Archive for October, 2009

Harddrive cleanup: returned from oblivion

Saturday, October 31st, 2009 | Language, Misc, Quirks | No Comments

funny-pictures-cat-saw-a-really-big-spider

OMG TEH SPAIDER WUZ THIS BIG!!11!!!!

So funny! Cleaning up my hard drive I found this lolcat … scary shit indeed! 😀
For more of them have a look at my favourite lolcatz or visit icanhascheezburger!

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Review: Paranormal Activity (2009)

Sunday, October 25th, 2009 | Movies, Reviews | No Comments

Paranormal Activity (2009)Who is afraid of the Kwyjibo? A couple is haunted by an entity that tortures them every now and then. This time it’ll be the last.

I was sooo happy seeing this film, because I expected something really spooky.

Heard about it, saw the rather high IMDb rating, got excited.

Here are some quotations from the cover (should have known these are NOT to be trusted):

“Paranormal Activitiy” is one of the scariest movies of all time. You will be affected as it’s hard to ignore the imprint it leaves on your psyche. Nightmares are guaranteed.

Don’t see it alone.

What I got was a pretty bad instalment that borrows from films such as Blair Witch, Poltergeist and The Grudge without ever becoming something that might play in the same league. In fact, it’s very dull except for the few moments when something is happening. These moments start promising, but just never evolve to something that really gets you. People might say that all happens in your head, well, for me it ended seeing the footsteps scene. Evil twin, dead stepmother, schizophrenia, all gone. Anyone call Mulder, please? Okay, Mr Spookaway explained that this entity is a demon rather than a ghost. This even allows for more nonsensical things happening, right? Lights on, lights off, wow!

There is also practically no such thing as a story, no twists and no explanations, just some knocking noises, a wind here and there and finally physical intervention of the invisible force. The shaking camera genre is once again used as an excuse for the absence of writer’s skill.

3.0/10 – A highly overrated and overhyped film. May only scare the unversed masses.

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New word: placeholder

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009 | Language, Quirks, Vocabulary | No Comments

I was pretty astonished finding out that this false friend is none.

If you are German, think for yourself whether you would have guessed that “placeholder” is indeed the correct translation of “Platzhalter“.

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Xtreamer – the x264 1080p blackbox

Saturday, October 10th, 2009 | Gadgets, Reviews, Tech-savvy | No Comments

I was thinking about buying myself a new remote for my bedroom telly/pc combo, but I was not willing to pay 109 Euro for a (second) Logitech diNovo Mini. This thing is great for the big screen in the living room, where browsing and stuff also is a general requirement.

Anyway, I’ve heard about these media playback/streaming blackboxes being available for even less than a Logitech keyboard (including a remote 🙂 )

After some googling I decided my blackbox should be able to

  • playback x264 1080p mkv (and everything else that is “older” like well-known DivX/XviD)
  • provide WLAN
  • has the option to install a hard drive (I don’t want my NAS to be on 24/7)
  • (optical out SP/DIF) – not really as long as it’s connected to a stereo TV only (bedroom!)

xtreamerI found a device that sounded promising, the Xtreamer. Ordered it Wednesday evening, received it Friday morning – how cool is that? The setup is easy and working out of the box. Well, there are a few small downsides, the firmware is not yet 100% stable (YouTube not working…) but it is under constant development, or the fan being quite noticeable (but you can change the fan speed).

The (optional) hard disk installation was easy as well, open bay, insert disk, format, use.

All in all a nice little gadget which provides a lot for less than a hundred Euros. Let’s see how the long term tests will turn out (and what the 2.x firmware will be like).

8.0/10 – Quite cheap and almost a perfect media playback blackbox.

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Review: Drag me to Hell (2009)

Saturday, October 3rd, 2009 | Movies, Reviews | No Comments

Drag Me to Hell (2009)Sam Raimi strikes again! And he still knows how to do so! His “The Evil Dead” is a masterpiece horror classic (Beware! Remake approaching!), no doubt about that and he even did an outstanding job doing “Spiderman” – a completely different genre. Now he returns to classic horror and does not fail as so many other out there do all the time. The last film I remember that scared/thrilled/entertained me equally was “The Ring” remake (don’t tell!), and that’s quite a while ago. Since then I digested dozens of cheap boring horror wannabe flicks, “Drag me to Hell” being a most welcome exception.

Okay, a few words about the film without spoiling too much. First, it is not a remake of an Asian classic (w00t!). Second, it’s done by somebody who knows his profession – no low budget “my first director’s job” 5 kids in the wood spilling guts crap (again, the exception proofs the rule, right?). The story is basically “Don’t piss off any gipsies or they might curse you” with our main character almost unwillingly deciding to go for the curse – doh!

What I liked especially (apart from the perfect technical presentation of the flick) is that it does not focus on one stylistic device, but tortures the viewer on multiple levels. A recap of the my feelings that arose during the first “scary” scene:  reserved, repelled, disgusted,  embarrassed, intimidated, and finally horror-struck. I was trying to have my dinner watching that, for heavens sake 😀

Watching “Drag me to Hell” made me somewhat feel like a kid watching “The Evil Dead” for the first time. I am happy that it is apparently not my fault that most of the so called horror movies out there just plainly bore me to death. I can now blame the directors/writers/producers, because even for a superficial western blockbuster it is possible to do a great entertaining job! Well done, everybody!

9.0/10 – Thanks for providing something that stands up to 80s horror classics and is not stealing from an already made film.

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