Damn it feels good to be a gangsta'

By Gad Berger [ ]

May 18, 2000

It's been months since we made any notices on this site. From what I hear, most people think we failed in our mission and no longer have anything to do with DVD. This is not true, LSDVD kept silent in all of their work for the sole reason of not making any claims to vapor ware...and not looking like posers. In February, we cut classes to attend Linux World Expo in New York City and went from booth to booth talking to developers, project managers and business representatives about LSDVD. There was a lot of interest and a lot of hype around DeCSS, the MPAA court hearings, and who at the time had a working linux DVD player. We followed through on all of the contacts that we made at LWE, but couldn't find a company that was willing to help us finish work on our player. At the time we had nothing but a UDF parser, and an IFO parser. Both were complete in functionality, but there wasn't much to brag about.

For the past year, we put time into coding what we had. The reason we had so little accomplished was because we worked on the project in-between work (co-ops), classes and projects. The upper-level courses took too much time away from the things we wanted to do. The team collectively decided to take a 6 month sabbatical from school to complete the player. This is the scholastic Spring and Summer quarters of 1999, April 2000-Septemeber 2000.

The LSDVD team, Gad Berger, Paul Volcko, Ben Meyer and Dave Klint, rented a house about 25 minutes away from the Rochester Institute of Technology to work full-time on LSDVD. We worked from dawn to dusk, and sometimes dawn to dawn 7 days a week. None of the team members held secondary jobs, which meant we had to live humbly while working on one of the year's hottest technologies, Linux...I mean DVD :)

Somewhere in the middle of March, two weeks into the project, we received an e-mail from a contact not made at LWE. There was a company that showed interest in the work we did. At the time of the e-mail, we were on our way to completing a Subpicture decoder and an MPEG2 decoder. They weren't optimized, but the functionality existed. We were flying through the code, and finally getting noticed by the business world. Things were looking up.

Talks with this company continued through until March when we finally agreed to work with them. We settled on an employment package and wrapped up our work in New York. The complete LSDVD team, now works in California's Sexy Silicon Valley. We're continuing the project under the name of the company. The best part is that we can live a little more luxuriously, especially since they put us up in a place that's better furnished than our humble home in New York. Things look good for the team and the project. We still hope to hit our 6 month mark and make it back in time for the Fall 2000 classes at RIT. Keep your eyes open for a press release!

06:47pm EDT

Copyright 2000