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Carl Sagan Books and DVDs

August 22nd, 2007 · Posted by Who Knows? · 4 Comments

I am now the proud owner of two Carl Sagan books, The Demon Haunted World (Amazon, Kalahari) and Billions and Billions (Amazon, Kalahari), as well as Carl Sagan’s Cosmos, a set of seven DVDs (Amazon).

As my time is limited, I will probably not be reading or watching any of it, until October. Still, it was inevitable that I at least make a start. The prologue of The Demon Haunted World fell to my onslaught last night, and the first few pages of the first chapter this morning. I’m sure I will enjoy Carl Sagan immensely. (I also want to be able to blog while reading, another reason why I should only read when I have enough time.)

Now, about the Cosmos DVDs, and DVD regions…

UPDATE: I had a little rant here about how DVD regions are evil, and how I might have to make an “illegal” copy in order to continue watching the DVDs I own. Well, turns out I was an idiot. I recently re-installed Linux, and forgot I had not yet installed the “DVD cracking library”, libdvdcss. It seems I have no problem watching DVDs from various regions. The fact that the encryption has to be cracked, potentially illegally, so that I can watch the DVDs I own… is not worthy of a rant.

About the content: again, while I won’t watch them now, I had to glance at least at a few minutes of this series from 1980. While it is easy to see the recordings are rather dated, I hear the content is still completely relevant. Hopefully I’ll be watching it later this year.

Categories: Religion and Science · Technology
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4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Steve // Aug 27, 2007 at 8:33 am

    “The fact that the encryption has to be cracked, potentially illegally, so that I can watch the DVDs I own… is not worthy of a rant.” — Au contraire, my friend. This says a lot about the world we live in…

  • 2 Tim Mills // Sep 17, 2007 at 10:23 am

    I share your frustration. Region-coding seems like an arbitrary and draconian means to control distribution of a product in order to gain unwarranted control over consumers, and thus is unworthy of our unquestioning obedience.

    You are an Ubuntu user, yes? I have recently been trying out a variety of distros, but I’m going to go back to Ubuntu because it was clearly the most hassle-free. If I can’t get region-freedom working, I may contact you for help.

  • 3 Hugo // Sep 18, 2007 at 11:28 pm

    Yup, Ubuntu user. (And Debian.) My favourite movie player is xine, and the key to getting DVDs working in Ubuntu (and Debian, I’d think) is to run:

    $ sudo /usr/share/doc/libdvdread3/install-css.sh

    I have not had to do anything with regions, my drive is still set to “no region”, I believe.

  • 4 gerhard // Dec 5, 2007 at 12:32 pm

    hey , i actually bought the updated cosmos dvd selection , it is 12 dvds big :)
    really cool, was done in 92 and contains updates from sagan about what has changed since the 70s :)
    you must watch :)

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