10 May 2010

Universal Soldier IV to come in 3D !

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Encouraged no doubt by its theatrical release in the Arab world and elsewhere, where it grossed almost a million dollars at the box office, 2009's Universal Soldiers : Regeneration now has a sequel and it's in 3D ! John Hyams will once again be directing the film, which will start shooting in October. Although it didn't get a theatrical release in much of the Western world, it got quite a successful release in the Middle East. Van Damme and to a lesser extent Lundgren are well-known due to the frequent airing of 90s action flicks of the two "budget action stars".

It remains to be seen whether it'll get a wider release this time.

01 May 2010

The barbaric murder in Lebanon village











In a symbolic picture printed in a newspaper (not the one to the left), three women react differently to the same event. While the two on either side turn their faces away with revulsion, the woman in the middle has a hand clasped over her mouth. With the freehand, she held a mobile phone camera. She was capturing the barbaric murder of an Egyptian man as his near-naked corpse was hung from a pole by a deranged mob in the southeastern mountain village of Ketermaya. Mobile phone footage of his lynching was aired on local televisions and printed on the front page of a French language newspaper.

Background
The suspect, Mohamed Selim Mosallam, was the local butcher in the village. He was by no means a person with an impeccable background. According to a Lebanese paper (which in turns quotes other news papers), Msallem had entered Lebanon illegally and had "a history of unbalanced behaviour" in Egypt before raping a 13-year old in Ketermaya.

He had apparently gone to the village seeking the help of the elderly couple in convincing the rape victim's parents to consent to him marrying her as Lebanese law does not allow a rapist who marries his victim to face prosecution. What an absurd law ! He is suspected in the murders of 2 children, aged seven and nine, and their elderly grandparents.

Crime

The authenticity of gruesome details (including allegations that each of the victims were stabbed at least 25 times and that he had blood on his shirt) seem doubtful given that it's the Lebanese media doing these reports with unmentioned sources.

Muslim had confessed to the police and he was reenacting the crime when the policemen escorting him were overwhelmed by furious villagers armed with stick and stones thrashed him and then stabbed him. As cheers went on in the background, he was stripped to his underwear and socks, paraded and then hung from an electric pole with a butcher's hook. His body was also paraded on the bonnet of a white Mercedes before being hoisted on to an electric pole with a butcher's hook. Before the Lebanese Army arrived half an hour later, onlookers clapped or took pictures with their mobile phones and village women ululated.

The police officers who were seen helplessly standing in the video by did try to intervene, but were overpowered again. However, Police chief Ashraf Rifi said he has taken disciplinary measures against the officers escorting Muslem for "failing to take the necessary precautions", given the anger of the villagers less than 24 hours after the murders

Media Reaction

The subject was the hot topic on all talk shows and received intense media attention in both Lebanon and Egypt. "Barbaric times," headlined the French language daily L'Orient-Le Jour, which carried a front-page picture of Moslem's bloodied corpse hanging from the electricity pole.

"This barbaric act is unprecedented and possible only in countries where the law of the jungle prevails," said the Arabic language daily Al-Akhbar. "The crowd killed Mohammed Muslem thinking that they were serving justice but actually they killed justice," it added.

Lebanese reaction

Lebanese officials were quick to condemn the incident with everyone from the Justice Minister to the President having their voice on the issue. But the irresponsible insinuation that Muslem had brought his fate upon himself is only too resplendent in the Justice Minster's words.

"I would like to personally apologise to the government and people of Egypt for the reaction in the village of Ketermaya, which would not have happened had it not been for the gruesome crime that preceded it,"  
                                                                                -  Ibrahim Najjar,
                                                                                     Justice Minister  

 Najar, who delivered this statement standing next to one of the assistants of Egypt's foreign minister, is clearly defending the savage actions of the villagers with his words. Not a word of protest or condemnation was directed against the villagers - a wise career move for a politician as far as public opinion is concerned - Lebanese, that is.

"We thank the security forces for giving us the murderer as a gift so that we could seek revenge for our children with our own hands," 
                                                            - a grocery seller in Ketermaya

Diplomatic Backlash

The Egyptian embassy in Beirut denounced the murder of Msallem "even though
he was in the hands of justice". While the Egyptian ambassador expressed his "disgust"
and concern at the lack of security for his citizen, the Lebanese Embassy
in Cairo got an anonymous phone call
promising revenge.

