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VideoETA – Great Site for Movie Release Dates


Revisions:
1-15-13: Initial release.


VideoETA is a nice website that I have known for years where you can use it to check up on when a particular movie is going to be released on home video, whether that is DVD, or Blu-Ray.

So let’s say you saw some awesome movie in the theater, and you want to know when its coming out on DVD or Blu-Ray so you can go buy it for your own collection. Well, go to the website, use the dropdown box, find what you are looking for, and it will tell you an ETA on when the movie will be released for consumers.

Better yet, it can even email you a notification reminder so you don’t forget! So what you waiting for, check it out here.

[STD] The Price Is Right At The Right Time


Define STD: STD for The Underground Blog is short for Savvy Tech Dude/Dudette. The STD story is my attempt to share some insight into some of my practices, as well as others as to how they are using technology to make their life better, saving money, or perhaps bettering the environment. (Hopefully, I can find a female contributor… :) )

Frequency of Story: When it feels right.

Personal Comment: I really love the STD idea, and with topics so broad, I can go anywhere with this series. The question is, how far down the rabbit hole do you and I want to go? :P

In the meantime, I encourage all forms of interaction. Please sound off in comments, I’d appreciate it. If you have an idea, or want me to consider something different, I will. If you want to spread the word, be my guest. As time goes along, I’m asking for people to contribute, or if you want to be interviewed (I’ll protect your identity), then we can dig deeper. Please consider my offer, thanks!


Near my house Blockbuster was going out of business. About two weeks ago, it shut down for good, but through this experience I wanted to share a heartfelt story that despite a recession going on, there are still individuals willing to spend money on movies and not have to resort to downloading.  It’s called buying something because its such a ridiculous deal.

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[How To] Burn a PS2 Game (From Torrent) To DVD Using DVD Decrypter

Foreword:  As you go through this tutorial, some people may question whether or not this is legal to do, which is make backups of your PS2 games.  Well, here is the short story of it all.  If you own a store bought game, you can make a backup copy of it.  The DMCA may say otherwise, but it all boils down to fair right usage.  If you make a copy of that retail game and sell the copy, then that is piracy and illegal.

If you download a PS2 game in which you do not own a retail version, then that is piracy again. Follow the law.  Play by the rules.  Play with a conscience mind.  The Underground Staff does not support piracy, and neither should you.  Thank you.  ~ Versatile

Revisions:

6-27-09:  Another classic tutorial re-written to new standards.

1-03-09: Deleted the video since it needs to be re-done. Minor changes. For some reason, there were NERO references.


Introduction

Did you know you can make backups of your PS2 games (for legal purposes of course) to preserve your original game?  Well, yes you can.  What do you do if your favorite game has gotten scratched up over the years?  Do you want to go out and buy another copy of it?  Oh wait, Gamestop doesn’t have that game anymore?  What are you going to do?

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[How To] Burn ISO Files with MagicISO

MagicISO is another cool and simplistic CD/DVD burning program. According to their website, it can:

MagicISO is CD/DVD image utility that can extract, edit, create and burn ISO files. ISO file are images (duplicates) of complete CD/DVD disc. containing exact binary copies of the original CDs. Usually, you have to burn an ISO file on a CD to extract its contents, but now you can simply open an ISO file in MagicISO.

You can find out more about MagicISO at their website:  MagicISO

Even better, I did a quick tutorial today on how to burn ISO files with MagicISO.  Lucky for me, I am doing a guide on how to burn Windows 7 RC ISO!

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[How To] Use PowerISO to Burn ISO Files

Revisions

5-2-09:  Initial release.

5-7-09:  Added pictures.


There are tons of free and shareware programs out there on the Internet that enables the PC user to create data CD or DVD discs, as well as burn ISO or image files.  Today, I will give you a short tutorial on what is PowerISO and how to use it.

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Slysoft – 2008 End of Year Deal

Slysoft AnyDVD

As of January 1st, 2009, Slysoft will change its update policy from free lifetime updates to an annual subscription fee. All license purchases made before January 1st, 2009 will not be affected by this change; as promised, all licenses purchased before 2009 will still be honored under Slysoft’s free lifetime update policy.

SlySoft announces this step in advance in order to provide its customers with the choice between the old and new licensing model. Buyers who act quickly can get an additional discount with the current ongoing special promotion.

Until Wednesday, December 31 2008 Slysoft offers a 20% discount on all software products–except upgrades. If you are entertaining the thought of purchasing one of Slysoft’s products, now is the right time to act!

Are you a DVD ripper?  A person who loves to backup their DVDs or maybe Blu-Ray movies?  Well, Slysoft makes a program called AnyDVD that can crack the encryption on these DVD/Blu-Ray discs so that you can rip them to your hard drive and make backups of them as necessary.

