AFFF 2007

This week is also the 2007 edition of the Amsterdam Fantastic Film Festival. It’s moved location compared to last year, now landed at the City theather in Amsterdam, which seems like a much better location. Saturday I wanted to watch ‘XxxHolic‘ and ‘The Place Promised In Our Early Days‘, but I couldn’t make it back to Amsterdam in time, so I only got to see ‘The Place…’. The movie had quite a low tempo and was quite difficult to follow, lacking some explanations on situations and with subtitles sometimes already moving on when I wasn’t even halfway reading them. All in all I wouln’t recommend the movie, there seems to be much better anime around, but maybe I should watch a fansub or dvd version before really passing judgement, I was quite tired at the time, the movie’s tempo not helping me staying alert and awake.

Sunday I watched two more Anime movies…
“The Girl Who Leapt Through Time” is a light, funny tragic-comedy story about a girl who discovers she can ‘jump through time’. The movie moves back and forward through a period of a few days, every time making slight alterations in the reality and events following. I thought it was one of the best movies I’ve seen this festival.
Paprika was a bit more difficult to follow, telling the story of a group of people who have developped a dream-monitoring device, which allows them to look into, and act in dreams of their patients. The device gets stolen however, and the ‘terrorists’ are apparently using it to cause havoc in the city, driving people insane or to their deaths. It’s the job of Paprika, the alter-ego / dream-persona of the main character to investigate the matter and bring it to a close. At times it can be quite hard to follow, always switching from one dream-world to the next, never knowing if you’re still watching the dream-world or the ‘real’ world.

Both movies were very nicely done both visually and audio-wise and were both highly rated at this point in the festival

OpenForge meeting

Saturday night I visited my first OpenForge meeting in Rotterdam where I had some nice talks with some interesting people and played a few games of Poker, Wii-Bowling and Hartenjagen till the early morning. Whizzman, Juerd, MadEddie, Mayo, Marco and Pitr were among those present. The bbq was also really nice (great weather) and I’m sure I have to do this again some day. Thanks to the sponsors of OpenForge, keep it up.
P.S. Mayo’s pokerskills are evil…. again she played the table like a pro and won against all odds 😉

Liessa’s Party (movies)

Friday after work I went to Liessa’s ‘kwart-eeuw’ party (her 25th birthday) in Cafe het Leeuwtje in Amsterdam. A lot of people came along and we really filled the entire bar, driving most regulars off. It was nice to meet some people again who I hadn’t seen in a while or only spoke online. Habbie and Liessa sponsored a keg of Grimbergen Dubbel, which is a really nice, but rather heavy beer. Luckily I could spend the night at Faragon’s, so I could actually drink more then 2 of em ;). Rainman made some really nice pictures of the party also viewable on this Flickr set. I also made some short video’s with my camphone of the goings-on, which I’ll link below as soon as I have time to get em off my phone 🙂

How a downgrade became an upgrade…

So I upgraded my laptop’s ubuntu installation to Feisty (beta) last week. This upgrade kinda killed my halfway-working 3d desktop. I have a laptop with a ATI 9200 mobile videochip, and this worked somewhat with the beryl/compiz stuff as long as I disabled the fire/water effects which would crash my X server. The current ubuntu includes a new fglrx driver from Ati, and this driver no longer supports older Ati chips like the 9200. This meant no more 3d goodness for me, and switching back to the ati 2d driver, losing most acceleration.

After browsing the forums and wiki I decided that I should probably change to the open source driver, which still does support older chips (and doesn’t support newer chips). So some fiddling with configs, removing some packages and browsing more wiki-pages I now have a working setup based on the ‘ati’ open source driver, with fully working 3d desktop (including the effects that b0rked using the fglrx driver).

I still haven’t tested any games, but so far it all runs smooth, transparency works, opengl works, xvideo works somewhat, and a quick test of google-earth also gives positive results… so I guess this is a nice improvement over the often crashing/breaking setup based on fglrx.

Some helpful links:

P.S. Looking at google earth…. I just spotted how far Helsinki/Finland actually is… I was kinda confusing it with sweden… ugh… I don’t think I’ll drive there, 2000 km is a bit much.

Terry Jones on the Iranian situation…

Exel pointed me towards this article in the guardian, where he takes a shot at the situation with the captured british soldiers.
iranian president (image from kremlin.ru)

We would never dream of treating captives like this – allowing them to smoke cigarettes, for example, even though it has been proven that smoking kills. And as for compelling poor servicewoman Faye Turney to wear a black headscarf, and then allowing the picture to be posted around the world – have the Iranians no concept of civilised behaviour? For God’s sake, what’s wrong with putting a bag over her head? That’s what we do with the Muslims we capture: we put bags over their heads, so it’s hard to breathe. Then it’s perfectly acceptable to take photographs of them and circulate them to the press because the captives can’t be recognised and humiliated in the way these unfortunate British service people are.

I completely agree with Terry here, and hope more people will see things clear.

Some related links:

Fonero

This weekend I received my new FON accesspoint. The idea of FON is that they ship you a cheap or free wifi 802.11bg accesspoint, and if you promise to leave it running and allow other users to access the network, you can in turn access the network from any other FON accesspoint.
The FON accesspoint, called ‘La Fonera’ is about the size of a packet of sigarettes, weighs less then 100 grams and eats little power. It’s stylishly white and conveniant in use, just plug in power and ethernet (only 1 port) and it’s good to go. A cool feature ‘La Fonera’ provides is that it uses 2 ESSID’s, 1 called Myplace (for private use), and one called FON_ for public use.
It also features WEP, WPA and WPA2 and keeps statistics for who logged on, when they did, and how much they transferred. It allows the owners to throttle the bandwitdh used/shared with other users “Fonero’s”.

‘La Fonero’s’ network rage is very nice, it seems to outperform the other accesspoints I’ve used over the years. So next time people come and visit I should have decent wireless connectivity.
By the way… you can find FON accesspoints using a google-maps interface at maps.fon.com