Serious Tech Frustrations on the Captioning Research Path

First Fun: Windows on VMware

For the past ninety minutes, I have had some serious technology frustrations. First, when I try to grab some software to use on my VMware (running on my Mac), it says that almost all 60 gigs of the memory are taken up.

Taken up with what? Considering I’ve used the VM, oh, 10 times, I have not brought in SIXTY GIGS OF FILES. So, yeah, pretty much any thoughts I was having about the convenience of working with VMware on my Mac are now dying a quick death. Why?

I don’t want to waste time, and this has been irritating.

So I used WinDirStat from and found that nearly 27 Gig was being up by Windows 7. That seemed a bit nuts. Another 20 Gig eaten up by Dropbox—even though I was pretty sure I had removed DropBox.

And then I discovered that I could reconfigure the virtual disk—so I’m doing that—and adding about 240 more Gig of memory. Sure hope that works. Fortunately, the iMac has 1T of drive.

Second Fun: 2009 HP Laptop 

In order to work with some video decryption for caption analysis, I thought I could break out my HP—the laptop that served me during my dissertation years. Well, I should have known better.

First, it crashed with blue screens I could not read in time—twice. Then there were multiple window uploads. Then there were failures to connect to the internet. Then there’s the reality of working with a 3GB processor machine when I’m used to 8 or 32… I feel your pity. So any errors it makes are slow in the happening.

Third Fun: Working with DVD decryption

In the midst of all this, I’m attempting to understand the DVD decryption process so that I can grab the captions and run analyses on the content. All of this work that I have been doing has been about one basic problem: making sure a machine is capable of downloading and handling the decryption software. Thus far, it has not happened.

It’s incredibly difficult to explain the irony, and frustration, that comes from having multiple machines—machines with different OS’s and from different periods—and yet I can’t seem to get from point A to B.

Oh, yes, and in the midst of all this, I’ve kind of lost track of why I was doing all this work: to access and write about captions. But now, now it just feels entirely and incredibly frustrating with the tech.

The rich irony is that this process should be nearly dead simple. But it’s not—not for me at least.


So I’m stepping away, going to go exercise, and then I’m going to write and read about captions. I’m done messing about with the hardware, software, and downloads. After over two hours of mucking about, I’m done.