At least a few people have been arrested so far. Crowds yet again tried to intervene while the suspects were taken away, but without success.

Further Reading : New information at Al Masr Al Youm/ Permalink (Arabic for Egypt Today) [ENG]

23 April 2010

Downloading Subtitles to Play with Movie : High-Def TV

You just downloaded a movie but you don't want to play it on your tiny computer screen. And if you want to play it on your high-definition TV with subtitles, then this is the guide for you !

Most high-def TVs have USB ports which can read .avi files, the standard format of downloadable movies. If your file is not in the avi format (and your TV USB player cannot play the current format), convert it into .avi or any other supported format.

2. Downloading the Subtitle

The most popular format of subtitles is the .srt format. There are several websites that let you find your movie, the language and then download the subtitle. I prefer SubtitleSource.org. Simply Google for "download subtitles" and you'll find plenty of other sites to download subtitles from, if you are not satisfied with your current subtitle.

3. Renaming the files

This is the most important part. Without it, you will not be able to play subtitles along with your movie (at least not on your TV). But it's real easy. All you have to do is this : rename the movie file and the subtitle file so that both have the same file name (except for the file extension part). The file extension is the last part of the file name (.avi and .srt in this case).
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When the video file and the corresponding file have the same file name, they are played together. Transfer them to a USB and plug it in to your TV.

Congratulations, you can now play movies with subtitles on your TV !

Note : More guides on playing subtitles are coming; they will be linked soon.

02 April 2010

Prince of Persia lookalike : Indo-Iranian actor/model John Abraham


When the movie adaptation of the critically acclaimed Prince of Persia video game series, two fundamental questions were raised : who would play the unnamed Persian Prince and ah, the question that forever lingered in the minds of PoP fans : what'd be his name. The Prince is always referred to as, well, the Prince and his dearth of name of adds to the canvas of intrigue that hangs over him. The more pressing matter was who would play the Prince ? His description goes something like this :tall, handsome, dark hair and eyes not to mention the Persian (or Iranian as they call it now) look. So it was a horror to discover that Jake Gyllenhaal had been cast to play the prince.

The Prince is Persian. So why bring in a Hollywood actor to play him ? It's just not right. He, however, has a seemingly Middle Eastern name : Dastan. When I found that there is an actor with partial Iranian roots what surprised me most was his uncanny resemblance to the Prince himself. His name is John Abraham and he is a well known model and actor in the world of Bollywood. His Persian ancestry is attributed to his mother, who is a Parsi. Parsis are ethnic Iranians who emigrated to India retaining the indigenous religion of Iran, Zoroastrianism. A Mumbai tabloid erroneously speculated in 2007 that he might be starring in the film. Well, filming is over and the film's expected to be released on May 28, 2010.
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Come to think about it, Gyllenhaal doesn't look too bad in the poster of the film. With former bond girl Gemma Arterton as well as Alfred Molina (Doc Ock in Spiderman 2) and Ben Kingsley starring, and judging by the trailer, the film might actually be quite good.

Call this speculation (if not wishful thinking), but if this film works out well at the box office, there's a chance, just a chance that Abraham, who speaks good English and has starred in Bollywood films shot in America might get a role in any (possible) future sequel.

Also! Visit


01 April 2010

Horny guy call female 911 operators (AUDIO)

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Operator : You called 911, do you need the police or paramedics ?
Caller : (in drunk voice) yeah

Operator : What for ?

Caller : I wanna f***

Operator : (animatedly) HUH ?!

The above was an ACTUAL conversation a 911 operator had when she responded to a call by a lewd guy. The guy then gets real talky and explicit. It's hilarious what the combination of drunkenness and innate stupidity can do to. Hear the rest of the conversation (with intercepts from comedians) on the link below.


Leave a comment if you know anything as funny, and I'll put it here.

