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Month: June 2009

New laptop and a wiki

New laptop

When I went off to college in 2004, I knew I had to get a desktop because laptops were no good, especially for gaming.  They had slow processors, slow GPUs, and little hard drives.

For a while, I’ve been wanting an HD monitor for my computer and a blu-ray drive.  Then I decided I didn’t want to be stuck in my bedroom anymore, so I started looking into laptops.  I was quite happy to find something as nice and powerful as the Alienware M17x.  With an HD monitor, a blu-ray drive, 4 GB of RAM, 1 TB of space, and an nVidia GTX 260M graphics card, it is better than my desktop (and more expensive).  It also has a fancy LED light-up keyboard, which you can customize to shine any colors you want, which is actually quite useful when you’re playing a game in the dark; otherwise, it seems a bit superfluous but is an eye-catcher.  It’s also awesome to watch blu-rays and play games in full HD.  It also has an HDMI port for easy HDTV connection, which I’m hoping I can try sometime, maybe Friday.

And 1920×1200 resolution rules.

So I really love this laptop.

And a wiki

I started a wiki about myself here.  I call it: Hanniwiki.  Yay!  Maybe it’s vain, but it serves several purposes: 1) I wanted to try out MediaWiki.  2) I’d like to try world-building with it for my fantasy novel.  When I don’t feel like working on my actual story, I was thinking I might like to write articles about the fictional world I’m creating to at least help my mind get into the world a little better.  3) I don’t know, whatever.

So I’ll probably update it with random junk whenever I’m bored.  It might be useful for people who want to explore my work but don’t want to browse through a bunch of blog posts.  Then again, I’m not really famous enough yet for very many people to want to do that.  But still, it’s there, and it was fun creating what I have there so far.

I will never compose again

Just kidding. Sorry. It’s such a cruel joke, I know.

E3 stuff

E3, the video gaming expo, was last week, and a couple things interested me.  Firstly, “Project Trico” got a real name: The Last Guardian.  It also got a more polished trailer.  Ahh… that looks like such an awesome game.  (By the way, I saw the film Miller’s Crossing, the film the trailer music is from.  It was a pretty good movie, I enjoyed it.)

The bad news is I don’t think I’ll be able to afford a PS3 or that game anytime soon… this gaming laptop was also announced at E3.  It’s about as powerful as my desktop.  Actually, it’s a bit better, and it’s got a blu-ray player and an HD screen.  So I bought it.  Woohoo!!  The estimated delivery date isn’t until mid-July though, I suppose because it’s a brand-new model and maybe they don’t have the assembly line going quite yet.  Waiting for it just plain torture.

Lately I haven’t been spending as much time on my computer as I usually do, so I haven’t been composing, or… doing anything constructive at all really.  Well, I’ve been reading, I guess that’s constructive.  Hopefully I’ll get back to digital constructiveness when the laptop comes.  Might be more quiet than usual until then.  (I’d be more apathetic if I weren’t so lethargic.)

Lightning

For some reason, it seems to be storm season here.  We’ve been getting a bunch of storms.  (Sadly, a local middle school student was also recently killed by a lightning strike.  Makes it seem scarier to be outside during the storms.)  Lots of lightning… last week I took some pictures and put them on a public photo album on Facebook.

Project Trico, Google Wave, and Benjamin Button

Project Trico

Two of my favorite video games are Ico and Shadow of the Colossus . . . actually, I think they are the only console games I’ve ever been able to pass (not that I play very many).  They’re like puzzle adventure games.  The team that makes them is working on a new title for the PS3 (which I guess I’ll have to get) which for now is being called Project Trico.  The video on YouTube looks . . . interesting.  Some kid going around with some strange cat-bird with arrows in it.  The cat-bird’s movements look very realistic if it wasn’t so humongous.

Anyway, what I really loved about the video was the music.  Very epic and inspiring.  I learned from Wikipedia that music was from a 1990’s film called Miller’s Crossing, a Coen brothers movie, and the music was by Carter Burwell, who recently scored Twilight.  So I put the movie Miller’s Crossing on hold at the library; I’m interested in seeing how the music fits with the dark gangs-and-guns story.  I’m also probably going to end up buying the soundtrack (because they still sell on CD *cough* stupid Disney Records *cough*).

Google Wave

The other exciting thing I saw earlier this week was this video on Google Wave (or this article which sums up the main points).  Ooooh, doesn’t that look awesome?  Hard to say exactly what sort of impact it will have on online communication, but it could be very big.  I’m especially interested in the real-time multiple-user collaboration; I would’ve loved to have that available while still in school working on group projects.  I’m also excited by the gaming possibilities this could provide, and would be very interested in trying to program some gadget-games for it.  I requested a sandbox developer account, but they never got back to me . . . of course, I’m sure tens of thousands have requested one, and when this Google Wave goes live to everyone, it will already be oversaturated with games . . . which is good!  I look forward to playing them!  But I will still want to try designing my own.

Benjamin Button (with spoilers!)

I finished watching the film The Boring Stupid Case of Benjamin Button the other day.  Visually, it was great.  The recreation of older time periods, the make-up, the cinematography . . . brilliant work.  But the story . . . what story?  There really wasn’t much of one.  There was hardly any conflict, only a couple of very shallow romantic conflicts.  The main character, Benjamin Button, had no important goals, and therefore there was really nothing he had to overcome.  This is a huge disappointment because the premise, a boy being born old and becoming younger, would seem to spark many conflicts.  How would others react if they knew the truth?  (They didn’t seem to be very bothered.)  How would he find love when he was young but looked old?  (Easily, it seems.)  When he was young, shouldn’t he be jealous of normal people?  And when he got old, shouldn’t others be jealous of him?  (Nah!)  When he grew down into a child’s body, wouldn’t it have been more dramatic if he had been a wise 70 year old, trying to convince adults that he was older and more experienced than them?  Nah . . . they just have him start forgetting everything when that point comes.

And, since Benjamin really had no goals, he had no personality.  He never really wanted anything, besides to be with a woman every now and then.  He didn’t struggle with envy for normal people, he didn’t worry very much about his awkward future, he didn’t deal with anger issues toward his father who abandoned him, he didn’t struggle with very much loneliness.  Lots of missed potential.

It seems like the writers were in a bit of a hurry to create this film, because they did a horrible job.  They expanded an idea into a screenplay without adding any story.  *Sigh*  It could’ve been good.

Remember . . . an idea is not a story!  You might start with an idea, but the story still has to be about something.  It might seem mundane or cliche, such as a simple love story, or a war story, or a life-struggles story (which is what Ben Button should’ve been about), but it needs that conflict built around the initial idea.  You can’t just take the idea and run with it.

The only way Ben Button could’ve succeeded without a story is if it had been a comedy.  Comedy can get away with there being little story because the point is in the little stories, the gags, the jokes.  Forrest Gump had no big story, but it was funny.  A Christmas Story had very little story, but it was funny.  And I’m sure there are plenty more . . .

So I give Benjamin Button 2 out of 10 stars, which is pretty pathetic.

Okay, that’s all I have to say for today.