Almost all DVD’s for sale are a pirated version of the original. You have to bend your ethics a little but there are few other choices in Ecuador if you want to purchase a music, movie or game DVD. On almost every street in Cuenca, you will find a small Mom and Pop store with the walls covered with rack after rack of DVD’s in jewel boxes. Inside is a copy the original disc and a copy of the label on the outside of the box.
Most cost $1.50 though some games run as high as $3.00. There is generally a good selection of movies that, with a click of the remote, can be switched from Spanish to English if necessary. Just ask the proprietor if your choice is available in English. They will put it into a DVD player and check for you. Music DVD’s have a more limited selection. There are very few classical or jazz discs available, a good selection of American rock but an absolute gold mine of Latin music. In the places we shop, they even have three disc music compilations that cost $5.00. Our apartment now vibrates to the Latin beat. Games are available but are limited in the Mom and Pop stores. However, at the mall there are a number of game shops where they have good choices for almost every game system. But a word of warning when buying pirated copies of originals.
We bought new computers in Ecuador from one of the many computer stores. At our request, they put an English version of Microsoft Vista on both new computers. These were not licensed versions as licensed software in English is extremely hard to get in Ecuador. The Toshiba laptop has been running just fine as they installed a Toshiba version on it. But, the desktop, which was made from generic parts, had an unlicensed English version of Vista installed. Everything worked well for about a month until Microsoft shut it down automatically possibly because they were alerted it was an unlicensed version by the frequent updates or cookies or something we are not aware of. We installed it again and the same thing happened in about a month. The computer just went dead and could not be started. The computer store tried a half dozen distributors in Ecuador looking for an English version of Windows 7 and finally gave up. We then installed a Spanish licensed version of Windows 7 and all has been perfect. The only problem is deciphering all the commands which are in Spanish. But it has been a good way to expand our learning of Spanish. Though our experience with Windows has been frustrating, the pile of inexpensive movie and music DVD’s just keeps getting higher and higher.