Watching DVDs on Windows

Until we finish moving, we’re reduced to watching movies on our laptops. Because the Dell I’ve been issued from work has a large, wide screen, I thought we’d watch that cinematic marvel, Van Helsing, on it.

One of my first acts when getting any Windows computer is to uninstall lots of stuff and install other stuff. In the uninstall category is Windows Media Player, because it constantly tries to grab ownership of media files and because it’s yet another way for malicious bastards to infect my computer with viruses and other nasty software.

I suppose I shouldn’t have been too surprised that there was no other way to view a DVD. Leave it to Microsoft to bundle everything into one application. Of course, the DVD viewer application installed from the DVD didn’t work either – I guess it didn’t recognise the DVD driver or the decoder or the moon wasn’t in the right phase.

Anna suggested that I could install Windows Media Player. It’s a free download after all. Hah!

Because Windows Update is rather confusing and doesn’t list all the updates on one screen – prefering to make me skip between high-priority updates, optional software updates, and optional hardware updates. Therefore, I accidentally left the .Net Framework 1.1 Service Pack 1 update checked.

After waiting about 5 minutes for the download, we gave up and switched to Anna’s Powerbook. I slipped in the DVD, the screen went black, and the movie started playing. What could be better than that?

We gave up on Van Helsing about the time when he met the 19th Century Q at the Vatican. And as I finish writing this post, Windows Update still hasn’t finished installing Windows Media Player…