23 March 2010

Muammar Ghadafi's in New York : Rants,Tents & Girls with Guns


When Muammar Ghadafi first arrived in New York for the UN assembly, the media reaction was blindly predictable. With news outlets repeatedly reiterating the Libyan sponsorship of the Lockerbee bombing, saying he was looked at contemptuously is putting it mildly. He almost set up a tent on Donald Trump's estate, turning eyebrows. However, calling it the height of his eccentricity is plain quibble. Any hotel Ghadafi could have visited while in the Big Apple would have probably been wired to the core with surveillance. The feds would have the pleasure of seeing Mr.Ghadafi in clothes besides the desert attire he dons everywhere if he had stayed at a proper N.Y hotel.

But what probably bought most attention besides his 96 minute speech (when he was allocated 15 mins) in which he denounced the Security Council as a 'terror council' will have to be the traveling mini-army of of 40 to 50 heavily armed all-women bodyguards sometimes called his "Amazon Guard" after the legendary Amazon women. Some of them are quite pretty and they wear lipstick, jewelry, polished nails and even high heels. In fact, a female graduate of New York University of Lebanese origin has even made a documentary on them titled ''Qaddafi's Female Bodyguards: Shadows of a Leader.''
In 2003, the women smartly outfitted in form-fitting desert camouflage uniforms and blue berets -- caused a pushing-and-shoving ruckus when Khadafy got in a shouting match with Saudi Arabians at an Arab summit. The bodyguards also formed a menacing circle around Khadafi in Rome last June after 900 Italian women unleashed a chorus of boos in response to his admonition not to drive without their husbands' permission.

However, not anybody can become his bodyguard. Ghadafi, who calls himself a pioneer of 'Islamic socialism',prides on their virginity and insist them remain so. Gaddafi says they are a symbol of his belief in female emancipation. "Women should be trained for combat, so that they do not become easy prey for their enemies," he is reported to have said.

This is the not the first time Ghadafi has been in the news for the wrong reasons. After the bombing of Libya by the U.S Air Force in 1986, Ghadafi, who has fathered 9 children allowed only female journalists to interview him. He reportedly became "amorous" during those interviews. He also called then US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice "his darling black African woman." Unbeilable, but true.

Also! Visit
* Gaddafi in Europe (Photo Gallery)

Prince of Persia : Warrior Within Fix II : Skip Boat Intro Scene

Note : This is part of a series of posts detailing how I got around certain glitches and problems in the 2004 game Prince of Persia : Warrior Within while playing it on my PC. I suspect other gamers (especially the recent ones, like me) might have come across these problems.

Prince of Persia : Warrior Within Fix I : Skip the Boat Fight Intro

The second half of the opening cut-scene shows the prince on his boat. After he tells a sailor to "bring them closer to the wind",the prince turns around to see another ship. At this point, the game screen fizzles up and turns green. Sounds familiar ? Well, it happened to me too. And I have a solution.

In some cases the screen remains stuck for some time while the audio plays on, eventually the game begins. But if the game closes and a dialog box says it "ended unexpectedly", you might want to read the solution below.

1. Locate the Prince of Persia Warrior Within folder in your computer.
Example : [C:\Program Files\Ubisoft\Prince of Persia Warrior Within]

Go to the program files of the drive in which the game is installed, proceed to Ubisoft and then you will find the Prince of Persia Warrior Within folder.

2. Go to the Video folder > Cine

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You will see something like below.

3. Remove the first 7 Video files

The files to be moved/removed start from CINE0001.BIK to CINE0101.BIK and all the files in between. Rather than deleting the first 7 files directly, I suggest they be moved to the desktop or wherever from which you can move them back.

One way of moving the files is to highlight all the files by clicking CINE0001.BIK once and highlighting the seven files to its left by holding down shift. Once they are highlighted in blue, click on it and hold, as you move the cursor down to the taskbar. You would have minimized all other windows and would be at the desktop. Now just move the files to some folder here. After getting to the island (and saving the game), you can move these files back to the 'Cine' folder.

The game now skips the first cutscenes and takes you directly to the battle with the pirates on the ship. Enjoy !
Note : Doing this hack might mean that you will not be able to see the cutscene that appears at the end of the current mission (before arriving at the island). However, a simple Youtube search for "Warrior Within cutscene" would let you watch them. If you run into any trouble, leave a comment below and I'll get back to you

20 March 2010

Sequel to Cena's '12 Rounds' ?

