Tag Archives: set

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. 😕

ntp: Including my favorite, ntpdate

I learned about ntp and its cohort, ntpdate, when I ran into a machine so slow and old that it couldn’t keep time properly between reboots.

Its internal battery was shot, and powering it down meant the machine would reset at its next startup. And a reset clock triggered a BIOS warning, and … and … and …

The solution was to immediately synchronize its time across the Internet, as soon as it powered up. To that end, ntpdate became quite useful.


A quick

ntpdate -u pool.ntp.org

brings everything back into line. And it’s not just old machines that need nudging now and again. As you can see in the screenshot, even a high(er)-end machine can need adjustment over time.

I don’t bother with regular synchronizing though, just because I don’t think a shift of a few dozen seconds over the course of a couple months is worth the effort.

I must admit I haven’t worked much with ntp beyond ntpdate; it’s one of those tools I know about but don’t seem to have much call to use.

I know can do quite a bit more, but until the need arises, I am content to leave it as a mystery. 😉