Ripping Issues - Noise and delays

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Tango
Posts: 38
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2021 6:20 am

Ripping Issues - Noise and delays

Post by Tango »

Note: I've found more information I think is critical on this. It's several posts down, in the post that starts with "More Information" in bold.

I'm having problems using MakeMKV almost every time I try to rip a BD. I'm now using an Asus CD/DVD/BD RW drive bt this has been going on with other drives as well.

In the past, by mistake (or without thinking, maybe), I put a BD in my drive and clicked the icon in MakeMKV to scan it and then dropped the Finder icon in VLC and got a budda-budda-budda-budda sound as the head moved back and forth, reading stuff for MakeMKV and stuff for VLC. That is the kind of sound I'm getting now - it just goes on. It was happening with DVDs recently, too. (I tried a few DVDs a few weeks back, the new complete Mythbusters collection.) Now I'm ripping Murdoch Mysteries BDs to my drive.

When I start ripping, I hear almost nothing at first and things seem okay, but, always, after it's read data (maybe 2-3 GB at most, if I'm lucky) I start hearing this sound and the data transfer drops WAY down. I've had bad DVDs and BDs that have had bad sectors and that's a different sound. (And it can try reading forever without more data being read in, according to the "Output Size" value in the MakeMKV display.)

It occurred to me that I might be dealing with some kind of "battle" between MakeMKV and another program. I used "lsof" to see what files are open on my system. The output was overwhelming, so I checked and this volume is "MURDOCH MYSTERIES S15D1" and is in the file system as "/Volumes/MURDOCH MYSTERIES S15D1" but it does not show up when I try "lsof|grep MURDOCH." I do see the output file on my hard drive show up. So I tried "lsof|grep makemkv." I see a lot of files listed, but I don't see anything that tells me that MakeMKV is actually reading a file from the BD.

So, with "lsof" I don't see anything indicating ANYTHING is reading this volume, including MakeMKV. I'm wondering how I could find out if any other program is trying to access this drive in some other way. I do have Handbrake open, and it's usually running when I'm ripping. (Once I've ripped 1 disc of data, I start converting it in Handbrake.) I don't know if Handbrake has any reason to be reading this BD through the optical drive while it's doing other work or not.

I also realize I could be on the wrong track. It could be something entirely different that's causing all this noise and the slow transfer speeds.

Is this a known issue in some situations and, if not, what else can I do to troubleshoot this?
Last edited by Tango on Tue Nov 29, 2022 4:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
dcoke22
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Re: Ripping Issues - Noise and delays

Post by dcoke22 »

I'm not sure that strategy will work with lsof.

The '-p' switch allows one to see all the files held open by a PID (or list of PIDs). For example:

Code: Select all

lsof -p 15860
Activity Monitor (or your favorite ps command) can show you the PID of MakeMKV (the GUI application) and more importantly, makemkvcon, which is the process that actually does the work.

When I run lsof against the makemkvcon process while MakeMKV is doing a backup of a disc, I don't see it accessing the disc, but I do see it having the output file open. Since it is doing a backup, the output file name mirrors whatever file it is reading while doing the backup.

I don't know the details of how MakeMKV works, but I guess that MakeMKV is talking to the driver for the optical drive (or the right corner of the IO framework on macOS) and asking the drive to read bytes off the disc that MakeMKV then assembles into the output file. As such, I don't think you'll see MakeMKV having any files open on the optical drive with lsof.
dcoke22
Posts: 1500
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2020 11:25 pm

Re: Ripping Issues - Noise and delays

Post by dcoke22 »

MakeMKV does have some logic in it to slow the reads in some scenarios as part of a strategy to increase the chances of getting a clean rip. The noise you hear is probably the laser head backing up to attempt a second, third, etc. read of a troublesome section of the disc.

MakeMKV drive speed control
Starting with 1.15.3 MakeMKV manages read speed more actively. Specifically, it switches to the minimum speed not only on errors, but also around disc edges and layer breaks. Passing the layer switch on minimum speed eliminates many firmware bugs relayed to high-speed seek errors.

