Archive for May, 2007
Although I try to avoid it, my work generally entails a lot of mucking around with Windows machines. On my venerable old PowerBook G4, I would use Microsoft’s own Remote Desktop Connection Client. Version 1.03 of course, which hasn’t been updated in nearly three years. It doesn’t come quite as feature-rich as the native Windows version, of course, but it was serviceable.
After my switch to an Intel-based Mac, however, MS’s RDP client just fails for me. It seemed my only options were:
- Wait for Microsoft to update their RDP client (unlikely)
- Use X11 and rdesktop (unwieldy)
- Use Parallels and run a virtual XP
I chose option three because having Parallels around means access to other useful things, such as viewing web projects in finicky IE, and the ability to reinstall UT2k4 on Windows from a friend’s disc when my own Mac DVD got too scratched to work. However, I kept finding myself booting up Windows for the express purpose of RDP’ing into another machine. Hardly an elegant solution.
Enter CoRD, “Cocoa Remote Desktop”, which is a native OS X version of the above-mentioned rdesktop. It’s only in a 0.4 version at the moment, but is already more utilitarian than the old MS version, even if the screen render ain’t quite as pretty. I’ve been hoping someone with the knowhow would put this together, it’s going to be a huge timesaver.
May 31st, 2007
Between the unflattering picture of Anna Paquin I ran across earlier today and the latest issue of X-Men (#199), I’ve had Rogue on the mind today.
Now, I have probably done a lot more reading about comics in the last couple of years than I have actually reading comics, mostly via the highly entertaining dave’s long box and, recently this obsessively long multi-part Hobgoblin essay. But in that time, I’ve mostly kept current on X-Men and Uncanny, which have generally been good, but not, perhaps, interesting.
Rogue, in particular, started out as this very interesting, mysterious character. A thief and a villain who robbed people of their powers, if they had any– an evil Peter Petrelli, if you will– and who came over to help the X-Men. This only added to the misfit element of the X-Men, and that was all well and good, but then Gambit happened, and Rogue turned into a boring character good for the occassional ongoing angst and hitting people with telephone poles, but really nothing more.
Now, however, Gambit is gone for whatever convenient reason, Rogue is defying the government watchdog groups monitoring the X-Men, and she’s leading a proper team of misfits, with a robot, some criminals, Iceman, Cable, Cannonball, and her mom. That’s what I call a good start!
One of the things that I really like seeing in comics is people exploring their powers and using them in novel ways. So when, in this latest issue, Rogue gets psychically urged back from the brink of death, her absorption power amplified, and the absorbs the minds of billions of people and turns into a mind-sucking mutant vampire, a modern-day illithid, well, that is very interesting to me. A really good issue, and of course I totally dig Chris Bachalo’s artwork, even when his art feels a bit rushed it always looks amazing.
May 25th, 2007
The IMAX film projector is apparently a very complex thing. It weighs just over a ton, and makes use of all sorts of pistons and compressed-air devices and xenon bulbs that can kill a man with quartz crystal accuracy.
In short, it’s not a camera to fuck with. If it were a Transformer– presumably monikered IMAXtron– it would crush you to death and record the whole thing in an incredible resolution of clarity. At least you would achieve some nominal immortality on film.
So, for the first time ever, I ventured forth with a couple of friends to see an IMAX movie, specifically “Spider-Man 3: The IMAX Experience”. I figured it was a good bet to see in mind-boggling high-def, and the complexity of the eye-candy proved me right. From the awesome physics of the whorls of digital sand grains, to the high-powered web-grab-and-punch moves in mid-air melee, I delighted to the detail that might otherwise have been lost.
However, almost exactly 120 minutes in to the 140 minute spandex-clad melodrama, just as the hands of the clock swept past midnight, just as the final climactic battle began to build towards its crescendo, everything went dark.
Despite the plainitive cries of dissatisfaction throughout the theater, IMAXtron refused to show us the last fifteen minutes. Something’s wrong, the employees said, after tracking down the projectionist, and we can’t fix it. Here’s some free movie passes, they said, and urged us on our way.
At the price of IMAX tickets, and after this “experience”, I’m not sure I’ll see one again anytime soon. But I sure would like to see the end of Spider-Man 3, someday.
May 23rd, 2007
A lot of the work that I do is fairly design-intensive. A lof of programming, a lot of ins and outs and what-have-yous. Accordingly, moving my office from “a room filled with people on the phone” to “the second bedroom in the apartment” has been a huge boon; I’m pretty self-directed to begin with, so I get quite a bit done most days.
But not on meeting days.
Usually it’s something like a weekly status meeting. Today’s takes place at 1:00 pm, my time, which is nicely located smack in the middle of the day. Throughout the morning, I’ll be chewing over some problem, perhaps, but I try not to get too involved in anything. By 10 am, I’m just sort of anxiously checking email and catching up on reading. Now, if it’s not a meeting day, I might just plow into the next piece I’m working on, work through lunch, and just go until I’m finished, because I know I’ll have the time.
Then on days like this, that meeting is just looming there, and I know I won’t have time to get any work done until that thing is over with. Hurry up!
May 17th, 2007
ser•en•dip•i•ty: the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way
One of the benefits of living in Portland, aside from escaping Allergy Valley, is the great variety of music that is either from or comes through here. I just found out late last week that Andrew Bird is playing at the Crystal Ballroom this upcoming Friday. I’ve just started listening to him not altogether too long ago, but I’ve really been digging it. Apparently, he’s also a classically trained violinist and stuff, and I bet he puts on a hell of a show.
This has been a hell of a year for fantastic albums so far. Hissing Fauna (Of Montreal), Phantom Punch (Sondre Lerche), and Year Zero (NIN) have all been in heavy rotation, along with another gem, The National Anthem of Nowhere by Apostle of Hustle. I stumbled across this mostly on chance. I liked the description, but that doesn’t always translate into liking the music. In fact, not too often, but one has to take some chances to ever expand their horizons.
So I’ve had Apostle of Hustle on the brain a lot lately. And eventually, as with a lot of bands, I get to a point where I’ve listened to the album thirty times, I’ve got new, undiscovered favorite tunes floating to the top of my playlist more and more often, and I stop and wonder, “Who the hell are these guys?”
Turns out it’s a project by the lead guitarist for The Broken Social Scene– whom I’ve only ever heard one song by at this point– then I saw something about a tour in lo my many hyperlinks. And behold! Apostle of Hustle at the Crystal… On Friday! Opening for Andrew Bird!
May 2nd, 2007