« on: September 10, 2007, 12:57:46 pm »
There have been hundreds of status requests from Google Checkout for the DVD offered on linuxmce.org. Since it's impractical to send individual responses I created this thread to report the latest status, and allow users to comment, or vent. I am very, very sorry for the delays. Here is what happened:
In early August I started offering a 9GB (dual-layer) DVD that has both the LinuxMCE installation disk, and the HD demo videos in multiple file formats. These are not just recordable DVD-R's (DVD Duplication) that are burned one at a time because those recordable discs are not widely compatible, and don't work in all dvd players. Rather I ordered professional replicated DVD's made from a glass master, like the commercial DVD movies and software distros, ordered in lots of 1,000. I hadn't done this before, but was told I could just burn a recordable dual layer disc and send it to the replication plant. I did this, but just before the estimated delivery date of August 30 they reported a problem because they said for a 9GB DVD (dual layer) they make 2 glass masters for a double-layer disc and I need to split the images in two. It was frustrating that they didn't say this when the order was placed, but we worked this and got it going and then they gave me a revised delivery date of September 6.
I received the DVD's on September 6, however they don't work because some of the files on the DVD are corrupted. It's not that the discs are unreadable, it's that some of the files have 0's (NULL's) in certain blocks. The replication plant has now said "Yes, that's perfectly normal. No glass master is perfect, there are always errors." They insist that the fewest number of errors on any DVD master is >500. I don't know anything about DVD replication procedures, and this may happen with movie DVD's. Assuming that a few blocks are missing the movie would probably still play and just drop a frame. But this obviously cannot happen with data dvd's. You cannot have even 1 error. If you're uncompressing an archive and even 1 bit is changed the checksum will fail and it won't work. The replication plant insists that even the data DVD's from companies like Microsoft have hundreds of errors on them, and I'm insisting that's impossible. The idiots at the plant are arguing the discs are not useless as I maintain because they're "99.9% accurate" and out of 9 billion bytes "there's only a couple hundred that are bad". I did not check the references on the replication plant before placing the order because, it was my understanding there are only a dozen or so plants in the USA, and it costs millions to build a plant, so they all must be legit. However upon more digging I'm finding out that's not really the case and some of the replication plants specialize in cheap movie DVD's for B-movies and porn and they make low-quality glass masters that have errors, and don't do data DVD's.
I've now found another replication plant that is telling me they do will guarantee their glass masters have zero errors. However, like the first plant, they're quoting 2-3 weeks to turn around an order. I'm going to send this new plant a master disc on Monday.
I am very sorry to all you who ordered the discs. It's as frustrating to me as it is to you, particularly since the first plant charged thousands of dollars and I'm not sure I'll be able to get my money back even though all the discs are useless. However, that's my problem and my lesson learned since I haven't done commercial dvd replication before. If you can't wait and want your money back I totally understand and can't blame you. If you can wait another 2-3 weeks, then thank you for your patience. I assure you I'm not going to give up until I have the dvd is done right and they are sent out. Once I get this first batch I'll have stock on hand, and the glass master will be kept for future production runs, so going forward I'll be able to send out new orders immediately as they're placed. Sorry again...