My default suggestion is to try gently cleaning the disc.
Tango
Posts: 38
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2021 6:20 am

Re: Ripping Issues - Noise and delays

Post by Tango »

dcoke22 wrote:
Tue Nov 29, 2022 12:36 am
I don't know the details of how MakeMKV works, but I guess that MakeMKV is talking to the driver for the optical drive (or the right corner of the IO framework on macOS) and asking the drive to read bytes off the disc that MakeMKV then assembles into the output file. As such, I don't think you'll see MakeMKV having any files open on the optical drive with lsof.
Since then I looked at the long and I see, when I put the BD in and click the icon for MakeMKV to read it, I see, "Optical drive "BD-RE ASUS BW-16D1X-U A105 KLEM5PG3642d" opened in OS access mode.
Using direct disc access mode"

(Pasted as I see it - the "Using...." is a 2nd line.)

So I guess Make MKV does not actually open any files on the disc itself. What I was doing with lsof in this case was trying to find out how its access to the files worked, so I could go backwards from there and figure out what to look for to see if I could find another program using the same disc.
dcoke22 wrote:
Tue Nov 29, 2022 12:41 am
MakeMKV does have some logic in it to slow the reads in some scenarios as part of a strategy to increase the chances of getting a clean rip. The noise you hear is probably the laser head backing up to attempt a second, third, etc. read of a troublesome section of the disc.
That makes sense. However, it's happening on almost all discs, BD and DVD, and with multiple drives. I heard it happening on a BD drive from Buffalo before it went bad. (Never ordering from them again - 2 year warranty and neither the original drive or the replacement worked for more than about 9-10 months and I couldn't get a replacement after the 2nd failed.) Also had it happen on an LG and now on the ASUS. It's this part (happening on all physical drives) that makes me wonder if something else is going on. This current set is Murdoch, from Acorn, and I've tried on 3 different DVD sets of their DVDs and have found that ALL THREE sets have bad files on them at the same point, so I have serious doubts about the quality of their physical media. This is the same material, but on BD instead of DVD.

Is it possible I put it on a more "cautious" setting that may not be needed and I can try it without that setting or without that setting at a higher level?
dcoke22 wrote:
Tue Nov 29, 2022 12:41 am
My default suggestion is to try gently cleaning the disc.
I didn't try it on this BD before putting it in, but I have done that on many of the troublesome BDs and it hasn't made a difference.
dcoke22
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Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2020 11:25 pm

Re: Ripping Issues - Noise and delays

Post by dcoke22 »

Tango wrote:
Tue Nov 29, 2022 1:25 am
Is it possible I put it on a more "cautious" setting that may not be needed and I can try it without that setting or without that setting at a higher level?
The previously posted link to speed control would tell you how to set the drive to a slower read mode. That's about as 'cautious' as it gets I suppose.

I have both an LG and an ASUS drive. They've been relatively reliable for me, though I've had them for a couple years now. I've seen the folks who sell pre-flashed and tested drives on this forum mention that drive quality, especially post-pandemic supply-chain-messed-up has been getting worse.

The LG BU40N and Pioneer drives are still considered reliable.

I have 3 drives these days (a Pioneer is my 3rd drive) because I find some discs just don't like some drives. I rip most things in my 'main' drive, but when that fails, I try it in my other drives. Often, but now always, it rips fine in a different drive. When it doesn't, a gentle cleaning usually lets me get a good rip.
Tango
Posts: 38
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2021 6:20 am

Re: Ripping Issues - Noise and delays

Post by Tango »

dcoke22 wrote:
Tue Nov 29, 2022 3:31 am
The previously posted link to speed control would tell you how to set the drive to a slower read mode. That's about as 'cautious' as it gets I suppose.
I missed it the first time - don't know why. It's right there. I'll check that out. I wouldn't mind a slower speed if it means it doesn't have to keep going back to re-read. Might actually mean a faster rip due to fewer errors.
dcoke22 wrote:
Tue Nov 29, 2022 3:31 am
The LG BU40N and Pioneer drives are still considered reliable.
I did a search for those. Internal drives - which I really can't stick in an iMac. I see there are USB devices to use internal externally. Any comments on those or recommendations for one to use?

