Archive for December, 2010

One of the Most Influential Books I’ve Read

December 30, 2010

While reflecting on what has contributed to the way I think, I realized that one of the things that influenced me most is a book a lot of people haven’t heard of. I recommend it to anyone who’s serious about thinking about life. It’s not very long.

It’s called The New Testament Documents: Are they Reliable?, by F.F. Bruce.

This is one of those books that challenges the whole way you look at the world, and engages you in serious dialog with its ideas. But it’s not only for intellectuals; it was written for a general audience.

It’s listed on Amazon, but that appears from the reviews to be a counterfeit version riddled with typos. My copy is over 20 years old and I don’t recall any typos in it. Copies from two major publishers are available from other stores.

At Barnes and Noble:

Inter-Varsity Press edition

Eerdmans Publishing edition


Inter-Varsity Press edition

Eerdmans Publishing edition

I also found them at Borders, but it looks like they cost a few dollars more (I didn’t compare shipping costs).


Making DVD File Systems

December 30, 2010

If you have a VIDEO_TS folder, which is the files to make a video DVD, and you’re using a Mac, how can you create a playable DVD? There are a couple of free programs I like for this.

Both iDVD and DVD Studio Pro, among other programs, can create video DVD title set files (VIDEO_TS folders), but those need to be burned to DVD in a special format (called UDF 1.02). To make a playable video DVD, you can burn a VIDEO_TS folder to DVD using the program LiquidCD. Or you can create an ISO image file with the program AquaISO. Later you can burn the ISO file to a DVD using LiquidCD, Disk Utility, SimplyBurns, or other programs (including a bunch on Windows).

Why would you want to save a VIDEO_TS folder or ISO file on a hard drive instead of burning a DVD directly from iDVD or DVD Studio Pro? Several reasons. It’s a convenient way to burn multiple copies. It’s a way to keep an archive copy in a compact format. You might need to copy or send it to other people so they can burn it to DVD. You might need to make changes to the files before burning them to DVD, using a program such as MyDVDEdit (such as to work around iDVD bugs in handling 16:9 videos). You might have created the VIDEO_TS folder using some other software or gotten it from someone else. You might want more control over the burning process, such as burning at a lower speed for higher quality (DVD Studio Pro doesn’t let you control the burning speed).