Archive for December, 2004

Review: Enterprise 401 – 409

Saturday, December 11th, 2004

When a series’ highlight of over no less than 4 years is the slight change in the opening tune (a rhythm bass riff added for extra hipness), you know something is awfully wrong. If it wasn’t supposedly Star Trek, I’d drop it like a stone during season 2. But somehow, I keep giving it a second chance (by now, it’s the 47h time already).
Last season had a long story arch, with intermittent “reset” stories woven in. It drew hope, but as a whole, it finished below a mediocre grade. This season, after finishing off the story line, they’re trying another trick. Shorter, more focused story archs. Again, drawing hope, but also again, below mediocrity. Unlike story archs on Deep Space Nine, stories flow naturally on character development, but here it’s glued together with the same cliche bullcrap we’ve seen before. Added bonus is the extra eye candy on special effects, big sets and scenery, trying to please the big crowd. However, the sensationalist mindset, gets the worst out of the writers (now turning Vulcans into a bunch of warfaring emotional raving madmen). So this is the end, I’ll just pretend the last 4 years didn’t happen. You with me ?

Review: Finding Neverland

Thursday, December 9th, 2004

This movie covers the short period of J.M. Barrie’s life where he meets the Llewelyn Davies family and how the Peter Pan play came to life. Subtlety is the word here, as the crude reality is not the focus here. Only slight hints are given and an imaginitive thread leads to a more glorified and inspirational story than what history suggests. The story builds slowly, and the focus is too narrow, covering not a whole lot of different aspects or subjects. This means some parts are dangerously close to sleep inducing.
The acting however (mostly Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet), is all up to par. Combined with an able director, you’ll get a just above average of what you expect from an independent movie.7+.


Wednesday, December 8th, 2004

Yeah, it might not make any sense to most of ya. But I’m gonna say it anyways.

A WHOPPING 12.000 3DMARKS03 !!!!


Tuesday, December 7th, 2004

new pc

Yeah, it’s that time again. Time for a new PC. As you can see, I brought all the stuff home. Picture 1 is everything unpacked. Picture 2 is work in progress. In picture 3 you can say hi to the new big bro in the room (albeit lying on its side having open heart surgery, coz I needed to pump 200 GB of data from the old hard disk to the new one) . And in picture 4, say hi to an even bigger bro flashing its screen.

Off to the specs:
Asus P5GD1, using Intel’s new 915P chipset
P4 3.2GHz socket 775
2 x 512 MB DDR400
Maxtor 300 GB sATA hard disk
Samsung DVD-/+ R/RW writer 16x speed
Asus AX800XT/TD 256 MB PCI-Express VGA card
Soundblaster Audigy 2 ZS Retail sound card
Coolermaster 450W power supply
IIYama E511S-B 20.1″ TFT

That’s about it. Worth 22 days not spend burning my ass of in a southern country or freezing my ass off up north. Pretty nice deal, if I’m gonna enjoy this for at least 2 years, wouldn’t you say ?

Thanx Bill !

Tuesday, December 7th, 2004

It’s nice of Bill to mention his Windows XP is soooo complete. Users couldn’t play DVD movies with their Windows XP Home and Windows XP Pro, out of the box. Even though they paid a premium price for the computer with DVD-ROM player and the Windows XP package. Luckily, any DVD program will do. It’s either on the DVD movie disc itself, or sometimes it’s included in the DVD-ROM retail package.
Then comes the new complete home entertainment (direct quote from system from Microsoft. Windows Media Center Edition 2005. Essentially it’s XP Pro with a new skin and frontpage to interact better with a TV screen and remote control. So you can have a multimedia center in your room using your computer linked to a TV screen. Sounds reasonably nice, right ? Record TV, get the TV listing from the internet, timeshift watching, music, pictures etc etc.
So, here I am, finishing the first Windows MCE PC, hardware and software installs without a hitch. Then comes the TV testing. Decoder error. And I have to deliver this system tomorrow. And it’s 17.38.
Solution ? Well, a closer look at the Hauppage website (for the TV card) already mentioned this, though it’s not of much help. Digging further reveals what we’ve lived through earlier. Except this time, not any DVD program will do. A whole arsenal of programs have already been installed to no avail (WinDVD 4 & 5 & 6, PowerDVD 4 & 5) (everytime followed by a reboot, an uninstall and another reboot), and finally, I came across PowerDVD 6. And it works. (I’m talking demo versions of course, I wouldn’t dare downloading illegal Deluxe versions).
Moral of this story ? Complete is a dangerous word. Not only did you buy an expensive incomplete Windows MCE version, you’re in a whole lot of danger of buying the wrong extra DVD program.

