Category Archives: Review

To CM9 a0.5 or not to CM9 a0.5 – that is the question…

Of course, I have been anxiously watching the development of custom roms for the HP Touchpad… I am really happy to see not one, but TWO releases (Alpha 0 and Alpha 0.5) of CM9 for the Touchpad so far!  Great work from the Cyanogenmod team!

So far, I have been too gun shy to pull the trigger up fumble through the Acme2 process… With the outstanding issues list still holding the video hardware playback problems for Alpha 0.5, I think I may still hold off for a bit…

What about you? Any casual browsers of the site rocking CM9 on their HP Touchpad?  Worth it?

Perhaps I will have a hands-on for you this week… perhaps…

Links:

http://rootzwiki.com/topic/15509-releasealpha05-cyanogenmod-9-touchpad/

http://liliputing.com/2012/01/cyanogenmod-9-alpha-0-5-bug-fix-for-the-hp-touchpad.html

 

Edit: hands on review soon 😉

 

Wow. I never use this thing. [Inception]

So, I came to post a quick quip about how much I liked Inception today and realized how little I use my blog anymore.  Not that I have ever been a competitive blogger or anything of the sort, but it would seem that I have withered and dried up – at least so far as these posts are concerned (and likely reflect).

None the less, that is not the case (me withering and drying) as I have just been really, really (really) busy reading and trying to get myself up to speed as a professional programmer… Something that I am enjoying emensely (even though it sometimes feels as if I will never ever (ever) know enough to take a breath again – GOOD THING IT’S SUPA FUN!).

Speaking of something I have recently enjoyed (and my reason for sitting down 15 mins ago to begin writing this) – watching Inception (I’ll wait while you see what it is if you don’t know)… Oddly, there is more related between the first part of this post (developing as a developer) and the fun provided by Inception – conceptually at least… I have to say, I was genuinely entertained at the layering and constant thought provoking representations of recursion and Big-O concepts… I won’t go into it much more than that, but if you find this stuff interesting, you will likely enjoy aspects of the movie that may perhaps will be overlooked by “other watchers” of Inception.  Funny thing is, I get back home, head over to browse hacker news and quickly come to the realization that I was not alone in my CS-centric thoughts about the film – http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1526104

Aside from the mentally stimulating representation of CS-Theory-related concepts, there is PLENTY of eye-candy by way of perty explosions and mind-bending (and physically defying) scenery to keep you entertained – even if the exotic applications of recursion aren’t your cup of tea.

I’d give Inception an ‘A’.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull : Sneak Peak

I will try to discuss this without revealing too much about the story, so I will refrain from specifics and will speak generically where I feel a spoiler risk is possible.

So, I was lucky enough to snag a couple sneak preview tickets for the Wednesday night showing of the new Indiana Jones movie (Yea, I watched it on the 20th – be envious).  Having not seen Indiana in about a dozen years or so, I didn’t quite know what to expect – I knew what I wanted to expect, but these days you can’t ever really tell if it is a genuine attempt at carrying on the legacy or a cheap stab at some new cash from the nostalgia of those present for the last installment of the Indiana story.  To make a long story short, I was not disappointed – if anything, I was extremely happy to see some old friends – aka Indiana Jones 🙂

First, the Nazi theme is continued on in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.  This at first struck me as feeling a bit distant and hard to relate to since so much time has passed since the movies of the 80s where the Nazis were regularly featured bad guys.  Admittedly, this ‘distant’ feeling quickly passed as the Nazis assumed their classic role of villain.  Note: I use ‘classic’ instead of “typical” because there is a overall feeling of ‘classic’ throughout this movie – even when it is something that has been done to death, it is pulled off in this Indiana installment without leaving the bitter taste of “played-out” in your mouth.

I did get a deja-vu feeling on part of the storyline in regards to the Nazis.  Although it was small, and I do not want to spoil too much, we will just say that those crazy Nazis are still hunting the supernatural power that will give them the upper hand against the rest of the world.  Unlike Hellboy, the supernatural ‘source’ was not hell spawn, but instead was a bit more ‘other worldly’…  This was an element that did seem a bit out of place from the classic Indy story, but I guess in reality it is no more of a stretch than was the case with the Last Crusade.  Spielberg and Lucas have a way of taking something conceptually hoaxy and showing (creating) the historic relevance – in essence, making the far fetched seem not so far fetched.

A fun side to the movie was the fact that I could not help but feel the same emotions and feelings about the storyline and its characters as I did with the original Indiana movies.  The story, in CLASSIC form, is a non-stop action-heavy “guns a blazin’” chase.  Again, “classic” pretty well describes the feeling of this movie.  From one sketchy situation to the next, Indiana and his crew are dodging everyone from Nazis to Aztecs – bullets (and poisonous spears) whizzing past the entire time.  This is something that I feel is often times not executed very well in most modern movies, but was carried off very well in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.  Again, this was nice: feeling the sentiments I now associate with nostalgia – without viewing something from the past.  There was a warm feeling of comfort – something new and interesting that also encompasses characteristics that make you feel as if you already know it.

In typical Indiana form, riddles, puzzles, treasure hunts and myth are pieced together with historic fact to create a story that is creatively novel while being comfortable simultaneously.  Also throughout the film, there are “winks and nods” to the previous Jones movies for anyone with an observative eye.  All in all, I would rate this a 9 out of 10.  Harrison Ford did an excellent job once again as Indiana Jones – the talk of his age are unmerited (lets see you beotches do your own stunts… cause he did).  Admittedly, Sean Connery was slightly missed, but at least they threw a picture in there.  I felt Shia LaBeof did a great job walking along side the Giant that is Harrison Ford and also was set up in a prime position to carry out the Jones legacy (I will not elaborate on that any further).  Mrs. Karen Allen also did her character justice, as well as added much to the classic air of this newest Indiana installment by providing a spark from the past.  Also, Mrs. Cate Blanchett was a awesome nazi – although not a flattering character, there is something sexy about a woman who can handle a sword – albeit a Nazi woman with a sword.

So, again, in re-recap:  Go see it.  Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is a nice throwback to simpler times.  The puzzles and plot do not tease you too much or make you think too hard – basically, it is just fun to watch the story unfold and play out.  You will get a new story with a few new players – all wrapped in the warmth of childhood and familiarity – unless you were born after 1989, in which case “you pesky kids just don’t understand and likely never will!”