Archive for February 20th, 2006

Gnome 2.14 – a.k.a. Gnome OS X

Monday, February 20th, 2006

[No, it’s just me that calls it Gnome OS X]

Gnome 2.14
is a huge jump forwards.
I don’t know why they don’t use 3.0 or something.

Gnome 2.14

Screenshot of Gnome 2.14 — look at them nice drop shadows
click for larger picture

Feature after feature sounds just like Mac OS X.
Very cool.

The Island, redux

Monday, February 20th, 2006
the island
click for larger pic

So I rented “The Island”, as per Jeff’s
“Underrated Movies”.
I thought it was a nice, enjoyable action-adventure.
Unfortunately, I knew too much about the plot to enjoy the “twist” (such as it is).

My feeling about the movie was mostly that it was a Logan’s Run tribute in many ways.
Mostly in how the clones are kept in a child-like state, only to be killed for reasons that are completely beyond them.
My favorite bit of acting was Ewan MacGregor trying to ask why Tuesday was Tofu Day, and what the heck was “tofu” anyway!!
His anxiety over not knowing something that should be so simple defined his performance, which was overshadowed by the action sequences.

There were numerous plot holes.
The bit about having to be concious for the organs to work was a doozy, and very reminiscent of the Matrix question: “Why didn’t the machines use cows instead of people?”.

Aside from that, we have the usual romp of growing awareness.
A bit of a shortcut is taken when the main character, Lincoln Six Echo, suddenly connives to leave the controlled environment.
It’s a dodgy narritive cheat that deprives us of Lincoln’s first exposure to anuncontrolled environment.

How did he meet the worker?

How did he first go outside the environment?
What was his reaction?

These would have been important moments in the movie,
and it would have been the better for it.
I think too much time was taken up by having “The Girl” in the movie.
She didn’t contribute much of anything, except for the reaction of knowing her “original” was a mother – that wasn’t bad,

Cut down on the chase scenes, too.
Do more with perhaps navigating this fantastic world and coming to grips with it.

They let get away the whole trained-by-Xbox thing.
If you’re going to prostitute your movies, try to get some good out of it.
Have him go into an arcade and beat the crap out of someone.
Or perhaps use the martial skills he’s learned in the Xbox to beat up a bad guy.
Anything – throw me a bone.

Okay, despite my original intent to make this a light-hearted review of an innocent piece of fluff (with the occasional sledge-hammer of anti-Naziism),
I’ve gotten a little testy.
Ah well.

It’s just that it could have been so much more.
Especially with that cast and that budget.

About This Particular Mac

Monday, February 20th, 2006

atpm
About this Particular Mac
(atpm) is an online “zine” about Macs.
From skimming the Feb 2006 issue, it looks like they eschew selling it in favour of advertisers.

An interesting read, with a huge chunk in the middle taken up with an unlikely and somewhat amateurish cartoon about Steve Jobs vs Woz.
The layout of the technical articles is excellent, with nice screenshots and plenty of links with footnotes for printouts (I read the “for print” edition).