This is the LG drive I was using but returned because it wasn't doing a good job at all. Right now I have this Asus drive. There were a few days I had the Asus before sending back the LG and I found the Asus read a lot of drives better than the LG. Now that I'm remembering that, I do remember the Asus reading discs smoothly - I think it was BDs. I remember trying a number of discs in the LG and having trouble, then trying them in the ASUS and seeing them work. (But I didn't try ripping the entire disc - just tested it on the Asus, so they might have had problems if I had let it rip entire long files.)
dcoke22 wrote:
Tue Nov 29, 2022 3:31 am
I have 3 drives these days (a Pioneer is my 3rd drive) because I find some discs just don't like some drives.
I'm not ripping as much as I used to. With rural internet, I ripped about 8TB of TV shows (ripped and saved at about 1GB/hr - it was a compromise for quality that upscaled easily and space), and then our entire movie collection. Streaming has only lately become a useable option without tracking bandwidth or having connection or bandwidth throttling issues. Even with that in mind, I'm beginning to think you're right and more drives are better. My 2nd drive is an old DVD RW drive that can read most DVDs well. In fact, it's been sitting there, right by the Buffalo drives that went bad and keeps working. I think that indicates the drive issues I've had are not environmental.
dcoke22 wrote:
Tue Nov 29, 2022 3:31 am
I've seen the folks who sell pre-flashed and tested drives on this forum mention that drive quality, especially post-pandemic supply-chain-messed-up has been getting worse.
I take it pre-flashed includes LibreDrive? If so, is it worth checking those out, or are they no longer selling pre-pandemic drives I can count on? (I did use LibreDrive in some drives, but I don't think that'd make a difference with the issues I'm having.)
dcoke22
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Re: Ripping Issues - Noise and delays

Post by dcoke22 »

Tango wrote:
Tue Nov 29, 2022 4:25 am
I did a search for those. Internal drives - which I really can't stick in an iMac. I see there are USB devices to use internal externally. Any comments on those or recommendations for one to use?
My LG and ASUS drives are in OWC Mercury Pro enclosures. My Pioneer is in a Vantec enclosure because it physically won't fit in the OWC. All are connected via USB.
Tango wrote:
Tue Nov 29, 2022 4:25 am
I take it pre-flashed includes LibreDrive? If so, is it worth checking those out, or are they no longer selling pre-pandemic drives I can count on? (I did use LibreDrive in some drives, but I don't think that'd make a difference with the issues I'm having.)
The sellers are still selling. They generally test each drive before they sell it and they'll generally stand behind it if it arrives and doesn't work. You'll pay a slight premium for the drive, but it'll potentially save a lot of hassle. The list of sellers is in the Flashing Guide.

One of my drives I've flashed myself, one I purchased from a seller, and the Pioneers (if you buy one from the list of known working drives) generally work out of the box, no firmware flashing required. If you also want to burn discs, the Pioneer drives are considered the best burners.
dcoke22
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Re: Ripping Issues - Noise and delays

Post by dcoke22 »

Tango wrote:
Tue Nov 29, 2022 4:25 am
I'm not ripping as much as I used to. With rural internet, I ripped about 8TB of TV shows (ripped and saved at about 1GB/hr - it was a compromise for quality that upscaled easily and space), and then our entire movie collection. Streaming has only lately become a useable option without tracking bandwidth or having connection or bandwidth throttling issues.
I have some good friends on rural internet. Even with Starlink, things can get dicey sometimes, especially with kids watching a lot of YouTube. Generally speaking with hard drives, the cost per terabyte is relatively low and trending cheaper over time. I find the convenience of a digital collection to be very high, even if streaming is easy.
Tango
Posts: 38
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2021 6:20 am

Re: Ripping Issues - Noise and delays

Post by Tango »

More information!

I think this tells us something, but I'm not sure what.

I got up and went into my study this morning and the drive was still making that noise. I thought, "It's STILL ripping that one BD?!?" But then when I hit a key and the screeensaver stopped, I saw that MakeMKV had stopped ripping and had reported it as successfully complete. Still, the noise was still there. I hit the EJECT button on MakeMKV and it goes through the motions and goes back to the large button to press for MakeMKV to read the main disc info. I hit EJECT again and this time the noise stopped and it went back again to the large initial button to read the disc info. I hit EJECT again and this time it ejected.

Giving that in short version, I had to hit EJECT three times:
1) Goes back to main screen with "read disc info button."
2) Goes back to main screen and stops the noise it's been making
3) Finally ejects the BD.

