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Andrew Pollock


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Thursday, 22 December 2005

Fun Christmas present

Our sea freight is being delivered on Christmas Eve. No prize for guessing what we're going to be doing on Christmas Day...

[16:19] [life] [permalink]

Google Reader saves my sanity

I've been relying on just Planet for reading blogs. I mainly read just Planet Debian and Linux Linux Australia, with a shortlist of other friends' blogs that used to be read via my own Planet instance, which is currently in a shipping container somewhere.

This of course sucks in two ways: if you don't keep up, articles fall off the bottom and are gone forever, and you have to mentally keep track of what you've already read.

So the next choice is a feed-reader like Liferea, but this then sucks in different ways: it's tied to the computer you run it on, and posts that have been previously read often seem to come back as new. I get this every time I refresh Planet Linux Australia. Drives me mad.

So what I really want is a way of being able to centrally store what I've read, regardless of where I am, and what computer I'm using. Enter Google Reader.

It has a nice clean interface, it's Ajaxed up the wazoo, and Just Workstm. My only (minor) beefs are that it doesn't seem to allow you to mark posts as read or unread, and that it always wants to have the current article second from the top in the list. Other than that, the UI is very clean and simple (and even uses vi keys). Added bonus is that if any other user is already subscribed to the feed, you get all the historical articles for free, which in the case of the Planets, goes back a lot further than the feed currently provides.

Ideally I'd like something like this, that I can run on my own server, because I like keeping everything in the family. In the meantime, this is a suitable alternative. Getting all the back-articles is a bonus well worth it.

Full disclosure: I work for Google, but that's what's making me look for a more efficient method to read blogs.

[11:10] [tech] [permalink]

The Chronicles of Narnia

Last night, Sarah and I went to see The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

I quite enjoyed it. It's been years since I've seen either the animated version (I think I've seen that at least twice, and I can't believe it was from 1979, that makes me feel so old) or the BBC TV mini-series (I think I saw that once), or read the books, so I couldn't remember the story very well at all, so it was great having a two hour long memory jog. It seemed very faithful to my memory of the original story.

Acting-wise, I thought the actors that played Edmund and Lucy did a particularly good job. I was initially a bit down on the choice of making Queen Jadice/The White Witch so young, but that turned out pretty good nonetheless. The voice of Aslan was a good pick.

My main beef was that the violence was too sanitised. I feel strange saying that, but up until the big battle scene, they went out of their way to make it all pretty tame and bloodless. There were also a couple of scenes that were very obviously shot in front of a blue or green screen. This movie had the potential to be Lord of the Rings material, but I think it fell down a bit, only on a few small things. The Lord of the Rings was as violent as it needed to be, without going into Day of the Dead territory, for example.

Very good, but not great. I hope they do the rest of the books though. Oh, and I really think all these people who are trying to draw all these Biblical connections are really reaching.

[10:55] [life] [permalink]