The curse of being a “Techie” – Making things too complicated


I have always been adept at technology. I am sure that some of it is natural aptitude, and some is single bloody-minded-ness that I learned from working with many different computers and other “smart” devices for years (decades now). I am the person that all my family calls when they have problems with tech.

But sometimes, it is a curse.  Case in point:

My bluray disc player
My bluray disc player

In 2007 or 2008, we took the plunge and went BluRay. We bought a good mid range player at the time, the Panasonic DMP BD30. It has been a faithful player, working great.  Every disk we tossed into it, regardless of the warning that a firmware upgrade may be required played without trouble.  Until May 10 2013 (My birthday).  I got a BD copy of Skyfall, and while the damn trailers on it played, it just wouldn’t play the main movie.  F*ck. I didn’t get a copy of Skyfall on Bluray to watch the damn, tossed in DVD copy.

So, I investigated the firmware upgrade. I have to say that the Panasonic website for support completely blows.  Yes, I was able to find it, but it took too damn long. Of course, it comes as a self extracting archive that is a Windows program.  Poopies.  I am a Mac person. But it was a self extracting RAR archive, so I was able to get the firmware file out.

But the instructions were complicated. It said to burn the image to a CD-R (not a CD-RW) and that it had to be ISO9660 format.  Easiest to do on windows, so I tried it with my work laptop.  No joy.

For some reason, I thought the PANA_DVD.FRM file was a disk image, so I tried all my tools and utilities to burn that image to a CD-R. I now have 4 coasters.

Finally, I thought to myself, perhaps it isn’t an image file (like an iso) but just the firmware file. I opened a toast session, selected “data CD” and ISO format, and burned that file to a disk. Joy, it took about 10 minutes, but the firmware is now updated to 3.1 (from 1.3) and I am watching the end of Skyfall on BD now.

My error was in my natural inclination to try to treat it as a disk image, and to burn it as such. That is because I am accustomed to that workflow. But in this case, the simple solution was to just burn the firmware file on a disk. Of course, the instructions say nothing like this, but are filled with warnings about Windows Vista or Windows 7. Being the geek that I am, I avoided the easy solution, and spent a few weeks messing around creating coasters.

For the record, the player works beautifully, and I am astounded that I was able to go 5 or 6 years before I was forced to do a firmware upgrade. I have friends who are constantly updating their player to handle new discs.

About the author


Add comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

By geoffand


Subscribe to Tralfaz via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 4 other subscribers
June 2013

Spam Blocked