Before I said it sound like maybe two programs were fighting to each read the data they need. This makes me think I've changed a setting so that several threads in MakeMKV are trying to read the disc at the same time. I remember now that with recent discs, I've also been pressing "EJECT" multiple times and sometimes when it didn't eject, I'd use Disk Utilities to eject it.

I'm using version 1.17.2 [darwin(x64-release]. I notice this is labelled BETA. I'm going to check for new versions and see what I can find.
dcoke22 wrote:
Tue Nov 29, 2022 3:29 pm
My LG and ASUS drives are in OWC Mercury Pro enclosures. My Pioneer is in a Vantec enclosure because it physically won't fit in the OWC. All are connected via USB.
I think I'll look into this. Yes, I have 2 drives, but getting one known to do well with ripping would help. However, with the new info on what's going on here, I'm going to try to solve this issue first.
dcoke22 wrote:
Tue Nov 29, 2022 3:29 pm
The sellers are still selling. They generally test each drive before they sell it and they'll generally stand behind it if it arrives and doesn't work. You'll pay a slight premium for the drive, but it'll potentially save a lot of hassle. The list of sellers is in the Flashing Guide.
I've flashed drives before. (Flashed both of the Buffalo drives but, as I said, neither lasted but so long.) But getting a drive that I can be pretty sure is stable will be helpful!
dcoke22 wrote:
Tue Nov 29, 2022 3:41 pm
I have some good friends on rural internet. Even with Starlink, things can get dicey sometimes, especially with kids watching a lot of YouTube. Generally speaking with hard drives, the cost per terabyte is relatively low and trending cheaper over time. I find the convenience of a digital collection to be very high, even if streaming is easy.
We started with V̶i̶a̶S̶u̶c̶k̶ ViaSat. I went from Verizon FiOS, which was the best internet I had ever seen, to us moving out into the country (where we love living!). Comcast said they serviced the area - until it came time to actually order it. We're in a 1 mile long section, between the intersection where this road starts on our left and a subdevelopment on our right. Comcast won't cover this section of road because so many houses are far off the road and it's low density. Verizon services some areas around here. If Comcast extends, I'll skip it, but would love FiOS again.

Viasuck was horrid. We got it in 2017, when average bandwidth per home was 270GB/Month. Their top tier was 150GB/Month - with no "free window" from 3AM to 6AM (actually they removed that after a while). CSRs were trained to be hostile. Once the kids got home from school, access dropped to a crawl until after midnight. Streaming? Forget it!

We went from there to cellular broadband - I'd have gone there first, if I could have found it, but it didn't show up in searches. After 3 years of that we got Starlink. Overall, Starlink is good. We stream several hours a night, but there are still times it flakes out and we have to restart, and those times are getting more frequent.

I had to do a LOT of work to be able to get Starlink, but it was worth it. Also, cable companies charge money to run a line more than 300' to your house. Our driveway is 1/3 of a mile long AND I'm not about to let them trench in some parts because there are power lines and the well line under parts of it. My "Outpost" where the Starlink Dishy is set up, is still about 800' from the road, but if Verizon were coming along, at this point I could easily run more power lines and fiber out to that 300' mark to meet them.
dcoke22
Posts: 1500
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2020 11:25 pm

Re: Ripping Issues - Noise and delays

Post by dcoke22 »

Tango wrote:
Tue Nov 29, 2022 4:42 pm
More information!

I think this tells us something, but I'm not sure what.

I got up and went into my study this morning and the drive was still making that noise. I thought, "It's STILL ripping that one BD?!?" But then when I hit a key and the screeensaver stopped, I saw that MakeMKV had stopped ripping and had reported it as successfully complete. Still, the noise was still there. I hit the EJECT button on MakeMKV and it goes through the motions and goes back to the large button to press for MakeMKV to read the main disc info. I hit EJECT again and this time the noise stopped and it went back again to the large initial button to read the disc info. I hit EJECT again and this time it ejected.

Giving that in short version, I had to hit EJECT three times:
1) Goes back to main screen with "read disc info button."
2) Goes back to main screen and stops the noise it's been making
3) Finally ejects the BD.

Before I said it sound like maybe two programs were fighting to each read the data they need. This makes me think I've changed a setting so that several threads in MakeMKV are trying to read the disc at the same time. I remember now that with recent discs, I've also been pressing "EJECT" multiple times and sometimes when it didn't eject, I'd use Disk Utilities to eject it.

