1. Can an XL1 be reprogammed by its owner? My computer no longer can capture video via firewire nor can others I have tried.
2. If not, does Canon have monopoly on repairs of this type?
First delete and reinstall the canon drivers from the canon CD. The connector on the camcorder may have a broken circuit track on the circuit board (very common problem), or the cable used to interface may be bad. Yes it's best to allow the authorized repair center repair the unit. It's very complicated and you might not want to try that yourself. You need to ask if it's really worth repairing, or more worth it to buy a new unit. You can buy a manual from canon USA, but do you really understand how to take that unit apart, and do you have the tools?