I was knocking at the door of digital cinema today, but sadly I was not let in.
With gracious assistance from Dave and Dave at our local digitally-enabled theater, and ongoing Linux help from Josiah at Hampshire, I was actually able to plug a properly-formatted USB hard drive into a Doremi DCP-2000. But I clearly don't know enough about making proper Packing Lists because the ingest function on the DCP-2000 did not detect/recognize any of my files. Time to go back to the spec and the forums and see what I missed about those critical packaging steps (If you want to know more about packing lists and other DCP components, you can find the Digital Cinema System Specification at the Digital Cinema Initiatives website).
Curiously, I felt like I was hacking for the first time in years. Sitting in the dark projection area of the theater, we were studying DCPs that were shipped to the theater on hard drives to try and ascertain how they were different from the ones I had made. Even though we didn't figure it out, it was fun to tweak the package and try the disk over and over again while flickering light from the films illuminated our work. I kind of felt like I was in a sub. It was a long, narrow, enclosed space. The low-frequency drone of the many fans and the many spinning 35mm projectors drowned every other noise out. And just through the little window next to the digital projector, you could see the world of Pandora in its kind-of-like-the-bottom-of-the-ocean glory.