US Box Office

Sunday, December 5th, 2004

Nicolas Cage is on a prolongend trip to find the National Treasure, already in its third week at the top, taking in another $17.1 million.
At number 2, despite horrible critic AND user reviews, Christmas with the Kranks has enough christmas spirit to rise one spot, collecting $11.7 million this week.
At the start three weeks ago, The Polar Express seemed to be running out of coal. Apparently an emergency supply has been uncovered, as it’s still rolling along happily, with another $11.0 million. The total standing at $96.4 million, another 64% is needed to break even.
Also still doing well are The Incredibles, with $9.2 million at number four (and a respectable $226 million total).
The kids choosing for The SpongeBob Squarepants Movie are good for $7.8 million, good enough to stay in the top 5.
A limited release for Closer (starring Natalie Portman, Jude Law, Julia Roberts and Clive Owen), still manages to enter at number 6, with $7.7 million.
At number 7, Alexander clearly fell off his horse, bringing in only $4.7 million. A horrible total of $29.7 million, not even a fifth of the budget.

Review: House 101 – 103

Sunday, December 5th, 2004

A late entry for Fox, with almost the same formula as NBC’s Medical Investigation. While I scrapped MI off my list weeks ago, I’m pretty sure I can scrap this show off right now, instead of waiting a few more weeks.
This show features a, what seems to be, brilliant MD (doctor House, played by Hugh Laurie) with some serious bedside manner problems (right, like we haven’t seen that before). Serving under him, is a self-chosen team of talented doctors. The formula is instantly visible. Opposed to MI, where they fly off to locations all over the country to stop supposed outbreaks, House will get special unsolved mystery cases coming to him. This is the first sign of monotony. With one location to film week in, week out, the stories must be pretty good, you’d think. But sadly, these are also heavily formulised, with the patient coming in, then the first diagnosis. Then it appears the diagnosis was wrong and everything seems worse. Without a diagnosis, the next step is to treat a theory, rather than wait for lab results. Repeat this step a few times, till almost the end they finally do solve it. After three weeks, it’s pretty tiresome, like you’ve been admitted in a hospital yourself for a few weeks.
It’s pretty strange why the usually sharp Bryan Singer (from the X-Men movies fame, executive producer of this series and director of a few episodes) didn’t have deja-vu feelings filming his second episode, as even the dialogue follows the same repetitive path the rest of the series does.
With no hope for any character development so far, I confidently declare this series DOA (dead-on-arrival).

How Messy is my Desk Today ?

Sunday, December 5th, 2004

Rate 1 (FR#^&% MESS !) to 5 (how very tidy !). Only rate the latest picture, otherwise I can’t keep track of the average.

Total: 1226 out of 387 votes > Average is: 3.171

desk pic

Approved ?

Saturday, December 4th, 2004

The FDA (US’ Food and Drug Administration) is not willing to approve the sex patch (based on testosterone) from Proctor & Gamble just yet. This supposedly “female Viagra” boosts sexual desire in woman and hence, should produce more satisfying sexual experiences.
Well, maybe it’s for the better. What if you’d have had a year of great sex, but you now have a wife or girlfriend with a mustache ?


Friday, December 3rd, 2004

Betreft: Groot Charlois distiributie

Geachte Wegener Huis-aan-huiskranten B.V.,
graag wilde ik via deze weg mijn ongenoegen uiten. Heden vind ik, wederom een krant. U zult zich afvragen waarom die zin zo kort is. Weldra wordt het allemaal duidelijk, deze brief heeft als onderwerp combinatie.

