Now blogging at diego's weblog. See you over there!

the matrix trilogy on hd dvd

from the shameless-consumer-hat-on dept

matrixhddvd.jpgThe Matrix Revolutions aside (I still think my own matrix "abridged" script was better), the trilogy still deserves a lot of credit for breaking ground in a number of ways for the mainstream of cinema (since most of what makes the movies special had already been invented one way or another, particularly in Anime), and The Matrix remains a pretty good movie, flaws and all. I even have a soft spot for the other two, if only because they have noisy, entertaining chase sequences and some really impressive special effects. And no, I'm not talking about the burly brawl, which already looked fake at standard resolution (hey, perhaps they fixed it!).

Anyway, we'll see how this all looks at 1080p. Some movies (King Kong, Serenity) look amazing. Others (Superman Returns)... eeehh... not so much. All depends on the transfer I think. Color, brightness, digital filters and other obscure settings also play a huge role with HD content, especially HD-DVD/BluRay content.

One disadvantage: the "bonus content" is all on a regular resolution DVD (480p). This includes things like The Animatrix, and it's a shame. At least the Animatrix should be on HD no? Perhaps the movies themselves have some of that shiny picture-in-picture documentaries that I keep seeing trailers of. :-)

Posted by diego on May 22, 2007 at 5:16 PM

openfire and spark: cool stuff

ignite_dl_openfire.gifToday I spent some time tinkering with Openfire and Spark, and they're both pretty cool.

I've been using GAIM (ok, ok, Pidgin) at home on my PC but the last few days it decided to start crashing when connecting to Yahoo. Great. Back to Trillian, but, oh, wait, even though Trillian tickles me the fact that it looks like an app from 1992 drives me bananas. (Gaim ain't that great either). Is it so hard to spend a bit of time on look and feel? Icons? UI matters!

Anyway. So Russ had mentioned recently I should give jabberd a try, but hey, I'm a Java guy, so off I go and I get Openfire. Simple install: check. Embedded Jetty for built-in web configuration: check. Easy way to add IM gateway: err... slightly convoluted, but yeah. Check.

ignite_dl_spark.gifNow for Spark: still in beta, so expect some clunkiness, but the UI is surprisingly clean, and its Synth L&F implementation (at least that's what I think it's using) is also pretty good. Bonus: it doesn't crash.

An advantage of this setup is that I can connect from anywhere to my account on the Openfire server over a TLS channel (something that you can require) and all my IM connections are encrypted, at least to the server. This means I can use IM from open WiFi hotspots without (much) fear of snooping if it was necessary--something impossible if you're logging in directly to Yahoo, MSN, et. al.

Overall, pretty good! My half-hour of weekly free time is over now though :-), so I'll have to wait until next week to tinker with it more.

Posted by diego on May 20, 2007 at 6:25 PM

ubuntu server 7.04's paltry default packages

There are some basic packages that the basic distro of Ubuntu Server (as of 'Feisty' 7.04) does not include. I was just documenting a bit the sequence of apt-get commands I used right after the install was done:

apt-get update
apt-get upgrade
apt-get install ssh
apt-get install lynx
apt-get install links
apt-get install vim
apt-get install gcc
apt-get install make
apt-get install sun-java6-bin
apt-get install sun-java6-jdk
apt-get install subversion
apt-get install smbclient
apt-get install smbfs

The update and upgrade commands are to update apt-get's lists and then upgrade packages that were just installed from CD, respectively.

Some of these are perhaps a bit less common -- smbfs maybe. But vim? gcc? make? Really? Not to mention ssh. The client of SSH comes in pre-installed, but you have to install the server.

I imagine there's some weird reason that has to do with copyrights or encryption, or the copyrights of encryption, but it's still a pain. Especially if you forget about doing it...

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on May 20, 2007 at 5:30 PM

jpc: holy emulators batman!

multios.gifJPC is a pure Java emulation of an x86 PC with fully virtual peripherals. You can go to their site and run the applet demo, which runs FreeDOS and then lets you execute various classic PC-DOS games such as Lemmings or Prince of Persia. And it supports protected mode, so you can run Windows 95 and --gasp!-- Linux.

Because it's an emulator and not simply a hypervisor, you can run it anywhere in which a Java 5 or higher JVM can run.


ps: in the same vein, check out this Browser emulator which simulates the experience of older browsers within your... browser. Right.

Categories:, technology
Posted by diego on May 17, 2007 at 2:42 PM

javafx = applets 2.0

120px-Duke.gifSo after spending a bit of time looking at JavaFX my impression is that it's a great idea... but I question the need for yet another scripting language in the form of JavaFX Script. Java 6 implements JSR 223 and even includes scripting based on Rhino, i.e., Javascript. Now, Javascript has its flaws (and they are many) but it's a standard, so why not start there?

That aside, JavaFX strikes me as applets 2.0, or rather Applets Done Right. Or, As Right As Possible, given the JVM requirement. While a lot of people probably worry about performance or UI, I don't (I have a long-standing position on this topic :)). However, I do worry about the Java webstart "requirement". JWS is a topic on which I've written before, and yes, that was a while ago, but JWS is still a bit clunky. And I am not entirely convinced that the way to create "Web 2.0" applications is to jump out of the web browser altogether. :)

Anyway, an interesting thing to watch as it develops.

Posted by diego on May 13, 2007 at 12:35 PM

ning javaone slides

I just posted the JavaOne presentation and some notes over at the Ning Developer Blog. Check it out!

Categories: ning,
Posted by diego on May 13, 2007 at 10:46 AM

at javaone tomorrow!


Martin, Brian and myself will be at JavaOne tomorrow presenting Building a Web Platform: Java Technology at Ning. We'll talk about the evolution of the Ning Platform over the last two and a half years and how Java and some specific design choices let us continually grow and expand the platform, replacing and upgrading infrastructure, without affecting users or developers.

The session is TS-6039, in Esplanade 301, at 4:10 pm, so if you're around come say hello. I'll post the slides after and talk a bit more about that and other interesting things. :)

Categories: ning,, technology
Posted by diego on May 9, 2007 at 4:02 PM

128-bit storage: are you high?

As Reverend Lovejoy would say: "Short answer, Yes with an if.... long answer, No, with a but."

Nevertheless: great article on ZFS and storage limits (theoretical and otherwise). Recommended!

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on May 5, 2007 at 3:38 PM

the remainder...

... of an interview yesterday at Ning was this equation (click on the image to see a larger version).


As Malcom Reynolds would say: "And that tickles me." :-)

That is all.

Categories: ning
Posted by diego on May 5, 2007 at 8:42 AM

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