However, starting January 1st, 2009, the updates to the software will no longer be free!  People suspect this is because cracking the BD+ protection on the Blu-ray media is a lot of work, as the movie studios try to bump up the ante on consumers. As a last ditch effort, Slysoft has promised to give consumers free lifetime upgrades on products purchased in 2008, so today is your last chance!

If you have never used a Slysoft product before, I highly recommend you check them out.  They have a great software suite, especially their CloneDVD 2 program.

[STD] This Is The Beginning

Pirate on computer

Welcome guys to the very first ever STD (Savvy Tech Dude/Dudette) post. I’m still working with logistics as to how I want to organize this, and this probably won’t become a weekly thing, just a random thing as life goes on. The STD story is my attempt to share some insight into some of my practices, as well as others as to how they are using technology to make their life better, saving money, or perhaps bettering the environment.

With topics so broad, it be interesting how varied these stories will go. As time goes along, I’m asking for people to contribute, or if you want to be interviewed (I’ll protect your identity), then we can dig deeper. I am entertaining the idea of posting this concept to other forums where techies live, and see if I can even get a larger response. If it works out right, this will become a magnificent concept.

Without further ado, here is the first story – a background of Versatile1 and his journey with technology:

******************************************************

There is no doubt that the advent of computers have spawned a realm of underground activity, the most profound that has hit mainstream population is casual piracy. Don’t deny it, I’m sure most households out there engaged in it without them realizing it. Do you remember the audio cassette tapes? Did you try to tape music from the radio, or maybe from CDs that you borrowed?

How about copying VHS movies from one VCR to the other? I was one of those guys who engaged in this back in the day. In my house, we had at least 2 VCRs, so it made sense to find a good movie at the library or blockbuster or one of our friends and just copy the movie. Yes, it took about 2 hours to do it, but at least I could fit 3 VHS movies onto one VHS cassette if I used EP mode.

VHS Tape

Eventually DVDs came, and you couldn’t copy those straight off the bat because they have DVD encryption on it. Well, now there are programs that take off that DVD encryption so you can rip the movie to your hard drive and copy it or encode it to .AVI file for example. Now it is so easy to copy DVDs and encode them to .AVI files.

Now I don’t recommend this as it is dishonest, but there are people out there who have an account at Netflix, Blockbuster, Family Video, or your favorite video store and all they do is rent movies and copy them. Are you surprised? Heck, there might be some teenager kid in your neighborhood who does the same thing, or the equivalent by downloading movies and archiving them in some secret hard drive or burn them to some DVD binders.

Blockbuster

I assure you, piracy is found everywhere whether you realize it or not. Are you a parent of some high school kids? I am sure these high school kids have MP3 Players, and you think the music they put on their iPod is legit? I’m sure at least 90% of the music they are listening to it was illegally obtained. Heck, maybe the parents are doing it to. What I’m saying is even the nicest people are casually engaged in piracy because they believe its OK.

This single song is great, the rest of the album sucks, so buy it? Or it could be the other way. I download the album and listen to it. Album is great so I buy it. Worst case scenario: I download the album, it sounds great and I”ll keep it without buying the album. There are others who are just media pack mules and just download anything because they can. Are you one of these people? You are saving a buck, but it is the artists that lose is the saying.

I’m not here to say what is wrong or right. What I am saying is there are some underground practices that people are involving themselves under the impression nothing wrong will happen. Of course, you hear stories of college students now getting sued by the RIAA for downloading music, but now more and more of the college scene are going underground. They are starting to trade music internally on the school network, a place where the RIAA cannot get into.

There is so much left I want to talk about. I didn’t even dive into the subject of P2P, or torrents yet. Maybe I’ll let leave that for the next story.

Quick summary:

  • Piracy has always been around since technology became affordable for consumers.
  • People engage in casual piracy because it is convenient, and it saves them money. Individuals are starting to become tech savvy.
  • VHS piracy has always been around, and now DVD copying is the new rage.
  • The newest trend is downloading of music/movies from online or ripping them from the retail shop or friends. Obviously, this is wrong in terms of copyrights, but as a home user, who cares? This is the mentality that many people hold, and it will never stop.
  • RIAA is evil, and people are starting to wise up and getting their music in a smarter way.

Was this story helpful? Next time, I will dive a bit into how people are getting smarter in their technological means, and perhaps give you the reader insight into how you can do the same thing. Please leave a comment, or I’m under the belief no one cares enough about the STD story. Thanks!

Sources:

Wonder RIAA Picture: http://www.shedreamsindigital.net
Blockbuster picture: http://hoboken411.com
VHS: http://www.chromaservices.ca
Pirate Picture: http://www.cnn.com

The Journey To The Next TUG Event

After reading the lack of comments yesterday on the TiT post, I decided to ponder about my journey in search of the next TUG event.  Wait, what is a TUG event?  I know some of you guys have some sick minds out there, as I’m sure TUG could refer to a lot of things like a boat, tug of war, pulling on something, and etc.  :)

My usage of TUG here is an acronym for The Under Ground, hence the next The Underground Event for writing here on the blog.

