Oh mighty Gaz’Hakk, accept this offering!

From irc:

[Zorr] Maybe you guys might be able to tell me why the fuck I can’t seem to get xine to play a DVD?
[jsr] Zorr: Buy a mac.
[jsr] Zorr: Hope this helps.
[Zorr] jsr: diaf
[Zorr] Fuck Macs…
[Zorr] Overpriced… and overrated
[jsr] Zorr: Myep.
[jsr] And yet, I can play a DVD on mine.
[jsr] I’m just sayin’
[jsr] Is all.
[Zorr] Then maybe you might be able to tell me how to get VDPAU working with mplayer then alhazred?

I love this sort of conversation, and I must admit that the people I tend to have it with are almost always linux desktop users.

No-one should, on any kind of modern operating system, have to ask this sort of shit, to perform a function so intrinsically boring to the end user as playing a fucking DVD. This sort of thing is why linux is still hobbyist desktop stuff.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, I use linux literally every day, both personally and professionally. It’s super sweet. For server stuff. And Ubuntu, at least, is a big step forward for the UI and for ease of use. But seriously, to play a DVD on my macbook, I put in the DVD and it plays. I don’t need to ask anyone about how to get VDPAU working with mplayer, or how to reconfigure my com ports, or what colour chicken to sacrifice to the serpent demon Gaz’Hakk, while a gibbous moon hangs overhead like unto the focussed eye of an angry god.

This sort of problem is usually caused by driver-y issues, and as such my comments here don’t include specific unix desktop environments crafted for a select hardware set. That can be made pretty solid. Just ask Apple.


  1. It’s weird, because I put a DVD into my Ubuntu box and it plays quite happily using VDPAU.

    That said, you know I totally dig on the macs 🙂

  2. Im pretty sure XP couldn’t play a DVD out of the box without connecting to the Internets and even then failing sometimes.

  3. I use a hobby OS called Windows and it has exactly this kind of problem. I put in a DVD and it starts going on about zones. When that was sorted the audio wouldn’t work. Fix the codecs and some other software stops working.

    Macs seem more appealing all the time. ‘Cept for the games.

  4. People hate it, but “get a mac” is pretty much accurate advice for most people experiencing ongoing computer problems.