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Archive for December 2016

Protected: Bex Finch’s sleepwalker

Seemingly So

Bex Finch is an American photographer who specialises in environmental portraiture and self-portraiture. When her father was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease, she began capturing portraits, both of her father as his disease progressed and of herself coping with the reality of his condition.

“Sleepwalker’s self-portraits are an attempt to understand what he is going through: feeling increasingly lost, directionless, and disconnected from his surroundings, and living with the fact that it will only get worse.”

Bex Finch sleepwalker

Bex Finch sleepwalker

Bex Finch sleepwalker

Bex Finch sleepwalker

Bex Finch sleepwalker

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Written by Pawel Debski

2016/12/23 at 21:25

Posted in Uncategorized

Make Ubuntu play CD and DVD

As Windows 10 is unusable for me I decided to switch to Linux almost entirely. Therefore I’m testing various distributions and make different test subjects use them. I always thought that the biggest challenge would be a dumb user of an old auntie sort. Apparently not! Ubuntu works great for the gunea pig – fabulous. It works even better than new crippled Windows – my dear ginuea pig had Windows XP so far and on her old computer with just 3GB RAM and Core2Duo we had even no need for Lubuntu. And the user interface of full Ubuntu was a love at first sight for the lady. Congratulations to the Ubuntu team.

First challenge was with playing CD – the lady has a big collection of music CDs and the modern iPods and other devil inventions like buying music files on-line are absent from her soul. Unfortunately when she inserts a CD various applications dump core on her. In this case being on friendly terms with a sorcerer who controls devil forces helps.

I was well prepared to take-up the challenge – I had guest Ubuntu in VirtualBox already installed. I even had a USB CD/DVD drive and it took me a second to add it as a CD drive in my virtual machine.

Ubuntu storage settings - CD host drive

Ubuntu storage settings – CD host drive

But when I inserted a music CD the first obstacle appeared – I can see the files, but I cannot play the music – both Rhythmbox and Sound Juicer swear at me with error messages.

Is this a problem for a real hero? I bet not.

Quick Internet search revealed a “passthrough” option:

Ubuntu storage settings - passthrough option for a CD host drive

Ubuntu storage settings – passthrough option for a CD host drive

Astonished that an USB drive is added as a secondary IDE device? No wonder – all the fuss about about virtualization is that all different sorts of strange modern devices can potentially be presented in a well known and stable way to the guest systems. That’s actually a subject per se for the whole article.

Voilà – now Rhythmbox works like a charm. I can listen to the CDs and even make flacs out of it (Sound Juicer required). And what a nice surprise – it connects to the and downloads the CD description, song titles etc. Well, to say the truth, not much downloading but rather uploading – apparently Music Brainz collection of classic CDs is rather scarce. However if you google well there is an alternative solution with CDDB of which is much richer, they say.

Now the second topic of my post – playing DVD. To make long things short – do not fight with Totem – just install VLC media player that’s available via Ubuntu Software Center. VLC Player has everything you need and worked for me from the first try.