Is a sequel to 12 Rounds on the way? According to Variety, there is. WWE Studios, which spends about $20m for theatrical releases had their last theatrical release with the under-promoted flick 12 Rounds. Directed by Renny Harlin (of Die Hard 2 fame) and starring the wrestling organization's most bankable star John Cena, the film was most surprisingly good (Read my review). Sadly, it failed at the box office, grossing just $17m worldwide.

Though it's not named "13 Rounds"; the few reports on the sequel possibilities were all published prior to the film's release. Moviehole reports that it depends on the financial performance of the flick. Given that at least half of the box office revenue goes to the cinema owners (it's budget is around $20m) and with the DVD reception not being great either, the onlt thing that's clear is that WWE Studios would be lucky if they break even with 12 Rounds, meaning it's unlikely that the sequel would be made.

While it looks like we won't be seeing a "13 Rounds" any time soon, Cena has plenty of film-work up his sleeve. Besides starring in an emotional WWE Studios-produced film called Brother's Keeper, Cena is also trying to land a role in the cast of a remake of the 1987 Schwarzengger flick Predator. Keeping my fingers crossed.

15 March 2010

Infidelity taints ex-TNA Traci Brooks' marriage; Kaz cheats


He represented the new,younger face of TNA Wrestling : fresh,good looks, young, you name it. She was a veteran of TNA with her personality and a huge fan following. So when Tracy Brookshaw and Frank "Kaz" Kazarian began to appear together outside the wrestling arena, they made for an enviable couple.

In January 2010, the couple married in a ceremony attended by Gail Kim, Socal Val, Christy Hemme, Aj Styles, Samoa Joe and many other wrestlers of the TNA roster. Unfortunately, while the highly eligible Traci Brooks seems to have kept her herself out of extramarital affairs (she did have a fling with Robert Rode "years ago" but that was when she was dating Kaz), her husband's infidelity was exposed within weeks of their marriage.

There are conflicting reports of what Kaz did. But what is certain is that he did cheat; at least once. Nude photos of Kaz, taken by himself (he holds the camera) were leaked by "someone close" to Brooks and Kazarian. According to Wrestling Inc, Kaz's alleged mistresses include adult movie star Lela Star,a stripper from Tampa and a former WWE Diva several years ago. One of them probably sent the nude photos of Kaz.

Brooks changed her profile pic to one of the two from the wedding and also uploaded some of them on her profile. Since then, she has changed her profile pic and removed all the content. Suspiciously, Kazarian deleted his MySpace and Facebook pages , though the Facebook page was later reactivated. He wrote on Tuesday :

"Tired, pretty banged up, but had a great tour. Most importantly home with my beautiful wife." - Kaz
A month after the revelations, Tracy Brooks was released from TNA in March. Notice a coincidence ? I don't. Thankfully, however, it appears they are moving on.

Also! Visit :

10 March 2010

Prince of Persia : W.W Fix I : Skip Intro

Note : This is part of a series of posts detailing how I got around certain glitches and problems in the 2004 game Prince of Persia : Warrior Within while playing it on my PC. I suspect other gamers (especially the recent ones, like me) might have come across these problems.

Prince of Persia : Warrior Within Fix I : Skip Intro
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This is a very useful hack to save time, letting you skip the 2 Ubisoft and P.O.P introduction screens that appear before the menu loads up. I first found it here, but my version is much more simpler. (Talk about modesty :)

1. Locate the Prince of Persia Warrior Within folder in your computer.
Example : [C:\Program Files\Ubisoft\Prince of Persia Warrior Within]

Go to the program files of the drive in which the game is installed, proceed to Ubisoft and then you will find the Prince of Persia Warrior Within folder.

2. Go to the "Video" subfolder. You will see something like the screenshot below.
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3. Locate and rename the following files : 
  • LOGOCRED.BIK 
  • LOGORP.BIK
  • UBIMTL.BIK 
  • UBISOFT.BK

It's best if you can rename it without changing the file name drastically. This can be done by adding a common prefix/suffix (preferable consisting of very few letters) to all the 4 files you are going to change so that it will be easier to edit again, should you wish so any time later.

