July 21, 2003
Hack the Planet

I've playing around with a few things on the geek side of things lately.

DVD Player

Michele asked me to swap a different DVD player into the bedroom. Our first DVD player, the Apex-600A has trouble with several of the more recent DVDs. I brought in the Apex-1500 fromt he garage.

I sat down to fold some laundry and put on a DVD. The picture looked horrible. The brightness was off and it wasn't adjustable. The picture kept getting brighter, then darker. I knew what it was, it was Macrovision. Macrovision is a technique used on VHS tapes and DVDs to prevent people from copying movies. Basically, Macrovision makes the sync signal of the picture vary enough that it's almost unwatchable. A good TV can pull the signal out of the mess, but VCRs typically can't.

The TV in bedroom is Michele's 13" from her college days in the 80s. It can't handle Macrovision. I turned to the net to solve the problem. I hoped there was a keycode sequence or something I could do to turn off the Macrovision.

What I found was a way to flash the firmware in the DVD player and make the Macrovision go away forever. It took about 10 minutes to burn a CD with the needed file and flash the player. I put the movie back in the DVD player and amazingly, the picture looks great.


I stumbled on to yet another MovableType client application called w.bloggar. w.bloggar let's me edit my posts an dpost them to the weblog without having to be connected to the net.

I found the tool is quite good and simple to use. I could see using it on the laptop and even at my desktop since saves some of the time I usually spend writing HTML code.

More reports on w.bloggar as I use it more.

Posted by michael at July 21, 2003 10:02 PM