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How can I backup my DVD for free? Can I put them on my iPod or PSP?

Is there a free way I can backup my DVDs to a disc, iPod or PSP?

Being a father of a rather rambunctious 5 3/4 year old, I know that those DVDs you spend a fortune on can get scratched and hatched and made completely unusable in a few seconds. I also understand that, while I may not choose to watched an animated postage stamp on a portable media player, it is much easier to carry around a PSP or an iPod with a collection of their favorite movies than it is to carry around a bag full of DVDs and a portable DVD player. While the monopolistic powers that be (namely Apple and Microsoft) are slowly coming around to their senses by promoting Digital Copy, a copy of the film that needs to be activated and can be placed on your media device, what of all of your old DVDs? Here it is - for all of you who asked, this is how you can backup your DVD media, put it on your iPod or PSP or just burn it to a backup disc that the kiddies can use and you can do it all at the low low price of: FREE!

If you do an Internet search for products that will backup your DVDs or transfer your DVDs to a portable device, you will come up with umpteen billion hits, trying to sell you software for anywhere from $1.99 to over a hundred clams! The funny thing is, when you get the software installed on your computer you discover that it won't copy all of your DVDs, in fact, if your DVD is CSS protected, you just bought yourself a wonderful piece of absolutely useless software. This is where a handy little program called DVD43 comes in. This program runs as a service in Windows and will decrypt you DVD. Be warned: If you do an Interent search for DVD43 you will come up with a plethora of websites that offer their own products behind links that say they are giving you DVD43 and they can include all forms of nastiness such as spyware/malware/viruses/etc. The following link is one that is absolutely safe:

This link comes from this ( website, which also has a link to the DVD43 Forums.

OK. Now you have a service that will decode the CSS protection; what can you use to backup your DVD media? While a number fo commercial programs are compatible with DVD43, the best Open Source and freely available software that I have found anywhere is called Handbrake ( Handbrake is available for Windows, OSX, Linux and other Unixes. They also explain on the website what you will need to decode protected discs on OSes other than Windows. You can Download Handbrake here:

Now, in order to backup those protected discs, you will first need to install DVD43. You will know it is working as a little smiley face that animates when you insert a DVD is installed and located in your system tray. You may safely forget about that piece of software now, it is doing it's job. Now install Handbrake. When you run the program you will see a lot of handy presets on the side bar that will help you backup your disc, put your DVD on your PSP or other portable device, and a roster of features you will probably never even touch. Select your device from the list, specify the source and then a destination file and you are set. Copy the media on to your machine, and there you have it. Ripped DVD on yor iPod, PSP or media player.


Dungeons and Dragons: Tactics (Atari)

Dungeons & Dragons: Tactics

Genre: Turn-based RPG/Tactical Simulation
Publisher: Atari Interactive, Inc.
Rating: 5 out of 5
Multiplayer: Yes (4 Player)
Extra Features: Tutorial, In Game Music Player, Art Gallery

Dungeons and Dragons: Tactics

Game Overview

Dungeons and Dragons: Tactics - Title ScreenSet in a fantasy world with 3 different maps, 7 races and 13 classes to choose from; this turn based RPG is a wonderful adaptation of the Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 ruleset. The storyline is rich and lush, and features a multitude of adventures that you must take your companions on. I was impressed with the way things were set up, right from the start. Being a fan of Neverwinter Nights and Neverwinter Nights 2, also adaptations of the famous Wizards of the Coast D&D rulesets, I was hoping that Atari would not disappoint me with the way the game handled and played. From the moment I turned it on, to the moment I finished the game, I was wholly impressed.If you are not familiar with the D&D rulesets, you may find this game intimidating at first, however, you do have the option of allowing the game to chose your statistics and abilities for your, so if you are not at all familiar with D&D or character creation in an RPG, you may want to play using this feature the first time through.


Dungeons and Dragons: Tactics - MovementGameplay is well thought out and planned. Unlike some tactics games where you only play the main character, D&D:Tactics allows you to play all of the characters on the quest. Not only that, but if you are a die hard RPG fan, you will be able to create every character in your party of six. When it comes to turn handling, an intelligently laid out menu appears in the center of the screen, allowing you to chose from a number of actions and abilities unique to your class. Simply pick your action from the list and move your cursor to where you want to walk, what you want the action to affect, what you want to attack, and so on. Movement around the world maps is equally as efficient, and you can journey to and from places you have discovered freely.


Dungeons and Dragons: Tactics - Actions OneThe graphics in this game are both smoothly rendered and lush with detail. The visuals are wonderful and you can tell from the moment you start the game that the artists were not going to allow this game to be released with a lack of attention to detail. From the vertex textures to the artwork of the characters themselves, this game shines without sacrificing any quality or performance. Detail is the main thing that I enjoyed about this game, especially in the visuals. From slight rises in the terrain to skulls littered about the environment to symbols on cavern walls, this game features some superb graphical work.


Dungeons and Dragons: Tactics - Expanded View

The first thing you will hear when you turn this game on, is a lush and brilliant soundtrack that never gets old. The game even features a musical selection player which will allow you to enjoy the in game music without having to play. The soundtrack seems to have been designed along the same lines as that of Morrowind. Lyrical and expressive, yet not forced. While it does repeat, as did Morrowind, the way it repeats, and the way the music was composed, more as a subtle overtone, rather than something that grates on you; you will find that it adds a wonderful atmosphere to the game.

Sound Effects

Dungeons and Dragons: Tactics - Character ScreenAgain, the developers were going for realism and detail. The sound in this game is top notch, and it is not a composition of low quality samples, but of high fidelity samples that compliment the games fluidity. Unlike many games I have played that had me running to the options screen to turn off the effects altogether within the first few hours, the developers wanted to keep you switched on. As such, the game sounds are short, quick and reflect exactly what you would expect them to reflect; for example Spell A has sound effect A and Spell B has sound effect B so you have an audible cue as to what is going on. Nicely designed sound effects are not always a given, but the developers here hit the nail on the head.


Dungeons and Dragons: Tactics - Actions TwoIf you are a fan of D&D or even of RPGs in general, you will probably find yourself playing this game over and over with different sets of characters. The range in which you can equip your characters or utilize different characters in different scenarios is endless. I have played the game to completion more than a few times, and every time I played the experience was different.


Dungeons and Dragons: Tactics - Title ScreenWith the compelling, deep storyline, the fantastic graphics and soundtrack and the ease of handling this game, I would recommend this one to anyone who is a long time fan of RPG games in any form factor. For the D&D nuts out there, this is a perfect opportunity to take your experience with you on the road. This game is one of those which should be included in anyone's RPG arsenal, and I am sure you will find this game to be one that you will not want to put down until you have finished it at least once, and will return to it after playing something more mediocre prior to finding another game to occupy your time. It isn't an easy game, but it sure is a fantastic one. Atari and the collective developers created a brilliant combination when applying the Dungeons & Dragons ruleset to a portable system. Fantastic job gals and guys!


Dungeons and Dragons: Tactics


Sony PSP Reviews – D

Dungeons & Dragons: Tactics

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