Ten eerste, de anti-reclame sticker die op mijn brievenbus is geplakt heeft de combinatie NEE/NEE.

Ten tweede, de krant wordt onder deze combinatie van omstandigheden bezorgd (en zonder enig benul van tijd, het kan er ‘s ochtends vroeg liggen, of ‘s avonds laat):

a. In de brievenbus (deze hangt onderaan het trappenhuis). Moet ik weer hebben, een bezorger die lijdt aan de volgende combinatie: een kleurenblinde analfabeet die niet kan tellen (aangezien dat de drie kenmerken zijn om de oranjegekleurde 3 letterig-tellende NEE van de groene 2 letterig-tellende JA te kunnen onderscheiden).

b. Op de deurmat net voor mijn deur. Moet ik weer hebben, een overijverige bezorger die perse toch de krant wilt afleveren en daarvoor de trap helemaal naar boven neemt.

c. De krant ligt onderaan de trap. Moet ik weer hebben, een superluie bezorger die de straat doorrent en het zomaar ergens neerkwakt, zonder zich te realiseren dat met een stevige wind alles op straat komt te liggen (en de bewoners hebben ook geen tijd om het weg te halen, omdat het op tijdstippen wordt afgeleverd waar geen normaal mens meer naar buiten gaat).

Zoals u ziet, genoeg overtredingen die leiden tot een berg reclame en kranten (zie bijgevoegde foto van een stapel verzameld in slechts anderhalve week). Dit doet mij wensen naar de tijd dat bezorgers nog de weg wisten naar het dumpslootje hier drie straten verder. Of toen fikkie steken nog geen verloren kunstvorm was.
Graag ga ik nu over tot mijn combinatie van conclusies:

a en c leiden mij tot het denken dat bezorgers niet meer worden opgeleid. Noch worden ze verteld aan welke simpele regels ze moeten houden.
a en b leiden mij tot het denken dat bezorgers worden verzocht de kranten ten alle tijden af te leveren zodat de oplage hoog blijft (is dus meer reclame-inkomsten) ongeacht hoe dit de milieu aantast en overlast aan de bewoners bezorgt.

Hoe u het ook bekijkt, ik ben er niet blij mee. Via deze weg wilde ik dan toch ook uw kant van dit verhaal horen, voordat er een goed overwogen klacht richting de Reclame Code Commissie gaat.
Een financiele tegemoetkoming zou ook niet misstaan, aangezien ik slecht ter been ben en dus maandelijks de zoon van de overburen moet raadplegen om de berg aan kranten en reclame richting de oud-papier-bak te kunnen sturen. Elke keer 5 euro is toch 60 euro op jaarbasis !

Hopend uw reactie ooit uit een bijna lege brievenbus te kunnen halen,

K.N. Ung



Review: The Forgotten

Thursday, December 2nd, 2004

Thriller suspsenser works its way through to almost the end without a hitch. While hanging on the same thread too long, the director has enough skills to keep it visually engaging, while the story focuses on just one thing.
Julianne Moore does most of the acting, and she does it like she always does. Perfect. Tears on command, a little shriek of insanity in her voice when necessary, lingering to a psychotic breakdown. The rest of the cast fares along just as well.
That said, towards the end it begins to feel a bit sloppy, storywise. But as a whole, it’s still a good average movie. It will be forgotten someday, but not as fast as most reviews will have you believe.7½.


Wednesday, December 1st, 2004

Or so we hope. Spam should be canned. But how ? Law isn’t going to help, since the internet falls into a limbo of international mess. So now Lycos decides maybe we could drive the cost up for the spammers, by designing a screensaver that graciously visits a few of these “Get your Viagra here !” and “Rolex for cheap !” sites every day, in the background while you’re not using your PC. This way, if enough people join the fight, traffic of those sites should reach Terabytes, making the bill for the spammers somewhere between a pain in the ass and unbearable.
So, ya gonna join the fight or what ? Head over to and well, the site is rather slow. Maybe it’s under attack by furious spammers.
Fire with fire ?