Meewella | Fragments

The Life of P

The End of the Dream

To illustrate the profound stupidity of this movie, I would like to share with you how Will discovers Sandy is sleeping with Tweed. He spots them through the key hole in her dressing room door. If anyone has seen a key hole in any door constructed in the last 25 years (and that’s pretty generous), please email me. Remember, this is a major Hollywood studio. Are you freaking kidding me?

HISHE News American Dreamz review

How It Should Have Ended is a site I’ve mentioned a few times for their imaginative animations reworking the endings of popular films. Soon after they started, their Star Wars ending resulted in a slashdotting but earned them a large fanbase. Recently I noticed they have also been writing short movie reviews, and encapsulated within these is a specific review of the film’s ending. Largely a gimmick, but an interestingly different take (since the ending can often make or break a movie), these reviews are obviously rife with spoilers so are perhaps best read after watching the film for yourself.

WMP 11A beta release of Windows Media Player 11 was leaked several days ago and officially released on Wednesday. Aside from a pretty update to the GUI (I personally prefer the look of the XP build to its transparent Vista counterpart) it features a new library system and an iTunes-esque set of large controls at the bottom. Musicmatch Jukebox remains vastly superior to both in terms of a music library, but WMP has the inclusion of video library management, although a tagging system of some sort would be appreciated. Unfortunately constant crashing means I’ve had to rollback to the previous version again and therefore cannot wholeheartedly recommend trying it out for yourself due to the instability of the beta. Microsoft have also released the hardware requirements for running the next iteration of their operating system and I find there is something disconcerting when their recommended specs require my machine’s full power in some areas (a gig of RAM and a 128MB graphics card, no doubt to power Aero’s transparent visuals).

The SabbathteursFinally, we had a Chapel Warden’s Meeting and in the course of events the topic of religious sabotage arose. That is to say, Rachel decided that we would be remiss in our Christian obligations if we failed to superglue the locks of the library doors to prevent people working on Sundays. Consider it guerilla religious warfare against Tripos. Faith or no, I think it’s a great idea and Davy agreed for, I would surmise, similarly convivial and thrill-seeking reasons. As such it seemed pertinent to produce a logo for our new society, dubbed “The Sabbathteurs”. I think at least Sparkie will glean the reference and approve.


  1. I approve wholeheartedly, on the condition that the reason you chose that logo was due to large amounts of playing and not a lot of revision. =:)

    It seems that Vista will just about manage with my current machine, except for the 15Gb (!!!) hard disk space required for installation which is currently a problem 🙁

  2. I’d like to point out that my door has a keyhole in it and I’m fairly sure that the door isn’t more than 3 years old.

    Though you can’t see through it which kind of defeats the point I suppose… 😕

  3. Ranting Loon

    20 May 2006 at 8:43 am

    ‘a 128MB graphics card, no doubt to power Aero’s transparent visuals’

    This is at least partially a redistribution of processing location from the CPU to the graphic card. Long overdue IMHO. So we’re going to see things like ‘z buffers’ used to handle alpha-gradient windows.

    However it means that business customers are actually going to have to buy machines with graphics cards in. I’m sure NVidia are very happy.

    However, the Ranting Loon has greater fears. Because windows are now first class graphics objects, they are subject to arbitrary afine transformations. I fear the plauge of programmers who think that performing shears and rotations on Windows is a good idea for getting the user’s attentions.

    As for the required specs, 15Gb of HD space seems bizzarely excessive, the last CTP I used installed in 2Gb of space. But we should easily be at shipping new machines with a Gb of RAM by the time it releases…

  4. I find it slightly amusing that the Holy Grail of Vista seems to be transparent Windows while many years ago the big move was to create *solid* windows, since when moved only the outline frame could be shown.

    I agree that machines will undoubtedly be shipped with a gig of RAM as standard by Vista’s release. However, Microsoft have stated their requirements at that level, I worry about how much of it they think is “theirs” to use.

  5. >I find it slightly amusing that the Holy Grail of Vista seems to be transparent Windows while many years ago the big move was to create *solid* windows, since when moved only the outline frame could be shown.

    Yes. This is because the marketplace is predominated by [phrase deleted] who want their computers to look cuddly at the expense of actually doing anything useful with them.

