problem, over and over. I can then switch web browser applications and repeat the results over and over. I can then go to someone else's Mac OS X computer and repeat the same results over and over.

In science, these are called 'Repeatable Results'. What then follows is the Conclusion.


Adobe Flash movies, in coordination with the Adobe Flash Plug-in running in any web browser, can create CPU race conditions on occasions when the Flash movie is observed to not be playing. Therefore, the code in either the Flash movie or the Flash Plug-in is poorly written and requires repair.

Whenever this condition is caused on a battery-run computer device, the obvious result is the needless, pointless draining of the device's battery. Therefore, in order to maximize the battery capacity of a computer device, it is important to NOT play poorly coded Flash movies via the Flash Plug-in.

It's that simple, that provable, that obvious.

To say that this battery draining CPU race condition 'has nothing to do with technology' is a blatant lie.

Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen: You are lying to the public, your customers.

Adobe Board of Directors: Why do you tolerate your CEO lying to the public?

Adobe shareholders: Why do you tolerate the CEO of Adobe lying to the public?

Adobe engineers: Why haven't you repaired this race condition in Flash technology?

As far as I am concerned, if Adobe got off their lazy backsides, and off their deceitful soapboxes, this entire matter could be cleared up. Flash code could be repaired to stop the CPU race condition forever; Apple could invite Adobe Flash onto their battery driven devices as a good citizen. Adobe: Make it happen.

Stop the deceit.

Just Make It Happen.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Kitchen Sink Search using Spotlight:
Every housewife's dream

Spotlight users. Are you tired of the same old default newbie searches using Spotlight? Are you so sick of Spotlight's limitations that you've installed both EasyFind and Find Any File and use them avidly? You're not alone! Now there's a quick and easy solution! And it's right there on your Mac. A dream come true! No shipping and handling fees! No state taxes! No VAT! No salesman will call.

Apple defaulted Spotlight to be for newbie Mac users. I'm ain't no newbie, and I bet you're not either. I bet you regularly look for files in your Library folders just like me. You know, those basic things like Sounds, Fonts, Desktop Pictures, preference files, Internet Plug-ins, QuickTime components, Scripts, StartupItems, Widgets, Logs, bookmark files; all the stuff required day to day by intermediate and advanced Mac OS X users. Why is Spotlight such a PITA to use?

I got fed up and created a permanent solution. Here is the recipe:

1) Open one Finder window.
2) Hit Command-F to turn it into a Spotlight window.
3) On the top line choose 'This Mac'.
4) Leave the next line saying the default 'Kind' is 'Any'.
5) Hit the + button.
6) Hit the + button again.
7) On the new 3rd line choose: 'Other...' / 'System files'. Be sure to check ON 'In Menu' for future use. Hit OK.
8) Next to 'System files' choose 'are included'.
8) On the new 4th line choose: 'Other...' / 'File invisible'. (I know. Unintuitive name, eh?) Be sure to check ON 'In Menu' for future use. Hit OK.
9) Next to 'File visibility' choose 'Visible or Invisible'.

Here is what you get:

Setting this up every time is entirely annoying and time consuming. So hit the 'Save' button and save it for future use! I dragged mine to the top of the Finder window for easy future access.

I love it!

When you first hit the icon for your saved Kitchen Sink Search, Spotlight dumps everything into the window space below. But thankfully Spotlight is no longer slow as a snail nor does it go into Sit & Spin mode. IOW, we don't have to care.

Type in what you're looking for in the search box and it will show up below. It will look EVERYWHERE, just like good old Find did in the olden days. You want it? You got it. No more 'why can't Spotlight find what I want?' whining. It found it. The good old days are back again. Time for a parade. Etc. At last Spotlight makes sense.

BTW: This isn't really some miracle discovery. Apple provided all this functionality. They just hid it nicely away where newbies can't find and abuse it. There is some logic in that. But now you can be a power user again without feeling like Apple is forcing you to be a baby user. RadiKewlness.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

MPAA Enforces DRM Infection:
RealDVD Dead

We all, or most of us, know DRM is a disrespectful slap at consumers by members of the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America). We're all criminals. Therefore we naughty, mere customers have to be CONTROLLED and prevented from our mischievous ways by having our video DVDs locked up as unable to be copied, no matter what. If the source disc gets scratched, get screwed! Dumbass customer trash.

This is what I call the 'Marketing Moron' attitude and it's a brilliant way to destroy your reputation with the people who pay you money to keep your biznizz running, the customers. Screw thy customers at thine own peril! Marketing Mavens on the other hand insist upon treating customers with deserved respect.

In a fit of idealism, RealNetworks released a program called RealDVD that stripped out DRM from movie DVDs and allowed customers to exercise the 'fair use' of their purchased and owned movie media. In other words, the program allowed customers to perform the #1 Rule of Computing: Make a Backup. And what are Movie DVDs but digital computer data!

Therefore, sensing such terrible good intentions toward movie DVD owners, the MPAA sued RealNetworks in order to kill off RealDVD. Wednesday a settlement in the case was announced whereby RealDVD is no longer sold, RealNetworks pays MPAA members $4.5 MILLION, owners of RealDVD are refunded and the MPAA in return drops their legal action.

It's a LOSE/LOSE/WIN solution where YOU LOSE, RealNetworks LOSE and the MPAA WINS, at least from their point of view.

