I know what you're thinking: 'score', right? That's what I thought too. They're copies of movies which I already have (downloaded) on my computer and which I want to delete. We have the real copies at home, so Dad burned them for me. (Thank you!)
However... the DVDs don't play. Worse, they vary in the manner in which they do not play, leading me to yesterday's mistaken belief that there must have simply been some driver or decoder that I had to download and then everything would be okay. I spent a good couple of hours looking for one, to no avail. Then, researching my particular drive (the QSI SBW-241), I discovered that I'm not the only one having issues with this drive; there are forum posts all over the Internet from people who hate it, mostly due to the fact that it tends to be temperamental about burning CDs. Once I read that, I remembered that I had those problems too, back before the advent of the iPod, when I still used CDs. The general consensus seems to be that the drive is just a piece of crap. (The QSI website confirms this with their horrible website and nonexistent grasp of English.)
Unsatisfied, I emailed the Compaq helpdesk, sparking a wave of correspondence with someone named Michael who, I am certain, did not speak English as a first language. My initial complaint was, "I have a Compaq Presario X1000 with the original QSI SBW-241 drive. I'm trying to play back DVD-Rs and they won't play in either Media Player or WinDVD. Is there something I can download?" Yet we still played email tag for four hours, him telling me, 'download this' and 'test that' and 'try this'. Finally, I specifically said, "All three of the tests were 'passed', which makes sense, since normal DVDs and CDs play fine. But this is the first time I've tried anything with DVD-Rs and they just do not work. It seems to be a specific error with that type of disc, as if this drive simply doesn't support them. Do you have any other ideas?"
His next e-mail? In broken techie-English, "DVD-ROMs don't play back DVD+/-R/RW media. That's why you're having problems."
As my sister would say, *facepalm*.
I did e-mail him back, saying (nicely) that I wish he could have told me that from the outset and that, if that's the case, I didn't understand why (a) my computer recognizes that there are discs in the drive and, in Windows Explorer, even knows their names, and (b) some of the DVDs do in fact play, albeit only the trailers and menus. One of them, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, will even play the movie, but the drive makes ominous grinding sounds the whole time and it hangs up after a few minutes. In my head, that doesn't add up with "drive doesn't support this media" - shouldn't it just not do anything at all, and not even recognize that there's a disc in the drive? - but try telling that to Compaq tech support. Sigh.
Anyway, this just reinforces my 'will-Sony-please-hurry-up' wish, and their TX series is starting to look better and better. My only real problems with them (aside from the fact that they don't come in pretty colors like the FJs, haha) are (a) that the hard drive is only 60 GB (which is what I currently have and which is within 2 gigs of being full), and (b) that the processor is only 1.2 Ghz. My current computer is 1.4 and I consider it way too slow.
Anyway, no other brand even comes close to the size, weight, style, etc. that I want (plus I have a Sony camera), thus the waiting, but still: come on, people!
But yeah, this post was supposed to be about my wasted day. Yeah, so, my whole day got spent on DVD issues and tech support idiots, and I got no work done whatsoever (well, maybe a little). Today is off to a good start in the sense that I did indeed drag myself out of bed to the pool and swim 6km; however, I now have to do some serious thesis work. If I make significant progress, I'll be able to listen to the Jaguars game tonight.
(Oh, who am I kidding. I'll be listening to that game no matter what.)