Dec 31, 2009

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Just wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. A little late on the Christmas, but better late than never. :)

Avatar - The Review

Official Avatar Movie
Well now that I have seen Avatar in both 3d and 2d, it is time for me to drop my $0.02 on the subject.

First off, this is a great movie. A class David vs Goliath story that takes place in an amazingly detailed and interesting world. Everything just fits really well together, the plants, the animals, the floating rocks. James Cameron deserves a lot of praise for creating such a rich setting. I especially liked the night scenes with all the glow-in-the-dark plants.

In 3d, the movie works because the focus is on the story and not the 3d effects. Any 3d film I have seen in the past seems to be totally focused on cheesy 3d effects that happen every 10 or 15 minutes. This movie includes some great 3d effects, but it never forgets to tell the story first. In addition, the movie looks great in 3d. The colors and imagery are just as rich in the 2d and 3d versions. The 3d version doesn't feel washed out or blurry at all.

Much has been written about how 3d is gonna save movie theaters, blah blah blah. It still seems like a bit of a gimmick to me. It really doesn't add that much to the experience. Oh sure, it will prevent movie pirates from sending films out on the Net. But is it that much better than watching a movie at home on your own HD set?  I am not so sure about that.

In regards to the movie being preachy, I just don't buy that. There might be what, 1 or 2 statements in the entire movie that could be considered in that vein. But to me it is just a movie. The weak fighting back against the strong is as classic as it gets. Go see Avatar, you will be glad you did.

My rating. (5 out of 5)

Dec 15, 2009

More Thoughts on Google OS

Google LogoAfter listening to the This week in Google from a few weeks back, I have a better understanding of just what the new Google OS is. It is interesting that Google is targeting the Netbook platform for this OS. With the requirement to essentially have an Internet connection to do anything, this would seem like quite a limitation to me. There are still a lot of places I go with a laptop or netbook where there is no Wifi.

To me a better target might be a really inexpensive desktop replacement. Almost everyone I know now has wifi unless they live in very remote places. The combination of Google Office and OS would meet the needs of about 90% of the folks. Word processing, web surfing, video streaming, social networks, etc.. would all be covered. The only thing I see missing is a replacement for Quicken.

Just think how nice it would be to set up your parents or grandparents on a PC that  is always up to date, gets no viruses and is really easy to use. With a low price that would be a very compelling story.

Dec 11, 2009

Storing Data in Safari for iPhone

Recently I have been thinking of different ways you could store simple text messages and the like on an iPhone. There are a number of note applications out there and you can sync the iPhone note application with some e-mail clients.

Anyway, I ran across this inventive solution, store an entire application in a URL. Its all explained on the Life with Lunchhooks blog. Now that is really cool. Simply put that in a link. Then click the link and save it to your Bookmark list. Whamo-bamo, you have some offline data stored on your iPhone. The only limitation is the data is read only.

But fear not, there are a number of ways you can store applications that can both read and write offline. Apple has this offline application programming guide on their web site. Really neat stuff. I gotta find some time to play with this. :)

Dec 8, 2009

Word Wrap in Linux/Unix/OS X

Have you ever needed to word wrap a text document at a specific width?  Well I did and I found out there is a Unix utility that called fold that does this. Check out an explanation on the nixCraft blog.

Dec 1, 2009

Static Factory Methods vs Constructors

Duke WavingI was looking for a good explanation for the advantages of using static factory methods instead of constructors. The Redemption in a Blog site has a very good explanation. It just goes to should that old blog posts don't fade away, they just get better with time. :)