I'm using version 1.17.2 [darwin(x64-release]. I notice this is labelled BETA. I'm going to check for new versions and see what I can find.
I've had things like that happen to me before. Sometimes when the drive encounters a disc it fails to read properly, it sorta loses its mind, including sometimes being unwilling to eject. I have to power cycle the drive for it to behave normally again. Inside each optical drive is a tiny computer running the firmware. The only way to reboot that guy is to power cycle it. I guess that the way MakeMKV accesses the drive is more likely to uncover bugs in the firmware, especially when it has to retry a bunch of reads. The upside of a desktop drive in a separate enclosure with its own power brick is they have a power switch on the back. Power cycling a drive is as easy as flipping a switch.

Tango wrote:
Tue Nov 29, 2022 4:42 pm
We started with V̶i̶a̶S̶u̶c̶k̶ ViaSat. I went from Verizon FiOS, which was the best internet I had ever seen, to us moving out into the country (where we love living!). Comcast said they serviced the area - until it came time to actually order it. We're in a 1 mile long section, between the intersection where this road starts on our left and a subdevelopment on our right. Comcast won't cover this section of road because so many houses are far off the road and it's low density. Verizon services some areas around here. If Comcast extends, I'll skip it, but would love FiOS again.

Viasuck was horrid. We got it in 2017, when average bandwidth per home was 270GB/Month. Their top tier was 150GB/Month - with no "free window" from 3AM to 6AM (actually they removed that after a while). CSRs were trained to be hostile. Once the kids got home from school, access dropped to a crawl until after midnight. Streaming? Forget it!

We went from there to cellular broadband - I'd have gone there first, if I could have found it, but it didn't show up in searches. After 3 years of that we got Starlink. Overall, Starlink is good. We stream several hours a night, but there are still times it flakes out and we have to restart, and those times are getting more frequent.

I had to do a LOT of work to be able to get Starlink, but it was worth it. Also, cable companies charge money to run a line more than 300' to your house. Our driveway is 1/3 of a mile long AND I'm not about to let them trench in some parts because there are power lines and the well line under parts of it. My "Outpost" where the Starlink Dishy is set up, is still about 800' from the road, but if Verizon were coming along, at this point I could easily run more power lines and fiber out to that 300' mark to meet them.
That's a great post on Reddit about your efforts to install Starlink. Despite how many times you said it, people didn't seem to understand that 100 foot tall trees are a real obstruction.

Cable companies have a deservedly bad reputation for expanding their network. I always enjoy reading articles like this one: Comcast wanted $210,000 for Internet—so this man helped expand a co-op fiber ISP
Tango
Posts: 38
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2021 6:20 am

Re: Ripping Issues - Noise and delays

Post by Tango »

dcoke22 wrote:
Tue Nov 29, 2022 8:50 pm
I've had things like that happen to me before. Sometimes when the drive encounters a disc it fails to read properly, it sorta loses its mind, including sometimes being unwilling to eject. I have to power cycle the drive for it to behave normally again.
I wondered about that - I think I can disprove it now.

That was one thing I was doing - I didn't take notes previously because I didn't think the issues were going to need documentation at that point. I did power-cycle the drives. That was a pain because I soon learned if I was ripping a DVD on the USB DVD drive and a BD on the good drive, and there was a problem with the BD, so I unplugged it (that particular BD drive was powered by 2 USB connections), then the other version of MakeMKV had an error and the copy it was doing died on the spot. So I started exploring other possibilities - like clicking "EJECT" on MakeMKV multiple times or trying to eject through Finder or Disk Utilities. I found I might have to try to eject it several times, using software (and not power cycling it), and it'd work. I wasn't sure, at that point, if one program (like Disk Utility) was working better than others, since I didn't always try to eject in a sequence (like MakeMKV, Finder, then Disk Utility). But I do remember often having to eject multiple times. (Kind of wordy there - trying to be clear about it, but it's a bit hard to keep it clear!)