Yesterday I thought more about the “Life of a Pirate” series, and decided that it was too forward.  There is a lot of good knowledge out there from honest people who are not pirates, and I did not want to proceed with the image that pirates are evil/good and that I should totally expose the pirate scene apart.

Plus, this blog is not meant as a forum for piracy either and I don’t want to be seen as that too.  In efforts to maintain the clean blog image, I have decided to move onto something that I can live with.

Welcome to what could very well be the “STD Stories”, where STD is Versatile1 acronymn for “Savvy Tech Dude” (or Dudette depending on article content).  I love puns, what can I say.

Breakdown of STD Stories:

  • STD stories will try to be posted once a week, but not guaranteed.  Expect it to appear out of nowhere, just like real life STDs.  :)
  • STD stories are real stories about technology and how it is twisted to fit into someone’s life for logical or illogical purposes.
  • STD stories may dwell on underground material, but is not meant to be strictly related to it.
  • STD stories are meant to be written by The Underground Staff, but the community is highly encouraged to contribute via posts or offline interviews with Versatile1.
  • STD stories can either be fictional or truth, and the validity of the story is left up to the writer and for the audience to decide for themselves.
  • STD stories are laid-back, and could be a story, but doesn’t have to be.  A tutorial could be thought of as a “story” too in some regards.

I’m sure the list could go on and on.  Does it sound exciting?  It does to me.  We’ll see.  As time goes on, you will see what the flavor of articles is going to be.  Good times!

[Tutorial] Rip DVDS in Linux

Hey guys, do you have linux? Do you loathe windows?  Do you want to learn how to rip DVDs in Linux?  Well, I sure do!  The tutorial is at the source below, found at lifehacker.  Enjoy!

Source

DVD TO iPod/Zune/PSP/etc. FREE w/ Handbrake -Method 1

Hey everyone, Musicmasteria again. Just like I promised in the last post of mine… here is METHOD 1 of how to put a DVD onto your iPod, Zune, PSP, etc. for free! The only program you will need for Method 1 is Handbrake! This is unlike method 2 which uses dvd decrypter as well. This method is a lot shorter and easier so you will love it! If you would like to have a .doc/.pdf (to be desided) version of both Method 1 and 2 together, I will update this later with a link to download it. In the mean time…

ENJOY THE DVD TO IPOD/ZUNE/PSP/ETC. TUTORIAL!!!

(Method 2 can be found here: http://versatile1.wordpress.com/2007/10/24/dvd-to-ipodzunepspetc-free-w-handbrake-method-2/)

Method 1 – Handbrake alone (Non-Copy Protected Movies, Most DVDs)

Download Handbrake free from here: http://handbrake.m0k.org/?article=download

1.            Install handbrake, really simple, no registration

2.            Run handbrake (with DVD in disk drive)

You will get a screen like this:

 

 3.            Click the “Browse” button in the “Source” area. Find the CD’s “Video_TS” folder, then click ok.

 

 4.            (optional)- If you have multiple movies on the disk you have to choose the one you want in the “Title” bar. Handbrake with automatically choose the longest one if you choose “Automatic”.-If you only want a certain range of chapter of the title, choose them in the “Chapters” bar.

 

 5.            Click the “Browse” button in the “Destination” area. Choose a name for the output file and where to put it, then press “Save”. (Even though you can choose the file extension, it will record in .m4v format because it is preset to do that. To change that, follow step 6)

 

 6.            (optional)- Click “Show Presets”- It will be on “Normal” but you can change it to what ever you want the output file to be. This is how you can change what the file format will be (.mp4, .m4v, etc.)

 

 7.            (optional) – If you want to encode more than one video in a row (Queue)- So once you have everything set click “Add to Queue”- Repeat steps 3-6 for each new video and click “Add to Queue” after each one

 

 8.            FINALLY, Click “Encode Video” and sit back and relax while Handbrake does the rest.

* Length of encoding is varied upon the length of each video

* DO NOT do anything else on your computer while it encodes

 

   

So now that you have the file on your computer, use what ever program you want to transfer it you your iPod/Zune/PSP/etc.

And now… YOU’RE DONE!

ENJOY YOUR FREE DVD TO iPod/Zune/PSP/etc. Program!!!

 

Note: If handbrake can not correctly encode the video and/or gives a file that doesn’t work, it probably means that the DVD has some kind of copy protection. This is easily bypassed with DVD Decrypter.  The tutorial on how to use handbrake with dvd decrypter is already up and it is called “Method 2″. (A link can be found at the top of the post)

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