It’s finally done! I have finally managed to get my new and improved pixelmonkey.org site online. I am now fully powered by WordPress and Gallery, two amazing projects (written in PHP) which allow for blog/content management and photo gallery management. I even integrated the two together by having them share stylesheets wherever possible.
Now to begin the actual posts, and the fun.
Will not be blogging for quite awhile.
Was over Max’s house, and while he played online poker, I played Doom 3 on his brother’s insanely overpowered Alienware desktop machine. The game is extremely well-done, from graphics to gameplay, but I really have no patience for First Person Shooter games anymore… they get boring so unbelievably quickly, and I just don’t have the time anymore.
The only FPS that might, MIGHT draw some time out of me is Max Payne 2, which I’ve had sitting at home, unopened (except when I tested Cedega by installing it under Linux–it worked), for quite awhile.
Look at me, the old fart at 20, yearning for the days of good adventure games like Full Throttle, Day of the Tentacle, King’s Quest and Curse of Monkey Island… *sigh*
Call it cliche, but the “greatest film about film ever made,” 8 1/2, has become one of my favorite movies. It really is an unbelievably directed movie, and despite the language barrier (wearing thinner every day!), I was really able to connect with the characters. More amazing is that this is the first film to be self-referential to such a high degree, a style that, I think, has been copied ever since (i.e. Adaptation, which I also liked). But I really loved the scenes from Guido’s childhood and how magical they felt with such simple cinematography. There were no special effects or anything, but some sequences (especially the opening one) had such an uncanny dream-like feel. Anyway, it’s really a great film.
I watched Mark Crispin Miller’s “A Patriot Act” on DVD last night, per my Dad’s recommendation. Check out its website if you like.
Absolutely tremendous show. It basically paints the Republicans in the White House for what they are: religious zealots trying to merge the church and state. Even though this was performed before the election, watching it now, after, Bush has won, made me a bit depressed. I should be storming Washington right now.
My Dad’s really awesome sometimes. In a previous post, I talked about how my laptop’s screen cracked due to a friend’s drunken behavior. Well, my Dad did me a favor and swapped the old HD out of my broken laptop and put it into the new one I got. So now I’m running Linux as if nothing broke.
Here’s another crazy thing… I thought my laptop didn’t have cpu frequency scaling support, but I was actually wrong. It’s just that I didn’t have all the kernel modules I needed loaded. It turns out I can scale the CPU on this laptop from 400mhz up to its max of 1.7Ghz! This is awesome because power consumption goes way down, laptop stays cooler, etc.
Plus, someone wrote an excellent piece of software to do this scaling automatically depending on load and remaining battery power. Temperature readings still come in as 0 degrees celsius, but I decided temp readouts are unnecessary anyway. The BIOS does a good job managing the fan. Yay new laptop! Back to work on my paper.
I’ve been meaning to update that last post with more analysis of Bush’s speech, but the tyranny of time crept up upon me. So much work, so quickly!
In more fun news, two days ago I spent two hours in Union Square listening to various [somewhat deranged] speakers talk about “the police state” and how “communism is the solution.” It got me angry how little these speakers focused on (what I think are) the most important issues surrounding not just this election, but this country’s future: the continual rise in power of corporations.
Anyway, I eventually was given the megaphone (“Andrew, what has come over you?”) and gave my best impromptu speech on why corporate power is ruling this country, and more broadly, the world, and how distorted neoliberal (or libertarian) economic policy is, in terms of the current brand of pro-corporate globalization being a true “race to the bottom.”
Got quite a few cheers out of the crowd, which felt good. Not really good in the egocentric “I can rile up a crowd” sense. Good in the sense that some people actually care that corporations are, in many senses, running their lives.
Then I watched some Lou Dobbs last night that confirmed a lot of what I spoke about, at least confirmed it in my and Lou Dobbs’ world. But that’s good enough for me.
I want it!
Check out this neat demonstration.
UPDATE: I received it, and it’s pretty sweet.
So, Christopher Hitchens has written this response to Fahrenheit 9/11. I just finished reading it.
(Silly side note: I bookmarked this link before I saw the movie, so I that I could read it afterwards. I really didn’t understand the title at all, until Olivia informed me that it’s meant to be pronounced “Unfair – enheit 9/11.” I felt silly, but I guess it comes from the fact that I pronounce it FAR-EN-HEIT, rather than FAIR-E-HEIT. Apparently, I’m not so insane, since my pronounciation is Dictionary.com’s recomendation, as well. They recomend pronouncing the “a” like “father” or “pat.” Not that this means anything in particular, I just think an editor could have come up with a better title!)
So, for the most part, Hitchens’ article does present some of the problems with Mike’s film. We all know (all of us who have seen it) that it was a bit dramatized, a bit over the top, and a bit of propaganda. It was meant to be an emotional rollercoaster: to get us angry and sad, riled up for election time. In this sense, the film was effective. But I can see why you might find it unfair. Mike shows us every clip he can find of how the Iraq war is horrible, of how Bush is a horrible president, etc. without ever throwing in clips that speak to the opposite conclusion. I guess the problem with Mike’s film is that it is not “balanced.” It is simply not the way I would have set out to direct a similar documentary. But, in all honesty, Hitchens’ article is similarly flawed…
You know, my philosophy about buying things used to be, never buy high-end because you’ll always have to replace it/upgrade it within a few months. But now I’m starting to reject that whole idea entirely.
I mean, I’ve already posted on other sites about how new PDAs don’t impress me because I still use a Palm Vx and it does everything I need in a PDA, and then some. Everything I need. No, it doesn’t play seven or eight MP3s in its Flash memory. No, it doesn’t play video clips I record with the tiny video camera embedded in the back. No, it doesn’t connect to wireless internet access if hotspots are available.
Nope, all it does is keep track of my todo lists, download articles from AvantGo and download maps, directions and listings from Vindigo. I can also set reminders, create shopping lists, and play DopeWars. All in 8MB of RAM. Plus, it’s thin, it’s beautiful, and it’s made in the USA.
Now that computers keep getting faster and faster and most software is not proportionally taking advantage of it, I find it easier to say, “Okay, I’ll have this computer for a few years.” That’s a good thing. In retrospect, these last five years have moved so quickly that it really made us geeks spend a ton of cash. I mean, I’m on a 2.6Ghz machine with a gig of RAM. I never use more than 300MB of RAM unless I’m running VMWare (which I’ll admit, is often nowadays). My CPU never gets cranked unless I’m doing video processing. I mean, things aren’t as speedy as perhaps they should be (I/O being the bottleneck), but I haven’t felt my computer “lagging” in years.
As a side note to that, software needs to get smarter. At 2.6Ghz of raw power, my computer should be doing more for me automatically 🙂