Matt Whitlock's blog

Why Won't Windows Media Player Play My DVDs?

Question from TechLore Member msalessi: I was hoping someone can help me out here. I recently bought a Toshiba laptop, model Satellite L305-S5919. My problem is when I put in a DVD to watch, it gave me an error and said something about a decoder. What does this mean and why won't the movie play? I can't find another application to play the movie on and I really don't want to buy more software for this computer. Am I crazy to assume the computer should've come with something that would allow me to play movies? Please help!

Xbox LIVE Should Never Be "Down" for Maintenance

A few days ago, Microsoft took the entire Xbox LIVE Service down for around 24 hours to complete scheduled maintenance and perform upgrades. Sounds innocent enough, but for a paid service like LIVE, I'm finding it more and more difficult to accept these scheduled downtimes. Xbox LIVE is no longer a niche service for hardcore gamers to frag each other in HALO 2. Today it's the backbone to an entertainment experience that families, moms, dads, and kids rely on.

Now, I'm a reasonable guy. I understand that systems like LIVE, which are always being pushed to their limit, need maintenance, patches, and expansions. However, Microsoft's approach needs to change; they need to ensure a basic level of service for all their paid customers.

Matt's Tech Law #5 - Filter Your Own Spam Without Punishing Others


Spam. It's the e-mail you don't want, but is sent to you anyway. In fact, Spam has been around since before the Internet and e-mail became mainstream. They even celebrated the 30th birthday of the first known Spam message last year.

I've been able to watch the evolution of Spam fighting techniques over the years, and while I understand the need for inbox protection from nefarious spammers, I'm fed up with the laziness of e-mail users. 

Help Choosing an MP3 Player: Anything but iPod... but What Does That Leave?


I recently decided to finally buy an MP3 player, but I've found researching it to be quite overwhelming.

This is what I want from an mp3 player:

See Ya Firefox, I'm Switching Back to Internet Explorer


Yep. You read that right. I know, everywhere else you're reading that Firefox is soooo much better, and that people are switching to it in droves. For me that was three years ago, but now I'm going back.

I'll admit that I don't rag on Microsoft anywhere near as much as other people do. I just don't hate them merely because they're big and control the majority marketshare of desktop and notebooks PCs worldwide, nor do I despise them because Mac people say I should.

Apple: 'A PC is no bargain when it doesn't do what you want.' Huh?

Apple finally responded to Microsoft's latest ad campaign for Windows, which shows various fake shoppers walk through the computer buying process, and finally settling on Windows PCs made by HP. I don't want to get too off topic here, but while the MS ads are obviously scripted and fake, I do think they are accurately highlighting the computer shopping experience for many consumers. Macs are expensive, and if the OS isn't what you're shopping for, you'll definitely get a much wider variety of hardware and price points to choose from on the PC side.



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