    I think it’s probably reasonably obvious that transparent windows are both useless and pointless, but hey, the end (l)users want them.

    The point of Vista is nasty and technical, so explaining to people why they should buy it is very hard. Consequently the marketting people have stressed the visual experience. Probably a wise idea from their perspecitve. They will probably also market this amphorous concept of security, for all the good it’ll do them.

    Try explaining to an end user why they want .NET…

    >I agree that machines will undoubtedly be shipped with a gig of RAM as standard by Vista’s release. However, Microsoft have stated their requirements at that level, I worry about how much of it they think is “theirs” to use.

    Comparitively little I would expect. Much of the core of Vista is memory managed which runs much smoother with a sensible ammount of RAM, ditto theoretically for applications targetting Vista. This should potentially allow applications to be safer and faster to develop than for UN*X.

    XP minimum specs are for 256Mb RAM, I’ve seen it running happily on those machines. I’ve run Vista on a 512Mb RAM system without problems.

    But having said which I don’t know what the memory loading cost of the latest version of their pretty UI will be.

    What we’re really seeing with Vista is an extension of the lock-in policy by providing an OS that is easier to write code for than the competitors. That’s all that *really* matters.

    If they can make a song and dance about security, then I’m sure business will be happy, and who knows they may even help users protect themselves from themselves.

    It’s all marketting spin, just pretty spin.

    I hope they improve the speech command engine.

  6. Luke Church / Limnanthes Douglasii / Fried Egg Plant / Burnt Egg Plant / (Angry) Giant Fish / Ranting Loon…

    How many Lukes are there?

    :-s =:):(|)~:>:@):o)3:-o>-) :-t

  7. MMJB is one of very few pieces of software I’ll actually rate lower than iTunes and the various incarnations of WMP.

  8. Any reasons? Are we talking about the free version or Plus? I don’t know how I managed without Super Tagging now!

  9. Where shall I start? Bloated footprint, annoying interface, shoddy ripping capabilities (and it uses Fraunhofer IIRC), lack of plugins, etc. There are much more powerful and versatile tagging programs out there for free. Sure, it’s not much worse that iTunes or Windows Media Player, but it’s far from a usable piece of software.

  10. I agree the bloated footprint definitely needs to be addressed and is a major flaw in MMJB, but then WMP’s is artificially kept down by integrating it with the OS. Of course, Foobar2000 is the only possible choice in terms of footprint. I don’t like the in-built rippping capabilities of any jukebox, and always use Audiograbber with the LAME codec. Separate tagging programs are perhaps more powerful, but that is a function I need integrated into the application that I am using to view, arrange, search and play my music. As for interface, I actually prefer it to the competition. It’s simple, allows music to be sorted by virtually anything, supports drag and drop for tagging and moving files, and the simplicity makes it much faster to use than WMP11’s prettier interface.
    I can certainly see where your criticism comes from, but I have trouble with calling it a less usable piece of software than iTunes, particularly given its support for a wide range of 3rd-party MP3 players rather than trying to lock users in.

  11. Hey in my opinion nothning beats my trusty CDex ver. 1.40. It has the LAME codec and it gets the job done nicely and to be fair doesn’t look as hideous as the Audiograbber interface (what the hell is up with the penguin?!?!?)

  12. My point was that iTunes, WMP and MMJB are _all_ unusable. I wouldn’t dream of installing any of them.

    CDex is certainly superior to Audioscrobbler but EAC is surely the king? My sole complaint is less-than-perfect integration with the LAME command line but the same applies to all GUIs.

  13. EAC looks good actually. I just became stuck in my ways once I started using Audiograbber and because I didn’t have any complaints I didn’t stay up to date with what was around apart from the latest LAME codec. EAC sacrifices speed in return for secure mode it seems like a fair trade-off. Cheers.

    EDIT: Unfortunately it’s been causing me problems. Firstly an access violation due to disliking the Lame ACM codec, which I had to uninstall to the get it to start at all. Secondly it didn’t recognise my CD drive at all until WNASPI32.DLL was added to its root folder. Working okay now though.

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"Civilization now depends on self-deception. Perhaps it always has."

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