Friday, 6 May 2011

Porn Kills

I was asked by Joybear to review their new film, Man Trap, and naturally I accepted, even though I was a little sceptical of the title. I was right. The man it trapped was me.

I should point out here that the drive I use for watching DVDs isn't properly integrated into my computer. It's attached to my netbook via USB and works sporadically at the best of times. It plays DVDs, fine, and CDs too, and I've had no problems with it in the past. Sometimes I've needed to reattach it a few times, sometimes I've needed to eject the DVD and start again, but mostly it works.

So I put Man Trap in and it didn't work.

The above sentence is an abbreviation of about three hours, but it also conveys perfectly what those three hours consisted of (interspersed with short bursts of frustration, during which I went downstairs to watch the BBC News election coverage). Man Trap wouldn't play. it went into the drive, which then whirred and clicked for a while before deciding that there wasn't a DVD in there at all. The small plastic disc was an elaborate ruse and I'd be better off playing Warcraft or something. (By which I mean the original Warcraft. You'll never get me shelling out to play WoW).

At one point, I managed to get Man Trap playing. It ran for about three minutes and then VLC crashed, following by my drive deciding to stop working and disconnect itself. I took a few notes on the premise and decided to do something different.

I noticed that there was a power jack on the back of the drive at one point and decided to see what might happen if I plugged a power lead into it. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Part of my brain - the whimsical part which doesn't understand the concept of technology - decided that if my external DVD drive were running off external power, it may behave itself. So I plugged a power lead in...

...and my computer screen went totally blank.

It was broken. I had broken it.

I resuscitated my computer the usual way (frantic presses of the power button accompanied by lots of screaming and frantic prayer), disconnecting all the peripherals as I went along. Once I had ascertained its stability, I plugged my external HD back in (although it's turned off at the moment, so no change there). The DVD drive, however, is still unplugged.

Oh, I plugged it back in all right, to see if I could get the Man Trap DVD out. But there was no response. The little LED didn't even go on. I may have broken that too.

So, yes. I may review Man Trap at some point. I'll have to have a proper DVD player to watch it because it's clearly not playing fair or my computer. Both actual DVD players are downstairs where my parents roam, and the extra DVD player that used to be in the attic isn't there any more. I've no idea where it's gone... but it's gone. And then, of course, there's the problem that presents itself when you remember that Man Trap is stuck inside a DVD drive that appears to have shorted out completely.

But... never mind. It's a challenge.

3 comments:

the22ndcatch said...

Joybear is a great producer, and DVD drives can be jimmied open with a screwdriver from the front. It takes some effort and the motors provide some resistance, but don't worry about damaging it. Either you'll get the DVD out and be happy, or you'll damage a drive that sounds craptasticated anyway.

Out of interest, what are the specs of the machine you were trying to play the DVD on? I might be able to shed some light.
-JY

Innocent Loverboy said...

I took the drive to my uncle, who managed to flip a failsafe which opened the drive and got the DVD out. Fortunately, he didn't ask what it was.

Not sure about my specs, but this netbook runs DVDs fine anyway. This is the first time it's failed to do so. It must be something to do with the DVD.

The drive itelf is totally broken. I think the circuit board's kaput. Lining it into a USB port still makes the computer think something's there, but it can't resolve exactly what it is.

This poses a problem insofar as a sizeable portion of what I do involves CDs and DVDs in my netbook. My old laptop can't handle it either (the drive on that kind of works, but it leaves a sticky residue on the CDs and that's not a good sign, so I'm not risking it).

For the review of Man Trap I'll have to find another DVD player. I know there's a spare one somewhere, I just don't know where. I won't be able to take screenshots, but I would be able to review, and that's what Joybear wanted.

It just may not be, like, yesterday afternoon. Which was my original plan. Sigh.

Innocent Loverboy said...

For anyone who's interested and reading this: I just "borrowed" my mother's laptop and watched this. I took two pages of notes and there should be a review coming tomorrow.

[Word verification was a real word: "caverin" (caver-in)]