random complexity

with a side of crazy

Archive for December, 2010

Blink and you'll miss it

Wow another few weeks fly by. Lets see. I put my Wii onto ebay and it sold for just over $200. I've spent a few days learning python and mucking around with it in modpython and then modwsgi. I'll be playing with it and mongoDB for a small project that I'm building to scale up. I finished reading The Art of Being Minimalist, and started on Minimalist Business, both are highly a recommended read.

The DVD ripping project has progressed further. I've finished all movies and made a good stab at the TV shows. This lead to a much more in-depth understanding of de-interlacing filters than I would have preferred. As the perfectionist in me decided it needed to be right I had to find the best settings. Many of the disk's I have are poorly mastered that there is little you can do to fix errors, however some come up brilliantly with just the right settings. I noticed that usually NTSC/USA sourced material (even region 4 PAL versions of USA content) come up OK, but PAL sourced material (ABC/BBC) stuff really needs a lot of work to make it not look like a total dogs breakfast. Some disk's were even interlaced and then de-interlaced with the wrong field order prior to being re-interlaced to go onto DVD. The result was essentially unfix-able. De-interlacing video correctly is like voodoo, and as much as I have no respect for so called professionals who screw it up, it really does take skill, knowledge, practice and some luck to get it right. That aside, there is no excuse for screwing up the final product especially if it's being mass produced and sold. When I pay full price for something, I expect it to be right, not half assed. Free stuff can be half assed, because it's free, fine. It's breaking the old adage, you get what you pay for. It's things like that which make people think the vodafone network has good coverage or speed.

That's similar to the reason I stopped buying DVD boxed sets. You get screwed by supporting early, and rewarded for jumping in late or after the boats left. Don't ever buy a show season by season, because after the show's finished they'll release a box of the lot, which will be better, for less money. Or while the show is airing, they'll change the cover/box artwork so your neat set doesn't match. I've been burned enough times to know that it's not a once off or my bad luck, it's standard procedure, so my response is to vote with my feet and not play that game.

While all this was going on, more house cleaning was done, I like it when tasks complement each other. The feeling of achieving a result is great. So I filled more bins full of crap and they have been dumped. I'll soon be putting up a list of DVDs which are essentially free to a good home for a token amount of cash back.

Coffee Cat cup

We're nearly through the silly season now. So much craziness. As the year is about to wrap up, perhaps a review of last year's new years resolutions. I aimed low this year, and managed to achieve. I simply wanted to "Not eat maccas all year" or really, to see how long I could last without going. Well as it turns out I haven't eaten there all year (since mid December 2009), and only drank coffee from Mc Cafe twice, in October, while in Esperance prior to the Tour De Freedom 1000. Even that was my fault, as I hadn't yet found the Coffee Cat who despite being busy and slow (it was holiday time) manages to produce something that could pass for coffee in Perth. Even if it's not just a coffee cup.

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