Saturday, September 20, 2008

A Linux solution for copying and burning DVDs

The following are my experiences with copying and burning DVDs on Linux. To summarize the experience in a phrase : "It was a walk in the park".

Operating System Ubuntu 8.04

Tools of the trade
  • k9copy (for copying DVDs)
  • brasero (for burning DVDs)
Installation in ubuntu for the above packages is as simple as
$ sudo apt-get install k9copy
$ sudo apt-get install brasero

  • Insert DVD into tray and open k9copy.
  • Choose File -> Open. This will load the DVD and show the chapters and titles as shown below. Select all the titles that you wish to copy.
  • Select Action -> Copy. You will be prompted for a location where the final iso file will be saved. Make sure that you have disk space atleast 2 times the size of DVD.
  • Leave all the options in the below pane as is unless you know what those options mean.
  • Once the copy starts you will be able to view the progress in the right-side pane.
  • The copy process creates a folder called dvd and an iso image in the location specified earlier.
  • You can remove the folder dvd as it is not required during the burning process.
  • Now to burn the iso image, open brasero and select the option for burning iso images.
  • Insert and blank DVD and start the burn process.
  • Enjoy !
In my experience, i have copied 4 DVDs and burnt around 12 DVDs and the whole process took slightly more than half a day. There were absolutely no errors and the original DVD quality was maintained in all the copied DVDs.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Announcing another blog !

Hello dear readers (if any).  I have started another blog (with a better purpose this time). The blog is about Indians and our innovations i.e. Jugaadu Indians and our Jugaads. The inspiration for the blog came to me while reading an article in August 24 issue of The Week. The article is about Indian Ingenuity and our innovations (or colloquially called Jugaads).  The following quote by  Dr. R. Mashelkar puts everything in perspective 
"we should think of innovation as a movement. The I in India has stood for imitation and inhibition for far too long. It is high time it stood for innovation. And the best thing about this movement is that we have the jugaad energy of a billion of us to power it forward. "

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The NEWS Equation

Our life today is controlled by media. Be it newspaper, television, radio or the internet, we depend on news for a lot of our day-to-day decisions and sometimes even blindly. This fact is well understood by Media companies, Governments and Businesses alike. Unfortunately, it is also being used actively to mislead the common man.  News today is no more the simple raw information but it undergoes a complex process of editing and mixing before being delivered. Thinking over it for some time, i feel that the Media companies operate a  huge mixer which continuously churns out news according to the following equation 

NEWS = x% Information + y% Hype + z% Personal Biases + w% Political Biases 

Different media companies use different values for x, y, z and w and yield different types of news. A case in point is the recent news about the bootup of Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in CERN. A channel called Aaj Tak in India ran a TV series which would have made a layman believe that the bootup of LHC would destroy the world.  In this case, their percentage of hype was very high and little factual information was presented. Even if they would have done a simple google search for LHC and the myths surrounding LHC, they would have realized that speculations about formation of massive black holes have been long dismissed by emminent Scientists. But the media today is more interested in their own TRP ratings and very little interested in presenting facts.