Monthly Archives: February 2008

Flickr Interestingness Widget

One of the things I have done over the last couple of years which is relevant to this blog is to develop a small widget for dashboard.

The widget shows a selection of popular images from flickr on a daily basis, it is called Flickr Interestingness and it takes images from the interestingness feed on flickr.


So, given that there are apparently still a people willing to read this this blog I figure I might as well post a link to the widget. I wrote it initially as an experiment in writing dashboard widgets but as time goes on I do actually find myself using it almost every day as you generally get a good selection of quality photography appearing every day.

I must add a “Set as wallpaper” option to it as that is usually what I end up using it for. Anyway, please leave any feedback below if you have suggestions or thoughts on it.

Please excuse the rest of the web site, the products and information there are terribly out of date and no longer active however the site is getting ready for a much more mac focused relaunch over the next few weeks so watch this space.

The widget requires Mac OS X 10.4 but also works fine on 10.5, hopefully someone will find it useful.

Region Free DVD on Mac’s

So by far the most popular post on this blog over the last 2 years was my post on region free DVD on my MacBook Pro. In total it has been viewed 109,000 times and has 182 comments which is impressive considering that the blog as a whole has only had 314,000 hits!

What is ridiculous about the situation is that we are in the same position today as we were two years ago so I thought I would post a summary on where things are right now from the comments on that post and my experiences with my Mac’s.

MacBook Pro (Manufactured Feb 2006)
This is my original machine that the post was made about and so naturally it has the same old problems as before and nothing really works for off-region discs. The region is set to R2 and that is all it will play, R1 discs will not play in DVD player or VLC and Handbrake can not rip them.

Mac Mini (Manufactured Jan 2008)
This is pretty much a brand new machine and it has exactly the same problem as the MacBook Pro from 2 years ago. I set the firmware region to R2 when I bought it and that is all it will deal with. No exceptions.

Aluminium iMac (Manufactured Mid 2007)
This is where the story gets a little more positive! I have the firmware region set to R2 and so obviously it plays R2 discs through DVD player without any issues. R1 discs fail in DVD player but play just fine in VLC. I am also able to rip any region of DVD using the latest handbrake. I am going to put this down to the iMac using an “OPTIARC DVD RW AD-5630A” drive over the “MATSHITACD-RW CW-8124” in the Mac Mini and MacBook Pro.

There is talk in the comments of the previous post of a solution to this being to never set the region code of the drive, apparently this allows VLC to play off-region discs. Unfortunately as all of my drives have a region set in firmware I am unable to test this. However it is unclear from the comments if this actually applies to the Mac Mini and MacBook machines as the only confirmation of it working comes from an iMac which as we can see from my tests above is not plagued by these problems due to the Optiarc drive.

If anyone can confirm that this method works on the Matshita drives in the MacBook or Mac Mini, please let us know in the comments.

Is this thing still on?

Hello again! It has been an over a year since I posted anything here but I have decided to start posting here again with more mac related stuff.

The first post on this blog was on the 18th March 2006 which makes it almost two years since I became a switcher, so why did I stop posting? I guess I finished that first phase of switching to the mac and I took a break from blogging for a while. I now consider myself a fully fledged member of the mac community though being the proud owner of four mac’s and zero PC’s, you can really see that the switch stuck and it pains me now to have to use Windows (which I do have to, for work, occasionally).

Although the blog still gets a decent amount of traffic coming in every day, 99% of it is from search engines and I am quite sure that there are absolutely no remaining feed subscribers but if you want to prove me wrong about that, please leave a comment! Maybe this feed is lying dormant and forgotten in the depths of someones feed reader :)

Who knows where this will go this time but I am going to start making some posts again and find out.