4. Enjoy Warrior Within sans the unsolicited title sequences !

The face of a puppy killer



Source - NY DailyNews

5-month-old puppy Junior was "insubordinate" during a bath. Guess what his owner Dudley Ramsay did ? Ramsay broke six of Junior's delicate ribs and damaged his heart and lungs by smashing him against the side of the bathtub. The man, who is an ironworker then waited for hours before taking calico-coloured Junior to a hospital. The puppy later died of his injuries.

Ramsay could go to prison for up to 2 years. NY Daily News obtained this photograph of him via Facebook. There's also a heart-wrenching pic of Junior being treated at an animal hospital. Previously, he had another dachshund puppy, named Viola, which had died at his hands and was buried in a neighbor's yard, court papers show. He was acquitted of killing Viola but convicted of felony animal cruelty after a bench trial by Justice Michael Gary.

"The severity of the injuries he inflicted, the number of blows, the amount of force it took to cause these injuries combined with his admitted brutality and rage speak volumes about his intent," prosecutor Lisa Berk told the judge.

Defense lawyer Douglas Rankin said his client insists he's innocent. "If he intended to kill or seriously injure it he would not be bathing it, or giving it medicine, then disciplining it or taking it to the vet," he said. "He has no criminal record, he's an acolyte in St. Mary's Episcopal Church. He's an all-around good dude."

If you want to read more about such good dudes and dudettes, such as a prosecutor who couldn't help laughing; a graphic video of a 'heartless' woman beating a pooch with a shovel (on NY Daily News), visit : *

02 February 2010

Landmarks,places featured in Dubai-set game 'The Line'

Whether or not upcoming PS3/Xbox game Special Ops: The Line will be cleared for release in the U.A.E, the fact remains that the milieu is the opulent city of Dubai, except that it in the game, it isn't so opulent. Sandstorms have devastated the city and in the process creates unique settings for combat.

When a real-life city is featured in a video game,the first thing people look out for are the landmarks. Here are some screenshots I took from the trailer of some recognizable structures. Comment/link if you identify some more.

1. Burj Al Arab & Palm Island

It's the first thing shown in the trailer; the iconic 7-star hotel and the man-made island.

2. Emirates Towers

Emirates Towers, also known as the Twin Towers.

3. Construction Site
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One of the most ubiquitous sights in Dubai.

4. Jameel Building

Haven't heard of it, but evidently onesixthree has. Click on the image for his screenshot of the building which means beautiful in Arabic and is situated in the Dubai Marina region.

5. Highway


Emirates Towers can be seen.

6. And at last, Burj Khalifa !
The trailer shows a U.S soldier walking along a road leading to Burj Dubai and guess what's hanging off the lampposts ? Human bodies. And as if that wasn't bad enough, you'll be shooting helicopters and you guessed it : it crashes into the Burj.
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30 January 2010

TheOatmeal.com - Interesting and Crisp funny illustrated stories

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Nice and crisp illustration appeals to everyone. I just discovered this crisp website while using stumbleupon.com. Basically, the site showcases works of graphic artists' story-telling using ONLY images. The site has an extremely "I-want-to-read-that" feeling inducing article on when to use colons. The graphics and illustrations in the site are impressive, but what took me by the surprise was somewhat lewd and adult-oriented humor that came as a shock compared to what I was getting used to. It's still funny,though, but don't recommend it your nephew.

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There are plenty of intriguing stuff on sites; like "How everything goes to a HELL during a Zombie apocalypse"; "The Miserable Truth about Santa Claus" and here's a drastic swing from the friendly-kiddy stuff : "Why I'd rather be punched in the testicles than call customer service."

If you have a thing for computer illustration (but never have pursued it); then this site's impressive offerings will really motivate you to get drawing.


25 January 2010

Tekken's female Arab character nationality reattributed 'Indian'


Described as the "mystifying assassin from a distant land" one of Tekken 6's new character is now from India, according to her Tekken page. Initially, she was from a "Middle Eastern" country without naming any one in particular. The name Zafina is blindingly obviously Arabic. So was there an internal debate among Namco as to what the nationality of this beauty should be ?

