Tag Archives: optical

dares: Qui audet adipiscitur

I don’t have a proper home page for dares, so if you can track it down, let us know where the original is found. Until then, here’s the Linux Mint version and the Debian package page.


dares is a CD recovery tool which apparently can retrieve data even from unmountable discs. As luck would have it, I don’t have any unmountable discs, so my leftover PLOP boot disc will have to suffice.

dares needs little more than a device address (or file name, in the case of a corrupted image, which is also a potential target) and a directory to place its files before it will swing into action.

After reading the disc content, you get a straightforward menu for recovering and saving accessible data. Fairly foolproof, and fairly reminiscent of photorec or a few other data recovery tools.

Beyond that point though, I can’t really vouch for dares any more than I could for foremost or safecopy, just because I don’t have a damaged medium to test. If you do, and you’ve found your way to this page, I can only hope it does the trick for you.

Keeping this — as well as the other three I mentioned — in mind when I do stumble across a damaged drive … well, that’s the other trick. 😉

burn-cd: In spite of its age, quite useful

Looking over the Sourceforge page, burn-cd seems to have seen its best days almost six or seven years ago, and if I’m reading that right had its last update in 2009. I know that means it won’t appeal to some people, but bear with me:


Because burn-cd works fine once it’s pointed at your optical drive, and has your files in tow.

It requires no more prodding than the folder or files or ISO you want to write. And it keeps you well informed of its progress, in color and updated constantly. No guessing about what’s happening out there in CD land.

Technically it’s old enough to default to /dev/hdc for your CD burner, so you’ll want to set it to /dev/sr0 or what have you in .burn-cd.conf. While you’re at it, I recommend the verbose = yes setting, which does send a lot more information to the console.

But after that, it’s just burn-cd /home/kmandla/files, and the deed is done. I like that.

Ordinarily I would push for some kind of interface and maybe some push-buttons or a couple of spinny thingies while it’s writing, but the word of the day for burn-cd is “clean and simple.” Nicely done. 😉

burn-cd is in AUR but doesn’t show up on the Debian search pages. Perhaps it was once part of the Debian arsenal but has been sloughed off; if that’s the case, it’s a pity. 😕

regionset: This I can attest to

It’s funny to think, but I had my first experiences with regionset about six years ago. And believe it or not, I’m still a little bitter.

Not because of regionset, but because of the entire swirling morass around DVD region codes.

kmandla@lv-r1fz6: ~$ regionset -h
regionset version 0.2 -- reads/sets region code on DVD drives
Usage: regionset [device]
       where default device is /dev/dvd

For someone like me, who sometimes lives in a country beyond their “home” region, and with a small collection of DVDs from several regions, it’s absolutely asinine to prevent cross-region use.

And considering it’s tripped me up more than once, and friends to an even greater degree, it’s equally asinine to expect anyone to actually buy the same disc again just to watch a film on a machine of a different region. Or worse, buy a new player to watch specific regions.

All of which is really just a syndrome of the larger industry myopia that has been around since the late 1980s, at least. It took forever for the music industry to realize the potential in online music sales, and now it’s completely eclipsed the traditional album model.

How long before the movie industry wakes up? Like I could care. Truth be told, there’s no reason for me, as a multi-region customer, to bother buying their product any longer. Six years ago, I was better off downloading a pirated copy than dumping more money into a corrupted sales model. I daresay that hasn’t changed.

But I wander from the purpose of this post. If, in this day and age, you find you can’t use a particular DVD, and you’re fairly certain it’s because of region settings, I can attest to regionset as a potential solution.

If I recall correctly, you only get to change the region five times before the drive is fixed upon the last setting. After that, it won’t let you change it again.

After that, if you’re still not sure what region you want, then I think you really should move away from DVDs. 😕