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Category Archives: Movies

PowerShell – Reverse strings and reverse file names

With PowerShell it is relatively easy to reverse a string:
$str = “gnirtsdesrever”
$str[-1..-($str.length)] -join “”

Some of you might ask: Why would anyone want to do this ? Well, since the start of the year Usenet DMCA takedowns have begun to occur automatically, very quickly and very often. This means many movies and TV series on Usenet / News Groups are being taken offline very quickly.

Counter measures to prevent takedowns by uploaders include:

  • The use of encrypted links to NZB files.
  • The use file names that make it harder to find copyrighted files.

As you can probably guess, some just reverse the file names. The PowerShell script I’ve created will automate reversing the file names for files in the specified folder that match the specified file name filter.

I hope it is useful for you as well.

PS: Someone else on usenet had the same idea as me and created a VBS that will add a right-click menu option to explorer. I’ve added this in the same location as my PowerShell script as well.

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Hundreds of Full-Length Movies Are Reappearing on YouTube

Apparently full-length movies are reappearing on Youtube according to Gizmodo. So for those who’d like to stream a movie check out the Gizmodo article.

I wonder how long these will stay up, but enjoy it while you can.

 
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Posted by on February 8, 2013 in Entertainment, Movies

 

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Newer versions are not always better

People who know me, know I love my mediaplayer, so much even that barely watch regular TV nowadays. I’ve been using Popcorn Hour mediaplayers for a long time now and even though they’re not the cheapest ones, I’ve always been very happy with them. I’ve even recommended them to many people who bought them as well.

Yesterday however, one of my friends was having an issue with his Popcorn Hour A-200 mediaplayer. I suggested he should check for and install the latest firmware version (August 10, 2012). Because I hadn’t updated mine in quite some time either I decided to upgrade it together with him even though I did not really have a need to upgrade mine.

After the update, my PCH-A200 couldn’t connect to my samba(SMB) / CIFS network shares on Windows Server 2012 anymore. For the shares that worked previously I got an error stating:
“Unable to resolve the host name. Press [return] key to return to the previous screen”.
The network itself was working since I was able to use internet radio.

As it turns out, many problems have been introduced with the latest firmware versions. I did try using NFS shares, but even though I could browse them I was not able to playback videos.

Ultimately I decided to go back two firmware versions. After installing the firmware of May 25th, 2011 everything was working fine again.

Conclusion: Newer versions are not always better !!!!

 
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Posted by on December 14, 2012 in Entertainment, Hardware, Mediaplayer, Movies, TV

 

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Stream high quality movies

A lot of companies and governments are investing a lot of time and money on limiting / preventing piracy. I believe that despite their efforts there will always be lots of ways to download basically everything from the internet for free.

Also besides downloading, streaming is also becoming more popular. Especially with websites like noobroom.com or popcornered.com where you can stream high quality movies for free.

In my opinion the time and effort spent by companies on limiting / preventing piracy should be invested in continuously coming up with new ways to add value for customers.

I think that the only sustainable paid model is a model like the one spotify uses for music. For those who are unfamiliar with spotify, it basically means that you pay a monthly fee for access to a massive library of media. And just as with spotify, there can be different subscription types and prices for by example streaming full HD content.

What do you think ?

UPDATE 08-10-2012: Spotify isn’t doing that well at the moment apparently: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-19355708. I still believe from a customer point of view that this kind of model can work.

 
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Posted by on October 4, 2012 in Entertainment, Internet, Movies

 

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Easily rename downloaded movies using powershell

Context

As most people, I often complain about not having sufficient time. It also doesn’t help that I have a lot of hobbies and interests. Because of this I decided to combine my hobbies and interests in such a way it would eventually save me time.

Basically I decided to learn powershell scripting by automating the task of renaming downloaded movies. These need to be in a specific format for reliable use with the movie jukebox called Yet Another Movie Jukebox (YAMJ). As a result this will save me a lot of time in the future.

Concept for the script

The file names of most movies I download are mostly in the following format:
The.Devils.Advocate.1997.UNRATED.DC.720p.BluRay.X264-AMIABLE.mkv
<movie.name>.<movie release year>.<metadata>.<metadata>…..<last.metadata>.<file extension>

What is important for YAMJ to work correctly is basically the movie name and the year (just in case there are movies with the same name, but released in a different year). So basically my preferred output would be:
The Devils Advocate 1997.mkv

To realise this, conceptually the following will be done for all files in a specific folder:

  1. Determine the current file extension and save it to a variable.
  2. Remove all dots “.” from the file name.
  3. Determine if there is a year notation in the file name (by example 1997).
  4. If there is no year notation found, don’t do anything else (file does not meet the expected format).
  5. If the year notation is found, remove everything from the file name after the year notation and re-add the file extension.

The script itself

The script itself can be found on my sharepoint list :
http://bjornhouben-web.sharepoint.com/Lists/Scripts/

Closing thoughts

I hope this will help home users to see the advantages of scripts, use them and benefit from it. For ICT professionals I also hope that it will help them get a better understanding of Powershell. Because in my opinion Powershell is getting increasingly important both for Microsoft and non Microsoft products (by example VMware).

I’d love to get feedback about this post and hope to receive some replies.

 

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The Hunger Games (books and movie)

Some months ago I heard about the movie The Hunger Games (2012). The concept reminded me of Battle Royale (2000) that I liked very much as well.

When it was available in the movie theatres, many people I know told me they really liked the movie. This made me want to see it even more. I found out however that this movie was based on a book series and that this was only the first part of the trilogy. This was a bit disappointing since I personally do not like having to wait a long time to know the complete story.

So instead of watching the movie, I started reading the books and ended up reading all  three books in less than a week. I really loved it because it provided a lot more depth than I initially expected and I was also able to really connect with the characters and feel for them.

Because I really loved the books, I could not help but watch the first movie, even if it meant having to wait a long time for the next one. I liked the movie, but in my opinion it lacked depth/background and should have been a lot darker, threatening/menacing. I hope this will be the case for the remaining movies:

 
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Posted by on September 3, 2012 in Books, Entertainment, Movies

 

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