For starters, most of the female fighters in Tekken are distinct, with individual personalities. They have character, unlike other over-sexualized fighting games such as DOA; which pay more attention to anatomy. But of course, costume designers know we aren't saints, so sometimes the attire might just get a little hot, though within boundaries.
One reason why Namco might have changed her nationality is because the concoction of a female Arab fighting men and women in, well, not-so-conservative clothes might stir controversy and might even cause bans in the lucrative Middle Eat gaming industry. India is quite easily the most tolerable and open nation in that part of Asia (I know it's not in the Middle East), and given that many Indian women look similar to Zafina, the change couldn't have been too drastic

As far as audience response is concerned, fans seem to have found her especially intriguing with many Youtubers posting tribute videos.

As you can see from the image-combos, Zafina isn't exactly all-covered up, but yet maintains a respectable appearance. She manages to make red boots and gloves sensual.







15 January 2010

Current pics of American terrorist Headley emerge


All this while he was the faceless maniac who gave a new definition to international terrorism , gathering intel for Pakistan based terror outfits without actually engaging in violence. Armed with a U.S passport and an American name, Daood Gilani, who changed his name to David Coleman Headley in 2006, also happens to be a philanderer. While having a 'traditional' Pakistani wife in Chicago (with kids), he also had an American girlfriend in New York.


Gilani, who was born in Washington to Sayed Salim Gilani, described as a "dashing" diplomat and an avid musicologist and poet and to Serrill Headley, who had left Philadelphia’s Main Line to work as a secretary at the same embassy. Soon after they travelled to Lahore, Pakistan, the marriage soured. His mother left Daood and his sister Syedah and and spun a tale of marrying an Afghan prince who was later murdered. She then set up the Khyber Pass club in Philadelphia, incorporating Afghan themes into it.

E-mail messages show, however, that Mr. Headley stayed in regular contact with classmates from the military high school he attended in Pakistan, often engaging in impassioned debates about politics and Islam. Writing about Pakistan’s chief enemy, he said, “We will retaliate against India.”

He toured India, befriended a Bollywood personality's son, had passionate discussions about "commandos." He also made several photgraphs of locations that were later the target of the 26/11 attacks. He has his mother's (redhead) green eyes and his father's brown eyes. This image was released by the English-language news channel NDTV.

Sources

01 January 2010

SOLUTIONS : DVD Drive icon missing from My Computer

If your computer shows no DVD drive icon on My Computer, then don't panic. In most cases, the problem can be temporarily solved by following a somewhat long, but less-risky process, which I'll detail in this post. The officially recommended method of solving the problem is to wipe out some registry entries. For detailed instructions, visit HP's expansive article. Blogger Raymond has the same procedure but his explanation is much more simplified.

Fix No CD or DVD Drive with Error Driver May Be Corrupted or Missing Code 39


THE ALTERNATE SOLUTION (NO EDITS TO REGISTRY)

(Note: I discovered this method to be somewhat effective for users hesitant about editing the registry. The downside to this is that it isn't permanent, unlike the registry edit. To be frank, it just takes less than five minutes to get the registry fix done, so if you feel daring, create a restore point in System Restore before attempting any modifications)


1. Open Device Manager (in Vista, just type it in the search box in the startup menu)

2. Expand "disc drives". In most cases, there should be only one device. Right-click and uninstall it. Confirm it when the confirmation box pops up.

Note : uninstalling the drive really doesn't remove it from your computer. Proceed to Step 4

3. After the uninstallation is complete, Windows will inform you a restart is required. Save any open files and restart.

4. When the computer has restarted, a small dialog box should appear at the bottom, stating new hardware has been found and the reinstallation process begins. Don't worry if this box doesn't appear immediately. It might take a few minutes after the load-up of the other programmes for it to appear, so consider checking CNN.com or anything that will distract you for a few minutes.

5. Up on successful installation, a dialog box will ask if you want to restart. Click OK and restart.

6. 70% of the time, the DVD drive icon would have reappeared when you reboot. Sometimes, it might not. In such cases, immediately rebooting might not work, but usually if you startup the computer after shutting it down for some time will do the trick.