Score another one for the biznizz oligarchy that rules the USA. However...

The outcome from treating your customers as criminals has weathered the test of time: Good respectable customers turn on disrespectful companies and burn them, one way or another. It is one of the most sick and sad calamities of the Internet that DRM actually PROMOTES and INSPIRES movie piracy. I dare anyone to reliably prove otherwise. Thus the term 'Marketing Morons'. Smooth move there MPAA. It's called self-destructive behavior. The actual result of DRM is Lose/Lose/Lose all the way round.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Adobe Retaliates Against Disabling Adobe Updater

--In the very recent past, it has been possible to disable Adobe's idiotic and annoying Adobe Updater system, well known to be the single worst installation system in the entire computer community. Disabling this POS has been hailed and suggested across the net for nearly two years, including here at my blog. It has been recommended to instead HAND INSTALL every Adobe update with the individual update packages. The results have been far superior to letting the Adobe Updater system do it for you.

Sadly, Adobe have now retaliated and caused even their individual updater packages to REQUIRE a present and functional Adobe Updater system. Otherwise the installers will freak and act like they don't see anything to install. This is the case with this new Flash updater and has been proven to be true for the new Reader updater.

The solution is to UNLOCK any Adobe Updater folders you may have locked in order to stop its functionality. Search for all 'Updater' folders and make sure they are unlocked. Another option is to toss them all in the Trash and empty the Trash. The updates will now work.

After the update process, in order to stop Adobe Updater from doing its annoying periodic pop-up on your screen and nag-at-you routine, again LOCK all 'Updater' folders until the next time you need to perform an Adobe update.

Is all of this one big PITA? Of course it is. What is the ultimate solution? Don't use Adobe if you can help it.

How the mighty have fallen.


Monday, January 25, 2010

Blu-ray Ripping For Mac Hits The Net

For a couple years now there have been tools on the Windows side of the computer community for ripping Blu-ray discs to your computer, then turning them into whatever you like for whatever purpose you like. As of this month, those tools have begun arriving for Macintosh. I am most pleased.

Here is a starter (IOW incomplete) article over at MacWorld:

Blu-ray ripping on the Mac

If you have a Blu-ray writer, it is CRITICAL to be aware of Sony's Blu-ray DRM schemes. Here's why:

On Blu-ray burners that both read and write Blu-ray movie discs, Sony, who invented Blu-ray, have perpetrated 3 (THREE) forms of DRM, aka Digital Rights Manglement. One of the three requires an Internet connection to Sony whereby Sony perpetrates surveillance on your Blu-ray movie burner/player. If at any time Sony deem that you are performing anything questionable with your Blu-ray movie burner/player, Sony will BRICK your burner. It will NEVER work again. Sony will NEVER unbrick it. At least that is the consistent story I read on the net.

Then add to that the fact that Sony are terrible software writers, resulting in Sony's brick-job more than occasionally bricking YOUR ENTIRE COMPUTER! I wish this was an urban legend, but it's not. Sony can brick an entire Windows PC, by accident of course. Big oops. I have no idea what you do to solve this idiotic catastrophe, apart from reinstall your system and restore the rest from backup. As for your Blu-ray movie burner/player, toss it in the garbage, get another one, be smarter next time.

Remember that I am talking Windows here. Bricking has never yet happened on a Mac because there has not been, up until now, any way to use a Blu-ray movie burner/reader on a Mac. Also let me reiterate that this problem does NOT apply to just burners that are incapable of also reading Blu-ray movie discs. I hope that is entirely clear. Blu-ray burners that do NOT have Blu-ray movie disc reading ability do NOT have any DRM at all. None. Let me know if I am being too vague here. Get the distinction?

THEREFORE! Whenever you are dealing with Blu-ray movie burner/reader drives, you must at all times cover your butt against DRM killing your device forever.

Why I despise DRM and champion hacking around it and eventually destroying it all together:

Because DRM, certainly in this case, prevents you from making a backup of your media.

For me that is the sum total of the problem. What is the #1 Rule of Computing. If you read my stuff you know. So repeat after me: Make A Backup.

Therefore, DRM in the case of DVDs and Blu-ray is EVIL and IMHO illegal. If you are prevented from backing up your computer media, and that's what Blu-Ray movie discs are, then your rights to use your media are being broken. Needless to say, never share commercial media you own with anyone else. That's piracy, which is illegal as well. Follow the license that comes with your media, except when it comes to making a backup. IMHO no one ever has the right to prevent you from making a backup. Hopefully this fact will be proven in a court of law very soon.

(Well, except of course I expect the current democracy-dementing US Supreme Court will kiss the ass of media corporations and provide them with yet-another, anti-constitutional, anti-citizen, special right to hurt their customers. Such is the corrupt political/marketing-moron era we live in).

Now get out there and backup your Blu-ray movies! And don't pirate. It's very naughty.

[***BTW: All Mac user group members are able to receive a discount on MacWorld magazine. Talk to your MUG leaders about how to obtain this discount from IDG. I'm also happy to report that you no longer have to receive a tree version of MacWorld! Hurray! You can download it and read it in Zinio Reader instead. I've been doing it for months and love it. MacWorld is my very favorite Mac magazine, very useful for both novice and professional users.]