Today I ran into an issue where I couldn't load the download page or get to the Mac download of MakeMKV to see if there was a newer version. I posted about it - and I'm pretty sure it's because some of the VPN servers I use through PIA have had their IP address blocked by MakeMKV for some reason. That led to someone giving me the link to older versions - which got me thinking that this issue is new, and I recently upgraded MakeMKV. So I downloaded versions 1.17.0 and 1.17.1. The BD I tried ripping with 1.17.2 yesterday, that took over 18 hours to rip, ripped in under 30 minutes with 1.17.1. So it's possible it could be a bug introduced in 1.17.2.

Right now I want to get a few discs ripped, so I'm going to get those done first, then I'm going to experiment and see if I can find more problem discs and see if this is version dependent. If I had to guess, I'd say it's a bug in 1.17.2, since the need to eject 3 times is odd and makes me wonder if there's something going on with multi-threading or some other reason it might create more than one process to do the ripping.
Tango
Posts: 38
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2021 6:20 am

Re: Ripping Issues - Noise and delays

Post by Tango »

Meant to include this with the other post...
dcoke22 wrote:
Tue Nov 29, 2022 8:50 pm
That's a great post on Reddit about your efforts to install Starlink. Despite how many times you said it, people didn't seem to understand that 100 foot tall trees are a real obstruction.
Oh - so you've read the comments! Yeah, a lot of people tend to comment on a post these days without checking other comments to see what's been said. I get it - if there are a lot of comments, that can take a while! In this area, there are clear fields IF they were cleared by humans AND are kept clear. Growing up around here, the concept of a meadow didn't make sense. If an area is clear, it doesn't take long for trees to grow up. A desert was easier to understand than a place where things would grow but where there weren't trees! I guess, for those growing up in places like parts of New Mexico, big trees are hard to imagine. (I have relatives in NM and love the desert areas because they're so different for me to see!)

What got me was people who were sure there should be other ways to do it - but they usually agreed there weren't other options when I explained things to them.
dcoke22 wrote:
Tue Nov 29, 2022 8:50 pm
Cable companies have a deservedly bad reputation for expanding their network. I always enjoy reading articles like this one: Comcast wanted $210,000 for Internet—so this man helped expand a co-op fiber ISP
I saw that in a short article yesterday. This article is more in depth, so I have it open in a tab to read this evening or tomorrow. I saw a number of these stories while doing research. The one thing I NEVER found in them was where they connected to the internet for their fiber network. I would have SERIOUSLY considered starting one of these, especially if I thought I could turn it into a bit of income long term while working on maintaining it. I would LOVE to be able to get something like that going and provide internet to the people around here and see if I could justify expanding into the subdevelopment down the road - kind of a way of saying, "Hey, Comcast, if you weren't so cheap, these customers would still be with you!"
dcoke22
Posts: 1500
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2020 11:25 pm

Re: Ripping Issues - Noise and delays

Post by dcoke22 »

Tango wrote:
Tue Nov 29, 2022 11:57 pm
The one thing I NEVER found in them was where they connected to the internet for their fiber network. I would have SERIOUSLY considered starting one of these, especially if I thought I could turn it into a bit of income long term while working on maintaining it. I would LOVE to be able to get something like that going and provide internet to the people around here and see if I could justify expanding into the subdevelopment down the road - kind of a way of saying, "Hey, Comcast, if you weren't so cheap, these customers would still be with you!"
Read this article as well: ISP deploys fiber service with a wrinkle—the users themselves own each network
Tango
Posts: 38
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2021 6:20 am

Re: Ripping Issues - Noise and delays

Post by Tango »

dcoke22 wrote:
Wed Nov 30, 2022 7:09 am
Read this article as well: ISP deploys fiber service with a wrinkle—the users themselves own each network
Wow! That's a great system! If I had seen that back before May of 2021, I would have seriously rethought my plans and looked into that instead of Starlink. (But I also know the article is very recent!) I'd face some of the same issues here, though, that Comcast faces: The houses are far apart and fiber really needs to be in conduits. Trenching for just a conduit and fiber isn't that hard - burying it is, because whenever you backfill a trench, within a few months, it's settled and it takes 1-2 more backfills before you can make it level with the ground. The show stopper is that many of the people here say, "I don't use internet." Well, they do, on their phones, but don't use home computers (desktop or laptop) and it'd be hard to get them to buy in. Still, if I had found out about this early enough, I might have been able to put some effort in and work something out. Thanks.
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