Archive for October, 2003

Le Transporteur

October 29th, 2003

Le Transporteur I didn't know anything about this flick until I saw it. Turned out to be worth the time. I was captivated at first, very groovy first half hour but then it faded unfortuantely. I really liked Jason Statham in the lead, inspiring performance, haven't seen anything like it in a while. It also has to be said the stunts were excellent. Quite flawless screenplay [up to a point] by Luc Besson.

The place is Monaco, a retired soldier makes a nice living transporting clandestine stuff for various scum. Precision is his virtue, he goes by a set of rules to ensure everything works out smoothly. Predictably, everything goes wrong once he fails to obey his own rules.


Y1K bug

October 25th, 2003

Canterbury, England. A.D. 999.

An atmosphere close to panic prevails today throughout Europe as the millennial year 1000 approaches, bringing with it the so-called "Y1K Bug," a menace which, until recently, had hardly been heard of by anyone.

Prophets of doom are warning that the entire fabric of Western Civilization, based as it now is upon monastic computations, could collapse, and that there is simply not enough time left to fix the problem.

Just how did this disaster-in-the-making ever arise? Why did no one anticipate that a change from a three-digit to a four-digit year would throw into total disarray all liturgical chants and all metrical verse in which any date is mentioned? Every formulaic hymn, prayer, ceremony and incantation dealing with dated events will have to be re-written to accommodate three extra syllables. All tabular chronologies with three-space year columns, maintained for generations by scribes using carefully hand-ruled lines on vellum sheets, will now have to be converted to four-space columns, at enormous cost. In the meantime, the validity of every official event, from baptisms to burials, from confirmations to coronations, may be called into question.

"We should have seen it coming ," says Brother Cedric of St. Michael's Abbey, here in Canterbury. "What worries me most is that 'THOUSAND' contains the word 'THOU,' which occurs in nearly all our prayers, and of course always refers to God. Using it now in the name of the year will seem almost blasphemous, and is bound to cause terrible confusion. Of course, we would always use Latin, but that might be even worse -- the Latin word for 'Thousand' is 'Mille' - which is the same as the Latin for 'mile.' We won't know whether we're talking about time or distance!"

Stonemasons are already reported threatening to demand a proportional pay increase for having to carve an extra numeral in all dates on tombstones, cornerstones and monuments. Together with its inevitable ripple effects, this alone could plunge the hitherto-stable medieval economy into chaos.

A conference of clerics has been called at Winchester to discuss the entire issue, but doomsayers are convinced that the matter is now one of personal survival. Many families, in expectation of the worst, are stocking up on holy water.


October 22nd, 2003

I guess it's one of those days.. I needed to move my stuff from one drive onto another and not surprisingly, there was trouble ahead. All the partitions containing docs, software, install files etc moved along just fine, did a simple rsync in linux. The Gentoo partitions were just as well behaved, they took to their new homes with no questions asked but then comes the big, ugly monster: the Windows partition. I had never tried copying one before and I didn't think too much of it, I thought as long as I got all the files across it would be all good. Not so fast! Copying the files over in linux failed miseably, I ended up with a corrupt, unbootable Windows (apparently there's more to a fat32 than meets the eye, at least as far as Windows is concerned).

A quick search on google revealed that I might be more successful with Norton Ghost so I tried that then, and voilá it seemed to work fine. At this point I was quite impressed and relieved that I had been able to transfer the beast without reinstalling all my software. I had set up all my partitions on the new drive and was ready to format the old one when it somehow turns out the Windows install isn't in good shape at all. Once I plugged out the old drive, the new one was left with the exact same boot handicap I discovered earlier. Quite puzzling that was, I thought I had been booting from my new drive all this time, there was nothing to suggest otherwise and apparently Windows had been consulting the old drive just the same. Talk about disturbing behavior under the hood.

Well there was no way back, the old drive had been wiped and the new wouldn't boot. Windows installer, here I come. Basically, I had spent 3 days trying to avoid this boring, drawn out, horrible process and I ended up having to go through with it all the same. Thank you so very f. much, Redmond!

Head of state: nothing too special, Chris

October 17th, 2003

Chris Rock in Well I got around to watching Chris Rock's new flick "Head of state" and it was pretty much like all of his screen work, kinda weak. The story is very weak, the acting is mediocre and Chris is funny from time to time. There is some interesting material to be found, give a hood kinda spin on politics but in the end it's all too Chris Rock and not very innovative.

At the same time it was Chris' debut as director and I believe he also wrote the screenplay. Better luck next time, Chris, noone's doubting your potential but this is no blockbuster.


Mozart's 40th

October 16th, 2003


Strauss - Serenade for wind instruments

Strauss - Obo concerto

Mozart - 40th symphony

Orchestra: Trondheim Philharmonic

Conductor: Eivind Aadland

Soloist: Albrecht Mayer

To be frank, Strauss was rather dull and disappointing. Herr Mayer followed up with an encore of a Bach piece from his latest album, which was a lot more appealing. The main problem is that the obo doesn't really make a mark on the music, it tags along with the orchestra but there's little accomplished, there are other far more successful pieces written for the obo. Then we arrive at the highlight of the evening, Mozart's 40th and one might say it was consistent with most of his other work. Thoroughly done, spectacular at times but there's a feel of workmanship to his music, which could easily be held against him had it not been for his brilliant ability to make it interesting.