Tech Stuff

Defeating Disney DRM

I've been busy converting my 800+ DVD collection to mkv and sticking them on my NAS over the past 6 months. DVDFab has handled pretty much everything I've thrown at it, however it didn't like the Disney X-project DRM. It took a little research, there are plenty of commercial products that can get around this DRM, but I've already spent enough money buying all these DVDs I'm determined that my ripping software will be zero-cost.

Resetting CEC on PlayStation 3

A few days ago CEC (Bravia Sync if you prefer Sony's branding) stopped working on my PlayStation 3, the device wouldn't even show up as a player in the device list on my TV (Sony BRAVIA 46W905A). After much head scratching and attempts to fix it through the TV settings and plugging/unplugging of cables I finally found a way to get it operational again by resetting the PS3's display settings.


Computers make it easier to do a lot of things, but most of the things they make it easier to do don't need to be done.

– Andy Rooney

“Keep Unread” in Tiny Tiny RSS

It's rare I sign up to forums, but every now and again I find a reason to do so. I've been using tt-rss ever since Google announced the closure of Google Reader many months ago. It's a great piece of software that met nearly all my requirements for an RSS reader. However there was one ommision that broke my usual workflow.

Removing embedded subtitles from Matroska files

Removing "soft" subtitles (where the subtitles are not part of the actual video stream) is a piece of cake when using MKVToolNix. MKVToolNix is a set of tools to create, alter and inspect Matroska files under Linux, other Unices and Windows.

Pidgin/Sametime “Not Authorized” Error

This week I was greeted by a "not authorized" error when attempting to log into Sametime using Pidgin. Digging around on the net it seems that our administrators decided to restrict what client versions were allowed to connect. Eventually I found the solution, and boy am I glad to be back using Pidgin again.

Customising XBMC CEC Support

Some of the default mappings from my Bravia seemed a little odd and a couple of buttons were not mapped at all, so I took to customising them, a process which isn't as simple as it could be due to there being multiple levels of abstraction by the time you try to configure what a button press does in XBMC.

Raspbmc CEC Adapter Settings

The main factor that pushed me into finally buying a Pi was the addition of CEC support for the model B.  For any media center solution to get my attention CEC support is simply a must have. The CEC adapter works wonderfully, it's responsive and plays nicely not only with the TV (sony [...]

Adventures in Pi

It's been a long time coming, but I finally bought myself a Raspberry Pi this week & have been busy messing around with Raspbmc for the majority of the weekend … some initial thoughts on my experiences so far: Heavy Lifting The Pi really struggled during library generation, but other than [...]

Repairing Windows 7 MBR without installation media

Setting up my new work laptop with a dual boot system didn't quite go as planned yesterday. In the middle of my Ubuntu install I came across a rather unhelpful error. Of course the only way to restore the Windows MBR is through the recovery console, which you can access through the install media -- that doesn't ship with laptops these days. Seriously, how much money does it cost to ship a damn CD with a laptop these days?
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